December 5th, 2007
12:00 PM ET
7 years ago

Young GOP voters largely undecided, poll shows

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani is the top pick for 26 percent of young GOP voters.

(CNN) - With less than a month until the first votes are cast in the presidential campaign, the Republican race is wide open for the young voters, a survey shows.

Among young Republicans, more are undecided than those who have made up their minds. Just 13 percent of young adults who say they are Democrats are still undecided, according to the survey.

The national poll by Harvard University's Institute of Politics questioned about 2,500 18- to 24-year-olds between October 28 and November 9.

Full story

December 5th, 2007
11:00 AM ET
7 years ago

Giuliani, Clinton neck and neck in key states

Giuliani is neck and neck with Clinton is several key battleground states.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Hillary Clinton and Rudy Giuliani may have greater support than their primary-season rivals in the vote-rich swing states that will play a major role in deciding the general election winner next year, according to a Quinnipiac University survey released Wednesday.

But the hypothetical general election match-ups between the frontrunners in both parties remain neck and neck in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania. The biggest shift in opinion seems to have come in Florida, where the results changed from a 3-point edge for Giuliani last month to a 7-point advantage for Clinton this month. In Ohio, Clinton appears to have a 45 to 41 percent margin over Giuliani. In Pennsylvania, the race is tied at 44 percent of the vote for each candidate.

Clinton, alone among the Democratic primary field, beats or ties any of the major GOP primary candidates in all three states.

The Democratic primary results in Florida, which votes at the end of January, are: Clinton 53 percent, Obama 17 percent, with none of the other candidates receiving more than single-digit support. The Republican results were 30 percent for Giuliani, 12 percent for Romney 11 percent Huckabee and 10 percent Thompson.

FULL POST


Filed under: Hillary Clinton • Rudy Giuliani
December 5th, 2007
09:25 AM ET
7 years ago

Huckabee didn't know about NIE report

DES MOINES, Iowa (CNN) - At a dinner with reporters on Tuesday night, Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee admitted that he had neither read nor been briefed on the latest national intelligence estimate, which stated that Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003.

“I don’t know where the intelligence is coming from that says they have suspended the program, or how credible that is versus the view that they actually are expanding it,” Huckabee told the assembled journalists, after being informed of the report’s content by a questioner.

“And I’ve heard, the last two weeks, supposed reports that they are accelerating it and it could be having a reactor in a much shorter period of time than originally been thought,” he added.

The candidate’s apparent lack of knowledge on the issue comes at a time when the former Arkansas governor is facing intensifying scrutiny due to his rise in the polls. A Des Moines Register survey released on Sunday found Huckabee leading the GOP field in Iowa with 29 percent of likely Republican caucus-goers.

Huckabee attributed recent attacks on his Arkansas record on taxes, immigration and the criminal justice system to “desperation” on the part of rival campaigns.

“I call it that the ‘tattle tale campaign,’” he said. “Sometimes campaigns are reduced to tattle tales on the others. I think it’s a real turn off to most people.”

– CNN's Dana Bash and Evan Glass


Filed under: Iowa • Mike Huckabee
December 5th, 2007
09:00 AM ET
3 years ago

Former Bush aide questions, criticizes new intelligence on Iran

Watch Bolton's interview on Iran.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – John Bolton, formerly a U.S. ambassador to the U.N. in the Bush administration, told Wolf Blitzer the recently declassified intelligence information about Iran’s nuclear weapons program should be viewed skeptically.

“I think there’s a real risk here of overjudging what our intelligence community found, and of disinformation on the part of Iran,” Bolton said Tuesday.

Pointing out the report’s conclusion that Iran continues to enrich uranium, Bolton also attacked the report’s artificial distinction between Iran’s civilian and military nuclear activity.

“It’s at Iran’s discretion when to convert that fissile material into nuclear weapons,” explained Bolton.

Bolton made his comments during an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on CNN’s “The Situation Room.”

Watch a clip of Bolton’s interview.

