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Crucial Contests on Tuesday; Democratic Showdown in Ohio; Hillary Clinton Speaks at Cleveland State University

Aired March 2, 2008 - 20:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SR. POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi and welcome to CNN's Ballot Bowl '08. This of course is the Sunday edition. I'm Candy Crowley here in Cleveland at Cleveland State University. Behind me you probably see the crowd. They are now listening to Ted Danson, kind of a warm up back for Hillary Clinton who is expected to be here within the next hour or so. But for the next 60 minutes, you'll be hearing about all of these candidates. Huckabee, McCain, Clinton, Obama, as they campaign through Ohio, through Texas, the two main states having primaries on Tuesday of next week. Also Rhode Island and Vermont. They have fewer delegates, but as you know in this race, every delegate matters.
So this is your chance to hear those candidates unfiltered. Sometimes live, sometimes taped, but always without interference from reporters. You pretty much get to see what we see on a day-to-day basis as we go throughout the country listening to these candidates. I want to bring in my partner at this point Dana Bash. She is in Sedona, Arizona and has been following of course the Republican race very closely. Dana?

DANA BASH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Candy. And we do have a lot in store for our viewers this hour. As you said a lot of the candidates on the stump. Obviously we're going to hear the live event where you are. But we're also going to bring some of the candidates from earlier in the day. Some large chunks of their stump speeches earlier in the day.

For example, both the Democratic presidential candidates, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, they had dueling events in the same exact town in Ohio. They were both in Westerville, Ohio. We're going to bring you portions of those speeches.

And we're going to go to the Republican side. Mike Huckabee, he is still campaigning. He's in Texas today, the site of one of the very important primaries that is in a couple of days. He got a re- endorsement of sorts from a major newspaper in that state, the "Dallas Morning News." We'll tell you what that's all about.

And we're also going to give you some of what happened earlier in the week across the party between John McCain and Barack Obama. They were really having a long distance verbal volley on the issue of Iraq. So we'll bring you some of that.

And Candy, I'll also talk about what I'm doing here in Arizona. And that is the senior senator from this state, the Republican presidential candidate John McCain, he's here this weekend. And we just got back from a barbecue at his house. So we'll talk a little bit about that later on in this hour, Candy.

CROWLEY: I was going to say I'm envious, but they are you are in an overcoat and scarf. So it must also be winter in Arizona.

BASH: It is.

CROWLEY: Thanks, Dana.

As Dana just mentioned, usually in these campaigns you will see one candidate on one side of the state, another on another. But we had kind of a near miss here today in Ohio. The town of Westerville, about two miles apart and about two hours apart. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama campaigning in Westerville. Basically a suburb of Columbus, Ohio. They were both there giving their final pitches, really, to these voters because they have until Tuesday to get these voters to make up their mind.

Barack Obama, as you know, has been defending himself against a furious assault by the Clinton campaign that he's not prepared to be president. Today he took on the issue head on in Westerville. Here's a little bit of Obama.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thank you, everybody. Thank you. Thank you. She didn't give diplomacy a chance. To this day she won't even admit that her vote was a mistake or that even it was a vote for war. So besides the decision to invade Iraq, we're still waiting to hear Senator Clinton tell us what precise foreign policy experience that she is claiming that makes her prepared to make that -- to answer that phone call at 3:00 in the morning.

But I do know what our campaign is based on. Yes, it's based on the fact that we should have never authorized the war that's cost us thousands of lives and hundreds of billions of dollars and distracted us from al Qaeda and Afghanistan and made us less safe and fanned anti-American sentiment around the world and frayed our alliances.

Yes, that's one of the bases on which this campaign has been run. Our campaign is also based on the idea that we need to turn the page on Bush/Cheney diplomacy, where we don't talk to our enemies. Because John F. Kennedy - because I remember when John F. Kennedy once said, he said we should never negotiate out of fear, but we should never fear to negotiate. That's what strong presidents and strong countries do. We talk to our adversaries and tell them that, what we stand for and what we believe in and try to resolve differences without resort to war.

That's part of what this campaign is based on. Our campaign is based on the fact that I'm the only candidate who hasn't taken a dime of money from Washington lobbyists, who has actually worked to reduce the power of lobbyists in Washington.

Our campaign is based on the fact that I'm the only campaign that didn't vote for a bankruptcy bill that made it harder for working families to climb out of the debt we were just talking about because I intend to reform our bankruptcy laws. Our campaign is based on my 20 plus years of actually bringing about change that makes a difference in peoples lives -- 150,000 people in my home state having health care who didn't have it before.

