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Making News Today…
Democrats spar in heated debate
LAS VEGAS, Nevada (CNN) - Democratic front-runner Sen. Hillary Clinton fought back at criticism from some of her presidential rivals Thursday night, decrying what she termed mud-slinging and defending her record against the charge that she avoids taking firm positions on controversial issues. Full Story
Analysis: Clinton makes a recovery in Las Vegas debate
LAS VEGAS, Nevada (CNN) - Sen. Hillary Clinton stepped into the ring Thursday in this city known for prize fights, successfully beating back an onslaught of punches thrown from the left and right as her opponents sought to rattle the front-runner seven weeks before the Iowa caucuses.
Seven Democratic presidential hopefuls gather for their debate in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Clinton, who entered this Democratic debate vulnerable following a lackluster performance two weeks ago, came out fighting in the first round.
For the New York Democrat, a good defense was a strong offense, and she sought to silence her critics who stood just feet away.
"I don't mind taking hits on my record, on issues," she said. "But when somebody starts throwing mud, at least we can hope that it's both accurate and not right out of the Republican playbook."
Sen. Barack Obama and former Sen. John Edwards each tried to set the tone early when asked to explain their criticisms of Clinton, such as their charges that she is unwilling to answer difficult questions. Full Story
-CNN political Editor Mark Preston
The CNN Political Team live blogged the debate last night. Check out the highlights at The Political Ticker
Political Hot Topics
(Today's top political stories from news organizations across the country)
Compiled by Lindsey Pope
CNN Washington Bureau
New York Times: Clinton’s in Thick of Barbed Democratic Debate
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton shifted to a much more assertive tone in a debate Thursday night by going directly after her opponents, issuing a stern warning that Democrats should stop “throwing mud” and adopting tactics “right out of the Republican playbook.”
Washington Post: Democratic Contenders Step Up Attacks in Debate
Sen. Barack Obama, stepping up his criticism of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, directly accused her of being duplicitous in one of several testy exchanges that marked the Democratic debate here Thursday night as one of the most heated of the presidential campaign.
USA Today: Rivals Come Out Firing Against Clinton At Debate
Democratic rivals again went after front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton on Thursday, though she fired back at both Barack Obama and John Edwards.
Las Vegas Sun: Asbestos-Clad Clinton Douses Opponents’ Fire
While the leading candidates’ thrusts and parries dominated the early portions of the debates, the seven contenders on stage at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas’ Cox Pavilion also addressed a broad range of other issues such as the war in Iraq, universal health care, illegal immigration and the growing tensions in Pakistan.
Reno Gazette-Journal: Local Audience Finds No Clear Cut Winner
Northern Nevadans who watched the Democratic presidential debate today differed on which candidate fared the best, but most agreed there were less personal attacks and more focus on issues than in previous debates.
New York Times: It Was Clinton vs. Obama on Health Care
So whom is an uninsured voter to believe? In one of the liveliest exchanges of the Democratic debate last night, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton said that Senator Barack Obama’s health care plan “would leave 15 million Americans out.”
LA Times: Democratic Hopefuls Play Difference Cards In Vegas
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton stepped down from her front-runner's pedestal and hit back at her Democratic rivals Thursday night in a feisty debate that drew out differences over immigration, foreign policy and the proper tone of an increasingly harsh campaign.
Des Moines Register: Yepsen's Analysis: That's Why The Lady Is A Champ
Give Thursday's debate to Hillary Clinton. After two bad weeks in the 2008 Democratic presidential campaign, she recovered her footing and pushed back sharply at her opponents in a debate Thursday night.
Las Vegas Review Journal: Candidate Plans To Answer Debate Queries Via Internet
"Give 'em hell, Mike Gravel." It is the earthy message that rhyming bloggers are delivering via the Internet to the presidential candidate who has been excluded from tonight's CNN debate at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, because of lackluster fundraising.
Chicago Tribune's The Swamp: Obama Wins UAW Endorsement That Includes Iowa
Just ahead of a presidential debate here, Sen. Barack Obama has won the backing of United Auto Workers in Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota.
Politico: Clinton Campaign: Hillary Would Win In A Landslide If The Election Were Tomorrow
Mark Penn, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s (D-N.Y.) chief strategist, said Thursday that the Democratic front-runner would get 360 electoral votes if the election were held tomorrow and she faced former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R).
New York Times: McCain Finds Sympathy on Torture Issue
On a bitterly cold morning last week, diners at the Whistle Stop Cafe in Boone, Iowa, were just sitting down for their morning coffee when Senator John McCain entered. Within minutes, Mr. McCain turned to a hot-button topic for which he literally serves as the living embodiment: the subject of torture.
