(CNN) - Joe Biden said Monday some of the reactions he has seen at recent McCain campaign rallies are downright “scary,” and said the Republican presidential ticket should be careful not to encourage "fringe people."
But in the interview with ABC News, Biden added he does not worry the McCain-Palin rallies could lead to violence as long as John McCain and Sarah Palin adequately control their supporters.
"I'm no more concerned about it, as long as … John pushes it back in a box and Governor Palin pushes it back in a box, because what you don't want to do is encourage - I don't think they intentionally do it - encourage people who really are fringe people," Biden said in the interview. He also said that what he saw at the rallies was "really off the wall" and "scary stuff."
Biden also took aim at recent comments from Virginia’s Republican Party chairman that compared Obama to 9/11 mastermind Osama Bin Laden. The chairman, Jeffrey Frederick said Obama and bin Laden "both have friends that bombed the Pentagon" - a reference to Obama's connection to 1960's radical Bill Ayers.
"I don't believe it … I can't believe it," Biden said of those comments. "I'm surprised John McCain hasn't gone down and whacked the guy with his fist. I mean, I don't think there's a prejudiced bone in John McCain's body. But that kind of stuff is really off the wall. I refuse to let myself believe John McCain has anything to do with any of that.”
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Florida Democratic Rep. Tim Mahoney called on the House ethics committee to investigate his own behavior after ABC News reported that he paid a former staffer who was also his mistress $121,000 to avoid a sexual harassment lawsuit.
Mahoney, who is married, did not directly address the ABC report, but said in a written statement, "I was notified this afternoon about a story that ran on ABC News' web site reporting allegations about a former employee. While these allegations are based on hearsay, I believe that my constituents need a full accounting. As such, I have requested the House ethics committee to review these allegations. I am confident that when the facts are presented that I will be vindicated."
The ABC story said Mahoney began an affair with Patricia Allen during his campaign in 2006. Allen was later hired to work for Mahoney's Florida congressional office. In addition to the $121,000 legal settlement, the story reports that Mahoney secured Allen a job at the consulting firm that handles his campaign commercials. A spokesman in Mahoney's campaign office in Florida declined to answer any questions regarding the allegations in the ABC report.
Mahoney's West Palm Beach area congressional seat was formerly held by Republican Mark Foley, who resigned in late 2006 after his own sex scandal involving inappropriate communication with male House pages.
(CNN) – The McCain campaign is fundraising off embattled community group ACORN.
“The truth is that far-left groups in this country will do anything to help the Obama-Biden Democrats win the White House and maintain their majorities in Congress,” Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin writes in a fund-raising e-mail sent out Monday afternoon. “And last week, we found out they're going even further to win.”
“The left-wing activist group, ACORN, is now under investigation for voter registration fraud in a number of battleground states. . . . We can't allow leftist groups like ACORN to steal this election.”
ACORN called the McCain camp’s suggestion “ridiculous.”
“We’re proud of our record of helping 1.3 million new registrants get involved in the process just as we are proud of our work to ensure clean and fair elections,” ACORN spokesperson Brian Kettenring told CNN Monday. “Candidates and parties may win or lose elections. But the assertion that anybody is trying to steal this election is ridiculous,” added Kettenring.
(CNN) - As John McCain and Sarah Palin scramble to defend states President Bush easily carried four years ago, a new CNN poll of polls Monday shows Barack Obama with an 8-point lead over the Arizona senator nationwide.
The new poll of polls, comprised of six recently released surveys, ties the largest lead Obama has held over McCain this election cycle, and suggests the Republican presidential hopeful faces an increasingly difficult task to turn around voter sentiment by Election Day.
According to the new poll of polls, Obama leads McCain 50-42 percent with 8 percent still undecided. That number incorporates new polls from ABC/Washington Post, Fox News/Opinion Dynamics, Newsweek, Reuters/C-SPAN/Zogby, Gallup, and Diageo/Hotline.
Campaigning in Virginia earlier Monday, McCain acknowledged his deficit in the polls, and said the national media has all but declared the race over.
"We have 22 days to go. We're 6 points down," he said. "The national media has written us off…. But they forgot to let you decide. My friends, we've got them just where we want them."
Meanwhile, a new CNN poll of polls out of the state of Nevada shows Obama holding on to his advantage in a state that narrowly voted for Bush in 2004. The latest poll of polls shows Obama with a 4 point lead there, 49 to 45 percent. That compares to a 3 point lead Obama held in Nevada last week. CNN considers Nevada a tossup state in its electoral map.
VIRGINIA BEACH, Virginia (CNN) – With several recent polls showing Barack Obama gaining ground in southeastern Virginia, Sarah Palin boldly told a crowd of supporters Monday that the entire presidential election may hinge on this diverse but Republican-leaning part of the commonwealth.
Watch: Palin pumps up the VA crowd
"This election is going to come right down to the wire here, and it’s pretty clear that the road to victory in 2008, it's going to run right through the Hampton Roads,” Palin said. “We’re counting on the people of America's First Region to help us send John McCain to the White House. Yes! Virginia are you ready to help carry this state to victory?”
The crowd’s noisy reaction suggested they were. But recent polling suggests that this year’s presidential race will be tighter than usual in southeastern Virginia, leading some observers to predict that the battleground state’s 13 electoral votes could be decided here.
Hampton Roads, a sprawling and populous region comprised of Tidewater cities including Williamsburg, Norfolk and Virginia Beach, is a demographic melting pot of conservative Christians, African-Americans and military families. The 4,300 acre Naval Station Norfolk is the largest naval installation in the world, and Virginia Beach is the state’s largest city.