Providing tax relief to the working poor. Passing legislation that reduces wrongful convictions in capital cases and in the United States Senate, working to deal with the issues as diverse as locking down loose nuclear weapons and promoting clean, alternative energy.

Our campaign is based on that. In other words, our campaign is based on the idea that we need to put the people's interest ahead of the special interests. That we can stop telling the American people what we think they want to hear during election time and start telling them what they really need to hear in order to bring about real change in America, a politics that's not based on tearing each other down, but on lifting the country up.

Senator Clinton, that's what our campaign is based on. That's why we won eleven straight. That's why we're going to work to win Ohio and Texas and Vermont and Rhode Island, and win this nomination and change the country.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CROWLEY: The weekend before a primary always the most exciting time. You can kind of feel the tension in the room, the urgency of these candidates as they move forward.

And what you heard in that portion of the Obama speech is the duality that this race has begun to take on. First of all in Ohio as it has been across the country in Texas as well, the conversation has been about the economy and jobs particularly here in Iowa because they feel they have lost so many to free-trade agreements, also to trade in china.

But over the weekend Hillary Clinton introduced an ad that you heard Barack Obama talk about which basically said who is this that you want to have answer the red phone, that is the crisis phone in the White House, at 3:00 a.m. in the morning. Making her point that she feels she is the most experienced to do that. She made that point in an ad. She's making it now on the campaign stump here in Westerville.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SEN. HILLARY CLINTON (D-NY), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Think about this as a hiring decision because when the cameras are gone and the lights the are out, the president of the United States as I know very well, is in that White House, and, yes, they are advisors. There's all kinds of people who are saying do this and do that, but the president has to decide.

When those calls come at 3:00 a.m., it might be a national security crisis. You know, it could be an economic crisis. The economy faces some really troubled waters. Think about what could happen if they were unrest in Nigeria or a terrorist attack in Saudi Arabia. Oil would shoot to $150 a barrel. And because we as a nation would rather hold hands with the Saudis than stand up to them, we are dependent on foreign oil in a way that is dangerous for our future.

So we need a president with both the ability to make those immediate decisions, but also the vision and the plan and how to execute what we need to achieve for a clean energy future, to enhance our security, to take on this debt which is shackling us.

We went from a balanced budget and a surplus to an increasing deficit and a debt. We borrow money from the Chinese, to buy oil from the Saudis. We need a president who says enough. We are better than this. We are smarter than this. We are stronger than this. We're going to chart our own course.

Now, you can tell I get a little worked up because I know how hard this job is. But I'm confident and optimistic we can do it together. I know. I know we can turn our country around. Get back on the right track. And here's how I judge what would be successful. Because I think about this office of the presidency from two points. What you do on day one to start repairing the damage, to begin to put forth a positive agenda for change. And what you would have accomplished on your last day.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CROWLEY: Hillary Clinton again in Westerville, Ohio, where Barack Obama came later. You can see them there fighting it out on the campaign trail. She's saying I'm the one with the experience. I know what to do when a crisis comes. Barack Obama saying I've got plenty of experience, too. And by the way I have judgment. I was the one who knew from the beginning that Iraq was a mistake.

So, again, that's pretty much how it is playing out on the campaign trail. Now Hillary Clinton has had certainly an advantage over the past -- throughout this primary because she has a super surrogate, someone whose name is well known and that, of course is her husband, former president Bill Clinton. She has also had the help of Chelsea Clinton. Today the two of them were in the Houston area attending the mega church, an evangelical nondenominational church of Joel Osteen. This is said to be the biggest congregation in the country. You see them there talking, Joel Osteen. This was just an appearance there. No speech given there. Osteen in fact is himself pretty much a-political. We do not hear him talking about politics in his sermon or anywhere else for that matter. He is a televangelist, he has a wide following. And obviously this picture does draw attention particularly in the Houston area.

One of the things that's going to be, in fact, very important coming up. It's always important in any primary day and that is the weather. Jacqui Jeras is in our Atlanta weather service and is going to tell us a little bit about what we can expect Tuesday. Any problems, Jacqui?

