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Making News Today…
Thompson makes debate debut
WASHINGTON (CNN) – After months of standing in the wings, it's time for Fred Thompson's close-up.
For the first time, the actor/politician will share the same stage with his competitors for the Republican presidential nomination. All of the GOP candidates are set to face off later today at a debate sponsored by CNBC, MSNBC and the Wall Street Journal in Dearborn, Michigan.
The former senator from Tennessee received flak from his rivals for skipping the last GOP debate in New Hampshire held in early September. Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, joked that they were "up past his bed time." Thompson officially announced his candidacy just hours after the debate ended.
The focus of the debate will be on economic issues, but expect all eyes to be trained on Thompson to see how he fares against his rivals for the GOP nomination.
– CNN Associate Producer Lauren Kornreich
National union will not endorse a Democratic candidate
(CNN) – A highly sought-after national union endorsement will go unclaimed in the Democratic presidential race, as the Service Employees International Union decided Monday not to back any national candidate. Instead, the SEIU will allow local unions to make their own presidential endorsements. Full Story
– CNN Political Desk Managing Editor Steve Brusk
Political Hot Topics
(Today's top political stories from news organizations across the country)
Compiled by Lindsey Pope
CNN Washington Bureau
WILL FRED STEAL THE SHOW IN DEARBORN?: In his month-old quest for the White House, Fred D. Thompson has already endured withering criticism from evangelical leader James Dobson, who observed that the former "Law & Order" star and onetime senator from Tennessee "has no passion, no zeal and no apparent 'want-to.'" Washington Post: For Thompson, It's Showtime
BUSH'S TAX CUTS LEAVE LITTLE ROOM FOR GOP CREATIVITY: President Bush has made some things easy on the economic front for Republicans looking to succeed him: His tenure has seen solid economic growth, and he will leave behind a set of big tax cuts that candidates can easily pledge to continue. But Mr. Bush also has tied the hands of his would-be successors on both taxes and spending… Wall Street Journal: Bush's Taxing Legacy
“BECAUSE THE PRESIDENT AND REPUBLICAN LEADERS ARE NOT PUSHING A POSITIVE HEALTH CARE AGENDA, A LOT OF PEOPLE ARE NOT COMFORTABLE OPPOSING ANYTHING THAT HAS CHILDREN IN IT”: Fresh divisions among Senate Republicans have emerged over their leaders’ and the White House’s handling of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, with a number of rank-and-file lawmakers complaining that the party lacks a comprehensive, coordinated strategy to beat back attacks from Democrats and aligned liberal groups. Roll Call: SCHIP Fight Divides GOP
BIDEN STRUGGLES TO DRAW CROWDS ON CAMPAIGN TRAIL: As he strode into a coffee-and-scones meeting with the Jasper County Democrats the other night in Newton, Iowa, Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr. slipped off his suit jacket and unknotted his tie. “Folks, I apologize if I’m a little overdressed,” Mr. Biden told the small group. New York Times: A Senate Star Sparkles Less on the Stump
HILLARY DISTANCES HERSELF FROM ONE OF BILL'S DEFINING POLICIES: Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Rodham Clinton distanced herself Monday from one of her husband's signature White House achievements, saying NAFTA should be reassessed and "adjusted" and any new free trade agreements postponed. USA Today: Clinton Seeks to Re-evaluate NAFTA
GOP STRATEGIST SAYS "HILLARY BONDS" COULD BE FATAL FOR '08 RUN: Republican strategists say Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's call for giving every newborn $5,000 for education is the first major mistake in her front-running campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination. Washington Times: GOP Hits Hillary's "Baby Bonds"
OBAMA SWIPES AT CLINTON: "THERE ARE SOME IN THIS RACE WHO ACTUALLY MAKE THE ARGUMENT THAT THE MORE TIME YOU SPEND IMMERSED IN THE BROKEN POLITICS OF WASHINGTON, THE MORE LIKELY YOU ARE TO CHANGE IT": Barack Obama lashed out at White House front-runner Hillary Clinton Monday, ridiculing her as a status-quo Washington insider unable to deliver on promises of political change. New York Daily News: Barack Lashes Out at Hillary Clinton
THE CLINTON MACHINE DRAWS WEARY VOTERS: Don Schwartz, who describes himself as "a super-Deaniac progressive type," decided to back Hillary Clinton – whose centrist views, he concedes, do not necessarily match his own – for a simple reason. He wanted, finally, to be with a winner. Boston Globe: NH Voters Warming to Clinton
ANOTHER DEM GETS TESTY AT CAMPAIGN STOP: Iowa Democratic presidential candidate Chris Dodd engaged in a pointed exchange Monday over civil rights legislation with an audience member attending a campaign event here. USA Today: Dodd Gets Defensive Over Civil Rights
TALK OF IMPEACHMENT STIRS EDWARDS CROWD IN GRANITE STATE: Though Elizabeth Edwards was in town to talk about her husband's universal health insurance plan, once she turned the floor over to the audience, the conversation quickly turned to impeachment. New Hampshire Union-Leader: Edwards Backers Seek Impeachment
GIULIANI INVITED TO CHRISTIAN FAMILY FORUM: Stop the presses! Rudy Giuliani, the former New York mayor with the liberal social views, has become the last Republican presidential candidate to accept an invitation to appear at a "values voter" conference in Washington on Oct. 20. LA Times' Top of the Ticket: Giuliani Accepts Invite to Conservative Family Forum