–CNN Associate Producer Martina Stewart


Filed under: Iran • The Situation Room
December 5th, 2007
08:57 AM ET
7 years ago

South Carolina Wednesday news roundup

COLUMBIA, South Carolina (CNN) - Here's a quick look at what's making news in South Carolina politics on Wednesday:

Fred Thompson continues his two day campaign swing through the state, making meet & greet stops at Garren's Restaurant in Pickens, Grady's Great Outdoors and Mama Penn's Restaurant in Anderson and Flight Deck Restaurant in Lexington.

Thompson wasn't about to stop anybody from eating the fried chicken at Wade's in Spartanburg on Tuesday.

Dan Hoover wraps up Thompson's campaign stops yesterday.

John Edwards will return to South Carolina tomorrow, visiting his hometown of Seneca. He will open a new Oconee County Democratic Headquarters and speak at Walhalla High School.

Mike Huckabee gets to work! His campaign just announced a rigorous three-day campaign swing through North and South Carolina starting Thursday, making 12 separate campaign stops in Greensboro, Charlotte, Bluffton, North Charleston, North Myrtle Beach, Columbia, Greenville and then back across the state line into Asheville.

After Hillary Clinton released a (debatable) list of African-American endorsers last week, the Obama campaign released their own list of 130 minister endorsements.

– CNN South Carolina Producer Peter Hamby


Filed under: Extra • South Carolina
December 5th, 2007
08:07 AM ET
7 years ago

Second national poll shows Huckabee rising

A second national poll shows Huckabee on the rise.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - A second national poll in two days appears to find former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee on the rise.

In a new Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg survey out Tuesday evening, 17 percent of likely Republican voters support the onetime dark horse candidate for the GOP presidential nomination. That’s up 7 percent from a similar survey in October.

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani is at 23 percent in the new poll, down nine points from the October survey.

The L.A. Times/Bloomberg poll follows a Gallup/USA Today survey out Monday which also indicates Huckabee gained support and Giuliani dropped.

The survey was based on interviews from Friday through Monday of 428 likely Republican voters. The sampling error is plus or minus five percentage points.

– CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser


Filed under: Mike Huckabee • Rudy Giuliani
December 5th, 2007
07:45 AM ET
7 years ago

Romney fires landscaping firm over illegal immigrants

A second national poll shows Huckabee on the rise.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign said Tuesday that the former Massachusetts governor had fired a landscaping company working on his property because it employed illegal immigrants.

The move came after The Boston Globe approached the campaign earlier in the day with what a campaign official called "credible information" that the company continued to employ undocumented workers, including several who worked at the Romney home.

In a prepared statement late Tuesday, campaign spokesman Kevin Madden said Romney had taken “immediate action” to fire the company after he learned it had continued to violate the law.

In the same prepared statement, Romney said he had given the company a “second chance” after the Globe reported similar allegations last year, but found their continued “failure to comply with the law” to be “disappointing and inexcusable.”

Romney has made illegal immigration a centerpiece of his White House bid. At last week's CNN/YouTube/Republican Party of Florida presidential debate, he attacked Rudy Giuliani for failing to take action on the issue while the latter was mayor of New York City.

According to the Globe, several workers who told reporters they were not in the country legally were “in plain view” on Mitt Romney’s property the morning after that debate, and virtually weekly over the past two months. They also observed the same crew working at the home of Romney’s son Tagg.

Full story

–CNN’s John King and Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report


Filed under: Mitt Romney
December 5th, 2007
07:30 AM ET
7 years ago

Clinton: Edwards' Iran charge goes 'way too far'

Dodd, Biden, and Edwards were critical of Clinton's Iran vote Tuesday during a radio debate.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. Hillary Clinton's recent vote to label the Iranian Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization drew a fresh round of fire Tuesday from her presidential rivals during a debate in Iowa.

As in past debates, former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards was the harshest on the New York Democrat for the three month-old vote, saying it allows for an all out declaration of war on Iran. Clinton immediately fired back, calling the charge "outlandish" and saying it went "way too far."

