Bloomberg is leaving the Republican party.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg changed his party affiliation from Republican to unaffiliated Tuesday, a move that will surely increase speculation he is considering an independent White House bid.
But Bloomberg, who has repeatedly denied he is planning a run, said in a statement his future plans haven't changed.
"Although my plans for the future haven’t changed, I believe this brings my affiliation into alignment with how I have led and will continue to lead our City," he said.
Check the CNN Election Center for more on the 2008 presidential elections.
– CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney
Bloomberg and Schwarzenegger joked about forming a presidential ticket Tuesday.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger grace this week's Time magazine cover, and on Tuesday the two joked about forming a presidential ticket.
"There would be a fight to see who would be the presidential candidate and who would be the vice presidential candidate," Bloomberg said during a joint appearance with Schwarzenegger at a University of Southern California political conference. "He would want to arm wrestle for the top spot; I would want to check the Constitution."
Schwarzenegger, a native of Austria, cannot run for president according to the Constitution. Bloomberg meanwhile has repeatedly denied claims he has any plans to mount a presidential bid in 2008.
But that didn't stop Schwarzenegger from predicting the New York Republican would make "an excellent candidate" because "he's all about fixing problems and creating a great vision for our future."
READ MORE on "Bloomberg and Schwarzenegger: The New Action Heroes"
– CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney
The Clintons will head to New Hampshire on July 13.
WASHINGTON (CNN) — Former President Bill Clinton will visit New Hampshire with his wife Sen. Hillary Clinton on July 13, a Clinton campaign spokesman tells CNN.
The news comes one day after it was learned the former president plans to join his wife, who is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, on the campaign trail in Iowa next month. It will be the first of many joint appearances, according to the spokesman.
"He will gradually announce more and more of these as his schedule permits," the spokesman said.
According to a recent CNN/WMUR poll, the New York Democrat holds a strong lead over Illinois Sen. Barack Obama in New Hampshire. But A Des Moines Register poll late last month indicates she is not faring as well in Iowa. The poll places the New York Democrat third in the Hawkeye State, behind former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards, and Obama.
– CNN Senior Political Correspondent Candy Crowley
Watch the Clintons parody the Sopranos' final scene.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - It's not everyday the Clintons would want to be compared to the Sopranos.
But in a gimmick intended to drum up buzz for her campaign's new theme song, Democratic White House hopeful Sen. Hillary Clinton, and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, star in a new video that parodies the HBO mob show's famously (or infamously) ambiguous final episode. (Watch video: CNN Internet Correspondent Abbi Tatton reports on the new Web video)
In the Web video, Bill and Hillary Clinton are seated in a busy diner as Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’” plays in the background. The couple flips through the diner jukebox, looking over the nominees for the campaign song. The actor Vincent Curatola, who played Johnny "Sack" Sacramoni in the HBO series, makes a cameo appearance, walking by the table and suspiciously eyeing Hillary. Like Meadow Soprano in the final episode, Chelsea Clinton – not seen – is supposedly outside the diner parallel parking.
As Hillary decides on a song, Bill muses: “My money’s on Smashmouth.”
The video also pokes fun at Bill Clinton’s long-publicized struggle with weight. Hillary orders a basket of carrot sticks for the table, to which Bill responds, “No onion rings?”
The anticipation builds to when Hillary is about to announce the song contest winner, then the video abruptly cuts to black.
The video then instructs viewers to go to another page on the New York Democrat's Web site to learn what song was chosen – Celine Dion's “You and I”
The campaign says over 200,000 people voted in the contest since it launched in mid-May, and 25,000 wrote in their own suggestions.
Clinton will likely be the first and only candidate to share a theme song with Air Canada, which once used the upbeat tune in a television ad campaign.
The announcement is accompanied by a big red “Contribute” button on Hillary’s web site, urging supporters to donate “before the upcoming FEC deadline.”
– CNN Associate Producer Peter Hamby
McCain said he doesn't like the accelerated primary calendar.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Republican presidential hopeful John McCain is no fan of the accelerated primary schedule, which now has as many as two dozen states voting on or before February 5, 2008.
The Arizona senator called the new calendar "bizarre" at a campaign stop in Florida on Tuesday. He said, "In principle, this process should be drawn out a lot longer so people have a better chance to examine the candidates."
"There is no way of coming back now if it's all the first week in February or even the last week in January," he added.
