October 22nd, 2008
07:01 PM ET
14 years ago

Giuliani gets tough on Obama in new robocall


[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/22/art.giuliani.gi.jpg caption="Giuliani is in a new robocall for McCain."]

(CNN) - Rudy Giuliani is the star of a new robocall from the McCain campaign and the Republican National Committee that seeks to portray Barack Obama as soft on crime.

In the new call, to be blasted to voters in several swing states, the former federal prosecutor and New York City mayor says Obama opposes "mandatory prison sentences for sex offenders, drug dealers, and murderers."

"You need to know that Barack Obama opposes mandatory prison sentences for sex offenders, drug dealers, and murderers," Giuliani says in the call. "It's true, I read Obama's words myself. And recently, congressional liberals introduced a bill to eliminate mandatory prison sentences for violent criminals - trying to give liberal judges the power to decide whether criminals are sent to jail or set free."

"With priorities like these, we just can't trust the inexperience and judgment of Barack Obama and his liberal allies," Giuliani says.

Listen: Giuliani narrates the McCain/RNC's latest robocall

The Obama campaign did not have an immediate comment, but according to its Web site, the Illinois senator does support "reforming mandatory minimum prison sentences."

"Every leading expert body in criminal justice has opposed the use of mandatory minimum sentences, including the Sentencing Commission, the Judicial Conference, the American Bar Association, and leading criminal justice scholars," his Web site ways.

Giuliani's robocall comes a week after the Republican National Committee and the McCain campaign blasted a robocall to swing-state voters highlighting the Democratic presidential candidate's connection to 1960's radical William Ayers.

Those calls have drawn criticism from a handful of vulnerable Senate Republicans wary of turning off independent voters, including Maine's Susan Collins, Minnesota's Norm Coleman and Oregon's Gordon Smith.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Extra • John McCain • Rudy Giuliani
October 22nd, 2008
06:16 PM ET
14 years ago

Obama: 'This looks like the real 'Virginia to me'

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/19/art.polls.ap.jpg caption="Obama brought up comments made by various Republicans about certain places being 'real America'."]
LEESBURG, Virginia (CNN) – In recent days, comments made by various Republicans about certain places being the "real America" or certain people being "pro-America" have started to creep into Barack Obama's stump speech. The lines appear to be resonating with supporters.

"I know some folks may not think so, but this looks like the real Virginia to me. This looks like authentic Virginia and y'all look like a bunch of Virginians," he said at an early evening rally. "I've been traveling across this great state of Virginia. I've met folks everywhere I go I haven't seen a real Virginia and a fake Virginia I've just seen Virginia."

As Obama's motorcade made its way through quaint downtown Leesburg, residents were lining the streets and standing on porches waving a mix of Obama and McCain signs. Hanging from one white Victorian home was a hand painted sign that said "real Virginians for Obama."

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
October 22nd, 2008
04:59 PM ET
14 years ago

RNC to add to FEC complaint on Obama's fundraising

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/22/art.bolookup1022.gi.jpg caption="The Obama campaign recently announced that it has three million individual donors."]
(CNN) – The Republican National Committee announced Wednesday that it plans to submit an addendum to its recent complaint filed with the Federal Election Commission about the fundraising of Sen. Barack Obama’s presidential campaign.

“This is an organization that has raised over $450 million in campaign contributions,” RNC chief counsel Sean Cairncross told reporters Wednesday. “This is money that is used to elect a potential president of the United States and there are some substantial questions where some of it came from and whether some of it was raised in compliance with the law,” Cairncross added.

The addendum will be based on additional press reports of questionable donations to Obama that have come to light since the complaint was filed on October 6, according to Cairncross.

Listen: Cairncross explains updates to RNC's FEC complaint


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • FEC • RNC
October 22nd, 2008
04:00 PM ET
11 years ago

McCain playing defense in states Pres. Bush won

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/22/art.mccain.bush.jpg caption="A new poll suggests John McCain is on defense in states Pres. Bush won."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - New polls suggest that John McCain is on defense in four of five states that President Bush won in the last election.

