GRAND JUNCTION, Colorado (CNN) - As the presidential campaigns enter their final days, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is getting getting the rock star treatment, drawing much bigger crowds than her running mate, Sen. John McCain.
But it's still a mystery whether the "Palin factor" will drive enough conservatives to the polls to offset Sen. Barack Obama's gains with independent voters.
During her stops in battleground states, Palin, the Republican vice presidential nominee, has continued her role as the main attack dog.
She continues to rip into the Democratic ticket, suggesting that Obama and Sen. Joe Biden's plan to raise the taxes of those making over $250,000 smacks of "socialism."
"Barack Obama calls it 'spreading the wealth.' Joe Biden calls higher taxes patriotic. Joe the plumber said it sounded to him like socialism. And now is not the time to experiment with that," Palin said during a rally Monday in Grand Junction, Colorado.
Rank-and-file Republicans are digging her feistiness, but many question whether she can draws voters outside of her party's conservative base.
(CNN) - Cindy McCain, wife of Republican presidential candidate John McCain, decried the "viciousness of the media" Monday, days after the New York Times ran a front page story detailing her troubled history with prescription drugs and difficulty fitting into Washington social circles.
In an interview with Fox news that aired Monday night, Mrs. McCain said she thought the biggest difference between her husband's first presidential run eight years ago and his campaign this year was the media's attitude toward the Arizona senator's candidacy.
"What has really stunned me is the - quite honestly, is the kind of viciousness of the media on occasion," Mrs. McCain said. "In 2000 - there's certainly always been, you know, differences, and the - you know, the things that occur. But this has taken on a different tenor. And I don't know why and what's caused that, and I'm sorry for it because I think it turns a lot of young people off."
Cindy McCain's comments come a week after she accused Obama of waging the "dirtiest campaign" in U.S. history. On Monday, she also addressed the lengthy New York Times story directly, saying she has no plans to read it and has since received several messages of support.
RENO, Nevada (CNN) - Sarah Palin’s pointed criticism of Barack Obama’s foreign policy agenda Tuesday morning included a swipe at Obama’s stated commitment to strike at terrorists inside Pakistan’s borders if they are in the sights of the American military.
“Senator Obama has also advocated sending our U.S. military into Pakistan without the approval of the Pakistani government,” Palin said. “Invading the sovereign territory of a troubled partner in the war against terrorism.”
But Palin herself has advocated the same approach.
Palin told a voter at a retail stop in Philadelphia in September that the United States should “absolutely” cross the border into Pakistan to hunt terrorists, a statement that appeared to contradict John McCain's preference to negotiate with the Pakistani government first, or at the very least, to not publicly announce such a strategy.
At Tony Luke’s cheesesteaks in South Philadelphia, Temple University graduate student Michael Rovito asked the vice presidential candidate several questions about United States foreign policy towards Pakistan.
“So we do cross border, like from Afghanistan to Pakistan you think?” Rovito asked.
"If that’s what we have to do stop the terrorists from coming any further in, absolutely, we should," Palin responded, before moving on to greet other voters.
Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain, speaking at a rally on October 21 in Bensalem, Pennsylvania, criticized Democratic opponent Sen. Barack Obama's foreign policy judgment. "We've seen the wrong response from him over and over during this campaign. ... When Russia invaded Georgia, Sen. Obama said the invaded country should show restraint."
Get the facts!
Senator John McCain says when it comes to foreign policy he's light years ahead of Barack Obama. Over and over again, McCain has insisted Obama lacks the necessary experience to conduct business with foreign countries on behalf of the United States.
So how do you explain this?
Citizens of dozens of foreign countries prefer Barack Obama over John McCain as our next president by a margin of almost 4 to 1, according to a massive poll conducted by the Gallup Organization. About 30 percent of those surveyed prefer Obama, while just 8 percent favor McCain.
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ABOARD THE ELECTION EXPRESS (CNN)
With only two weeks until Election Day, it's safe to say that Sen. John McCain has quite a few things on his mind.
So he's undoubtedly not paying excessive attention to the music that is played at his campaign rallies.
Still ... the selection of songs does raise a few intriguing questions.
On a recent campaign morning, we pulled into Woodbridge, Virginia, to cover a McCain speech. We got there early, because the bus was going to be putting its rooftop satellite dish up in order to broadcast the afternoon event live.
So we were there for hours before McCain arrived - including the hours when the crowd was being warmed up by songs blasting over a public address system.
Now ... nothing against the songs themselves. Fine songs, all of them.
But the choice, and the pacing....
