(CNN) - Sarah Palin is campaigning in Springfield, Missouri this hour.
Watch the event on CNN.com/live
CHARLESTON, West Virginia (CNN) – Joe Biden laughed off John McCain’s Thursday statement that Barack Obama is “doubling down” on President George Bush’s economic policies, saying “This is as crazy as Butch Cassidy attacking the Sundance Kid!”
“Yesterday, literally, John McCain actually went so far as to try to compare Barack Obama to George W. Bush,” said Biden to supporters at an outdoor rally in the streets of West Virginia’s capital.
“John McCain is now attacking the Bush budget and Bush fiscal policies, which he voted for I might add. But folks, this is as crazy as, you know, Butch Cassidy attacking the Sundance Kid! I mean that’s a team! These guys have been a team.
“I know Halloween is coming,” he went on to say. “but John McCain as a candidate of change? Whoa, come on! John McCain and change? He needs a costume for that, folks, The American people aren't going to buy this.”
In the middle of coal country, Biden called for an additional $200 million in coal sequestration research and accused McCain of not wholeheartedly supporting clean coal, pointing to comments McCain made to the Sierra Club in 2000 when he said, “in a perfect world we would like to transition away from coal entirely.” The McCain camp has leveled the same charge at the Delaware senator.
“Let me get something straight because you watch these McCain ads, you wonder what planet are they coming from, John McCain does not believe that clean coal is part of our future. Don't take my word for it. Take his word for it,” said Biden, reading the quote.
“So John, if you're listening. Stop this malarkey about who's for clean coal,” he added. Make no mistake about it. The oil companies have placed their bets on Sarah Palin and John McCain, not on Barack Obama and Joe Biden. That's why Appalachia can't afford to go with McCain and must go with Obama.”
The McCain camp shot back, again arguing that Obama and Biden are against coal, pointing to video of Biden in Ohio telling an environmentalist, “We're not supporting 'clean coal.’”
“Barack Obama and his running mate are against coal, against off-shore drilling, and against nuclear energy,” wrote McCain spokesman Ben Porritt. “These plans would not only kill jobs in America - they would destroy the nucleus of West Virginia’s economy."
Attending Biden’s rally Friday was Chaylee Cole, the former employee of a public relations firm that was hired by the RNC to make calls to voters and read statements attacking Obama. She quit instead.
“She said she would not do it. And they fired her,” said Biden. “She said, ‘Democrat or Republican I wouldn't have done this.’ End of quote. Ladies and gentlemen, Chaylee recognized that regardless of your personal politics, attacks like that, attacks like that are out of bounds.”
Biden was introduced by 90 year-old ailing Senator Robert Byrd, who read his remarks from a lowered lecturn while seated in a wheelchair. At the end of his speech, Biden paid tribute to the longtime senator from West Virginia, “to learn the ways of the Senate from Bob Byrd is like getting a trumpet lesson from the Angel Gabriel.”
(CNN) – The Republican presidential ticket is continuing to target Joe Biden's comments at a Seattle fundraiser last week warning of a looming international crisis, launching a new ad Friday that declares, "It doesn't have to happen."
"Listen to Joe Biden," the ad's narrator states, before playing a recording of the Democratic VP candidate saying: "It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama…we're going to have an international crisis, to test the mettle of this guy."
"It doesn't have to happen, vote McCain," the narrator said.
Biden's comments have also become a fixture of both John McCain and Sarah Palin's stump speeches as they look to highlight the Illinois senator's relative lack of foreign policy experience.
The McCain campaign says the ad will run in key states.
(CNN) - John McCain is campaigning in Denver, Colorado this hour, a state he hopes to keep red.
"We need to win Colorado on November 4th, and with your help - we're going to win Colorado, and bring real change to Washington," he told supporters.
Read McCain's full prepared remarks
(CNN) – Michelle Obama is stepping in for her husband on the campaign tail in Columbus, Ohio this hour.
PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania (CNN) – In her first policy speech of this election cycle, Sarah Palin elaborated Friday on how a McCain administration would help children with special needs, a topic that has become a fixture of her stump speech in cities across the country.
Palin, speaking at a hotel in Pittsburgh, unveiled a three-point plan that would expand educational choice for parents, increase funding for children with disabilities and improve services available to parents, medical professionals and schools.
Under the plan, federal money would be used to give parents the opportunity to send their children to a public, private or religious school of their choice.
"Because even the best public school teacher or administrator really cannot rightfully take the place of a parent making these choices," Palin said. "The schools feel responsible for the education of many children, but a parent alone is responsible for the life of each child and how to make that life better."
She also proposed expanding funding of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, which was signed into law in 1975 but has never been fully funded. The McCain campaign estimates that fully funding the program will cost an additional $45 billion over five years, money that Palin said could be found by cutting federal pork barrel spending.
"We've got a $3 trillion budget in this country," she said. "And Congress spends some $18 billion on earmarks for their political pet projects, and that right there is more than the shortfall to fully fund IDEA."
Although it was a largely non-political speech, the Alaska governor did not miss an opportunity to criticize Obama's tax plan, saying that the Democrat would unfairly tax families who set up financial trusts to care for their children.
"Understandably, then, many families with special needs children or dependent adults, they're concerned about in this race our opponent in this election who plans to raise taxes on precisely these kinds of financial arrangements," she said.
"They fear that Senator Obama's tax increase will have serious and harmful consequences, and they're right - because the burden that his plan would pose upon these families is just one more example of how many plans can be disrupted, and how many futures can be placed at risk, and how many people can suffer when the power to tax is misused."
UPDATE: The Obama campaign called the attack a “hypocritical” one. “This is a blatantly false, desperate political attack made by a campaign that’s out of touch, out of ideas and running out of time,” said Pennsylvania spokesman Sean Smith. “Senator Obama has consistently been clear that he would not increase taxes on families making less than $250,000 a year.
“As the Wall Street Journal reported, John McCain’s own health care plan would actually cut $1.3 trillion from Medicare and Medicaid that children with disabilities truly depend on, which makes this attack especially hypocritical. Senator Obama has a comprehensive plan to support families that have children with disabilities and empower all Americans with disabilities.”
(CNN) - Barack Obama appears to be widening his lead over John McCain as Election Day inches closer.
According to the latest CNN poll of polls, the Illinois senator now holds a 9-point advantage over McCain nationwide, 51 percent to 42 percent.
That's an increase of two points over the last two days for Obama and a reflection of several national polls that suggest the race seems to be headed in the wrong way for the Arizona senator with only a week and a half remaining.
Included in the latest CNN poll of polls are new surveys from ABC/Washington Post (October 19-22), CBS/NYT (October 19-22), Fox/Opinion Dynamics (October 20-21), Reuters/C-SPAN/Zogby (October 20-22), Gallup (October 20-22) and Diageo/Hotline (October 20-22).
Sen. John McCain's brother apparently called 911 to ask about stalled traffic. WJLA reports.
(CNN) - John McCain's brother, Joe McCain, apparently had a heated call with a 911 operator over a traffic jam he was stuck in, CNN affiliate WJLA reports.
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.
CNN: Candidates ignoring coming Social Security crisis, critics say
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.
CNN: GOP argument: Don't give President Obama a blank check
A new Republican ad appears to suggest that 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.
CNN: Former Bush aide voting for Obama
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.
CNN: Palin changes tune on 'feminist' label
Does Sarah Palin consider herself a feminist? It depends on which network anchor is asking.
CNN: POLL UPDATE: Obama ahead by 8
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.
CNN: Woman claims attack linked to McCain sticker
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.
CNN Radio: Of election nights and piano men
The polls go his way, but a top Democrat doesn't buy it. John McCain downsizes - or compartmentalizes - his election night, and rock versus country goes political. Lisa Desjardins has today's CNN Radio Political Ticker.