October 5th, 2008
08:00 PM ET
12 years ago

Biden's mother-in-law dies

Jill Biden's mother died Sunday. Sen. Biden has canceled his campaign events planned for Monday and Tuesday.

Jill Biden's mother died Sunday. Sen. Biden has canceled his campaign events planned for Monday and Tuesday.

WILMINGTON, Delaware (CNN) - Joe Biden's spokesman said the Delaware senator would be canceling campaign events Monday and Tuesday in the wake of his mother-in-law's death Sunday.

"Other details will follow, but we appreciate everyone's respect for the family's privacy during this difficult time," wrote Biden spokesman David Wade.

Bonny Jacobs, Jill Biden's mother, had been sick for a long time and was living in a hospice.

Wade announced Saturday that Sunday and Monday's events were canceled after doctors told the family to stay close by. He said the family is now together at home in Wilmington.

The death comes the same day Biden's son Beau deploys with his National Guard unit to a mobilization station in Texas before a tour in Iraq.

Filed under: Joe Biden • Popular Posts
July 29th, 2008
08:47 AM ET
12 years ago

Obama heads to VP vetter’s office building

Obama headed into the office building of VP vetter Monday.

Obama headed into the office building of VP vetter Monday.

(CNN) - In a sign Barack Obama may be moving closer to selecting a running mate, the Democratic presidential candidate was spotted Monday heading into the Washington office building of his top VP vetter, Eric Holder

Following a roundtable with some of his top economic advisors, Obama headed to the downtown Washington law offices of Covington and Burling, where Holder is a partner. He declined to answer any questions on his way in.

CNN Political Market: Who will Obama choose?

Holder, along with Caroline Kennedy, is principally in charge of steering the Illinois senator's search for a No. 2. Longtime Washington insider Jim Johnson had also been leading the search but stepped down last month amid questions over favorable loans from Countrywide Financial.

Caroline Kennedy is also reportedly in Washington Monday for a Democratic National Committee fundraising event.

Obama's campaign wouldn't comment on the meeting, though he's expected to spend nearly two hours there before heading to a fundraiser in Arlington. Obama campaign manager David Plouffe, as well as senior advisers David Axelrod and Robert Gibbs, are also traveling with Obama Monday, though it is unclear if they are attending the meeting.

Speaking with NBC Sunday, Obama wouldn't say how close he is to selecting his running mate, but said it would happen "soon enough."

“I'm going to want somebody with integrity. I'm going to want somebody with independence, who's willing to tell me where he thinks or she thinks I'm wrong, and I'm - I'm going to want somebody who shares a vision of the country where we need to go, that we've got to fundamentally change not only our policies, but how our politics works, how business is done in Washington,” he said.

UPDATE: Obama left Holder's office building shortly before 7 p.m. ET, almost three hours after he went in. He declined to answer any questions on who he met with.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
July 23rd, 2008
07:00 PM ET
12 years ago

McCain broadens definition of surge

McCain campaigned in Pennsylvania Wednesday.'

McCain campaigned in Pennsylvania Wednesday.'

BETHLEHEM, Pennsylvania (CNN) – John McCain defended comments he made in an interview on Tuesday when he incorrectly argued that the surge in Iraq gave way to the so-called “Anbar Awakening” – when Sunni leaders joined forces with U.S. troops to fight Al Qaeda in the fall of 2006.

The Arizona senator told reporters Wednesday afternoon that when he refers to the surge, it encompasses not just the January 2007 increase in troop levels but also the counter-insurgency that started in Iraq’s Al Anbar province months prior.

“A surge is really a counter-insurgency strategy, and it’s made up of a number of components,” McCain said. “This counter-insurgency was initiated to some degree by Colonel McFarland in Anbar province, relatively on his own.”

“General Petraeus said that the surge would not have worked, and the Anbar Awakening would not have taken place, successfully, if they hadn’t had an increase in the number of troops,” McCain added.


Filed under: John McCain
May 29th, 2008
06:19 AM ET
12 years ago

Obama considers trip to Iraq

 McCain took aim at Obama over Iraq Wednesday.

McCain took aim at Obama over Iraq Wednesday.

(CNN) - Barack Obama's campaign said Wednesday that the Illinois senator is considering a trip to Iraq before the November election, CNN's Candy Crowley reports.

Presumptive Republican nominee John McCain had strongly criticized Obama earlier in the day for not visiting Iraq in more than two years, and for turning down the Arizona senator's suggestion that the two should make a joint trip to the country.

“Senator Obama has been to Iraq once - a little over 2 years ago he went and he has never seized the opportunity except in a hearing to meet with Gen Petraeus," McCain said at a campaign event in Reno, Nevada. "My friends this is about leadership and learning."

