(CNN) - It may be politically popular in the heart of Red Sox Nation, but that probably didn’t make the admission any easier for Yankee fan Rudy Giuliani.
The former New York City mayor acknowledged at a Boston news conference Tuesday he is rooting for the rival Red Sox to win the World Series.
“I’m not saying that just because I’m here in Massachusetts,” the Republican presidential candidate said to applause and laughs. “If I’m in Colorado in the next week or two, you will see I will have the courage to tell the people of Colorado the same thing.”
He said that, as an American League fan, he always backs the team from the Yankees’ league.
Giuliani was in Boston to pick up the endorsement of former state treasurer Joe Malone, in the backyard of challenger Mitt Romney - the former governor of Massachusetts.
On Wednesday morning, the New York media took Giuliani to task for his team turnabout. In front page placements, the New York Post called the former mayor a "Red Coat," and the New York Daily News proclaimed him a "traitor."
– CNN Political Desk Managing Editor Steve Brusk
Levin is threatening to move Michigan's primary to the same day as New Hampshire.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - If you thought the presidential primary calendar chaos couldn’t get any worse, you were wrong.
Sen. Carl Levin, D-Michigan, Wednesday threatened to hold his state’s primary contest on the same day as the New Hampshire primary. Levin, who has long argued against New Hampshire’s status as the first primary state, told the Politico Web site that he’ll move the Michigan date up in order to end what he calls the Granite State’s “cockamamie” first in the nation role.
Michigan recently moved its primary up to January 15, forcing New Hampshire to hold its contest no later than January 8th. New Hampshire state law dictates that it holds the primary one week earlier than any similar event.
New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner, the man who decides when the state’s primary will be held, has said for weeks that he’s prepared to move the New Hampshire primary to December to keep his state first. Gardner did move up the filing period for the candidates to get their names on the ballot. The White House hopefuls now must file by November 2. That could allow Gardner to hold the primary in December, if needed.
An aide to Levin later told CNN the Michigan Democrat thinks his state should abide by the rules if the other states do. But if other states successfully seek to hold their primaries earlier, Levin thinks Michigan should do the same, according to the aide. But the aide added the decision ultimately rests with Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm.
Reacting to Levin's comments Wednesday, Gardner told CNN he is taking a wait-and-see attitude, but acknowledged holding the Granite State's primary in December is a real possibility.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Senate Wednesday confirmed President Bush's controversial nominee Judge Leslie Southwick to the 5th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals by a vote of 59-38.
Some Democrats, including the Congressional Black Caucus, had opposed Southwick's nomination, raising questions over the racial sensitivity of some of his rulings.
Speaking after the Senate vote, an emotional Sen. Trent Lott praised Southwick, a fellow Mississippian.
"This is emotional for me because this is a good man, he'll make a great judge," the Republican senator said. "On behalf of my state - which I feel has been maligned, in this and other instances - we appreciate it."
Lott later told CNN's Ted Barrett and Dana Bash why he got emotional over this particular judicial nomination.
"I just get emotional when I start talking about what it means to our state," he said. "Some of the statements out there really were just bashing our state. That really hurts. Hurts my feelings, hurts my state."
Romney hit South Carolina airwaves with a new ad Wednesday.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Former Gov. Mitt Romney launched a new campaign ad in South Carolina Wednesday that argues the Massachusetts Republican would use his background in business to cut spending in Washington.
"I come from the business world - where turning around companies taught me how to manage budgets," Romney said in the television ad titled "Business World."
Romney was the founder and CEO of Bain Capital, a highly successful venture capital and investment firm based in Boston. Bain Capital and its affiliates manage more than $50 billion in assets, according to the company's Web site.
Romney also promotes his stint as president and CEO of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee for the 2002 Winter Olympics.
"In Washington, government always spends more. It shouldn't be that way... As president, I'll audit Washington – top to bottom – and cut spending," he says in the ad.
– CNN Political Assignment Editor Katy Byron
Kerrey said Wednesday he will not run for the Senate.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Former Sen. Bob Kerrey announced Wednesday he will not run for the Nebraska Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Chuck Hagel, ending weeks of speculation he might seek a return to Capitol Hill.
"For my family and me now is not the time for me to re-enter politics as a candidate," Kerrey, a former Democratic senator from Nebraska and now the president of New School University, said in a statement. "The New School is an exciting and talented community of men and women. I am very fortunate to have the opportunity to lead them."
Hagel, a two-term Republican, announced last month he would not run for re-election, nor seek the presidency in 2008. Former Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns quickly threw his hat into the ring on the Republican side and Democrats hoped Kerrey would follow suit, setting up a closely fought race in what is a solid Republican state.
"All of us need to resist the temptation of surrendering our interest in the outcome of elections or the work of our Congress. Too much is at stake," Kerrey said in his statement. "For my part I will continue to engage in the public issues of the day and to serve in ways that contribute to the solution of public problems."
Kerrey served as a senator from Nebraska from 1989-2001. He unsuccessfully ran for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1992.
TIME.com: Top 10 '08 Senate races to watch
– CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney
MANCHESTER, New Hampshire (CNN) –
Union Leader, John Distaso reports that Sen. Judd Gregg has pulled out as a host for a state party fundraiser where GOP chairman Mike Duncan will be the featured guest. Gregg does not agree with Duncan’s choice to punish New Hampshire for pushing it’s first-in-the-nation primary up in the calendar.
Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, got aggressive on Bin Laden at a Rochester weapons factory Tuesday.
Former Governor Shaheen is hitting the trail, this week she made a stop at the seacoast to discuss healthcare
And it’s Game One, let’s not kid ourselves, this is what all of Red Sox nation is following.
– CNN New Hampshire Producer Sareena Dalla
Romney made a slip of the tongue when talking about Osama bin Laden Tuesday.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - It was only a slip of the tongue, but it's hard not to notice when a presidential candidate is confused for the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks.
Giving a speech before the Chamber of Commerce in Greenwood, South Carolina Tuesday, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney invoked Illinois Sen. Barack Obama's name when he apparently meant to say Osama bin Laden.
“Actually, just look at what Osama - Barack Obama said just yesterday," Romney said, according to the Associated Press. "Barack Obama calling on radicals, jihadists of all different types, to come together in Iraq. That is the battlefield."
Romney campaign spokesman Kevin Madden called the remarks a "brief mix up."
“Gov. Romney simply misspoke," he said. "He was referring to the recently released audiotape of Osama bin Laden and misspoke when referencing his name."
Meanwhile, Bill Burton, a spokesman for Obama, said, "Apparently, Mitt Romney can switch names just as casually as he switches positions, but what's wrongheaded is continuing a misguided war in Iraq that has left America less safe.
"It's time to end the divisiveness and fear-mongering that is at the heart of Gov. Romney's campaign," he added.
In January, CNN made the same mistake, accidentally displaying a graphic that said "Where's Obama?" during a report on bin Laden. Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy also made the same slip in a 2005 speech.
– CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney
A new radio ad from Barack Obama says he "has taken up the torch" from Jesse Jackson.
COLUMBIA, South Carolina (CNN) - Sen. Barack Obama launched a new radio spot in South Carolina Tuesday declaring that he is following in the footsteps of Jesse Jackson, who ran for president in 1984 and 1988.
The ad is narrated by Rev. Jackson's son, Illinois congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr., who says in the scrip that "Barack Obama has taken up the torch" from his father.
Jackson won the South Carolina Democratic caucus in 1988.
The 60-second spot suggests that Obama has a stronger connection to the black community than other Democrats.
"A lot of politicians call themselves our friends," Jackson Jr. says in the ad. "But Obama has a heart that beats for our community. And he’s dedicated his life to the struggle."
In September, the elder Jackson told a South Carolina audience that Obama was "acting like he's white" in responding to the Jena 6 case. Jackson has since reaffirmed his support for Obama.
The radio ad is Obama's third here, and it will run on 36 gospel and R&B stations across the state. His chief rival, Sen. Hillary Clinton, launched her first radio ad here last month, which is also targeted at African-American voters.
While Obama and Clinton are running radio ads, no Democratic presidential candidate has purchased television airtime in the state.
– CNN South Carolina Producer Peter Hamby
BOSTON, Massachusetts (CNN) - Thousands of people turned out on the Boston Common Tuesday night to hear Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick endorse Sen. Barack Obama for president.
Patrick welcomed the Illinois Democrat to Red Sox Nation saying "around here we know how to come from behind and win and that is exactly what we are gathered here to help the senator do."
The Massachusetts governor, who was endorsed during his primary gubernatorial campaign by Obama and during his general election campaign by President and Sen. Clinton, explained why he is endorsing Obama.
"We don't just need a democrat, we need a leader," he said. "This election is not just about who we want but who we are. I want a president who understands that."
Obama took the stage and congratulated Red Sox fans but admitted he is a White Sox fan, saying "you don't want somebody who pretends to be a Red Sox fan to be president of the United States. You want a principled sports fan who stands by his team even when they are losing."
Thompson last appeared in South Carolina on September 10th.
CHARLESTON, South Carolina (CNN) – On Wednesday, former Sen. Fred Thompson will make his first trip to South Carolina since his presidential campaign debuted here more than one month ago.
The visit comes at a crucial time for Thompson. Though he continues to lead polls here along with former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, the state holds special meaning for Thompson, the only leading candidate who is a southerner. That heritage helps Thompson in South Carolina, but it also puts extra pressure on Thompson to do well in the primary, whose winner has gone on to win the Republican nomination in every election since 1980.
It doesn't help matters that he is also having trouble gaining traction in New Hampshire. On Tuesday, Dan Hughes, one of Thompson’s top advisors there, said Thompson is running a "token" campaign in the Granite State and announced he was defecting to Sen. John McCain’s campaign.
Thompson also needs to recapture some of the momentum here from his debut appearances in early September. By most accounts, his two campaign stops in South Carolina after formally entering the race were far more raucous and well-received than those in Iowa and New Hampshire. But some Republicans here say that in taking more than a month to return to the early voting state with his strongest support, Thompson may have missed a chance to cement a stronger lead.
Thompson will meet with supporters at a restaurant in the coastal town of Mount Pleasant in the morning, then head south for two meet-and-greets in Bluffton.
It's Thompson's first visit to South Carolina's Lowcountry since he entered the race.
– CNN South Carolina Producer Peter Hamby