January 18th, 2008
07:00 AM ET
7 years ago

CNN=Politics Daily

CNN=Politics Daily is The Best Political Podcast from the Best Political Team.

CNN=Politics Daily is The Best Political Podcast from the Best Political Team.

(CNN) - Former President Bill Clinton has become a regular fixture on the campaign trail as his wife mounts her own campaign for the White House.

In the latest episode of CNN=Politics Daily, Senior Political Correspondent Candy Crowley takes a look at the Clinton's tag-team campaign style.

Wolf Blitzer also speaks with Clinton backer Bob Johnson about his apology to Sen. Barack Obama.

South Carolina's GOP primary is January 19 and the Best Political Team has the southern state covered. Dana Bash reports on Sen. John McCain's new economic plan announced in Columbia, South Carolina Thursday.

Chief National Correspondent John King is also on the trail in South Carolina and takes a look at Fred Thompson's effort to win the important GOP primary.

Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider reports on the string of endorsements Sen. Barack Obama recently received from Democratic insiders.

Click here to subscribe to CNN=Politics Daily.

January 16th, 2008
05:30 PM ET
7 years ago

Thompson takes aim at rivals

Thompson is getting tough on his rivals.
Thompson is getting tough on his rivals.

ABBEVILLE, South Carolina (CNN) -– Fred Thompson continued his attacks on all three of his main Republican rivals in South Carolina Wednesday.

The former Tennessee senator, running behind John McCain, Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney in recent surveys in the state, has staked his candidacy on a strong showing in the GOP primary there this Saturday.

Asked by a voter Wednesday how his record on "conservative Christian values" stacked up against those of Huckabee and John McCain, he immediately criticized the former Arkansas governor.

"Just to cut through the baloney, it was me and not him who received the National Right to Life endorsement," he said. "Who do you think knows my record better? They've been following me since 1994."

Thompson repeated the criticisms he made against Huckabee at last weekend's GOP debate in Myrtle Beach, especially on the issue of illegal immigration.

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Filed under: Fred Thompson • South Carolina
January 16th, 2008
11:15 AM ET
3 years ago

CNN=Politics Daily

CNN=Politics Daily is The Best Political Podcast from the Best Political Team.

CNN=Politics Daily is The Best Political Podcast from the Best Political Team.

(CNN) - The Republican presidential primary race has another winner. Mitt Romney won Michigan's GOP primary Tuesday night and now Romney and the rest of the GOP presidential field will continue their contest in South Carolina and Nevada.

The three leading Democrats debated one another Tuesday night in Las Vegas - less than a week before Nevada's caucuses.

In the latest episode of CNN=Politics Daily, John Roberts speaks with Mitt Romney and Mary Snow reports on the Republican presidential race.

Roberts also sits down with Mark Halperin, book author and Senior Political Analyst for Time Magazine, to discuss the next stage of the White House race. Finally, Kiran Chetry speaks with former senator Fred Thompson.

Click here to subscribe to CNN=Politics Daily

–CNN Associate Producer Martina Stewart

January 13th, 2008
07:00 PM ET
2 years ago

Ballot Bowl Highlights

ALT TEXT

(CNN) – With voting just two days away, it’s down to the wire for the Republican White House hopefuls contesting Michigan’s GOP presidential primary. Out West, Nevada’s caucuses are now less than a week away and South Carolina’s Republican primary will be held on the same day – January 19.

In CNN’s Sunday Ballot Bowl programming, CNN’s correspondents and producers were with the presidential candidates out on the campaign trail in the states who are up next to vet the field of White House hopefuls. If you missed any of Sunday's Ballot Bowl, you can get the highlights here:

Video: Giuliani on change

Video: Huckabee on Baptist background

Video: Obama: It won't stay in Vegas

Video: Romney one-on-one

Video: McCain: Michigan can lead the nation

Video: Edwards in Florence, S.C.

