McCain received a major endorsement from an influential New Hampshire newspaper on Sunday.
(CNN)–GOP presidential hopeful John McCain received a major endorsement of his candidacy Sunday, from the New Hampshire Union Leader, New Hampshire's largest and most influential newspaper.
"We don't agree with him on every issue. We disagree with him strongly on campaign finance reform," the paper wrote in its Sunday edition. "What is most compelling about McCain, however, is that his record, his character, and his courage show him to be the most trustworthy, competent, and conservative of all those seeking the nomination. Simply put, McCain can be trusted to make informed decisions based on the best interests of his country, come hell or high water."
The newspaper's traditionally conservative editorial page is influential to the state's Republican primary voters who vote in the first Republican primary on the presidential nominating calendar. The endorsement is among the most coveted and sought after of the candidates in the GOP field each election cycle.
The endorsement appeared on the front page of the newspaper's Sunday edition.
The paper went on to say McCain, in their view, was the most qualified, and ready to lead the country. "Competence, courage, and conviction are enormously important for our next President to possess. No one has a better understanding of U.S. interests and dangers right now than does McCain," the paper said. "He was right on the mistakes made by the Bush administration in prosecuting the Islamic terrorist war in Iraq and he is being proved right on the way forward both there and worldwide."
The paper also noted McCain's time as a prisoner of war during the Vietnam war, and the torture he endured at the hands of his captors after being shot down, saying "he never gave in then, and he won't give in to our enemies now."
"I am honored to receive the endorsement of the New Hampshire Union Leader, the only statewide newspaper in the Granite State," McCain said in a statement released by his campaign. "It is yet another indication that I have the momentum to win the first-in-the-nation primary. New Hampshire voters deserve straight talk, and it is a privilege to answer their questions in living rooms and town hall meetings across the state."
"I alone have the experience, knowledge and judgment to lead as commander in chief from day one, and my candidacy will rally the Reagan coalition to win a great victory next November," McCain said.
New Hampshire will hold the nation's first primary in the race for the 2008 Democratic and Republican presidential nominations on January 8th. They will follow Iowa's first in the nation caucuses on January 3rd.
McCain is scheduled to campaign in New Hampshire on Monday.
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-CNN Political Desk Editor Jamie Crawford
Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani.
STRATHAM, New Hampshire (CNN)–Rudy Giuliani told voters, Sunday, to focus on staying "competitive" domestically rather than worry about jobs outsourced abroad.
"The best thing to keep jobs here is to be competitive," the former New York mayor told a voter who had asked about software jobs being shipped to India and China.
Giuliani said the solution was to "Make it attractive for businesses to keep jobs here in the U.S," and cited lower taxes and less regulation as key incentives for businesses.
Giuliani also asked the crowd to embrace an entrepreneurial spirit.
"Here are two emerging economies, 20 to 30 million people a year coming out of poverty in each one of those countries," Giuliani said of India and China. "I see them as 20 to 30 million more customers. What can we sell them? What can we sell them that is cost effective for us and for them."
Energy independent technology, health care systems, and financial institutions topped the presidential hopeful's list of American products that would be in high demand in emerging markets.
Giuliani also drew lines between economic policy and foreign policy.
Said Giuliani: "When we trade with countries on a sensible basis, we become friends."
–New Hampshire Producer Sareena Dalla
Obama picked up the endorsment from Mayor Cownie in Des Moines, IA on Sunday.
DES MOINES, Iowa (CNN) – Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama gained the support of Des Moines Mayor Frank Cownie on Sunday.
Appearing together at a press conference at the State Historical Society in Des Moines, Cownie praised Obama for his efforts to combat climate change and commitment to invest in renewable energies.
“Barack Obama will put an end to the bitter partisanship that’s stopped us from making progress on the urgent challenge of global warming. He’ll tell the American people what they need to hear, not just what they want to hear," said Cownie.
"As President, he’ll restore America’s standing in the world and lead a global effort to meet this challenge once and for all,” added Cownie.
Obama, who has a plan to make America 50% more energy efficient by 2030, commended Cownie for his environmental achievements.
"Mayor Cownie has shown real leadership on environmental issues, and all Americans – not just the people of Des Moines – have benefited from it," said Obama.
Before elected mayor, Crownie was on the Des Moines City Council where he led Des Moines' long-term economic growth strategy, the “2020 Plan.”
– CNN Assignment Desk Editor Marissa Muller
Mike Huckabee says he is "very pleased" with how his campaign is moving forward.
(CNN) – White house hopeful Mike Huckabee was optimistic about his progress in New Hampshire, even though he wasn’t the person winning the endorsement from the New Hampshire Union Leader.
“I fully understand the Union Leader's endorsement. John McCain is a good and honorable man, and I have come to admire and like him. I have no qualms with their endorsement. I wish it had been for me, obviously,” said Huckabee after a Sunday morning worship service at Grace Fellowship of Nashua in New Hampshire.
Huckabee spent the weekend campaigning in New Hampshire and was floored with the attention and turnout at his events.
“I came here a few months ago and there might be one print reporter who wrote a couple of things down in the notebook and wrote a page 6D story. This time I am here and there are more reporters than we used to have people coming to house parties, and the people are so pressed into a house that I am afraid the floor is going to collapse. It is a different day for us for sure,” said Huckabee.
Within the last month, Huckabee has seen a major surge. “We have raised more money in the month of November than we raised in the entire campaign up until then. So something is going on that is just simply amazing,” said Huckabee.
