Tales from the Trail

McCain, Obama nervous in last debate? Early gaffes…

Republican presidential contender John McCain and rival Democratic hopeful Barack Obama appeared to show a little nervousness in the early minutes of their third and final debate, rtx9lji.jpgeach committing minor gaffes.

McCain referred to the mortgage financing giants as “Fannie and Freddie Mae”, instead of their actual names Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

He then referred to the “$750 billion” bailout package aimed at thawing the credit market which Congress passed and President George W. Bush signed into law earlier this month. Minor mistake, it actually is $700 billion. 

Minutes later, Obama made the same gaffe, calling it a $750 billion program.

Click here for more Reuters 2008 campaign coverage

- Photo credit: Reuters/Gary Hershorn (Obama and McCain meet for their last presidential debate.)

Lets Talk About Spain, Or Not

WASHINGTON - John McCain’s campaign insists the Republican presidential candidate’s response to an interviewer’s question about Spain’s Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero was neither a gaffe nor a dodge.
 
McCain knew exactly what he was saying, a campaign spokesman said on Thursday.
 
In the interview this week on Radio Caracol in Miami, McCain was askedmccain.jpg about Latin America and South America and then the reporter moved on to Spain and questioned him about meeting with Zapatero.
 
“I would be willing to meet with those leaders who are friends and want to work with us in a cooperative fashion. And, by the way, President Calderon of Mexico is fighting a very very tough fight against the drug cartels. I intend to move forward with relations and invite as many of them as I can, of those leaders, to the White House,” McCain responded.
 
McCain was well aware that the reporter had moved on to another leader in another hemisphere, senior campaign advisor Randy Scheunemann said.
 
“The questioner asked several times about Sen. McCain’s willingness to meet Zapatero, and I-D’d him in the question so there is no doubt Sen. McCain knew exactly to whom the question referred,” Scheunemann said.
 
“Sen. McCain refused to commit to a White House meeting with President Zapatero in this interview,” Scheunemann said.
 
Within weeks of taking office in 2004, Zapatero withdrew Spanish troops serving in Iraq. The move by Spain’s Socialist government put a chill on relations between Washington and Madrid.

Click here for more Reuters 2008 campaign coverage

Photo credit: Reuters/Aaron Josefczyk

Obama, in slip-up, refers to Biden as “next president”

SPRINGFIELD, Illinois – Of all the gaffes Democratic White house hopeful Barack Obama probably hoped to avoid, he accidentally introduced Joe Biden as the presidential candidate rather than the No. 2 man on the ticket.rtr21mtc.jpg

He quickly corrected himself but the McCain campaign quickly pounced on the mistake to suggest that Biden, a veteran Delaware senator, might wield the real power in an Obama administration.

As Biden stepped to the podium at his first joint rally with Obama, the Democratic White House candidate said, “Let me introduce to you, the next president — the next vice president of the United States of America: Joe Biden.”