(CNN) – Cindy McCain, wife of Republican presidential candidate John McCain, appears to have sharpened her attacks against Barack Obama on the campaign trail in the final stretch of the race for the White House.
One day after she told a Tennessee newspaper Obama is running the "dirtiest campaign in American history," Mrs. McCain criticized the Illinois senator for voting against a bill to fund troops in Iraq, a regular line of attack from her husband’s campaign.
“The day that Senator Obama cast a vote not to fund my son when he was serving sent a cold chill through my body, let me tell you,” she told a Pennsylvania crowd before introducing her husband and Republican VP candidate Sarah Palin.
“I would suggest Senator Obama change shoes with me for just one day. I suggest he take a day and go watch our men and women deploying," she also said, to boisterous cheers from the campaign.
The vote Mrs. McCain is referencing came in May of 2007, when Obama was one of 14 senators who voted against a war-spending plan that would have provided emergency funds for American troops overseas. He, like many Democrats, was pushing for an end to the war in Iraq, and the legislation included no provisions for that. Before that vote, Obama did support and vote for a funding proposal that included a timeline for withdrawal from Iraq - a troop funding bill McCain opposed.
A CNN fact check deemed the charge that Obama voted against troop funding "misleading."
Read CNN's fact check on that vote
(CNN) - The wife of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama told CNN's Larry King Wednesday that she is not offended by a much-publicized comment made towards her husband in Tuesday night's debate.
In the presidential match-up at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, Sen. John McCain criticized Obama for supporting the 2007 Bush-Cheney energy bill.
"It was an energy bill on the floor of the Senate, loaded down with goodies, billions for oil companies, and it was sponsored by Bush and Cheney. ... You know who voted for it? You might never know. That one,” he said, gesturing towards Obama. “You know who voted against it? Me."
When asked if McCain’s reference to Obama as "that one" was offensive, Michelle Obama simply said "no," adding that this issue has nothing to do with what's affecting average Americans hurting from the economic downturn.
"I think there are two conversations that have been going on throughout this whole election. There's the conversation that's been happening with the pundits ... and then there's the conversation that's been happening on the ground," she said.
She said that Americans "right now are scared" and "nervous about the economy."
"They don't care about the back and forth between the candidates ... They want real answers about how we're going to fix this economy and get the health care benefits on track so, you know, this is part of politics," she added.
(CNN) - The nation's financial crisis and the subsequent $700 billion government bailout may be taking more of a toll on congressional Democrats than their Republican counterparts.
In a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll, a generic congressional Democrat beats a generic congressional Republican by 5 points, 52-47 percent. That margin has narrowed considerably from three weeks ago, when Democrats held a 14 point lead in a similar CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll.
But voters give slightly lower approval ratings to Congressional Republicans than Democrats. The poll shows only 34 percent approve of the Democratic leadership's performance, while 27 percent say the same for Republican leaders. Overall, more than three fourths of voters disapprove of Congress' performance.
“The public is essentially saying ‘a pox on both your houses’ to the parties in Congress,” noted CNN Senior Political Researcher Alan Silverleib. “Both the Democrats and the Republicans are held in extremely low esteem at the moment. Republican-leaning voters, however, finally appear to be coming home to the GOP. If the current generic ballot numbers hold on Election Night, congressional Republicans may not fare nearly as poorly as many observers expected a few months ago.”
In a campaign speech Wednesday, October 8, in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain questioned Democratic opponent Sen. Barack Obama's foresight on the role of the troubled subprime lending sector in the recent financial crisis. "As recently as September of last year, he said that subprime loans had been - quote - 'a good idea,' " McCain said.
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(CNN) – CNN’s latest polls of polls show Barack Obama leading John McCain in Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida - but slipping slightly nationally and in Florida, losing one point in each.
In CNN’s first Nevada poll of polls, Obama leads McCain by 3 percentage points. The Illinois senator has the support of 49 percent of likely voters in Nevada, while 46 percent support the Arizona senator. Five percent of likely voters in Nevada are unsure about their choice for president.
In CNN’s latest Ohio poll of polls, Obama has increased his advantage over McCain. In Ohio, Obama is now ahead of McCain by five percentage points with support from 50 percent of likely voters in the state compared to support from 45 percent for McCain. Five percent of likely voters in the state are unsure about who they prefer. In CNN’s September 21 Ohio poll of polls, Obama was ahead of McCain by a single point – 47 percent versus 46 percent.
In Pennsylvania, Obama has also increased his advantage. CNN’s October 3 Pennsylvania poll of polls showed Obama ahead by 10 percentage points – 51 percent versus 41 percent. In the new Pennsylvania poll of polls released Tuesday, Obama is ahead by 12 points. The Democratic nominee has the support of 52 percent of likely voters in Pennsylvania, while the Republican nominee has the support of 40 percent of likely voters. In Pennsylvania. Eight percent of likely voters are unsure about their choice for president.
Nationally, Obama leads McCain by four points in CNN’s latest national poll of polls. Forty-eight percent of voters support Obama while 44 percent support McCain; 8 percent of voters aren’t sure about who they support. In CNN’s October 7 national poll of polls, Obama was ahead by 5 percentage points – 49 percent for Obama and 44 percent for McCain.
Obama has also lost a point in CNN's latest Florida poll of polls. Forty-nine percent of likely voters in Florida support Obama, 45 percent support McCain, and 6 percent are unsure about who they support for president. In CNN's October 2 Florida poll of polls Obama was ahead of McCain by five points - 49 percent to Obama's 44 percent.
(CNN) – Conservative New York Times columnist David Brooks, who has expressed doubts about Sarah Palin’s readiness to serve as vice president, said this week the Alaska governor “represents a fatal cancer to the Republican Party.”
