Watch McCllellan on D.L. Hughley Breaks the News.
(CNN) - Scott McClellan, the former White House press secretary who sharply criticized President Bush in his memoir last spring, told CNN Thursday he's voting for Barack Obama.
"From the very beginning I have said I am going to support the candidate that has the best chance for changing the way Washington works and getting things done and I will be voting for Barack Obama and clapping," McClellan told new CNN Host D.L. Hughley
McClellan, a onetime Bush loyalist whose scathing critique of the president sent shock waves across Washington last spring, has long hinted he was leaning toward the Illinois senator.
"It's a message that is very similar to the one that Gov. Bush ran on in 2000," McClellan said in May about Obama's campaign.
McClellan isn't the first member of Bush's inner circle to express support for Obama. In 2007, former Bush strategist Matt Dowd also said he had become disillusioned with the president and said Obama was the only candidate that appealed to him.
The full interview will air on D.L. Hugley's new show, D.L. Hughley Breaks the News, Saturday at 10 p.m. ET. Hughley is also a guest of Larry King Live Friday at 9 p.m. ET.
BEAVER, Pennsylvania (CNN) – Does Sarah Palin consider herself a feminist? It depends on which network anchor is asking.
In an interview on NBC Nightly News that aired Thursday, host Brian Williams asked Palin: "Governor, are you a feminist?"
"I'm not gonna label myself anything, Brian," she responded. "And I think that's what annoys a lot of Americans, especially in a political campaign, is to start trying to label different parts of America different, different backgrounds, different … I'm not going to put a label on myself. "
The vice presidential nominee said she believes in women's rights and equal rights. Palin went on to say that when she was growing up in Alaska, she "was expected to do the same thing that the guys were doing."
"I'm not going label myself feminist or not," she concluded, "but I do believe that American women can recognize in me an advocate and a friend. And I want to be in the White House for them."
But Palin gave a different answer in September when Katie Couric of CBS News asked her, "Do you consider yourself a feminist?"
"I do," Palin answered. "I'm a feminist who believes in equal rights and I believe that women certainly today have every opportunity that a man has to succeed, and to try to do it all, anyway."
In that sit-down, Palin told Couric she defines a feminist as "someone who believes in equal rights. Someone who would not stand for oppression against women."
(CNN) - A 20-year-old woman told police she was attacked at an ATM in Pittsburgh by a robber who became angry when he saw a bumper sticker for John McCain on her car, a spokeswoman for the Pittsburgh Police Department said Thursday.
Public Information Officer Diane Richard said police "cannot substantiate" her story, however, and the investigation is ongoing.
Richard said the woman told investigators that a man approached her Wednesday night at an ATM on the city's East End, put a blade to her neck and demanded money. She said she gave him $60 and stepped away from him, Richard said.
But the man "became very angry," the woman said, when he noticed her car had a bumper sticker supporting GOP presidential nominee McCain, according to Richard. The woman said he punched her in the back of the head and knocked her to the ground, where he "continued to punch and kick her while threatening her," the spokeswoman said.
Before he left, the woman said, he carved the letter "B" into her face with a knife, according to Richard. There was no indication what the "B" indicated.
The alleged assailant fled on foot, Richard said.
"We, the police, cannot substantiate this yet," she said. "This is what she told police."
(CNN) – The Republican Jewish Coalition is backing Sen. John McCain for president, but the group’s latest newspaper ad uses Sen. Hillary Clinton’s record on issues of particular concern to Jewish voters (along with that of McCain) to make the case against Sen. Barack Obama, the Democratic nominee.
The latest installment in the group’s series of ads in Jewish newspapers across the country features Clinton’s positions on Jerusalem, meeting with leaders of hostile nations, and labeling Iran’s Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization alongside that of the two men still running for the White House. The ad portrays Clinton and McCain as agreeing on all three foreign policy issues with Obama as the outlier.
“Now are you concerned about Barack Obama?,” the ad says. “You should be,” it reads in all capital letters.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Experts call it the "forgotten issue," or even the "ignored issue" - Social Security.
Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama have spent ample time addressing the budget crisis, but haven't zeroed in on the growing concerns over Social Security.
Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, says it's not an accident that McCain and Obama have skirted the issue.
Watch: Candidates talk Social Security
"I think both Obama and McCain ended up thinking talking about fixing [Social Security] was a political loser," MacGuineas said. "So they were just happy letting the issue disappear."
The Obama campaign disagrees with that assertion.
"We have talked about it quite extensively both at our events and in our paid media, as well as in terms of policy," Obama campaign spokesman Hari Sevugan said.
"There is a real difference in the approach that Sen. Obama would take in ensuring the long-term health of Social Security. The primary difference being that Sen. Obama wouldn't risk Social Security savings to the whims of the stock market like John McCain would," said Sevugan.
The McCain campaign's Web site says the Arizona senator is committed to revamping the system:
"John McCain will fight to save the future of Social Security and believes that we may meet our obligations to the retirees of today and the future without raising taxes. John McCain will reach across the aisle, but if the Democrats do not act, he will. No problem is in more need of honesty than the looming financial challenges of entitlement programs."
(CNN) – As Election Day inches closer, Barack Obama continues to hold a significant lead over John McCain, according to CNN's average of several recent polls.
The Illinois senator now holds an 8-point lead over McCain in the latest CNN poll of polls, 50 percent to 42 percent. That lead is 1 point lager than it was in Wednesday's poll of polls.
The national general election poll of polls consists of four recent surveys: Fox/Opinion Dynamics (October 20-21), Reuters/C-SPAN/Zogby (October 20-22), Gallup (October 20-22) and Diageo/Hotline (October 20-22). The Poll of Polls does not have a sampling error.
