July 3rd, 2007
04:38 PM ET
3 years ago

Giuliani tops Romney, McCain in quarterly fundraising

Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani raked in $17 million in campaign funds in the past three months, topping his two leading GOP rivals in fund-raising for the quarter, the Giuliani campaign announced Monday.

The figures came out shortly after former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney announced he had raised $14 million in the second quarter and had lent his campaign an additional $6.5 million. Romney's campaign said the $14 million raised was all for the GOP primary campaign, while a Giuliani campaign aide told CNN that $15 million of the former mayor's take can be spent for the primary.

Giuliani brought in nearly $2 million more than in the first quarter, when he trailed Romney. The campaign had more than $18 million remaining in the bank by the end of June, $3 million of which must be reserved for a possible general election race, the Giuliani aide said.

"We are thrilled by our fund-raising this quarter and are running a strong and efficient campaign. We are well positioned to win both the primary and the general elections," campaign manager Michael DuHaime said in a statement announcing the results. "We are serious about being good stewards with the money that has been entrusted to us."

Giuliani has led many early polls of the GOP field, with Romney and Sen. John McCain of Arizona rounding out the top tier of candidates in both money and polling.

FULL POST

July 3rd, 2007
04:31 PM ET
3 years ago

Obama stumps in Iowa

Obama campaigns on the back of a pick-up truck.

KEOKUK, Iowa (CNN) - Standing on the bed of an old pick-up truck draped in red, white and blue, Sen. Barack Obama pitched himself as the candidate best able to make the changes he says Americans are yearning for.

"I am ready to lead this country," he told voters standing outside an elementary school in Keokuk, Iowa. "I know where America needs to go."

The mid-afternoon retail event drew several hundred people, a number the Obama campaign claims is typical for stops outside of larger venues around the state. Obama did, however, make reference to the "enormous crowds" he's drawn at stops around the country. He highlighted several specific ones, including an Iowa City event, where he said 10,000 folks showed up, and another in Davenport, where he claimed 4,500 people turned out.

Hillary and Bill Clinton are holding events in Iowa City and Davenport today. The Obama staff pleaded ignorance.

Like Sen. Chris Dodd earlier today, Obama said he knew voters were getting down to "choosing" their candidate. "I want all of your support, I want you to caucus for me," he said, but added that if some in the crowd picked another candidate, that was okay as long as they got out to caucus.

– CNN Senior Political Producer Sasha Johnson


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Iowa
July 3rd, 2007
03:35 PM ET
3 years ago

Romney: Abortion acceptable in certain circumstances

ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) - Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney’s stance on abortion was in the spotlight Tuesday when said that he supports abortion if the “life of the mother is at risk.”

At a breakfast in Council Bluffs, IA, the former governor was asked a question about abortion – a touchy subject since he once supported abortion rights, but now holds an anti-abortion position.

“My view is that if there is a circumstance where the life of the mother is at risk by virtue of proceeding with the pregnancy, then abortion in that case is acceptable,” Romney said. "I do not believe it is immoral in that case. I know other people feel differently."

When Romney ran for US Senate in Massachusetts in 1994, he supported abortion rights. As a presidential candidate, Romney has said that he is pro-life.

– From CNN Assignment Editor Marissa Muller


Filed under: Mitt Romney
July 3rd, 2007
03:22 PM ET
3 years ago

McCain in Iraq for July fourth

This is McCain's sixth trip to Iraq.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Arizona Sen. John McCain arrived in Iraq on Tuesday and met with Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, an official with the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad told CNN.

On the first day of his trip, McCain, who is traveling with South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, with met with Multi-National Forces officials in Anbar province. McCain told reporters about his anticipated trip last Friday, saying that he "would rather spend the 4th of July with the men and women in Iraq than anywhere else in the world."

McCain received heavy criticism during his last trip to the war-torn country in April after saying that he felt safe walking around an outdoor market in Baghdad. He later apologized for the comments.

This is McCain's sixth trip to Iraq.

–CNN Associate Producer Lauren Kornreich


Filed under: Iraq • John McCain
July 3rd, 2007
03:15 PM ET
3 years ago

Romney raises $14 million for presidential bid

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney raised $14 million in the past three months for his presidential bid and made a personal loan of an additional $6.5 million to the campaign, aides said Tuesday.

Romney reported having $12 million cash-on-hand, which is $10 million more than one of his chief rivals for the Republican nomination, Sen. John McCain. The Arizona senator announced Monday that he raised $11.2 million in the second quarter and had $2 million cash-on-hand.

Former New York City Mayor Giuliani, who holds the lead in many early polls of Republican presidential hopefuls, has yet to release his fundraising total for the second quarter.

Romney's campaign noted that all of the money raised by the former governor during the second quarter can be spent in the primary election. And the campaign said that 50,000 new donors contributed in the second quarter.

But Romney's fundraising haul in the second quarter dropped off by $7 million after posting more than $21 million in the first quarter.

Meanwhile, the Democratic frontrunners for their party's presidential nomination continue to lead the pack in early fundraising. Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, raised $32.5 million in the second quarter, while Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-New York, will report raising $27 million in this same three month time period. Of the $32.5 million, Obama can use $31 million in his bid for the Democratic nomination, while Clinton can spend $21 million of her second-quarter total to try and win her party's nomination.

All presidential candidates have until July 15 to report their fundraising and spending activity to the Federal Election Commission.

– CNN Political Editor Mark Preston


Filed under: Uncategorized
July 3rd, 2007
02:19 PM ET
3 years ago

Romney: 'Clinton handed out pardons like lollipops'

Romney campaigned in Iowa Tuesday.

(CNN) – Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, an opponent of pardons while he was governor of Massachusetts, defended President Bush’s decision to commute the prison sentence of former Cheney Chief of Staff Lewis “Scooter” Libby.

