Iowa... Where Presidents Begin

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click on each candidate to see today's news stories (caricatures by Linda Eddy)

Monday, July 28, 2008


Obama, McCain talk timetables
in dueling Sunday appearances

NBC's "Meet the Press" moderator Tom Brokaw asked Obama if Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki would have been able to endorse Obama's timetable for withdrawal if the surge hadn't happened.

"We don't know because in my earlier statements … I said there is no doubt that additional U.S. troops could temporarily quell the violence. But unless we saw an underlying change in the politics of the country, unless Sunni, Shia [and] Kurd made different decisions, then we were going to have a civil war, and we could not stop a civil war simply with more troops," Obama said.

On ABC's "This Week" with George Stephanopoulos, McCain, who’s long been opposed to an “artificial timetable”, was pressed to explain why he had spoken positively last week about a 16-month timetable for withdrawal from Iraq — a position that Obama has been advocating for over a year.

"Look, I have always said, and I said then, it's the conditions on the ground. If Sen. Obama had had his way, we'd have been out last March and we'd have been out in defeat and chaos and probably had to come back again because of Iranian influence," McCain said. "The timetable is dictated not by an artificial date but by the conditions on the ground."

McCain also defended his comment that Obama would rather lose a war than a political campaign. "I'm not questioning his patriotism. I'm questioning his actions. I'm questioning his lack — total lack of understanding."

see also:

McCain accuses Obama of pandering on Iraq



Bloomberg told to cool pro-McCain talk

The chairman of the Independence Party of Minnesota tells ABC News on Friday that his party members complained to him after he told the press Thursday that Mike Bloomberg's aides had signaled that the New York mayor was planning to use a Friday speech in Minneapolis to praise Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.

"They didn't feel at this point that we were ready to support either candidate," said party chair Craig Swaggert.

Swaggert took the concerns of his party members to Bloomberg's staff, urging the New York mayor to balance his remarks.


Ron Paul Rally tickets go fast...

Supporters of failed presidential candidate Ron Paul snapped up more than 6,000 tickets to a two-day alternative to the National Republican Convention.

The tickets to the Rally for the Republic went on sale at 11 a.m. Friday through Ticketmaster. Six hours later, 6,217 were sold.

... The Rally for the Republic is being held at Minneapolis' Target Center Aug. 31-Sept. 2. The center seats between 13,000 to 15,000 people.







John McCain... today's headlines with excerpts

The McCain-Latino disconnect

While he earned the support of about seven in ten Hispanics in his last Arizona Senate race, a Pew Hispanic Center poll released Thursday shows that just 23 percent of Latinos intend to vote for McCain in the presidential contest, barely half of the four in ten Latino voters who exit polls showed voted for President Bush in 2004.

... McCain’s problem looks to be most pronounced among Protestant Latinos, who had seemed to be the GOP’s doorway into the Hispanic population.

McCain: Wall Street is the villain

John McCain, R-Ariz., blamed Wall Street this weekend for the failing economy. "I think that Wall Street is the villain in the things that happened in the subprime lending crisis and other areas where investigations and possible prosecution is going on," McCain said in an exclusive "This Week" interview with George Stephanopoulos.

McCain also placed responsibility on a "gridlocked" Congress. "I also think that Congress is at fault. We didn’t restrain spending. Spending got completely out of control," he said.

McCain defends call to exclude Russia from G-8

"You have to take positions whether other nations agree or not, because you have to do what’s best for America," McCain explained. “I will do what I can to see that they reverse many of the behavior patterns, which have really been very unhelpful to peace in the world.”

The presumptive Republican nominee openly criticized Russia for straying from the G-8's founding principles. “We need to improve their behavior,” he said. “They’ve become an autocracy.” 

McCain also said he believes former president and current Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is still in charge and is responsible for Russia's destabilizing role in the international community.

McCain reversal on Affirmative Action

During a "This Week" interview with ABC News' George Stephanopoulos John McCain reversed himself on affirmative action and endorsed for the first time a proposed state ballot measure which would end race and gender-based affirmative action in his home state of Arizona.

