McCain criticized Obama's comments on U.S. involvement in Pakistan.
WASHINGTON(CNN) - In a statement echoing the recent foreign policy quarrel between Sen. Hillary Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama, Republican Senator and presidential hopeful John McCain accused Obama of "naivete" in a newspaper interview posted online Sunday.
McCain made the comments to The State newspaper in Columbia, South Carolina.
The Arizona Senator was asked about Obama's speech last week in which he said he would possibly send U.S. troops into Pakistan to pursue terrorists, even without the approval of the Pakistani government.
"It’s kind of typical of his naivete," McCain told the newspaper. "If we go in, and maybe we should depending on the assessment, we would want to do it covertly and we would want to do it in coordination with Pakistanis covertly as well. It wouldn’t be the smartest thing to do to announce to the world we’re attacking another country."
–CNN South Carolina Producer Peter Hamby
Obama drew fire on Sunday for some of his recent remarks
(CNN)–Senator Barack Obama drew criticism from Republican presidential candidates over his recent comments over how he would shift the focus of the war on terror from Iraq to Pakistan.
Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney said Obama has been inconsistent in his recent comments. "You look at that Democratic debate, I had to laugh at what I saw Barack Obama do," Romney said in reference to the CNN/You Tube debate last month in South Carolina. "I mean in one week he went from saying he's going to sit down, you know, for tea, with our enemies, but then he's going to bomb our allies. I mean he's gone from Jane Fonda to Dr. Strangelove in one week."
In that debate, Obama had said that he would be willing to meet with the leaders of rogue governments like Cuba, Venezuela, and Iran without pre-condition. In a speech delivered last week in Washington, D.C., Obama said the U.S. must be ready to take military action inside Pakistan to dismantle terrorist networks.
Romney, and the 8 other GOP candidates were debating on the campus of Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa.
–CNN Political Desk Editor Jamie Crawford
Romney defended his stance on abortion on Sunday.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney called Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback "desperate" and "negative" for justifying automated phone calls to Iowa voters calling Romney pro-life at the start of the Republican debate in Iowa on Sunday morning.
In the calls, Brownback's campaign said that "nothing is further from the truth" than Romney's pro-life position. He criticized Romney's wife, Ann, for contributing to Planned Parenthood and said that until two years ago, he pledged to uphold abortion rights legislation. Brownback defended the ad and called it "truthful," while in response, Romney said "virtually nothing in that ad is true."
"I get tired of people who are holier than thou because they've been pro-life longer than I have," Romney said.
Romney has received criticism for blatantly changing his views on abortion. He defended himself for switching his views from being “effectively pro-choice” to pro-life and said that he is "proud of the fact."
–CNN Associate Producer Lauren Kornreich
Tancredo defended his comments on Sunday
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Colorado Rep. Tom Tancredo continued to defend his comments that threatening to bomb Muslim holy sites would be the right way to "deter any kind of aggression" from terrorists and said that anyone who wouldn't do the same "isn't fit to be president" on Sunday morning.
"I'm telling you right now that anybody that would suggest that we should take anything like this off the table in order to deter that kind of event in the United States isn't fit to be president of the United States," the GOP presidential candidate said.
During a campaign stop in Iowa on Tuesday, Tancredo said that “an attack on this homeland of that nature would be followed by an attack on the holy sites in Mecca and Medina.” Tom Casey, a deputy spokesman for the State Department, told CNN that Tancredo's comments were "reprehensible" and "absolutely crazy." But Tancredo said that when the State Department complains about things he says, he feels more confident.
"Yes, the State Department. Boy, when they start complaining about things I say, I feel a lot better about the things I say, I'll tell you right now," Tancredo said, to laughter from the audience.
(CNN) – Several Republican presidential candidates said a tax hike to pay for fixing bridges and the nation’s infrastructure was not the answer in the wake of the deadly Minneapolis bridge collapse.
The comments came during a GOP presidential debate in Des Moines, Iowa, broadcast on ABC’s “This Week”.
Asked if he would support a gas tax increase to go towards repairs, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani said, “There is a liberal Democratic assumption that if you raise taxes, you raise money. We should put more money into infrastructure. We should have agood program for doing it. But the kneejerk liberal Democratic reaction - raise taxes to get money - very often is a very big mistake.”
Giuliani said in New York City, he was able to raise more money for capital improvement projects through an income tax cut he said ultimately generated more revenues. He said they were able to cut the number of “poor bridges from 5 percent to 1.7 percent.”
Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney said “if you really want to make some money in
this country, really get some money so we can repair our infrastructure and build for the future, the biggest source of that is a growing American economy.”
He said a change of priorities is need for urgent bridge repairs, saying “we have to reorient how we spend our money.” Romney said in Massachusetts, “we found that we had 500 bridges, roughly, that were deemed structurally deficient. And so we changed how we focused our money. Instead of spending it to build new projects - the bridge to nowhere, new trophies for congressmen - we instead said, "Fix it first."
Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckaee said the U.S. needed to out money into bridge and transportation improvements at home before giving money for projects in other countries. He said, “it's not necessarily that we raise a tax to fix what we ought to fix of this country. We're spending billions of dollars all over our country and around the world, but it may be time that we start spending some of those billions of dollars to deal with our own infrastructure.”
He said the Minnesota disaster and last month’s New York City underground explosion highlight a growing problem, saying, “it's not being talked about. And it's our bridges, our interstates, our sewer and water treatment systems. They're crumbling. They're old. We saw an 85-year-old steam pipe explode in the middle of Manhattan recently. And we have to start addressing building this country, not everybody else's.”
Senator John McCain, R-Arizona, said Congress shares blame for problems with the nation’s bridges and roads. “ We passed a $50 billion transportation bill that had $2 billion in pork barrel earmarked projects, “ he said, “ $233 million for a bridge to nowhere in Alaska, to an island with 50 people on it. Not one dime in those pork barrel projects was for inspection or repair of bridges.”
–CNN Political Desk Managing Editor Steve Brusk
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Less than five minutes after the Republican debate ended on Sunday morning, three of the GOP frontrunners' campaigns raced to declare their candidate the winner.
In the no holds barred public relations war, every candidate somehow always wins each debate. This time, Arizona Sen. John McCain's campaign was the first one to declare victory, beating the others to my inbox by two minutes. "John is the only candidate with the integrity, courage, and national security experience to lead on day one," advisor Chuck Larson said in a statement.
But former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani's campaigns weren't shy about announcing their candidates' success, either.
In individual statements, Romney's Communications Director Matt Rhoades and Giuliani's Communications Director Katie Levinson both said that their own candidate is the best one to lead the country forward. Rhoades said Romney is "the best candidate to lead our nation forward" and Levinson called Giuliani "best equipped to defeat the democrats and lead our country forward."
The candidates all appeared on ABC's "This Week" Sunday morning.
(CNN) – Several Republican presidential candidates distanced themselves from President Bush’s foreign policy doctrine, and questioned the role of Vice President Cheney, during Sunday morning’s nationally-televised debate.
The foreign policy comments came in response to a question during on President Bush’s second term goal of spreading democracy and ending tyranny, during the debate from Des Moines, Iowa, broadcast on ABC’s “This Week.
Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney said. “I’m not a carbon copy of President Bush. And there are things I would do that would be done differently.”
Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee said he would not follow the policy, saying “sometimes when you get what you want, you don’t get want what you get.” He said, “this is a great case of that happening. I don’t think it’s the job of the United States to export our form of government…I don’t think we can force people to accept our way of life, our way of government.”
Texas Congressman Ron Paul told the audience, “There’s nothing wrong with spreading our values around the world, but it is wrong to spread him by force.”
New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson
WASHINGTON (CNN) - For Bill and Barbara Richardson, a simple ride to school led to a lifetime together.
The Richardsons celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary on Sunday.
"Over the past 35 years Barbara has been my wife, best friend and my number one advisor," New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson said in a statement. "She has stood by my side through it all and on this special day I thank her for her love and devotion. Truly, there is no luckier man. Barbara here's to another beautiful 35 years."
The couple met when Richardson was a senior in high school. Barbara saw Richardson in downtown Concord, Massachusetts and offered him a ride back to school. They've been together ever since.
The GOP candidates debated in Iowa on Sunday.
DES MOINES (CNN) - It was no holds barred Sunday as the Republican presidential hopefuls took part in the first Iowa debate of the 2008 elections.
In a 90-minute session broadcast live on ABC's "This Week," the nine official GOP contenders clamored for support in the state that chooses among them first in the election cycle.
They targeted each other's positions on abortion, shared ideas for protecting the nation's infrastructure in the wake of the Minneapolis bridge collapse, and, in some cases, offered criticisms of President Bush.
The most dramatic moments came when former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney came out swinging against Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas, whose campaign had sponsored an automated phone message to Iowans. That advertisement skewered Romney's changed position on abortion, saying he had pledged to uphold policies legalizing abortion before declaring himself opposed to them.
"I am pro-life. And virtually every part of that ad is inaccurate," said Romney.
(CNN)–Mitt Romney has a comfortable lead in Iowa over his fellow competitors for the GOP presidential nomination.
In the latest Washington Post/ABC News poll, 26 percent of likely Republican caucus goers support Romney. Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani had 14 percent, and former senator and actor, Fred Thompson, who has yet to formally enter the race had 13 percent support in the poll. Arizona Senator John McCain and for Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee both registered at 8 percent support.
The poll also asked both Democratic and Republican voters in Iowa how satisfied they are with the present slate of candidates in their party. Only 19 percent of likely Republican caucus-goers said they are "very satisfied" with their choices. By contrast, 53 percent of respondents on the Democratic side said they are "very satisfied" with their candidates.
All nine GOP candidates appeared Sunday in a debate moderated by ABC's George Stephanopoulos, and David Yepsen of the Des Moines Register.