March 11th, 2008
05:30 PM ET
13 years ago

Pelosi: Joint ticket 'impossible'

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption=" Pelosi said Tuesday a so-called 'Dream Ticket' won't happen."]
(CNN) - A so-called "dream ticket" scenario – the idea that Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama could join forces this fall - may have gripped the imaginations of Democrats nationwide – but you can list House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as a skeptic.

"I think that ticket either way is impossible," Pelosi told a New England Cable News reporter Tuesday, pointing to comments from Clinton and her campaign that implied Republican John McCain would make a better commander-in-chief than Obama.

"I think that the Clinton administration has fairly ruled that out by proclaiming that Senator McCain would be a better commander-in-Chief than Obama," she said.

She spoke bluntly about her view that a joint ticket was not in the cards, she said, because "I wanted to be sure I didn't leave any ambiguity."

The California Democrat, who has remained neutral throughout the party's primary process, said she remains an uncommitted superdelegate.

Related: Does Clinton benefit from so-called 'dream ticket' talk?

- CNN Associate Editor Rebecca Sinderbrand

Filed under: Nancy Pelosi
March 11th, 2008
05:27 PM ET
13 years ago

Ferraro: 'They're attacking me because I'm white'

(CNN) - Geraldine Ferraro is defending her controversial comment that Barack Obama’s campaign was successful because he was black, telling an interviewer Tuesday that she was being attacked because she was white.

"Any time anybody does anything that in any way pulls this campaign down and says let's address reality and the problems we're facing in this world, you're accused of being racist, so you have to shut up," she told the (Torrance, California) Daily Breeze. "Racism works in two different directions. I really think they're attacking me because I'm white. How's that?"

In another interview Tuesday, she compared Obama’s situation to her own 24 years ago, when she was the first female candidate for vice president.

She told a FOX News interviewer: “I got up and the question was asked, ‘Why do you think Barack Obama is in the place he is today” as the party’s delegate frontrunner.

“I said in large measure, because he is black. I said, Let me also say in 1984 – and if I have said it once, I have said it 20, 60, 100 times – in 1984, if my name was Gerard Ferraro instead of Geraldine Ferraro, I would never have been the nominee for vice president,” she said.

In her first interview with Daily Breeze, published late last week, Ferraro said
"If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position. And if he was a woman, he would not be in this position. He happens to be very lucky to be who he is. And the country is caught up in the concept," Ferraro told the newspaper. She also said Hillary Clinton had been the victim of a “sexist media.”

Obama himself has called the comments “patently absurd,” and his chief strategist, David Axelrod, has called for Clinton to cut ties with the former New York congresswoman, who serves on her campaign’s finance committee. Clinton has said that she does not agree with Ferraro’s remarks.

UPDATE: Clinton campaign spokesman Mo Eleithee told CNN's Sasha Johnson that "Ms. Ferraro is speaking for herself. We have made clear that we do not agree with her remarks."

–CNN Associate Political Editor Rebecca Sinderbrand

March 11th, 2008
05:25 PM ET
13 years ago

Clinton campaign manager rebukes Ferraro calls

(CNN) - Clinton Campaign Manager Maggie Williams said Tuesday that Obama campaign is making "false, personal and politically calculated attacks" over supporter Geraldine Ferraro's controversial comment that the Illinois senator is only in contention because of his race.

"This campaign should be about the leadership we need for a better future and these attacks serve only to divide the Democratic Party and the American people," Williams said in a statement sent to reporters.

Ferraro, the Democratic Party's vice presidential nominee in 1984, told the (Torrance, California) Daily Breeze that "If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position. And if he was a woman he would not be in this position. He happens to be very lucky to be who he is. And the country is caught up in the concept."

The Williams statement came a few hours after Obama senior strategist David Axelrod told reporters that Ferraro's recent remarks were part of "an insidious pattern that needs to be addressed."

"When you wink and nod at offensive statements you're really sending a signal to your supporters that anything goes," he also said.

Obama himself also issued a statement on the Ferraro's comments Tuesday afternoon, calling them divisive and 'patently absurd.'

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

March 11th, 2008
05:15 PM ET
13 years ago

McCain says foreign travel is 'critical' for elected officials

(CNN) - A top campaign adviser to Senator John McCain recently told CNN they hope the presumptive GOP nominee's trip to the Mideast and Europe next week will illustrate his experience on the world stage, as Democrats continue to battle back home.

McCain will be joined by two of his most ardent supporters, Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham and Democrat-turned-Independent Joe Lieberman.

But McCain's visit abroad will be an official congressional trip - which means it will be paid for by taxpayers, not his campaign.

On Tuesday, McCain defended the situation, saying it is critical for him to travel to fulfill duties as ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee.

"I’ll be taking other members of the Armed Services Committee, and this will be one of many regular trips that I have taken over the last 20 years as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee," said McCain.

"I think that it’s very important as the ranking member that I understand and keep up to date, particularly where young Americans may be in harm's way. And I’m proud to serve, and I regret that more of my colleagues don’t spend more time in foreign travel."

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid declined to criticize the presumptive GOP nominee for traveling abroad at taxpayers' expense, but instead said he personally does not think it’s a good idea for senators to go to Iraq, as McCain and his entourage are planning to do.

“People have asked me, Why haven't I been back to Iraq?’” said the Nevada Democrat. “This is my personal feeling - only speaking for Harry Reid - when I went there to Iraq, I just felt the people who were there protecting me should have been protecting other people.”


