DETROIT, Michigan (CNN) - If you don't count the Pistons and Red Wings, Detroit is known for two things: automobiles and Motown.
So it made sense that Mike Huckabee made an unscheduled stop at the Motown Historical Museum Friday after giving a speech at the Detroit Economic Club on Michigan's languishing manufacturing sector.
Huckabee and his wife Janet had a private guided tour of the legendary R&B studio, which was opened by Berry Gordy, Jr. in 1959 and became a musical juggernaut, launching the careers of soul legends like the Temptations and Marvin Gaye.
"I've never have been to Motown," Huckabee said, calling it "one of those spots on a musicians life's tour that you've got to make sooner or later." He called Motown's success a testament to why music and arts education needs to be a priority in the American school system.
Their tour ended in the famous "Studio A," where the museum guide instructed Huckabee and his wife to perform a choreographed version of "My Girl" for reporters and camera crews, who laughed as Huckabee smiled and mumbled his way through the chorus.
After the tour they poked around the gift shop before leaving.
Huckabee made another off the record stop after that, meeting with Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick at his downtown office. The campaign said Mayor Kilpatrick had called Huckabee earlier in the day and requested he stop by to chat.
- CNN South Carolina Producer Peter Hamby
WASHINGTON (CNN) - I am going to be hosting a Democratic presidential debate on Monday, January 21, in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The CNN debate will be co-sponsored with the Congressional Black Caucus Institute. Suzanne Malveaux and Joe Johns will be joining me in the questioning. All of us are really looking forward to this debate which coincides with Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in the United States.
It comes just before the Democratic primary in South Carolina on Saturday, January 26. Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards all have respective strengths and weaknesses in that state. Hopefully, we will be able to learn more about these three candidates during that forum, which airs at 8 p.m. ET on CNN. The two earlier Democratic debates I moderated – in New Hampshire in early June and in Nevada in November – included a lot more candidates. Several of them, as you know, have dropped out. This one should be more manageable.
There are so many questions all of us have about the candidates. I have my ideas, and am excited, but l really want to hear from you - I would love your input. Let me know what you would ask these Democratic candidates if you had the chance. This race for the White House is at a pivotal point for the Democrats and the Republicans. And the stakes for the nation are very high. Thanks in advance.
(CNN) - The economy, and more specifically, the sub-prime lending crisis, is fast becoming a central theme in Democrat Hillary Clinton’s message. On Friday, she called for an economic stimulus package that would help low-income families keep their homes and stay warm this winter – and could come with a $110 billion price tag.
Clinton has said she fears a recession, although her campaign has avoided describing the economy’s current state in that language.
On Thursday evening, the New York senator canvassed a primarily Latino neighborhood in Central Las Vegas and periodically surveyed voters about the impact of housing foreclosures. She held a roundtable at a local restaurant with people who had lost their homes.
Clinton and her daughter Chelsea visited Gilberto Santana, who is out of work and having to borrow money from friends to help pay his bills, including his mortgage. Santana, a Clinton supporter, is also a member of the Las Vegas culinary union, a group that endorsed Senator Barack Obama earlier this week.
On Friday, the presidential hopeful said Congress should work with the White House to pass a $70 billion economic boost, and to follow that with as much as $40 billion in tax refunds.
The bill proposed Friday would provide $10 billion to extend unemployment insurance, create a $30 billion fund to help states and local governments deal with the housing crisis, provide $25 billion in emergency energy, and set a 90-day moratorium on sub-prime mortgages of at least five years, among other elements of the plan.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Republican Mitt Romney launched a new ad in Michigan Friday in which he plays up his ties to the state and pledges to turn around its flailing economy.
"I grew up in Michigan when Michigan was the pride of America," Romney, whose father once served as governor of the state, says in the new 30-second spot called "Pride of America."
"It breaks my heart to see us in a one-state recession," Romney continues. "We can change that. We need new leaders with the experience and energy to turn us around."
The former Massachusetts governor is hoping his personal connections to Michigan and his upbeat economic message will deliver him a much needed win in the state's primary next Tuesday. His campaign recently announced it was pulling its paid media in other early-voting states and focusing its remaining resources there. This is the latest recent spot to emphasize Romney’s Michigan connections.
Recent polls suggest he is locked in a tight battle with John McCain and Mike Huckabee for the top spot in that race.
- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney
(CNN) - Republican John McCain launched a new ad in Michigan Friday that stresses his bipartisan credentials in a state where crossover voting may play a major role in the presidential primary outcome.
In the 30-second spot, "Endorsed Michigan," an announcer reads from recent editorials in The Detroit News and the Detroit Free Press that praise the Arizona senator as a "straight shooter," "a conservative who has worked across the aisle," and a Republican with "broad appeal to the middle of the electorate."
There is no party registration in Michigan, and registered voters can cast their ballots in any primary. Since national party penalties have meant that most of the Democratic presidential field has pulled there name from the ballot – and none of the major candidates in that party will be campaigning in the state – Democrats and independents may play a far greater role in next Tuesday’s GOP primary than they do in most cycles.
