September 28th, 2008
07:00 PM ET
14 years ago

Clinton hesitant to call Obama a 'great man'


[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Bill Clinton said he wasn't ready to call Obama a 'great man'."]
(CNN)– Former President Bill Clinton was hesitant to characterize Barack Obama as a "great man" Sunday, a phrase he had no qualms using last week to describe Obama's rival John McCain.

Clinton told NBC's Tom Brokaw that it was only earlier this month in Harlem that he and Obama had their "first conversation." He said he had spoken with Obama before, but only in passing.

Clinton then explained what he meant in characterizing McCain as a "great man."

"I think his greatness is that he keeps trying to come back to service without ever asking people to cut him any slack or feel sorry for him or any of that stuff because he was a POW," Clinton said of the Republican presidential nominee.

Clinton, who successfully ran his own 1992 presidential campaign on the now commonly used phrase "it's the economy, stupid," said that he believed the current economic crisis "left [Obama] in a position of leadership that he's now in."

Clinton said he thought Obama "saw and imagined" how the economic situation could develop.

"And I think that the rest of us should admire that. That's a big part of leadership, being able to sense, as well as see the future," he said.

Clinton said he and Obama are developing a "really good relationship," and the Democratic nominee has the potential for greatness. Explaining, he said Obama has many personal accomplishments, but none that exemplify his greatness to the country.

"When he becomes president, he'll be doing things for the American people and for the world and he is-and the greatness will then become apparent because of the good he'll do...That's what I very much believe is going to happen."

Some have questioned Bill Clinton's support for Obama following the protracted primary battle between the Illinois senator and Hillary Clinton. The former president praised Obama during his speech at the Democratic National Convention and declared Obama "ready to be president of the United States," as both sides tried to bring an end to the "Clinton-Obama rift" storyline.

Clinton himself was among the most outspoken critics of Obama's readiness during the primary season.

The reason it has taken him so long to hit the trail for Obama was the need for him to return to work on his foundation after the long primary season, Clinton explained Sunday.

He is expected to campaign for Obama in Florida, Ohio, northeast Pennsylvania, and Nevada after the Jewish holidays.

"I'm going to do my very best to do every single thing he asks me to do," Clinton said.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Extra • John McCain
September 28th, 2008
06:45 PM ET
14 years ago

Obama-Biden camp hypes Palin’s debating skills

[cnn-photo-caption image= "Joe Biden will face off with Sarah Palin in Thursday night’s vice presidential debate."]

WILMINGTON, Delaware (CNN) –
As Joe Biden settles into debate prep mode this week ahead of Thursday night’s debate, campaign aides are actively playing up Sarah Palin’s debating skills. Biden’s spokesman called Palin “a leviathan of forensics,” a classic example of the campaign tactic of raising the expectations of an opponent and lowering your own.

“She's very skilled and she'll be well-prepared,” said Barack Obama’s chief strategist David Axelrod Sunday night, flying with Biden back to Delaware to help him get ready.

“As you saw at the convention she can be very good. So, I think it would be foolish to assume that this isn’t going to be a really challenging debate. We're preparing for that, on that assumption.”

Taking it one step farther, Biden spokesman David Wade later added, “he's going in here to debate a leviathan of forensics, who has debated five times and she's undefeated.”

Biden has a difficult task on his hands – not coming across as condescending with his decades of experience and not adopting a tone that could appear as though he’s treating Palin differently because she’s a woman.

“I think Governor Palin is a skilled politician,” said Axelrod. “She got elected in a very tough political arena against tough opponents and we're going to treat her with the respect that she deserves. And I think that she would expect that, I think voters should expect that.”

Axelrod argued that at the end of the day, the choice voters make is between the candidates at the top of the ticket and not the vice presidential candidates. However, he said VP nominees have a harder time preparing because they need to not only defend their own positions but those of their running mate, as well as knowing where both candidates on the opposing ticket stand.


Filed under: Extra • Joe Biden • Sarah Palin
September 28th, 2008
06:15 PM ET
14 years ago

Palin in 'debate camp' until Thursday

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Gov. Sarah Palin will prepare for Thursday's debate from Arizona."]
(CNN)– Gov. Sarah Palin will now spend two and a half days near Sedona, Arizona, to prepare for Thursday's debate, instead of prepping in St Louis, as originally planned.

Sarah Palin will be at John McCain's rustic creek side home outside Sedona for what a top aide calls "debate camp."

The aide, who's part of the team prepping Palin, tells CNN they decided to take her to debate camp there because it is an "invigorating and enjoyable place to prepare for Thursday."

"SP [Sarah Palin] loves it and has her kids and Todd coming," wrote the aide in an email.

The aide said "John McCain himself came up with the idea after thinking it would be great before his next debate.

Pailin has already been hunkered down for four days in a Philadelphia hotel for debate prep with advisers.

She will take a short break Monday to attend a rally with McCain in Ohio, before heading to Arizona.

Filed under: Sarah Palin
September 28th, 2008
06:00 PM ET
12 years ago

McCain retracts Palin's Pakistan comments


Watch: Palin answers questions during a cheesesteak run Saturday.

