Obama told an evangelical church in South Carolina: "I am confident we can create a Kingdom right here on Earth."
GREENVILLE, South Carolina (CNN) - After speaking to an evangelical church on Sunday in this traditionally conservative South Carolina city, Sen. Barack Obama said that Republicans no longer have a firm grip on religion in political discourse.
"I think its important particularly for those of us in the Democratic Party to not cede values and faith to any one party," Obama told reporters outside the Redemption World Outreach Center where he attended services.
"I think that what you're seeing is a breaking down of the sharp divisions that existed maybe during the nineties, when at least in politics the perception was that the Democrats were fearful of talking about faith, and on the other hand you had the Republicans who had a particular brand of faith that often times seemed intolerant or pushed people away," he said.
Related video: Obama: 'Faith plays every role'
Related video : Obama goes after the 'God gap'
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– CNN South Carolina Producer Peter Hamby
Fred Thompson's Southern background helps him in South Carolina but also makes it necessary to win there.
COLUMBIA, South Carolina (CNN) - In South Carolina, former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson's campaign is fond of pointing out their boss' Southern-fried heritage.
"I think first of all that Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, is in fact a whole lot closer to Lexington, South Carolina, and Greenville, South Carolina, and Charleston, South Carolina, than are Boston or New York for instance," said Walter Whetsell, a veteran South Carolina consultant now working for Thompson. "But I think that that has a literal closeness, but I think figuratively that the values that he shares are our values."
When Thompson himself made his debut here as a presidential candidate one month ago, he was quick to point out that, "It's good to be in a place that when I talk, people understand what I'm saying."
Click here to read the rest of this story.
Edwards had strong words for Sen. Hillary Clinton's stand on Iraq.
(CNN)–Calling her plans "a continuation of the war," former North Carolina senator John Edwards sought to draw a sharp distinction between his plan for Iraq, and that of the Democratic front-runner, Sen. Hillary Clinton , D-New York.
"I am not for maintaining combat troops inside Iraq for a lot of reasons," the Democratic presidential hopeful told NBC's Tim Russert on Sunday. "I think number one, they'll have a target on their forehead while they're there. Number two, it continues the impression that America is occupying Iraq."
"What I would do instead is outside of Iraq, probably in Kuwait, maintain a quick reaction force," Edwards said. "And that quick reaction force would be focused on the possibility of Al Qaeda operations."
Edwards said he has a problem with what he has heard from Clinton, and some of his other rivals for the nomination, when they talk about maintaining combat troops in Iraq to focus on anti-terrorism operations. "That's very similar to what President Bush says. Its very hard to understand where that ends, where the limits are."
Edwards made the comments via satellite from Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He was scheduled to campaign in Iowa on Sunday.
– CNN Political Desk Editor Jamie Crawford
COLUMBIA, South Carolina (CNN) - Here's a quick look at what's making political news in South Carolina this Monday morning:
Sen. Barack Obama staked his claim on faith and values in Greenville yesterday, attending services and speaking to an evangelical church there. Obama received a warm welcome from the crowd and spoke for about 15 minutes.
The Greenville News has pictures.
Being a southerner, South Carolina holds special meaning for former Sen. Fred Thompson. But it also means that this state is a must-win for him.
Who's working for which candidate in the South Carolina blogosphere? GoUpstate has the ins and outs here.
Brad Warthen reports from the inside of Sen. Joe Biden's meeting last week with The State's editorial board.
And here's what happened at the South Carolina Darfur Action Group rally in Columbia on Saturday.
Making News Today…
Clinton’s riding a high
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Last week, it was a major fundraising win, and now it’s strong showings in two new polls. Sen. Hillary Clinton is riding a political high less than three months before the Iowa caucuses.
The New York Democrat reported raising $27 million in what is historically a slow fundraising period, and all but $5 million of it can be spent in her quest for the Democratic presidential nomination. On Sunday, a new Des Moines Register Poll showed that she is leading her Democratic opponents in this crucial early voting state. And a just released Associated Press national poll shows that Clinton leads her closest rival, Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, by 21 points.