Again raising the issue of Obama's willingness to meet with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, McCain also said of the Illinois senator, "he wants to sit down with the president of Iran but hasn’t yet sat down with Gen. Petraeus, the leader of our troops in Iraq?"

Responding to McCain, Obama spokesman Bill Burton said, "It seems odd that Senator McCain, who bought the flawed rationale for war so readily, would be lecturing others on their depth of understanding about Iraq."

Obama last visited Iraq in January, 2006 for a two-day tour of the country.


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
May 7th, 2008
10:20 AM ET
10 years ago

Clinton loans herself $6.4 million

, ,
 Clinton has loaned her campaign a total of $11.4 million.

Clinton has loaned her campaign a total of $11.4 million.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Democrat Hillary Clinton has loaned her presidential race $6.4 million over the last month, bringing the total amount of money she has lent herself to $11.4 million.

And she is willing to lend herself more money, top adviser Howard Wolfson told reporters Wednesday, a day after Clinton eked out a narrow victory over Sen. Barack Obama in Indiana's Democratic primary but lost to him by a landslide in North Carolina.

The $11.4 million she has lent her campaign this year is about the same as the amount she earned from book sales and her Senate salary, Wolfson said.

On a conference call with reporters, Wolfson said the loan proves Clinton is committed to staying in the presidential race.

"The loans are a sign of her commitment to continuing the race, her commitment to continuing the process and her commitment to staying competitive with Senator Obama on television and other areas," he said.

"The campaign continues to raise a lot of money, but Senator Obama, to his credit, is also raising a lot of money."

Clinton loaned herself $5 million on April 11, $1 million on May 1 and $425,000 since then, the campaign said Wednesday. The senator from New York loaned her campaign $5 million in February.

Clinton began the month of April with close to $32 million in cash on hand, but only $9 million of that total could be spent during the primary season, according to the most recent campaign reports filed with the Federal Election Commission.

The report also showed that Clinton owed more than $10 million, meaning she was in the red even before she heavily stepped up television advertising ahead of the Pennsylvania primary in late April.

The day after her convincing Pennsylvania win on April 22, the Clinton campaign said it raised $10 million on the Internet. The campaign has not said how much it has raised since her close win in Indiana and her North Carolina loss Tuesday.

(Updates with campaign comments)

Filed under: Hillary Clinton
May 3rd, 2008
01:05 PM ET
12 years ago

Clinton: Put down the Blackberry at home

Sen. Hillary Clinton participates in the MomLogic.com broadcast in North Carolina, Saturday.

Sen. Hillary Clinton participates in the MomLogic.com broadcast in North Carolina, Saturday.

CARY, North Carolina (CNN) - There’s no escaping politics four days before the Indiana and North Carolina primaries. But before a targeted women’s audience in an online town hall Saturday, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton tried to play up her parental side.

Asked about advice on raising teenagers, Clinton told the audience it’s the quality of time with your children that matters.

In the MomLogic.com forum, she said, “be there when you’re there with them. It’s easy to be looking at your Blackberry, to be on the cell phone, to be distracted. Somehow you have to create the space and time.”

Clinton said it’s important that children “really, really know you they have your undivided attention.”

Parenting advice is also a common part of candidate Barack Obama’s stump speech, often telling his audience how to help children in school.

She told the audience in a high school auditorium and online that it's important to pick your battles with children, saying she chose not to fight with Chelsea Clinton when she showed up to President Clinton's second inauguration in a skirt she thought was way too short."

CNN’s Alexander Marquardt, traveling with the Clinton campaign, said she drew laughs talking about raising Chelsea in the White House.

Clinton said that meant “the Secret Service went on her dates. A lot of her girlfriends’ mothers liked when they double-dated, because there was a guy with a gun in the front seat.”

Chelsea returns to North Carolina to campaign Sunday. She was spotted Saturday afternoon at the Kentucky Derby in Louisville.

Filed under: Hillary Clinton
April 28th, 2008
05:30 PM ET
12 years ago

Sources: North Carolina governor to back Clinton

North Carolina Gov. Mike Easley.

North Carolina Gov. Mike Easley.

(CNN) - North Carolina Gov. Mike Easley will endorse Hillary Clinton's White House bid, two sources close to the campaign tell CNN.

The endorsement could give the New York senator a boost in the state with one week to go until its crucial May 6 primary. Recent polling suggests Barack Obama currently holds a double-digit lead over Clinton there, though no polls have been released since Clinton’s win in Pennsylvania last week.

Easley is also a superdelegate - one of the party's nearly 800 insiders who will determine which candidate wins the Democratic nomination. Earlier Monday, the Obama campaign announced it had picked up its own superdelegate endorsement, New Mexico Sen. Jeff Bingaman.

