(CNN) - Christopher Buckley, the son of conservative icon William F. Buckley, said Tuesday he's resigned from the conservative National Review days after endorsing Barack Obama's White House bid, among the most powerful symbols yet of the conservative discontent expressed this election cycle.
In an online column, Buckley said he had decided to offer his resignation from the magazine his father founded after hundreds of readers and some National Review colleagues expressed outrage he was backing the Illinois senator.
"While I regret this development, I am not in mourning, for I no longer have any clear idea what, exactly, the modern conservative movement stands for," Buckley wrote.
"Eight years of 'conservative' government has brought us a doubled national debt, ruinous expansion of entitlement programs, bridges to nowhere, poster boy Jack Abramoff and an ill-premised, ill-waged war conducted by politicians of breathtaking arrogance. As a sideshow, it brought us a truly obscene attempt at federal intervention in the Terry Schiavo case," he also wrote.
The resignation comes four days after Buckley formally endorsed Obama on the Web site The Daily Beast, writing the presidential campaign had made John McCain "inauthentic," and Obama appeared to have a "first-class temperament and first-class intellect."
In a statement posted on the publication's Web site Tuesday, National Review editor Rich Lowry noted Buckley was writing for the magazine on a trial basis, and took his offer to resign with the "warmest regards and understanding" sincerely. Lowry also took issue with Buckley's contention the magazine had been flooded with angry mail over Buckley's endorsement, saying it had received a relatively small 100 e-mails expressing disapproval.
"It's an intense election season and emotions are running high," Lowry said.
(CNN) - Joe Biden said Monday some of the reactions he has seen at recent McCain campaign rallies are downright “scary,” and said the Republican presidential ticket should be careful not to encourage "fringe people."
But in the interview with ABC News, Biden added he does not worry the McCain-Palin rallies could lead to violence as long as John McCain and Sarah Palin adequately control their supporters.
"I'm no more concerned about it, as long as … John pushes it back in a box and Governor Palin pushes it back in a box, because what you don't want to do is encourage - I don't think they intentionally do it - encourage people who really are fringe people," Biden said in the interview. He also said that what he saw at the rallies was "really off the wall" and "scary stuff."
Biden also took aim at recent comments from Virginia’s Republican Party chairman that compared Obama to 9/11 mastermind Osama Bin Laden. The chairman, Jeffrey Frederick said Obama and bin Laden "both have friends that bombed the Pentagon" - a reference to Obama's connection to 1960's radical Bill Ayers.
"I don't believe it … I can't believe it," Biden said of those comments. "I'm surprised John McCain hasn't gone down and whacked the guy with his fist. I mean, I don't think there's a prejudiced bone in John McCain's body. But that kind of stuff is really off the wall. I refuse to let myself believe John McCain has anything to do with any of that.”
(CNN) - John McCain predicted Sunday he would beat Barack Obama at the final presidential debate this week.
"After I whip his you-know-what in this debate, we're going to be going out 24/7," the Republican nominee told volunteers at his campaign headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, sparking laughter and applause from the group. McCain immediately added: "I want to emphasize again, I respect Senator Obama. We will conduct a respectful race, and we will make sure that everybody else does, too."
Outside the doors of his campaign offices, McCain is fighting to hold on to the traditionally-red state. McCain talked Sunday about the tough fight for Virginia, where Obama currently leads by four points, 49 to 45, in the state's most recent CNN poll of polls. He also pointed to battlegrounds states like Ohio - which Sarah Palin visited Sunday - and Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, and Pennsylvania.
"And I'm telling you, we're coming on and we're going to work 24/7 for the next - who's counting - 22 days," he said.
McCain acknowledged the dip in his poll numbers since the financial crisis began, but said overall trends were in his favor. "...I'd like to give you a little straight talk, we're a couple points down, ok,
nationally, but we're right in this game," he said. "The economy has hurt us a little bit in the last week or two, but in the last few days we've seen it come back up because they want experience, and they want knowledge and they want vision. And we'll give that to America, and I know that we're going to win this race."
(CNN) - Cindy McCain, wife of Republican presidential candidate John McCain, appears to have sharpened her attacks against Barack Obama on the campaign trail in the final stretch of the race for the White House.
One day after she told a Tennessee newspaper Obama is running the "dirtiest campaign in American history," Mrs. McCain criticized the Illinois senator for voting against a bill to fund troops in Iraq, a regular line of attack from her husband’s campaign.