Video: Thompson's conservative values

Video: Clinton on health care

Video: Clinton on Dr. King

Video: Obama on Clinton's MLK comment

–CNN Associate Producer Martina Stewart

January 12th, 2008
07:15 PM ET
2 years ago

Ballot Bowl Highlights

ALT TEXT

(CNN) – The race for the White House fans out to Michigan, South Carolina, Nevada, and Florida now that Iowa's caucuses and New Hampshire's primaries are over. CNN continues to provide complete coverage of the presidential hopefuls as they battle for their party's nomination. If you missed any of CNN's Ballot Bowl programming Saturday, you can catch the highlights here:

Video: Clinton: 'We need a change of heart'

Video: McCain: 'We can create jobs here'

Video: Giuliani on tax reform

Video: Huckabee: 'We value life'

Video: Obama: 'Yes we can'

Video: Edwards: Value U.S. workers

Video: Romney: 'Washington is broken'

Video: Thompson: 'What you see is what you get'

Video: Poll: McCain a threat to Dems

– CNN Associate Producer Martina Stewart

January 8th, 2008
10:02 AM ET
7 years ago

Thompson absent in New Hampshire

Watch Obama react to Bhutto's death

Watch Thompson on American Morning Tuesday.

(CNN) - While most of the presidential candidates are up in New Hampshire awaiting results of its first-in-the-nation primary, Republican candidate Fred Thompson is already in South Carolina, site of the next major primary vote. The former Tennessee senator, who essentially abandoned his New Hampshire campaign weeks ago, is embarking on an eleven-day bus tour throughout the Palmetto State.

“I swapped the snow for the mild temperatures,” he said Tuesday.

On CNN’s American Morning, he defended his strategy of skipping the Granite State’s high-profile contest. “It was all about getting out of Iowa with a ticket, a ticket to South Carolina,” he told anchor Kiran Chetry. “We have not spent very much time or money in New Hampshire. We went up there for the two debates that they had over the weekend, but it’s all been about getting to South Carolina and then going from there.”

South Carolina’s Republicans head to the polls January 19.

Thompson conceded that he wouldn’t do well in New Hampshire, telling Chetry: “I think that that’s pretty clear cut there.

– CNN’s Emily Sherman


Filed under: Fred Thompson
January 6th, 2008
05:23 PM ET
7 years ago

Thompson gets help from anti-abortion group

New mailer from group supporting Thompson’s South Carolina campaign.

New mailer from group supporting Thompson’s South Carolina campaign.

MANCHESTER, New Hampshire (CNN) - The National Right to Life Committee, which endorsed Fred Thompson in November, is sending out mailers in South Carolina urging "pro-lifers to unite" behind Thompson's candidacy.

The abortion mailer, which focuses on Thompson's Senate record, comes as his campaign is shoring up their South Carolina staff. The former Tennessee senator is hoping to make a comeback in a state where he's now slipped into a three-way tie for third place in most recent polls, behind Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney.

"Vote for life in the South Carolina Republican Primary," the mailer says, noting that Thompson "is the only candidate endorsed by the National Right to Life PAC and South Carolina Citizens for Life PAC."

South Carolina Citizens for Life is the NRLC state affiliate that endorsed Thompson in December.

Thompson's campaign now hinges on the first-in-the-South Republican primary. Last week, Thompson was forced to deny reports he was planning to drop out of the race and support John McCain if he fared poorly in the Iowa caucuses voting. He finished third in Iowa and is running last in New Hampshire.

The Thompson campaign has begun to rotate staffers into the must-win state from their national headquarters in Virginia. This week, Thompson will avoid New Hampshire and head straight to the Palmetto State on Monday evening to prepare for a statewide bus tour and media push.

Thompson said on CNN's Late Edition Sunday that "it's all about South Carolina," and predicated his campaign will be resurgent if they win that primary on January 19.

He conceded the plan hinged on a fundraising boost to his cash-poor campaign.

"If we can raise the money sufficient to hold our own on television, we will win South Carolina and we will be in good shape," Thompson told Wolf Blitzer.

