EAST CHICAGO, Ind. – Democratic presidential candidates have held more than 20 debates. Evidently that’s not enough for Hillary Clinton.
Tales from the Trail
INDIANAPOLIS – Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama refuted controversial comments by his Chicago pastor again on Friday and sought to play up his own origins in an effort to combat perceptions that he is an “elitist”.
WASHINGTON – One interesting tidbit that came out of the exit polling from Pennsylvania Democratic voters is that a large majority believe the U.S. economy is already in recession — contrary what the current president said on Tuesday.
A whopping 88 percent of voters in Pennsylvania — a state trying to transition from steel and coal industries to high-tech and medical research — said the U.S. economy was in a recession, with 42 percent saying it was a serious recession and 47 percent said it was a moderate contraction, according to exit poll data on CNN’s Web site (page 5 of data).
On Tuesday, President George W. Bush cited the most recent economic data showing small growth in the fourth quarter of 2007. But he also acknowledged that the first quarter figures had not yet been released.
“We’re not in a recession. We’re in a slowdown,” Bush said after meetings with leaders of Canada and Mexico. “We haven’t had first quarter growth statistics yet. But there’s no question we’re in a slowdown.”
Democratic presidential hopefuls Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have both said the economy was in a recession as has Republican presumptive nominee Sen. John McCain.
But White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said on Wednesday such pronouncements were a little early in the game.
“We don’t have data yet and it’s a little premature to declare it so definitively as a recession because the data isn’t in,” she told reporters.
The Commerce Department is due to release the GDP figures for the first quarter on April 30, which is also when the U.S. Federal Reserve’s interest rate-setting committee will announce whether it is cutting rates again.
Bill Clinton is making news again.
Campaigning for his wife Hillary in Pennsylvania, the former president accused the Obama campaign of “playing the race card” and later lashed out at a reporter who asked him about his comments.
SCRANTON, Pa. – Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama kicked off a day of campaigning in Pennsylvania by dropping by a Scranton diner for a breakfast of waffles, sausage and orange juice.
But the press corps went hungry — hungry for an answer that is.
The Illinois senator brushed aside a question from one reporter on his reaction to former President Jimmy Carter’s description of a positive meeting with leaders of the Islamist Palestinian group Hamas.
“Why can’t I just eat my waffle?” Obama replied.
Reporters traveling with the Illinois senator, fighting with his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton over Pennsylvania ahead of its vote on Tuesday, are venting frustration over a lack of access to the candidate lately. Obama has not held a press availability in 10 days, though he has given dozens of interviews to local press in Pennyslvania.
Republicans have pounced on Obama’s “waffle” comment, suggesting he is evading tough questions.
“Today, Obama continued to dodge questions from the media, responding that he just wanted to eat his waffle,” the Republican National Committee said in an email sent to reporters that included press accounts of the waffle incident at the Glider diner.
Both Obama and Clinton are far less accessible to the media than presumptive Republican nominee John McCain, known for holding lengthy question-and-answer sessions with reporters on his Straight Talk Express bus.
The sessions last so long that some reporters say they run out of questions.
WASHINGTON – As Democrats go to the polls on Tuesday to pick between Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama as their presidential nominee, the Bush administration said on Monday they will be keeping a close eye on the voting.
Citing previous allegations that the city of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia, had violated voting rights laws, the Bush administration’s Justice Department announced it would monitor the primary contest.