[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/04/17/art.plouffeemail.cnn.jpg caption="The Obama campaign is looking to score donations over Wednesday’s tough debate."]
(CNN) - Barack Obama’s campaign is fundraising over the tough questions aimed at the Illinois senator during Wednesday night’s debate.
“Did you see the debate last night?” writes campaign manager David Plouffe in an e-mail sent to supporters Thursday. He writes that the forum featured more “gotcha politics and distractions” than discussion of the issues.
Plouffe added that Clinton seemed “all too comfortable with that type of debate” and was running a “100% negative campaign in Pennsylvania, taking every opportunity to make personal and discredited attacks against Senator Obama. You can send a message that politics doesn't have to be played this way.”
He said that the campaign is looking to reach the 1.5 million donor mark by May 6, the day of the Indiana and North Carolina primaries.
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/images/01/16/art.blitzeriowa.cnn.jpg caption="CNN Anchor Wolf Blitzer."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - The historic visit to Washington by Pope Benedict XVI has been very exciting, for Catholics and non-Catholics alike. I must say the sounds and sights have been amazing. The arrival ceremony at Andrews Air Force Base outside Washington followed by the very warm welcome on the South Lawn of the White House and the Mass at the new Washington Nationals baseball stadium were seen by millions in the United States and around the world, who will continue to watch over the next few days.
I will be anchoring our Situation Room coverage today from the campus of The Catholic University of America here in Washington. The Pope will be coming over to speak to leaders of America’s Catholic universities. He will also have a separate meeting with leaders from other religions. We, of course, will have extensive live coverage on CNN.
It will also be a very special moment for me, and here’s why:
At one point during our coverage today, I will disappear, and our chief national correspondent, John King, will take over. That’s because the president of Catholic University, Father David O’Connell, has invited a small group, including me, to meet with the Pope on campus. Though I am not a Catholic, I have had a special relationship with the university over the years. Two years ago, I gave the commencement address there and received an honorary degree. Needless to say, this will be a very exciting moment for me, and I will report on the meeting during our coverage today. As we say in our business: Stay tuned.
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/04/17/art.gordonbrown.jpg caption="British Prime Minister Gordon Brown arrives at Andrews Air Force Base Wednesday."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - The three White House hopefuls each sat down for a one-on-one meeting with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown on Thursday.
Brown, who is on his second trip to the United States since replacing Tony Blair last June, held private 45-minute sessions with each of the candidates at the British Embassy in Washington.
Sen. Hillary Clinton and the British leader discussed a wide range of issues, including the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and global warming, according to Senate aides.
Sen. Barack Obama, the only candidate meeting with Brown for the first time, had planned to discuss the United States' relationship with the United Kingdom as well as his plans to reenergize the Trans-Atlantic alliance, according to his campaign.
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/04/17/art.rnc.duncan.jpg caption="The Republican National Committee says it raised $36 million in first quarter."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Republican National Committee plans to report more than $31 million cash-on-hand, with no debt, through the end of last month in its next Federal Election Commission filing on April 20, RNC Chairman Mike Duncan announced Thursday.
The RNC says it has raised more than $36 million during the first three months of this year.
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/03/26/art.cand.gi.jpg caption="Sens. Obama and Clinton lead McCain in swing states according to a new poll."]
(CNN)—In potential fall match-ups, Democratic presidential candidates Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are leading presumptive Republican nominee John McCain in states that were decisive in the 2004 election according to a new survey.
The latest Gallup Poll conducted during the first 15 days in April, consisting of more than 13,000 registered voters shows Obama and Clinton ahead by 4 points in so called “purple” or swing states with 47 percent to McCain’s 43 percent, with a margin of error of plus or minus 1 point.
In “blue” states where John Kerry won by more than 6 percentage points in 2004, Obama has a comfortable double-digit lead, while McCain leads by a slightly smaller margin in the “red” states where George Bush prevailed by more than 6 points.
Clinton has the same lead over McCain in purple states, but she does not fare as well as Obama in the “blue” states and also trails McCain by a larger margin than Obama in the traditionally Republican “red” states.