One of the first to be played was "Danger Zone" by Kenny Loggins. "Danger Zone" is often heard in National Basketball Association arenas, when the home team is in big trouble. It's a sign of a possible impending defeat for the good guys:
"Right into the Danger Zone. ..."
(CNN) - Fighting for a Pennsylvania victory his campaign has called critical, John McCain accused Barack Obama of flip-flopping on his support for the hometown Philadelphia Phillies.
“I heard that Senator Obama was showing some love to the Rays down in Tampa Bay yesterday,” McCain told a Bensalem, Pennsylvania crowd Tuesday to a chorus of boos. “Now, I'm not dumb enough to get mixed up in a World Series between swing states, but I think I may have detected a little pattern with Senator Obama. It's pretty simple really. When he's campaigning in Philadelphia, he roots for the Phillies, and when he's campaigning in Tampa Bay, he shows love to the Rays. It's kind of like the way he campaigns on tax cuts, but then votes for tax increases after he's elected. Or the way he says he backs the middle class and then goes and attacks Joe the Plumber after he's asked a tough question. What’s that all about?”
On Monday, half a dozen members of the Tampa Bay Rays - pitchers David Price and Edwin Jackson, outfielders Jonny Gomes, Fernando Perez and Carl Crawford, and designated hitter Cliff Floyd - endorsed Barack Obama at a Florida event. “I want to just make the point I’ve said from the beginning that I am a unity candidate, bringing people together,” Obama told the crowd. “So when you see a White Sox fan showing love to the Rays, and the Rays showing some love back, you know we’re on to something right here.” A spokesman later said he was being polite, “saying nice things about the members of the team that came out to support him.”
Earlier this month, Obama told a Philadelphia radio station with the elimination of his own Chicago White Sox, he was pulling for the Phillies because his campaign manager David Plouffe "is a huge Phillies fan."
McCain, an Arizona Diamondbacks fan, may be remaining neutral this October — but he doesn’t have to look far for another politician whose baseball loyalties may seem a bit murky during playoff season: running mate Sarah Palin has used a variation of the same line to rouse fans in at least three battleground states this month.
(CNN) – Republicans are looking to turn Sen. Barack Obama’s jaw-dropping $150 million September fundraising haul into a liability, pointing to a lack of transparency over the thousands of small donations that have padded the Democrat’s campaign coffers.
In its latest effort to cast a bright light of scrutiny on Obama’s fundraising, the Republican National Committee launched a new Web site Tuesday that allows users to search for individuals who have contributed less than $200 to the RNC since Sen. John McCain became the GOP’s nominee. The site follows up on an administrative complaint recently filed by the RNC that asks the Federal Election Commission to require Obama to disclose all of his donors – even small donors who give less than $200, which Obama is not otherwise legally required to disclose.
The new site hits the Internet a day after McCain campaign manager Rick Davis told reporters that Obama’s failure to make a similar effort would leave lingering questions about the source of those funds. “Our house is right,” Davis said on a campaign conference call, referring to the McCain campaign’s decision to disclose all of its donors, even those it is not legally required to disclose because of the size of their contribution. Davis said that “the vast majority of [Obama’s donors] are probably legitimate,” but pointed to recent press reports of donations received by the campaign over the Internet that were not in compliance with federal campaign finance law. “So . . . from our perspective, a little bit of sunshine, a little bit of transparency will go a long way on this issue,” he said.
Click here to listen to Rick Davis on Obama's fundraising
The Obama campaign dismissed the suggestion from the RNC and the McCain camp that it is hiding something by not disclosing its small donors. “Without accepting a dime from Washington lobbyists or corporate PACs, which have paid a pretty penny to John McCain’s campaign, our campaign has shattered fundraising records with donations from more than 3.1 million Americans,” Obama spokesman Hari Sevugan said in an e-mail. “We have gone above and beyond the transparency requirements by disclosing our bundlers and the levels of contributions they raise – and we have followed the FEC’s disclosure rules for individual contributors. Compiling our monthly FEC report is no small feat – it totals nearly 80,000 pages. While the McCain campaign claims to have made their donor list fully transparent, they list hundreds of donors on their website under the name ‘anonymous,’ many more with zip codes that don’t exist, and fraudulent contributors with names like ‘Jesus II’ – we hope and expect that they will implement a rigorous review process like we have to make sure their contributions are appropriate.”
Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama, speaking at a rally on Monday, October 20, in Tampa, Florida, about negative campaign tactics, said, "It's getting so bad that even Senator McCain's running mate denounced his tactics last night."
Get the facts!
Sarah Palin's advance team has some fun with the press credentials for Palin's rally in Reno on Tuesday morning. (Photo:Peter Hamby/CNN)