DAVENPORT, Iowa (CNN) - A minister delivering the invocation at John McCain’s rally in Davenport, Iowa Saturday told the crowd non-Christian religions around the world were praying for Barack Obama to win the U.S. presidential election.
“There are millions of people around this world praying to their god—whether it’s Hindu, Buddha, Allah—that his opponent wins, for a variety of reasons. And Lord, I pray that you will guard your own reputation, because they’re going to think that their God is bigger than you, if that happens,” said Arnold Conrad, the former pastor of Grace Evangelical Free Church in Davenport.
The remark was made before McCain arrived at the rally but the Republican nominee's campaign quickly put out a statement distancing itself from the remarks.
“While we understand the important role that faith plays in informing the votes of Iowans, questions about the religious background of the candidates only serve to distract from the real questions in this race about Barack Obama's judgment, policies and readiness to lead as commander in chief,” said McCain campaign spokesperson Wendy Riemann.
This incident comes a day after a Minnesota voter asked Senator McCain if Barack Obama was an Arab at a town hall in Lakeville, Minnesota and just three days after Lehigh GOP County Chairman Bill Platt made a speech at a McCain rally in Pennsylvania where he refered to the Democrat nominee for president as Barack Hussein Obama.
DAVENPORT, Iowa (CNN) - After days of headlines over the emotion at his campaign events, John McCain acknowledged at a rally in Davenport, Iowa Saturday that he and his supporters are angry - but insisted the anger wasn't directed at opponent Barack Obama.
After a week of headlines about angry outbursts from the audience at McCain-Palin rallies directed toward Obama, the Republican nominee added some new lines in his stump speech giving a nod to the emotion on the trail.
"My friends, I have traveled all over this great country, and one thing I have heard from Americans at every stop is that they are angry. They’re angry. They’re angry. They’re angry about the mess in Washington and Wall Street. They’re angry about the failure of leadership at this hour of national crisis,” said McCain. “Well you’re angry, and I’m angry too, and when Sarah Palin and I get to the White House we’ll turn Washington upside down.”
But Obama’s record didn’t entirely escape McCain’s wrath. The GOP presidential candidate pointed to a large contribution to Obama’s political campaign from a beneficiary of one of his opponent's earmarks.
LAKEVILLE, Minnesota (CNN) - John McCain heard boos at a town hall meeting Friday night after the Republican presidential nominee called for the crowd to be more respectful towards rival Barack Obama.
“We would like you to remain a true American hero,” an elderly military veteran told him. “We want you to fight.”
“I will fight, but we will be respectful,” McCain said. “I admire Senator Obama and his accomplishments and I will respect him.”
When the crowd began to boo, McCain told them “No, no. I want everyone to be respectful.”
Watch: McCain tries to calm the crowd
Along with the veteran, four others pleaded with McCain to put up more of a fight against Obama.
One woman who said she had a lot of undecided neighbors said she wanted McCain to “go to the mattresses” on in his third and final debate with Obama on Wednesday.
(CNN) - John McCain's campaign manager Rick Davis and Missouri Governor Matt Blunt accused Barack Obama of ties to ACORN, the embattled community group facing allegations of voter registration violations in several battleground states.
Governor Blunt talked about the community organization’s voting law violations in Missouri and Davis said he hoped that the press would examine ACORN’s activities “so that none of those battleground states are stolen from the campaign in this election.”
This week ACORN and Project Vote announced that their voter registration drive had been the most succeful in history with more than 1.3 million voters registered in 21 states.
As they have done with recent attempts to link Obama to Bill Ayers, the McCain campaign tried to raise questions over whether the Illinois senator was being truthful about his past association with ACORN.
Listen: Davis, Blunt on Obama, ACORN
The Missouri governor said Obama’s ties to ACORN went a long way back, to a period “before he launched his political career in the land of Bill Ayers,” and cited that in 1993 Obama acted as their lawyer on a case and ran a 1992 ran a voter registration drive and taught classes with them in the early 1990s.
(CNN) - As a dip in gas prices barely registers at the pump, presumptive Republican nominee John McCain continued his pressure on opponent Barack Obama over the politically popular policy of offshore drilling with a visit to an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico.
