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More Campaign Happenings

Aired May 18, 2008 - 16:00   ET


JIM ACOSTA, CNN ANCHOR: And welcome to another round of BALLOT BOWL '08. I'm Jim Acosta coming to you live from Portland, Oregon. We're standing on the banks of the (inaudible) River where Barack Obama will be addressing a big rally here along with musical guests, sort of an Obama-palooza, happening in about 90 minutes from now. And of course, BALLOT BOWL is always a chance for you the viewer to hear the candidates in their own words and both Obama and Senator Hillary Clinton will be holding events and they will be having those events live right here on BALLOT BOWL over the next couple of hours. So, stick with us. As always no sound bites on BALLOT BOWL more of a sound buffet and it is all you care to watch.
My colleague, Suzanne Malveaux, is keeping tabs on Senator Clinton. She is joining us live from Frankfurt, Kentucky. Hello, Suzanne.

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN ANCHOR: Hey, Jim. I don't know if you can call it a Clinton-palooza but obviously Clinton is out in full force as well. We really have quite a big game plan ahead, very full next couple of hours. We're keeping our eye on a lot of different things we're anticipating. Senator Hillary Clinton in Mayfield, Kentucky. She has been crisscrossing the state because obviously she is favored here in Kentucky. She feels a great deal of confidence going into Tuesday's primary. Senator Barack Obama as you've mentioned before. He is in Portland, Oregon. That is where he is holding his own rally and then not to be outdone, republican John McCain, he is taking a break from the campaign trail but he certainly still has the spotlight on him this weekend. He made a cameo appearance on "Saturday Night Live" so we're going to bring that to you as well.

All of that in the next hour or so but I want to show you something that Senator Clinton said today. This out of Bowling Green, Kentucky. She was talking to voters about a number of things, creating green jobs, environmentally friendly jobs. Her own healthcare plan. It is very clear that she is still trying to set up contrast and distinctions on these various issues with her opponent, Barack Obama.


SEN. HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: When my husband left the presidency, we were on our own to becoming debt free as a nation. We would have been in charge of our fiscal destiny. Now, we borrow money from the Chinese to buy oil from the Saudis. That is not a recipe for American greatness. So, here's what I'm going to do. I'm going to number one take anything out of the American tax code that gives one penny of benefit to any company that moves a job out of Kentucky to a foreign country. Number two, we're going to make this tax code start working for people who work. And that means that we're going to strip it of all the advantages that have been piled in there during George Bush's terms, starting with one that I find particularly unfair. If you are a Wall Street money manager making $50 million a year, you can pay a lower percentage of your income in taxes than if you're a teacher, a nurse, or a truck driver living right here in Bowling Green, making less than $50,000 a year. And we're going to have trade agreements that are going to be good for our workers and our consumers. And we're going to get tough on China because they don't follow the rules that they agreed to follow. They manipulate their currency. They don't enforce labor and environmental standards. So, we ship our jobs to China. They ship to us lead-laced toys, contaminated pet food and polluted pharmaceuticals. Enough! We're going to stand up for American workers and American consumers.

But it's not enough to play defense. We got to get back on offense in America. We got to start creating those good jobs again. Here are three ways we can do it. Number one, we will invest in clean renewable energy which I believe can create at least 5 million new jobs in America. I was the first to proposed a strategic energy fund that would be the vehicle for making investments in the private sector, great universities like this. Who knows what we'll discover. If we're organized the way we have in previous times like the Apollo project that sent a man to the moon and brought him back safely. We need to declare energy independence. And then we need to unleash the genius of America. And we need to fund this by taking the oil subsidies away. Oil companies get too much of your money for doing too little. That money should be going to solar and wind and geothermal and clean coal and biofuels.

There is no doubt in my mind that we can be a leader in high gas mileage cars, in biofuels and other sources of energy to actually make our transportation system less dependent on foreign oil and that we can get more and more of our electricity from renewable sources. This is an engineering question. This is a science question. It's a research and technology question but more than that, it is a question of political will and leadership. Other countries are making advances at our cost. They are investing in solar and wind and geothermal and other kinds of new forms of energy. We have vehicles being test driven on American roads right now that they're getting between 100 and 150 miles per gallon.

