(CNN) - Joe Biden's off-the-cuff remarks on the trail have at times taken the Obama campaign off-message, but the Delaware senator's latest riff just may have landed him in hot water with voters - and die hard football fans - in a key battleground state.
Speaking to members of the University of Delaware football team Friday morning, the Democratic VP candidate said he thinks the Fightin Blue Hens (1-1 this season) could thrash a certain team from Ohio.
"I was out in Ohio," he said while fiddling with a football in his hands. "I told the folks in Ohio that we'd kick Ohio State's ass!" (It remains unclear if Biden actually ever told Ohio voters this.)
Biden, a proud University of Delaware alum, was clearly trying to rally his Division 1-AA team ahead of their match-up with Furman this weekend, but the comments couldn't have come at a worse time for faithful Buckeye fans who saw their team suffer a 35-3 trouncing at the hands of USC last weekend.
The comments also come as polls show the race in Ohio could hardly be tighter: A CNN poll of polls in the Buckeye state shows Obama holding a slim 1 point lead there. Close enough, presumably, that enough angry OSU fans could just make the difference - at least that's what Republicans are hoping.
The state GOP is already attacking the Democratic ticket over the comments, as well as his comments yesterday suggesting it was patriotic for some wealthier Americans to pay higher taxes.
"As if his comments about it being a patriotic duty for Ohioans to pay higher taxes weren't bad enough, now Biden is taking pot shots at the Buckeyes," GOP State chair Bob Bennett said. "Barack Obama and Joe Biden must really think they can win this election without Ohio, because they're doing their best to lose it with stupid comments like these. Keep talking, Joe."
David Wade, a spokesman for Biden said, “I think this episode explains exactly why we’ll win Ohio: Joe Biden is loyal to his home team, and John McCain is loyal to President Bush."
"We forgive the Republicans on this one, though," he added. "After watching John McCain flip flop on everything from taxes to torture, they’re just mystified by someone who takes a position and sticks with it.”
UPDATE: Michigan Democrats, fans of OSU arch rival University of Michigan, weighed in on the back-and-forth, calling John McCain a "Panderer in Chief" for recently purchasing Ohio State apparel on a campaign swing.
"John McCain won't be hailing any victors on Election Day if he thinks Michigan fans will let this recent pander slide," said Liz Kerr, a spokesperson for the Michigan Democratic Party.
(CNN)—As the rollercoaster week on Wall Street comes to a close, the federal government is hammering out a financial rescue plan. In the latest installment of CNN=Politics Daily, White House Correspondent Elaine Quijano reports on President Bush and his economic team’s plan to end the economic crisis.
Meanwhile: The economy remains front and center on the campaign trail as well. CNN’s Dana Bash brings you the reaction from John McCain’s campaign, while CNN’s Suzanne Malveaux has the details on Barack Obama’s plans for easing Americans’ concerns.
Finally: In a podcast exclusive, CNN’s Jennifer Mikell serves up your weekly dose of trailmix - some of the most memorable moments making headlines this week.
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CORAL GABLES, Florida (CNN) – Barack Obama took his week long economic message and gave it a different spin, pitching himself to several thousand female Floridians as the candidate who best understands what women want.
“This isn’t just about politics for me this is personal because I come here today not just as a candidate for president but as a son and a grandson, as a husband and a father who’s seen first hand, throughout my life, the challenges so many women face everyday in this country,” he told a rally at the University of Miami.
Obama needs the women’s vote. The addition of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin to the Republican ticket and Obama’s decision to pass on Hillary Clinton for his running mate slot put some segments of the female vote up for grabs. Recent polling shows Obama winning women overall but he continues to trail McCain among white women by about 15 points. John Kerry lost that group by 11 points in 2004. This weekend, female Obama surrogates will be hosting events in all 50 states and the campaign is releasing a television ad on equal pay.
As women waved “Women for Obama,” “Moms for Obama,” and “Caregivers for Obama” signs, the Democratic presidential nominee said he understood the downturn in the economy has hit women particularly hard with the cost of child care, education and running a household getting further out of reach. As he has done all week on the economy, Obama sought to paint his Republican opponent as out-of-touch with women.
At a campaign rally Friday, September 19, in Coral Gables, Florida, Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama said, "It's not that Sen. McCain doesn't care about what's going on in the lives of women in this country. I like to think it's just that he doesn't know. Because, why else would he oppose legislation to help women get equal pay ... ?"
Get the facts after the jump!
(CNN) – Hillary Clinton is stepping up her efforts to push her supporters to vote and campaign for Barack Obama.
“As we continue to read the headlines about our troubled economy, the stakes of this election only get higher,” Clinton said in a Friday message. “Today I am asking all of you to hit the phones, hit the road and spread the word that we must elect Barack Obama President and we must send a filibuster-proof majority to Congress.”
Clinton’s political action committee, HillPAC, is launching a new grassroots movement on Saturday morning that will help mobilize volunteers to phone-bank, blog and canvass for Obama and other Democrats in tough congressional races. This effort, called “Hillary Sent Me!” will focus on a different battleground state each week.
“This is a call to action,” Clinton said. “We all have a role. And there is not a moment to lose. Tell them that Hillary sent you.”