Most recent surveys have found McCain, Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee locked in a tight battle for the top spot in that race.
(CNN) - A good assessment of how a candidate successfully takes a message and makes a mark on voters is when you begin to hear them repeat it over and over in calls, e-mails and on radio talk shows.
After getting dusted by Sen. Barack Obama in Iowa, Sen. Hillary Clinton knew that she needed to change her position to combat the agent of change language presented by Obama. It was clear that just talking about her experience as First Lady wasn’t enough, because taking credit for all the good done by the administration of President Bill Clinton also meant assuming the bad.
But what Clinton has done is reframe her experience by expanding it beyond the eight years she’s served in the U.S. Senate. Now, you hear her talk about having 35 years of experience as a change agent.
The key part really isn’t being an advocate for change, but the emphasis on 35 years.
And it has caught on because I’ve noticed the phrase taking foot among the electorate, and they are now repeating it.
Judging by her resume, the 60-year-old Clinton has decided to reach back and suggest that all that the work she has done since graduating from college matters. The compare and contrast is that with Obama being 46, Clinton is suggesting that she has been working on issues since her chief rival was still in junior high school.
The biggest knock on his campaign has been Clinton defining him as being inexperienced, even though it is true that he’s served longer as an elected official (11 years) than Clinton (eight).
(CNN) - Rudy Giuliani has launched a new ad in which the Republican presidential candidate pledges that his first priority as president will be a proposal for the largest tax cut in U.S. history one which would dwarf successful cuts by both President Reagan and President George W. Bush.
In the 30-second spot, 'First Day,' the announcer tells viewers that "On his first day in office, Rudy Giuliani will send Congress the largest tax cut in American history."
Adds Giuliani: "I would lower taxes as President of the United States because it¹s not just an ideology or, or a theory for me. I made it work. I had results."
"Rudy's delivered more tax relief than the other Republicans combined. And now has a plan to cut taxes by trillions of dollars," says the narrator.
Giuliani concludes: "I'm the one who, who's lowered taxes, and lowered spending, and actually gotten it done where it was more difficult to do it than even in Washington, DC."
Giuliani's multi-trillion dollar proposal, unveiled in a speech earlier this week, would reduce the capital gains tax from 15 percent to 10 percent, preserve President Bush's 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, lower the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 25 percent, permanently eliminate the estate tax, and give taxpayers the option of choosing a simplified tax form with three tax brackets with a maximum bracket of 30 percent. It would also index the alternative minimum tax to inflation - and eventually repeal it entirely.
The new ad will air in Florida, and nationwide.
- CNN's Rebecca Sinderbrand
(CNN) - CNN has confirmed that Arizona’s popular Democratic governor, Janet Napolitano, will endorse Barack Obama. The endorsement could prove useful in the upcoming caucuses in Nevada, where Napolitano is expected to join Obama on the trail this evening.
Napolitano is the most prominent Democrat in Arizona, which is one of more than 20 states holding a Democratic presidential primary on "Super Tuesday," Febuary 5. Her backing, especially as a female elected official, is considered a big boost for his campaign in the state.
Napolitano plans to join Obama as he campaigns in neighboring Nevada, the sources said.
Obama received another big boost in South Carolina on Thursday when Sen. John Kerry, the 2004 Democratic presidential candidate four years ago, announced he's endorsing the U.S. senator from Illinois.
UPDATE: In a conference call with reporters, Napolitano praised Obama for his "leadership and
vision" and said she was endorsing him because "we need a new message of hope and solidarity of coming together in Washington."
Then-presidential candidate Al Gore kisses wife Tipper in what became one of the most memorable moments of the 2000 Democratic Convention. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
(CNN) - If you're a presidential candidate, showing affection toward your spouse in front of the cameras is often a tricky affair. CNN's Jeanne Moos reports some candidates are more comfortable with PDA than others.
(CNN) - During last week’s debate in New Hampshire, Hillary Clinton took some heat from rival Barack Obama, by essentially saying words don’t mean much without action.
He responded that words do have meaning. With that in mind, do the words of New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo have a hidden meaning?
In a discussion with an Albany radio station, Cuomo offered this assessment of Clinton’s win in New Hampshire as it relates to retail politics: ”It’s not a TV-crazed race. Frankly you can’t buy your way into it,” Cuomo said. “You can’t shuck and jive at a press conference. All those moves you can make with the press don’t work when you’re in someone’s living room.”
Yes, shuck and jive.
Now, Cuomo has quickly tried to clean up his statement by suggesting that it wasn’t meant at Obama – so who was he talking about, Bill Richardson? Yeah, right. He also said that he meant something akin to bobbing and weaving and ducking the tough questions. Well, why not say bobbing and weaving?
Some of you may be saying that this is stupid and ridiculous. But understand the racial history of America.