If we have a president who worked with our auto companies, worked with our auto workers, gave you a $10,000 tax credit to buy one of these hyper hybrids or electric cars, if we had a president who stood up to the oil companies and said we're going to be producing ethanol, not just from corn, we're going to be producing biodiesel, not just from soybeans, we're going to find all kinds of plant material that will be able to fuel our vehicles and we're going to require the oil companies to put the tanks there. Because right now there are flex fuel cars in America that they can't even get filled up because the oil companies won't put the biofuels there. We need a president that says yes, you are, you are going to be part of the solution instead of continuing to be part of the problem.


MALVEAUX: Senator Clinton really hitting hard on one of these issues that everybody is talking about, and very important to voters that is the whole thing about energy and gas prices and her own energy plan. Senator Clinton not only taking on President Bush and John McCain, but also Barack Obama over that controversial proposal, offering some sort of kind of break from a tax break from the gas prices for the summer to suspend that in some way, that tax. She is not backing down from that.

As a matter of fact, earlier today taking on Barack Obama saying she still believes that that was a good idea and really, Jim, this is something that resonated with voters in West Virginia where she had that very big win. This is something that she's talking about in Kentucky. She believes it's one of those hot button issues that is a real winner for her. She believes she can get the kind of support that she did from some of those voters who are really concerned about that energy issue. Jim.

ACOSTA: Well, Suzanne, it's interesting, you brought up the gas tax holiday and Barack Obama was campaigning at a hospital in Oregon yesterday where he talked with some hospital workers and one of those workers went up to Barack Obama and said, how can I trust you? And Barack Obama said, well, we'll have to find out over the course of the campaign. And the worker responded said one reason I think I can trust you is because you were against the gas tax holiday and according to this particular voter, he said I feel like that means that you're more of an honest candidate in terms of how you're dealing the voters.

But Suzanne, a very interesting to see Hillary Clinton down in Kentucky. Barack Obama up here in Oregon. They are two different states and it's interesting in the juxtaposition because you have the clean coal proposal and that idea, that issue rearing its head down in Kentucky, where as up here in Oregon, it's very much about the environment. It's very much about curbing global warming in terms of how the candidates are appealing to democrats here in this state. And Barack Obama was down in Roseburg, Oregon, yesterday, campaigning on the southern part of the state where he talked to voters down there about green collar jobs, about raising fuel efficiency standards for automobiles, again making that environmental appeal to Oregonians. Here's Barack Obama in Roseburg.


SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Our campaign has been talking about this constantly. I mean, at every town hall meeting. So, and if you want a lot of detail, go on our website,, or because we talk about some - well, the media should talk about it more, I agree.

Look, here's the centerpiece, the starting point is the issue of global warming. Not just because it's really warm in here today, but because, as everybody knows, this is a problem that if we don't deal with soon, may reach a tipping point where it can't be dealt with. So we have put forward a very aggressive plan for dealing with global warming. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent in the year 2050.

Well, the mechanism we're going to use is a cap and trade system. And it basically sets a limit to the carbon or other greenhouse gases that can be emitted into the atmosphere and that limit goes down each year to a targeted goal. Companies that exceed that limit will have to pay big penalties. Companies that come under the limit that they're allocated, they will actually be able to sell those credits on the marketplace. So it creates a market for green technology and lowering pollution rates.

We will generate huge amounts of money, billions of dollars from this cap and trade system, from polluters, that we are then going to reinvest to a tune of $150 billion over ten years, $15 billion a year. In solar, in wind, in biodiesel, in finding, you know, alternatives to our current automotive technologies so that we can drastically increase fuel efficiency standards. Not only is that good for the environment, but it is our best chance to create millions of new jobs, all across America, building wind mills, building solar panels and by the way, in an area like Roseburg that traditionally, you know, dealt with natural resources and timber as part of people's livelihood, using that expertise to create new industries. Using wood chips, for example, to create ethanol or other forms of biodiesel. It's a huge opportunity. It is a huge opportunity but we've got to have leadership from Washington. The same way that we have leadership when Kennedy said we're going to the moon, we'll invest what we need to make it happen. And there's all sorts of spin off effects that benefit from it.