CNN/Time Magazine/Opinion Research Corp. surveys released Wednesday afternoon indicate that Barack Obama has a small advantage in Ohio, Nevada, North Carolina and a large lead in Virginia, with John McCain ahead in West Virginia.

Electoral Map Calculator: You Call The Race

Democrats last carried North Carolina in a presidential election in 1976, but the poll suggests that Obama, D-Illinois, has a 4-point margin - 51-47 percent - over McCain among likely voters. That is with within the poll's sampling error, but it is an increase over our last survey in North Carolina two weeks ago, when Obama was tied at 49 percent with McCain, R-Arizona. Fifteen electoral votes are at stake in North Carolina.

"The North Carolina poll exhibits the same gender gap and generation gap that national polls typically show," CNN Polling Director Keating Holland said. "McCain has a slight edge among men and voters over 50 years old; Obama has a slightly bigger margin among women and younger voters."

You have to go back to 1964 to find the last time Democrats won Virginia in a presidential contest. But the poll indicates that Obama continues to hold a comfortable lead over McCain in Virginia, 54-44 percent. Obama held a similar 10-point advantage over McCain in our poll from last week.

"Obama's lead in Northern Virginia is growing," Holland noted. "He now beats McCain 2-1 in the Washington suburbs." Virginia has 13 electoral votes.

It all came down to Ohio four years ago, with the state putting Bush over the top in clinching his re-election. And our new poll suggests that it could again all come down to Ohio and its 20 electoral votes. Fifty percent of likely voters in Ohio questioned in the poll back Obama for president, and 46 percent support McCain. Obama's lead is within the poll's sampling error.


Filed under: John McCain • President Bush
October 22nd, 2008
03:30 PM ET
14 years ago

Fact Check: Did Obama only serve 300 days in the Senate before he became a candidate?

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/22/art.obama.capitol.jpg caption="Did obama only spend 300 days in the Senate before becoming a presidential candidate?."]
The Statement:

GOP vice-presidential candidate Gov. Sarah Palin, in an interview on CNN's "Situation Room" on Tuesday, October 21, questioned Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama's experience, saying he "served for his 300 days before he became a presidential candidate."

Get the facts!


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Fact Check • Sarah Palin
October 22nd, 2008
03:20 PM ET
14 years ago

Would Obama play a better James Bond?

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/22/art.ap.james.bond.jpg caption="Daniel Craig poses with the latest Bond girl Olga Kurylenko."]
(CNN) –- Which presidential nominee would play the better James Bond? British actor Daniel Craig seems to think Sen. Barack Obama has what it takes.

In an interview with Parade Magazine, Craig, the latest heart-throb to fill the shoes of James Bond on the silver screen, said “Obama would be better because—if he’s true to his word—he’d be willing to quite literally look the enemy in the eye and go toe-to-toe with them.”

Craig said McCain would be a better M, Bond’s boss, “because of his long service and experience.”

“There is, come to think of it, a kind of Judi Dench quality to McCain,” He added in reference to the famed British actress who has long played Bond’s superior.

But on the subject of the better Bond girl, mum’s the word.

The actor would not answer whether he thought Michelle Obama or Cindy McCain would be best fit for the part.

“That’s much too dangerous a question” Craig said.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
October 22nd, 2008
03:14 PM ET
14 years ago

Palin takes heat for saying VP 'in charge' of the Senate


Watch Palin's comments on KUSA Wednesday.

(CNN) - Sarah Palin is taking heat Wednesday for appearing to overstate the role of vice president, saying in a recent interview that she would be "in charge of the Senate" should John McCain win the White House.

The comments came in an interview with Colorado TV station KUSA in response to a third-grader's question, "What does the Vice President do?”

"[T]hey’re in charge of the U.S. Senate so if they want to they can really get in there with the senators and make a lot of good policy changes that will make life better for Brandon and his family and his classroom," she said.

The comments have drawn criticism from Democrats and liberal blogs which note the actual role of the vice president when it comes to the Senate is simply to cast a tie-breaking vote in the event of a stalemate. According to Article I of the U.S. Constitution, the vice president is the "President" of the Senate, but has no executive position when it comes to presiding over the chamber.