"I understand politics, and I understand making outlandish political charges, but this really goes way too far," she said. "In fact, having designated the Iranian Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization, we've actually seen some changes in their behavior.

"There is absolutely no basis for a rush to war, which I oppose and have opposed for two years," she added."

Sen. Joe Biden, who voted against giving the revolutionary guard the terrorist designation, hit back on Clinton, saying, "It's not about not advocating a rush to war - I'm advocating no war."

Edwards said the vote was "exactly what Bush and Cheney wanted," and Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd called his vote against the measure "leadership on a critical issue."

Sen. Barack Obama, who missed the Senate vote, held back on criticizing Clinton directly, but took issue with the measure for suggesting "that we should structure, in some way, our forces in Iraq with the goal of blunting Iranian influence in Iraq."

The sharp exchange was an exception in an otherwise calm two hour radio debate aired on NPR. Differing from previous debates, only three issues were covered - Iran, China, and immigration.

The debate came one day after a U.S. National Intelligence Estimate found that Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in the fall of 2003 - which is starkly different from a previous intelligence estimate that said Tehran was bent on developing nuclear weapons.

In a press conference earlier Tuesday, President Bush said U.S. policy toward Iran would not change.

CNN Politics.com: Biden raises doubt over Bush's account of Iran report

– CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney


Filed under: Iowa • Presidential Candidates
December 5th, 2007
07:00 AM ET
7 years ago

Huckabee won't give thoughts on Mormonism

Huckabee refused to give his thoughts on Mormonism Tuesday.

DES MOINES, Iowa (CNN) – Mike Huckabee has evangelicals to thank for helping him surge in the polls and in Iowa, Mitt Romney is his chief rival for those votes.

Still, the former Baptist preacher is trying to steer clear any comments about Romney’s religious beliefs that might help him gain support among those voters, some of whom believe that the Mormon faith is a cult.

Huckabee has refused to say whether he shares that belief.

“I’m just not going to go around evaluating other people’s doctrine and faiths, that is absolutely not a role for a president to engage in,” Huckabee told CNN.

The former Arkansas governor held an event at his Iowa headquarters Tuesday where he accepted the endorsement of some three dozen of the state’s religious leaders. He is currently running an Iowa campaign ad on the importance of faith in his life.

But he’s avoided taking advantage of widespread evangelical suspicion of Mormonism, saying he’s “not going to be critical of other candidates.”

“We ought to be talking about education and health care and energy independence and all these other things,” said Huckabee. “And for me to discuss anybody’s faith, whether it’s Mitt Romney’s or John McCain’s or Rudy Giuliani’s or Hillary Clinton’s – other than to say I want to have great respect for anyone else’s belief system – it’s theirs to explain, not mine.”

When asked by another reporter for his views, as a Baptist minister, of the Mormon faith, he responded: “I am running for president – and if I’m invited to be the president of the theological school, that will be a perfectly appropriate question. But to be the president of the United States, I don’t know that that will be the most important issue I’ll be facing when I’m sworn in.”

– CNN’s Dana Bash


Filed under: Iowa • Mike Huckabee • Mitt Romney
December 5th, 2007
06:30 AM ET
7 years ago

CNN Political Ticker AM

For the latest, breaking political news, check for updates throughout the day at http://www.CNNPolitics.com. All Politics, all the time.

Making news today:

Romney fires landscaping firm over illegal immigrants

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign said Tuesday that the former Massachusetts governor had fired a landscaping company working on his property because it employed illegal immigrants.   Full Story

***

Bush Heading to the Mideast in January

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Bush is heading to the Mideast early next year to try and seal a peace deal during his final year in office, White House officials confirmed Tuesday night. "The President will go to the Mideast region in early January,” said National Security Council spokesman Gordon Johndroe, though he would not elaborate on any details of the itinerary.   Full Story

***

Romney calls for investigation into Huckabee push polls

DES MOINES, Iowa (CNN) - One day after a pro-Mike Huckabee group's 'push polling' efforts were brought to light here in Iowa, fellow Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is calling for an investigation into their tactics.   Full Story