New York Times: A Campaign Hopes a Slur Will Lead to Donations
Senator John McCain of Arizona has sent out a fund-raising appeal based on an episode this week in which a voter referred to Senator Hillary Clinton using a slur.
LA Times' Top of the Ticket: Mccain Campaign 'Sabotaged'
Moments after a news conference in Sacramento today where he urged California to return Arizona’s water (good luck with that), Sen. John McCain left a downtown building to enter a waiting SUV for the trip to a fund-raiser in San Francisco. Oops!. The SUV's hood was up. The vehicle wouldn't start.
Quad City Times: Romney Assails Giuliani on Immigration
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said Thursday that former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani is partly responsible for the vast number of illegal immigrants living in the U.S. today.
NY Daily News: Fred Thompson Treads Lightly On Fellow GOP Candidates
Laid-back "Law & Order" star Fred Thompson breezed through town Thursday without making much of a ripple and left it to Al D'Amato to do the political street-fighting.
Des Moines Register: Iowa GOP Cancels Dec. 4 Debate
The Iowa Republican Party has canceled a presidential debate that was scheduled to be televised on the FOX News Channel on Dec. 4.
Politico: Anti-Romney, Anti-Mormon Calls Being Made In Iowa
In an apparent push poll, a research firm has called Iowa Republicans this week praising John McCain and criticizing Mitt Romney and his Mormon faith.
Washington Post's The Trail: Rising in Iowa Polls, Huckabee Now In Crosshairs
Mike Huckabee is discovering the flip side of a surge. Now that he's moved up to second place in Iowa, according to two recent polls, the former Arkansas governor is learning what it's like to be asked about something other than his guitar playing (which is quite good).
New Hampshire Union-Leader: Michigan Court Hears Primary Election Appeal
State officials hoping to save the Jan. 15 presidential primary argued their case yesterday before the Michigan Court of Appeals.
Chicago Tribune's The Swamp: Don't Talk Too Long In Las Vegas
Being an early primary or caucus state is new to Nevada, but the folks here could teach the veterans in Iowa a few tricks.
Quad City Times: Bill Sweats It Out for Hil in New Web Ad
Get that man an Actors' Equity card. Bill Clinton is developing a side line as top performer on his wife's comic Web videos.
AP: Tancredo To Get $400 Haircut For Charity
Republican presidential candidate Tom Tancredo is getting his hair clipped for a cause while poking fun at a Democratic rival's high-dollar haircuts.
Politico: Newsweek Hires Karl Rove
Newsweek editor Jon Meacham wasted little time finding out the post-White House plans of Karl Rove, who was announced Thursday as the magazine’s newest contributor.
The Hill: Dem $11B Splits Difference
Democrats are drafting an omnibus appropriations bill to “split the difference” between the spending plans offered by the White House and Congress in an attempt to resolve the increasingly contentious budget standoff on Capitol Hill, Senate leaders said Thursday.
Roll Call: Hastert Gives Final Floor Speech, but Not Resignation Date
Former Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) delivered his final speech on the House floor Thursday afternoon, signaling that the wrestling coach-turned-legislator plans to leave office before the end of the year.
AP: Gore, Schwarzenegger To Plan Presidential Climate Forum
California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and former vice president Al Gore are planning a bipartisan presidential forum on energy and climate change in New Hampshire in December, the governor's office confirmed Thursday.
On the Trail:
Compiled by Lauren Kornreich and Katy Byron
CNN Washington Bureau
* Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-New York, heads back to Washington for a Senate vote.
* Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani will speak at the National Federalist Society conference in Washington, D.C.
* Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, will hold a press conference in Denver before heading back to east to meet with voters in Errol and Dixville, New Hampshire.
* Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney will attend the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce Economic Roundtable in Las Vegas.
* Former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson will attend a rally at Plaza De Luna in Pensacola, Florida. Afterwards, Thompson will speak at the Florida Family Policy Council Dinner at the Westin Diplomat Resort and Spa in Hollywood, Florida.
* Former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards tours St. Rose Hospital with SEIU nurses in Henderson, Nevada. Edwards then joins striking Writers Guild members on the picket line in front of NBC Universal Studios in Burbank, California.
* Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colorado, campaigns in New Hampshire. To poke fun at former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards, Tancredo gets a $400 haircut and donates the proceeds to the Autism Society of America in Concord.
* The Senate Radio-Television Correspondents' Gallery Daybook
* The House Radio-Television Correspondents' Gallery Daybook