Erie Times-News: Campaign briefs

McCain asks voters for New Hampshire comeback

GOFFSTOWN, N.H. — Republican Sen. John McCain on Wednesday implored New Hampshire voters “to come out one more time” on his behalf, as the two-time primary winner tried to stave off a general election loss with sharp criticism of Barack Obama’s tax and spending plans.

“I love you. I love New Hampshire,” McCain told a rally crowd in a college hockey rink. “I know I can count on you again to come from behind and take a victory and bring it all the way to Washington, D.C., next January.”

McCain won the 2000 and 2008 New Hampshire primaries.

GOP spent $150,000 in donations on Palin’s look

WASHINGTON — When the Republican Party decided to coordinate expenses with Sen. John McCain’s presidential campaign, who knew it would be color coordinated.

The Republican National Committee spent about $150,000 on clothing, hair styling, makeup and other “campaign accessories” in September for the McCain campaign after Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin joined the ticket as his running mate.

The McCain campaign says the clothing will go to a “charitable purpose” after the campaign.

The expenses include $75,062 spent at Neiman Marcus in Minneapolis Minn., and $41,850 in St. Louis in early September. The committee also reported spending $4,100 for makeup and hair consulting.

Muslim Americans welcome statements

For many Muslim- and Arab-Americans, comments former Secretary of State Colin Powell made about what in their view is the Islamophobia surrounding Sen. Barack Obama’s candidacy were welcome.

On “Meet the Press” Sunday, Powell said what many Muslims and Arabs said they have waited to hear from a prominent figure like Powell throughout the 2008 presidential campaign.

Addressing the false rumor that Obama is a Muslim, Powell said: “The really right answer is: What if he is? . . . Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country? The answer’s no. That’s not America. Is something wrong with some 7-year-old Muslim-American kid believing that he or she could be president?”

Ahmed Rehab, executive director of the Council of American Islamic Relations’ Chicago office, called Powell’s comments “a real morale booster.”

GOP, eyeing House losses, pulls out of key races

WASHINGTON — National Republicans have yanked TV advertising for Minnesota GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann’s re-election bid after she suggested Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama could have “anti-American” views and urged an investigation of unpatriotic lawmakers.

Bachmann is one of four at-risk Republican incumbents left to fend for themselves by a cash-strapped House campaign arm in the crucial final days of the campaign amid a tough political environment for the GOP. The National Republican Campaign Committee has also canceled planned TV ads to help GOP Reps. Marilyn Musgrave in Colorado, Tom Feeney in Florida and Joe Knollenberg in Michigan, spokeswoman Karen Hanretty confirmed.

Musgrave, Feeney and Knollenberg are vulnerable, and Democrats — who are eyeing double-digit gains in their House majority — have been targeting them heavily. Bachmann has emerged as a target after controversial remarks on MSNBC’s “Hardball,” which sparked a flood of contributions to her Democratic opponent and have reshaped the race.

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