March 7th, 2008
12:06 PM ET
11 years ago

Puerto Rico Democrats look to move up June vote


(CNN) - The Democratic Party of Puerto Rico has submitted a revised plan to the Democratic National Committee that would move its presidential nomination contest from June 7 to June 1.

The proposed plan would also change the contest from caucuses to a primary.

“This is an important mark in the political history of Puerto Rico,” said Roberto Prats, the territory’s Democratic party chairman, according to an account in the Spanish-language paper El Nuevo Dia.

The move would not become official until the DNC’s Rules and Bylaws Committee approves the new plan after a 30-day comment period.

If approved, the shift would make the Montana and South Dakota primaries on June 3 the final Democratic contests of the 2008 primary season, if Michigan and Florida do not hold repeat votes after that date.

A DNC spokeswoman confirms to CNN that the party has received the revised plan, and that the date change is likely to be approved, though official action won’t be taken for at least a month.

There are 55 pledged delegates at stake in Puerto Rico, and 8 superdelegates. Puerto Rico Republicans held their presidential nominating contest on February 24.

Filed under: Puerto Rico
March 7th, 2008
11:40 AM ET
12 years ago

Obama adviser apologizes for 'monster' comment

 An advisor to Obama was quoted calling Clinton a monster.

An advisor to Obama was quoted calling Clinton a monster.

(CNN) - One of Barack Obama's top foreign policy advisers apologized late Thursday after a Scottish newspaper quoted her as calling Hillary Clinton a "monster."

"It is wrong for anyone to pursue this campaign in such negative and personal terms," Samantha Power, a professor at Harvard's Kennedy School of government and an adviser to Obama said in a statement. "I apologize to Senator Clinton and to Senator Obama, who has made very clear that these kinds of expressions should have no place in American politics."

Power's apology came shortly after the The Scotsman newspaper published an article in which she makes the characterization (a comment she immediately tried to retract), and suggested the New York senator is trying to deceive voters.

"She is a monster, too – that is off the record – she is stooping to anything," Power was quoted as saying.

"You just look at her and think, 'Ergh,' " Power also said. "But if you are poor and she is telling you some story about how Obama is going to take your job away, maybe it will be more effective. The amount of deceit she has put forward is really unattractive."

Power also said the Obama campaign "f***** up in Ohio." Clinton beat Obama by 10 percentage points in Ohio on Tuesday.

"In Ohio, they are obsessed and Hillary is going to town on it, because she knows Ohio's the only place they can win," Powers said.

Obama spokesman Bill Burton distanced the campaign from the remarks, saying in a statement that the Illinois senator "decries such characterizations which have no place in this campaign."

The interview came the same day a top Clinton adviser compared Obama's recent actions to independent prosecutor Kenneth Starr, who prosecuted the Clintons while Bill Clinton was in the White House in the 1990s.

"After a campaign in which many of the questions that voters had in the closing days centered on concerns that they had over his state of preparedness to be commander in chief and steward of the economy, he has chosen instead of addressing those issues to attack Senator Clinton," Clinton's communications director Howard Wolfson said on a conference call with reporters Thursday morning. "I for one do not believe that imitating Ken Starr is the way to win a Democratic primary election for president."

Obama's campaign quickly denounced that comment.

UPDATE: On a Friday morning conference call with reporters, the Clinton campaign called on Obama to end Power's role with the campaign. "Personal attacks are not the way to convince voters that you're capable of being president of the United States,” said New York Rep. Nita Lowey, a Clinton supporter. “We're calling on Senator Obama to make it very clear that Samantha Power should not be part of this campaign.”

- CNN's Alexander Mooney and Rebecca Sinderbrand

March 7th, 2008
11:25 AM ET
12 years ago

Rendell pushes for joint ticket

 Rendell is a supporter of Clinton.

Rendell is a supporter of Clinton.

(CNN) - Hillary Clinton supporter and Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell became the latest member of the New York senator's campaign Thursday to raise the prospect of a joint presidential ticket with Barack Obama, saying in an interview that whoever comes out on top in the presidential race should offer the vice presidency to the other.

"I think it’s important that it be offered, and if the loser doesn’t accept, I think the loser can say why," Rendell told the National Journal's Ron Brownstein. "You know, obviously, I’d love to see a Clinton/Obama ticket. But if Senator Obama won, I think his offering it to Senator Clinton would be a great gesture.

"I’m not sure she would take it, I’m not sure he would take it," Rendell also said. " But either way, I think that it would be good if the offer were made."

Rendell's comments follow those of Clinton on Wednesday morning, who told CBS she thinks the contest may be headed for a joint ticket. Terry McAuliffe, a top adviser to Clinton, has also raised the prospect on more than one occasion.

Obama's campaign brushes aside any speculation on the matter as "premature," and some backers of the Illinois senator have suggested the Clinton campaign raises the prospect so voters think a vote for her will come with Obama as well.

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

March 7th, 2008
11:00 AM ET
12 years ago

CNNMoney: Big Pharma opens wallet to Dems

NEW YORK ( - Democrats have long served as the traditional enemy of Big Pharma, but in this presidential campaign, the left is taking the lion's share of drugmaker money.