“The day that Senator Obama cast a vote not to fund my son when he was serving sent a cold chill through my body, let me tell you,” she told a Pennsylvania crowd before introducing her husband and Republican VP candidate Sarah Palin.
“I would suggest Senator Obama change shoes with me for just one day. I suggest he take a day and go watch our men and women deploying," she also said, to boisterous cheers from the campaign.
The vote Mrs. McCain is referencing came in May of 2007, when Obama was one of 14 senators who voted against a war-spending plan that would have provided emergency funds for American troops overseas. He, like many Democrats, was pushing for an end to the war in Iraq, and the legislation included no provisions for that. Before that vote, Obama did support and vote for a funding proposal that included a timeline for withdrawal from Iraq - a troop funding bill McCain opposed.
A CNN fact check deemed the charge that Obama voted against troop funding "misleading."
Read CNN's fact check on that vote
NASHVILLE, Tennessee (CNN) - A national poll of debate watchers suggests that Barack Obama won the second presidential debate.
Fifty-four percent of those questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey conducted after the debate ended said that Obama did the best job in the debate, with 30 percent saying John McCain performed better.
Watch: Debate analysis
A majority, 54 percent, said Obama seemed to be the stronger leader during the debate, to 43 percent for McCain. By a greater than two to one margin - 65 percent to 28 percent - viewers thought Obama was more likeable during the debate.
"Obama had made some gains on the leadership issue even before the debate," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "McCain's advantage on leadership shrunk from 19 points in September to just five points this weekend. If Obama can use this debate to convince Americans that he is a stronger leader than McCain, he may be difficult to defeat."
A majority of debate watchers polled thought Obama was more intelligent, by a 57 percent to 25 percent margin over McCain. Twice as many debate watchers also thought Obama more clearly expressed than McCain, with 60 percent giving the nod to the Democratic nominee and 30 percent to his GOP opponent.
(CNN) - Republican Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin had difficulty naming a specific Supreme Court case she disagreed with besides Roe v. Wade in a long-awaited clip CBS News aired Wednesday night.
The comments, first reported by Politico, came in an interview with CBS News anchor Katie Couric taped last week.
"Well, let's see. There's –of course –in the great history of American rulings there have been rulings, that's never going to be absolute consensus by every American," Palin said. "And there are–those issues, again, like Roe v Wade, where I believe are best held on a state level and addressed there. So you know–going through the history of America, there would be others but–"
"Can you think of any?" Couric interjected.
"Well, I could think of–of any again, that could be best dealt with on a more local level, maybe I would take issue with," Palin responded. "But you know, as mayor, and then as governor and even as a vice president, if I'm so privileged to serve, wouldn't be in a position of changing those things but in supporting the law of the land as it reads today."
Palin's comments came in the same interview during which she gave a widely-panned answer on the economic bailout bill and had trouble describing John McCain's record on regulation of the financial industry.
The interview later became the subject of Saturday Night Live's opening sketch last weekend.
Cafferty Blog: Are Palin’s interviews with Couric helping her?
When Couric posed the same question to Joe Biden, the Democratic VP candidate and longtime member of the Senate Judiciary Committee said he disagreed with a ruling that invalidated a portion of the Violence Against Women Act.
(CNN)– Former President Bill Clinton was hesitant to characterize Barack Obama as a "great man" Sunday, a phrase he had no qualms using last week to describe Obama's rival John McCain.
Clinton told NBC's Tom Brokaw that it was only earlier this month in Harlem that he and Obama had their "first conversation." He said he had spoken with Obama before, but only in passing.
Clinton then explained what he meant in characterizing McCain as a "great man."
"I think his greatness is that he keeps trying to come back to service without ever asking people to cut him any slack or feel sorry for him or any of that stuff because he was a POW," Clinton said of the Republican presidential nominee.
Clinton, who successfully ran his own 1992 presidential campaign on the now commonly used phrase "it's the economy, stupid," said that he believed the current economic crisis "left [Obama] in a position of leadership that he's now in."
Clinton said he thought Obama "saw and imagined" how the economic situation could develop.
"And I think that the rest of us should admire that. That's a big part of leadership, being able to sense, as well as see the future," he said.
Clinton said he and Obama are developing a "really good relationship," and the Democratic nominee has the potential for greatness. Explaining, he said Obama has many personal accomplishments, but none that exemplify his greatness to the country.
