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Democrats Stump for Support Before Wisconsin Vote

Democratic presidential candidates Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton -- still locked in a battle for delegates -- are jockeying for voter support before Tuesday's Wisconsin primary. Two journalists discuss the state of the race in the Badger State.

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  • RAY SUAREZ:

    Next, the latest on the presidential campaigns. Tomorrow brings a Democratic caucus in Hawaii and GOP and Democratic primaries in Wisconsin. Judy Woodruff has our story.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    Republican John McCain made a special trip to Houston today to pick up the endorsement of a former president, George Herbert Walker Bush. It was one more step on the way to solidifying his lead in the race for the nomination.

    SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), Arizona: And I believe that his endorsement and sign of support honors me, and I also think it's very helpful in continuing our effort to unite our party.

    In the conversations I've had with President Bush, he made it very clear that we as a party must unite and move forward and attract not only members of our own party, but independents and the so-called Reagan Democrats.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    Asked about the attacks on McCain's conservative credentials, the former president dismissed them as absurd.

    GEORGE H.W. BUSH, Former President of the United States: If you've been around the track, you hear these criticisms, and I think they're grossly unfair.

    He's got a record that everybody can analyze in the Senate, a sound conservative record, and yet he's not above reaching out to the other side. So I hear these criticisms. And Barbara knows I get a little bit annoyed about them, frankly.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    Mr. Bush also lauded McCain's character and readiness to lead.

  • GEORGE H.W. BUSH:

    His character was forged in the crucible of war. His commitment to America is beyond any doubt. But most importantly, he has the right values and experience to guide our nation forward at this historic moment.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    After the short visit to Texas, McCain moved onto Wisconsin, where both parties have primaries scheduled tomorrow.

    Except for an overnight trip to the Cayman Islands for a speech, McCain's opponent, Mike Huckabee, spent the last few days in the Badger State.

    FORMER GOV. MIKE HUCKABEE (R), Arkansas: I'd like to think that we've got enough support in Wisconsin that we could actually win here. I mean, it would be a very big thing for us.

    I think it would also be big for Wisconsin for me to win, because it would show that the party was wrong to say this is over and that it would be also wrong to end the game before people in places like Wisconsin have had a chance to vote.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    Campaigning this morning outside of Green Bay, Democrat Hillary Clinton argued that she has offered detailed solutions to problems where Barack Obama has not.

    SEN. HILLARY CLINTON (D), New York: I want you to know what I will do as your president. So, as you can tell, I give very specific ideas about what I want to do. I answer your questions as specifically as I can, because I think there's a big difference between speeches and solutions.

    And I think it's important that we hold our president and our presidential candidates accountable. So when I put out something like this, an economic blueprint, I really want you to hold me accountable.

    And, obviously, I hope you will think about that when you vote tomorrow, because I'm a proven commodity. I've been making change for people for 35 years. You know that I will go to work for you and make those changes happen.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    Before he headed back to Wisconsin, Obama rallied supporters in Youngstown, Ohio, where nominating contests will be held on March 4th. He countered Clinton, saying her attacks send the wrong message to voters.

    SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D), Illinois: I've really been enjoying this argument. It says, "Well, Obama can talk good, he is inspiring, but — but he doesn't have enough specifics. You know, it's all talk. He's not a doer; he's a talker."

    You've been hearing this argument a lot lately. But there's something more cynical about this. The notion is that if we have somehow gotten people excited again about politics, that there's something suspicious about that.

    You know, if you've got a political candidate that people actually believe in, then there's something suspicious about that.

    You know, they are trying to feed you with a cynicism that says, "You should just go back to sitting on the couch and complaining about how bad politics is, instead of coming out to rallies like this one and getting involved to bring about change in America."

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    Before the Youngstown rally, Obama fielded questions from reporters and acknowledged he should have credited Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, a friend and supporter of his, for lines Obama used in a weekend speech.

    Hawaii and its 29 delegates are also up for grabs tomorrow on the Democratic side.

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