(CNN) – Barack Obama said Monday that John McCain is intentionally trying to avoid talking about the economic crisis because it would hurt the Republican nominee’s presidential campaign.
As the stock market dropped even more on Monday afternoon and affected markets around the world, Obama criticized McCain for playing politics over talking about his plan to fix the economy.
“I have got news for the McCain campaign, the American people are losing right now,” Obama told reporters in Asheville, North Carolina. “They are losing their jobs, they are losing their healthcare, they are losing their homes, they are losing their savings, I cannot image anything more important to talk about than the economic crisis.”
Obama encouraged Congress to work on a second economic stimulus package that would provide direct relief from high gas and food prices and said Henry Paulson and Ben Bernanke need to move quickly to restore confidence in the economy.
Obama said the next steps are to work to improve the housing market and to extend unemployment insurance.
The Democratic nominee said both candidates need to address their plans for the economy during the debate in Nashville on Tuesday night.
(CNN) - John McCain’s campaign is dismissing statements by senior aides to Barack Obama that the Illinois senator had been unaware of former Weather Underground member William Ayers’ past when the two men met more than a decade ago.
“Does Barack Obama truly expect the American people to believe that he had no idea about his friend’s past as the infamous founder of the domestic terror group ‘The Weather Underground’ or is he just lying?” McCain-Palin spokesman Tucker Bounds said in a statement. “If Obama really was unaware of Ayers' radical past, learning the truth doesn't seem to have had any effect on their friendship, since the senator later endorsed a book by Ayers, and served on the same charitable board and exchanged e-mails and calls for several more years.”
Obama senior strategist David Axelrod had made that claim in an interview with CNN's Jim Acosta that aired Monday. “I mean… when he went, he certainly, he didn’t know the history,” said Axelrod – the first time a top campaign aide had said Obama did not know about Ayers’ past when they met.
(CNN) – Less than a month before Election Day, Barack Obama appears to hold a growing advantage over John McCain in the traditionally red state of Virginia, according to a new CNN Virginia poll of polls released Monday.
Obama has the support of 49 percent of likely voters in the state while McCain has the support of 45 percent. Six percent remain unsure about their choice for president.
In CNN’s previous Virginia poll of polls, released on October 2, Obama was ahead of McCain by a single point – 48 percent to 47 percent.
“Virginia hasn’t voted for a Democratic presidential nominee in 44 years,” noted CNN Senior Political Researcher Alan Silverleib. “But the combination of a struggling economy and the state’s changing demographics might be enough to turn the tide this time. If Obama wins the D.C. suburbs in Northern Virginia by a landslide while benefiting from a large turnout from African-Americans and younger voters statewide, the Democrats might carry Virginia’s 13 electoral votes. That would be a serious blow to McCain.”
Monday’s CNN Virginia poll of polls is comprised of the following four surveys: Suffolk (October 3-5), CNN/Time/ORC (September 28-30), Mason-Dixon (September 29-October 1), and ARG (September 27-29). The poll of polls does not have a sampling error.
A new poll out Monday shows Obama ahead in the battleground state of New Mexico. CNN’s latest polls of polls in show Obama leading McCain in New Hampshire and Pennsylvania, and virtually tied in typically red Colorado.
(CNN) - John McCain's campaign released a new ad Monday that targets year-old comments from Barack Obama about the conflict in Afghanistan, calling them flat out "dishonorable."
The ad comes as the Arizona senator's campaign aggressively steps up its attacks on Obama's readiness to be a commander-in-chief and raises questions about his background with only a month remaining before voters weigh in.
"Who is Barack Obama? He says our troops in Afghanistan are ‘just air-raiding villages and killing civilians,’” the ad's announcer says. "How dishonorable."
The ad refers to an answer Obama gave at an August 2007 town hall meeting with New Hampshire voters, during which the Illinois senator was asked whether he had plans to shift U.S. troops out of Iraq to other terrorist hotspots like Afghanistan.
"We've got to get the job done there and that requires us to have enough troops so that we're not just air-raiding villages and killing civilians, which is causing enormous pressure over there," Obama said of the U.S. mission in Afghanistan.
Those comments were immediately seized by GOP critics. The Republican National Committee sent out a press release shortly after the remarks calling them "offensive," and demanding he apologize. The McCain campaign has also highlighted the comments several times this campaign season. An AP Fact Check later reported Western forces had been killing civilians at a higher rate than insurgents.
"Congressional liberals voted repeatedly to cut off funding to our active troops," the ad also says. "Increasing the risk on their lives. How dangerous. Obama and congressional liberals."
Palin also made similiar comments in an interview with CBS anchor Katie Couric last week and on the campaign trail in Florida Monday morning.
