CHICAGO, Illinois (CNN) - Sen. John McCain said Sunday he supports an Arizona ballot initiative aimed at ending race- and gender-based preference programs - an announcement his rival cast as a reversal from his previous stance.
Sen. Barack Obama - speaking to an auditorium full of minority journalists at the Unity conference - accused McCain of having "flipped."
But McCain's own campaign refused to say whether it stands by the candidate's announcement that he supports the ballot initiative.
In an interview broadcast on ABC's "This Week," host George Stephanopoulos asked McCain if he supports a referendum on the ballot in his home state "that would do away with affirmative action."
"Yes, I do," he responded. "I do not believe in quotas. But I have not seen the details of some of these proposals. But I've always opposed quotas."
Stephanopoulos asked, "But the one here in Arizona you support?"
"I support it, yes," replied McCain.
McCain did not indicate that he had a standing opposition to such initiatives, or that he was changing his stance by supporting the initiative in Arizona.
PARIS, France (CNN) - Sen. Barack Obama said Friday he was avoiding criticizing President Bush on his trip through Europe.
Speaking to reporters, the Democratic presidential candidate cited a tradition that "you don't criticize a sitting president while overseas," adding that "it's very important" that U.S. foreign policy is presented "in one voice."
"I can say affirmatively an effective U.S. foreign policy will be based on our ability not only to project power, but also to listen and to build consensus. And the goal of an Obama administration in foreign policy would be, obviously to act on behalf of the interests of the security of the United States, but also to listen to our allies," he said.
(CNN) - A roundup of quotes from the Sunday political talk shows, as compiled by the CNN Wire:
"I think that the U.S. government provides an awful lot of aid to Pakistan, provides a lot of military support to Pakistan. And to send a clear message to Pakistan that this is important, to them as well as to us, that I think - that message has not been sent."
-Sen. Barack Obama, on how to engage Pakistan to help improve security in Afghanistan, speaking to CBS' "Face the Nation"
"I think the consequences could be very dangerous in that regard. I'm convinced at this point in time that coming - making reductions based on conditions on the ground are very important."
-Adm. Michael Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, on the possibility of a timeline for U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq, speaking to "Fox News Sunday"
"I think it sends a signal that there is one, that eventually we do want to bring our troops back, and that... with where we are, conditions are improving in Iraq."
-Mullen, on President Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's talk of a "general time horizon," speaking to "Fox News Sunday"
NEW YORK (CNN) – Sen. Charles Schumer said Sunday the Bush administration is trying to "blame the fire on the person who calls 911" by suggesting he had a role in one of the costliest U.S. bank failures.
Federal regulators with the Office of Thrift Supervision were "asleep at the switch" when it came to IndyMac's "reckless" behavior, the New York Democrat complained.
The OTS announced Friday that it was taking over the $32 billion IndyMac and transferring control to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.
The OTS pointed the finger directly at Schumer for the failure, accusing him of sparking a bank run by releasing a letter that "expressed concerns about IndyMac's viability."
"In the following 11 business days, depositors withdrew more than $1.3 billion from their accounts," the OTS said in a statement announcing the California-based lender's takeover on Friday.
The statement included a quote from OTS Director John Reich saying, "Although this institution was already in distress, I am troubled by any interference in the regulatory process."
Schumer, a member of the Senate Banking Committee, chairman of Congress' Joint Economic Committee and the third-ranking Democrat in the Senate, rejected any suggestions of responsibility for IndyMac's collapse.
(CNN) - A roundup of quotes from the Sunday political talk shows, as compiled by the CNN Wire:
On the candidates' Iraq strategies:
"I think what's significant about what's happened in the last week - frankly, in the last month, since Senator Obama clinched the nomination - is how many big positions - Iraq, Iran, free trade, the death penalty - that Senator Obama has ... altered his position on.
"On Iraq, John McCain has been right and consistent, and Senator Obama has been wrong."
–Sen. Joe Lieberman, Independent from Connecticut, on ABC's "This Week"
"The Republicans, and John McCain specifically, are trying desperately to get away from the reality of John McCain's position, which is that he has a plan for staying in Iraq and Barack Obama has a plan for getting out of Iraq... (Obama's position) is no change whatsoever in his fundamental determination to end the war."