All right. So that's what we want to do on global warming here in the United States. We are also going to have to negotiate with other countries. China, India, in particular Brazil. They are growing so fast that they are consuming more and more energy and pretty soon, if their carbon footprint even approaches ours, we're goners. That's part of the reason why we've got to make the investment. We got to lead by example. If we lead by example, if we lead by example, then we can actually export and license technologies that have been invented here to help them deal with their growth pains. But keep in mind, you're right, we can't tell them don't grow. We can't drive our SUVs and, you know, eat as much as we want and keep our homes on, you know, 72 degrees at all times, whether we're living in the desert or we're living in the tundra and then just expect every other country is going to say OK, you know, you guys go ahead keep on using 25 percent of the world's energy, even though you only account for 3 percent of the population, and we'll be fine. Don't worry about us. That's not leadership.


ACOSTA: And so there you have it, Barack Obama on the environment in Roseburg, Oregon. And to you viewers out there who are into the Indie alternative scene, you may recognize, yes, that is Portland's very own, "the Decemberist" playing behind me as we go on to the break. Coming up after the break here on BALLOT BOWL on CNN, we want to check in on the condition of Senator Ted Kennedy, who is recovering in a hospital in Massachusetts after that apparent seizure yesterday. We also want to remind our viewers that coming up on Tuesday night, live coverage of election night on CNN. The Kentucky and Oregon primaries, 103 delegates up for grabs between both of those states. So tune in to CNN on Tuesday night, our coverage beginning at 7:00 p.m. Eastern right here on CNN. We'll see you after a quick break. This is BALLOT BOWL on CNN.


MALVEAUX: Welcome back to CNN's BALLOT BOWL. I'm Suzanne Malveaux in Frankfurt, Kentucky. This is an hour or two where you really get a chance to see the candidates up close, unfiltered. They've been campaigning throughout the weekend, all day. But we also want to bring you some breaking news, the update on Senator Ted Kennedy's health condition after apparently suffering from a seizure over the weekend. Our own Dan Lothian in Boston, Massachusetts, outside of Mass General Hospital. Dan, what is the latest information about his condition?

DAN LOTHIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Suzanne, the latest information really is that he continues to be resting comfortably here at the Massachusetts General Hospital. According to a family spokesperson, they told us he that had a very good night's sleep and that he's been surrounded by his family members and his friends. We did catch a glimpse of his wife Vicki going into the hospital today. We have seen family members by his side, going in and out of the hospital here over the last two days.

And now, the only information that we have gotten about his condition came in a statement from his doctor who obviously confirmed that he did not suffer a stroke, at least based on their initial tests that they have performed on him, but instead that it was a seizure. The doctor sin his statement that he has suffered no immediate or is in no immediate danger but he was undergoing a battery of tests. It is unclear how long he will be here in the hospital, although a family spokesperson saying that he will at least be here for a couple of days. When word came yesterday of his illness, there were lots of concerns from out on the campaign trail. Those who know Senator Ted Kennedy quite well. We heard from Senator Clinton and also from Senator John McCain. And from Senator Barack Obama who was endorsed by Senator Kennedy and considers him one of his dearest friends.


SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: One of my dearest friends in the Senate, Ted Kennedy, was, had a little emergency this morning and we're all worried about him. I've spoken to the family and there have been reports that indicate it was a seizure rather than a stroke and we hope that he's going to be OK and we think he's going to be OK. But I just want everybody to keep Ted Kennedy and his family, his wonderful wife Vicki in our thoughts and our prayers.

SEN. HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And you know, speaking of health care, we had word this morning that my good friend and a great champion of working people, Senator Ted Kennedy was rushed to the hospital with symptoms of a stroke. And our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family. Because he has been a champion for health care. Nobody has fought harder to make sure everybody got good health care. And I know that we all join together in wishing him well.