"I support it," McCain declared when asked about the referendum. "I do not believe in quotas... I have not seen the details of some of these proposals. But I’ve always opposed quotas."

McCain clarifies position on gay adoption

Sen. John McCain put rumors of a flip flop to rest this weekend, discussing his opposition to gay adoption in an exclusive "This Week" interview with George Stephanopoulos.

“My position is: It’s not the reason why I’m running for president of the United States; I’m running for president of the United States because I want to help with family values. And I think that family values are important, when we have two-parent-- families that are of parents that are the traditional family,” McCain said.

McCain says Social Security tax hike 'on the table'

John McCain made clear this weekend that when it comes to fixing Social Security, "everything is on the table," including a possible payroll tax increase.

"There is nothing I would take off the table. There was nothing I would demand," McCain told ABC News' George Stephanopoulos in an exclusive interview on "This Week." "I think that’s the way that Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neill did it -- and that's what we have to do again."

McCain vows to back changes to disabilities law

Speaking from Arizona by satellite to a disabilities forum in Columbus, Ohio, McCain said Saturday that revisions to the Americans With Disabilities Act must leave no doubt that it was intended to protect from any discrimination based on physical or mental disabilities.

The Supreme Court generally has exempted from the law's protection people with partial physical disabilities, as well as people with physical impairments that can be treated with medication or devices such as hearing aids.

McCain on recent gaffes: The American people know me

But you know, at a town-hall meeting I've never had a person stand up and say, "Hey, Senator McCain, you've made a gaffe." They stand up and they say, "How do I stay in my home? How do I keep my job? How do I afford to drive to work?" Et cetera. And, by the way, some of those "gaffes" have not been [misstatements], but they've been portrayed as such. But I'm not complaining. It's fine with me. The American people know me."









Barack Obama... today's headlines with excerpts

Obama on trip abroad: "We did it very well"

Barack Obama, D-Ill., responded to criticisms over his 9 day, 8 country foreign trip, saying that just because he "did it really well" doesn’t mean that it was any different than when Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., or any other presidential candidates has traveled abroad in the past.

"I was puzzled by this notion that somehow what we were doing was in any way different from what Sen. McCain or a lot of presidential candidates have done in the past. Now, I admit we did it really well. But that shouldn't be a strike against me."

Obama defends trip, changes focus to economy

Returning from a 10-day trip overseas Obama told a convention of minority journalists here that his journey "doesn't necessarily translate into higher poll numbers here in the United States," where he said voters are more concerned with pocketbook issues such as the price of gasoline and home foreclosures.

His campaign will focus on the economy "for the duration," Obama said. He'll host a conference today in Washington with former Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker, former Treasury secretary Robert Rubin and billionaire investor Warren Buffett.

see also:

Obama links economy to foreign policy

Gallup poll shows 9-point lead for Obama

Barack Obama now leads John McCain among national registered voters by a 49% to 40% margin in Gallup Poll Daily tracking conducted July 24-26.

Obama being treated for bad hip

Senator Obama left the University of Chicago Medical Center, Duchossois Center for Advanced Medicine at 9:48 pm.

Reporters shouted questions and he answered from afar.

"Just fine," he was heard saying. "Small X-rays, Everything is okay... It's all good. Just a little injury... basketball injury...But I think I'm going to be good in about a week."

Last Wednesday, Senator Obama also had his hip examined due to soreness, visiting the East Bank Club's doctor.

Obama carried note from mom's to Palestinian leader

While talking about the Middle East peace process in the West Bank Wednesday, the presumptive Democratic nominee slipped a note to Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad.

The private message: Help an anguished Chicago mother get her daughters back....

Black radio on Obama is Left's answer to Limbaugh

Obama ...has a harmonious chorus of broadcast supporters addressing a vital part of his coalition, feeding and reflecting the excitement blacks have for his candidacy in general. Mr. Obama is getting support from white liberal talk radio hosts as well, but the backing he is getting from black radio hosts could be especially helpful to his campaign’s efforts to increase black turnout and raise historically low voter registration enough to change the math of presidential elections in battlegrounds and traditionally Republican states...




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