"When he becomes president, he'll be doing things for the American people and for the world and he is-and the greatness will then become apparent because of the good he'll do...That's what I very much believe is going to happen."
Some have questioned Bill Clinton's support for Obama following the protracted primary battle between the Illinois senator and Hillary Clinton. The former president praised Obama during his speech at the Democratic National Convention and declared Obama "ready to be president of the United States," as both sides tried to bring an end to the "Clinton-Obama rift" storyline.
Clinton himself was among the most outspoken critics of Obama's readiness during the primary season.
The reason it has taken him so long to hit the trail for Obama was the need for him to return to work on his foundation after the long primary season, Clinton explained Sunday.
He is expected to campaign for Obama in Florida, Ohio, northeast Pennsylvania, and Nevada after the Jewish holidays.
"I'm going to do my very best to do every single thing he asks me to do," Clinton said.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Bush has asked both Sen. John McCain and Sen. Barack Obama to join him for a meeting at the White House Thursday afternoon to discuss the economic bailout plan, a White House officials said.
"The President called Sen. Obama tonight around 7:30 pm," said Dana Perino, White House press secretary. "The president has invited the bicameral and bipartisan leadership, and the two senators running for president, to the White House tomorrow to work on driving to a bipartisan and timely solution."
Obama's campaign said in a statement that he has accepted the invitation.
"A few moments ago, President Bush called Senator Obama and asked him to attend a meeting in Washington tomorrow, which he agreed to do," the statement said.
"He has said that he will continue to work in a bipartisan spirit and do whatever is necessary to come up with a final solution."
A McCain adviser said McCain also plans to attend.
- CNN's Elaine Quijano and Dana Bash contributed to this report.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Call it the overlooked election. An intense battle is going on right now for control of Congress, but it's overshadowed in the media by a historic race for the White House.
So which party has the upper hand in the fight for Capitol Hill?
The answer, according to a new national poll, appears to be the Democrats. In a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey released Tuesday, 56 percent of those questioned are backing the Democratic candidate for Congress, while 42 percent support the Republicans.
That's a change from immediately after the GOP convention, when the Democrats had only a 3-point lead lead over the Republicans, 49 percent to 46 percent.
"The change may simply be due to the convention bounce fading for local Republicans," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "We've seen evidence that the bounce for John McCain and Sarah Palin was not a permanent change in the horse race. Since the Dems have had a double-digit lead in the so-called 'generic ballot' question throughout the year, it's possible that the current numbers are just reverting back to normal levels for 2008."
The "generic ballot" question asked voters to choose between an unnamed Democratic candidate versus an unnamed Republican in the House race in their district. In reality, people vote for specific candidates in the 435 separate district elections for the House of Representatives.
(CNN) - Bill Clinton said Monday the Democratic ticket should steer clear of launching personal attacks on Sarah Palin over her relatively thin resume, and instead acknowledge she was a "good choice" for the No. 2 spot on the GOP ticket.
"Why say, ever, anything bad about a person? Why don't we like them and celebrate them and be happy for her elevation to the ticket? And just say that she was a good choice for him and we disagree with them?" said Clinton, who faced repeated charges during the primary season he was overly negative toward Obama on the campaign trail.
Clinton's comments appear to echo advice Karl Rove gave to Barack Obama in his regular Wall Street Journal column last week, when the former Bush strategist noted attacking the VP candidate has rarely proven to be an effective strategy.
In one of the former president's few extended comments to date on Palin's surprise VP candidacy, Clinton also told reporters in New York Monday he knows why the Alaska governor is attracting massive crowds on the campaign trail.
"I come from Arkansas, I get why she's hot out there," Clinton told reporters in New York, according to the Associated Press. "Why she's doing well."
"People look at her, and they say, 'All those kids. Something that happens in everybody's family I'm glad she loves her daughter and she's not ashamed of her. Glad that girl's going around with her boyfriend. Glad they're going to get married,'" he said.
Referencing Palin's 5-month old child who has Down Syndrome, Clinton also said voters will think, "I like that little Down syndrome kid - one of them lives down the street, they're wonderful children.”
Earlier Monday, Clinton suggested his wife, Sen. Hillary Clinton, would have been a better political choice for the Democratic VP spot than Joe Biden.
“She would have been the best politically, at least in the short run, because of her enormous support of the country,“ he said on the daytime talk show The View.