Biden will take a break from his Iowa efforts to campaign in South Carolina on Monday.
COLUMBIA, South Carolina (CNN) – Sen. Joe Biden will use Monday's campaign swing through South Carolina to pick up two state legislative endorsements, his campaign tells CNN.
Biden will announce at a news conference at the State House in Columbia that he has picked up the endorsements of Democratic Reps. Jim Battle and Vida Miller. Both have served in the state legislature since 1997.
Biden now has six legislative endorsements in South Carolina.
– CNN South Carolina Producer Peter Hamby
Bill Richardson said Tuesday that the U.S. should "turn down the fiery rhetoric and turn up the smart pressure" when it comes to Iran.
(CNN)–New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson will report raising a minimum of $5.2 million in funds for the third quarter his presidential campaign announced in a release on Sunday. The campaign said it was "a strong showing in a historically difficult fundraising period."
"Most importantly, this amount ensures we will have the resources we need to compete in the early states like Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina," the release went on to say. "We have strong organizations in those states and continue to expand our field operations by adding staff and opening new offices. Additionally, we have a very efficient campaign structure that maximizes every dollar that we bring in."
The campaign said it had approximately $500,000 in general election funds. It said the figures for the amount of cash on hand, were not yet available.
Midnight on Monday will mark the third quarter fund-raising deadline this year for all the declared candidates in the 2008 presidential election. Each quarter, the candidates must file reports with the Federal Election Commission detailing their fundraising and spending activity during the prior three months.
Related: Clinton and Obama to raise in the $20 million neighborhood
– CNN Political Desk Editor Jamie Crawford
Gingrich announced Saturday he would not seek the presidency in 2008.
(CNN)–Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said it was legislation co-authored by a current candidate in the GOP presidential race, that prevented him from continuing to run his own political action committee, American Solution, and opening a presidential exploratory committee.
"Yesterday morning we learned from our attorneys that under the McCain-Feingold law, it is a criminal penalty if I had retained any communication with American Solutions. I could go to jail," Gingrich said Sunday in an interview with ABC's George Stephanopoulos. "And the idea that you're on the turn of the dime kill this program in order to obey the McCain-Feingold Act which I think is an unconstitutional, frankly destructive bill, was crazy. And I just said if we have to choose, then it's irresponsible to not finish building up American Solutions."
Gingrich was referring to the 2002 piece of legislation authored by Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, a current candidate for the GOP presidential nomination, and Sen. Russell Feingold, D-Wisconsin, that regulates the financing of political campaigns.
Gingrich said his party does face a tough road in its quest to re-capture the White House. "I think the odds are 80 per cent that Sen. Clinton is the next president; I think she is almost certainly going to win the Democratic nomination," he said of Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-New York. "And I think unless the Republicans can find a way to represent real change for the current situation in Washington, unless they can convince the American people they represent fundamental change, I think they'll have a very hard time."
On the current field of GOP candidates, Mr. Gingrich said he found them all to be "hardworking, smart people." He said he would hold off on endorsing any particular candidate until after the Republican National Convention next summer in Minneapolis.
Cate Edwards said she sides with her mother on the issue of gay marriage.
DES MOINES, Iowa (CNN) – Cate Edwards took questions in Des Moines Sunday on behalf of her father, former Sen. John Edwards, D-North Carolina, but she could only answer a few without referring to a campaign staffer for the details of her dad's positions.
She needed no help, however, in responding to a question relating to her position on gay rights, specifically gay marriage.
"I'm on my mom's side with this, not my dad's," Edwards said. "It's the word 'marriage' that he is hung up on."
"It's not about gay rights," she added.
John Edwards has said he does not support gay marriage, but his wife, Elizabeth, does.
"He very much does not understand–he has trouble, I guess, with the term 'gay marriage.' I don't," Cate Edwards said.
"I'm not going to try to defend him on that because I don't agree with it, but that's where he stands. But I don't want it to be understood as not standing for gay rights because that's certainly not true."
Cate Edwards and 'Desperate Housewives' actor James Denton were at a stop during a two-day swing through the Hawkeye State stumping for the Edwards for President campaign.
