Thompson raised $3.4 million in June.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson raised $3.4 million in June for a possible White House bid, his presidential exploratory committee announced Tuesday.
“The level of support and enthusiasm from people across this country is inspiring,” said Thompson in a written statement. “It tells me that people are ready for a leader who will change the national attitude from political bickering to a shared vision for our future. A leader who will bring us together, one who understands the challenges we face.”
The committee says it received contributions from 9,167 donors in less than one month and spent just over $625,000 in the same timeframe.
Thompson, who is not yet an official candidate, created a presidential exploratory committee, also known as a “testing the waters” committee, in early June. Federal law required the former senator to register the committee with the Internal Revenue Service as a so-called “527” organization, which he may later convert to a federal campaign committee once he declares his candidacy.
He is expected to officially launch his campaign after Labor Day.
Obama's campaign will air a new ad in Iowa
DES MOINES, Iowa (CNN) –The Obama Campaign announced Tuesday that a new ad focused on reforming Washington will begin airing Wednesday across the Hawkeye State. Ethics reform has become a staple in the Democratic candidate's stump speeches in the region. In a press release, the campaign also plans to put signs reading "Not paid for by PAC or federal lobbyist money" in offices statewide.
"I am extremely proud of amount of money our campaign has raised," the Illinois senator said in a statement, "but I’m even more proud of how we did it. We didn’t take a dime from Washington lobbyists or special interest group because if we’re going to truly change the way Washington works, we need to break the stranglehold that the lobbyists and special interests have on our democracy."
Ethics reform was a primary focus of remarks Obama made Monday in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. In his speech, he said that lobbyists "stop us from addressing issues that matter."
"Special interests dominate on a day to day basis in terms of legislative activity," he said. "If we can’t change that, we’re not going to change anything.”
–CNN Iowa Producer Chris Welch
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Virginia Senator John Warner was full of praise for Senator Hillary Clinton at Tuesday’s confirmation hearing for Joint Chiefs Chair nominee Mike Mullen – maybe a bit too much for her campaign backers.
The funny moment occurred as senators questioned Admiral Mullen before the Armed Services Committee. Chairman Carl Levin, D-Michigan, asked the Democratic presidential hopeful if she would allow Warner to finish his line of questioning before she started. Clinton politely replied, “Absolutely.”
Warner said, “Senator Clinton, may I thank you for that courtesy? You know, the many years that you’ve been on this committee, that’s the hallmark of your service. Courtesy and respect. And you’ve been a good strong working partner through the years.”
Warner then deadpanned, “We don’t want to lose you.”
To laughter, Levin then interrupted, “Your time is up, Senator Warner.”
–CNN's Steve Brusk and Jim Barnett
New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson
DES MOINES, Iowa (CNN) - New Mexico governor and Democratic presidential candidate Bill Richardson will tour southeast Iowa on Thursday for two days of events centering on energy. The campaign announced Tuesday that the former energy secretary will discuss his plan to boost domestic renewable fuel production and making America energy independent.
The eight stops of the tour are all being dubbed as "presidential job interviews" - Richardson's version of town hall meetings - and will begin in Eldridge, Iowa, on Thursday and conclude in Wapello on Friday.
–CNN Iowa Producer Chris Welch
DES MOINES, Iowa (CNN) - It's a sight that Iowans are used to seeing by now, but nonetheless Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards announced that he, too, will be touring the state in a bus.
The campaign said Tuesday that the seven-day trip, dubbed the "Fighting for One America" bus tour, will make stops in 30 counties. It will begin Monday, August 13, in Des Moines, where the Iowa State Fair will be well underway. The tour will take the former senator through all regions of the state before returning back to Des Moines on Sunday, August 19, for a Democratic debate at Drake University.
In a statement, Edwards said, "I’m looking forward to this trip and talking with Iowans about our fight to build One America – an America where everyone has a chance to get ahead and where the needs of regular Americans come before the needs of powerful special interests."
Recently, buses stocked with presidential hopefuls have been no strangers to the Hawkeye State. Thus far Democrat Chris Dodd and Republicans Sam Brownback, Mitt Romney, and Tommy Thompson have all jumped on the bandwagon, so to speak. Republican John McCain also took his "Straight Talk Express" –made famous in his 2000 presidential bid– out for a ride in March.
–CNN Iowa Producer Chris Welch
Rudy Giuliani took issue Tuesday with Democratic health care proposals.
(CNN) - Speaking before a town hall forum Tuesday, Republican presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani lambasted the health care plans put forward by the Democratic presidential field.
"We've got to do it the American way. The American way is not single-payer, government-controlled anything. That's a European way of doing something; that's frankly a socialist way of doing something," the former New York mayor said. "That's why when you hear Democrats in particular talk about single-mandated health care, universal health care, what they're talking about is socialized medicine."
Giuliani was in Rochester, New Hampshire, to discuss his health care proposals. He said he would reform the current system by using free-market solutions that he said would facilitate consumer-driven health care.
"America's health care system is being dragged down by decades of government-imposed mandates and wasteful, unaccountable bureaucracy," he said. "To reform, we must empower all Americans by increasing health care choices and affordability, while bringing accountability to the system."
Giuliani was scheduled to appear later in the day in Norwalk, Connecticut.
–CNN Political Desk Editor Jamie Crawford