(WEATHER REPORT)

CROWLEY: That is one of the many things we will be watching on Tuesday, the weather and the voting in these four states. CNN will be all over the place that day. In Vermont, in New Hampshire, in Texas, and here in Ohio. Our coverage will begin at 7:00 Eastern time. You're not going to want to miss it. Now "Ballot Bowl" will be back after a brief message and then we're going to tell you about a big old endorsement for Mike Huckabee.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BASH: Welcome back to this special primetime edition of "Ballot Bowl '08." I'm Dana Bash in Sedona, Arizona, where John McCain, the Republican presidential candidate, is spending the weekend. He is hoping that Tuesday, the day where there are four very important primaries, he hopes that that day he mathematically clinches the Republican nomination.

But even as he hopes that, there is still somebody else in the race and that is former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee. He actually got a boost today, a boost in the state of Texas where he has been campaigning quite hard.

And that was from the "Dallas Morning News." They made quite an interesting move this morning. They originally endorsed Mike Huckabee back in December, even before Huckabee won any of the contests, before he won Iowa, I should say. And this morning the "Dallas Morning News" decided on their editorial page to list what they call a re- endorsement to make clear, to remind the readers that they do think that Mike Huckabee is the best person in the Republican field.

I'll read you part of what the "Dallas Morning News" said in their newspaper this morning. "We look forward to having him around to help shape and lead the Republican Party beyond November. That's why we encourage Texas Republicans to mark their ballots for Mr. Huckabee in the GOP primary."

So essentially what the "Dallas Morning News" is doing is making clear in the other part of the endorsement that they know at this point John McCain is pretty much a shoe in, but they want the voters there to issue protest votes for Mike Huckabee. Because the paper made clear that they think Mike Huckabee is a leader are in the Republican Party for tomorrow.

And that's something that should be indicated through the votes on Tuesday. Listen to what Mike Huckabee said. He was campaigning in Houston today and he reacted to this endorsement.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MIKE HUCKABEE (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think the "Dallas Morning News" is probably the greatest newspaper in America. And everybody ought to get a lifetime subscription. Obviously, I'm very pleased, extremely grateful not only for the impact of the endorsement and the timing of it, but I was especially grateful for what they represented in that editorial, and that is that I represent the future of the party.

And I really appreciate that they recognize that our party has certainly got to begin looking at its long-term future. We have to begin attracting not only younger voters, but voters who are interested in a broad array of issues. The issues I have been trying to talk about throughout the entire campaign. Not only lower taxes, the issues of sanctity of life, but issues of poverty, disease, environment, education, health care, issues that touch families every single day in this country. They recognize that. And I'm deeply grateful for their endorsement today. I hope everybody pays careful attention to it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Governor, they also recognized that it was probably unlikely that you'll get the nomination. So do you represent the future of the party, or do your values and beliefs represent the future of the party?

HUCKABEE: Oh, I don't know, we'll see. I think certainly the views and values do. But somebody has to articulate those views and values. Somebody has to be willing to lead them. And what I feel like is important is that the Republicans begin to recognize that we have to start talking to voters who are 18-years-old. We can't just assume that because the Republican Party of our grandfathers was good enough for them, that it's going to be good enough for the students that we've seen on these campuses, not just here in Texas, but across the country.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Whether or not you get the nomination or not, you will have a role in the party for a while to come?

HUCKABEE: I have no idea. That won't be my decision to make. I will certainly have every reason to continue my efforts within the party. That's why I rejected any talk of a third party, independent effort, absolutely unattractive and unappealing.

I don't think that's a realistic way for us to change the political realm of America. I have a lot invested in the Republican Party since my teenage years. Spent a lot of time, a lot of effort, worked for a lot of candidates, campaigned for a lot of people, raised a lot of money for the Republican Party and its candidates. I would hate to walk away from it because I think we're a long way from being done.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In Georgia and other places in the South that you galvanized the evangelical voters. But polls show you're still badly trailing McCain. What do you think happened, inevitability about McCain, or what?

HUCKABEE: I don't know what will happen till Tuesday night, so I'm not going to buy into the inevitability issue. I have not bought that yet. If I had bought it, I wouldn't have won Iowa, I wouldn't have won Kansas or Louisiana or Tennessee, West Virginia and a lot of other states that we did win. Because just about in every one of those somebody had indicated already that it was inevitable that I wouldn't win. So I'm not ready to concede Texas yet.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The polls showed you were ahead in Iowa, but here they're not.

HUCKABEE: The polls have been all over the board. They've been so consistently wrong in several contests both on the Democratic and the Republican side that I would hate to base my whole position over the next 48 to 72 hours on what they are today.

