February 27th, 2008
10:30 AM ET
14 years ago

McCain apology angers conservative host


Watch talk radio host Bill Cunningham on CNN Tuesday.

CINCINNATI, Ohio (CNN) - A conservative radio talk-show host said that "he's had it up to here" with Sen. John McCain after the GOP presidential candidate repudiated the commentator's remarks about Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama at a campaign event.

"John McCain threw me under a bus - under the 'Straight Talk Express,' " Bill Cunningham told CNN on Tuesday, referring to McCain's campaign bus.

Earlier Tuesday, Cunningham spoke at a McCain campaign event in Cincinnati and called Obama a "hack, Chicago-style Daley politician."

Full story

Filed under: John McCain
February 27th, 2008
09:08 AM ET
14 years ago

Clinton hits Obama over Farrakhan

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/02/26/art.obamaclintonde.ap.jpg caption=" Clinton criticized Obama for not outright rejecting Farrakhan's support."](CNN) - Hillary Clinton criticized Barack Obama at Tuesday night's debate for not directly rejecting the support of Louis Farrakhan.

“There's a difference between denouncing and rejecting," Clinton said. "And I think when it comes to this sort of, you know, inflammatory - I have no doubt that everything that Barack just said is absolutely sincere. But I just think, we've got to be even stronger. We cannot let anyone in any way say these things because of the implications that they have, which can be so far reaching.”

Farrakhan, the head of the Nation of Islam, recently made positive statements about Obama’s candidacy. The controversial leader has made many remarks that have been deemed anti-Semitic, including calling Judaism a "gutter religion." Asked tonight if he accepted Farrakhan's endorsement, Obama denounced those statements.

"I obviously can't censor him, but it is not support that I sought," Obama said. "And we're not doing anything, I assure you, formally or informally with Minister Farrakhan."

Pressed if he specifically rejected the endorsement, Obama said, "I can't say to somebody that he can't say that he thinks I'm a good guy" and that he didn't "see a difference between 'denouncing' and 'rejecting.'"

Responding later in the exchange directly to Clinton's comments, Obama said, "There's no formal offer of help from Minister Farrakhan that would involve me rejecting it."

"But if the word 'reject' Senator Clinton feels is stronger than the word 'denounce,' then I'm happy to concede the point, and I would reject and denounce," he added.

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

February 27th, 2008
09:00 AM ET
14 years ago

Obama tops new national polls

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/POLITICS/02/26/schneider.poll/art.mccain.obama.gi.jpg caption=" New national polls show Sen. Barack Obama, right, trumping Sen. John McCain in November."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - Three national polls of Democrats show Sen. Barack Obama is the front-runner for the nomination. But what's behind this latest momentum?

There's growing evidence that Obama is seen as more electable than Sen. Hillary Clinton.

If you average the "poll of polls" - AP-IPSOS, USA Today/Gallup and CBS/New York Times - Obama leads Clinton 50 percent to 40 percent, with 10 percent unsure.

Full story

February 27th, 2008
08:45 AM ET
14 years ago

Showdown in Ohio


Watch New York Times reporter Jeff Zeleny weigh in on how both candidates performed Tuesday night. (Getty Images)

CLEVELAND, Ohio (CNN) - Democrats Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama sparred with each other over negative campaigning, health care and free trade Tuesday, a week before key primaries in Texas and Ohio

Those contests are must-wins for Clinton if she is to continue to contest Obama for the nomination, as even former President Clinton suggests.

Debating at Cleveland State University, Clinton repeated angry claims from the campaign trail that Obama mischaracterized her stances on health care and NAFTA in political material mailed to voters in Ohio.

Full story

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Hillary Clinton • Ohio
February 27th, 2008
08:23 AM ET
14 years ago

Ohio's Sherrod Brown satisfied with NAFTA answers

CLEVELAND, Ohio (CNN) - Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown, an avowed economic progressive who also happens to be an uncommitted superdelegate from a very important state, said he was pleased with both candidate's answers on NAFTA during Tuesday's debate.

Both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama were asked if, as president, they would opt out of NAFTA in six months. Both candidates said they supported restructuring NAFTA and would use the threat of opting out of the agreement as a negotiating tool.

