WASHINGTON (CNN) – Jeb Bush for Senate? His famous older brother thinks so.
In an interview with CNN’s Senior Political Correspondent Candy Crowley, President Bush responded “yes” when asked whether his brother Jeb should run for the senate seat being vacated in 2010 by Republican Mel Martinez.
The president said he did not know if his brother, a popular former Florida governor, would ultimately run and had not discussed the prospect with the elder President Bush.
“I haven’t talked to my dad about whether or not he wants Jeb to run. First of all knowing my dad I bet he would say I want Jeb to do that which is best for him and then he would go on to say but if he chose to run he would be a great United States senator and he would be.”
President Bush also said he was “neutral” in next year’s Texas governor’s race which Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison will likely mount a tough Republican primary challenge against Governor Rick Perry.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – President George W. Bush Tuesday said he is "considering all options" when it comes to aiding the U.S. auto industry because doing nothing could lead to further economic decline.
Watch: Bush on auto industry help
"A disorganized bankruptcy could create enormous economic difficulties, further economic difficulties," President Bush said in an interview with CNN's Senior Political Correspondent Candy Crowley. "I feel a sense of obligation to my successor to make sure there is a not a huge economic crisis. Look we're in a crisis now. We're in a huge recession, but I don't want to make it even worse.
"But on the other hand, I'm mindful of not putting good money after bad, so we're working through some options," he said.
"What you don't want to do is spend a lot of taxpayers' money and then have the same old stuff happen again, and again and again," he added.
Bush said there was no one person or event to blame for the recent woes in the U.S. economy and said of the housing and financial markets "the whole system became inebriated."
"I'm not really happy about the fact there have been excesses in the financial markets which are affecting hard working people and affecting their retirement accounts. Having said that, I'm very confident that with time the economy will come out and grow and people's wealth will return."
Bush was asked about the Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at him during a press conference in Baghdad over the weekend. The president said the journalist was "looking for notoriety" and authorities shouldn't "overact" in their treatment of him, saying, "I didn't have much time to reflect on anything, I was ducking and dodging.
"First of all, it's got to be one of the most weird moments of my presidency," he said. "Here I am getting ready to answer questions from a free press in a Democratic Iraq and a guy stands up and throws his shoe. And it was bizarre and it was an interesting way for a person to express himself."
Bush added, "I'm not angry with the system. I believe that a free society is emerging, and a free society is necessary for our own security and peace."
On Iraq, Bush said the decision to go to war was by the far the most difficult one he made in the Oval Office. He also said he "listened to a lot of people" even some in his administration who told him the war was not "working."
"I listened very carefully to them," Bush said. "I came to a different conclusion."
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Texas Republican Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison took steps Thursday to run for governor in 2010, a move that could set up a fierce primary battle with the state's current governor.
"Texans deserve a Governor who, in the context of sound budgetary policies and low taxes, works for quality schools and universities, access to health care for our families, communities safe from crime and drugs, protection of private property rights, sensible transportation and a government that listens and responds to them," Hutchison said in a paper statement. "There's too much bitterness, too much anger, too little trust, too little consensus and too much infighting. And the tone comes from the top. Texans are looking for leadership and results."
Governor Rick Perry said in April he would run for a third term.
Papers to form Hutchison's exploratory committee were filed Thursday in Austin. In her statement, the Texas senior senator stressed she was "not yet a candidate" as there were "friends, community and business leaders" that she wanted to consult with before formally announcing her candidacy. Hutchison, who was re-elected to her Senate seat in 2006, did not indicate whether or not she would resign should she pursue a gubernatorial bid.
RICHMOND, Virginia (CNN) –- Barack Obama dismissed his running mate’s recent comments Wednesday that if elected, his new presidency would immediately be tested by adversaries looking to “test the mettle of this guy.”
“Joe sometimes engages in rhetorical flourishes. But I think that his core point was that the next administration is going to be tested regardless of who it is,” Obama told reporters after meeting with his national security working group. “The next administration is going to be inheriting a whole host of really big problems and so the president is going to be tested and the question is will the next president meet that test by moving America in a new direction by sending a clear signal to the rest of the world that we are no longer about bluster and unilateralism and ideology but we’re about creating partnerships around the world to solve practical problems.”
