Tancredo's new ad depicts a terrorist attack on an American mall.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Republican presidential candidate Tom Tancredo's new television ad depicting a terrorist attack on an American mall is raising eyebrows Tuesday, but the Colorado Republican's campaign says it doesn't cross the line.
"There's nothing over the top about this," Bay Buchanan, Tancredo's campaign manager told CNN. "It's quite accurate."
The 30-second ad, set to begin running on Iowa cable stations this week, depicts a hooded man walking into a crowded mall with a backpack. Over the sound of a ticking clock, the man abandons the backpack at a bench and an explosion is heard.
"There are consequences to open borders beyond the 20 million aliens who have come to take our jobs," the ad's narrator says. "Islamic terrorists now freely roam U.S. soil. Jihadists, who froth with hate, here to do what they have in London, Spain, and Russia."
Buchanan brushed aside critics who say the ad is playing the "fear card" and cited a recent FBI memo that said officials had received a tip Al Qaeda terrorists may be planning attacks on shopping malls in Los Angeles and Chicago during the upcoming holiday season. The FBI also said there is no indication the tip is credible.
"That's a common response of individuals who don't like your message," she said of those who have said the ad is designed to instill fear. "But the key is this: Is there a concern that this could happen to us at anytime? It has to be the case, the FBI just confirmed it."
Ron Paul is set to have a big fundraising quarter.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Republican presidential hopeful Ron Paul has raised $8.1 million since October 1, nearly doubling the amount he had raised over the first three quarters of the year, according to his campaign.
The Texas congressman received a total of $8.2 million in donations from when his campaign began earlier this year to September 30, his campaign said.
Claims by Paul's campaign that it has raised $8.1 million over the last month and a half, cannot be verified by CNN until fourth quarter reports are filed with the Federal Election Commission on December 31.
Dr. Paul's campaign raised a few eyebrows in Washington last week when it announced that it had raised $4.2 million in just 24 hours, on November 5. Since that announcement, the campaign has received another $1 million in donations online, his campaign announced Tuesday.
– CNN Political Assignment Editor Katy Byron
Mitt Romney has spent more than $10 million on campaign television ads in the race for the GOP presidential nomination.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney has spent $10.2 million on television advertising this year, a record amount at this point in a presidential campaign, according to new data provided to CNN.
He is spending more than $85,000 a day - $600,000 last week alone - on campaign commercials, according to TNSMI/Campaign Media Analysis Group, CNN’s consultant on political television advertising spending. Romney’s presidential campaign commercials have aired more than 14,500 times. The closest Republican to Romney in ad spending is Arizona Sen. John McCain, who has aired more than $300,000 worth of campaign ads.
In the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, Illinois Sen. Barack Obama is leading the way with about $3.9 million spent on campaign commercials.
“Advertising is still by and large a one man band, with Romney leading the way with his record pace,” said Evan Tracey, CMAG’s chief operating officer.
The former Massachusetts governor has concentrated his ad buys in the first three early voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina. But in recent months Romney has also targeted Florida – the largest state to vote before “Super Tuesday” on February 5. His commercials largely have been used to tout his conservative credentials and highlight his experience as a successful businessman and governor.
– CNN Political Editor Mark Preston
Watch Student Muriel Gallo-Chasanoff's interview with CNN.
GRINNELL, Iowa (CNN) - The college student who says she was told what question to ask at one of Sen. Hillary Clinton's campaign events told CNN Monday that she wasn't the only one at the event who was a plant and said "voters have the right to know what really happened."
In an exclusive interview with CNN, Muriel Gallo-Chasanoff, a 19-year-old sophomore at Grinnell College in Iowa - whose story in her campus newspaper has now been widely circulated - said that giving anyone specific questions to ask is "dishonest," and the whole incident has given her a negative outlook on politics.
Gallo-Chasanoff, an undecided voter, said what happened was really pretty simple: she says a senior Clinton staffer asked if she'd like to ask the senator a question after an energy speech she gave in Newton, Iowa, on November 6. (Watch Gallo-Chasanoff ask Clinton the question)
"I sort of thought about it, and I said 'Yeah, can I ask how her energy plan compares to the other candidates' energy plans?'" Gallo-Chasanoff said.
"'I don't think that's a good idea," the staffer said, according to Gallo-Chasanoff, "because I don't know how familiar she is with their plans."
He then opened a binder to a page that, according to Gallo-Chasanoff, had about eight questions on it.