–CNN Assignment Desk Editor Marissa Muller
(CNN)–Fifteen New Hampshire Hillary Clinton campaign offices have re-opened, her campaign announced Sunday. The office in Rochester, which was the scene of a hostage standoff on Friday that ended peacefully, will remain closed until further notice from the local authorities the campaign said.
"It's back to business as usual and electing Hillary Clinton the next President of the United States," said Nick Clemons, the campaign's State Director said in a press release on Sunday. "I couldn’t be prouder of our outstanding team and the tremendous dedication they showed during the last several days. The New Hampshire for Hillary campaign is grateful for the efforts of local law enforcement and for the outpouring of support we have received from people across the country."
The New York senator was scheduled to campaign in Iowa on Sunday.
Clinton hit Richardson with a one-liner Saturday night at the Iowa Brown and Black Forum
DES MOINES, Iowa (CNN) – The Iowa Brown and Black Presidential Forum is a debate where each Democratic candidate has an opportunity to pose a question to one of their opponents on stage.
For his question, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson turned to Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-New York.
After first comparing himself to former Arkansas governor and former president Bill Clinton saying they were both CEOs and have both balanced budgets, Richardson asked Clinton, "Don't you think that governors make good presidents?"
Richardson may not have anticipated the response she gave after the laughter and applause subsided.
"Well, Bill," Clinton said, "I think they also make good vice presidents."
Once a much louder applause settled, a moderator asked Richardson if he was sorry he asked.
Richardson insisted he wasn't.
For what it's worth, Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich posed his question to himself.
-CNN Iowa Producer Chris Welch
Biden hit the road when his flight to Des Moines was cancelled Saturday.
DES MOINES, Iowa (CNN) – Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden arrived almost an hour late Saturday night to the Iowa Brown and Black Presidential Forum.
"It’s a seven hour ride from Chicago," the Delaware senator said after filling the one empty chair on stage. "I apologize."
He then took a subtle jab at his opponents with bigger campaign war chests, adding, "And I don’t have a plane."
According to a Biden spokeswoman, the Delaware senator's flight from Chicago to Des Moines earlier in the day was cancelled, so he then decided to drive the roughly 300 miles.
But, according to that same staffer, the conditions "were getting bad" after about 175 miles into the trip. The spokeswoman said they were then "able to get him on a small plane."
The ice storm that's taken over much of the state for the majority of the day also forced Sen. Hillary Clinton to speak to a Des Moines crowd of community organizations by telephone, and it caused former president Bill Clinton—who was scheduled to stump for the senator—to can cancel his trip completely.
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney also cancelled his events for the day.
DES MOINES, Iowa (CNN) – HDNet's Black and Brown forum, a debate where the Democratic party presidential candidates were allowed to ask each other questions, was plagued by technical difficulties during the first half hour of the broadcast.
There was no audio during some answers, and at one point Senator Barack Obama had to hand his microphone to rival Rep. Dennis Kucinich, who quipped, "Barack, I want to thank you for passing the baton in this race."
After a few more gaffes, the network took an 8 or 9 minute break, and offered an apology after working out the problems.
– CNN Political Producer Matt Hoye
Clinton was unable to travel into Iowa on Saturday for a pair of events with her fellow Democratic rivals.
DES MOINES, Iowa (CNN)–An audience of progressive activists booed Senator Hillary Clinton today during an exchange on immigration reform. At the Heartland Community Values Forum in Des Moines, Iowa, Clinton was asked whether “giv(ing) undocumented immigrants a path to citizenship” would be a priority in her first hundred days as President. Clinton told the audience "comprehensive immigration reform will be a high priority for me.” That response elicited boos – and no applause.
Asked again whether she’d take up the issue in her first hundred days she said,“Well you’ve got to get the Congress to pass the legislation in order for the President to do as much as possible, which I will do.” That was met by still more loud boos.
Clinton was taking part in the Forum by telephone - she had been grounded in New Hampshire after her last minute trip there Friday night. The event’s moderator told CNN she believes Clinton was hurt by her distance, more than the substance of her answer. “She gave a boilerplate response, when the audience wanted a conversation, a dialogue,” says Cathy Hughes, the moderator and Chairperson of Radio One and TV One. “She didn’t have a feel for the room. One of the advantages of being here in person you can feel the emotional energy.” After one of speakers attending the Forum told an emotional personal story, a voice that sounded like Clinton's could be heard saying “Can you hear me?”
Comments by John Edwards, Dennis Kucinich, Chris Dodd and Barack Obama – who were present -were received with loud applause.
-CNN Congressional Correspondent Jessica Yellin
DES MOINES, Iowa (CNN) – Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich said Saturday he has "concerns" over how the Iowa Democratic Party handles their first-in-the-nation caucus, adding that those involved in the process play "inside baseball."
"[The party] has done the people of Iowa a disservice by trying to rig the debate," Kucinich said. "I have some concerns about the process here. It's more insular than many other states."
Kucinich, attending the Heartland Community Values Forum in Des Moines, was asked by reporters whether or not he will be campaigning any more in Iowa leading up to the caucus on January 3.
"I'm here [now]," he told CNN. "I mean let's talk about some things that are apparent. I'm here. "
Kucinich added that there are other states he has to "give some love to, as well."
Asked what he meant by his claim that the state's Democratic party has "rigged the debate," Kucinich responded, "I'm not going to say anything else about it.
An Iowa Democratic Party spokeswoman declined to comment.