June 25th, 2008
02:30 PM ET
14 years ago

Obama launches new website focused on energy policy

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/06/25/art.boenergysite.bo.jpg caption="Sen. Obama launched this new Web site Wednesday."]
(CNN) – Sen. Barack Obama, the Democratic Party’s presumptive nominee, rolled out a new Web site Wednesday that focuses on his energy proposals.

The site, http://www.NewEnergyForAmerica.com, details differences in the energy plans of Obama and Sen. John McCain as the two men continue to debate the best way to meet the country’s energy needs when prices for oil and gasoline are at or near all-time highs.

A 13-minute YouTube clip of Obama’s Tuesday speech on energy in Nevada is also embedded on the site along with a link to another page on the Obama campaign Web site for a group called “Environmentalists for Obama.”

Obama’s plan includes a cap-and-trade program intended to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by the year 2050 and doubling fuel economy standards over the next 18 years.

McCain has proposed suspending the federal gasoline tax over the summer, lifting the federal ban on offshore drilling and allowing states to decide whether to allow oil and gas exploration off their shores, and pushing for building more nuclear energy plants.

Obama called McCain’s energy proposals “gimmicks” in his speech Tuesday and the McCain camp countered by dubbing Obama “Dr. No” on the issue of energy security because of Obama’s opposition to McCain’s plans on offshore drilling, encouraging energy innovation with a $300 million prize, providing a federal gas tax holiday, and relying more on nuclear power.


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
June 25th, 2008
11:49 AM ET
14 years ago

Obama says Dobson 'making stuff up'


[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/06/25/art.obamadobson.gi.jpg caption="Obama says Dobson is "making stuff up.""](CNN)— Sen. Barack Obama said Tuesday night evangelical leader James Dobson was “making stuff up,” when he accused the Illinois senator of distorting the Bible and taking a "fruitcake interpretation" of the U.S. Constitution.

“Any notion that I was distorting the Bible in that speech, I think anyone would be hard pressed to make that argument,” Obama told reporters on board his press plane Tuesday night.

Obama's past comments came front and center Tuesday when Dobson criticized the presumptive Democratic nominee’s June 2006 speech on his Focus on the Family radio show.

Watch: Schneider reports on Obama v. Dobson

In the speech, Obama suggested that it would be impractical to govern based solely on the word of the Bible, noting that some passages suggest slavery is permissible and eating shellfish is disgraceful.

Earlier: Evangelist accuses Obama of 'distorting' Bible

"Which passages of scripture should guide our public policy?" Obama asked in the speech. "Should we go with Leviticus, which suggests slavery is OK and that eating shellfish is an abomination? Or we could go with Deuteronomy, which suggests stoning your child if he strays from the faith? Or should we just stick to the Sermon on the Mount - a passage that is so radical that it's doubtful that our own Defense Department would survive its application?"

Obama responded Tuesday saying the speech underscored the notion he is a man of faith and highlighted the importance that people like him who find faith important “try to translate our concerns in a universal language so that we can have open and vigorous debate.”

Responding to the comments, Tom Minnery, senior vice president of Focus Action, said "There is no need to 'make stuff up' as it relates to Sen. Obama's interpretation of Scripture and the role of religion in the public square."

"His statements and record make clear his questionable perception of both. To argue that the Sermon on the Mount invalidates the Defense Department - as if Jesus Himself didn't have anything to say about the existence of good and evil and the need to combat evil - is about as deep as anyone needs to go to understand where the senator is coming from," Minnery also said. "He is editing God's word to fit his liberal worldview, and the more exposure his views on these matters get, the more obvious this will become to American Christians."

June 25th, 2008
11:03 AM ET
14 years ago

Republican congressman loses primary challenge

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/06/25/art.chaff.gi.jpg caption="Jason Chaffetz defeated Republican Rep. Chris Cannon Tuesday night ."]
(CNN) - Utah Rep. Chris Cannon, consistently ranked among Congress' most conservative Republicans, was defeated Tuesday by a primary challenger who repeatedly argued Cannon was not conservative enough.

Jason Chaffetz, a first-time candidate and former chief of staff to Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, defeated Cannon by 20 percentage points, 60 percent to 40 percent, with nearly all the precincts reporting.