LYNNE CHENEY ON MORMONISM: “I HAVE BEEN REALLY ASTOUNDED BY THE FEROCITY OF SOME OF THE STATEMENTS THAT PEOPLE I WOULD NOT EXPECT TO MAKE HAVE MADE ABOUT MORMONISM”: Second lady Lynne Cheney, a descendant of Mormons, is defending Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney against what she calls “virulently anti-Mormon” criticism. DC Examiner: Lynne Cheney Defends Romney Against Anti-Mormon Criticism
HUCKABEE STAFFER PLEDGES SUPPORT AFTER MYSTERIOUS EMAIL: Republican Mike Huckabee’s campaign is warning supporters about a hoax e-mail claiming Huckabee’s presidential campaign chairman in Iowa is leaving the campaign to support another GOP candidate. Des Moines Register: Huckabee Campaign Warns of Hoax
HEALTH CARE TOPS IN IOWA ACCORDIGN TO NEW SURVEY: If AARP Iowa has its way, presidential candidates will devote more campaign time here talking about health care and financial security in the three months before Iowa’s first-in-the-nation caucuses. Des Moines Register: AARP Survey: Healthcare Key in '08 Race
"THERE'S JUST NO POSSIBLE JUSTIFICATION FOR ONE OR TWO STATES THAT ARE NOT PARTICULARLY REPRESENTATIVE TO HAVE A DOMINANT ROLE IN THIS PROCESS. IT'S NOT FAIR TO OTHER STATES": For Debbie Dingell and Sen. Carl M. Levin, the standoff has been brewing for years. The Michigan Democrats have long worked, mostly behind the scenes, to change an electoral calendar that places vast importance on results in Iowa and New Hampshire, states that bear little resemblance to the industrial heartland. Washington Post: Mich. Primary Move Splits Democrats
MAYOR EYES DOMENICI SEAT: Albuquerque Mayor Martin Chavez (D) will enter the U.S. Senate race in New Mexico, Chavez told the Hill on Monday. The Hill: Albuquerque Mayor to Run for NM Senate Seat
SPIZER'S PLAN TO GIVE DRIVERS LICENSES TO ILLEGALS GAINING SUPPORT: Opponents have decried Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s move to grant driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants as a “passport to terror” and a “frightening” policy shift that is “dangerous and inconceivable.” NY Times: Licenses for Immigrants Finds Support
SAME SEX LAW APPROVED IN OREGON: Opponents of Oregon's new same-sex domestic partnership law failed to turn in enough valid signatures to block the measure, clearing the way for it to take effect next year, state elections officials said Monday. AP: Same-Sex Law Overcomes Opposition in Oregon
SPY BILL TO BE UPHELD BY DEMOCRATS: Two months after insisting that they would roll back broad eavesdropping powers won by the Bush administration, Democrats in Congress appear ready to make concessions that could extend some crucial powers given to the National Security Agency. NY Times: Democrats Seem Ready to Extend Wiretap Powers
NO TAX HIKE FOR PRIVATE EQUITY FIRMS: Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) has told private-equity firms in recent weeks that a tax-hike proposal they have spent millions of dollars to defeat will not get through the Senate this year, according to executives and lobbyists. Washington Post: Buyout Firms to Avoid a Tax Hike
SOME BUSH LOYALS AT ODDS OVER BUDGET: Congressional Democrats have found an unexpected ally in their budget showdown with President Bush: Republicans. LA Times: Bush Faces GOP Foes on Budget Cuts
"GOD" REMOVED FROM CAPITOL HILL FLAG: God makes appearances on the dollar bill, is etched into the walls of Congress and shows up in the Pledge of Allegiance — but apparently has no business accompanying the American flags flown over the Capitol. Roll Call: God Gets Flagged Down by AOC
'08ERS TAKE ON THE PUMPKIN: Want to put a real scare into the trick-or-treaters? Carve a Candidate. Des Moines Register: Download Candidate Pumpkin Templates
On the Political Radar:
Compiled by Lauren Kornreich
CNN Washington Bureau
* The Republican presidential candidates head to Dearborn, Michigan for a debate to be broadcast on CNBC. It will be the first debate that former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson participates in.
* Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and his wife attend a post-debate party with supporters at Kiernans Steak House.
* Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani stops by Andiamo Dearborn to meet with supporters following the debate.
* Before participating in the Republican debate, Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, delivers a speech to the Detroit Economic Club.
* After the GOP debate, Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, holds a rally at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
* Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, gives a presentation at the Central New Mexico Community College in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
* Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, campaigns in New Hampshire with town hall meetings in Londonderry and Plymouth.
* Former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards delivers remarks to the Oregon AFL-CIO's 50th Convention at the Seaside Civic and Convention Center in Seaside, Oregon.
* Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-New York, continues her "Middle Class Express" bus tour through Iowa with a speech on retirement security in Webster City and an "Organizing for Change" rally in Humboldt.
* The Senate Radio-Television Correspondents' Gallery Daybook
* The House Radio-Television Correspondents' Gallery Daybook