(CNN) - In a presidential nomination race that seems like it's gone on forever, there are only 66 days left until the Iowa caucases. Candy Crowley takes a look at whether it's time for Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, to get tough with one of his chief rivals - Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-New York.
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Clinton ad targets seniors
MANCHESTER, New Hampshire (CNN) – Sen. Hillary Clinton launched a new television ad in Iowa and New Hampshire Monday designed to reach senior citizens.
In the 30-second spot, Clinton highlights her role as an advocate for the elderly by focusing on key issues of the demographic: Social Security and long term health insurance. Clinton asserts she is the candidate that has been with seniors “all along.”
The Republican National Committee immediately responded with a sharp critique of the New York Democrat’s ad.
“How can Senator Clinton claim to be there for you, when she won’t even give a straight answer on how to save Social Security? The one thing we know about Hillary Clinton and Social Security is that she was definitely there in the White House when Bill raised taxes on benefits and she was definitely there in the Senate when she refused to repeal it.”
- CNN New Hampshire Producer Sareena Dalla
Giuliani and wife Judith picked pumpkins in New Hampshire over the weekend.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani highlights his successful battle with prostate cancer in a new radio ad out Monday, and claims a "socialized" healthcare system would have significantly decreased his chances of survival.
“I had prostate cancer, five, six years ago,” the former New York City mayor says in the radio ad set to air in New Hampshire. “My chance of surviving prostate cancer, and thank God I was cured of it, in the United States, 82 percent. My chances of surviving prostate cancer in England, only 44 percent under socialized medicine."
“You and I should be making the decisions about what kind of health care we get with our doctors, not with a government bureaucrat," Giuliani continues in the ad. "What we need to do is to give people a $15,000 deduction for a family, a $7,500 deduction for an individual so they can go out and buy their own health insurance.”
All the leading Democratic presidential candidates have proposed universal healthcare plans, a policy approach Giuliani has often referred to as "socialist."
Giuliani dropped out of the New York Senate race in the spring of 2000 after announcing he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He underwent successful surgery the following September.
– CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney
Richardson announced a key endorsement in New Hampshire Monday
WASHINGTON (CNN) - One of New Hampshire’s rising political stars announced Monday he’s backing Bill Richardson for president, an endorsement that will likely aid the New Mexico governor’s grassroots efforts in the crucial primary state.
Steve Marchand, the 33 year-old mayor of Portsmouth, stressed in a conference call with reporters on Monday afternoon that Richardson has the right approach when it comes to the war in Iraq.
“More than any other candidate running for president this year on either side of the aisle, I think Gov. Richardson appreciates the role diplomacy has to play in resolving this situation we’re now in in Iraq, in a way that’s going to minimize the damage for the day when America is gone, and maximize the chance there’ll be some kind of long-term stability in the region,” he said.
In the same conference call, Richardson hailed the endorsement as a “clear sign of momentum for my campaign…mainly because Steve is a grassroots campaigner and he is someone who gets votes.”
But the timing of Richardson’s endorsement could be overshawdowed by news that New Hampshire Sen. Judd Gregg was backing former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s presidential bid.
"I would say that given the fact that this announcement happened on the very same day as Judd Gregg announced that he was endorsing for Mitt Romney, unfortunately Bill Richardson lost the endorsement race on this day,” Scott Spradling, the political director of New Hampshire’s WMUR-TV, told CNN.
– CNN's Alexander Mooney and Sareena Dalla
Gregg endorses Romney before heading to state capitol to file .
CONCORD, New Hampshire (CNN) – On Monday, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney was served up a double helping of good news: a Red Sox World Series victory and the endorsement of New Hampshire political powerhouse Sen. Judd Gregg.
The former Massachusetts governor made the announcement outside the New Hampshire Political Library.
“We have history in the making and then to have the support of Judd and Kathy Gregg this is just so wonderful,” Romney said.
Following the endorsement, Gregg and his wife, Kathy, led the crowd of campaign supporters through the halls of the statehouse to Secretary of State William Gardner’s office.
Gardner is a long time friend of the Gregg family, co-authoring a book with the senator’s father, Hugh, a former New Hampshire governor, in 2003. A picture of the Gregg family hangs in the main room.
After signing his name, Romney met with reporters and discussed the personal historical significance of his filing.
“I’m also thrilled as you can imagine to be sitting in the seat, I imagine my father sat in 40 some odd years ago when he declared his candidacy,” Romney said. “I intend to follow his footsteps up to a point– and the point is I plan on winning.”
