December 16th, 2007
06:14 AM ET
15 years ago

McCain is asked: Is Jesus Christ your Lord and Savior?

McCain said his faith "is something between me and God."

GREER, South Carolina (CNN) - John McCain rarely speaks about his faith on the campaign trail.

So when an audience member here asked the Arizona senator on Saturday if he had "accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior," most of the voters gathered at Pete's Drive-In straightened up in their booths to pay attention.

"I am a man of faith," McCain quickly responded. "I have deep religious beliefs and values. I had experiences in my life where I had to rely on God not to get me through another day or another hour, but another minute."

McCain said he was proud to be "motivated by Judeo-Christian values" in his private and public life.

The same man asked McCain to clarify if that meant he had indeed welcomed Christ into his life.

"Sir, I attend North Phoenix Baptist Church which is my church of choice, and I also believe that talking too much about one's faith and religion in my view is something between me and God," said McCain, to audience applause.

- CNN South Carolina Producer Peter Hamby

Filed under: John McCain • South Carolina
December 16th, 2007
06:09 AM ET
15 years ago

Huckabee denies involvement in reported push-polls

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee strongly denied Saturday any involvement in push-polling in New Hampshire that reportedly is conducted by a group supporting his presidential bid.

"As I've said before, our campaign has nothing to do with push polling, and I wish they would stop," Huckabee said in a statement. “We don't want this kind of campaigning because it violates the spirit of our campaign."

Huckabee's comments came after rival John McCain's campaign claimed it had received reports of push-poll phone calls "designed to disparage John McCain in an effort to advance Gov. Huckabee's campaign."

"Gov. Huckabee should immediately condemn these tactics and urge his supporters to stop this activity attempting to smear John McCain or any other candidate, and allow this campaign to be waged on the issues and each candidate's merits," McCain's New Hampshire Vice Chairman Chuck Douglas said in a statement released earlier Saturday.

The practice of push-polling is a political attack disguised as legitimate polling. Callers portray themselves as nonpartisan members of a polling organization, then provide negative or misleading information about a candidate in an effort to discourage voting for that person.

Last month, McCain asked the New Hampshire attorney general to investigate similar calls that appeared to target former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

Earlier: Pro-Huckabee 'push polls' irk GOP field in Iowa

Filed under: John McCain • Mike Huckabee • New Hampshire
December 16th, 2007
06:06 AM ET
15 years ago

Key newspaper nods go to McCain, Obama, Clinton

Sen. John McCain campaigning in Dover, New Hampshire.

(CNN) - The editorial boards of the Des Moines Register and the Boston Globe - two of the most influential papers for voters in Iowa and New Hampshire, the first two states to weigh in at the polls - both gave their endorsement to John McCain in the Republican presidential race, but parted ways over their choice in the Democratic contest.

The Register backed Hillary Clinton, while the Globe picked Barack Obama, in excerpts of Sunday's editorials posted on their papers' Web sites Saturday night. The Iowa caucuses are January 3, and New Hampshire's primary follows five days later.

The Globe's board dismissed concerns over the Illinois senator’s relative lack of Washington experience. "It is true that all the other Democratic contenders have more conventional resumes, and have spent more time in Washington," the board wrote. "But that exposure has tended to give them a sense of government’s constraints. Obama is more open to its possibilities."

But the Register's board, which noted that Obama "demonstrates the potential to be a fine president," still gave the edge to the New York senator, saying it made the nods in both parties' primaries based on competence and readiness to lead.

“When Obama speaks before a crowd, he can be more inspirational than Clinton," the board wrote. "Yet, with his relative inexperience, it’s hard to feel as confident he could accomplish the daunting agenda that lies ahead.”


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