Obama addressed his bill calling for a National Low-Carbon Fuel Standard Tuesday.
ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) – While campaigning in Los Angeles, California Tuesday, Senator Barack Obama, D-Illinois, stopped at a gas station that offered alternative fuel to address his bill calling for a National Low-Carbon Fuel Standard.
The White House contender showed up at the gas station – the second in California in the process of offering E85, ethanol-based fuel – in a government car without a flexible fuel tank that can run on ethanol, but he stressed that if president, he would make sure things change, including the type of cars federal employees drive.
“The debate about whether or not climate change is a man-made disaster is over. The question now is what we do about it,” said Obama. “We know that transportation fuels account for a third of America’s global warming pollution. And we know there are fuels available that emit less carbon-dioxide into the atmosphere – fuels like biodiesel and ethanol.”
Modeled in part after California’s proposed Low-Carbon Fuel Standard, Senator Obama introduced the legislation last month with Senator Tom Harkin, D-Iowa. The federal proposal would require that all transportation fuels sold in the U.S. contain 5 percent less carbon by 2015 and 10 percent less carbon by 2020. He also asked that automakers more than double the fuel efficiency of U.S.
Obama added the importance of California as a “trend setting state. Demographically [California] reflects where America is moving. We need to speak to the issues that are so important to California.”
Last January, by executive order, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger established a Low-Carbon Fuel Standard statewide with the intent of sparking research in alternatives to oil and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
- CNN’s Political Assignment Editor Marissa Muller
Romney holds an eight percentage point lead over McCain and Giuliani in New Hampshire, according to a new CNN/WMUR poll.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has jumped to the head of the pack of 2008 Republican presidential contenders in New Hampshire, according to a CNN/WMUR poll out Tuesday.
Romney shot past former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and Sen. John McCain of Arizona in the latest poll, conducted Wednesday through Monday by the University of New Hampshire. Former Tennessee senator and "Law and Order" star Fred Thompson runs fourth after taking his first steps toward a campaign, the survey found. (Read full poll results [PDF])
Pollsters interviewed 304 New Hampshire residents who say they will vote in January's Republican primary, the first in the nation. The survey had a sampling error of 5.5 percentage points.
Romney, who led New Hampshire's southern neighbor from 2003 to 2007, drew 28 percent support in the new poll. Giuliani and McCain were tied for second at 20 percent, while 11 percent backed Thompson, who set up a campaign fundraising committee June 1.
The remainder of the GOP's presidential contenders were in the low single digits. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who has said he will decide whether to run in the fall, scored 4 percent; Texas congressman Ron Paul, the lone voice of opposition to the war in Iraq among Republican candidates, came in at 3 percent; Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee were at 2 percent; and Colorado U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo rated less than 1 percent.
None of those polled chose California congressman Duncan Hunter, former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore or former Wisconsin governor and Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint reiterated his opposition to the Senate immigration bill Tuesday and told CNN that President Bush might undermine his standing with the American people if he continues to support the measure.
"If he continues to push this bill in spite of the way the American people feel about it, I think that's more likely to undermine him than to say 'we've listened, we're going to take this step by step, and maybe come back next year and look at how to deal with the 12 million who are here after we've proved that we're going to move ahead with real enforcement measures,'" DeMint told CNN's Wolf Blitzer.
DeMint spoke after the president made a rare visit to Capitol Hill in hopes of convincing some GOP senators to support the bill. The senator added that the meeting was "warm," but brushed aside the president's recent prediction that the measure will ultimately pass.
- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions toned down his earlier comments Tuesday urging President Bush to "back off" from pressuring GOP senators to support his immigration bill.
"I said we ought to back off and look at this thing carefully and analytically, because just passing a bill is not the solution to our problems," Sessions told CNN's T.J. Harris after the president made a visit to Capitol Hill to promote the controversial immigration proposal. "If the president is not committed to actual, aggressive enforcement and we don't have a bill that will work, we haven't done anything."
Sessions’ language toward the president was considerably stronger earlier Tuesday in an interview on CNN's American Morning, when he said, “I think the president is wrong to push this piece of legislation so hard after we’ve demonstrated the flaws that are in it. He needs to back off.”
Sessions also told CNN the president was "very gracious" during his meeting with GOP senators Tuesday afternoon, even with those who adamantly oppose the immigration measure.
"He said his friendship was not changed by someone that disagreed with him on this issue," Sessions said. "He expressed in heartfelt terms why he wants to see us be a nation of immigrants and have a good system that will work."
- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney
WASHINGTON (CNN) – The Federal Election Commission unveiled a new, interactive map Tuesday that will allow users to break down campaign donations to the 2008 presidential candidates by geographic region.
