Craig announced September 1 he planned to resign his post at the end of the month.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - On the same day that lawyers for Sen. Larry Craig formally seek to withdraw his misdemeanor guilty plea, a new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll indicates an overwhelming majority of Americans think the Idaho Republican should stick with his decision to resign.
According to the poll released Monday, 67 percent of Americans think Craig should resign, while only 26 percent say he should hold on to his seat. Solid majorities of both Republicans and Democrats said that the embattled Idaho senator should go. 7 percent said they were unsure.
The poll, conduced on September 7-9, surveyed 1,017 Americans and carries a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points.
Craig, 62, announced September 1 that he would resign at the end of the month. He then appeared to backtrack a bit when he told Senate leaders last week that he would remain in office if he is able to get the plea overturned.
Craig's court papers will argue that the senator essentially pleaded guilty to facts that did not constitute a crime, said a source with knowledge of the case. The source, who asked for anonymity because the pleadings had not yet been filed, told CNN on Sunday that Craig waived his rights to trial and counsel and never saw a judge before entering a plea by mail.
– CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney
(CNN) – Attorneys for Sen. Larry Craig filed papers Monday to withdraw his guilty plea to a disorderly conduct charge stemming from allegations that he made sexual advances to an undercover police officer in an airport men's room.
Craig's attorney, Billy Martin, said the filing argues that the Idaho Republican suffered a "manifest injustice" at the hands of the police officer who arrested him in a men's room at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport in June.
Martin told CNN that Craig wishes that he had sought legal council in the months between his arrest and entering his guilty plea.
TIME.com: The Psychology of Hypocrisy
Hagel announced Monday his plans to retire from the Senate.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Nebraska, announced Monday he will not run for president and will not seek a third term in the U.S. Senate.
“I’m here with my family to announce I will not seek re-election,” Hagel said at a news conference in Omaha. “Nor will I be a candidate for any office in 2008.”
Hagel has been a vocal critic of the Iraq war. He joins Sen. John Warner as the second Republican in recent weeks to announce he would retire when his term ends in Jan. 2009. Earlier this year, Sen. Wayne Allard, R-Colorado, said he would not run for re-election.
Hagel wouldn’t close the door to going back into public service, but offered no hints as to what position he would be interested in filling.
“I hope to have another opportunity in some capacity to serve my country,” he said. “Somewhere down the road.”
– CNN Political Ticker Producer Xuan Thai
MoveOn.org slammed Petraeus in a full page New York Times ad.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – A liberal advocacy group's print ad attacking Gen. David Petraeus drew a firestorm of criticism from both sides of the aisle on Monday.
The ad, running in Monday's edition of the New York Times, shows a picture of Petraeus. Bold letters spell out "General Petraeus or General Betray us?"
Moveon.org Political Action, which paid for the ad, accuses Petraeus of "cooking the books for the White House" on progress being made in Iraq and calls him "a military man constantly at war with the facts."
GREENVILLE, South Carolina (CNN) - Presidential hopeful Fred Thompson took on the issue of illegal immigration Monday, drawing loud applause from the crowd when he called for securing the nation's borders.
"Friends, there is a major disconnect between Washington and the people of this country," said Thompson, a former Tennessee senator. "There is no better example than this recent immigration fight. We are a nation of immigrants we all know that we all came from immigrants ... But we now get to decide who comes into our home. We haven't come to terms with the fact that a nation that cannot secure its borders will not remain a sovereign nation."
In this part of South Carolina, illegal immigration is a touchstone issue. South Carolina GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham has suffered politically with some conservative Republicans for supporting this summer's failed immigration bill.
That political damage has partially extended to Thompson's rival for the Republican presidential nomination, Sen. John McCain, a friend and close ally of Graham in the Senate.
– CNN South Carolina Producer Peter Hamby
GREENVILLE, South Carolina (CNN) - Former Sen. Fred Thompson was just introduced to the crowd here by Rep. Gresham Barrett, who represents the 3rd District of South Carolina.
The campaign then played an upbeat, slickly produced video called "The Hunt for Red November," a reference to one of the senator's film roles. It played up the presidential hopefuls biography as a Tennessee native, federal prosecutor and Washington outsider, with references to Ronald Reagan and Barry Goldwater.
