(CNN) - Watch Fred Thompson, and his wife, Jeri, discuss Friday's hostage situation at the Clinton campaign headquarters in Rochester, New Hampshire, his campaign ad shown at Wednesday's CNN/You Tube Debate, and about life on the '08 campaign trail, in an interview with CNN's Larry King on Friday night.
Giuliani said a larger military will help counter Russian and Chinese influence.
OKATIE, South Carolina (CNN) – Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani on Friday advocated a strong military build-up by the United States as a bulwark against the oil-rich Russian President Vladimir Putin and his increasing consolidation of power in the country.
"The good part with Russia is we're not in a Cold War, there is no longer a Soviet empire, their desires are still of a matter of concern but they're not nearly what they used to be and we don't want to get ourselves back into that," said Giuliani, who described Putin as both "good and bad."
"Long term the way we prevent getting ourselves back into that, both with regard to Russia, and even China, is to become militarily even stronger."
The former New York City mayor was responding to a questioner at a town hall meeting who asked: "What are you going to do about Putin?"
Giuliani provided little detail on what being "stronger" would mean, other than saying the "best answer" to the Kremlin would be "a substantial increase in the size of our military."
VIENNA, Virginia (CNN) – The Democratic National Committee voted Saturday to deny Michigan’s request to hold its primary on January 15, but party leaders vowed to move forward with the event even though its delegates won’t count in the presidential nominating contest.
“This is about principle,” Debbie Dingell, a Michigan DNC member, said in an interview after the vote. “It is the only way we are going to get there.
Earlier in the year, the DNC voted to strip Florida of its delegates for scheduling its primary on January 29. Both states violated DNC rules by holding contests before February 5.
The Michigan vote came right after the DNC allowed Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina to reschedule their presidential nominating contests to earlier dates in January.
“As expected, the (DNC) Rules and Bylaws Committee took action to protect the intent of the calendar as adopted by the DNC over a year ago,” said DNC spokeswoman Karen Finney.
The Democratic presidential nominating calendar will kick off with the Iowa caucuses on January 3, followed by the New Hampshire primary on January 8, the Nevada caucuses January 19 and will close with the South Carolina primary on January 26.
On February 5, more than 20 states will hold presidential nominating contests on what is described as "Super Tuesday."
– CNN Political Editor Mark Preston
Bad weather in Iowa forced Mitt Romney to cancel campaign events on Saturday..
DES MOINES, Iowa (CNN) – A winter storm that's been coating cars and roadways with a layer of ice Saturday has kept Sen. Hillary Clinton and former president Bill Clinton out of Iowa, and it's caused former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney to cancel his campaign events for the day.
Sen. Clinton was scheduled to speak at the Heartland Presidential Forum in Des Moines, but, according to her campaign, the Democratic presidential candidate will now be giving remarks via telephone. She is also set to participate in the Iowa Brown and Black Presidential Forum in Des Moines Saturday evening. As of this posting, a spokesman with the campaign says they're currently monitoring the airports, and there is no word on whether she'll make that event either.
Former president Clinton was scheduled to attend a rally on his wife's behalf in Norwalk, Iowa, but the campaign has cancelled that event due to "inclement weather."
But weather is bipartisan.
A spokesman for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said in a press release that their entire day's schedule in Iowa has been cancelled because of "severe weather, numerous closings, and adverse road conditions."
Des Moines International Airport was closed for about 6 hours Saturday morning but has since reopened.
UPDATE: Delaware Sen. Joe Biden's flight to Des Moines from Chicago was also cancelled Saturday. According to the campaign, he decided to brave the roughly six hour car ride instead.
-CNN Iowa Producer Chris Welch
VIENNA, Virginia (CNN) – The presidential primary calendar was finalized Saturday, after months of uncertainty and just 33 days before the first votes are cast in Iowa.
The Democratic National Committee approved requests by Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina to reschedule their nominating contests to earlier dates in January, while denying Michigan the right to hold its primary January 15. Michigan Democratic leaders vowed to move forward with the primary, even though none of its delegates will count towards the nominating convention and several Democratic contenders will not appear on the state ballot.
The votes by the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee were the final dominos to drop in what has been a contentious battle pitting state political parties against national party leaders over control of the presidential nominating calendar. Traditionally, Iowa and New Hampshire have held the first caucuses and primary in the race for the White House. But Democrats and Republicans in others states tried to deemphasize the influence of Iowa and New Hampshire in the 2008 election at the same time elevating their own states into more prominent positions. State Republicans were successful, while efforts by their Democratic counterparts failed.
The DNC invoked a death penalty on any renegade Democratic state party that violated its rules by holding a nominating contest before February 5. The Republican National Committee, too, imposed sanctions on GOP state parties that held contests before February 5, but the penalties amounted to the loss of only half of the state’s delegates.
The Clinton campaign is demanding Obama stop running his ad on healthcare.
The demand is the latest salvo in an increasingly charged back-and-forth between the two presidential candidates on the issue of healthcare. Each has accused the other of not being straightforward about their plan's limitations.
"This ad is demonstrably false and it should be taken off the air," Clinton Campaign Manager Patti Solis Doyle told reporters in a conference call. "The claim that his plan covers everyone not only contradicts the judgment of healthcare and economy experts, including Paul Krugman in today's New York Times, but public statements made by Sen. Obama himself."
The 30-second ad first launched in Iowa late September but began running in New Hampshire this week. In it, Obama discusses the death of his mother at 53 and says, "She was more worried about paying her medical bills than getting well."
"For twenty years Washington's talked about health care reform and reformed nothing," he says. "I've got a plan to cut costs and cover everyone."
Obama spokesman Bill Burton said the campaign had no plans to take down the ad and questioned the timing of the request.
“The Clinton campaign didn't say a word when this ad was released a month ago, and the only thing that's changed since then is the poll numbers," he said. "The truth is, Barack Obama would offer health coverage to every single American who can't afford it, and he'll do it by bringing Republicans and Democrats together like he's done before.
"Rather than spending their time attacking Barack Obama, the Clinton campaign should explain how exactly they plan to order every American to buy health insurance even if they can't afford it," he added.
– CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney
Mitt Romney says the media play a role in how people view his abortion position.
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (CNN) – Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney attempted to further clarify his changed opinion on the issue of abortion Friday, saying the media play a role in painting a negative picture on his position.
"When someone who's pro-choice becomes pro-life, the media and some people just can't get enough of it," the former Massachusetts governor said in response to an audience question. "You go the other direction, and its heralded like you’ve made some great wonderful discovery."
"But you become firmly pro-life and people get all upset about it."
Romney said he's always been "personally opposed" to abortion but that he "questioned what the role of government should be."
"[I] said I would protect the current law, and that’s a pro choice position," he said. "There are some people that do not want to forgive you for making a mistake, and the truth is I was wrong. I saw that I was wrong. I admitted I was wrong, and I am now pro-life."
Romney was responding to questions about how he plans to combat new negative ads on his abortion stance set to hit Iowa and New Hampshire—the first negative ads of this election cycle.
Related video: Watch Romney answer a question on his abortion position
-CNN Iowa Producer Chris Welch
Giuliani avoided questions about a story that he misused public funds as mayor.
OKATIE, South Carolina (CNN) – A normally tranquil retirement community became the scene of a full-on media scrum on Friday as Rudy Giuliani ducked questions about his about possible misuse of public funds during his second term as New York City mayor.
Despite attempts by Giuliani staffers to stop them, nearly a dozen cameramen and several more reporters followed Giuliani and asked questions about the controversy as he shook hands with the audience after a town hall meeting here, his first campaign stop since the billing story broke on Wednesday afternoon.
Asked by one reporter about the controversy, Giuliani said only, "We've already explained it," and hastily kept moving.
Still, the press kept following Giuliani, standard practice on the campaign trail when candidates shake hands and depart venues after their events.
The mayor's usually accommodating staff furiously – and in some cases physically – tried keep reporters away from Giuliani as he walked away, jostling with cameramen and photographers from local and national media organizations in attendance.
No members of the audience asked Giuliani about the story during the town hall meeting. Most of the questions were about illegal immigration, a flashpoint issue in this booming coastal area near Hilton Head.
– CNN South Carolina Producer Peter Hamby