Giuliani was sharply critical of a recent MoveOn.org ad.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani Wednesday sharply criticized the MoveOn.org newspaper ad attacking Gen. David Petraeus, and said New York Sen. Hillary Clinton was expressing 'political venom' during her recent questioning of the general.
During an appearance on the "Randy and Spiff Radio Show" in Atlanta, Georgia, the Republican White House hopeful called the ad "one of the more disgusting things that has happened in American politics," and said "it's unfortunate" more Democratic candidates haven't spoken out against the liberal advocacy group's ad.
"I think the failure of the Democratic candidates to really condemn that, given how much money Moveon.org spends on behalf of Democratic candidates, which is millions if not hundreds of millions, is really, I really think it’s very, very unfortunate," he said
Giuliani then scolded Clinton directly for her comments during Petraeus' testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee Tuesday when she said his progress report required "a willing suspension of disbelief."
"I really do think to accuse a general of the ‘willing suspension of disbelief,' - particularly in the atmosphere that Moveon.org has created with these terrible attacks - I think that’s not the way in a responsible way to go about forging the foreign policy of the United States and the military policy of the United States," he said.
What we need right now is a reasoned account, we need statesmanship not political venom," he added.
The ad in question was published in the New York Times Monday and displayed a large black-and-white picture of Petraeus with the caption "General Petraeus or General Betray Us?" Below the picture, the ad alleged the general would likely be untruthful in his testimony on Iraq for political reasons.
For the record, 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, D-Illinois, led his party’s field in contributions received through Moveon.org, with just over $30,000 since the start of his campaign.
– CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney
DES MOINES, Iowa (CNN) - Sen. John McCain continued to voice strong support for Gen. David Petraeus Wednesday, saying he is "respected and admired by literally everybody that serves under him." As for Sen. Hillary Clinton, well, he had other thoughts on his mind.
At a campaign stop in Des Moines, the Arizona Republican said the general is an "honorable and decent man who spent his entire life in the service of his nation."
But McCain, who is seeking the GOP presidential nomination, chose different words to describe Clinton, a New York Democrat who is seeking her party's presidential nomination.
"Senator Clinton said that General Petraeus in his presentation was... I quote a 'willing suspension of disbelief," McCain said. "First of all, it's a willing suspension of disbelief that Senator Clinton thinks she knows more than General Petraeus does about events on the ground in Iraq."
Watch Abbi Tatton's report on a unique online political event that is connecting voters with the 2008 Democratic presidential candidates.
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MANCHESTER, New Hampshire (CNN) – Former Sen. John Edwards has created individual Web pages for the four early voting states in an attempt to encourage tech savvy Democrats to support his presidential bid.
The North Carolina Democrat’s campaign now has Web pages for Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire and South Carolina. All four states will play key roles in helping select the next Democratic presidential nominee. On the four Web pages, Edwards has specific links for people to sign up to join his campaign in that state or find a nearby Edwards campaign office.
"We are very excited to announce a variety of new ways for New Hampshire voters to get involved with the John Edwards campaign," said New Hampshire state director Beth Leonard.
– CNN New Hampshire Producer Sareena K. Dalla
Former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner will make a bid for the Senate, according to the Associated Press.
(CNN) - It appears we could have another bitter Senate battle in the Old Dominion state next year.
Former Virginia Governor Mark Warner intends to run for the Senate in 2008, according to Democratic officials who spoke with the Associated Press.
Warner is scheduled to make an e-mail announcement Thursday regarding his political plans. The officials who spoke to the AP did so on the condition of anonymity, saying they didn’t want to pre-empt Warner’s announcement.
In last year’s midterm elections, Democrat Jim Webb ousted Republican incumbent Sen. George Allen by a margin of less than 10,000 votes, or less than half a percentage point. Webb’s victory helped give the Democrats a slim 51 to 49 Senate majority. We could see an equally close contest in Virginia next year.
– CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser
(CNN) - Commenting on the latest national polls showing he is in a virtual dead heat with Fred Thompson in the race for the GOP nomination, Rudy Giuliani said he is the Republican candidate best suited to compete on a national scale in the general election.
"I think the thing that the polls show clearly is that I am the only Republican right now that can contest in all fifty states," the GOP hopeful said Monday at a campaign stop in Akron, Ohio. "And I think every poll has shown that either I'm ahead or I'm more competitive than the other Republican candidates.”
The presidential hopeful went on to say, "If one of them were elected….they wouldn't be able to campaign in twenty, twenty-five states the way we did in the past. We didn't campaign in New York, or California, or New Jersey, or Connecticut, or Washington, or Oregon, or Illinois [in recent presidential elections], and those are states where I would be a competitive candidate, at least according to the polls that exist now, and we'd like to keep it that way."