Clinton hits the road Monday for her “Middle Class Express” tour across Iowa, and this week, the bus won’t be fueled just by diesel.
– CNN Political Editor Mark Preston
Obama: GOP doesn’t own faith and values
GREENVILLE, South Carolina (CNN) – After speaking to an evangelical church on Sunday in this traditionally conservative South Carolina city, Sen. Barack Obama said that Republicans no longer have a firm grip on religion in political discourse.
“I think it’s important particularly for those of us in the Democratic Party to not cede values and faith to any one party,” Obama told reporters outside the Redemption World Outreach Center where he attended services.
“I think that what you're seeing is a breaking down of the sharp divisions that existed maybe during the nineties, when at least in politics the perception was that the Democrats were fearful of talking about faith, and on the other hand you had the Republicans who had a particular brand of faith that often times seemed intolerant or pushed people away,” he said. http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2007/10/07/obama-gop-doesnt-own-faith-and-values/
Craig’s a Hall of Famer
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Embattled Sen. Larry Craig is under pressure to resign his seat, but back home in Idaho he is about to be honored for his “exemplary political service to the State of Idaho and the Country.”
Craig will be inducted into the Idaho Hall of Fame along with 11 other prominent Gem Staters on Saturday at a ceremony in Boise. http://www.ritzfamilypublishing.com/id_hall/Inductees.htm
His GOP colleagues had hoped Craig would have packed his bags by now after it was revealed he was arrested in June for allegedly propositioning a plainclothes police officer for sex in a men's room at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. Despite pleading guilty to a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge, Craig has maintained his innocence and sought last week to have his plea withdrawn. The Motion was denied.
Craig is studying his “additional legal options” and remains in the Senate much to the frustration of many of his fellow Republicans.
“It's embarrassing for the Senate,” said Sen. John Ensign of Nevada, who leads the GOP’s Senate campaign committee. “It's embarrassing for our party.”
Political Hot Topics
(Today's top political stories from news organizations across the country)
Compiled by Lindsey Pope
CNN Washington Bureau
FRED TAKES THE STAGE IN NEW DEBATE: In an unusual political season that seems to offer up a presidential debate every week or so, the Republican debate tomorrow is expected to offer something new: Fred D. Thompson. New York Times: He Can Act, but Can He Debate?
THE SECRET TO OBAMA'S MILLIONS: On a frigid day in early January, Barack Obama rode the three blocks from the Capitol to a nondescript, four-story, white-brick building where he had rented a Spartan office suite. Obama pulled out a folding chair and sat down with Julianna Smoot, the veteran Democratic fundraiser he had hired to raise the millions of dollars he would need for a presidential bid. Washington Post: The $75 Million Woman
CLINTON CAMPAIGN BRINGS ON CONTROVERSIAL ADVISER: Sandy Berger, who stole highly classified terrorism documents from the National Archives, destroyed them and lied to investigators, is now an adviser to presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton. DC Examiner: He's Back: Sandy Berger Now Advising Hillary Clinton
CLINTON'S POPULARITY ON THE RISE: Carol Levesque, a retired New Hampshire social worker, used to think Hillary Rodham Clinton was not cut out for the White House. Now, Levesque is an avid fan. LA Times: How Clinton Has Built Her Lead
CLINTON: " I’M GRATIFIED THAT A LOT OF PEOPLE ARE REALLY COMING AROUND TO SUPPORT ME AFTER THEY REALLY GET TO SEE ME AS WHO I AM.”: Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said Sunday that Iowans who view her integrity and morality as weaker than some of her fellow candidates’ may be basing their opinions on false impressions. Des Moines Register: Clinton: Weaknesses in Poll Aren't Who She Is
