MIAMI, Florida (CNN)- In a radio interview with Radio Mambi in Miami Wednesday, Senator John McCain said that the Los Angeles Times should release a tape of an event that his opponent attended with Bill Ayers and Rashid Khalidi , a former University of Chicago professor now teaching at Columbia University who is alleged to have ties with the PLO.
“We should know about their relationship including, apparently, information that is held by the Los Angeles Times concerning an event that Mr. Ayers attended with a PLO spokesman. The Los Angeles Times refuses to make that videotape public. I’m not in the business about talking about media bias but what if there was a tape with John McCain with a neo-Nazi outfit being held by some media outlet. I think the treatment of the issue would be slightly different.”
Khalidi has denied being a part of the PLO, saying that between 1976 and 1983 — the period critics have alleged he worked for the organization - he was a full time assistant professor at the American University of Beirut, a fellow at the Institue of Palestine Studies and author of two books and had no time for anything else.
McCain’s radio interview comes a day after the McCain campaign accused the Los Angeles Times of supressing a videotape of a 2003 banquet that then state Senator Barack Obama along with Ayers and Khalidi, and where Obama talked about his friendship with the Palestinian scholar.
"A major news organization is intentionally suppressing information that could provide a clearer link between Barack Obama and Rashid Khalidi," said McCain campaign spokesman Michael Goldfarb. "The election is one week away, and it's unfortunate that the press so obviously favors Barack Obama that this campaign must publicly request that the Los Angeles Times do its job - make information public."
(CNN)– Weeks after Todd Palin hit the campaign trail solo in Maine, stumping for the Republican presidential ticket, the husband of Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, is being featured in a campaign mailing there.
In the mailing, paid for and authorized by Maine’s Republican Party, Alaska's First Dude — a four-time Iron Dog Snowmobile Champion — tells rural voters Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's "extreme environmental policies" could have a major impact on snowmobilers.
"Could this be the last winter to ride in our National Parks? This election will decide," the ad warns.
The mailing also hits the Sierra Club, an endorser of the Illinois senator, for its position against snowmobiles in national parks. The environmental organization argues snowmobiles are "loud and obnoxious" and pollute the environment.
"John McCain and Sarah Palin have long been advocates to protect our environment with practical standards—allowing Americans to continue enjoying outdoor recreational activities," the flier declares.
If the Republicans win the presiential race, "Snowmobiles will have a strong voice in the White House," says the mailing.
BOWLING GREEN, Ohio (CNN) – Sarah Palin thrust Barack Obama’s relationship with a Palestinian academic into the national spotlight on Wednesday at a rally in Ohio - a tactic reminiscent of her repeated attempts to tie Obama to former radical William Ayers.
Palin kicked off her rally in Bowling Green by stressing, as she always does, that “it is not negative campaigning to call someone out on their record.” In recent weeks Palin has used that line to open up an attack on Obama’s tax plans. On Wednesday, she tried something different.
“It seems that there is yet another radical professor from the neighborhood who spent a lot of time with Barack Obama going back several years,” Palin said. “This is important because his associate, Rashid Khalidi, he, in addition to being a political ally of Barack Obama, he's a former spokesperson for the Paliestinian Liberation Organization.”
Khalidi - whose name Palin mispronounced - is currently a leading scholar of Middle Eastern Studies at Columbia University, and was a contemporary of Obama’s while on faculty at the University of Chicago.
Khalidi has been a stern critic of United States foreign policy towards Israel and has accused the country of “occupying” Palestinian territories, but he has denied acting as a spokesman for the PLO.
The Los Angeles Times reported in April that Obama praised Khalidi at a 2003 going-away party for the professor when he left Chicago. The McCain campaign has pressured the Times to publicly release a videotape of the event, but the newspaper has refused, citing the request of a source.
Palin said the public has a right to know what Obama said at the event.
“And the twist here is that there's a videotape of a party for this person, back in 2003, a celebration of him, and Barack was there, and we know some very derogatory things were said there about Israel and America's support for that great nation,” Palin said.
“And among other things, Israel was described there as the perpetrator of terrorism instead of the victim. What we don't know, what we don't know is how Barack Obama responded to these slurs on a country that he now professes to support, and the reason is the newspaper that has the tape, the Los Angeles Times, refuses to release it.”
Palin accused the Times of being Obama’s “pet newspaper” and said the paper would win a Pulitzer Prize for “excelling in cow-towing.”
The Republican vice presidential nominee was joined at her Ohio rally by Joe Wurzelbacher, known to the world as Joe the plumber. It was the first time the celebrated small business owner has appeared with Palin on the stump.
Palin described Wurzelbacher as “a fellow Alaskan” because he once lived near Fairbanks.
JUPITER, Florida (CNN) – If you didn’t know where in the country Joe Biden was speaking Wednesday morning, the additions to his stump speech would have provided easy clues.
In a speech that has seen little variation in recent days, here in southeast Florida, Biden accused John McCain of supporting the privatization of Social Security as well as adding a section on the Democratic ticket’s plans to work closely with Israel.
“I got elected when I was 29 years old to the Senate,” said Biden, “and I’ve worked with every prime minister of Israel from Golda Meir right through to the present prime minister.
