WASHINGTON (CNN) - Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert is expected to announce Thursday on the House floor that he is retiring from Congress, a senior aide to the congressman told CNN Wednesday.
The aide said that Hastert will announce his plans to retire tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. in an address on the House floor. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office provided the floor time to the former speaker to address his colleagues.
"His plan is to make his farewell address tomorrow on the House floor," the aide said. "He is then going to decide at some point this year when he will step down."
The aide said the effective date of Hastert's resignation not yet been determined.
(CNN) - While out in Las Vegas in preparation for CNN's Democratic presidential debate on Thursday, Wolf Blitzer took the opportunity to sit down with Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman.
Watch Goodman discuss the Democratic and Republican presidential contenders, the political issues that are important to Las Vegas voters, and how Sin City handles illegal immigration when a third of its population is Latino, according to Goodman.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - In his second day on the job, Attorney General Michael Mukasey leaped into the political fray, telling a key Democratic senator he opposes his electronic surveillance plan and would recommend the president veto it if it is passed.
In a letter to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., on the eve of crucial committee votes to update the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), Mukasey was adamant in opposing Leahy's plan for changing the law.
Mukasey and Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell co-signed the letter released Wednesday night by the Justice Department.
"We strongly oppose the proposed substitute amendment. If the substitute is part of a bill that is presented to the president, we and the president's other senior advisers will recommend that he veto the bill," they said.
(CNN) - A voter's question to Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, about Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-New York, has become the basis for a fundraising letter by the McCain campaign. The letter accuses CNN of biased reporting.
Brian Todd reports on how a derogatory comment directed at Sen. Clinton (it rhymes with "witch") and Rick Sanchez's coverage of McCain's response to the comment has thrust CNN into one of the many stories about the 2008 presidential race.
Related video: McCain: I acted appropriately
(CNN) – In this clip from Larry King Live, Donnie and Marie Osmond and some of their siblings discuss the presidential campaign of fellow Mormon Mitt Romney.
Speaking about John F. Kennedy’s historic address about being Catholic and running for president, Marie Osmond told King, “I hope we’ve grown up since then.” “I hope people look at the person and what they’ve done,” the Osmond sister added.
Romney’s advisers have told the Republican presidential candidate not to give a Kennedy-esque speech regarding being a Mormon, according to the Associated Press.
– CNN Associate Producer Martina Stewart
Clinton said Wednesday she is against a program that gives driver's licenses to illegal immigrants.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – After New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer ended his bid to provide driver's licenses to illegal immigrants, Sen. Hillary Clinton's rivals came out swinging against the Democratic presidential hopeful for her reaction.
A spokeswoman for Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Connecticut, called her action "flip-flopping cubed."
Bill Burton, a spokesman for Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, also sharply criticized Clinton for switching her views on the issue.
"When it takes two weeks and six different positions to answer one question on immigration, it's easier to understand why the Clinton campaign would rather plant their questions than answer them,” Burton said.
Clinton received flak for saying that his plan made "a lot of sense" during a debate in late September. But on Wednesday, she said she is supporting Spitzer's decision to withdraw the proposal and blamed Congress and the White house for failing to pass comprehensive immigration reform.
"As president, I will not support drivers' licenses for undocumented people and will press for comprehensive immigration reform that deals with all of the issues around illegal immigration including border security and fixing our broken system," Clinton said in a statement.
– CNN Associate Producer Lauren Kornreich
Giuliani is launching his first television ad.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani is set to launch the first television ad of his presidential campaign in New Hampshire Thursday, two months before the early-voting state is likely to hold it's presidential primary.
The 30-second spot features Giuliani talking directly to the camera and touting his record as mayor of New York, saying, "I've been tested in a way in which the American people can look to me."
"They're not going to find perfection, but they're going to find somebody who has dealt with crisis almost on a regular basis and has had results. And in many cases, exceptional results. Results people thought weren't possible," Giuliani ads.
Giuliani's ad launch comes the same day a new CBS/New York Times poll indicates he is tied for second place among Granite State Republicans with 16 percent. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney leads the poll with 34 percent.
– CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney
Chris Dodd's campaign initiated the pledge that prevents campaign staff and out-of-state volunteers from caucusing.
DES MOINES, Iowa (CNN) –Democratic presidential candidate Chris Dodd's Iowa campaign announced today that with the addition of Illinois Sen. Barack Obama's campaign on Wednesday all the Democratic campaign offices in Iowa–except New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson's–have signed on to a pledge asking the campaigns to prohibit their staff or out-of-state volunteers from caucusing.
Dodd's campaign said the point of the letter was to prevent campaigns from registering large amounts of staff — many of whom arrived in the state only months ago — from influencing the results of the caucus.
In a statement, the senator from Connecticut's Iowa state director Julie Andreeff Jensen said, “It’s still confusing and disappointing that the Richardson campaign has refused to join every other campaign in making this commitment. It’s troubling that I am forced to conclude that they are in fact intending to use paid staff to influence precinct caucuses.”
The Richardson campaign first refused to sign the pledge the same day it was created. State caucus director Shari Fitzgerald–a lifelong Iowan, according to the campaign–said, "I have participated in every Presidential caucus since 1972 and refuse to be bound not to caucus for the candidate of my choice by any candidate or their campaign–ever."
-CNN Iowa Producer Chris Welch
(CNN) - In this video clip, CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser gives a preview of Thursday night's CNN Democratic presidential debate in Las Vegas. Steinhauser explains why Nevada was moved up in the primary calendar, who's leading among the Democrats in national polls and in polls in a key early state, and what to look for during the debate.
Related: A three-way dead heat in Iowa
Sen. Clinton has a commanding lead over other Democrats according to a CNN poll released Wednesday
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. Hillary Clinton has a large lead over her rivals among Nevada Democratic caucus goers, according to a new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll released Wednesday.
The New York Democrat is the top pick of over half, 51 percent, of the likely caucus participants interviewed for the poll. Her closest rival, Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois, was the choice of 23 percent. Former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina came in at 11 percent.
All other candidates came in at single digits: New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, 5 percent; Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware, 4 percent; former Sen. Mike Gravel at 1 percent and Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich at 1 percent.
Programming note: Watch CNN's Democratic presidential debate live from Las Vegas on Thursday at 8 p.m. Eastern time.
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