Only about a half dozen questions were asked, but a significant amount of her answers included referrals to a campaign staffer named Oliver–so many, in fact, that his name was soon becoming a small running joke, even to Edwards.
"Oliver will get you that information. You should all get to know Oliver," Edwards said laughing.
Related video: Watch Cate Edwards explain her father's position on gay marriage
– CNN Iowa Producer Chris Welch
Actor James Denton campaigned in Iowa for John Edwards over the weekend.
DES MOINES, Iowa (CNN) – James Denton, also known as plumber Mike Delfino
on the series 'Desperate Housewives,' said Sunday that Iowa is the "most important place to be right now."
Denton is campaigning in Iowa this weekend with the Edwards' eldest daughter, Cate, on behalf of her father, Sen. John Edwards, D-North Carolina.
"We're here because this is the most important place to be right now," Denton said. "You guys have the great opportunity to narrow down the field for the rest of the country.
"Iowans are very savvy politically," he added.
-CNN Iowa Producer Chris Welch
McCain said he would prefer a Christian president.
(CNN)– GOP presidential hopeful Senator John McCain, R-Arizona, says he feels religion should play a role in one's selection of a presidential candidate. "I think the number one issue people should make [in the] selection of the President of the United States is 'Will this person carry on the Judeo Christian principled tradition that has made this nation the greatest experiment in the history of mankind?'"
McCain made the comments an in interview with beliefnet, a website that covers religious issues and affairs.
"I just have to say in all candor that since this nation was founded primarily on Christian principles, personally, I prefer someone who has a grounding in my faith," he said when asked about a Muslim candidate running for president.
Mr. McCain contacted beliefnet after the interview to clarify his remarks. "I would vote for a Muslim if he or she was the candidate best able to lead the country and defend our political values," he said.
"The Senator did not intend to assert that members of one religious faith or another have a greater claim to American citizenship over another," Jill Hazelbaker, McCain's communication director told CNN when asked for clarification on his comments. "Read in context, his interview with beliefnet makes clear that people of all faiths are entitled to all the rights protected by the Constitution, including the right to practice their religion freely. In the interview he also observed that the values protected by the Constitution, by which he meant values such as respect for human life and dignity, are rooted in the Judeo-Christian tradition. That is all he intended to say to the question, is America a Christian nation, and it is hardly a controversial claim."
McCain also said people should not be quick to dismiss his rival in the GOP race, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, simply because of his Mormon religion. "I believe that the Mormon religion is a religion that I don't share, but I respect," he said. "I think that Governor Romney's religion should not, absolutely not, be a disqualifying factor when people consider his candidacy for President of the United States, absolutely not."
He said he did agree with a recent poll that 55 percent of Americans believe the U.S. Constitution establishes a Christian nation. "I would probably have to say yes, that the Constitution established the United States of America as a Christian nation."
"But I say that in the broadest sense," he said. "The lady that holds her lamp beside the golden door doesn't say, 'I welcome only Christians.' We welcome the poor, the tired, the huddled masses. But when they come here they know that they are a nation founded on Christian principles."
McCain was also asked to clarify his being identified an Episcopalian, yet recently referring to himself as Baptist. "[It was] one comment on the bus after hours," he said. "I meant to say that I practice in a – I am a Christian and I attend a Baptist church." McCain said he was raised Episcopalian, but has attended a Phoenix Baptist church for many years.
When asked if he was close to taking the final step, and undergoing a Baptist baptism, he said he has been in discussions with his pastor about it. "But I would not anticipate going through that during this presidential campaign," he said. "I am afraid it might appear as if I was doing something that I otherwise wouldn't do."
Obama is working hard to win over black voters in South Carolina.
COLUMBIA, South Carolina (CNN) - Sen. Barack Obama, who has been emphasizing his faith as a way to reach out to black voters in South Carolina, attended two Baptist churches here on Sunday morning, one predominantly black and one predominantly white. Obama attended both services, but did not speak.