Chaffetz pledged to be more conservative on illegal immigration policies. Cannon has said he supports a program where undocumented immigrants, who lack a criminal record, could pay a fine to obtain a temporary workers permit. Chaffetz instead advocates a plan to begin gradually deporting all illegal immigrants from the United States. He also supports ending automatic citizenship for children born to illegal immigrants living in the United States.

"We have a mandate to change the way business is done in Washington," Chaffetz told CNN. "We are thrilled. I was outspent by $600,000, I have no paid staff, and no name identification. I said we need to get back to conservative principles and it obviously resonated."

Chaffetz is now essentially guaranteed to win in November. The district, which includes a some of Salt Lake City's suburbs, is overwhelmingly Republican. President Bush won 77 percent of the vote in 2004.

Voter turnout for the primary was extremely low, an ominous sign for the party, Chaffetz said.

"This ought to be a wakeup call the establishment that things are not well. We need to remind people why they are Republicans because they have forgotten, and are not inspired by anybody. "

Cannon is the third member of Congress this year to lose to in a primary this year. In February, Maryland Democratic Rep. Al Wynn and Maryland GOP Rep. Wayne Gilchrest were both defeated in February.

Filed under: Congress
June 25th, 2008
09:16 AM ET
14 years ago

Obama: I am going to need Clintons


[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/06/24/art.obamaneed.gi.jpg caption="Obama praised Bill Clinton in an interview with CNN."](CNN) – The same day that Bill Clinton’s office issued a statement saying that the former president is “committed to doing whatever he can” for Barack Obama, the Illinois senator told CNN that he and the Clintons will be “working closely together over the next couple of weeks to put together a plan.”

“They’re going to want to campaign actively on behalf of the Democratic ticket,” said Obama, “I am going to need them.”

“Bill Clinton is one of the most intelligent, charismatic political leaders that we have seen in a generation and he has got a lot of wisdom to impart,” he added.

Watch: Obama discuss the Clintons

Obama didn’t answer whether he’d spoken to the former president, but he did talk with Hillary Clinton on Sunday ahead of their joint campaign appearance on Friday in New Hampshire.

“[Senator Clinton’s] going to be a force to be reckoned with not only in the Senate but hopefully if I'm successful in the White House she's going to be one of my key partners in making sure that we’re moving forward on issues like healthcare that she cares so deeply about.”

Watch: Clinton looking for help with her debt

UPDATE: Asked again if he will speak to Bill Clinton soon, Obama told reporters on his campaign plane, “I’m sure we will. He's in Europe right now which is the only reason we haven’t spoken. But we’re looking forward to setting up a long conversation."

Obama added that he spoke to Hillary Clinton on Tuesday and said they’re looking forward to campaigning together on Friday.

June 25th, 2008
08:45 AM ET
14 years ago

Obama asks contributors to help Clinton with debt

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/POLITICS/06/24/obama.clinton.debt/art.obama.ap.jpg caption="Sen. Obama asked his contributors to help bring Clinton out of Debt Tuesday."]
(CNN) - Sen. Barack Obama has asked top contributors to help his former rival for the Democratic presidential nomination, Sen. Hillary Clinton, retire her debt, an Obama campaign source said Tuesday.

Obama did not direct members of his National Finance Committee to contribute to Clinton's campaign, the source said, but asked them to do so if they were so inclined.

Clinton suspended her campaign and endorsed Obama for the Democratic presidential nomination this month.

She has amassed a campaign debt of about $22 million, but about $12 million of that is money the New York senator loaned to the campaign herself.

Individual donors can contribute $2,300 to individual candidates.

Clinton and Obama have scheduled a joint campaign appearance Friday in Unity, New Hampshire.

Obama said Tuesday that he had spoken with Clinton by phone earlier in the day as well as on Sunday.

"We had a good conversation," he said. "We're looking forward to seeing each other tomorrow and campaigning on Friday."

June 25th, 2008
08:00 AM ET
14 years ago

Quiz Feingold

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/06/25/art.feingold.gi.jpg caption="Your chance to quiz Feingold."]

Today, Wolf Blitzer will interview Sen. Russ Feingold and now you can be part of the interview!

Feingold, a democrat, has been outspoken in his criticism of presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama. Last week he said Obama’s choice to opt out of public financing was a bad decision. Now Obama is supporting a domestic spying bill that many democrats, including Feingold, oppose. What do you think? Submit your video questions now!