LOTHIAN: Of course, both of those comments made by the democratic candidates yesterday when they first received news of Senator Ted Kennedy's illness. Now, Senator John McCain issued a statement saying "Senator Kennedy's role in the U.S. senate cannot be overstated. He is a legendary lawmaker and I have the highest respect for him. When we've worked together, he has been a skillful fair and generous partner. I consider it a great privilege to call him my friend. Cindy and I are playing for our friend, his wife Vicki and the Kennedy family."

Again, Suzanne, we continue to wait to see if we'll get any updates at all about his current condition from his doctor here at Mass General Hospital. And again, based on a family spokesperson information, we are told that he will be in the hospital for at least the next couple of days. Suzanne.

MALVEAUX: Well, thank you, Dan. It's good to hear that he's getting better. Thanks, again. Dan Lothian out of Boston, Massachusetts. We're also going to hear a little bit more from John McCain. Earlier in the week, he outlined what his plan would be if he were elected president in his first term. All of the details, all that coming ahead after this quick break and BALLOT BOWL continues.


ACOSTA: And welcome back to BALLOT BOWL '08. I'm Jim Acosta in Portland, Oregon. And an Obama rally here is expected to get started in about an hour from now. And Portland's very own, the Decemberist are warming up the crowd here. But we want to switch gears now and turn to the republican side and John McCain who is campaigning in what will eventually be the battle ground state of Ohio. He was in Columbus on Thursday delivering what some call his back to the future speech in which he told supporters what life might be like in 2013 should he be elected president, take office in 2009. And he generated some controversy by predicting that there will be victory in Iraq by the end of a first McCain term. Without further adieu, here is John McCain unveiling that speech and putting out that message about what life would be like after a first McCain term.


SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: So what I want to do today is take a little time to describe what I would hope to have achieved at the end of my first term as President of the United States. I can't guarantee I will have achieved these things. I'm presumptuous enough to think I would be a good president but not so much that I believe that I can govern by command. Should I forget that Congress will, of course, hasten to remind me. But the following are conditions that I intend to achieve. And toward that end, I will focus all of the powers of the office, every skill and strength I possess, and seize every opportunity to work with members of Congress who put the national interests ahead of partisanship and any country in the world that shares our hope for a more peaceful and prosperous world.

By January 2013, America has welcomed home most of the servicemen and women who have sacrificed terribly so that America might be secure in our freedom. The Iraq war has been won. Iraq is a functioning democracy. Although, still suffering from the lingering effects of decades of tyranny and centuries of sectarian tension. Violence still occurs. But it is spasmodic and much reduced. Civil war has been prevented. Militias disbanded. The Iraqi security forces professional and competent. Al Qaeda in Iraq has been defeated. The government of Iraq is capable of imposing its authority in every province of Iraq and defending the integrity of its borders.

The United States maintains a military presence there. But a much smaller one. And it does not play a direct combat role. The threat from a resurgent Taliban in Afghanistan has been greatly reduced but not eliminated. U.S. and NATO forces remain there to help finish the job and continue operations against the remnants of Al Qaeda. The government of Pakistan has cooperated with the U.S. and successfully adapting the counterinsurgency tactics that worked so well in Iraq and Afghanistan to its lawless tribal areas where Al Qaeda fighters are based. The increase in actionable intelligence that the counterinsurgency produced led to the capture or death of Osama Bin Laden and his chief lieutenants. There's no longer any place in the world Al Qaeda can consider a safe haven.

Increased cooperation between the United States and its allies and the concerted use of military, diplomatic, and economic power and reforms in the intelligence capabilities of the United States, has disrupted terrorist networks and exposed plots around the world. There has still, still, has not a major terrorist attack in the United States since September 11th, 2001. The United States and its allies made great progress in advancing nuclear security, concerted action by the great democracies of the world, has persuaded a reluctant China and Russia to cooperate in pressuring Iran to abandon its nuclear ambitions, and North Korea to discontinue its own. The single greatest threat facing the west, the prospect of nuclear materials in the hands of terrorists, has been vastly diminished. The size of the army and marine corps has significantly increased and now - and are now better equipped and trained to defend us.