The campaign says the ad will run nationally, though it did not reveal the extent of the buy.
Responding to the ad, the Obama campaign released a statement from retired Admiral John B. Natham.
"Senator Obama has consistently voted to fund our troops in Afghanistan and Iraq and, just as importantly, a proven record of support when they return home," he said in the statement. "That's why independent veterans organizations give Senator Obama higher marks than Senator McCain. Despite consistent distortions of his record, thousands of veterans like myself support Senator Obama because he has the judgment, character and integrity to be a great president. We will need a great president to lead us in these very challenging times."
NASHVILLE, Tennessee (CNN)– It’s the one thing the presidential candidates probably don’t think about.
Which is understandable– they’re stuck in the middle of their contest and in the middle of a global financial crisis, with the days until November 4 quickly growing fewer, like calendar pages in an old-time movie flying one-by-one into the wind.
The candidates are thinking about, and running for, history.
While what they’re also running for, in a seldom-mentioned but curiously moving sense, is to become permanent signposts in the lives of millions of people they will never meet . Something, years from now, those people will use to recall where they were at different junctures in their own lives. Remember that trip we took to the football game, and you lost all your luggage? Oh, I haven’t thought about that in a long time– wasn’t that the year Obama and McCain were running for president?
SAN ANTONIO, Texas (CNN) - President Bush said Monday it will take a while to put an effective financial rescue plan in place after Congress approved a $700 billion scheme to prop up the lending industry.
"We don't want to rush into this situation and have the program not be effective," he said after meeting with small business owners in Texas, adding that he did not want to "waste taxpayers' money."
Bush said the controversial plan was a "big step" towards solving the crisis in finance, which has claimed a number of the country's largest banks and investment banks and has sent stocks plummeting.
He admitted "a lot of people are not pleased" by the plan, but said the public would have been worse off without government intervention.
"Had we not done anything, people like the folks behind me would be a lot worse off," he said.
A new poll shows Americans think the country is headed for a depression. (AP Photo)
(CNN) - A new national poll suggests that six in ten Americans think another depression is likely.
In a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll out Monday afternoon, 59 percent of those questioned say that its very or somewhat likely that another depression could occur in the United States. Four in ten Americans say it not likely another depression will occur.
The country went through a decade long depression following the stock market crash of 1929, in which roughly one out of four workers were unemployed, banks failed across the country, and millions of ordinary Americans were temporarily homeless or unable to feed their families.
Eight in ten of those polled say things are going badly in the country today and 84 percent rate the economic conditions as poor.
(CNN) - John McCain’s aides say they are certainly happy to turn the corner away from the bailout package - but insist the campaign’s stepped-up focus on Barack Obama’s character does not mean the Republican presidential nominee is going to stop talking about the economy.
Instead, they will try to reframe the economic issue as part of their overall theme against Obama: You don’t really know this guy - and you can’t trust this guy. The words in their new ad say it all: “risky… dangerous.”
As Obama and running mate Joe Biden take a break from the trail Monday, McCain and VP nominee Sarah Palin are each pursuing a different part of that strategy.
In New Mexico this afternoon, aides say McCain is expected to revive his attacks on Obama — a top recipient of campaign cash from from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — for taking money from the failed mortgage giants, and for not coming up with solutions early in the crisis. The Arizona senator will once again talk about his own call two years ago for reform of Fannie and Freddie.
Last month, the McCain camp released ads highlighting Obama’s ties to former Fannie and Freddie officials — but that line of attack had not been prominent since a New York Times investigation alleged that campaign manager Rick Davis may have benefited financially from his firm’s links to the lenders until their collapse last month.
(CNN) - Sarah Palin has increasingly embraced the attack dog role on the Republican ticket – but in a new interview, she seems to endorse a line of attack John McCain had distanced himself from earlier this year.
The Republican VP nominee told Bill Kristol of the New York Times that Obama's long-time relationship with minister Jeremiah Wright should be a bigger issue on the campaign trail. "I don't know why that association isn't discussed more," she said.
"Because those were appalling things that that pastor had said about our great country, and to have sat in the pews for 20 years and listened to that - with, I don't know, a sense of condoning it, I guess, because he didn't get up and leave - to me, that does say something about character," said Palin. ".I guess that would be a John McCain call on whether he wants to bring that up."
When the North Carolina Republican Party launched a television ad this spring taking aim at Obama's ties to Wright, McCain first repudiated the attack. "I've said again and again, I do not believe that Sen. Obama shares Rev. Wright's extremist views which he has stated, whether it be the United States Marine Corps or the flag or what," McCain said. "I am leaving that issue to a dialogue between Sen. Obama and American people."
He added that all he could do, "in as visible way as possible, is disassociate myself from that kind of campaigning."