“That’s why Barack and I know, we know what the Israelis know and all our friends know,” Biden continued, speaking to supporters in the spring training ballpark that serves as the spring training home to the St. Louis Cardinals and Florida Marlins. “The greater the respect for America, the stronger America is in the world, the more secure Israel and the rest of our friends are in the world. So folks, this is a direct connection.”
The mention of support for Israel comes as the McCain camp pushes a new line of attack that looks to link Obama to a prominent Palestinian-American activist. In the closing days of the campaign, McCain and running mate Sarah Palin have seized on Obama’s 2003 praise of Rashid Khalidi, a Palestinian scholar and professor at Columbia University whom the Republican ticket is calling a spokesman for the Palestinian Liberation Organization. Khalidi has denied the charge.
The Delaware also senator put forward his and Obama’s platform to help seniors, while tying McCain to President Bush’s plan to privatize Social Security.
“Can you imagine if in fact Social Security had been in the stock market?” Biden asked. “Can you imagine now the last couple months if Bush and McCain had succeeded in privatizing Social Security?”
“We believe there should be no privatization of Social Security. No raising of the retirement age. And we believe, we believe there should be no income taxes for seniors for who have an income of less than $50,000 a year. Zero.”
After a three-day Florida bus tour, Biden joins Obama Wednesday night for a final rally in the state before heading to Missouri.
(CNN) – A new Barack Obama campaign ad targeting John McCain's choice of Sarah Palin as his running mate is making buzz not so much for what it says, but for what it doesn’t.
The 30-second spot is entirely without a narrator, and instead shows John McCain's past statements appearing to acknowledge he lacks expertise on economic issues.
“I’m going to be honest: I know a lot less about economics than I do about military and foreign policy issues. I still need to be educated," McCain said in a 2005 interview with the Wall Street Journal.
A quote from McCain in a November 2007 CNN/YouTube debate is also shown, when the Arizona senator said, "I might have to rely on a vice president that I select…"
(The Obama campaign says McCain was particularly talking about relying on the VP for the economy, though McCain was describing a wide range of issues.)
A graphic is then shown displaying the question, "His choice?" - before showing Sarah Palin winking at the vice presidential debate.
The Obama campaign says the ad will air in key states.
(CNN) - Even before the current economic crisis, voters listed the economy as the top issue in the presidential election.
In a CNN.com special report, Battleground Voters, we talked to voters in five battleground states - Colorado, Florida, Missouri, North Carolina and Ohio - to find out how the economy would influence their choice for president.
In the second of four parts, we talked to students, who say that while they're worried about making ends meet in college and jobs when they graduate, social issues matter, too.
CNN's special report on battleground voters continues Thursday with a look at retirees and Friday with unemployed voters.
Tuesday's installment focused on small business owners.
(CNN) - New CNN polls of polls in key battleground states suggest Barack Obama holds significant advantages in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New Hampshire, while John McCain is only up 2 points in Indiana - a state that hasn't voted Democrat in 44 years.
The polls of polls are averages of several recent surveys from each state and do not carry a margin of error.
Full poll results after the jump
ABOARD THE ELECTION EXPRESS
LIBERTY, Missouri (CNN)– “In the end, the country runs itself,” said Mike Roush, 43, of Lewis Center, Ohio.
He’s a businessman on the road. We’ve been talking with people, as we cross the country, about “The Candidate.”
Not the candidate– not Barack Obama or John McCain.
But “The Candidate”– the riveting 1972 political movie starring Robert Redford as a handsome and telegenic novice who runs for the United States Senate and wins. The cynicism of the movie, bordering on bitterness, is what makes its message lasting.
Some of the people with whom we’ve spoken remember “The Candidate” well; some have never seen it. But everyone– including Mike Roush– understands the power of its much-discussed closing scene.
In that scene Redford, who has just been elected after using every trick at his disposal and at the disposal of his campaign adviser (played by the late Peter Boyle), pulls Boyle aside and, with the victory cheers still sounding, says:
“What do we do now?”
It’s the ultimate election-night quandary: with triumph fresh and the office finally won, what comes next?
Watch Wednesday's installment of CNN=Politics Daily, The Best Political Podcast from The Best Political Team.
(CNN)—Six days until Election Day, and the presidential candidates are focused on a handful of states that could decide the race. Sens. McCain and Obama are focusing Wednesday on North Carolina, Ohio and Florida. In the latest installment of CNN=Politics Daily, CNN’s Ed Henry covers McCain, while CNN’s Suzanne Malveaux has the latest from Obama.
Plus: Early voting has already begun in many states. CNN’s Gary Tuchman takes a look at what voting looks like in the battleground state of Nevada so far.
Finally: Just who is Joe the plumber? CNN’s Alina Cho takes a look at the real facts behind the overnight celebrity.
Click here to subscribe to CNN=Politics Daily.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Barack Obama plans to run a 30-minute television ad
simultaneously across almost all the broadcast and cable networks Wednesday
night - a "muscle flex" that has little precedent in modern politics, campaign
advertising expert Evan Tracey said.
"It's evidence, if you needed any, that the Obama campaign has more money
than there is ad time left to buy," said Tracey, director of the Campaign Media
Analysis Group (CMAG).
Tracey estimates that it will probably cost the campaign "in the $4-5
million range - at a minimum, $3.5 million."
But, he said, spending the money is a "no-brainer" for the Democratic presidential hopeful.