While remaining confident, Giuliani conceded that "we've got a lot of work to do to make sure the result is that we win the nomination."
Giuliani campaigned in West Virginia earlier Wednesday, and was expected to make a stop in South Carolina later in the day.
– CNN Political Desk Editor Jamie Crawford
Romney denied anyone from his campaign was behind the anti-Thompson site.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney called a now defunct Web site that attacked former Sen. Tennessee Fred Thompson "juvenile and offensive" Wednesday, and said no one from his presidential campaign was behind it.
"There's no place in politics for those kind of hijinks," Romney told the Associated Press. “The person who put it up was acting on his own. I've said I do not want to have that person in any way associated with my campaign."
Romney and Thompson are competing for the GOP presidential nomination.
The Web site in question, www.phonyfred.org, was created by Wes Donehue, an associate consultant and vice president of the firm Tompkins, Thompson, and Sullivan. A principal of the firm – Warren Tompkins – is a paid advisor to Romney’s presidential campaign.
The Washington Post was first to report the site's link to Romney's campaign and it was soon taken down. The campaign later denied it had any involvement with the site or knew of its existence.
But a spokesman for Thompson's campaign dismissed the denial late Tuesday, calling it a "half-baked cover-up attempt by the Romney campaign [that] does not even pass the laugh test."
A screen grab of the site captured by the Post before it was taken down shows a banner headline describing the Tennessee Republican as “Phony Fred.” Subcategories are titled: “Hollywood Fred”; “Washington Fred”; “Pimp Fred”; and “McCain Fred.”
– CNN's Xuan Thai and Alexander Mooney
Why is the DNC punishing Florida and Michigan but not New Hampshire?
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Hey, what about New Hampshire?
Sixteen Democratic members of the Florida and Michigan congressional delegations are asking Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean why he has not made the same punitive threat to New Hampshire as has been issued to Florida over the seating of delegates to the 2008 presidential nominating convention.
Florida is in violation of DNC rules by moving its primary up to Jan. 29 - a full week before all but four states are allowed to hold presidential nominating contests. (The DNC gave Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire and South Carolina special exemptions to hold caucuses and primaries on specific dates in January). (TIME.com: Will Dean's War on Florida Backfire?)
If the Florida Democratic Party agrees to hold its nominating contest on Feb. 5 or later, then all of its delegates will be invited to the Democratic National Convention next summer. If the state party moves forward with the Jan. 29 primary then not one Florida delegate will be allowed to attend.
“On August 9, 2007, the Chair of the South Carolina Republican Party traveled to New Hampshire and announced – at an event staged in the New Hampshire State House – that South Carolina Republicans would move their primary from January 29 to January 19, 2008,” the Democratic lawmakers wrote Dean on United States Congress letterhead. “New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardiner (sic) participated in this event and, with the support of the state’s Democrats, indicated that as a result of South Carolina’s announcement, New Hampshire would move its primary from January 22 to an earlier date. This action would result in New Hampshire’s Democratic delegates being selected in clear violation of the DNC Rules.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Providing a much-needed boost to a candidate whose judgment in international affairs has been called into question, former President Carter’s National Security Advisor, Zbigniew Brezinski, introduced Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, during a campaign stop in Clinton, Iowa on Wednesday.
“I’m here today because I strongly believe that the next election is not just to choose a new president,” Brezinski said. “The choice that you will be making will define America’s role in a historically new era. We have elections every four years, but only once in a while is a new president facing the opportunity to shape a new sense of direction for America,” explained Brezinski.
Brezinski, who stood out for his relatively hawkish views in an administration that often emphasized human rights, told the crowd that by invading Iraq the “United States has become engaged in what is essentially a colonial war in the post-colonial era.” He also opined that the Iraq war “has discredited America worldwide,” and warned that the conflict in Iraq might spread to Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Saying Obama “was not, like many others, a Johnny-come-lately” with regard to realizing that the Iraq war was a so-called “fool’s enterprise,” Brezinski told the members of the crowd that they had the opportunity to change the world by supporting the Illinois senator.
In August, Brezinski supported Obama during a foreign policy spat between the Illinois senator and his chief rival, Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-New York. In addition to advising President Carter, Brezinski also was adviser to officials in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations.
– CNN Associate Producer Martina Stewart
Democrat Jane Harman has often be outspoken on intelligence issues.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - A leading congressional Democrat on Wednesday accused the director of national intelligence of undermining the authority of his office by taking political positions.
Rep. Jane Harman, D-Calif., lashed out at DNI Mike McConnell for taking a political role in recent negotiations with Congress about updating the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), the law that regulates foreign intelligence eavesdropping.
"He appeared to be taking orders from the White House, negotiating for the White House," said Harman. The role he played, "whether he intended it or not, appeared to be political," she said.