Filed under: John McCain
March 11th, 2008
05:00 PM ET
13 years ago

Delivering a solution to Florida's primary woes

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption=" A revote by mail in Florida could cost about $6 million, and no one knows who would pay for it."]MIAMI, Florida (CNN) - Is the answer for Florida's primary woes in the mail?

A mail-in ballot is one option being considered to solve the quandary facing state and national officials trying to figure out what to do with the state's discounted primary election.

The problem began last year, when Florida and Michigan challenged Democratic party rules and moved their primaries to earlier in the year. That gamble, aimed to make their contests more relevant, backfired in a big way.

Full story

Filed under: Florida
March 11th, 2008
03:45 PM ET
13 years ago

Politics and pop culture


CNN's Cambell Brown talks with the Saturday Night Live writer responsible for many memorable political skits.

(CNN) - CNN's Campbell Brown talks to to the writer behind those Saturday Night Live political parodies - some of which have been credited for helping revive Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign.

Filed under: Uncategorized
March 11th, 2008
03:45 PM ET
13 years ago

Blitzer: What was Spitzer thinking?

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Spitzer was a fierce attorney general."](CNN) - Elliot Spitzer was known as a fierce attorney general of New York State. I interviewed him back in March 2002 – only six months after 9/11 – about his criminal investigation into people falsely claiming some of the charitable funds that had been raised to help victims of the terror attack.

"There is grotesque self-interest and a violation of our common sense of decency when people would take advantage of the enormous generosity of the American public," he said, noting that some $2 billion had been given to the various 9/11 charities. He blasted those who show up pretending they lost loved ones in a horrendous effort to take advantage of the system." And he promised us this: "We will prosecute these types to the fullest extent of the law."

In the course of his career, he uttered those last words quite often – "the fullest extent of the law."

Now we are all watching to see if Spitzer has actually committed any crime - and, if the answer is yes, whether he will be prosecuted to "the fullest extent of the law."

His enemies would say yes. He has had many of them, given his tough-as-nails reputation for going after Wall Street insiders, mobsters, and yes, those engaged in prostitution rings. Back in 2004, as Attorney General, he announced the arrest of 16 people for alleged involvement in an expensive prostitution operation in Staten Island. The New York Times quoted him as saying at the time: "This was a sophisticated and lucrative operation with a multi-tiered management structure. It was, however, nothing more than a prostitution ring."

Given that history, I can't help but ask that famous question that Jay Leno asked the actor Hugh Grant after he was busted for being with a prostitute: "What were you thinking?"

- CNN Anchor Wolf Blitzer

Filed under: Wolf Blitzer
March 11th, 2008
03:37 PM ET
13 years ago

Obama camp calls for Clinton to drop Ferraro

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption=" Ferraro is a supporter of Hillary Clinton."](CNN) - Barack Obama’s chief strategist said Tuesday that a comment by one of Hillary Clinton’s top fundraisers that Barack Obama would not be a major presidential contender if he were not black – coupled with Clinton’s “own inexplicable unwillingness" to deny that he was a Muslim during a recent interview – indicated “an insidious pattern that needs to be addressed."

David Axelrod called on the New York senator to drop former New York Rep. Geraldine Ferraro from her finance committee. "When you wink and nod at offensive statements you're really sending a signal to your supporters that anything goes," said Axelrod.

Ferraro, the Democratic Party’s vice presidential nominee in 1984, told the (Torrance, California) Daily Breeze that "If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position. And if he was a woman he would not be in this position. He happens to be very lucky to be who he is. And the country is caught up in the concept."

Ferraro said the New York senator had suffered because the press "has been uniquely hard on her. It's been a very sexist media. Some just don't like her. The others have gotten caught up in the Obama campaign."

"I was reading an article that said young Republicans are out there campaigning for Obama because they believe he's going to be able to put an end to partisanship,” she added. “Dear God! Anyone that has worked in the Congress knows that for over 200 years this country has had partisanship – that's the way our country is."

Full story

(Update at 2:15 with Obama campaign comments, context)

- CNN Associate Political Editor Rebecca Sinderbrand

March 11th, 2008
03:36 PM ET
9 years ago

Koch: Spitzer has 'a screw loose'


Watch Koch's interview on The Situation Room.

(CNN) – As the political world comes to grips with revelations of New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer's involvement in a high-priced prostitution ring, former New York City Mayor Ed Koch told CNN's Wolf Blitzer that he thought Spitzer's behavior was "irrational."

"I think there's a screw loose," says Koch. "I believe that his behavior, beginning with his becoming governor, has been irrational. And, what he did is to indicate that he doesn't play by the regular rules, that regular rules don't apply," Koch adds.

Koch also shares his thoughts on Spitzer's political future and whether he thinks Spitzer was targeted by political enemies in New York.

–CNN Associate Producer Martina Stewart

Filed under: Eliot Spitzer • The Situation Room
March 11th, 2008
02:14 PM ET
13 years ago

Cafferty: Infighting a worry for Democrats?

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption=]

The race between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama now looks like it could stretch on for months and is becoming increasingly bitter.

The Wall Street Journal reports groups that for months have energized the Democratic campaign – like blacks, women and young voters – are "increasingly sniping" at each other. They point out that more Republicans now say they're satisfied with John McCain than Democrats are with either Clinton or Obama. This is a big change from January, when many more Democrats were satisfied with their choices.

Some Democratic activists insist that this is normal, and after the convention, "we will all come together." But not everyone is convinced. Strategist Donna Brazile says, "I am fearful; we are heading into uncharted territory", adding that the mood and tone of the campaign have shifted in the past few weeks.

To read more and contribute to the Cafferty File discussion click here

Filed under: Cafferty File
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