August 15th, 2008
12:22 PM ET
13 years ago

Harry and Louise are back

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Harry and Louise, the couple who agonized over changes to their health insurance in a 1993 political ad, are back in a new 30-second commercial urging lawmakers to make healthcare the number one issue on the domestic agenda.

It is scheduled to air during the Democratic and Republican presidential conventions and will be financed by several different organizations, including Families USA and the National Federation of Independent Business. The commercial will be unveiled Tuesday at a news conference in Washington.

(Here is the original Harry and Louise ad that was financed by the Health Insurance Association of America)

Filed under: Political ads
August 15th, 2008
11:40 AM ET
13 years ago

McCain ad says Obama will cause 'economic disaster'

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="A new McCain ad is sharply critical of Obama's tax policies."](CNN) - John McCain's campaign launched a new ad Thursday that sharply criticizes Barack Obama's tax policies.

The ad, which also continues the campaign’s effort to paint the Illinois senator as a mere celebrity, says Obama's tax policies will lead to an "economic disaster."

"Obama's new taxes could break your family budget," the ad's announcer says. "Higher taxes. Higher gas prices. Economic disaster."

The campaign says the 30-second spot, called Taxman, will air in "key states."

Obama has proposed cutting taxes on middle-income Americans while raising those for families earning over $250,000. Writing in the Wall Street Journal Thursday, Obama economic advisers Jason Furman and Austan Goolsbee defended Obama's proposals.

"Sen. Obama believes a focus on the middle class is appropriate in the wake of the first economic expansion on record where the typical family's income fell by almost $1,000," Furman and Goolsbee wrote.

McCain has proposed extending President Bush's tax cuts, including those of high-income earners.

August 15th, 2008
11:00 AM ET
13 years ago

Pentagon using mail, fax, e-mail for overseas voter registration

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Pentagon is working with states to ensure that troops and their families overseas can have their votes count this election day.

A Pentagon survey after the 2004 election found 73% of military voters overseas cast absentee ballots, said Polli Brunell, Director of the Federal Voting Assistance Program, at a press conference at the Pentagon today.

In 2006, an Election Assistance Commission survey found that less than half, 47.6% of ballots, from overseas military voters were cast or counted.

Brunelli said that feedback from states this year is that interest is higher than previous elections, judging from participation in the primaries.


Filed under: Pentagon
August 15th, 2008
10:00 AM ET
13 years ago

McCain meets with T. Boone Pickens

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Sen. McCain and Sen. Graham met with T. Boone Pickens Friday."]
ASPEN, Colorado (CNN) - John McCain met with billionaire oil man T. Boone Pickens in Aspen Friday morning to discuss Pickens' plan for energy independence. The Texan has been running a national television ad campaign to publicize his ideas for weaning the country off of foreign oil.

Though the meeting itself was closed to reporters, the press chatted with Pickens briefly before McCain arrived for breakfast the Aspen Institute.

“We're going to have a good visit," Pickens said, adding that the last time he met the senator was two years ago at the Reagan Library.

McCain arrived to the meeting with his senior adviser Steve Schidmt, Sen. Lindsey Graham, and Walter Isaacson, who had hosted a discussion with McCain at the Aspen Institute on Thursday.


Filed under: John McCain
August 15th, 2008
09:40 AM ET
13 years ago

McCain camp announces new monthly fundraising record

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="McCain set a new personal fundraising best in July, says his campaign."] (CNN) - John McCain’s campaign said Friday that he raised $27 million in July – his best monthly fundraising haul yet.

The total bests his $21 million total in June, the presumptive Republican nominee's previous best. “This is now the fifth month in a row that we have exceeded the month before in terms of total fundraising,” said campaign manager Rick Davis on a conference call with reporters.

Barack Obama’s campaign has not yet announced its fundraising total for the month of July. The campaign has reported it pulled in roughly $52 million in donations in June.

Listen: McCain campaign manager Rick Davis lays out the details on a conference call with reporters

Filed under: John McCain
August 15th, 2008
09:30 AM ET
13 years ago

Election Express: Back where it all began

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption=" The CNN Election Express is heading across the country."] DES MOINES, Iowa (CNN) - We’re back where it all began. Iowa’s caucuses kicked off the presidential primary season back on January 3. And Barack Obama’s victory in Iowa altered the landscape in the battle for the Democratic presidential nomination.

The CNN Election Express spent about a month in Iowa late last year to cover all the campaign action. Now we’re back - and for good reason. If you thought once the caucuses ended, Iowa was out of the political picture: Think again.