Thompson then came on stage to loud applause and country music.
"I'm glad to be in South Carolina. I feel closer to home, not only geographically, but in all the other ways," Thompson said.
- CNN South Carolina Producer Peter Hamby
Richardson meets voters in a Manchester, New Hampshire diner over the weekend.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - He may be in the lower tier in the national polls, but New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson is the clear favorite in a new presidential survey in his home state.
The Democratic White House hopeful registers at 44% in a new Albuquerque Journal poll of likely Democratic primary voters. Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-New York, is a distant second at 17%. Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, and former Sen. John Edwards, D-North Carolina, are each tied at 8%.
Richardson is a former congressman, who also served as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and Energy Secretary under President Bill Clinton. He returned to New Mexico and won election as governor in 2002 and was easily re-elected last year.
While Richardson is the front runner in his home state, it’s a different story for him nationally. The governor is in single digits in just about every national poll taken recently.
As for the early voting states, Richardson is showing promise in Iowa and New Hampshire, though he is not doing as well in South Carolina. In Iowa, the man who hopes to be America’s first Latino president, is now registering in double digits. Richardson has campaigned extensively and advertised heavily in this kick-off state in the presidential nominating process.
He is in fourth place in most recent state polls in New Hampshire, the site of the nation's first primary. But in South Carolina, which holds the first Southern primary, Richardson is in single digits.
The Albuquerque Journal poll, conducted by Research and Polling, questioned 407 likely Democratic Primary voters in New Mexico between September 4th and 7th. It’s margin of error is plus or minus five percentage points.
– CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Congress is expected this week to pick apart U.S. military data suggesting attacks and civilian casualties in Baghdad have sharply decreased in recent months.
Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. military commander in Iraq, is scheduled to testify before Congress beginning Monday, and he is expected to tell lawmakers the troop buildup is producing results.
GREENVILLE, South Carolina (CNN) - The banquet room at the Greenville Marriott is very, very crowded, and this is not a small space. Staffers for former Sen. Fred Thompson say this is a bigger crowd than they expected for his official South Carolina debut on this Monday morning.
The "Fred '08" bus is parked in the back of the Marriott, perhaps because the FairTax.org bus is taking up about eight parking spots out front.
Meanwhile, the GOP presidential hopeful welcomed guests to staples of 80's rock music, such as ZZ Top and Van Halen. Lenny Kravitz just came on, taking the soundtrack into the 90's. Does the Thompson campaign know "Are You Gonna Go My Way?" was a nominee for Hillary Clinton's campaign song?
– CNN South Carolina Producer Peter Hamby
Thompson is making his first trip to South Carolina as an official presidential candidate.
GREENVILLE, South Carolina (CNN) – Fred Thompson makes his South Carolina debut as an official presidential candidate Monday, hoping to appeal to conservatives here that remain ambivalent about the current crop of GOP candidates.
South Carolina could prove to be the former Tennessee senator's most important early state in his bid for the Republican presidential nomination. Since 1980, the winner of the South Carolina primary has gone on to win the GOP nomination. Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bob Dole, and George W. Bush all used South Carolina as a springboard.
But unlike the other Republican candidates in the 2008 race, Thompson has a significant card to play— he’s the only Southern candidate in the race. This could prove to be a huge asset in the Palmetto State.
And while Thompson will venture to Columbia later this afternoon for another event at Doc’s Barbecue, his appearance at the Greenville Marriott may be more scrutinized. This is the most reliably Republican part of the state, the Upstate region that launched the careers of popular former Gov. Carroll Campbell and legendary political operative Lee Atwater.
The church-going, socially conservative voters in the Greenville-Spartanburg area make up the bedrock of the state’s Republican Party, and the candidate that can win their trust on illegal immigration, national security and social issues could break away from the rest of the Republican pack. As the race stands now according to state polls, Thompson closely trails Rudy Giuliani, with John McCain in third place.
So how will Thompson perform on his southern swing? The CNN Political Ticker will be providing updates throughout the day, so check back often.
– CNN South Carolina Producer Peter Hamby