WASHINGTON (CNN) - Former Alaska Sen. Mike Gravel said he thought he was treated unfairly in the two previous Democratic presidential debates, but that he was satisfied with the format of Thursday's forum.
The long shot presidential candidate said he doesn't understand why other candidates get more time to talk during presidential forums, because "they made the judgment to go to war."
"Am I in the wrong world?" he said. "Am I so bright I see everything differently?"
– CNN Associate Producer Lauren Kornreich
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-New York, held her own at Thursday’s presidential forum, according to Clarence Page, a nationally syndicated columnist.
Page called one moment in particular “dramatic,” when Clinton responded that the nation's response to HIV and AIDS would be better if it mainly affected white women.
He said you know you’ve made a point as a candidate “when you have African-American women jumping up.”
– CNN Researcher Xuan Thai
(CNN) - Former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman and ex-HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy were both sentenced to more than six years in prison for their roles in a corruption case dating from Siegelman's term in office. U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller sentenced Siegelman to seven years and four months in federal prison and fined him $50,000.
A jury in Montgomery convicted him last June of charges including bribery, conspiracy to commit mail fraud and four counts of mail fraud and obstruction of justice, but acquitted him of numerous other counts, including racketeering and extortion.
Scrushy - who was acquitted in a massive corporate fraud case involving HealthSouth in 2005 - was sentenced to six years and 10 months in prison and fined $150,000. He was convicted of bribery, conspiracy to commit mail fraud and four counts of mail fraud.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Delaware Sen. Joe Biden's trademark blunt talk set up the liveliest and one of the frankest admissions in a gathering of presidential candidates so far this campaign.
In response to a question about AIDS in the black community at Thursday's Democratic presidential forum at Howard University, Biden said, "I spent last summer going through the black sections of my town holding rallies in parks trying to get black men to understand it's not unmanly to wear a condom. Getting women to understand they can say no. Getting people in the position where testing matters. I got tested for AIDS. I know Barack [Obama] got tested for AIDS. There's no shame in being tested for AIDS."
In response, Obama said, "I just gotta make clear I got tested with Michelle [Obama] when we were in Kenya in Africa. I don't want any confusion here about what's going on," eliciting the largest round of laughter from the audience.
Biden then replied, "I got tested to save my life, because I had 13 pints of blood transfusion."
WASHINGTON (CNN) – In an unusual moment, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson praised President George Bush at Thursday’s Democratic presidential forum.
On the topic of HIV/AIDS and African American teens, Richardson said there is a need to also address the issue of the disease in Africa and the need to fund the effort. He went on to praise President Bush in this effort.
“And here I'm going to say something positive about President Bush,” Richardson told the audience. “His funding for Millennium accountability and Millennium appropriations has been relatively impressive.”
Millennium Challenge provides funding to international projects in poor foreign countries.
– CNN Political Researcher Xuan Thai
WASHINGTON (CNN) - After taking too much time to answer a question in Thursday night's presidential forum, moderator Tavis Smiley decided to jump in and interrupt Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Connecticut.
Dodd responded, "I was going to say I'll have global warming for 600."
"If you were Paris Hilton, you could have an hour," Smiley shot back. "But you're not."
– CNN Associate Producer Lauren Kornreich
There is little disagreement at tonight's presidential forum.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - So far, this is less a debate and more a series of short stump speeches.
Halfway through Thursday's presidential forum or "debate" and no candidate has expressed a disagreement with another candidate. In fact, the candidates are often clapping for each others' answers.
Clearly, the Democratic candidates are in broad agreement on issues of race, healthcare and education. Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-New York, went so far as to say, "It's hard to disagree with anything that has been said."
– CNN Political Director Sam Feist
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Among the familiar faces in the audience at Thursday’s Democratic presidential forum are:
– CNN researcher Xuan Thai
Reporters are watching tonight's debate in a press center located in a separate building from the event.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Viewers might think reporters covering Thursday's PBS Presidential Forum are in the auditorium with the candidates.
Yet because of size constraints, members of the press have flown in from all over the country to watch the debate the same way viewers are - on television.
But members of the press didn't make the trip for nothing. After the forum ends, several candidates will make their way over to the press center - about 30 yards from where the forum is taking place - to offer their "spin" on the night.
– CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Former Alaska Sen. Mike Gravel said in Thursday's Democratic presidential forum that the "war on drugs" has been a "failure" similar to Prohibition, and vowed to end the effort as president.
"If I'm president, I'll do away with the war on drugs, which does nothing but savage our inner cities and put our children at risk," said Gravel. "When will we learn that the issue of drugs is a public health issue? Addiction is a public health issue, not a criminal issue where we throw people in jail and criminalize them to no advantage to the people."