Donald Ritchie, a historian in the Senate Historical Office told CNN that Palin's comment was an "overstatement" of what her role would be.

"The vice president is the ceremonial officer of the Senate and has certain ceremonial functions including swearing in new senators and can vote to break a tie," he said. "It’s a relatively limited role. It's evolved into a neutral presiding officer of the Senate.

Ritchie also noted recent vice presidents have played a behind-the-scenes lobbying role on Capitol Hill for an administration's policies, but called it "somewhat limited."


Filed under: Sarah Palin
October 22nd, 2008
03:12 PM ET
14 years ago

Religious voters moving toward Obama

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/20/art.split.cnn.jpg caption="A new poll suggest religious voters are moving toward Obama."]
(CNN)– With time dwindling before Election Day, so is John McCain’s support among some religious voters, a new poll suggests.

According to the latest Pew Research Center findings, religious voters appear to be gradually gravitating toward Barack Obama as their pick for president.

While McCain still holds an advantage over his rival among white evangelical Protestant voters, his support has dropped among that demographic from 71 percent to 67 percent in one month, while Obama’s support has increased from 21 percent to 24 during the same time period.

Among white mainline Protestant voters, 48 percent to 43 percent favor Obama. In late September, Pew found the two candidates neck and neck among Protestant voters, 44 percent supporting Obama to McCain’s 43 percent.

The survey, conducted October 16 through 19 also found the same trend among white non-Hispanic voters. In late September, McCain was favored 52 percent to 39 percent. Fast forward to the most recent findings, and Obama is now favored 49 to 41 percent.

The latest Pew Research Center poll is based on the opinions of 2,599 registered voters with a sampling error of plus or minus 2.5 percent.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
October 22nd, 2008
03:11 PM ET
14 years ago

Fact Check: Did Obama propose a stimulus plan last year that McCain's staff called 'junk'?

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/22/art.obama.10.22.jpg caption="Sen. Obama said he's supported plans to improve the economy McCain was against."]
The Statement:
Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama, speaking at a campaign event Tuesday, October 21, in Miami, Florida, said he's supported plans to improve the economy that Republican opponent Sen. John McCain was against. "Nine months ago - back in January - I called for a stimulus plan to provide immediate relief for states, along with tax rebates to get money directly to middle class families and a foreclosure-prevention fund to help people keep their homes. Senator McCain, on the other hand, insisted that the fundamentals of the economy were strong. His advisors openly mocked the stimulus plan before Congress - one referred to it, and I quote, as 'borrowing money from the Chinese and dropping it from helicopters.' Another dismissed it as 'junk.' "

Get the facts!


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Fact Check • John McCain
October 22nd, 2008
03:10 PM ET
14 years ago

Obama: It's Joe 'the CEO' McCain cares about

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/22/art.obama.mccan.shake.jpg caption="Obama said Wednesday McCain is 'not fighting for Joe the plumber'."]
RICHMOND, Virginia (CNN) –- Joe the plumber is getting some company on the campaign trail.

“Let’s be clear who Senator McCain is fighting for, he’s not fighting for Joe the plumber. He’s fighting for Joe the hedge fund manager. John McCain likes to talk about Joe the plumber but he’s in cahoots with Joe the CEO. So don’t be fooled, don’t let them hoodwink you,” Obama told thousands at a mid-afternoon rally.

Obama’s now infamous conversation with Ohio plumber Joe Wurzelbacher has become a rallying point for both the Democratic and Republican candidates.

McCain has repeatedly said Obama’s tax plan would punish Joe the plumber because the Democratic nominee wants to change the income distribution to help those making less and thereby hurt entrepreneurs and those trying to get ahead. Obama counters that he wants to give a tax cut to the majority of working Americans and roll back the Bush tax cuts to the rates that existed under President Bill Clinton where the wealthier paid more.

In recent days Obama has taken to highlighting statements McCain made in 2001 in which he said he could not support President Bush’s tax cuts because “so many of the benefits go to the most fortunate among us, at the expense of middle-class Americans who most need tax relief.”


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
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