WASHINGTON (CNN) - Former Washington Post reporter Carl Bernstein told CNN's Wolf Blitzer Thursday Sen. Hillary Clinton has often misrepresented her life story, especially in her 2003 autobiography "Living History."
"She is very much a camouflaged woman," said Bernstein, whose book on the New York Democrat, "A Woman in Charge," hit bookstores Tuesday. "She is hidden behind that camouflage. Her own biography, as she sees it, and has written it, is far from what really is a full account."
In particular Bernstein, who gained fame for exposing the Nixon Watergate scandal, contends that though Clinton has portrayed her childhood in idyllic terms, her father was often abusive.
"Her father was a sour, unfulfilled man, a martinet,” Bernstein said. “Beat the kids. She, in fact, in her own book talks about he didn't like to spare the rod. And we don't know the extent to which he beat the children."
Bernstein also detailed the senator’s often rocky marriage, and said she nearly divorced her husband, then-Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton, in 1989.
"This basic information came from Betsey Wright, Bill Clinton's chief of staff in the gubernatorial years who witnessed his acting out in this affair that he had with a woman named Marilyn Jo Jenkins, witnessed his exits, comings, goings," Bernstein said. "And finally, Bill told Betsey Wright that he had wanted to leave the marriage. That Hillary, in Betsey Wright's words to me, would not give him a pass."
- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Criticizing the current administration's policies on handling terrorism and the war in Iraq in a speech in New York City Thursday, former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards said former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani can't win the presidency if he stays too close to Bush ideologically.
"If Mayor Giuliani believes that what President Bush has done is good and wants to embrace it and run a campaign for the presidency, saying I will give you four more years of what this president has given you, then he's allowed to do that," Edwards said. "He'll never be elected president of the United States, but he's allowed to do that."
Edwards has received a lot of attention recently for calling Bush's war on terror a "bumper sticker slogan." He stood by that and said America is less safe than it was before Bush took office.
"We have more terrorists," Edwards said. "So that combination, less allies, less people to work with us and more terrorist operations around the world, makes America less safe."
Edwards also took a jab at the Republican presidential candidates and their attempt to “one up each other to try to be a bigger, badder George Bush. I think they want to become George Bush on steroids.”
Edwards explained his plan, one different from the Bush Administration, to have a direct line of communication between the president and military leadership as well as setting up a “10,000 person marshal core who would be responsible for providing the expertise and leadership” to undercut terrorism.
And as capper on security, a reporter asked Edwards his thought on Paris Hilton’s early prison release. Edwards chuckled that he was going to stay away from the dominant news story.
In a statement responding to the speech, Giuliani's Communications Director Katie Levinson said, "We are glad to see Rudy's criticism of the Democrats not understanding the terrorists' war on us is starting to register with them."
"John Edwards' track record of predicting election outcomes speaks for itself."
- CNN's Marissa Muller and Lauren Kornreich
Rep. Ron Paul answers a question from CNN's Wolf Blitzer at Tuesday's GOP debate.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - It’s been an exciting week for us at the Ticker – a few days ago, we opened up the comments section of our blog, and since then, we’ve received thousands of responses.
A large number of the ones we’ve posted so far have been from supporters of White House presidential hopeful Ron Paul, R-Texas.
But come Tuesday night’s GOP debate, we were inundated with Paul comments on our ticker post: “Who won the GOP debate?”
Many of the comments we received were supportive of the Texas congressman, while others registered frustration that the flood of Paul posts impeded the general online discussion, likening them to spam.
One thing is for sure: Ron Paul supporters are effective at coordinating and mobilizing online quickly. For the three GOP debates so far, Paul has won or placed high in most of the unscientific online surveys including ABC's, MSNBC's, FOX's, and unscientific polls conducted on a number of blogs.
Paul virtually swept CNN's unscientific survey after Tuesday night's GOP debate: not only did participants say Paul won the debate, but also that he knew the most about the issues, had the best one-liner, had the most surprising performance, and got the biggest boost from the debate. (He wasn’t considered the snappiest dresser, however – see Mitt Romney). The topic is getting some play on conservative blogs, too.
These informal polls are unscientific because supporters can often vote more than once, and are not randomly selected, and while they may be useful indicator of a candidate’s ability to organize online, they are not generally an accurate measure of support across the electorate.
The comments section is intended to be informal, of course, but the strain on resources that night prompted us to take down the “Who won the GOP debate” question (though that didn’t stop Paul supporters from commenting; they started adding comments to the “Who won the Democratic debate?” post). The intention was not to censor Ron Paul supporters - right now, you'll find hundreds of Paul posts on the site.
Given the volume of submissions, we do not post every comment. That said, we will always try to post as many as possible. We know how frustrating it can be to write something thoughtful and never see it published.
Right now “Ron Paul” is among the top-searched terms on Technorati, the popular site that tracks blog posts. According to the community Web site, Eventful, there are more than 16,000 outstanding “demands” for Paul to appear in cities across the country – that’s up 11,000 from just one week ago, leapfrogging him over Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-New York. Ron Paul video clips get plenty of play on YouTube and there is no shortage of blogs devoted to his support.
What do these numbers mean? How do you reconcile that support with the national poll numbers? In virtually every scientific national poll - generally regarded as the best measurement of public support for a political candidate - Paul registers, at most, between 1 and 2 percent. Do the debate numbers reflect something different than the national polls? Is it too early to tell?
Paul opposes abortion rights, voted to authorize a 700-mile fence along the U.S.-Mexican border, supports withdrawing troops from Iraq, and defines marriage as between a man and a woman. Is he a “true conservative”? If indeed his support is growing, what is it going to take for Paul to break out and challenge the front-runners for the GOP presidential nomination?
We welcome your comments below.
For more breaking political news, check back with www.cnn.com/ticker
- The CNN Political Ticker Team