And, you know, again, I'm still moving forward with optimism, not pessimism. And if Tuesday night they don't come in well, we'll talk about it. But I'm not going to say today well it's an inevitable thing. I've had to fight that sort of air of inevitability that many people have put forward and I'll tell you, it's been quite false.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Governor, what happens if you lose Texas?

HUCKABEE: Listen, right now to talk about losing Texas, that's the whole point. It would be very difficult for me to say, if I lose Texas, because I'm not planning to. If I do, it would be a fair question to ask. But today since I'm not planning on losing, I don't have plans for what I'll do if because I don't plan to.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BASH: Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee very, very far behind mathematically in the Republican delegate count. Yet still they're taking the chance to tout a re-endorsement from the "Dallas Morning News," an influential paper in the state of Texas. Texas holding its primary of course on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, his rival in this Republican race, the man that everybody has to beat obviously is John McCain. John McCain is here in Arizona. And just a short while ago, he had myself and some of the other reports who have been covering himself at his ranch and he was cooking some baby back ribs. And it was definitely a news-free zone. But it was kind of a social event.

We'll give you a little bit more of the details of that event here outside of Sedona after this break. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BASH: Welcome back to the special prime time edition of "Ballot Bowl '08." I'm Dana Bash in Sedona, Arizona. We've been bringing you the candidates on the campaign trail. Sometimes live and sometimes taped. But always we try to bring you large chunks of the candidates' stump speeches unfiltered as we get to see them as we cover them on the campaign trail. And as we have been talking about we're just a couple of days away from very, very crucial primaries. Four of them, actually, on Tuesday. Texas, Ohio, Rhode Island and Vermont.

And before we start talking about some of the details of where the polls are right now, let's just give you a snapshot of where the delegate count is on the Republican and Democratic side.

First let's start with the Republicans. First of all, the Republican candidate needs to get 1,191 delegates to officially clinch the nomination. John McCain is close. See right now according to CNN's count he has 1,033 Republican delegates. And Mitt Romney, who dropped out, of course, or at least suspended his campaign, he still does have 255 in his column. Mike Huckabee, 247. Ron Paul, 21.

Now let's go over to the Democratic side. Democrats in order to clinch their nomination for the White House, they need 2,025 - 2,025 in order to be the Democratic nominee. Barack Obama right now if you add it all up, the pledged and super delegates, he has 1,369. Hillary Clinton has 1,267. That's where things stand going into Tuesday's primary.

And at this point, I want to bring in our senior political analyst Bill Schneider who is going to give us a sense right now of where things stand in terms of public opinion in two of the biggest, most important states on Tuesday, Texas and Ohio. What do you think, Bill?

WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SR. POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, in Texas we're seeing close. And in Ohio we're seeing close. Take a look at Texas. In Texas, it's Obama/Clinton, but only two points between them. An average of the recent polls, most recent polls in Texas, Obama 47 percent, Clinton 45 percent - two points. And 8 percent of the voters are still unsure. These are likely voters who haven't made up their minds. Notice that there are four times as many voters who haven't made up their minds as the margin of difference between Obama and Clinton. So this is a very close race. If we look at Ohio again it's close, not quite as close. That's Clinton on top, Obama coming in second. Clinton 48, Obama 43. A five-point margin between the two of them, but 9 percent undecided.

So still almost twice as many undecided voters as the margin between the two candidates. I think the message of these polls is don't bet the farm. These races are very, very tight, very, very tight.

BASH: I think don't bet the farm, Bill, is pretty much a standard thing to keep in mind. We've certainly learned throughout this entire primary season. Bill, thank you very much. We appreciate that from the primary state of Rhode Island. Thanks Bill, we'll be getting back to you shortly.

And we want to make sure that you know that CNN is the place to tune in to on Tuesday. Obviously from now until Tuesday, but specifically when you want to know what's happening and what the results are and get analysis on those results, tune into CNN. We're going to have prime time election coverage from the "Election Center" in New York. That starts at 7:00 p.m. Eastern. We have a lot more "Ballot Bowl" after the break. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CROWLEY: Hi and welcome back to CNN's "Ballot Bowl," our prime time Sunday edition. This is your chance. This is when you hear these candidates; sometimes they're taped, sometimes live. We expect to bring you Hillary Clinton live here at Cleveland State University within the next 20 minutes or so. So you will get to hear that. You will also hear candidates on tape. They are always, however, unfiltered the way we see them. We want you to see them.