Vice President Al Gore won the state by only 4,000 votes in the 2000 presidential election. President Bush carried the state by only 10,000 votes four years ago. This time around, the fight for Iowa’s seven electoral votes should be another close one. The most recent state polls give Obama a slight lead over presumptive Republican nominee John McCain.

Today we’re at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines. The annual fair is a must for anyone running for the White House, and it’s also a great place to talk to voters about what’s on their minds.


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Election Express • Iowa • John McCain
August 15th, 2008
08:10 AM ET
13 years ago

McCain rises to ABBA's defense

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="McCain's choice of a favored ABBA tune drew analysis from political and musical observers alike."]

ASPEN, Colorado (CNN) - ABBA might be one of the world’s most-ridiculed pop acts, but at long last, John McCain is rising to their defense.

Speaking to Walter Isaacson at the Aspen Institute in Colorado on Thursday, McCain found himself explaining a recent interview with Blender Magazine in which he selected ABBA’s 1976 track “Dancing Queen” as his favorite song.

Watch: McCain defends Abba

“What were you thinking?,” Isaacson asked him, looking incredulous.

“If there is anything I am lacking in, I’ve got to tell you, it is taste in music and art and other great things in life,” McCain joked. “I’ve got to say that a lot of my taste in music stopped about the time I impacted a surface-to-air missile with my own airplane and never caught up again.”

But McCain quickly defended his musical taste, citing the Swedish band’s longevity and crossover success on Broadway.

“Now look, everybody says, ‘I hate ABBA. Oh ABBA, how terrible! Blah blah blah,’” he said. “How come everybody goes to ‘Mamma Mia?’ Huh? I mean really, seriously, huh? ‘I hate ABBA, they’re no good, you know.’ Well, everybody goes. They’ve been selling out for years.”

A few minutes later, following a question about Iraq’s budget surplus, McCain turned back to his discussion of the finer things in life, saying he plans to take an art class “when I have the opportunity.”

“I loved my Naval Academy education and my time at the National War College, but some of the things weren’t there that I would like to see to fill out my education,” he said. “But I make no excuses for my taste in music.”

Filed under: John McCain
August 15th, 2008
06:25 AM ET
13 years ago

POLITICAL HOT TOPICS: Friday, Aug. 15, 2008


AP: Edwards' ally explains $14,000 payment to mistress
John Edwards' political action committee paid his mistress $14,000 after she stopped working for it to obtain 100 hours of unused videotape she had shot for his unsuccessful presidential campaign, an associate told The Associated Press on Thursday.The woman, Rielle Hunter, already had been paid $100,000 for the programs.

CNN: New DNC Web video tries to link McCain to Abramoff scandal
The Democratic National Committee’s is taking on John McCain in a new Web video calling into question his reputation as a campaign finance reformer and a maverick who stands outside the inner circles of political dealings in the nation’s capital.

LA Times: McCain back in Aspen, this time standing tall
The GOP candidate discusses Russia and ABBA at the event. Top advisors attend, fueling veep talk.

Washington Post: McCain's Focus on Georgia Raises Question of Propriety
Standing behind a lectern in Michigan this week, with two trusted senators ready to do his bidding, John McCain seemed to forget for a moment that he was only running for president.

CNN: Gorbachev: Georgia started conflict in S. Ossetia
Georgian leaders may be blaming Russia for the conflict raging in South Ossetia, but former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev said Thursday "there is no doubt" that Georgia provoked the clash.

CNN Radio: That’s one convention with a side of catharsis, please pull around
Senator Hillary Clinton's supporters get more of what they want and Obama hopes it will prevent chaos. Also, Sen. John McCain continues to bang his foreign policy gong courtesy of Russia. Bob Costantini has today's CNN Radio Political Ticker.

NY Times: Lawyers’ Ties Hint at Extent of Hiding Edwards’s Affair
As tabloid reports of a sex scandal threatened former Senator John Edwards’s presidential campaign last December on the eve of the Iowa caucuses, two lawyers surfaced with written statements that appeared to exonerate the candidate.

CNN: Book on Obama blasted for 'vicious innuendo'
There's a new book out about Barack Obama that some say is riddled with pretty much every unsubstantiated rumor you've ever heard about the Illinois senator.


Filed under: Political Hot Topics
August 15th, 2008
06:07 AM ET
13 years ago

ON THE TRAIL: Friday, Aug. 15, 2008


* Sen. John McCain has breakfast with T. Boone Pickens in Aspen, CO.

* Sen. Barack Obama returns to Chicago after a week vacationing in Hawaii.

Filed under: On the Trail
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