Clinton’s speech to the Democratic National Convention at the end of August helped to bridge the gap between the two former rivals, as the former presidential candidate formally asked her delegates to vote for Obama. But John McCain’s campaign has continued to highlight Clinton voters who have endorsed the Republican nominee in a bid to woo disaffected former backers of the New York senator.
Hillary Sent Me! will send supporters to New Hampshire the weekend of September 27 to campaign for Obama and Jeanne Shaheen, a Democrat who is fighting for GOP Sen. John Sununu’s Senate seat. The group will mobilize volunteers in Ohio and Pennsylvania in the middle of October.
(CNN) - Call it the tale of two contests. While Barack Obama is making a modest rise and John McCain slightly dropping in the national polls, it's just the opposite in some states.
An update of the CNN Electoral Map Friday suggests a tightening in the race for electoral votes in the crucial battleground states. CNN is moving Missouri, and its 11 electoral votes, from "toss up" to "lean McCain," and is moving Wisconsin, which has 10 electoral votes at stake, from "lean Obama" to "toss up."
"One reason for the switch in Missouri is the latest polls in that state. The CNN/Time/Opinion Research Corporation poll indicated a five-point advantage for John McCain in the Show-Me State, and a recent ARG poll indicated the same margin," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "In Wisconsin, our poll and a Big Ten Battleground poll both showed a statistical dead heat - one of the key factors prompting a switch in that state."
"Historically, state polls have often been leading indicators of national trends," noted CNN Senior Political Researcher Alan Silverleib. "Voters in tightly contested states like Missouri and Wisconsin are being inundated with the campaigns' latest television ads right now. National polls are predominatly made up of respondents from big states like New York, California and Texas where the campaigns are running no advertising at all."
CNN now estimates that if the presidential election were held today, Barack Obama would capture 223 electoral votes, to McCain's 200, leaving 115 electoral votes would still be up for grabs. The 23 electoral-vote-lead for Obama is down from a 44-point estimated lead he held in CNN's previous electoral map. Both men are well short of the 270 electoral votes needed to win the White House.
ABOARD THE ELECTION EXPRESS BUS (CNN) - As the sun comes up over the town square in this rural borough of 18,000 people, you could be excused for thinking, at least for a moment, that the American economy is at its robust peak.
The traffic running through downtown Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, jogs to the right as it passes the five-tiered Memorial Fountain, while the fountain's streams of water glisten like ropes of diamonds in the new light.
And that morning traffic is an endless succession of trucks and work vehicles bearing the names of companies and industrial concerns: Ganoe Paving. Edge Rubber. APR Plumbing and Heating Supply. Fisher Auto Parts. Cemco Construction.
The parade never stops. It looks like a promotional film for a nation boldly building - a nation self-assuredly going to work.
Yet if you walk the streets of the square during these schizophrenic national days - days when the economy has seemingly gone berserk, when nothing appears to make sense - and if you enter the front doors of the businesses, you begin to understand how the glowing, nonsensical numbers dancing on Wall Street computer screens have landed with a thud in Chambersburg, and have brought with them icicles of fear, the kind that men and women who run small businesses can feel in their stomachs.
(CNN) – New CNN poll of polls out of Indiana and Ohio Friday show both Midwestern states appear up for grabs with less than seven weeks to go before Election Day.
According to averages of several recent surveys from both states, Obama holds a slim 1 point lead in Ohio (46-45 percent) and McCain holds a small 2 point lead in Indiana (47-45 percent).
Check out CNN's Electoral map
Both states may be critical for John McCain - no Republican has captured the White House without winning Ohio, and Indiana hasn't voted for a Democratic presidential candidate in more than 30 years.
Related: Obama wants to to turn Indiana blue
The Ohio poll of polls consists of three surveys: Big Ten Battleground (September 14-17), CNN/Time/ORC (September 14-16), and Marist (September 11-15). The Indiana general election poll of polls also consists of three surveys: Big Ten Battleground (September 14-17), CNN/Time/ORC (September 14-16), and Indianapolis Star/WTHR (September 14-16).
Neither have a sampling error.
When you graduate 894th out of a class of 899, eventually it will show up.
And John McCain's mediocre performance at the Naval Academy is showing up big time this week in his total lack of understanding of the nation's financial crisis.
He told us he didn't know much about the economy… now he's proving it.
So much so that the Wall Street Journal, perhaps America's leading financial publication, is blasting McCain over what its editorial board sees as inaccurate and, quote, "unpresidential" comments about the crisis in America's financial system.
To read more and contribute to the Cafferty File discussion click here
STERLING, Virginia (CNN) – Firing up supporters at a women’s rally with Joe Biden in Virginia Friday, Sen. Barbara Mikulski told the crowd, “Democratic women, we wear lipstick too!” referring to Sarah Palin’s now-famous joke that the difference between a pitbull and a hockey mom is lipstick.
“You and I know that we women in America are mad as hell and we don’t want to take it anymore,” the spirited Maryland senator said. “I’m here today to say to you, we’ve got to get ready here, ok? Women, square your shoulders. Women, Democratic women, we wear lipstick too!”
“We don’t need another George Bush in earrings being the No. 2 spot,” Mikulski added.
Taking the stage, Biden thanked Mikulski, saying “They asked me could I handle Sarah Palin? I said, 'try debating Barbara Mikulski!'”