WASHINGTON (CNN) - Illinois Sen. Barack Obama canceled his town hall in Iowa due to flooding in that state, his campaign announced Tuesday.
Obama was scheduled to speak to voters in Cedar Rapids Wednesday, but the Illinois senator’s campaign decided to cancel the event after a discussion with Iowa Governor Chet Culver's staff, saying they wanted all resources in the state to be focused on flood relief efforts.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - If you had a chance to watch the John McCain and Barack Obama speeches this week laying out their respective economic strategies, you saw two very different approaches to dealing with what the American public sees as the top issue in the campaign. They strongly disagree on everything from tax cuts, health care, free trade, energy and the national debt.
If you had a chance to listen to their most recent pronouncements on national security, you saw two very different approaches when it comes to the war in Iraq and dealing with a potential nuclear threat from Iran. They strongly disagree on a timetable for a troop pullout from Iraq. They also disagree on how best to engage the Iranians diplomatically.
The same goes, by the way, on many other issues, including some of the major social divisions in the country. McCain, for example, opposes abortion rights; Obama supports abortion rights. They similarly disagree on gun rights, and the Constitution’s Second Amendment.
McCain says he would nominate U.S. Supreme Court candidates along the lines of conservatives John Roberts and Samuel Alito. Obama says he likes liberals like Stephen Breyer and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
All of which underlines that this coming general election campaign will enable the American voters to focus in on real issues where the two candidates strongly disagree. We will be learning a whole lot more about their positions in the coming weeks and months – and that is very good for the country. I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait.
Hillary Clinton is out of the race for president, but she's not out of the red. Far from it.
In fact, it's believed Clinton has the largest presidential campaign debt in history. Recent filings show Senator Clinton loaned her campaign $11.4 million of her own money, and she also owes vendors about $9.5 million. That's at least $20 million.
Other wealthier candidates, like Mitt Romney, have loaned themselves more money... but they don't always plan on getting it back. Clinton also has to deal with both the personal loan and the unpaid bills. One campaign finance lawyer tells the New York Times that Clinton's debt is "unprecedented." Other candidates who have lost have owed less than half the amount she owes to businesses.
So what exactly are Clinton's options?
To read more and contribute to the Cafferty File discussion click here
(CNN) - Barack Obama appears to have increased his lead over John McCain in the race for the White House, though the two presidential hopefuls continue to be locked in a close fight, according to a new CNN poll of polls.
According to an average of four recent national polls, Obama holds a four point advantage among registered voters over the Arizona senator, 47 percent to 43 percent. Ten percent said they remain undecided.
Watch what's next for McCain and Obama
A CNN poll of polls taken last week showed the Illinois senator with only a two point advantage over McCain. But three of the four polls were conducted before Hillary Clinton formally dropped out of the race on Saturday, and may not fully reflect the current state of public opinion.
(CNN) - Barack Obama on Tuesday brushed aside the notion that the head of his vice presidential search committee, Jim Johnson, contradicts the campaign's message because he has received favorable loans from Countrywide Financial - one of the companies at the center of the nation's mortgage crisis.
"I am not vetting my VP search committees for their mortgages," Obama said during a press conference in St. Louis, Missouri. "I mean this is a game that can be played - everybody you know who is anybody who is tangentially related to our campaign I think is going to have a whole host of relationships."
The comments come two days after the Wall Street Journal reported that Johnson was the recipient of over $7 million worth of home loans from Countrywide, made available through a program for friends of the company's chief executive officer.
Countrywide has taken a big hit during the current subprime loan crisis. Obama has often taken aim at the practice of issuing subprime loans.
The Republican National Committee immediately seized on that report, saying Johnson's appointment "raises serious questions about Obama’s judgment." Presumptive Republican nominee John McCain also criticized Obama, saying Monday that Johnson’s role "suggests a bit of a contradiction, talking about how his campaign is going to be not associated with people like that."
Obama tapped Johnson, a longtime Washington insider, to head his vice-presidential search late last month. Johnson held the same role for then-Democratic Presidential Candidate John Kerry in 2004. He has long been known for keeping a low profile while holding some of Washington's most powerful posts, including heading up mortgage giant Fannie Mae and the Brookings Institution.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - John McCain continued his push for regular town hall-style debates with rival Barack Obama, raising the challenge again Tuesday as his campaign calls for as many as 10 face-offs this summer.
“As you know it has begun in earnest as you may have heard, Senator Obama and I might well be meeting soon in a series of town hall discussions,” McCain told business leaders gathered in the nation’s capital for the National Small Business Summit.
“Just the two of us, in direct conversation with voters. No need to turn it into a big media-run production with process questions from reporters, a spin room, and all the rest of it. Just to keep things friendly, I also suggested that my opponent and I travel to these town hall meetings together in the same plane. I promise not to try and fly it,” joked the Arizona senator. McCain, a naval aviator during the Vietnam War, was shot down and held captive for years.
“…We need the town hall meeting,” he added. “Let’s stop yelling at each other and let’s stop having sound bites and process questions and those things. The American people want a respectful and civilized discussion.”
(CNN) - The economy is the No. 1 issue on the minds of American voters, and Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama offer vastly different plans to improve it.
McCain on Tuesday told a group of small business owners that his goal as president will be "to get our economy running at full strength again."
The senator from Arizona is attempting to paint Obama as a typical Democrat who wants to raise taxes and regulate government, charging that Obama would institute the largest tax increase in more than 60 years.
(CNN) - John McCain issued a promise Tuesday that may cause a bit of unrest with a broad swath of voters:
He'll veto every single beer?
In a slip of the tongue while railing against excessive earmarks at the National Small Business Summit in Washington, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee inadvertently pledged to veto the popular alcoholic beverage.
"I will use the veto as needed. I will veto every single beer - bill with earmarks," he said, as rumblings from the crowd could be heard. "And every single bill that we have come across my desk I will make them famous. I will veto them, you will know their names."
It's not entirely surprising McCain has beer on the brain: his wife, Cindy, is heiress to her father's Arizona beer distribution company, Hensley and Company, one of the largest distributors in the U.S., for which she now serves as chairman.
(CNN) - Last month, the Republican Party used Barack Obama in campaign ads against Democratic candidates in conservative districts - but one car dealership in solidly-red Texas decided the Illinois senator would be good for business.
“Even ordinary folks like you can buy a Kia! Yes you can!” says the Obama impersonator in a television commercial for Dallas-Ft. Worth area-based Central Kia, which uses a logo that resembles the Obama campaign’s.
“You get responses,” said John Trevino, business manager for the dealership. “Some people are appalled by it, some people like it.” He told CNN the ad had been on the air for several weeks, and that it was the first political-themed spot he recalled during his year with the company.
Missouri GM, Ford and Chrysler dealer Mark Muller recently grabbed headlines for his Obama-inspired promotion that offered customers a $250 handgun, or $250 in free gas, with the purchase of every new or used car.
Muller said the give-away was inspired by Obama’s now-famous remark at a San Francisco fundraiser that small-town Americans often “cling to guns or religion.” He has said that business has grown fourfold since the promotion launched, and that most customers have overwhelmingly opted for the free gun.
(CNN) - Just how small were the differences between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton?
"Infinitesimal," said Barack Obama at a fundraising event in St. Lous Monday.
Using new language to convey how little he differed with the New York senator, Obama joked their matters of disagreement were "infinitesimal tiny, minute, trivial, inconsequential when compared to the differences we've got with the Republican Party and John McCain."