(CNN) - A new Republican ad appears to suggest Barack Obama has all but won the presidential race, an argument several vulnerable Senate Republicans may have to reluctantly embrace with only days until Election Day, an expert in campaign advertising said.
Aimed at Kay Hagan, Sen. Elizabeth Dole's surprisingly strong Democratic challenger in North Carolina, the 30-second spot from the National Republican Senatorial Committee warns voters against Democrats holding the White House and Congress, and flatly states that if Hagan wins, the party with "get a blank check."
"These liberals want complete control of government in a time of crisis, all branches of government," the ad's narrator states. "No check and balances, no debate, no independence. That's the truth behind Kay Hagan. If she wins, they get a blank check."
NRSC Online Communications Director John Randall denied the ad is suggesting John McCain will lose the White House.
"The NRSC is not conceding a Barack Obama Presidency," he said. Fiscally irresponsible liberals like Kay Hagan are not the answer in these tough economic times and would only make things worse. Our ad was intended to highlight Hagan’s many failings in light of the Democrats’ promise to close debate should they control the executive and legislative branches of the federal government."
But with polls suggesting a possible GOP bloodbath November 4, vulnerable senators in Red States may have no other option but to suggest Obama will capture the White House and warn the Illinois senator needs to be checked by Senate Republicans.
"They are basically painting the picture that the presidential race is over," said Evan Tracey of Campaign Media Analysis Group, CNN's consultant on ad spending said. "Overall people prefer divided government. This is that divided government argument: 'don't hand sole control over to one party.'"
Speaking at a campaign event Wednesday, October 22, in Cincinnati, Ohio, Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain criticized the tax plan of his Democratic opponent, Sen. Barack Obama. "And by the way, this week we learned that Senator Obama is concerned that his plan is seen as welfare so he just added a work requirement," McCain said. "Thirteen days to go in the election and he changed his tax plan ... ."
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(CNN) – There is little good news for Sen. John McCain in the half dozen CNN state polls of polls released Thursday.
In five of the six states – Pennsylvania, Virginia, Ohio, Nevada, and Florida – Obama has an advantage over McCain. In West Virginia, McCain is ahead but just by two points.
In the six states, Obama’s lead is greatest in Pennsylvania where he is ahead of McCain by ten points – 51 percent to 41 percent with eight percent of likely voters in the state unsure about their choice for president. In CNN’s previous Pennsylvania poll of polls released October 16, Obama had a lead of 13 points – 53 percent to 40 percent.
In Virginia, Obama is ahead by eight points in CNN’s latest poll of polls. Fifty-one percent of likely voters in Virginia support Obama and 43 percent support McCain. Six percent of the state’s voters are unsure. In CNN’s previous Virginia poll of polls released October 6, Obama’s advantage was four points – 49 percent versus 45 percent.
Obama leads in Ohio by 7 points in CNN’s latest poll of polls for the state. The Democratic nominee has the support of 50 percent of likely voters in the battleground state while 43 percent back McCain and seven percent are unsure. CNN’s October 20 Ohio poll of polls showed Obama ahead of McCain by three points – 48 percent compared to 45 percent.
In Nevada, Obama is ahead by four points. Forty-five percent of likely voters in the state support McCain while 49 percent support Obama. Six percent of likely voters in Nevada are unsure about their choice for president. In CNN’s previous Nevada poll of polls released October 13, Obama was also ahead by four points – 49 percent versus 45 percent.
In CNN’s Florida poll of polls, Obama has an advantage of three points. Obama has support from 48 percent of Florida’s likely voters compared to 45 percent support for McCain. Seven percent of the state’s likely voters are unsure about their choice for president. In CNN’s previous Florida poll of polls released October 18, Obama also lead by three points and both men had the same levels of support.
CNN’s first West Virginia poll of polls shows a two-point advantage for McCain. The Republican nominee has the support of 47 percent of likely voters in the state and 45 percent support Obama with 8 percent unsure about their choice for president
Palin campaigned in Ohio Thursday (AP PHOTO)
TROY, Ohio (CNN) - – Sarah Palin on Thursday warned Ohioans that the Democratic ticket will "invite dangerous international crisis" if elected and gleefully mocked Barack Obama for dismissing his running mate Joe Biden as being prone to "rhetorical flourishes."
At a press conference in Virginia on Wednesday, Obama made the comment while defending Biden for saying at a fundraiser, "It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy" - a statement the McCain campaign has seized on to highlight Obama's relative lack of national security experience.
Palin asserted that yesterday's "hastily" assembled press conference in Richmond, in which the Democratic nominee was flanked by 15 of his top national security advisers, should remind voters of "how Obama handles trouble."
"Here his own running mate has just warned America - and it's not the first time - he warned us throughout the primaries that Barack was not ready to be president," Palin said. "He reminded them that the election of Barack Obama will invite dangerous international crisis because he is untested. And Barack just brushes it off as rhetorical flourish."
"I question dismissing Joe Biden's moment of truth-telling as nothing more than a social embarrassment," she pressed on. "Sen. Obama's own running mate, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has informed us that a serious international crisis is certain if Obama is elected and that he is not ready to deal with it."
In fact, Biden did not say Obama "is not ready" to handle a national security crisis, but rather that Obama will need his supporters to stand with him as tough decisions are made.
Rounding out her criticism of Obama, Palin pledged that McCain has the experience to keep America safe.
"Now at least Joe and I have found some common ground, finally," she said. "We found common ground because I too want a president who's been tested. What I want is a president who spent 22 years in uniform defending our country."