The remaining purple swing states where Bush or Kerry won by 5 points or fewer in 2004 include: New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Florida, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and Oregon.
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/POLITICS/04/16/pa.debate/art.debate.afp.gi.jpg caption="The two Democrats have shared a debate stage nearly two dozen times."]
PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania (CNN) - In their last face-to-face meeting before a crucial primary showdown in Pennsylvania, Democrats Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama went back and forth over recent campaign-trail controversies before staking out differences on taxes and the economy.
In the end, both conceded their opponent is capable of defeating Republican John McCain for the presidency in November while maintaining they would have the best chance of the two.
"Yes. Yes. Yes," Clinton said when pressed to answer whether Obama, the senator from Illinois, could win. Media reports have said Clinton and her campaign have been quietly courting support, chiefly from Democratic superdelegates who could decide a close race at the party's convention, by arguing that Obama is not electable.
"Now, I think I can do a better job - obviously that's why I'm here," said Clinton, who promised she will "do everything I possibly can to make sure that one of us takes the oath of office next January."
Obama said Clinton could win, too. He also said he would support the New York senator and former first lady if she is the Democratic nominee, although both candidates declined to say whether they would consider naming the other as a running mate.
"One thing I'm absolutely certain of is, come August when we're in Denver, the Democratic Party will come together," he said.
The candidates spent nearly half of the debate, hosted by ABC News, tilting over flare-ups that have been fodder for journalists, partisans and pundits for the past few weeks. Much of the fire was leveled at Obama, who once again answered questions about controversial statements by his former pastor and his own comments that some rural Pennsylvanians are "bitter."
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John McCain are all scheduled to meet with British prime minister Gordon Brown Thursday morning. The three will have 45-minute, one-on-one sessions with Brown at the British Embassy in Washington, D.C.
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/04/16/art.reid0416.ap.jpg caption="The Senate, led by Democrat Harry Reid, is expected to vote soon on a request to investigate a Florida earmark."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Senate may seek a federal investigation into a 2005 earmark on a highway funding bill that was mysteriously altered after Congress approved the measure but before President Bush signed it.
The $10 million earmark, originally designated for improvements to Interstate 75 in Lee and Collier Counties in Florida, was changed to direct the money to build an interchange in Lee County, an apparent violation of congressional rules.
"This wasn't an ordinary earmark," Sen. Charles Schumer, D-New York, said, defending the decision by Democratic leaders to invite the Justice Department to probe internal congressional practices. "It was the specific circumstances here that are highly unusual."
The Senate is expected to vote Thursday whether to direct the Justice Department to investigate "allegations of impropriety" and to "ascertain if a violation of Federal criminal law has occurred." No lawmaker has acknowledged making the change.
Compiled by Jonathan Helman
CNN Washington Bureau
Washington Post: Obama Pressed in Pa. Debate
Sen. Barack Obama repeatedly found himself on the defensive here Wednesday night as he sought to bat away criticism of his remarks about small-town values, questions about his patriotism and the incendiary sermons of his former pastor in a potentially pivotal debate six days before Pennsylvania's presidential primary.
Washington Post: McCain Seen as Key to Troop-Benefit Bills
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who is basing his bid for the White House on his credentials as a decorated veteran and leader on defense policy, has become the target of veterans groups pushing hard for more aid and relief for troops returning from conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Bill Clinton Happily Trooping Through Hinterland
Former president Bill Clinton has been New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's biggest weapon in the towns between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, making almost 70 public appearances in spots around what's called the Pennsylvania "T" since early March.
Politico: Some Too 'Obsessed' With What We Say
Wednesday night, in a debate here, Barack Obama complained a number of times about the presidential campaign process and how some people spend way too much time “obsessing” about some of the things that he and others have actually said.
Compiled by Jonathan Helman, CNN Washington Bureau
*Hillary Clinton meets with Gordon Brown in Washington, DC; hosts Conversation With Families Event with her daughter, Chelsea, in Haverford, Pennsylvania; and holds a block party in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
*John McCain has no events scheduled.
*Barack Obama meets with Gordon Brown in Washington, DC; attends a town hall meeting in Raleigh, North Carolina; and attends a rally in Greenville, North Carolina.