"The top one was planned specifically for a college student," she added. " It said 'college student' in brackets and then the question."
-CNN's Chris Welch and David Schechter
Watch Carol Costello's report about the missteps famous political moms have made over the years.
(CNN) - Nobody knows you better than your mother - which is probably why politicians often use their moms to help them on the campaign trail. But, a political mom can be as much of a liability as she is an asset. Watch Carol Costello's report on the risks of being a political momma's boy.
Related: McCain's mom takes on Romney's Mormonism
Related: Romney gives Roberta McCain a 'pass'
Click here to see CNN's new political portal: CNNPolitics.com
Watch Jessica Yellin's report on a big Democratic event that may turn out to be a game-changer.
(CNN) - At a large Democratic event in Iowa, Sen. Barack Obama finally delivered on weeks of promising to get tough on Sen. Hillary Clinton, one of Obama's chief rivals for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination. At the same event, former Senator John Edwards also had strong words. Not to be outdone, Clinton and her supporters responded with rallying cry to "turn up the heat" in Clinton's bid for the White House. Watch Jessica Yellin's report.
Watch Mary Snow's report on the planted question at a recent Clinton campaign event.
(CNN) - A largely overlooked campaign event in Newton, Iowa is now at the center of a controversy over how Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-New York, conducts her townhall-style appearances with voters. Mary Snow reports.
Related: Watch Clinton's controversial question
Related: Obama: We don't plant questions
Related: Democratic rivals respond to Clinton's planted question
COLUMBIA, South Carolina (CNN) – Here's a quick look at what's making political news in South Carolina this morning:
Former Sen. Fred Thompson campaigns along the coast on Tuesday - the same day he is set to officially receive the endorsement of the National Right to Life Committee. Thompson will first speak at The Citadel in Charleston and then make a campaign stop this afternoon at NASCAR Cafe in Myrtle Beach.
At The Citadel, Thompson will call for expanding the military to one million ground troops, according to the AP.
Sen. John McCain said in Beaufort on Monday that he will lead the country into a new era of optimism ... just like Ronald Reagan did.
Rudy Giuliani's campaign says they'll be just fine without South Carolina.
Mitt Romney's campaign takes issue with that.
And Romney may use Dr. Richard Land's name in campaign speeches, but Land wants people to know he is not endorsing Romney.
Aaron Gould Sheinin looks at John Edwards' chances to win the primary state he won in 2004, and how his South Carolina hopes may rest on another state - Iowa.
– CNN South Carolina Producer Peter Hamby
Giuliani said increasing trade with African nations will help those governments solve public health problems on their own.
COLUMBIA, South Carolina (CNN) – When faced with several questions about AIDS in Africa during a recent campaign stop in South Carolina, former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani offered few specifics on public health issues but said that increasing U.S. trade with Africa will help "the problems, the issues, everything" facing the continent.
After a brief speech to supporters at his South Carolina state headquarters last week, Giuliani was asked about AIDS, antiretroviral drugs and health care workers in Africa by three medical students in the audience.
Giuliani was questioned on whether he would renew PEPFAR, or the President's Plan for Emergency AIDS Relief, which is due to expire in 2008.
The $15 billion, five-year U.S.-led initiative provides drugs to combat AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria in developing nations, but has been criticized because of its stipulation that at least one third of the money spent on disease prevention should go to abstinence-until-marriage programs.
"I would continue that and if necessary expand it and am very open to it," Giuliani said. "I talked to the president about it a long time back. That is something I would very much support."
Romney used Dr. Richard Land's name while speaking to a crowd of evangelical Christians about Mormonism last week.
COLUMBIA, South Carolina (CNN) - Dr. Richard Land, President of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, said Monday that he supports Republican Mitt Romney's right to seek the presidency as a Mormon, but has not, and will not endorse any candidate running for president.
"Defending Governor Romney's right to run is very different than endorsing Governor Romney, which I have not done," Land said in a statement.
Land was responding to comments Romney made in South Carolina last week to an audience of Bob Jones University students, faculty and alumni, in which he sought to reconcile his Mormon faith with the evangelical Christian community he is courting in South Carolina.
Romney justified his faith to the invitation-only audience by invoking previous comments made by Land on the subject.
"I think it was Dr. Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention, who said we're not electing a pastor-in-chief, and so I appreciate that support and just you remember that when you go to vote," Romney said.