"They said it exactly right," Brown told CNN. "I want trade and more of it. I want it under different rules."

Brown voiced loud opposition to NAFTA during his 2006 Senate campaign, in which he unseated GOP incumbent Mike DeWine.

"If we say we want a different NAFTA," Brown continued, "they will negotiate, always with the threat of opting out if they don't, and that's exactly the right position. And I was thrilled, because I have not heard either of them specifically say that and they answered the question directly."

Brown said he is not planning to endorse either Democratic candidate.

- CNN Political Producer Peter Hamby

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Hillary Clinton • Ohio
February 27th, 2008
07:50 AM ET
14 years ago

Army general: 'No reason to doubt' Obama's story

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/POLITICS/02/26/obama.troops/art.obamadebate.ap.jpg caption=" Sen. Barack Obama says he knows of a platoon sent to Afghanistan with a shortage of personnel and equipment."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - Army chief of staff Gen. George Casey, testifying on troop strain before the Senate Armed Forces Committee Tuesday, said there is "no reason to doubt" Sen. Barack Obama's military shortage story during CNN's debate in Austin, Texas, last week.

"You know, I've heard from an Army captain who was the head of a rifle platoon - supposed to have 39 men in a rifle platoon. Ended up being sent to Afghanistan with 24 because 15 of those soldiers had been sent to Iraq," Obama told CNN moderator Campbell Brown.

"And as a consequence, they didn't have enough ammunition, they didn't have enough Humvees. They were actually capturing Taliban weapons, because it was easier to get Taliban weapons than it was for them to get properly equipped by our current commander in chief," he added.

Full story

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
February 27th, 2008
06:05 AM ET
14 years ago

POLITICAL HOT TOPICS: Wednesday, February 27, 2008


Compiled by Jonathan Helman
CNN Washington Bureau

Washington Post: In a Crucial State, a Contentious Debate
In their final debate before critical primaries in Ohio and Texas, Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton clashed sharply on familiar ground, arguing over who has the better health-care plan, who has been right about Iraq and who would move most aggressively to rethink trade policy as president.

WSJ: Texas Two-Step Vote Could Trip Up Clinton
Opinion polls show her rival, Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, inching up to Sen. Clinton or already passing her in Texas. But it is the complicated delegate nominating system - the Texas two-step - more than popular turnout that could stymie a Clinton victory Tuesday and perhaps cost the New York senator the nomination.

Columbus Dispatch: Huckabee, McCain Keep Rivalry In Motion
The battle for the Republican presidential nomination isn't over "until Ohio says it's over," Mike Huckabee said at a rally yesterday in Columbus. And maybe not even then, the former Arkansas governor hinted later.

NY Times: Ohioans Hear Populist Pleas by Democrats
For as long as anyone in Youngstown, Ohio here can remember, presidential hopefuls have made this scrappy, blue-collar stronghold an obligatory pit stop on the Democratic stump. Franklin D. Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy breezed through when the steel plants still turned the night sky orange; decades later, after the smelters had gone cold, Bill Clinton and John Kerry came by promising jobs to those left idle by the mill closings.

Washington Post: McCain Supporter Ridicules Obama
A supporter of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) ridiculed Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) in an introductory speech at a McCain rally here this morning, repeatedly using Obama's middle name, Hussein, and deriding him as a terrorist sympathizer.


Filed under: Political Hot Topics
February 27th, 2008
06:01 AM ET
14 years ago

ON THE TRAIL: Wednesday, February 27, 2008


Compiled by Jonathan Helman, CNN Washington Bureau

*Hillary Clinton attends an Economic Solutions Summit in Zanesville, Ohio and holds town hall meetings in St. Clairsville and Belpre, Ohio.

*John McCain is in Texas today. He holds a town hall meeting and has a media availbility in Tyler. Later, he holds a town hall meeting and a press conference in San Antonio.

*Barack Obama attends a rally in Columbus, Ohio. Later, he flies to Texas where he holds a town hall meeting in Duncanville and attends a rally in San Marcos.

Filed under: Political Hot Topics
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