Long overdue reforms to the way we acquire weapons programs, including fixed price contracts and created sufficient savings, to pay for a larger military. A substantial increase in veterans educational benefits and improvements and their health care has aided recruitment and retention. The strain on the National Guard and reserve forces has been relieved. After efforts to pressure the government in Sudan over Darfur failed again and the U.N. security council, the United States acting in concert with a newly formed league of democracies applied stiff diplomatic and economic pressure and caused the government of Sudan to agree to a multinational peacekeeping force.

With NATO countries providing logistical and air support to stop the genocide which made a mockery of the world's repeated declaration that we would never again tolerate such inhumanity.


ACOSTA: So there you have it, John McCain laying out his vision of the future which is also in a way a call from John McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee, for patience when it comes to the war in Iraq.

Coming up after a break here on BALLOT BOWL on CNN, we'll have a check on other news; including Indiana Jones goes to Cannes. We will explain after the break. This is BALLOT BOWL on CNN.


FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN CENTER: Hello, I'm Fredricka Whitfield. Back to BALLOT BOWL in a moment. Right now, take a look at the Sunday headlines. Crews in central China remove hundreds more bodies from earthquake rubble. The chances of finding survivors are getting slimmer. Today, the government said the final death toll will likely top 50,000. Three days of national mourning in China begin on Monday. The Olympic torch relay has been suspended.

For the first time since the cyclone devastated Myanmar, the Junta leader was shown on television meeting with refugees. Aid agencies fear some of the worst hit areas are not getting relief. A top U.N. diplomat arrived today to get a handle of the scope of the devastation. He'll also try to convince Junta leaders into leading outside relief agencies in to help.

To learn how you can help Myanmar, go to our Website. There's a list of aid groups at

The new Indiana Jones movie getting mixed reviews at the Cannes Film Festival. All agree, though, this film is likely to be a huge hit at the box office reporting in Cannes Brook, CNN entertainment correspondent Brooke Anderson.

BROOKE ANDERSON, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT: After a nearly two- decade wait, Indiana Jones is returning to the silver screen here at the Cannes Film Festival. I caught up with star Harrison Ford who opened up to me about being an older Indy this time around.


ANDERSON (voice over): How does it feel to be back as Indiana Jones?

HARRISON FORD: It's a great pleasure and it's a great pleasure because the experience was a wonderful experience. It was a pleasure to be part of the kind of film that brings so much to an audience, to be able to make another film after this 20-year period.

ANDERSON: You're a more mature Indiana Jones.

FORD: No, I'm not more mature. I'm 20 years older.

ANDERSON: Were there challenges because of the 20 years? FORD: No, no, not really. I've always tried to be as fit as possible to militate against injury and I wanted to be, you know remain injury free during this film. So I did get as fit as I could.

ANDERSON: And you were injury free?

FORD: Yeah.

ANDERSON: Great, great.

FORD: I haven't been hurt by anything.

ANDERSON: Do you think Indiana Jones, because it has such an incredible appeal, will be bullet proof?

FORD: Nothing is bullet proof. People take shots at the proof. There's nothing bullet proof. And that's why you don't have this, you know, expectation that what you're producing is going to be wildly admired. But when you make it for people and you understand how the machinery of it all works as Steven and George do, I hope I have some understanding of, you reach for the best of your professional capacity. We're storytellers. People don't want to hear us tell a story badly. And so we all -- all of us, you know, feel the obligation to work at our highest level.

ANDERSON: Are you proud of the film?

FORD: I am. I'm damn proud of it.

Put your hands down, will you? You're embarrassing us.


ANDERSON: Director Steven Spielberg told me he's a bit anxious of showing the film but he too is very proud of it. Reporting from the Cannes Film Festival, Brook Anderson, CNN.

WHITFIELD: I'm Fredricka Whitfield. I'll be back with another update an hour from now. Until then, the presidential campaigns in their own words on the stump and on "Saturday Night Live." It's BALLOT BOWL '08 coming up.


ACOSTA: Welcome back to BALLOT BOWL '08. I'm Jim Acosta in Portland, Oregon, where Barack Obama will be addressing a big rally in about an hour from now. In the meantime, we have some sound from Barack Obama earlier today in Gresham, Oregon. Obama has been having a more laid back weekend here on the campaign trail. He stopped for ice cream in Eugene, Oregon earlier today and this rally coming up in about 60 minutes from now.