***

Clinton: Edwards' Iran charge goes 'way too far'

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. Hillary Clinton's recent vote to label the Iranian Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization drew a fresh round of fire Tuesday from her presidential rivals during a debate in Iowa.   Full Story

***

Huckabee won't give thoughts on Mormonism

DES MOINES, Iowa (CNN) - Mike Huckabee has evangelicals to thank for helping him surge in the Iowa polls. In Iowa, Mitt Romney is his chief rival for those votes.  Full Story

***

Chief of staff to former Rep. Weldon charged in corruption probe

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The one-time chief of staff to then-Rep. Curt Weldon, R-Pa., has been charged in a criminal conspiracy for failing to disclose income his wife made for doing "little work" at a firm with connections to Weldon's family.  Full Story

===============================================================

Political Hot Topics
(Today's top political stories from news organizations across the country)

Compiled by Lindsey Pope
CNN Washington Bureau

Washington Post: Poll Shows Romney With Wide Lead in New Hampshire
Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney holds a wide lead over his Republican rivals in New Hampshire, where he is seen as the strongest leader and most electable presidential candidate in the field, but the GOP race there remains unsettled a month before the nation's first primary, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

LA Times: Huckabee Inches Toward Giuliani
Mike Huckabee, the ascendant Republican presidential candidate in Iowa, is enjoying a surge of support across the country - and Rudolph W. Giuliani seems to be paying the biggest price, a Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll has found.

Chicago Tribune: Huckabee Says He's Unfamiliar With Intel Report
Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee said Tuesday he was unfamiliar with the National Intelligence Estimate that reported that Iran had not had a program to develop nuclear weapons since 2003, and he questioned the intelligence work behind it.

Roll Call: Hill Support For Huckabee Lags
Republican Mike Huckabee’s surging presidential campaign in Iowa has yet to translate into key support in Washington, D.C…

New York Times: Immigration, a Relentless Issue, Confronts Democrats in an Iowa Debate
If there is one issue that has challenged presidential candidates of both parties in Iowa this year, it is immigration, and the Democratic contenders were confronted with it again Tuesday, in a provocative way. Should American citizens, they were asked, turn in someone they know to be an illegal immigrant?

Boston Globe: More Immigrant Woes For Romney
Standing on stage at a Republican debate on the Gulf Coast of Florida last week, Mitt Romney repeatedly lashed out at rival Rudy Giuliani for providing sanctuary to illegal immigrants in New York City. Yet, the next morning, on Thursday, at least two illegal immigrants stepped out of a hulking maroon pickup truck in the driveway of Romney's Belmont house...

Boston Globe: Candidate Provides New Fodder For Rivals
Mitt Romney's Republican rivals wasted little time last night ridiculing him for his second go-round over illegal immigrants working at his home.

Washington Post: Clinton Rivals Hammer Her Iran Vote During Iowa Radio Debate
One day after a new U.S. intelligence report said that Iran had halted work on its nuclear program, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) faced repeated criticism in a debate here Tuesday for supporting a Senate resolution that her rivals said encouraged saber-rattling rhetoric from President Bush toward the Middle Eastern nation.

AP: Clinton's Endorsement List Debatable
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton's support from South Carolina's black religious leaders may not be quite as extensive as her campaign suggests.

LA Times: Clinton Says His Iraq War Remarks Were Misconstrued
A week after causing his wife's presidential campaign a headache by saying he had opposed the Iraq war from the start, former President Clinton accused the news media on Tuesday of misrepresenting his remarks.

Chicago Tribune: Clinton Made An Elementary Error On Obama
It's one thing in politics to cite an opponent's record when criticizing him. But it’s quite another to cite his Permanent Record—the legendary, indelible and largely mythical account of all that we do as schoolchildren.

The Times of London: Hillary Clinton Gets Personal As Barack Obama Inches Ahead
Hillary Clinton has been forced to take the biggest gamble of her presidential campaign by launching personal attacks on her main rival, Barack Obama, in Iowa, a state famous for its dislike of negative tactics.