Obama added that with the economy in a “free fall” the United States is more vulnerable than ever. He said because of the Bush administration’s policies the next president will have to deal “with two unresolved wars, Bin Laden and Al Qaeda communicating regularly and training folks to potentially attack America.”
The McCain-Palin ticket seized on Senator Joe Biden’s comments made at a west coast fundraiser to highlight what they say is Obama’s inexperience, and have said on the stump Obama would need “on the job training.”
Obama dismissed the notion that his group of national security and foreign policy advisors were scrambled together in Richmond to counter Biden’s remarks and the Republican attacks.
“It would be pretty hard to gather this group in two days. They have pretty busy schedules. We actually had this planned about two weeks ago, two to three weeks. It was prompted by the fact that I was focused fairly single mindedly on the financial crisis and I asked my staff to convene this group because I think it’s very important at a time when we are so focused on the economy, and rightly so, that we not lose sight of that fact that we remain threatened and there are a whole host of international challenges that we’re going to have to deal with,” he said flanked by fifteen members of that group, including former Sen. Sam Nunn and several high ranking retired military officers.
FAYETTEVILLE, North Carolina (CNN) – Barack Obama fired back against charges his tax policy amounts to “socialism,” arguing John McCain simply wants to redistribute wealth to the already wealthy.
“It’s kind of hard to figure how Warren Buffet endorsed me, Colin Powell endorses me, and John McCain thinks I’m embracing socialism,” Obama said. “This is his argument because I want to give a tax cut to the middle class, because I want to give a tax cut to 95 percent of American workers.”
The Democratic nominee also said that while McCain may call giving regular Americans a tax break “socialism,” he calls it an “opportunity.”
“Here’s the truth, North Carolina. This debate – and this election – comes down to what we value. In the America I know, we don’t just value wealth, we value the work and workers who create it,” he said. “He can call me any name he wants but what he’s talking about is not right, it’s not change, that’s why we’re going to beat him in this election on November 4th.”
Before his rally in Fayetteville, Obama dropped by Cape Fear BBQ and Chicken to shake hands with patrons, many of them older white voters. In a sign that perhaps pre-election tempers are getting a little hot, according to the pool report when Obama entered the restaurant a woman screamed “Socialist, socialist, socialist – get out of here!” The woman, 54 year-old Diane Fanning was admonished by other diners and one woman yelled back “at least he’s not a war-monger.”
It is unclear whether Obama heard this exchange as there were many in the restaurant trying to greet him. Later when Obama approached Fanning’s table she refused to shake his hand.
“Some of ‘em are just nicer than I am,” Fanning told the pool reporter when asked why she didn’t shake the senator’s hand but other members of her church group did. “I know how some of ‘em think.” Fanning did however have a brief conversation with Obama about some issues of concern to her.
KANSAS CITY, Missouri (CNN) – Any good politician knows a few things when it comes to sports: keep your teams straight; don’t get in the middle of any nasty rivalries; and always make note of the big game.
On Saturday night in Kansas City, Barack Obama had, what some sports fans would say the misfortune, of speaking perilously close to kick-off in the evening marquis college football game: University of Missouri vs. University of Texas.
“I guess Missou has got a pretty big game tonight doesn’t it? We got to get out of here quick then we’ve got to get out of here quick so y’all can go home and see the game,” Obama said to wild cheers from a crowd his campaign said totaled over 75,000 people.
A rumbling in the front of the crowd drew Obama’s attention.
“No? You don’t care?” he said. “Oh, I don’t want to get caught up in this whole Kansas Jayhawks, Missou thing I don’t want to get into that. This campaign is about bringing all people together,” he said to applause.
This reporter noted Obama shortened his stump speech a bit - no confirmation that had anything to do with getting undecided voters home in time to see the game.
ST. LOUIS, Missouri (CNN) – Barack Obama hit back against the McCain campaign’s accusation that his tax cut proposal amounted to “socialism” and “welfare” and said the Republican nominee was ignoring the needs of America’s middle class.
‘John McCain is so out of touch with the struggles you are facing that he must be the first politician in history to call a tax cut for working people ‘welfare,’” Obama told a massive crowd under the infamous St. Louis arch. “The only ‘welfare’ in this campaign is John McCain’s plan to give another $200 billion in tax cuts to the wealthiest corporations in America.”