But earlier today just outside of Portland, he addressed a group of senior citizens where is he talked about their economic concerns and also the issue of Social Security. Yes, the issue of Social Security will be coming back into the campaign as the general election battle heats up. So here's Barack Obama in Gresham, Oregon earlier today.


BARACK OBAMA, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Right now the Social Security payroll tax applies to the first $102,000 a worker makes. I think the best way forward is to adjust the cap on the payroll tax so people like me who make more than $102,000 have to pay a little bit more and the people who are in need are protected. That way we can extend the promise of Social Security without shifting the burden onto seniors who are vulnerable.

We should include what's called a doughnut hole to make sure this change doesn't catch middle class Americans who make just a little bit over $102,000. But don't make a lot of money. On the other hand, people like my friend Warren Buffet can afford to pay a little more on his payroll tax. But Social Security is not enough. More and more seniors are struggling with the cost of everything from gas to groceries and we know the rising cost are hardest for folks on fixed incomes. That's why I'll make retirement more secure by eliminating the income taxes for any retiree making less than $50,000 a year. Let me repeat that. If your income is less than $50,000 a year, I don't think you should have to pay income tax on your Social Security.

This would completely eliminate income taxes for 7 million seniors across the country and provide a savings of approximately $1,400 per person each year. And it's also time I think to end the out rage of CEOs cashing out while workers lose their pensions. Pension protection is something that needs to be at the top of the priority list. Laws are more interested in protecting banks than pensions and I don't think that's fair.

It's time to stop cutting back the safety net for working people while we protect golden parachutes for the well off. If you work hard and play by the rules, you've earned your pension. If a company goes bankrupt, the workers need to be the top priority. I fought against a bankruptcy bill in the senate that did more to help credit card companies than helping people and I will limit circumstances when retirement benefits can be cut.

We'll require companies to disclose their pension fund investments. We'll put an end to CEOs getting bonuses while pensions disappear. Finally, we're not going to help folks reach retirement unless we encourage savings. Today, personal savings are at an all-time low. Meanwhile, 75 million working Americans don't have employer based retirement plans. That's why I proposed automatic workplace pensions. There will be no red tape or complicated forms. Employers will provide a direct deposit of a small percentage of each paycheck into your account. You can add to it or opt out of it at any time.

The employers will have an easy opportunity to match employee savings. If you shift jobs, your savings will roll into your new employer's system. If you become self-employed, you will control your account. Studies show about 80 percent of Americans will enroll in such a plan if given the option to pursue it. This will put a secure retirement more within reach for millions of working families. Since the new deal, we've had a basic understanding in America if you work hard and pay into the system; you've earned the right to a secure retirement. That's the promise that was kept for my grand parents and Michelle's mom and for so many families here in Oregon and across the country.

But in George Bush and John McCain's America, the message to the middle class has been, you're on your own. Well, I'm running for president because I believe we have to be a country that says we're all in this together. And that we can do this together. We can come together to keep America's promise, not just for this generation of seniors, but for our children and our grand children. That's a principle I think is worth fighting for and with your help, that's what I hope to do every single day when I'm president of the United States.


ACIOSTA: So there you have it. Barack Obama talking about the issue of Social Security and raising questions about John McCain's record on that issue. It's a preview of what we'll be seeing coming up in the general election battle. I'll turn it back now to my colleague Suzanne Malveaux who is in Kentucky following the Hillary Clinton campaign. I'll mention to you Suzanne as we've been following Barack Obama's comments over the weekend, he hasn't talked a whole lot about the senator from New York. Suzanne.

MALVEAUX: No, he hasn't. It's been quite interesting to see almost these parallel races that are happening. Senator Clinton has mentioned Barack Obama, though. She's taken him on specifically when it comes to some of her ideas and the economy, specifically talking about this break on this tax, the gas tax, spending it for the summer break, the holiday. Something that at least people in West Virginia took to quite kindly.

