(CNN) – A presidential rival is fundraising off of Barack Obama’s decision to reject public financing for the general election, using the move to fuel allegations the presumptive Democratic nominee is a policy-shifting flip-flopper.
But it isn’t John McCain.
Ralph Nader’s campaign sent an e-mail to supporters Friday that paints Obama as too close to big business and special interests. “Ralph Nader stands for shifting the power from the big corporations back to the people. Period. Full stop. End of story,” writes the Nader campaign. “Contrast that with Senator Obama.”
The message highlights what it says are changes in the Illinois senator’s positions on public spending limits, NAFTA and economic populism, and says that Obama has surrounded himself with “veterans of the military industrial complex status quo.” It does not mention his Republican counterpart, John McCain.
“We're at six percent nationwide in the most recent CNN poll. We're going to be on ten state ballots by the end of June. And we're shooting for 40 by the end of the summer,” writes the Nader campaign. “Together, we are moving forward. And together, we will make a difference in November.”
Barack Obama’s lead over John McCain increased by one point in the most recent CNN national poll when Nader, a perennial presidential contender, was included as one of the options.
WATERTOWN, South Dakota (CNN) – Long bus rides along rolling fields, small town stops, intimate crowds and diner pie typically symbolize the run up to the Iowa caucuses and the start of the presidential nominating season. But Hillary Clinton's two-day swing through South Dakota, a state that ends the primary process Tuesday, had all those trappings and neither the candidate nor her supporters were acting as though this race was nearing an end.
"A lot of people didn't want this campaign to keep going. They've been trying to tell me to stop running since January - and every time they say it, people rebuke it and keep voting for me. That's what I hope will happen here in South Dakota," she told a cheering crowd of several hundred in Huron.
As she stood in front of an enormous American flag, Clinton wound through her stump speech promising fiscal responsibility, universal health care, better and more jobs, ending the war in Iraq - all the issues candidates touch as they claw for every vote. She promised that between now and Tuesday there would not be a day without a Clinton in some corner of this state. As voters left they were given small Xeroxed fliers advertising a Bill Clinton event Friday in Mitchell.
Earlier Thursday die-hard Clinton supporters and some undecided Democrats waited patiently inside the smallish Second Street Diner in Madison hoping for a glimpse of and a picture with the presidential candidate. Upon arrival Clinton gripped and grinned with the all white, mostly middle-aged female crowd stopping at each booth and table to chat about issues or her Wednesday trip to Mt. Rushmore – "it's an honor, Madame President!" one woman shrieked as Clinton bounced through the door.
(CNN) - Democrats, reporters and rival Barack Obama’s campaign have all been scrutinizing Hillary Clinton for signs she may continue her presidential run after the last primary takes place June 3. On Thursday, they got an answer: definitely maybe.
The press corps traveling with the New York senator received an afternoon e-mail asking them whether they wanted to stay on the road with the campaign next week – most of which falls after Tuesday’s votes in Montana and South Dakota, the final contests of the primary season.
Reporters were offered the option of traveling with the campaign on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, June 4-6.
But the Clinton campaign – which regularly informs journalists of travel plans just hours beforehand – is offering no other details, including possible destinations.
Said Clinton spokesman Jay Carson. "There are a lot of places for us to go between June 4 and November."
Clinton is stepping up her argument to superdelegates. (AP Photo)
EN ROUTE TO KYLE, South Dakota (CNN) - In a letter sent to superdelegates Wednesday, Hillary Clinton contends neither she nor Senator Barack Obama will have the required number of delegates to clinch the nomination after Montana and South Dakota vote next Tuesday, leaving it up to party insiders to put one of them over the top.
“When the primaries are finished, I expect to lead in the popular vote and in delegates earned through primaries … I hope you will consider not just the strength of the coalition backing me, but also that more people will have cast their votes for me,” she wrote, as she continued to press her case that the race was far from over.
Read Clinton's letter and memo to the undecided superdelegates [PDFs]
Clinton, who has not fared well in most caucus votes this year, has dismissed results from those states for much of the campaign, saying the method disenfranchises too many voters.
PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania (CNN) – Camp Clinton, buoyed by its Pennsylvania victory, plans to take what worked here and take it on to Indiana and North Carolina.
Spokesman Mo Elleithee held a gaggle with reporters a short time ago. He said that said heading into the May 6 contests, the campaign would continue to push the themes that Hillary Clinton is the most equipped to be commander-in-chief and to lead the economy into recovery. He said the campaign would continue to raise questions about Sen. Barack Obama’s ability to beat Sen. John McCain in the fall.