While appearing at a breakfast in Council Bluffs, Iowa, Romney said Mr. Bush issued the commutation after he “looked very carefully at the setting” and that commutation was justified because Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald “went after somebody even when he knew no crime had been committed."

"Once he had found out that someone else was the source of the information, he still went after Scooter Libby," Romney said. "Gosh, given that fact, isn’t it reasonable for a commutation of a portion of the sentence to be made?"

Romney had said earlier that he refused to grant pardons, which have eliminated the guilty verdict against Libby, because he didn’t want to overturn a jury’s decision.

The Massachusetts Republican also used the issue to take a shot at Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, who criticized the president’s decision Monday night while campaigning Iowa with her husband, former President Bill Clinton.

“Wasn't it Bill Clinton who was handing out pardons like lollipops at the end of his administration," Romney said, "and isn’t there some recognition that you might look a little silly if you didn't have anything to say when he was handing out pardon after pardon after pardon for political purposes only?”

– CNN Political Desk Managing Editor Steve Brusk


Filed under: Mitt Romney
July 3rd, 2007
12:43 PM ET
3 years ago

Bush: Full Libby pardon possible

Bush said Tuesday he hasn't ruled out pardoning Libby.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Bush said Tuesday he wouldn't rule in or out a full pardon for former White House aide Lewis "Scooter" Libby, after having commuted his 30-month prison sentence Monday.

The president's comments came as he left the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, where he had been visiting military personnel wounded in the Iraq war.

White House spokesman Tony Snow also discussed the possibility of a pardon in the daily White House briefing.

"There is always a possibility or there's an avenue open for anybody to petition for consideration of a pardon," Snow told reporters. "As far as we know, that's not been done, and we don't know if it's contemplated by Scooter Libby or his defense team."

"The reason I will say I'm not going to close the door on a pardon is simply this: that Scooter Libby may petition for one. But the president has done what he thinks is appropriate to resolve this case," Snow said.

The tumultuous briefing, punctuated by pointed questions from reporters and repeated explanations by Snow, came a day after the president's announcement sparked an uproar by critics claiming the move was another example of the Bush administration believing that it is above the law.

FULL POST


Filed under: Scooter Libby
July 3rd, 2007
11:40 AM ET
3 years ago

Dodd launches 'River to River' tour of Iowa

Dodd greets a supporter in Davenport, Iowa Tuesday.

Dodd is traveling across Iowa in his "River to River" tour bus.

DAVENPORT, Iowa (CNN) - Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd urged Iowa voters to keep their powder dry and consider throwing their support his way at the first stop on a Fourth of July bus tour across Iowa Tuesday.

"You may very well choose our nominee," Dodd told a group assembled for breakfast in Davenport. Iowa voters, he said, "don't like being told by outsiders that the race is over seven months before it happens."

But the Democratic hopeful did acknowledge people would start making up their minds soon and asked the group to take into account not only his legislative record but his record of winning elections.

"We need to have a candidate in 2008 that can win an election in 2008," he said. "If we assume that November is going to look like July 2007 we are deluding ourselves."

Dodd's traveling from the Mississippi River to the Missouri River in style aboard an Iowa-based bus complete with leather seats and satellite TV.

The campaign points out the bus was "wrapped" with the Dodd logo and "River to River Tour" emblem in the Hawkeye State. Dodd will be joined by singer Paul Simon for the last few days of the tour which winds up Saturday.

– CNN Senior Political Producer Sasha Johnson


Filed under: Chris Dodd • Iowa
July 3rd, 2007
11:39 AM ET
3 years ago

Schneider: Where does McCain go from here?

Watch CNN's Bill Schneider analyze why McCain lags in fundraising and polls.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The latest news from the McCain campaign is not good.

John McCain started this campaign as the establishment candidate. He's running in a party that usually nominates the establishment candidate. McCain made peace with his old rival, George W. Bush, and recruited some key Bush operatives and contributors for his campaign.

What happened?

"We believed that we would raise over $100 million during this calendar year and we constructed a campaign that was based on that assumption," McCain campaign manager Terry Nelson said in a conference call. "We believe today that that assumption is not correct."

– CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider

Full story

July 3rd, 2007
10:39 AM ET
3 years ago

Brownback camp blasts Tancredo over Planned Parenthood connection

Brownback's campaign questioned a Tancredo supporter Monday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. Sam Brownback's presidential campaign blasted fellow GOP presidential candidate Tom Tancredo Monday for accepting campaign donations from a founder of a Planned Parenthood chapter.

In a statement, the Kansas Republican's campaign says Tacredo's presidential campaign, political action committee, and congressional re-election campaign have accepted "thousands of dollars personally" from Dr. John Tanton, founder of the Northern Michigan Planned Parenthood Association. Tancredo is a U.S. congressman from Colorado.

"Given Tanton's obvious ties to Planned Parenthood, Tom Tancredo should publicly denounce his ties to Tanton and should donate all previously accepted funds to an Iowa crisis pregnancy center," said John Rankin, Brownback's Iowa communications director. "How can pro-life Iowans believe Tom Tancredo's commitment to life when he has accepted money from such a prominent abortion supporter?"

Brownback has made abortion-rights issues a centerpiece of his White House bid.

UPDATE: Bay Buchanan, a senior advisor to Tancredo's presidential campaign, issued the following statement:

"Those who contribute to the Tancredo campaign are supportive of Congressman Tancredo and his principles and values; in no way does this suggest he endorses theirs."

"As for the congressman’s pro-life record, it is unassailable.  What is far more interesting to the people of Iowa is Senator Brownback’s complete embrace of massive amnesty for illegal aliens."

– CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney


Filed under: Sam Brownback • Tom Tancredo
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