At 8 a.m., Obama was in West Columbia attending services at Brookland, which has one of the largest African-American congregations in the state. His wife Michelle Obama has previously spoken at the church. At 10:30 a.m., Obama took a more unexpected turn and headed downtown accompanied by his Secret Service entourage to visit First Baptist Church in Columbia, which is mostly white and conservative.
His campaign said the church visits were "an opportunity for the Senator to have a morning of fellowship with South Carolinians."
Obama's staff in South Carolina is in the midst of a grassroots effort called "40 Days of Faith and Family," which is promoting the candidate's faith through Bible study groups, house meetings and Gospel concerts across the state.
– CNN South Carolina Producer Peter Hamby
COLUMBIA, South Carolina (CNN) - Harry Dent, the man behind Richard Nixon's "Southern strategy" and defacto founder of the modern day Republican party in South Carolina, died on Friday.
He worked for presidents Nixon, Gerald Ford, and George H.W. Bush, as well as former Republican Sen. Strom Thurmond.
Read the obituary by Lee Bandy here.
Katon Dawson, chairman of the South Carolina Republican Party, issued this statement:
"The South Carolina Republican Party has lost one of its pioneers and patriarchs in Harry Dent. A devoted public servant and astute political strategist, Harry Dent laid the foundation for a new era in American politics. Under his visionary leadership, the Republican Party flourished in South Carolina and grew as a political force in the South. Harry Dent served his state and his country faithfully. We extend our deepest sympathies to Harry's family – especially his beloved wife Betty – during this difficult time."
Dodd took issue with the positions of some of his rivals on Iraq.
STORM LAKE, Iowa (CNN) – At a campaign stop in rural Iowa Saturday Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Connecticut, said he was stunned by the fact that Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-New York, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, and former Sen. John Edwards, D-North Carolina, would not commit to having all U.S. combat troops out of Iraq by 2013.
In an interview with CNN Dodd said, "The idea that the so-called leading candidates for the Democratic nomination would not say categorically that six or seven years from today–four years after [assuming] the presidency–we would not be out of Iraq I found rather stunning."
Dodd was referring to comments the three made at Wednesday's Democratic debate broadcast on MSNBC. Dodd said when he heard their responses on that stage he could "hardly breathe" because he was "so angry."
When asked if he were to become president and combat troops were still in Iraq, how long it would be until they were out Dodd said, "I want to effectuate that now. I don't want to wait until 2009."
He continued, "But if I'm unable to achieve that–which we ought to be able to do–then I would begin that redeployment process immediately. I'd depend upon my military planners on the timing of it, but they tell me they can move a brigade and a half out each month. So my goal would be, depending upon the level of troops there at that time, to begin that redeployment immediately."
Giuliani said the GOP needs to focus its efforts in all 50 states.
(CNN)–Rudy Giuliani says the Republican party needs to change its strategy if it wants to win in 2008.
"How about we win?" the GOP hopeful said in a speech Saturday. "That means that we take back the House, we take back the Senate, and we keep the presidency in Republican hands," he said.
Giuliani said the GOP needs to focus beyond running in 25 or 30 states "which is what we have done in the last 3 or 4 times, which is why we had to depend on Ohio, in '04 and we had to depend on Florida in '00."
He criticized the way certain races had been run in the past. "We do this 30 state campaign, we don't campaign in 20 of the states," the former New York mayor said, "and these happen to be the states where we lost members of the Congress and Senators and we have to become again, among other things in 2008, we have to become a 50-state Republican party."
Giuliani, who was speaking to a gathering of women, said when it comes to Senator Hillary Clinton, D-New York, voters should consider more than just her role as the only woman in the presidential campaign. "American people decide who they want as president based on who they think the right person is for the country, not whether someone is a man or a woman or a different race," Giuliani said. "We have a record that's very, very proud and very long of making certain that women participate on a full and complete and equal basis with men," he said.
Giuliani made his comments to the National Federation of Republican Women Convention in Palm Springs, California. He was scheduled to campaign in Portland, Oregon, and Kirkland, Washington later in the day.