Brooks praised Palin’s debate performance and called her a natural political talent, but told a New York audience Monday that “experience matters”: “Do I think she’s ready to be president or vice president? No, she’s not even close to that,” he said.
“…Reagan had an immense faith in the power of ideas,” he also said, in remarks first reported by the Huffington Post. “But there has been a counter, more populist tradition, which is not only to scorn liberal ideas, but to scorn ideas entirely. And I'm afraid that Sarah Palin has those prejudices. I think President Bush has those prejudices."
SUMNER COUNTY, Tennessee– The day-after reviews by people in Tennessee to the presidential debate in Nashville last night are not exactly scintillating.
At least that’s what we’re finding as we leave the state on our way to the next debate in Hempstead, New York.
“I fell asleep during the debate last night,” said Roger Crady, 57. “It bored me to death."
He is an Obama supporter, he said, and he wanted to be electrified by his candidate’s performance. But the evening, he said, was more effective than an Ambien pill. The debate induced a peaceful slumber.
“I was hoping that John McCain would do such a good job that he would come off as the clear choice for president," said his wife, Linda, 53. She supports McCain and, before the debate, was full of enthusiasm about his prospects.
(CNN) – The New York Times issued a renewed scolding of John McCain in a sharply-worded editorialWednesday morning, the latest salvo in the ongoing back-and-forth between the paper of record and the Arizona senator's White House bid.
"Senator John McCain and Gov. Sarah Palin have been running one of the most appalling campaigns we can remember," the Tuesday editorial said. "They have gone far beyond the usual fare of quotes taken out of context and distortions of an opponent’s record — into the dark territory of race-baiting and xenophobia. Senator Barack Obama has taken some cheap shots at Mr. McCain, but there is no comparison."
Those comments come two weeks after senior McCain advisors derided the New York Times, calling the news outlet "an Obama advocacy organization" in response to an article in the paper that reported McCain campaign manager Rick Davis was still profiting from failed mortgage giant Freddie Mac.
The Times, McCain spokesman Michael Goldfarb said then, “obscures its true intentions — to undermine the candidacy of John McCain and boost the candidacy of Barack Obama — under the cloak of objective journalism.”
Top McCain adviser Steve Schmidt also weighed in on the paper that endorsed McCain's primary bid, saying it is “150 percent in the tank” for Obama - a statement that drew a defiant response from managing editor Bill Keller, who said the paper is "is committed to covering the candidates fully, fairly and aggressively."
The McCain campaign appeared to make its peace with the paper over the weekend, when aides to the Arizona senator and Palin herself both highlighted a Times story that investigated the relationship between Obama and 1960's radical William Ayers. That article, published October 3, concluded Obama has played down the extent of his relationship with the Weather Underground founder, but concludes the two "do not appear to have been close."
But in its blistering editorial Wednesday, the paper's editors criticized the campaign and the Alaska governor for suggesting Obama is "palling around with terrorists," saying that Palin is implying that "Mr. Obama is right now a close friend of Mr. Ayers — and sympathetic to the violent overthrow of the government."
“We certainly expected better from Mr. McCain, who once showed withering contempt for win-at-any-cost politics," the editorial says.
Earlier: Cindy McCain says Obama running 'dirtiest campaign' ever
(CNN)– With less than a month before Americans head to the polls, the liberal group Health Care for America Now released a series of ads Wednesday taking aim at Sen. John McCain and seven of his fellow Republican Congressional candidate’s health care plans.
“Under John McCain’s health care plan, 20 million people could lose insurance at work,” a woman who is battling cancer says. “He wants me to fight cancer and the insurance companies? Fine. I’ll take you both on.”
The group said it will spend $4.3 million on the 30-second TV and radio ads targeting McCain and seven congressional Republicans. The members of Congress will be personally targeted in their individual districts; ads attacking McCain will air in the crucial battleground state of Ohio.
The group plans to spend an additional $500,000 on mailers and phone calls over the next two weeks.
Health Care for America Now, a new coalition comprised of more than 275 organizations is a section 501 (c) (4) issue advocacy organization.
INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana (CNN) – Barack Obama told thousands in Indiana that John McCain failed to present a case for change in Tuesday night’s debate and would simply continue the policies of the Bush administration should he be elected.
“In order to bring about change we’re going to have to take a new direction. It will take new leadership in Washington. It will take a real change in the policies and politics of the last eight years,” he said. “All we heard from Senator McCain was more of the same Bush economics that led us into this mess in the first place.”
Obama said he supported the Federal Reserve’s emergency rate cut and the decision to act in concert with other countries’ financial entities. He explained to the wet crowd assembled at the state fairgrounds why the extraordinary Wall Street rescue package signed into law was necessary to help the average family struggling to make ends meet.
“Here in Indianapolis and all across America, you’re seeing your hours getting cut or realizing that you can’t pay every bill that’s sitting on the kitchen counter,” he said. “You know back in 1980 Ronald Reagan asked the electorate whether you were better off than you were four years ago, at the pace things are going right now you’re going to have ask whether you’re better off than you were four weeks ago.”
As he has for the last several weeks, Obama remained laser focused on the economy but did acknowledge the nasty tenor of the campaign.
“Senator McCain’s campaign announced last week that they plan to 'turn the page' on the discussion about our economy and spend the final weeks of this election attacking me instead. He and Governor Palin are out there saying all kinds of stuff,” he said in a not so subtle nod to Palin’s recent comments that Obama associates with “terrorists.” “I can take four more weeks of John McCain’s attacks, but the American people can’t take four more years of John McCain’s George Bush policies.”
Recent polls show Obama trailing here, a red-state his campaign has targeted for a possible pick up. Obama heads to Ohio Thursday for a two-day swing and plans to return there early next week to prepare for the final presidential debate.