CNN’s most recent poll of the commonwealth, conducted September 28-30, showed Obama with a 57-40 lead over McCain in southeast Virginia. (In the context of this poll, southeast Virginia encompasses not just Hampton Roads, but also some inland counties that may include larger populations of African-Americans.) A Mason-Dixon poll of registered voters released on October 1, suggested a statistically insignificant 47-46 lead for McCain in Hampton Roads.
RICHMOND, Virginia (CNN) – Sarah Palin mistakenly reprimanded her own supporters at an outdoor rally in Richmond on Friday after they started yelling that they couldn’t hear the candidate.
Palin was in the midst of blaming predatory lenders for the nationwide mortgage crisis when a large group of supporters in the rear of the crowd began demanding that someone turn up the volume on the event’s speakers.
They chanted “Louder! Louder!” in unison, drawing the attention of other audience members, who began chanting “Sarah! Sarah!”
The vice presidential candidate apparently mistook them for some of the anti-war protesters that have disrupted some of her previous events.
“I would hope at least that those protestors have the courage and the honor of thanking our veterans for giving them the right to protest,” Palin told them, drawing a roar from the crowd.
She then returned to her speech.
“We’re going to walk with those who are under the wrong mortgage and get them a fixed rate mortgage that will help them keep their homes,” she said.
(CNN) – Sen. John McCain said Monday that Rep. John Lewis' controversial remarks were "so disturbing" that they "stopped me in my tracks."
Watch: McCain responds to Lewis
Lewis, a Georgia representative and civil rights icon, on Saturday compared the feeling at recent Republican rallies to those of segregationist George Wallace.
"That's not from some quote party official, that's from one of the most respected people in America. It's unfair. It's unfair and it's outrageous," he said in an exclusive interview with CNN's Dana Bash.
"I never believed that Lewis, who is an American hero whom I admire, would ever make a comment of that nature. He even referred to the bombing of a church in Birmingham. That's unacceptable," he said.
Lewis on Saturday said in a statement that McCain and Gov. Sarah Palin "are sowing the seeds of hatred and division."
"During another period, in the not too distant past, there was a governor of the state of Alabama named George Wallace who also became a presidential candidate. George Wallace never threw a bomb. He never fired a gun, but he created the climate and the conditions that encouraged vicious attacks against innocent Americans who were simply trying to exercise their constitutional rights. Because of this atmosphere of hate, four little girls were killed on Sunday morning when a church was bombed in Birmingham, Alabama," wrote the Democrat.
TOLEDO, Ohio (CNN) – Barack Obama said the average American consumer is facing an “immediate economic emergency” and steps need to be taken right away to stop things from any getting worse.
Watch: 'J-O-B-S,' says Obama
“If Washington can move quickly to pass a rescue plan for our financial system, there’s no reason we can’t move just as quickly to pass a rescue plan for our middle-class that will create jobs, provide relief, and help homeowners,” Obama told Toledo voters. “If Congress does not act in the coming months, it will be one of the first things I do as President of the United States.”
Obama proposed $60 billion worth of measures his campaign said would offer “relief” to homeowners and workers. Many of the ideas build on policies Obama has already proposed and authority the government already has. The campaign suggested many of them could even be passed in a lame duck session of congress after the election.
The Democratic nominee wants to: temporarily lift taxes on unemployment benefits; allow investors a penalty free withdrawl of up to $10,000 from their 401k or IRA this year or next year; place a 90 day moratorium on foreclosures for homeowners who are “making a good-faith effort” at meeting payment deadlines; and temporarily offer businesses a $3,000 tax credit for “every net new job” added in the United States in 2009.
“It’s a plan that begins with one word that’s on everyone’s mind, and it’s easy to spell, J-O-B-S. Jobs. We’ve got to work on jobs,” he said.
John McCain’s campaign told reporters on a Monday afternoon conference call that Obama’s plan would have little impact — adding that the Republican nominee would be unveiling economic proposals of his own on Tuesday.
Listen: McCain advisors blast Obama's proposals - and tell reporters how the Republican nominee plans to counter them
JEFFERSONVILLE, Ohio (CNN)– Sometimes on weekend nights, as we drive through the country, we will see the lights from small-town football stadiums.
We are usually on our way from one campaign stop to the next. Virtually every day on the trail, the candidates for president and vice president talk about the need for America to find its best and most worthy incarnation– while at the same time the campaigns spew the most cynical and angry kind of vitriol at the other side. Their belief seems to be, as usual, that the strongest and most blusteringly confident will prevail.
With this in mind, as we drove at night thought this part of Ohio, I thought about the town of Logan, down the road to the east. And about how much the campaigns, and all of us, might learn from the quiet story of what happened at the old football stadium there.
Before that stadium goes away forever.
(CNN) – Days after the National Rifle Association backed John McCain’s presidential bid, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and Jim and Sarah Brady announced Monday that they are endorsing Sens. Barack Obama and Joe Biden.
As part of its endorsement of the Democratic ticket, the Brady Campaign says it plans to contact its members and activists across the country and ask them to volunteer and help get out the vote in support of the Obama-Biden ticket and other candidates it is backing for election in November. The group also plans to continue its efforts to fact check advertisements and literature released by the NRA. The 250,000 member group, which did not release a dollar figure for its election-related plans, said TV spots remain one option.
Jim Brady was shot and paralyzed in March 1981 when John Hinckley attempted to assassinate President Ronald Reagan. After the shooting, the former Reagan press secretary and his wife Sarah became advocates for stronger gun laws.