“George Bush and John McCain are out of ideas, they are out of touch, and if you stand with me in 17 days they’ll be out of time,” Obama added to wild applause.
John McCain asserts Obama’s tax plan is tantamount to welfare because he says it would give tax cuts to those who do not pay federal income tax.
“It only goes to people who work and who are already getting taxed on their paycheck. Let me repeat this I’m not giving tax cuts to folks who don’t work, I’m giving tax cuts to people who do work.” Obama said.
Both McCain and his running mate Governor Sarah Palin have called Obama’s tax plan “socialist” because it includes an increase for those earning over $250,000. The Democratic nominee has not been shy about saying those who make more money can afford to help out those who do not. The McCain campaign seized on Obama’s comment to Ohio voter Joe Wurzelbacher, better known as “Joe the Plumber,” that he wanted to “spread the wealth” around and even out the economic playing field.
“We need new priorities in Washington. I think it’s time to give a tax cut to the teachers and the janitors who work in our schools; to the cops and firefighters who keep us safe; to the waitresses working double shifts, the nurses in the ER, and yes the plumbers fighting for their American Dream,” Obama said. “While Senator McCain ignores the payroll taxes you pay to score a few political points, I’ll put a tax cut into the pockets of working people so they can pay the bills, put away some savings, and pass on a brighter future to your children.”
(CNN) – Barack Obama is buying 30 minutes of airtime on the major television networks just days before the presidential election, the Obama campaign confirms.
Sources with the Obama campaign say half hour blocks have been purchased on Wednesday, October 29 on CBS and NBC. The campaign is also in negotiations with Fox, though that day will conflict with the World Series if there is a game 6.
The buy was first reported by the Hollywood reporter earlier Thursday.
Evan Tracey of Campaign Media Analysis Group, CNN's consultant on ad spending, said it was unclear how much the blocs of air would cost, but noted 30 seconds alone in primetime usually runs between $80,000 and $125,000.
"This is a big platform, this is a big megaphone, the interest level is clearly there and people will watch," Tracey said.
DAYTON, Ohio (CNN) – Barack Obama called John McCain’s plan for the government to buy back bad mortgages “risky” because it leaves already burdened taxpayers with the bill.
“We have to act to fix our broken economy and restore the credit markets. But taxpayers shouldn’t be asked to pick up the tab for the very folks who helped to create this crisis,” he told an 8,000 plus crowd in a Dayton minor league baseball stadium. “It’s a plan that would guarantee that American taxpayers lose by handing over $300 billion to underwrite the kind of greed and irresponsibility on Wall Street that got us into this mess.”
Obama also got a little personal; seizing on the fact that the McCain campaign originally indicated Tuesday he supported purchasing mortgages of strapped homeowners at a discount. But by Wednesday his proposal had changed and instead called for the government to buy the mortgages at face value even if they were worth more than the home itself.
“This is the kind of erratic behavior we’ve been seeing out of Senator McCain, you remember the first day of this crisis he came out and said the economy was fundamentally sound, then two hours later he said we were in a crisis,” Obama said. “I don’t think we can afford that kind of erratic and uncertain leadership in these uncertain times. We need steady leadership in the White House. We need a President we can trust in times of crisis.”
CORAL GABLES, Florida (CNN) – Barack Obama took his week long economic message and gave it a different spin, pitching himself to several thousand female Floridians as the candidate who best understands what women want.
“This isn’t just about politics for me this is personal because I come here today not just as a candidate for president but as a son and a grandson, as a husband and a father who’s seen first hand, throughout my life, the challenges so many women face everyday in this country,” he told a rally at the University of Miami.
Obama needs the women’s vote. The addition of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin to the Republican ticket and Obama’s decision to pass on Hillary Clinton for his running mate slot put some segments of the female vote up for grabs. Recent polling shows Obama winning women overall but he continues to trail McCain among white women by about 15 points. John Kerry lost that group by 11 points in 2004. This weekend, female Obama surrogates will be hosting events in all 50 states and the campaign is releasing a television ad on equal pay.
As women waved “Women for Obama,” “Moms for Obama,” and “Caregivers for Obama” signs, the Democratic presidential nominee said he understood the downturn in the economy has hit women particularly hard with the cost of child care, education and running a household getting further out of reach. As he has done all week on the economy, Obama sought to paint his Republican opponent as out-of-touch with women.