–Sen. John Kerry, D-Massachusetts, on CBS' "Face the Nation"
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Days after both men reversed course on major issues, the presidential campaigns of Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain spent much of Sunday's talk-show circuit working to ensure accusations of "flip-flopping" don't stick.
Both sides tried to go on offense, with the Obama camp accusing McCain of "yet another flip-flop," on the issue of oil drilling and the McCain camp saying Obama broke his word on the issue of campaign financing.
McCain said he now supports lifting a federal ban on off-shore drilling that he once supported.
Daschle pointed to the issue, saying, "we're surprised at yet another flip-flop on the part of John McCain here."
But McCain's economic adviser Carly Fiorina, on CBS' "Face the Nation," argued that "a good leader is influenced by the facts on the ground."
She added, "We've never before faced a situation where the price of a barrel of oil has doubled in the last 12 months. So what John McCain has said is that we now need to take control of our own energy future." Watch more on the off-shore drilling debate »
When McCain announced his decision Tuesday, he said off-shore oil drilling could be part of a plan "in the short term in resolving our energy crisis." But many analysts argue any significant oil production gain would be years away.
On the issue of campaign financing, Obama announced Thursday he would not take public financing for the general election.
Obama, the presumptive Democratic nominee, had long spoken in support of public financing, and when asked on a questionnaire whether he would accept public financing if the competition did, he answered "yes."
(CNN) – Former Rep. Bob Barr, the newly-selected Libertarian presidential nominee, rejected suggestions Monday that he could spoil his former party's chances of holding onto the White House.
"There are two folks that are out to spoil the race here - it's Senator Obama and Senator McCain. They're setting out, I think, to spoil our chances," he told CNN's "American Morning."
He added, "There are millions of voters out there that are not going to vote for Senator McCain, and we aim to reach those voters with the message of smaller government and more individual liberty."
For years, Barr was a prominent Georgia Republican in the House. He played a leading role in the impeachment of former President Bill Clinton.
His positions on some issues have left some Libertarians unsure about his candidacy. He opposed legalizing marijuana for medical purposes, supported the Patriot Act, and co-sponsored the Defense of Marriage Act.
While the Defense of Marriage Act was backed by opponents of gay marriage, and allowed states not to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states, Barr told CNN Monday that it was a "very sound individualistic and states' rights policy."
And he said he has been working for five years "to either amend or repeal the Patriot Act because of the way it has been used and abused by the Bush administration to curtail the civil liberties of American citizens in this country. We can defend America without taking away civil liberties and privacy rights of American citizens, and we ought to be doing that."
(CNN) – A Young Democrats of America board member threw her support to Sen. Barack Obama on Sunday, bringing Obama to a tie with Sen. Hillary Clinton in the superdelegate race.
Crystal Strait, 28, became the 273rd superdelegate in Obama's column, by CNN's count. Clinton had 273 Sunday as well - technically 273.5 because of some Democrats Abroad superdelegates who are given half a vote each.
Obama holds a large enough lead among pledged delegates that many believe Clinton's presidential aspirations for 2008 are virtually over.
But neither candidate is expected to have the 2,025 total delegates to win, so superdelegates - elected representatives and other party insiders given seats the party's convention - will ultimately award the nomination. A flood of superdelegate endorsements for Obama could effectively end the
(CNN) – Sen. Barack Obama's presidential campaign rejected suggestions Sunday that Sen. Hillary Clinton is staying in the race in hopes of brokering some kind of agreement with the likely nominee.
"I don't believe that Senator Clinton is looking for a deal," Obama's chief campaign strategist David Axelrod told "Fox News Sunday," when asked about suggestions she may want the Obama campaign's help retiring her campaign debt.
"I don't think that's what this is about," he said.
Axelrod said he believes Clinton "will have the capacity to retire her debt."
He also denied rumors that the Clinton camp may be in some kind of discussions with the Obama camp to make her his running mate. "There's been no discussion about vice presidential nominees and this whole scenario," said Axelrod.
Clinton's top strategist Howard Wolfson told the same program, "We think Senator Clinton is going to be the nominee," and that he has "seen no evidence of her interest" in the number two slot.