Filed under: Hillary Clinton
April 26th, 2008
05:24 PM ET
12 years ago

Clinton challenges Obama to Lincoln-Douglas style debate


Watch Sen. Clinton explain her proposal to debate Sen. Obama one-on-one without a moderator.

SOUTH BEND, Indiana (CNN) – Standing on the field of South Bend’s minor league baseball team the Silver Hawks, Hillary Clinton challenged Barack Obama to a debate in Indiana before the state's May 6 primary. Clinton has repeatedly asked for a debate before the next contest, but this time there was a twist.

“I’m offering Sen. Obama a chance to debate me one-on-one, no moderators. Just the two of us going for 90 minutes asking and answering questions, we’ll set whatever rules seem fair,” Clinton told supporters.

A letter sent from Clinton’s campaign manager to Obama’s revealed more details about the Lincoln-Douglas style debate – “No questioners, no panelists, no video clips. One candidate would speak for two minutes, then the other, alternating back and forth all the way through the debate. Their discussion – not any pre-set rules – would determine how long they spend on one subject before moving on to another.”

Obama has complained that the widely-panned April 16 debate in Philadelphia wasn’t substantive enough and points to the 21 debates the candidates have already participated in when asked why he doesn't want another.

“We’ve had four debates between Sen. Obama and myself,” Clinton countered, “we’ve had debates other candidates were in, but just four between the two of us.”

Shortly after Clinton’s remarks, Obama’s chief strategist David Axelrod rejected the challenge out of hand, telling CNN, “In the next nine days we're going to devote our attention to the voters and we will see where we are after May 6. It doesn't matter whether it's Lincoln-Douglas, standing, sitting, what language it is in, it does not matter.” (Related video: Watch David Axelrod on Ballot Bowl Saturday.)

Update: The Obama campaign released this statement by Communications Director Robert Gibbs after David Axelrod spoke with CNN.

"We have participated in 21 nationally televised debates, the most in primary history, including four exclusively with Senator Clinton.  Senator Clinton refused an earlier invitation that had been accepted to debate in North Carolina.  Over the next 10 days, we believe it's important to talk directly to the voters of Indiana and North Carolina about fixing our economy, cutting the cost of health care and ending a war in Iraq that never should have been authorized in the first place."


April 26th, 2008
02:40 PM ET
12 years ago

In crucial state, Clinton pushes Midwestern values

Sen. Clinton shakes hands with supporters in Ft. Wayne before speaking Saturday.

Sen. Clinton shakes hands with supporters in Ft. Wayne before speaking Saturday.

FT. WAYNE, Indiana (CNN) – Coming off a big win in Pennsylvania thanks largely to working-class voters, Hillary Clinton tried to convince Indiana supporters on Saturday that she is one of them.

Talking about helping her father (a “small businessman,” she emphasized) in his drapery business when she was growing up in Chicago, Clinton told the crowd, “It was one of the many experiences that really taught me the values that I’ve had my entire life. You know, hard work, self-reliance, individual responsibility. Good Midwestern values that we were raised with and that we believe in.”

“I feel so fortunate to have that kind of background and upbringing and I know that’s what many of you have experienced as well here in Ft. Wayne and across Indiana,” she added.

Jabs at George W. Bush are always easy applause lines at Clinton’s rallies and she used his unpopularity to push her populist message on Saturday.

“ We need a president, especially after the last seven years of George Bush who doesn’t just make speeches about American values but understands them, and lives them and believes them and wants to make sure that they are available for everybody.”

When Barack Obama made his infamous “bitter” comments, Clinton was quick to cast him as an out of touch elitist. Now she is locked in a dead heat with Obama in Indiana polls with just over a week before the state’s May 6 contest that many consider a must-win for the New York senator.

Filed under: Hillary Clinton • Indiana
April 22nd, 2008
02:20 PM ET
12 years ago

Bill Clinton: 'I choose not to play your games today'


Watch former President Clinton respond to a question about his 'race card' remark."

PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania (CNN) - Bill Clinton denied Tuesday he had accused the Obama campaign of ‘playing the race card’ during a Monday interview. A recording of the former president making the comment during that interview has been circulating online.

Outside a Pittsburgh campaign event, a reporter asked Clinton what he had meant “when you said the Obama campaign was playing the race card on you?"

Clinton responded: "When did I say that and to whom did I say that?"

The reporter replied that the former president had made the remarks during his interview with WHYY Monday night.

"No, no, no, that's not what I said,” said Clinton. “You always follow me around and play these little games. And I am not going to play your games today. This is a day about Election Day, go back and see what the question was and what my answer was.


Filed under: Bill Clinton
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