Democratic senators Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are the top recipients of donations from the pharmaceutical industry, according to The Center for Responsive Politics, a non-profit, non-partisan research group in Washington, D.C. Meanwhile, donations to Sen. John McCain, who was recently endorsed by President Bush as the official Republican candidate, pale in comparison.

Obama maintains a slight edge over his Democratic rival, with $181,000 in Big Pharma donations through Jan. 31, compared with Clinton's $174,000, according to the center. McCain is far behind with $44,000.

Full story 

March 7th, 2008
10:15 AM ET
12 years ago

A fact check on Clinton's foreign policy claims

 Sen. Hillary Clinton delivered a foreign policy speech at George Washington University in February.

Sen. Hillary Clinton delivered a foreign policy speech at George Washington University in February.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. Hillary Clinton, fresh off crucial wins in Tuesday's primaries, has been playing the experience card heavily, particularly in regard to her role in foreign policy.

Clinton said it's her 35 years of experience that make her the best candidate to take on presumptive GOP presidential nominee John McCain in November.

After losing primaries in Ohio and Texas, Sen. Barack Obama argued the media has not held Clinton's feet to the fire on foreign policy.

Full story

Filed under: Hillary Clinton
March 7th, 2008
09:00 AM ET
12 years ago

Paul hints presidential campaign will end soon

 Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) ran for president as a Libertarian in 1988.

Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) ran for president as a Libertarian in 1988.

(CNN) - Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul is hinting that his run for the White House is about to end, saying the "presidential campaign will soon wind down."

His comments came two days after Sen. John McCain became the presumptive GOP nominee.

"Though victory in the conventional political sense is not available in the presidential race, many victories have been achieved due to your hard work and enthusiasm," the Texas congressman said in a video to supporters posted by his campaign on YouTube on Thursday.

Full story 

Filed under: Ron Paul
March 7th, 2008
06:35 AM ET
12 years ago

McCain campaign designs new strategy

 McCain campaigned in Florida Thursday.

McCain campaigned in Florida Thursday.

(CNN) - John McCain may have been victorious in the Republican presidential primaries, but that silver lining comes with its own cloud, as the spotlight stays fixed on his potential fall opponents, still locked in their own primary battle. Now his campaign has developed a plan to try to keep the Arizona senator in the media narrative, and provide what they hope is a contrast with the brawling Democrats.

“There will undoubtedly be more attention paid to Sen. Obama and Sen. Clinton,” conceded McCain Thursday, but said their fight would give him time to shore up his base of support and unite the Republican Party.

McCain’s first stop will be New Hampshire for a town hall meeting – his first post-vote visit back to the state that propelled his comeback.

Then, say his advisers, he will head overseas. Later this month he will go to Europe and meet with allies and leaders of key countries, followed by a journey to the Middle East – an itinerary designed to showcase his credentials as the candidate with the most foreign policy experience.

When he returns, McCain’s team plans another tour – one designed to highlight his biography and service. His advisers say Americans know McCain was a prisoner of war in Vietnam, but don’t know many of the details that go along with that. “Many people know McCain as he maverick senator, but we don’t presume that they know the entirety if his remarkable life story and how that prepared him to be president,” said one senior adviser.


Filed under: John McCain
March 7th, 2008
06:31 AM ET
12 years ago

POLITICAL HOT TOPICS: Friday, March 7, 2008


Compiled by Jonathan Helman
CNN Washington Bureau

NY Times: More Money Is Pouring In for Clinton and Obama
The Democratic candidates for president continued to post formidable fund-raising numbers, with Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton using her victories in Tuesday’s primaries to raise $4 million through noon on Thursday. Her campaign reported the haul as the Obama campaign said it had raised $55 million in February, confirming earlier reports of its record-breaking month raising money.

AP: Paul Hints at Quitting Republican Race
GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul is hinting to supporters that he is ending his long-shot campaign for the presidency.

Washington Post: Michigan and Florida Have Democrats in a State
As Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama competed through more than 40 contests over the past two months, Michigan and Florida remained on the sidelines, barred from participating in the Democratic presidential nomination process because they violated party rules. Now, with neither candidate likely to win enough delegates to capture the nomination, the question is whether the two states will end up deciding the race by holding do-over contests this spring.

Washington Times: McCain Leads In Crossover Votes
Contrary to conventional wisdom, numbers emerging from polls and primary results show that Sen. John McCain — who has alienated conservatives as he courts independents and moderate Democrats — holds an advantage over Sen. Barack Obama in the race for crossover votes.


Filed under: Political Hot Topics
March 7th, 2008
06:18 AM ET
12 years ago

ON THE TRAIL: Friday, Macrh 7, 2008


Compiled by Jonathan Helman, CNN Washington Bureau

*Hillary Clinton holds town hall meetings in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, and in Cheyenne and Casper, Wyoming.

*John McCain holds a town hall meeting and a media availability in Atlanta, Georiga.

*Barack Obama is in Wyoming. He holds a town hall meeting in Casper and attends a rally in Laramie.

Filed under: On the Trail
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