Elleithee said Obama has built-in advantages in both North Carolina and Indiana, which he dubbed a “battleground.” Indiana’s proximity to Illinois makes him a known entity in much of that state and North Carolina boasts a large African-American population.
“There’s still a long way to go until a nominee is decided,” Elleithee said, noting the campaign feels very good about the upcoming contests in West Virginia, Kentucky and Oregon.
PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania (CNN) - Just a little nugget from Clinton headquarters in Philadelphia: The Uniformed Division of the Secret Service is confiscating all food and drink as members of the media file in to cover Hillary Clinton's election night party. Journalists unwilling to part with their liquid are standing next to the magnetometers drinking their coffee, water or soda. A young woman in a tank top and flip-flops was forced to part with a granola bar she was saving for dinner. Clinton’s staff made valiant efforts to try and help reporters out, but to no avail.
(CNN) – Hillary Clinton said Tuesday that her comments that the United States could “totally obliterate” Iran if it made a nuclear attack on Israel had been an attempt to return the United States to Cold War style deterrence.
Responding to accusations from Barack Obama's campaign that she was engaging in the sort of hypothetical thinking she had criticized him for, Clinton said the situations were not equivalent, since the threat from Iran was all too real. “I think in this particular instance of Iran it's a question not of what might be on or off the table concerning a tactical or strategic decision but an effort on my part to get back to what worked during the Cold War which was deterrence,” she told reporters in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania.
“…Iran is feeling quite powerful. They have been empowered by the actions of the last seven years and they must know there are lines that the world will not let them cross.”
Earlier Tuesday, Clinton told ABC’s Good Morning America that "I want the Iranians to know that if I'm the president, we will attack Iran [if it attacked Israel].”"
CONSHOHOCKEN, Pennsylvania (CNN) – Sen. Hillary Clinton said again that questions should be raised about Barack Obama’s candidacy if he is unable to pull off a win here, given the amount of time and money his campaign invested in the Keystone State.
“I think the question maybe ought to be why can't he close the deal,” Clinton told reporters outside of a polling place after greeting supporters. “With his extraordinary financial advantage why can't he win a state like this one if that's the way it turns out. ... The road to the White House for a Democrat leads right through Pennsylvania to Pennsylvania Avenue.”
Clinton said if she is victorious, “a win is a win” regardless of the margin. A close race, however, would limit her delegate pick-up and make it more challenging to catch Obama in the pledged delegate race.
“My opponent has outspent me probably three to one maybe four to one, an enormous effort on his part on TV, in radio, on the phones, in every way that is imaginable to try to win Pennsylvania. So I think a win under these circumstances is a tremendous accomplishment,” she said.
On a campaign conference call Monday, Clinton adviser Howard Wolfson made similar comments, pointing to Obama's cash advantage and telling reporters that winning Pennsylvania was a crucial test for any Democrat.
"The goal tomorrow is to come out of Pennsylvania with a 'W' and whether it's one vote or a hundred votes or a thousand votes or a hundred thousand votes, it does not matter," said Wolfson.
Clinton will spend the day conducting radio and satellite television interviews across the state. She is scheduled to travel to Indiana on Wednesday. The state holds its primary in two weeks, on May 6.
CNN Senior Producer Sasha Johnson traveled to Coaldale, Pennsylvania, to talk to voters, including some members of her extended family, about how a typical small town like Coaldale might vote in 2008 and what issues are on their minds.
COALDALE, Pennsylvania (CNN) - Coaldale is a borough of 2,200, nestled in the anthracite-rich mountains in the northeastern part of Pennsylvania.
It's exactly the type of place Sen. Barack Obama referenced last week when he said some Pennsylvanians were "bitter" over their poor economic situation.
Obama said he regretted the word choice but continued to argue that some voters feel desperate.
(CNN) – Sen. Hillary Clinton is scheduled to appear on Comedy Central’s ‘The Daily Show’ on Monday, March 3, according to a press release by the cable outlet.
Clinton has previously appeared on the political talk show but her upcoming appearance will be the first since announcing her run for the White House in 2007.
The scheduled appearance comes a day before crucial primaries in Ohio, Texas, Rhode Island, and Vermont where some pundits believe Clinton must do well in order to keep herself in the race for the Democratic nomination.
Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain, the two other leading contenders for the White House, have both appeared on the popular show since the presidential campaign started in early 2007.
–CNN’s Sasha Johnson and Martina Stewart