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caption="Sen. John McCain said Barack Obama is an 'impressive fellow in many ways.' "]
(CNN) - Sen. John McCain on Wednesday praised rival Sen. Barack Obama as he spoke at the annual NAACP convention and looked to close a wide divide on race in the polls.
Polls show African-American voters heavily favor Obama - with about 90 percent picking him over McCain.
Republican candidates historically do not win much of the black vote. President Bush received just 11 percent of the black vote when he ran against John Kerry in 2004.
McCain opened his speech by calling attention to Obama's success.
"Don't tell him I said this, but he is an impressive fellow in many ways. He has inspired a great many Americans, some of whom had wrongly believed that a political campaign could hold no purpose or meaning for them," he said in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Watch: McCain says Obama is impressive
"His success should make Americans, all Americans, proud. Of course, I would prefer his success not continue quite as long as he hopes."
McCain's comments were well-received, met by applause and laughs from the crowd.
"Whatever the outcome in November, Sen. Obama has achieved a great thing - for himself and for his country - and I thank him for it."
Watch: McCain highlights his economic differences from Obama
McCain told the crowd that he and Obama have "fundamental differences" when it comes to the economy, and "honest differences" about the growth of government, but stayed away from criticizing his rival before the largely pro-Obama audience.
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[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/05/06/thecapitol.jpg caption="Congressinal job approval dropped to 14 percent."]
(CNN)—Congress’ job approval rating hit a historic low Wednesday, reaching into the mid to low teens according the latest Gallup poll findings
The approval rating dropped 5 percentage points over the past month, from a 19 percent approval in June to 14 percent in July. The new record is 4 percentage points lower than Congress’ previous low of 18 percent last May.
The declining poll numbers can be attributed to sliding support for Democrats: Over the past month, their support has slid from 23 percent approval in June to 11 percent in July.
During that time, the Republican Party’s approval rating has risen, from 15 percent in June to 19 percent in July.
The survey of 1,106 adults, conducted by telephone July 10-13, has a sampling error of plus or minus 3 percent.
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(CNN) - Barack Obama holds a 6-point lead over John McCain in the latest CNN poll of polls.
The new average of the five most recent national surveys of registered voters shows the Illinois senator at 47 percent with McCain standing at 41 percent. About 12 percent say they are undecided.
The margin between the two presidential candidates has remained remarkably consistent since the prolonged Democratic presidential race came to an end in early June. In a CNN poll of polls taken June 3, Obama and McCain were also separated by 6 points.
Election Center: Check out the poll of poll trend
The latest poll of polls includes recent surveys from Gallup, CBS/NY Times, ABC/Washington Post, Quinnipiac, and Newsweek.
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(CNN)— Sen. John McCain’s Iraq policy is front-and-center in a new Moveon.org ad Wednesday taking aim at the Arizona senator’s unwillingness to stake out a timeline for redeployment of troops from Iraq.
“In Chicago, in Saint Louis and Seattle, the American people are demanding a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq,” the ad says. “In Baghdad and Basra and Tikrit, the Iraqi people……and now the Iraqi Prime minister are also demanding a timetable. But John McCain doesn't want a timetable.”
John McCain, who supported President Bush’s veto of the war spending bill that would have withdrawn most U.S. troops by March 2008 and was an early proponent of sending additional American troops to Iraq, has consistently warned against withdrawing troops from the war torn country unless condition on the ground warrant it.
For the first time last week, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki joined the growing number of American citizens and U.S. leadership in calling for a timetable for U.S. military withdrawal from the country.
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/16/art.mccain.7.16.jpg caption="McCain will push for more educational opportunities Wednesday."]
(CNN) - John McCain is expected to tell the NAACP today that he wants to help students in failing schools by giving them more educational opportunities.
According to excerpts of McCain’s speech this morning in Cincinnati to the NAACP annual national convention, McCain will say it’s time for a new approach to help fix America’s schools.
Related: McCain looks to make gains among black voters
“Nowhere are the limitations of conventional thinking any more apparent than in education policy. Education reform has long been a priority of the NAACP, and for good reason. For all the best efforts of teachers and administrators, the worst problems of our public school system are often found in black communities. Black and Latino students are among the most likely to drop out of high school. African Americans are also among the least likely to go on to college,” McCain says in the excerpts.
“After decades of hearing the same big promises from the public education establishment, and seeing the same poor results, it is surely time to shake off old ways and to demand new reforms. That isn't just my opinion; it is the conviction of parents in poor neighborhoods across this nation who want better lives for their children,” adds the Republican’s presumptive presidential nominee.
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/15/art.mccainnm.ap.jpg caption="McCain again referred to the nation of Czechoslovakia, which no longer exists."] (CNN) - For the second time in two days, John McCain has referred to current events in “Czechoslovakia” – a country that officially ceased to exist in January of 1993.
“And I regret some of the recent behavior Russia that has exhibited, and I’ll be glad to talk about that later on including reduction in oil supplies to Czechoslovakia after they agreed with us on a missile defense system, etcetera,” said the presumptive Republican nominee at a New Mexico town hall Tuesday.
More than fifteen years ago, Czechoslovakia officially split into two nations – the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
On Monday, the Arizona senator made virtually the same statement about recent Russian moves that troubled him, citing that country’s attempt to reduce “the energy supplies to Czechoslovakia.”
Later that evening, McCain’s campaign sent reporters a statement on the issue, which quoted the Arizona senator calling the nation “the Czech Republic” twice.
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/08/art.romney.cnn.jpg caption="Do you have a question for Mitt Romney?"]
(CNN)–Now you can be in "The Situation Room!” Former Governor and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney will be our guest Wednesday. He’s now a top supporter of Sen. John McCain and is often mentioned as a vice presidential candidate. What do you think? Submit your video questions to Mitt Romney on the economy and we'll have him answer some.
Click here to 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.
Compiled by Mary Grace Lucas
CNN Washington Bureau
CNN: Obama: I'd consult on Iraq, but war needs to end
Sen. Barack Obama said that if he's elected president in November, he will seek input from military commanders on the Iraq war and the fighting in Afghanistan. "But ultimately, the buck stops with me," he told CNN's "Larry King Live" in a wide-ranging interview Tuesday.
Washington Post: Candidates Find Some Accord on Afghanistan
Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain shifted their foreign policy focus yesterday from the future of U.S. military involvement in Iraq to the deteriorating war in Afghanistan, with both White House hopefuls pledging thousands of additional troops and a large-scale infusion of aid for the Afghan conflict.
Washington Post: Obama Leads by 8 Points In Poll; Economy Remains The Top Concern
Sen. Barack Obama holds his biggest advantage of the presidential campaign as the candidate best prepared to fix the nation's ailing economy, but lingering concerns about his readiness to handle international crises are keeping the race competitive, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.
NY Times: McCain Names More Top Fund-Raisers, Including Lobbyists
Senator John McCain released an updated list of his top money collectors on Tuesday, revealing that nearly a fifth of those who have brought in the largest amounts for him, more than $500,000 each, are lobbyists or work for firms that engage in lobbying.
NY Times: They Get It
The furor over this week’s New Yorker cover — the satirical cartoon of Barack and Michelle Obama in Muslim and black-militant poses — boils down to this: We get it, but what will those folks in fly-over country think? The answer is that they get it as well. Irony, it turns out, does cross the Hudson River.
Compiled by Mary Grace Lucas, CNN Washington Bureau
* Sen. John McCain addresses the NAACP’s 99th Annual Convention in Cincinnati, OH.
* Sen. Barack Obama Obama holds a summit on confronting 21st century threats at Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN.