Howard Dean speaks at the DNC's meeting Friday.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Hillary Clinton has canceled her speech before the Democratic National Committee as a result of the developments at her New Hampshire office, DNC Chairman Howard Dean announced.
“Unfortunately as some of you know, there is a hostage situation in New Hampshire involving a Clinton campaign staff person," he said. "The details are sketchy at this time, but understandably Senator Clinton is now dealing with this very difficult problem and she is not going to be able to join us today. And we will keep them in our prayers and hope for a resolution to this situation in New Hampshire.”
Clinton adviser Harold Ickes said no decision had been made yet on whether Clinton would go to New Hampshire. He said she is taking her cue from what police negotiators on the scene advise.
Meanwhile, two other presidential candidates - Sen. Joe Biden and Rep. Dennis Kucinich - commented on the situation in their speeches to the DNC.
"I heard the news about Hillary's headquarters," Biden said. "And I am sure like everybody here – I pray to God that it all works out right and I wish Hillary the best of luck as she heads to New Hampshire."
"At this time when one of our fellow candidates has to be concerned about her staff members - and we are in solidarity with Hillary at this moment when we think of what she is going through and what her staff is going through," Kucinich said.
Related: 'Hostage situation' at Clinton campaign office
Related Video: Watch Howard Dean's comments
Related Video: Watch Biden and Kucinich on the Clinton N.H. situation
Obama addressed the DNC Friday.
VIENNA, Virginia (CNN) – Without citing her by name, Barack Obama continued the sharp campaign trail give and take with Hillary Clinton as he addressed the core faithful Friday at the Democratic Party’s fall meeting.
“The same old Washington textbook campaign just won’t do in this election … the electoral strategy that starts out leaving half the country behind just won’t do it,” said the Illinois senator. “Triangulating poll driven positions because we’re worried about what Mitt or Rudy will say just won’t do it. We can’t live in fear of losing.”
Obama, reprising familiar campaign trail remarks and themes aimed at drawing contrasts with the New York senator, said that if he were the Democratic nominee his Republican opponent would not “be able to say I voted for the war” in Iraq “or gave George Bush the benefit of the doubt on Iran.” Clinton voted for the Iraq war resolution in 2002, and this year voted for an amendment that would classify the Iran National Guard a terrorist organization.
On a day when both the Obama and Clinton camps were again trading fire over the issue of health care, Obama said he had “put forth a universal health care plan that will do more to cut the cost of health care than any other proposal in this race.
“Here’s the truth – if you can’t afford health insurance right now, you will when I’m president,” said Obama. “Anyone who tells you otherwise is more interested in scoring points than solving problems. And I’m in it because we’ve had enough of that.”
– CNN Senior Political Producer Sasha Johnson
Clinton has canceled her planned speech before the DNC in Washington.
(CNN) - Police were responding Friday to a hostage situation at the presidential campaign office of Sen. Hillary Clinton in Rochester, N.H.
Maj. Michael Hambrook of the New Hampshire State Police told WMUR-TV in Boston that an armed man believed to be carrying a bomb walked into the office about 1 p.m. Hambrook said two people were believed to be inside.
Clinton is in the Washington area.
Obama and Bloomberg had a surprise breakfast Monday in New York City.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - New York may be Sen. Hillary Clinton’s home turf – but the man in charge, Mayor Mike Bloomberg, met this morning with Barack Obama, one of her chief rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination.
The pair sat down for coffee and eggs in midtown Manhattan, just a quick cab ride away from former President Bill Clinton’s offices in Harlem. The mayor might be a billionaire, but Obama still paid, and left a big tip – almost 60 percent.
While Bloomberg has always spoken well of Clinton, he feels no special hometown loyalty to the senator, who failed to endorse him during his two mayoral runs, when he ran as a Republican.
Bloomberg reached out to the Obama campaign, according to campaign spokesman Bill Burton, who told CNN's Mary Snow the pair discussed issues from the economy and education to homeland security and global warming – but wouldn’t say whether the two talked about a possible presidential endorsement.
“They have a shared belief there is too much game playing in Washington and not enough problem solving,” said Burton, who added that there are no future meetings on the books.
Bloomberg, who is no longer registered to any political party, has long pledged to steer clear of national politics and the presidential campaign, but his morning meeting with the Illinois senator (which only appeared late last night on Bloomberg’s schedule, and caught many Obama-watchers by surprise), comes on the heels of a similar meal with Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Nebraska, just a few days ago.
Obama and Bloomberg first met earlier this year, when the mayor came to Washington to press for more Homeland Security funding for the Big Apple.
– CNN Associate Editor Rebeca Sinderbrand
New polls show the Democratic presidential race is tightening in Iowa and New Hampshire.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - A new poll finds Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards now in a statistical tie among likely Democratic caucusgoers in Iowa. Obama, D-Illinois, seems to have captured 27 percent of the vote, with 25 percent for Clinton and 23 for Edwards in an American Research Group survey of voters in critical early primary states released Friday.
Bill Richardson has slipped to just 4 percent in the latest survey and dropped to fifth place overall, behind Delaware Sen. Joe Biden, whose support has risen from 5 to 8 percent.
Clinton’s support in New Hampshire appears to be slipping as well, but the New York senator still holds a double-digit lead over Obama, her closest rival. The survey finds 34 percent of likely Democratic primary voters support Clinton (a six point drop from the October poll), 23 percent support Obama and 17 percent support former North Carolina senator John Edwards.
Edwards seems to have suffered a six-point drop among primary voters in his birth state of South Carolina. He remains in third place overall with 12 percent. Obama is in second place with 21 percent, and Clinton holds a commanding lead with 45 percent.
The margin of error for all polls was plus or minus 4 percentage points.
New Republican polls from three key states were released Friday.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee appears to have leaped into contention in South Carolina and grabbed a share of the lead in Iowa, according to a new American Research Group poll released Friday.
Huckabee has gained 13 points over the past month among South Carolina primary voters. His 18 percent of the vote now puts him just behind former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s 23 percent and Mitt Romney’s 21 percent in that state, and just ahead of former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson’s 13 percent and Arizona Sen. John McCain’s 10 percent.
Huckabee also seems to have grabbed a share of the lead in Iowa, thanks to an 8 point gain: his 27 percent puts him in a statistical tie with former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney. Thompson, McCain and Giuliani trail with 14, 9 and 9 percent of the vote respectively. Potentially even more troubling for Romney: the survey finds that 89 percent of Huckabee supporters say their support for the former Arkansas governor is definite, compared to just 56 percent of Romney supporters.
In New Hampshire, Romney continues to lead the Republican primary pack with 36 percent, with 22 percent for Giuliani, 13 percent for Huckabee, and 11 percent for McCain. The rest of the candidates were in single digits.
– CNN Associate Political Editor Rebecca Sinderbrand
Dean had a warning for his fellow Democrats.
VIENNA, Virginia (CNN) – Democratic National Committee Chair Howard Dean opened the party’s fall meeting with a warning to his fellow party members.
“The worst thing we can do right now is be complacent .. and take things for granted” Dean told the crowd. He said “Republicans may not know” how to run the country but “they know how to win elections … we better work harder than they do.”
Dean credited the crowded field with having plans to get U.S. troops out of Iraq, but said “we now know it’s not enough to have a majority in the house and the senate, we have to have a Democratic president to change course in Iraq.”
The former Vermont governor ticked through the Republican field and accused many of them of continuing to engage in the “culture of corruption.” Dean also touted the current crop of Democratic presidential candidates, saying they reflect America because the group includes a woman, a Latino and an African-American. He compared the all white male Republican field to a 1950s flashback, drawing a hearty laugh from the crowd.
New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards, Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich and Senators Joe Biden of Delaware, Hillary Clinton of New York and Barack Obama of Illinois are scheduled to address the meeting later on Friday. Earlier, Sen. Chris Dodd of Connecticut announced he would not attend the event, instead remaining in Iowa to campaign.
CNN's Chris Lawrence takes a look at Obama's effort to court black women voters.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Why is Sen. Clinton leading Sen. Obama among black women voters? Chris Lawrence looks at Obama's plan to fight back.
The infamous Willie Horton ad was devastating to the 1988 Michael Dukakis campaign.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sucker punches and below-the-belts can be expected as we enter the slugfest season of political attack ads. They're already taking off the gloves for what promises to be nasty 2008 campaigns that use the newfound enormous strength and reach of the Web.
"If I'm going to get punched in the stomach, I'm going to take a knife out and get you right back," said John Lapp of the consulting firm McMahon, Squier, Lapp and Associates.
Lapp considers himself one of a new breed of Democratic ad-makers who don't hesitate to hit hard in the ad war.
"I'm going to use every single weapon I have in my quiver."
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Following a headline-grabbing uproar, Rep. John Murtha, D-Pennsylvania, moved swiftly Friday to clarify earlier remarks that seemed to suggest the Iraq surge policy was working.
The surge, he said in a statement, “has created a window of opportunity for the Iraqi government,’’ but so far the Iraqi government has “failed to capitalize on the political and diplomatic steps that the surge was designed to provide.”
“The fact remains that the war in Iraq cannot be won militarily, and that we must begin an orderly redeployment of U.S. forces from Iraq as soon as practicable,” said the chair of the House Appropriations Committee’s Defense Subcommittee.
Murtha, who recently returned from a trip to Iraq, told reporters Thursday that the "surge is working." The statement stunned his colleagues – Democratic leadership, led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, is currently blocking approval of full funding requested by the Bush administration for combat operations in Iraq next year without a timetable for U.S. troop withdrawal.