Today on the Presidential Campaign Trail, Sep. 2nd


Thompson, Lieberman to speak Tuesday night as GOP gets convention back on track ... McCain's veep vetter says Palin voluntarily disclosed teen's pregnancy, husband's past DUI ... AP photographer, Democracy Now! TV and radio host arrested while covering anti-war protest ... McCain has opposed spending on teen pregnancy prevention programs, sex education

Thompson and Lieberman to speak at GOP convention

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Republicans swung their convention back on a political track Tuesday after a pause for Hurricane Gustav, giving President Bush a prime-time speaking slot to promote John McCain's candidacy for the White House. Former Democrat Joe Lieberman and TV star and former Sen. Fred Thompson also got speaking roles.

The president will address the convention by satellite from the White House.

There was a flurry of last-minute changes as Republicans tried to patch together a new schedule for the three remaining days of their convention. Monday's opening session was abbreviated and stripped of sharp political rhetoric as the nation kept its focus on Gustav, once seen as a major threat to the Gulf Coast. It landed with a blow that was less devastating than feared, allowing the GOP to lift the McCain-imposed ban on partisanship.

Bush had been in line to speak to the convention in person Monday night but instead went to Texas to be with disaster workers as Gustav threatened the Gulf. Some Republicans had breathed a sigh of relief to have the unpopular president out of the way and off the television screens. But Bush still was guaranteed a warm welcome from fellow Republicans in the convention hall.

The White House was so concerned about intruding on McCain's show that aides would neither confirm nor even discuss the ongoing planning for what was widely known to be happening: the speech to delegates by the president on Tuesday night. Bush aides were hypersensitive about any move that might offend McCain or be seen as trumping his show - a byproduct of McCain's delicate effort to distance himself from the president.

McCain vetter defends Palin review

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - John McCain said Tuesday he was satisfied that Sarah Palin's background was properly checked before the Alaska governor joined him on the Republican ticket.

Touring a Philadelphia fire house, McCain told reporters that "the vetting process was completely thorough and I'm grateful for the results."

Questions about the review came up after Palin disclosed that her unmarried teenage daughter, Bristol, is pregnant. It's also come out that the Alaska governor has retained a private attorney to represent her in an investigation into the firing of the state public safety commissioner.

The revelations raised questions about whether Palin's background was fully explored by McCain's vice presidential selection team.

AP photographer arrested while covering anti-war protest

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - An Associated Press photographer and a Democracy Now! TV and radio show host were among those arrested at an anti-war march on the first day of the Republican National Convention. Both were released hours later.

Police said Tuesday they arrested 286 people during Monday's event. Most of the estimated 10,000 people in the march were peaceful, but small groups that police said numbered about 200 broke windows, slashed tires and harassed delegates.

AP photographer Matt Rourke was covering the protest when he was swept up by police moving in on a group of protesters in downtown St. Paul. Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman was arrested as she asked police in riot gear about the status of two producers who had been arrested, one of whom she had heard was bleeding. The producers also were released later.

David Ake, an AP assistant chief of bureau in Washington, said he was concerned by the arrest of Rourke, a Philadelphia-based photographer.

"Covering news is a constitutionally protected activity, and covering a riot is part of that coverage," Ake said. "Photographers should not be detained for covering breaking news."

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McCain fought money on teen pregnancy programs

WASHINGTON (AP) - Republican John McCain, whose running mate disclosed that her unmarried 17-year-old daughter is pregnant, has opposed proposals to spend federal money on teen-pregnancy prevention programs and voted to require poor teen mothers to stay in school or lose their benefits.

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's announcement Monday about her daughter Bristol was aimed at rebutting Internet rumors that Palin's youngest son, born in April, was actually her daughter's. Palin said her daughter intends to raise her child and marry the baby's father, identified in news reports as Levi Johnston, 18, of Wasilla, a high school hockey player whom Bristol has dated for about one year. The baby is due in late December.

McCain's record on issues surrounding teen pregnancy and contraceptives during his more than two decades in the Senate indicates that he and Palin have similar views. Until Monday, when the subject surfaced in a deeply personal manner, teen pregnancy and sex education were not issues in the national political campaign.

Palin herself said she opposes funding sexual-education programs in Alaska.

"The explicit sex-ed programs will not find my support," she wrote in a 2006 questionnaire distributed among gubernatorial candidates.


Barack Obama is in Chicago with no public schedule.

Joe Biden campaigns in the Florida cities of Deerfield Beach and West Palm Beach.


John McCain stops in Philadelphia and Cleveland.

Sarah Palin is in St. Paul.


"They only met for, as I have heard, one day. I met with summer law clerks longer than that when we were hiring them." - Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., speaking about Republicans John McCain and Sarah Palin during an interview on MSNBC.


The Twin Cities could receive an estimated $150 million to $160 million economic boost from the four-day Republican convention, organizers say.

Compiled by Ann Sanner.