WASHINGTON (CNN)— Sen. John McCain retracted Sarah Palin's stance on Pakistan Sunday morning, after the Alaska governor appeared to back Sen. Barack Obama's support for unilateral strikes inside Pakistan against terrorists

"She would not...she understands and has stated repeatedly that we're not going to do anything except in America's national security interest," McCain told ABC's George Stephanopoulos of Palin. "In all due respect, people going around and... sticking a microphone while conversations are being held, and then all of a sudden that's—that's a person's position... This is a free country, but I don't think most Americans think that that's a definitve policy statement made by Governor Palin."

Saturday night, while on a stop for cheesesteaks in South Philadelphia, Palin was questioned by a Temple graduate student about whether the U.S. should cross the border from Afghanistan into Pakistan.

"If that's what we have to do stop the terrorists from coming any further in, absolutely, we should," Palin said.

During Friday night's presidential debate in Mississippi, Obama took a similar stance and condemned the Bush administration for failing to act on the possibility terrorists are in Pakistan.

"Nobody talked about attacking Pakistan," Obama said after McCain accused the Illinois senator of wanting to announce an invasion. "If the United States has al Qaeda, bin Laden, top-level lieutenants in our sights, and Pakistan is unable or unwilling to act, then we should take them out."

McCain emphasized Sunday, Palin "shares" his view on the matter.

September 28th, 2008
05:55 PM ET
14 years ago

$700 billion rescue bill released

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="A rescue bill was released Sunday evening."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - A draft bill to create a $700 billion bailout of the financial industry was released by members of Congress on Sunday.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California said she hopes the bill will be up for a vote Monday.

"We will have to have bipartisanship to pass it," she said.

Filed under: Congress
September 28th, 2008
05:26 PM ET
14 years ago

Fact Check: Is McCain proposing $300 billion in tax cuts?

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Obama said McCain is proposing $300 billion in tax cuts, but is he?."]
The Statement:

At their first presidential debate Friday, September 26, in Oxford, Mississippi, Sen. Barack Obama said Sen. John McCain is proposing "$300 billion in tax cuts to some of the wealthiest corporations and individuals in the country."

Get the facts!


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Fact Check • John McCain
September 28th, 2008
03:15 PM ET
14 years ago

Rescue bill revealed

NEW YORK ( - The federal government would provide as much as $700 billion in a far-reaching plan to rescue the nation's troubled financial system, according to a draft of the proposed bill obtained by CNN.

The legislation is still being negotiated and elements of the bill could still change.

The core of the bill is based on Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson's request for authority to purchase troubled assets from financial institutions so banks can resume lending and so the credit markets, now virtually frozen, can begin to operate more normally.

Full story

Filed under: Congress
September 28th, 2008
03:00 PM ET
14 years ago

Obama slams McCain on middle class

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Sen. Barack Obama tried to paint McCain as out-of-touch with the middle class Sunday."]
(CNN) - Sen. Barack Obama on Sunday tried to paint Sen. John McCain as a candidate who is out of touch with the middle class.

peaking about Friday's presidential debate, Obama accused McCain of not addressing working families.

"We talked about the economy for 40 minutes, and not once did Sen. McCain talk about the struggles that middle class families are facing every day," Obama said at a campaign event in Detroit, Michigan.

The economy took the lead in Friday night's presidential debate, as both candidates highlighted their plans to bring the United States out of what some are describing as the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.

McCain on Sunday brushed off Obama's latest line of attack, saying he has "bigger things to worry about."

"Who does he think I was talking about when I said 'people on Main Street'? Who did he think I was talking about, about the necessity of helping the American taxpayers and income - and Americans who are out there working and trying to keep their jobs?" he said on ABC's "This Week."

"I've got bigger things to worry about than that."

Full story

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
September 28th, 2008
01:10 PM ET
14 years ago

How helpful were McCain and Obama in bailout negotiations?

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Congress and lawmakers have been working around the clock to reach a deal for the financial rescue plan."]
WASHINGTON (CNN)—Now that Congress and lawmakers have reached a tentative agreement on the financial rescue plan, some Senators are beginning to weigh in on how helpful or unhelpful it was to have their collegues John McCain and Barack Obama back in Washington D.C.

"I actually think Senator McCain and Senator Obama were one of the catalysts of this effort," Republican Senator Judd Gregg told CNN's Wolf Blitzer. "Having them here in Washington highlighted dramatically for the American people just how dangerous this situation was to folks on main street."

Not everyone is in agreement with Gregg. Also appearing on CNN, Senator Chris Dodd echoed a line from many of his Democratic colleagues, saying their presence had the adverse effect.

"Will all due respect," Dodd said. "That delayed and slowed down this process. I think we would have gotten closer to an agreement," had they not come "parachuting in."

He added, "Respectfully, John McCain did not help. In my view, that was a political stunt."

Senator John McCain, who suspended his presidential campaign last week to focus on the financial crisis, said Sunday he was not looking for credit, that Congress and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson are the ones who deserve all of the credit for the bailout negotiations.

Full story

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Chris Dodd • John McCain
September 28th, 2008
01:02 PM ET
14 years ago

Scenes from the trail: Hockey fans for Obama-Biden


Jill Biden, Michelle Obama and Barack Obama are given Detroit Red Wings jerseys Sunday before a campaign rally.(AP PHOTO)

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Joe Biden
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