CLINTON LOSES COOL WITH IOWA VOTER: Surging in a new poll, Hillary Rodham Clinton urged small-town Iowa voters not to prejudge her based on what others say – then demonstrated her sharper side by eviscerating a tough questioner in a testy exchange. NY Post: It Girl to Snit Girl
EDWARDS QUESTIONS CLINTON'S STANCE ON IRAQ: Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards tried Sunday to draw clearer distinctions between himself and U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-New York, including raising questions about her commitment to ending the war in Iraq. Quad City Times: Edwards Doubts Clinton's Passion to End War
EDWARDS RAMPS UP CLINTON BASHING: John Edwards has been taking rhetorical shots at Senator Clinton almost from the start of the presidential campaign, but three months before the first votes are cast, he is not quite ready to answer the chief question surrounding her candidacy: Can she win? NY Sun: Edwards Pulls Verbal Punches Against Rival Clinton
EDWARDS AND OBAMA LOG MORE MILES IN IOWA THAN CLINTON: At least for now, Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York leads her challengers in most of the closely watched measures of the Democratic presidential primary race: national polls, recent fundraising and media coverage. Chicago Tribune: In Iowa, No Stop Too Small
OBAMA FLATLINES IN IOWA: Today's Iowa Poll of likely caucusgoers will have them smiling in the camps of Hillary Clinton, Mitt Romney, Fred Thompson and Mike Huckabee. Des Moines Register: Yepsen: Campaigns Must Move to Derail Front-Runners
IRAQ, HOT TOPIC AT MUSCATINE STOP: More than 125 people — and two presidential candidates — showed up Sunday at Muscatine’s Strawberry Farms Bed and Breakfast to hear what political front-runners and their peers had to say about the state of the country and its future. Quad City Times: Muscatine gathering provides platform for presidential candidates
THOMPSON MAY PROPOSE LOWERING CORPORATE TAXES: Fred Thompson entered the presidential race hoping to be the candidate of choice for conservatives. But he has stumbled in early attempts to woo social conservatives, partly because he doesn't support a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. Wall Street Journal: Thompson Turns to Taxes
"HE TOLD ME HE WANTED TO BECOME THE FIRST ITALIAN-CATHOLIC PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES": The year was 1963 and Rudy Giuliani was a lowly summer assistant at a Freeport, L.I., savings bank. Once the whistle blew, girlfriend Kathy Livermore recalled how they'd steal away to Giuliani's parents' home and he'd practice his real calling from behind a heavy wooden desk – making political speeches. NY Daily News: Giuliani Candidacy Sparks Pride Among Italian-Americans
OBAMA CALLS ON POLLUTERS TO PAY FOR EMISSIONS: Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama today plans to propose spending $150 billion over 10 years on new clean-energy programs, including proposals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to develop new energy sources, according to senior campaign advisors. LA Times: In Obama Proposal, Polluters Must Pay
"CALIFORNIA DRAFT GORE": State movements to draft Al Gore for a presidential bid are strengthening, with his fans from Iowa to California pledging not to give up and saying they are undeterred by the former vice president's insistence that he won't run. Washington Post: True Believers Refuse to Give Up on Gore
“A PREREQUISITE FOR WINNING THE NOBEL PEACE PRIZE IS MAKING A DIFFERENCE AND AL GORE HAS MADE A DIFFERENCE”: THE environmental campaigner Al Gore is being tipped as a favourite to win the Nobel peace prize in Oslo this Friday in a controversial move that could place saving the planet above saving people from war and conflict. The Times of London: Gore Tipped to Win Nobel
THE PARTY LINE OF "FLIP FLOP": Democratic voters generally place their distaste with the Iraq war close to the top of their priority lists. Democratic presidential front-runner Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) helped authorize that war back in 2002, so how is it that she has come to lead the senator from Illinois… Washington Post: The Inconsistent Waffle Factor