“We need to start drilling offshore,” McCain said Tuesday, standing on a Chevron oil platform that pumps out 10,000 gallons of oil and 15 million cubic feet of natural gas each day. “Sen. Obama opposes new drilling. He has said it will not ‘solve our problem’ and that ‘it’s not real.’ He’s wrong, and the American people know it. I hope he’ll seize the opportunity to come out and pay a visit like this one and I think it would probably change his mind.”
Both McCain and Obama opposed offshore drilling when the campaign began. But as prices at the pump reached $4 a gallon – and polls showed a significant majority of Americans favor the idea - both men shifted their positions.
The Arizona senator has embraced the policy. His fall rival says he remains personally opposed, but would consider legislation that includes a provision expanding the practice if the compromise was required to pass comprehensive energy legislation.
(CNN) - Barack Obama's campaign correspondents went to Europe - but all the reporters covering John McCain got was a European press pass.
Campaign reporters trailing McCain across the United States as the press corps covering Obama gears up for the European leg of the presumptive Democratic nominee's journey still got a set of continental media credentials Tuesday night, courtesy of the Arizona senator's campaign.
Reporters arriving in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania with the campaign were handed press passes that feature a shot of the Statue of Liberty in front of an American flag, and the words: "McCain Press Corps/JV Squad/"Left Behind To Report in America."
The back features a picture of what appears to be a Frenchman - sporting a beret and a neck scarf - standing in front of a silhouette of the Eiffel Tower, staring at the camera as he pours a glass of wine. The legend below is the McCain campaign's take on a translation of the English on the front of the pass: "Le groupe de presse de McCain/L'equipe junior/"Laisse en arriere pour faire un rapport en Amerique."
ON BOARD THE MCCAIN CAMPAIGN PLANE, En route to Mexico City (CNN) - After a scheduled meeting between John McCain and Colombian President Alvaro Uribe Tuesday, the presumptive Republican nominee was briefed on the upcoming hostage rescue raid carried out Wednesday.
As he left Colombia Wednesday afternoon, McCain learned that raid had been successfully completed, and congratulated Uribe by phone.
Senators Joe Lieberman and Lindsey Graham, both traveling with McCain, were also briefed. Lieberman said McCain's advance knowledge of the raid signals a vote of confidence by foreign leaders.
UPDATE: John McCain released a statement on the operation later Wednesday afternoon. (Full statement after the jump)
BOSTON, Massachusetts (CNN) - Sen. John McCain said Wednesday that he is "pleasantly surprised" that the Iraqi prime minister "is now behaving like a leader."
The presumptive Republican nominee for president told about 450 supporters at a Boston fund-raiser that the Iraqi government has made notable progress in Baghdad, Basra and Mosul. The Iraqi military, supported by U.S. troops, has launched major offensives in those cities to wrest control from militants.
"That was the whole idea behind the surge," he said. "Go in, hold, clear, establish order and then have the Iraqi military and government take over. And then we can withdraw and then we can come home in victory with honor, not in defeat."
McCain has criticized his Democratic rival, Sen. Barack Obama, for proposing the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.
McCain spoke at an event that his campaign said raised about $2 million.
One of his former rivals for the GOP nomination, former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts, praised McCain as a "great leader."
(CNN) - Sen. John McCain, who will be the oldest person ever sworn in to a first term as president should he win the White House in November, made it clear Tuesday that he is going to fight hard for the youth vote notwithstanding his age.
“I will contest every vote of every young American,” McCain told MSNBC’s Chris Matthews during an appearance on Matthews’s show set at Villanova University.
“He’s extremely eloquent,” McCain said when asked by Matthews why McCain thought so many young people are excited by Sen. Barack Obama’s oratory. “I think that there is a desire for change out there in America,” McCain added, sounding Obama’s dominant campaign theme.
“And the kind of change that I think I can make is reaffirm Americans’ faith in their future, in their ability to educate their children, to serve this country, and I think that I can provide that motivation,” McCain added.
Obama has overwhelmingly won over young voters in the Democratic primaries t so far. Should McCain face off against Obama in the general election, an age gap of some 25 years would separate the two men.
CNN confirms that Fred Thompson will make a visit to McCain's Sedona, Arizona home this weekend. Thompson, who ended his presidential bid in January, is a longtime friend of the Arizona senator.