The map shows the amount of money raised in specific states. Visitors to the FEC’s website can examine contributions to individual candidates, all candidates, or all candidates from a political party. The map also highlights each campaign’s cash-on-hand, as well as the distribution of contributions according to amount.
The money map, which will be updated within one day of the FEC’s receipt of electronically-filed disclosure reports, lists contributors by name, donation size, city, and date — all to within the first three digits of their zip code.
“This new online tool underscores our commitment to the public to disclose campaign finance information in a timely and easily understood manner,” said FEC Chairman Robert Lenard in a prepared statement.
- CNN Political Producer/Researcher Alan Silverleib
WASHINGTON (CNN) - New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez, a leading Hispanic Democrat, is backing Sen. Hillary Clinton's presidential bid, the two senators announced Tuesday.
“While we have many fine and worthy candidates for president, Sen. Clinton stands out with the richness of her experience, the depth of her intelligence and the strength of her ideals," Menendez said. "She is clearly the right leader ready to chart a new course for America, and I look forward to working for her election and to calling her madam president.
Underscoring the importance of the Latino vote, Menendez addressed voters in Spanish as well. And Clinton, who mentioned that campaign manager is the daughter of Mexican immigrants, said she was "proud" to have the support of members of the Latino community.
"I'm very proud that I have such a breadth and depth of support across the country," Clinton said. "And the support from Latino Americans is especially important to me, because these days require us to pull our country together."
Menendez, who will serve as a national co-chair of Clinton's presidential bid, is the second major Latino endorsement the New York Democrat has scored in the last month.
On May 30, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa endorsed Clinton, hailing her as "the only candidate with the ability to hit the ground running on her first day in the White House."
- CNN's Lauren Kornreich and Alexander Mooney
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada said Tuesday passing the immigration bill is up to the Republicans, who "do not support their own president's bill."
"Eighty percent of the Democrats support this immigration bill. We've done our job," Reid said after the president made a rare visit to Capitol Hill in hopes of convincing some fellow Republicans to support the measure. "I don't have to twist an arm. I don't have to pull anybody into a room."
"It's a question of Republicans supporting their own president," Reid said.
- CNN's K.D. Fabian
White House spokesman Tony Snow said rumors Bush's watch was stolen in Albania are false.
(CNN) - The mystery of President Bush's missing watch has been solved.
After days of internet rumors and international reports that the president’s watch was stolen as he was mobbed by a crowd in Albania this weekend, the White House is setting the record straight.
Asked at Tuesday’s briefing if the presidents watched was lifted, spokesman Tony Snow answered, “No, it was not. It was placed in his pocket...the president put it in his pocket and it returned safely home.”
Snow says a careful review of video of the scene confirms no pilfering.
Snow also said there was no concern over the president’s safety as enthusiastic well wishers grabbed his hands and arms.
“What you had was an example of when captive nations come free," he said.
Using the moment to allude to recent White House foreign policy decisions, he added, “They understand the role the United States has played through the decades, taking unpopular moves.”
Snow also said the crowd was “euphoric because we helped make them free....if there was a problem, the Secret Service would have dealt with it. Trust me."
The CNN White House unit reports it is not unusual for the president to take off a watch or his cuff links before greeting a crowd at a rope-line, internationally or inside the U.S.
- CNN Political Desk Managing Editor Steve Brusk
WASHINGTON (CNN) - After lunching with Republican senators Tuesday, President Bush said "now is the time" to pass a comprehensive immigration bill, and he urged Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to make that happen.
The bill has been stalled in Congress since Thursday night, when the Democratic-controlled Senate voted to halt debate, thereby preventing the bill onto the floor for a vote.
"Some members in there (the lunch room) believe we need to move a comprehensive bill, some don't," Bush told reporters in a Capitol hallway. "I understand that. It's a highly emotional issue.
"But those of us standing here believe now is time to move to a comprehensive bill that enforces borders and has good workplace enforcement, that doesn't grant automatic citizenship, that addresses this problem in a comprehensive way.
"I believe without the bill, it'll be harder to enforce our borders."
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky., said there was "good give and take" at the meeting, and sounded optimistic about the bill's chances. However, many senators remained against the measure, he told the media after Bush left the microphone.
"We didn't expect anybody to stand up and holler that they had a epiphany," McConnell added. "I do believe this bill is about 85 percent through, to the finish line."
Sen. Trent Lott, R-Mississippi, the minority whip, said, "The president made it clear to us that he won't sign just any bill. ... There are still problems remaining with it, and he wants to work with us to get this job done."
- CNN's Emily McCulloch contributed to this report