Romney’s father, former Michigan Gov. George Romney, sought the GOP nomination in 1968.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - After raising a surprising $5 million for his presidential bid, Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, launched his first television campaign ads in New Hampshire Monday.
One of the ads, "Catching On," shows interviews with New Hampshire voters praising Paul and saying that he would lower taxes and remove troops from Iraq immediately. "He's catching on, I'm telling you," a man says at the end of the commercial.
In the second ad, "Troops and Deficit," Paul stands in front of a blown up copy of the Constitution. "Once we stop wasting trillions overseas, we can cut the budget and still help people who need it," Paul says, addressing the camera.
Paul's campaign said he will spend $1.1 million on the commercials. They will both run on a rotation in New Hampshire.
– CNN Associate Producer Lauren Kornreich
Romney files, then fires at Thompson.
CONCORD, New Hampshire (CNN) - Just hours before former Sen. Fred Thompson, R-Tennessee, filed for the New Hampshire primary, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney took aim at Thompson for criticizing him for not speaking out against “sanctuary city,” until recently and misrepresenting his position on immigration.
“As Governor I deputized our state police to be able to enforce immigration laws throughout the state and when a bill came to my desk saying that the children of illegal aliens were going to get a tuition break at school I vetoed that. I insisted on English immersions in our schools,” Romney said.
“So during the years we are talking about I was fighting to protect legal immigration and end illegal immigration. Sen. Thompson as I recall was a United States senator. What was he doing on this issue when he was in the Senate? I think he’s a Freddy come lately to the immigration issue and I think my record as someone who has fought to protect legal immigration but to stop illegal immigration stands up against anybody’s in the country.”
Romney reiterated his proposal to reign in federal funding to sanctuary cities, and added, he was glad Thompson had “bought on to the view that I espoused.”
Romney later gave credit to Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colorado, for the original idea.
–CNN New Hampshire Producer Sareena Dalla
Edwards officially filed for the New Hampshire presidential primary ballot Monday.
CONCORD, New Hampshire (CNN) - Former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards officially filed for the presidential primary ballot in New Hampshire Monday, and couldn't help but talk about the big win Sunday night.
"The Red Sox did OK last night," Edwards told New Hampshire Secretary of State William Gardner as he got set to file for the early primary.
"They ended it pretty quickly," replied Gardner, an avid Red Sox fan who watched his team clinch the World Series title over the Colorado Rockies in a four game sweep.
Later speaking with reporters, Edwards fielded questions surrounding his third-place standing in recent Granite State polls, and said it was too early to call the race.
"I know from my experience in 2004, what matters is what happens in the last 30 days, because that's when people are actually focused on the race," the Democratic presidential candidate said. Edwards placed a surprise second in the 2004 Iowa caucus, despite the fact many polls showed he would finish lower. He went on to finish third in the New Hampshire primary.
"What happened in the election of November 2006 was a very clear signal from America, and from voters that they want something different," he said.
"If it's an establishment, status quo candidate, we're going backwards, not forwards," Edwards added.
– CNN New Hampshire Producer Sareena Dalla
COLUMBIA, South Carolina (CNN) - Comedian Stephen Colbert brought his mock presidential campaign to the capital of South Carolina Sunday, where he was declared "favorite son" by the mayor of Columbia and given the key to the city.
Colbert, a native of Charleston, told the raucous crowd of several hundred gathered on the University of South Carolina campus that, "I love South Carolina almost as much as South Carolina loves me."
The host of Comedy Central's "Colbert Report" is seeking to get his name on both the Republican and Democratic ballots for the South Carolina primaries in January.
"I am here not only to accept the honor you have given me but to prove to everyone that this campaign is real," Colbert said. "To put an end to the vicious rumors that this is not a serious candidacy."
He joked that, "Over the past 18 hours, this campaign has gone everywhere in this state, from Charleston to Columbia."
After spending several minutes espousing the quality of South Carolina peaches, Colbert laid out his vision for the future of the state.
"In the 19th century, South Carolina was the first to secede," he said. "In the 21st we will the first to succeed. First to secede. First to succeed. I own the copyright on that phrase, if you use it you must pay me a royalty."
Tancredo has decided not to run for a sixth Congressional term.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Rep. Tom Tancredo plans to retire from the House at the end of his term but will continue with his bid for the GOP presidential nomination, his office said Monday.
The story was first reported by the Rocky Mountain News, which said the 61-year-old Coloradan informed his staff Sunday night in a letter in which he said he feels he has accomplished what he had hoped to accomplish by raising immigration as an issue.
He added that he wants to spend time with his five grandchildren.
Tancredo, who was elected to Congress in 1998, was campaigning Monday in Iowa.