Hillary Clinton leads the polls among Democratic primary voters in South Carolina.
COLUMBIA, South Carolina (CNN) — Hillary Clinton's campaign has created a "South Carolina Seniors for Hillary Steering Committee."
According a release from the campaign, the committee is made up of South Carolina seniors who are drawn to "Hillary's vision of protecting Social Security and cracking down on predatory lending in the long-term care market."
"The beginning of the South Carolina Seniors for Hillary Committee is important for both the committee's advisory role on key issues and in terms of the committee's work to energize Palmetto State seniors for Hillary," said Clinton spokesman Zac Wright.
A survey conducted by the AARP in South Carolina earlier this summer showed that, among seniors, nearly thirty percent of Democrats remain undecided about who they will vote for in the January primary.
— CNN South Carolina Producer Peter Hamby
Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker testified before Congress Monday.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Do Americans trust the top U.S. military commander in Iraq to report what’s really going on in Iraq without making the situation sound better than it is?CNN and the Opinion Research Corporation asked Americans that very question last month. The answer? 53 percent do not.
The USA Today-Gallup poll just asked the public again this month whether they thoughtGen. Petraeus's report would be independent and objective. Again, 53 percent did not.
The public is skeptical.
Petraeus sought to convince Congress Monday that the situation in Iraq is improving. He has some well known supporters of the surge echoing his sentiments. “In a short period of time, we have seen significant success,” said Sen. John McCain of Arizona, who’s also a Republican candidate for president.
The public is skeptical of that, too.
Asked whether the troop increase is succeeding in improving conditions and ending violence in Iraq, most Americans say it's not in a new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll released Monday. At the joint House Armed Services and Foreign RelationsCommittees hearing, Petraeus reported some military progress. “To summarize, the security situation in Iraq is improving,” Petraeus testified.
But few see much political progress by the Iraqi government.
Romney's Boston headquarters was burglarized over the weekend.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - A television and eight laptop computers were stolen from Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign headquarters, according to a Boston Police official.
The break-in took place late Sunday night or early Monday morning, campaign spokesman Kevin Madden told CNN
“We won’t comment on anything past that because it is a police investigation,” Madden said. Romney, a former Massachusetts governor now seeking the GOP presidential nomination, main political headquarters is located at 585 Commercial Street. The intruders entered through a third floor window. The building does have 24 hour security and police are now interviewing people on the scene.
It is the second burglary in recent weeks of a presidential hopeful’s office. Sen. Chris Dodd’s, D-Connecticut, Senate office in Hartford was broken into and police have since charged a homeless man with that crime.
- CNN’s Dan Lothian and Lauren Kornreich
Bush announces Rumsfeld's resignation November 8, 2006, the day after the midterm elections.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Donald Rumsfeld served as President Bush's Secretary of Defense for six years, but he told GQ magazine he doesn't miss his old boss and the two now rarely talk.
In an issue set to hit the newsstands on Sept. 25, Rumsfeld tells the magazine he still likes Bush but can't recall the last time he spoke with the president.
And asked directly if he misses the president, Rumsfeld told the Magazine, "Um, no."
But Rumsfeld offered Bush praise, and claimed that he is a victim of the media not giving him enough credit in a similar fashion that previous Republican presidents have had to endure.
"Just think, in my lifetime, the Republican presidential candidates: Dwight D. Eisenhower, considered to be a bumbler, bad syntax. Gerald Ford, the best athlete they had in decades, and they called him a stumblebum and demeaned him and made fun of him. Said he wasn't smart, which he was. He'd gone to Michigan, he'd gone to Yale Law School. I mean… And Ronald Reagan. You read his diaries now, and the man is remarkable - and yet he was dismissed as a movie actor and not very smart.”
Rumseld added, "So, I mean the fact that President Bush is demeaned is no different than Eisenhower or Ford or Reagan. And the fact that people believe that to be the case is not a surprise when they're told it day in, day out, by the, uh, eastern media."
Before hitting South Carolina, Thompson watched the Patriots battle the Jets in a New Hampshire bar Sunday.
COLUMBIA, South Carolina (CNN) - Former senator and Republican White House hopeful Fred Thompson called on Democratic presidential candidates Monday to refund all donations received from MoveOn.org after the liberal advocacy group ran an ad attacking Gen. David Petraeus in The New York Times.