Right now we've got a little time, so I want to bring back in our Dana Bash. She's in Sedona, Arizona which many of us know is one of the places that John McCain calls home. Dana, tell us a little bit about your day. Why don't we start with that?

BASH: Well, you know, Candy, I know you have been there to John McCain's home. It's sort of in between Sedona, Arizona, and Cottonwood, Arizona.

And you know, what he did this weekend is he was home with his family and he invited first of all, yesterday he had some of his supporters, some friends in the Senate, some governors from around the country who have been helping him. He had them with him and he was barbecuing yesterday.

Well today, he invited the press corps. He invited myself and probably 30 or 40 journalists who have been with them on the campaign trail over the past several months. It was definitely a news-free zone. There were no TV cameras there so we can't show you any pictures of it.

But it was very much -- as you know, Candy, because you've experienced John McCain in this atmosphere -- it was John McCain probably as relaxed as you can imagine. In fact, he said that he's most relaxed doing what we witnessed him do, which was he was barbecuing.

He had a gas grill going and he was barbecuing baby back ribs. And he was sharing with everybody his recipe for the best, from his perspective, the best baby back ribs. And actually, we'll pull it on our Web site if anybody is going to want that.

But you know, he made it very clear from the beginning. He wasn't interested in making any news. He wanted this to be a social gathering, a chance to thank the press for trudging along after him for the past however many months. And this is really clearly a transition period for him.

So this is a time for John McCain, for his wife Cindy, to take the time and say thank you. He's very proud of his area, of his ranch. I'm not sure if it's really a ranch or sort of a little bit of a small compound, if you will. It's very rustic. As you know Candy, since you've been there, he has a beautiful creek that runs through. He was very proud of a black hawk nest that is not far from his home. He talked about witnessing the mother teaching the baby how to fly. It was a lot of show and tell for the press corps. But a news-free zone, definitely. But it was very nice and very gracious, Candy.

CROWLEY: You know, one of the things I think that people look at that and say what did you learn? And you tell us it was a news-free zone. But give us a little background on why candidates -- because he's not the only candidate that does these sort of come on over to the house and sit around with journalists. Why do you think they do it?

BASH: You know, he's not. In fact, President Bush does it. For President Bush, it's off the record. But he even does it since he's been in the White House, he invites reporters to his ranch in Crawford. The reason why they do it is because they understand the value of reporters getting to know them as people. McCain, for example, was very proud of the fact that his wife Cindy early on when his kids were very young decided that they were going to frame the pictures, the doodles that kids make. That they were going to put them in beautiful frames around the house. He was very proud of that.

As you know, for a politician who you hear over and over making stump speeches, talking about policy, talking about things that they need to talk about in terms of their message. They understand the importance of reporters getting a window into their personality, into who they are as a person.

So the fact that we got to see John McCain's telescope, for example. The fact that he says he shares that with his son. That's something that people can very much understand him better as a person.

But enough about that for right now because we are about right now on "Ballot Bowl" showing these candidates on the stump as they are trying to get their voters' vote during the primary season. So we want to go remind people what John McCain has been doing over the past couple of days on the campaign trail, when he was on the campaign trail in Texas. And what he was doing primarily is talking about the issue that McCain knows is going to make or break his candidacy. That's the issue of Iraq. And more and more McCain has been talking about that vis a vis what Democrats would do on the issue of the war.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I want to confess to you I did not watch the two Democrat candidates debate last night. I did not. But I was informed that Senator Obama said that if al Qaeda were -- if al Qaeda established a base in Iraq, he would consider sending American troops back.

I have news for Senator Obama. Al Qaeda is in Iraq. And that's why we're fighting in Iraq. And that's why we're succeeding in Iraq. And if we do what Senator Obama wants to do, and that's immediate withdrawal, that would mean surrender in Iraq.

I guess that means that he would surrender and then go back. But the point is that if we do with both Senator Obama and Senator Clinton want to do, and that is to set a date for withdrawal, al Qaeda will announce to the world that they have defeated the United States, and we would be back. We would be back in a region with much greater sacrifice of American blood and treasure.