"CAUCUS! THE MUSICAL!": Inside a brightly lighted downtown theater, a group of actors gathered around a piano, their songbooks open and voices ready, waiting for their cue… Such is the nature of artistic direction at the first rehearsal of "Caucus! The Musical," an anthem to Iowa's role in the frenzied race for the White House. LA Times: Iowa's Political Song and Dance
97-YEAR-OLD GRANNY'S SENATE RUN HITS THE BIG SCREEN: At 89, Doris Haddock walked 3,200 miles across the country to draw attention to campaign finance reform. At 94, she waged a quixotic campaign for U.S. Senate against a powerful incumbent. And at 97, she will see those feats projected on-screen in a documentary. AP via New Hampshire Union-Leader: "Run Granny Run" Chronicles Granny D's '04 Senate Run
"THE LINCOLN BRIGADE": They called themselves "The Lincoln Brigade." Even as Democrats feared having to spend as much as $40 million for a bruising, bloody fight expected to drag on for months, this makeshift group of California Democratic operatives needed just weeks to pummel a Republican-funded push for a ballot measure that [would have changed the way electoral ballots are counted]. San Francisco Chronicle: State Dem Group Played Hardball to Kill GOP Election System Plan
GHOSTS OF THE PAST CARRY ADVICE FOR GOP: Barry Goldwater still has fans out there. "Let's grow up, conservatives. If we want to take this party back — and I think we can — let's get to work," the Arizona senator told the 1960 Republican convention… Washington Times: Goldwater's 1960 Advice Resonates for 2008 GOP
SENATOR WEBB'S NATIONAL SUCCESS DOESN'T RESONATE WITH LOCAL VOTERS: From the moment Jim Webb arrived on Capitol Hill 10 months ago, the Marine-turned-senator was more rock star than freshman lawmaker. Chicago Tribune's The Swamp: Virginia's Junior Senator Earns a National Name
WAXMAN WEIGHS OVERSIGHT TO LEGISLATION: Erik Prince, the former Navy commando who runs Blackwater USA… found himself in a packed congressional hearing room, raising his right hand as shutters clicked and television cameras rolled. More than anyone else, one man made it happen: Democrat Henry Waxman of Los Angeles. USA Today: Waxman Sinks Teeth into Watchdog Role
DEMOCRATS REACHING OUT TO REPUBLICANS TO OVERIDE SCHIP VETO: Representative John R. Kuhl Jr. of New York received just his second telephone call ever from his state’s Democratic governor, Eliot Spitzer, last week and was not surprised at the topic: children’s health insurance. New York Times: Democrats See Wedge Issue in Health Bill
PELOSI: "I PRAY FOR PRESIDENT BUSH ALL THE TIME, AND I PRAY ESPECIALLY HARD THAT HE WOULD SIGN THE CHILDREN'S HEALTH BILL BECAUSE IT'S SO IMPORTANT FOR AMERICA'S CHILDREN": House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Sunday that she prays for President Bush to change his policies “all the time,” and has specifically prayed for him to sign legislation boosting heath insurance coverage for children. Politico: Pelosi Prays for Bush to Change Policies ===============================================================
On the Political Radar:
Compiled by Lauren Kornreich
CNN Washington Bureau
* Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-New York, kicks off her "Middle Class Express" bus tour through Iowa with a speech on economic prosperity at City Hall in Cedar Rapids. After that, she rallies local activists with "Organizing for Change" events in Marshalltown, Boone and Ames.
* Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, talks about his energy policy at the Portsmouth Public Library in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
* Former Sen. John Edwards, D-North Carolina, heads to Iowa for a town hall meeting at the Prairie Trails Museum in Corydon. Later, he holds more town hall meetings at Central Decatur High School in Leon and Ramsey Farm in Mount Ayr.
* Sen. Joe Biden also travels to Iowa with campaign stops in Monticello, Vinton, Marengo and Tipton. Later, he attends a house party with Speaker Pro Tem Polly Bukta in Clinton.
* The Senate Radio-Television Correspondents' Gallery Daybook
* The House Radio-Television Correspondents' Gallery Daybook