"I understand there's a front page ad that's been taken out by this outfit called MoveOn.org in the New York Times today," said Thompson at a campaign rally at Doc's Barbecue in this capital city. "And it basically accuses our general who's leading our troops in Iraq right now of betraying his own country. This outfit basically, in large part, funds the Democratic party. I call upon the Democratic party and all those Democratic contenders for the White House to disavow this libel against this brave American." (Related: Dems join GOP in slamming ad attacking Petraeus)
Moveon.org supporters have contributed over $108,000 to Democratic presidential candidates this year through the group’s political action committee, according to Federal Election Commission records. Sen. Barack Obama lead his party’s field in contributions received through Moveon.org, with just over $30,000 received since the start of his campaign. Rep. Dennis Kucinich received almost $25,000 compared to just over $23,000 for former Sen. John Edwards and $18,000 for New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson. Sens. Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden each received between $5,000 and $6000, while Sen. Chris Dodd received just under $1000.
Earlier in the day, Sen. John Ensign, chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, called on Democratic Senate candidates to return MoveOn.org donations. So far, only one Democratic Senate candidate, Tom Allen of Maine, has received money from the group, though the amount he has received, almost $250,000, makes up nearly half of the group’s total campaign contributions this year.
FEC records also show that Moveon.org has collected $176,000 from its supporters and distributed them to four vulnerable House Democrats.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Several protesters were removed Monday from a joint hearing of the House Armed Services and Foreign Relations committees where top General in Iraq David Petraeus and U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker were testifying.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Sen. John Kerry, D-Massachusetts, criticized MoveOn.org Monday for taking an ad out in The New York Times criticizing Gen. David Petraeus. The general is testifying before Congress today about the situation in Iraq. (Related: Dems join GOP in slamming ad attacking Petraeus)
“I don’t like any kind of characterizations in our politics that call into question any active duty, distinguished general,” Kerry told CNN, adding “who I think under any circumstances serves with the best interests of our country.”
Kerry is a decorated Vietnam War veteran who was awarded two Purple Hearts. In his 2004 presidential campaign, Kerry was attacked by the group Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, who questioned his service in the war.
Kerry called the MoveOn.org ad “over the top” and specifically noted that he did not like the wording in the text.
“I didn’t like the terminology,” he said. “I didn’t like it.”
The ad shows a picture of Petraeus with the words “General Petraeus or General Betray us?”
–– CNN’s Ted Barrett and Xuan Thai
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. Chuck Hagel’s decision Monday not to make a run for the White House means the Republican field will stay at nine candidates for now.
“I’m here with my family to announce I will not seek re-election,” the Republican two-term Senator from Nebraska said at a news conference in Omaha, adding “nor will I be a candidate for any office in 2008.”
Hagel, who is one of his party’s most vocal critics of the Bush Administration’s handling of the Iraq War, had flirted earlier this year with the possibility of making a bid for the presidency.
But Hagel said his commitments as a senator was one reason he decided not to run for the White House.
- CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser
Gen. David Petraeus listens to opening statements before testifying at a congressional hearing Monday.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - The long awaited testimony of General David Petraeus on the status of the Iraq war, took even longer Monday as the microphone for the top commander malfunctioned.
After opening statements from the Democratic chairmen and ranking Republicans at the Joint Hearing of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and Armed Services Committee, the room fell silent as Petraeus began to speak. And it stayed silent, as the general waited for technicians to fix the problem. Armed Services Chairman Ike Skelton called a five minute recess.
But not all the microphones were broken. Skelton’s microphone was live and it picked him up saying, “That really pisses me off,” about protesters in the room, followed by a stronger expletive.
- CNN Political Desk Managing Editor Steve Brusk
WASHINGTON (CNN) - As General David Petraeus reveals his much-anticipated report on progress in Iraq Monday, most Americans don't think the increase in U.S. troops is helping to improve security in the war-torn country.
A new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll shows that 54 percent of Americans think the troop surge is failing to improve conditions and ending violence in Iraq. Only 40 percent believe the increase in troops is succeeding.
Petraeus might have difficulty in selling the American public that the surge is working in Iraq. An August CNN/Opinion Research Poll showed that 53 percent of Americans don't trust him and think he will make the situation in Iraq sound better. Only 43 percent of those surveyed in August said they trusted that Petraeus would give an honest assessment.
- CNN Associate Producer Lauren Kornreich