They thought it was a good idea. It's quite controversial. A lot of others believing it are not going to do that much good. But we heard from Senator Clinton out of Covington, Kentucky. That is when she has outlined specifics. We heard specifics of Barack Obama as well as specifics from Hillary Clinton they are trying to give the voters the kinds of plans to map out what it was that they would do if elected president, what makes them the better candidate, she talks about health care, education, Iraq, the whole gamete. Take a listen.


SENATOR HILLARY CLINTON, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We should have health care that's affordable for every single American. That's what I will do if I'm your president. We're going to have an education system that works for everybody, starting with preschool education to get our kids prepared. I will end No Child Left Behind. It isn't working. And we're going to make college affordable again. Every young person who wants to go. You're going to get the student loan companies out of the way, because they are charging predatory lending interest rates and forcing a lot of families and young people deep into debt.

We're going to tackle these gas prices. I'll tell you, if I were president today, I would launch an investigation into these energy traders who are speculating and driving the cost of your gas up. We're going to go after them. We're also going to go after OPEC. OPEC has set the price, set the supply. We're going to say, wait a minute, that's not a free market. And we're going to take them to OPEC and we're going to change our laws in America to use our anti-trust laws to break up their monopoly of the oil supply in the world.

How many of you would like some relief at the gas pump this summer? Well, that's what I hear everywhere, because we're moving toward $4 a gallon gas, $5 a gallon diesel. There is no end in sight. I want the oil companies to pay the gas tax this summer of you, to give you some relief and to do it out of their record profits. It's time we had a president to stand up to the oil companies. We know that they've got to be part of the solution instead of what they've been, which is part of the problem.

Now, all of this is going to require a president who knows what it's going to take to get into the oval office on day one and start making these tough decisions. It's also going to require a president who will restore our leadership in the world. And that begins by ending the war in Iraq and bringing our troops home as quickly and responsibly as possible. I have said that I will meet with our military advisers, we'll devise a plan and we'll start bringing our troops home within 60 days. We'll do it carefully.

But we will do it because our young men and women in uniform have fulfilled every military mission they were given. They have done their job. But the Iraqi government has failed to do its job, and it's time that they no longer had a blank check from the president of the United States. They're going to have to start making the decision to determine what kind of future they will have for themselves and their children. We have given them the precious gift of freedom. Now it's time for them to decide how they're going to exercise it.

So we're going to bring our sons and daughters home and then we're going to take care of our veterans. We are neglecting our veterans. We're not providing the health care and the services that they need. We need a commander in chief and a president who respects those who serve our country and their families. And then takes care of them to make sure they are given the health care and everything else they are entitled to.


MALVEAUX: Senator Hillary Clinton addressing voters throughout the weekend in Kentucky. Really crisscrossing the state, hoping for a big win, a substantial win in Kentucky on the Tuesday primary. Certainly to try to build on the momentum out of West Virginia.

In the meantime, Republican John McCain was not on the campaign trail but he did get quite a bit of attention this weekend from a cameo appearance on "Saturday Night Live." We will bring that little clip to you on the other side of this very quick break.


ACOSTA: Welcome back to BALLOT BOWL on CNN. I'm Jim Acosta in Portland, Oregon. We want to switch over to John McCain now who made a campaign appearance last night on the set of "Saturday Night Live" in New York City. John McCain has done this before back in 2002. As many of our viewers will recall. John McCain sang some Barbra Streisand tunes and because she is a prominent Democrat, that might not have been such a good idea this time around in 2008. So instead he poked some fun at himself and his age. Here's Senator McCain On "SNL" last night.


SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: My friends controlling government spending isn't just about Republicans or Democrats, it's about being able to look your children in the eye, or in my case, my children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, great great grandchildren, and great, great, great grand children. The youngest of who are nearing retirement. And tell them we have left you the same thing we were left, a future free from debt.

As your president, I will guarantee it. I have the courage, the wisdom, the experience, and most importantly, the oldness necessary. The oldness it takes to protect America, to honor her, love her, and tell her about what cute things the cat did. Thank you and good night.


ACOSTA: There you have it, John McCain on "SNL" last night saying he has the oldness to be president of the United States. That's all the time we have for this hour of BALLOT BOWL but there is plenty of BALLOT BOWL coming up after this break, including live events from Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. So stick with us. This is BALLOT BOWL on CNN.