Florida became the latest state to move up its primary when Gov. Charlie Christ signed a bill in May that changed the date to Jan. 29, the same day as South Carolina's primary. Florida faces sanctions from both the Democratic and Republican parties for selecting convention delegates prior to February 5.
Romney touts fiscal discipline in his latest campaign ad.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney will hit television airwaves in Iowa and New Hampshire Wednesday with a new ad touting his fiscal discipline. It’s the latest effort in the former Massachusetts governor's aggressive advertising push in the early-voting states.
The new ad, titled "Work Like Crazy," is comprised of clips from past speeches in which Romney vows to cut taxes and spending.
"Government is simply too big," Romney says in the ad. "State government's too big. The federal government's too big. It's spending too much."
Romney first launched ads in Iowa and New Hampshire in early February. His poll numbers in the two crucial campaign states have steadily increased since then.
A CNN/WMUR poll released last week found Romney with an 8-point edge in New Hampshire over both Arizona Sen. John McCain and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani. Meanwhile, a Des Moines Register poll released late last month showed Romney with a 12-point lead over McCain and a 13-point lead over Giuliani in Iowa.
McCain and Giuliani have yet to run campaign ads.
Giuliani campaigned in Texas Tuesday.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani said at a press conference Tuesday in Houston that he would welcome former Sen. Fred Thompson and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich to the GOP presidential race.
"I think they should all join, be part of it," Giuliani said. "From my point of view, I'm not running against anybody in particular. I'm running to convince the Republican Party and the American people that I should be the next president."
Giuliani, while acknowledging certain differences with social conservatives, said that he thinks he has "a very good chance of winning the Republican nomination." He called himself the "strongest fiscal conservative" in the race and said his views on the war on terror and the economy will help him appeal to most Republicans.
– CNN Associate Producer Lauren Kornreich
Watch CNN's Richard Quest explain why Thompson went to England Tuesday.
(CNN) – Likely Republican Presidential candidate Fred Thompson told a London audience Tuesday “you cannot take the military option off the table” on dealing with Iran.
Thompson’s remarks came in a question and answer session following his foreign policy address to the Policy Exchange. The former Tennessee senator told the crowd there was three choices for dealing with Iran, “sanctions, regime change or a military option.”
He expressed hope that further sanctions and the possibility of a future blockade could help pressure Tehran to shut down its nuclear program. He noted, “we’ve made some progress on sanctions, but not nearly enough.”
Thompson said military action is not “the first thing that ought to be thrown out for consideration.” But, he later added, “ultimately you cannot take the military option off the table. You’re dealing with a country where terrorism and state sponsorship go hand in hand. They’re responsible for many of the activities of Hamas in Gaza, Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Taliban now in Afghanistan... not to mention what they’re doing in Iraq.”
He called Iran “a very, very serious threat” but added, “the first thing you got to do before we sign on a final plan of action is make sure all of the friends of world stability and freedom look at this threat and the nature of it the same way...we’re all in this together.”
Check the CNN Election Center for more on the 2008 presidential elections
– CNN Political Desk Managing Editor Steve Brusk
Nussle, above, will succeed Robert Portman as head of the OMB.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani hailed President Bush's choice of his top Iowa advisor, Jim Nussle, to head the Office of Management and Budget Tuesday, calling it a "great choice.'"
“Jim and I have long shared a commitment to fiscal discipline, and I have every confidence he will continue to be an effective steward of taxpayers’ hard earned dollars in his new position," Giuliani said in a statement. “As our campaign continues to grow our team in Iowa, I am grateful to Jim for his early support and for his hard work in helping our team get started.”
Nussle, a former Republican congressman from Iowa, will succeed Robert Portman, who resigned from the post Tuesday.
The departure of Giuliani's top Iowa adviser comes less than two weeks after the campaign announced it would not compete in the state’s GOP straw poll this August, a non-binding early test of strength in the first caucus state. Soon after, Arizona Sen. John McCain also said he would not participate in the event.
The NRCC unveiled its new Web site Tuesday.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - The National Republican Congressional Committee re-launched its Web site Tuesday, hoping to increase its impact online ahead of the 2008 congressional elections.
"The new NRCC.org is an example of our focus on expanding the NRCC’s online presence and utilizing some of the latest tools to not just achieve online parity with Democrats, but to beat them by energizing our supporters, spreading our message and reclaiming the majority," NRCC Communications Director Jessica Boulanger said in a statement.
The new Web site features a blog, several web videos, an online "action center," and links to social networking sites.
The committee has also hired a director of New Media to oversee its presence in the blogosphere.