We are succeeding in Iraq. There is no doubt about it. And when Senator Clinton and Senator Obama said the military surge wasn't working, they were wrong. So when they said that the Iraqi government wasn't working, functioning politically, they were wrong. So I'm not asking them to apologize because they were wrong. I'm just asking them to join with us and support the strategy, see it through to its success and bring these young Americans home. But bring them home with honor. And that way we do not have to send them back again into another conflict.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BASH: That was John McCain earlier last week in San Antonio, Texas. Tweaking and really going after Senator Barack Obama on a comment that he made last week during a debate on potentially, hypothetically sending troops back to Iraq from his perspective if al Qaeda became a problem. There you hear John McCain mocking Obama, saying al Qaeda already is a problem in Iraq. Well, Barack Obama did not let that stand. He responded within minutes to that last week. And we're going to have some of that for you right after the break. Stay with us.

(COMMECIAL BREAK)

CROWLEY: Hi, welcome back to "Ballot Bowl '08." This obviously is our Sunday prime time edition. I'm Candy Crowley. We're at Cleveland State University, which oddly enough is in Cleveland. Hillary Clinton has just arrived here. We will be monitoring this and we will take you to her speech as soon as we get through the pre- program.

Right now though we want to go back to something that Dana Bash was talking about earlier. And that's John McCain taking Barack Obama to task for Obama's statement that he would send U.S. forces back to Iraq if al Qaeda formed a base there and Iraq fell into chaos. As you saw, McCain said, wait a minute, they're already in Iraq. And sort of mocking Obama. Here then was Obama's reply.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

OBAMA: I revere and honor of the service of John McCain to this country. He's a genuine American hero. He deserves our respect and our gratitude.

But I have to say that when it comes to policy, John McCain is looking backwards. He's tied to the failed policies of George Bush. He's not going to bring about change. I heard Senator McCain said this morning, I guess he got this from watching the debate last night, or at least his staff had. He said this morning he had news for me, al Qaeda is in Iraq. OK, so this is the argument, I guess he heard, remember Russert was asking us during the debate hypothetically if you started bringing people out and the Iraqi government told you to just go ahead and leave, would you still potentially come? Big hypothetical.

I said well I would always reserve the right to go in and strike against al Qaeda if they were in Iraq. So this is how politics works. McCain thought that he could make a clever point by saying well, let me give you some news, Barack, al Qaeda is in Iraq. Like I wasn't reading the papers. Like I didn't know what was going on out there. Well, first of all, I do know that al Qaeda is in Iraq and that's why I said we should continue to strike al Qaeda targets.

But I have some news for John McCain. And that is that there was to no such thing of al Qaeda in Iraq until George Bush and John McCain decided to invade Iraq. I've got some news for John McCain. I've got some news for John McCain. He took us into war along with George Bush that should have never been authorized and should have never been waged.

They took their eye off the people who were responsible for 9/11. That would be al Qaeda in Afghanistan, that is stronger now than any time since 2001.

I've been paying attention, John McCain. That's the news. So John McCain may like to say he wants to follow Osama bin Laden to the gates of hell, but so far all he's done is follow George Bush into a misguided war in Iraq that's cost us thousands of lives and billions of dollars and that I intend to bring to an end so we can actually start going after al Qaeda in Afghanistan and in the hills of Pakistan like we should have been doing in the first place. That's the news, John McCain.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CROWLEY: Again, Barack Obama in Columbus, Ohio. Should he get the nomination, and that is not certain, but should he get it you just saw a preview between John McCain and Barack Obama about how that fall campaign is going to go.

Now, you may be able to hear me that in fact, Hillary Clinton is here at Cleveland State University has just taken the stage. We want to take you to her.

CLINTON: A great member of Congress. You know, people sometimes ask Stephanie or me how did it come to be that Stephanie is supporting you? I said, well, we work together. We've worked together on health issues that had been neglected. We worked together to try to fix our voting system so nobody would ever be left out and not counted again in Ohio or anywhere! Stephanie brings her years of experience on your behalf to the Congress and I am so honored to have her by my side as I wage this campaign. Because she is a strong voice for Cleveland, for Ohio, and for America. Thank you so much.

And I want to thank your governor, Ted Strickland, who is turning around Ohio. Governor Strickland has already made a difference. One thing he's done, which I'm sure all the students were grateful for is he froze tuition at state colleges and universities for two years. Because Ted Strickland knows what I know. We've got too many hard working young people, middle-class families, folks who get up every day, do what they think they're supposed to do, who feel like they're nod getting anywhere. That they're just marking time because the price of everything that you to have from filling up your gas tanks to paying your college tuition, to trying to make sure you can pay for health care, to seeing whether you can keep up with the interest rate increases on your home mortgage, everything is going up.