Des Moines Register: Clinton Calls On Agency To Reveal Names Of Homes
Sen. Hillary Clinton is urging the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to immediately publish its list of all the poor-performing nursing homes in Iowa and other states.

LA Times: It's About Voters' Faith In Romney
With a massive marketing effort, Mitt Romney has tried to introduce himself as a family man with a solid marriage, five wholesome sons and the moral values desired by the Republican Party's most conservative voters. But now that voters have met him, many are ready to offer an opinion: They still do not know who he is.

Politico: As The Speech Looms...
Just as Mitt prepares to make The Speech, three profs have quantified what many have long assumed: bias against Mormons is "signficantly more intense" than prejudice against women or African-Americans.

Des Moines Register: Tancredo's TV Ad Links Immigrants To Violence
The latest television ad from U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo's presidential campaign draws a link between illegal immigration and Central and South American gang violence that has come to the United States.

Washington Post: Nonprofits Become A Force in Primaries
Nonprofit groups created to educate the public and lobby on issues have started inserting themselves into the presidential primaries, adding an unexpected wild card to wide-open elections in both parties.

New York Times: Comedian Says Minnesota Run Is a Serious One
Even as Al Franken stretches out his big doughy hand to another potential voter inside Nina’s Coffee Cafe on a recent morning, it is easy to forget that Mr. Franken, the former “Saturday Night Live” star, the satirist and author, the liberal radio host, is trying to be elected to the United States Senate.

USA Today: Domestic concerns rise in poll
Growing anxiety over the economy, health care and immigration rival Iraq as the central issues in the presidential campaign, shifting an election landscape once dominated by the war.

The Hill: GOP Is Split On The President's Spending Fight
Congressional Republican leaders are split over how much backing they will give to President Bush in his fiscal fight with the Democrats.

Roll Call: Parties Focus on Specials
The seats in Ohio’s 5th district and Virginia’s 1st, which became open when Republican Members died earlier this year, should be slam dunks for the GOP.

AP: Transgender Ga. Politician Loses Runoff
A transgender city council member lost a re-election bid in a runoff Tuesday after a lawsuit that claimed she tried to fool voters by running as a woman.

The Hill: ‘Wicked Witch’ Targeted Over A Dinner In Waikiki
Jack Abramoff called her the Wicked Witch of the West. “WWW” for short in his e-mails. And he wanted to burn her.

New York Times: New Data, New Methods, New Conclusion
How could American intelligence agencies have overstated Iran’s intentions in 2005 so soon after being reprimanded for making similar errors involving Iraq?

===============================================================

On the Trail:

Compiled by Lauren Kornreich and Katy Byron
CNN Washington Bureau

* Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-New York, will deliver what is being billed as a major economic policy speech at the NASDAQ marketsite in New York City.

* Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Connecticut, will hold town hall meetings at Boone Community College in Boone, Central College in Pella, and William Penn University in Oskaloosa, Iowa.

* Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, will hold a town hall meeting with Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling in Manchester, New Hampshire. McCain will take questions from reporters after the event.

* Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, will give a speech at Cornell College's Small Multi-Sport Center in Mt. Vernon, Iowa. Obama will then hold a rally at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls. At the end the day, Obama will hold an "Engaging the Students: First in the Nation" town hall meeting at Wartburg College in Waverly.

* Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, will make campaign stops in Jackson, North Conway, Conway, Madison, Ossipee, Center Sandwich, Moultonboro, and Wolfeboro, New Hampshire.

* New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson will hold a breakfast event at the Hearing Room in Washington, D.C.

* Former Sen. Fred Thompson, R-Tennessee, will make meet & greet stops at Garren's Restaurant in Pickens, Grady's Great Outdoors and Mama Penn's Restaurant in Anderson, and Flight Deck Restaurant in Lexington, South Carolina.

* The Senate Radio-Television Correspondents' Gallery Daybook 

* The House Radio-Television Correspondents' Gallery Daybook


Filed under: AM Political Ticker
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