Here's your chance to join the political discussion. We want to hear about the political topics and hot-button issues that are most important to you.

Send us your questions on video, and be sure to keep them clear and concise. Your videos could be used on air - and your views a part of the best political team on TV.

Click here to submit your question for Russ Feingold

Filed under: I Report
June 25th, 2008
07:05 AM ET
14 years ago

Poll shows Obama with a double-digit lead

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/06/24/art.obamapoll.ap.jpg caption="Obama is up big in a new poll."]
(CNN) - With just over four months to go until voters weigh in at the polls, a new survey suggests Sen. Barack Obama is holding a double-digit lead over Sen. John McCain among registered voters.

According to a new Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll, Obama holds a 12 point lead over McCain in a head-to-head match up, 49 percent to 37 percent. But when third party candidates Ralph Nader and Bob Barr are added to the list, Obama's lead over McCain extends to 15 points, 48 percent to 33 percent.

The survey is the second in a matter of days to indicate McCain may face a sizable deficit as the general election campaign kicks off. A Newsweek poll released four days ago showed the Illinois senator with a 15 point lead.

Watch: Obama leads McCain in critical swing states

According to a CNN analysis of five recent national surveys, Obama holds an 8 point lead over his presidential rival.

CNN Polling Director Keating Holland notes a substantial lead in June does not always lead to a decisive victory the following November.

“Historically speaking, when June polls show a tight race, the race usually remains tight all the way through November. But when June polls have shown a big lead for one candidate, that lead has often melted," Holland said.

"Bill Clinton was leading Bob Dole by up to 19 points in June, 1996; Clinton won by eight. Michael Dukakis had a 14-point lead over George Bush the elder in June, 1988; Bush won by seven. Jimmy Carter was up nearly 20 points in June, 1976 but in November eked out a two-point win. And Richard Nixon managed an even smaller victory in 1968 even though he had a 16-point margin that June," Holland noted.


June 25th, 2008
06:21 AM ET
14 years ago

POLITICAL HOT TOPICS: Wednesday, June 25, 2008


Compiled by Mary Grace Lucas
CNN Washington Bureau

CNN: Obama asks contributors to help Clinton with debt
Sen. Barack Obama has asked top contributors to help his former rival for the Democratic presidential nomination, Sen. Hillary Clinton, retire her debt, an Obama campaign source said Tuesday.

Washington Post: McCain Adviser May Have Struck a Nerve
Sen. Barack Obama and his surrogates continued to criticize Charles R. Black Jr., a top adviser to Sen. John McCain, on Tuesday for saying a terrorist attack before the November election would help the presumptive Republican nominee. But behind their protests lay a question that has dogged Democrats since Sept. 11, 2001: Was Black speaking the truth?

NY Times: No. 1 Faux Pas in Washington? Candor, Perhaps
It was the journalist Michael Kinsley who changed Washington’s understanding of gaffes with his observation that they occur not when people lie, but when they say what they really think.

Financial Times: Obama under fire over Iraq troop pledge
US presidents have a history of abandoning campaign promises by pointing out that “the world looks different from here” when they reach the Oval Office. A growing number of Democratic foreign policy wonks are hoping that Barack Obama will do just that with his Iraq election promises if he wins the race for the White House in November.

USA Today: McCain aides seek undecideds, non-partisans for town halls
Instead of picking crowds of committed supporters to fill his town hall meetings, aides to Republican John McCain say they are hiring specialists to find undecided and not overly partisan voters. That's a contrast from the last Republican presidential campaign in which President Bush's aides and the Secret Service screened out opponents and emphasized loyal GOP supporters.

WSJ: The Greenest Show on Earth: Democrats Gear Up for Denver
As the Mile High City gears up to host a Democratic bash for 50,000, organizers are discovering the perils of trying to stage a political spectacle that's also politically correct. Consider the fanny packs.


Filed under: Political Hot Topics
June 25th, 2008
06:02 AM ET
14 years ago

ON THE TRAIL: Wednesday, June 25, 2008


Compiled by Mary Grace Lucas, CNN Washington Bureau

* Sen. John McCain campaigns in Nevada, giving an energy speech in Las Vegas and attending an office opening in Henderson.


* Sen. Barack Obama holds a media availability in Chicago, IL.


Filed under: On the Trail
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