Except wages and income, They're not going up. And Governor Strickland understands that he needs a partner in the White House. Somebody who will work with him to make it possible for the good people of Ohio to have the future you deserve. And that's the kind of president I will be.

CROWLEY: Senator Hillary Clinton here in Cleveland talking about really serious subjects, home foreclosures, jobs in Ohio. It's been that way all along on both sides of this campaign. The home and heart issues, they have really brought home if you will over the past several weeks as the economy becomes a huge, huge issue in this campaign.

But campaigns are not always serious things. There is a lighter side. And we will see Hillary Clinton and her lighter side right after this break as "Ballot Bowl" continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CROWLEY: Hi and welcome back, I'm Candy Crowley in Cleveland and this is "Ballot Bowl," the Sunday edition. We are following these candidates around, giving you a taste of the kinds of things that we hear as we go through the campaign, sometimes taped, sometimes live, always unfiltered.

Hillary Clinton had a curious day yesterday as she went from Texas to Ohio by way of New York. We've got Jim Acosta who is going to explain all that to us. Jim?

JIM ACOSTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Candy. Well during the writer's strike here in New York, clearly the folks over at "Saturday Night Live" were stockpiling their material. Last week, you might remember there was that mock debate in which Barack Obama got all of the softball questions. We would, of course, take exception with that.

And then last night on "SNL," the former first lady, she made an appearance. She was given sort of an equal time appearance to respond to that debate. So without further ado, here is the senator from New York last night on "Saturday Night Live."

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CLINTON: I still enjoyed that sketch a great deal. Because I simply adore Amy's impression of me.

AMY POEHLER, ACTRESS: Oh, well, my ears are ringing.

CLINTON: How are you?

POEHLER: Good, thank you.

CLINTON: Well, I'm glad to be here.

POEHLER: Oh, thank you for coming. I love your outfit.

CLINTON: Well, I love your outfit. But I do want the earrings back.

POEHLER: Oh, OK.

CLINTON: Do I really laugh like that?

POEHLER: Oh, well.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ACOSTA: And we should point out that Hillary Clinton was not the only politician on "SNL" last night. Candy, you might remember this political candidate, Rudy Giuliani, the former mayor of New York City. He was also on "SNL" last night. And made an appearance on the "Weekend Update" part of the show, and he said that it was not the Florida strategy that did him in, in this race for the White House, it was the fact that he had worn a dress. So there you have it, Candy.

CROWLEY: Well, we'll just pour over that in the years ahead to see what actually happened to the Giuliani campaign. But I do recognize the name. Thanks, Jim.

We want to tell you that coming up Tuesday, CNN will have all the coverage you're going to need of these primaries. In fact, we will be in Vermont. We'll be in Rhode Island. We'll be in Texas. We will be, in fact, here in Ohio.

These candidates today have been throughout Ohio. They are talking home and heart issues on the Democratic side. But also talking about who is best, who would best lead the country and be the best commander-in-chief in times of crisis. We want to bring back in our Dana Bash to give us just a flavor of the Republicans today. A little less active, Dana.

BASH: A lot less active. I'm looking at the scene behind you and the loud rally there and wow, what a difference in terms of the Republican race and the Democratic race right now. I mean you see what's behind me. There's not a lot behind me right now because John McCain, the person who hopes will get the Republican nomination on at least clinch the nomination on Tuesday, he's not even on the campaign trail at all today.

He's going to pick back up tomorrow. He's going to have, really a lot of fundraising, mostly fundraising this week. That's the name of the game for the McCain campaign right now. He's at such a money deficit. You know that, Candy.

I mean last month, for example, he raised about $12 million. You know Hillary Clinton raised about $35 million. Barack Obama, their campaign said that they raised even more. So that's one of the main, main things John McCain is trying to do right now, as they try to figure out and pivot between the primary and the general election.

And there is a lot of politics that is still to come on CNN this evening. Larry King is up next. He's got a whole hour of politics. And don't turn off the television because we have two more hours of "Ballot Bowl." That's going to start at 10:00 Eastern. We're going to bring you a lot more of the candidates on the campaign trail as we have. You're going to see Hillary Clinton, more of her, maybe live, maybe on tape. And all of the candidates as they give their pitch for the voters for their party's nomination. Thanks very much. Stay tuned.

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