–CNN Political Producer Peter Hamby


Filed under: Fred Thompson • South Carolina
January 6th, 2008
02:31 PM ET
7 years ago

Thompson defends South Carolina strategy

Thompson is counting on a win is South Carolina
Thompson is counting on a win is South Carolina

(CNN) - Republican Fred Thompson defended his campaign strategy of conceding early voting contests to focus on southern states in a CNN Late Edition interview Sunday - but conceded the plan hinged on a fundraising boost to his cash-poor campaign.

“If we can raise the money sufficient to hold our own on television…we will win South Carolina and we will be in good shape,” Thompson told Wolf Blitzer. His campaign has struggled to stay competitive on the airwaves in recent weeks, and briefly went dark in Iowa in the days leading up to the state’s January 3 caucuses.

The former Tennessee senator is statistically tied for third, along with Arizona Sen. John McCain and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani in most recent surveys of South Carolina GOP primary voters. Iowa winner and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee is leading most polls, followed by former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

South Carolina is turning into a must-win for Thompson, who finished third in Iowa and is running last in New Hampshire. Last week, he was forced to deny reports he was planning to drop out of the race and support John McCain if he fared poorly in Hawkeye State voting.

”Everybody said that Rudy was inevitable, then Mitt was inevitable, now they are on to McCain, you know, everybody I would come in fourth in Iowa,” Thompson said Sunday. “I didn't, I came in third. So steadily…we are getting to be exactly where we wanted to be at this point.”

South Carolina's Republicans head to the polls January 19.

–CNN’s Jessica Rummel and Rebecca Sinderbrand


Filed under: Fred Thompson • South Carolina
January 4th, 2008
03:33 PM ET
2 years ago

Thompson campaign: South Carolina is 'next target'

Thompson campaign is looking to win big in the South.

Thompson campaign is looking to win big in the South.

(CNN) – Fred Thompson's campaign sent out a fundraising e-mail Friday that seems to gloss over the upcoming New Hampshire primary, and points to South Carolina's January 19 contest as "the next target in our sights."

The e-mail said South Carolina "has always been critical to our plan for victory" and claims that every penny raised "will go to South Carolina media."

Thompson ran a pair of TV ads in the state for several weeks last fall, but the campaign stopped airing them shortly before Christmas.

The former Tennessee senator, who consistently plays up his Southern roots while campaigning in the Palmetto State, has considered South Carolina a must-win since he officially entered the race last summer.

– CNN Political Producer Peter Hamby


Filed under: Fred Thompson
January 3rd, 2008
01:45 PM ET
7 years ago

Thompson denies reports he's dropping out

Watch Obama react to Bhutto's death

Watch Thompson on American Morning Thursday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Just hours before Iowa voters went to the polls, Republican Fred Thompson denied new reports that he was planning to end his struggling presidential bid before the New Hampshire primary if he does not finish better than third in caucus voting this evening.

“Any speculation as to what I may or may not do is just totally that,” he told CNN’s John Roberts on American Morning Thursday. “It’s obvious that someone in the campaign thought it was to their advantage to put that out. I have never said that. I have never implied that in public or in private. You should take that for what it’s worth.”

The former Tennessee senator had previously predicted a showing in the top two or three, and said as recently as this week that he wanted to finish at least third in Iowa. The Thompson campaign has said that a strong showing in Iowa would help spark landslide support for the former actor in Southern states which vote later in the primary process.

But Thompson, who has faced criticism for his laid-back campaign style, told Roberts Thursday that “Nobody’s talking about any kind of a scenario past tonight. I mean you look and see and the whole world changes...you have to analyze the results and go from there.”

“But I’m not planning any pessimistic scenario. I think that we’ve got a great opportunity, it’s going to be better than a lot of the so-called experts think.”

Thompson is currently tied with John McCain for third place in most recent surveys of GOP caucus goers in Iowa, with 13 percent in the most recent CNN poll, released this week.

A fundraising drought - which forced him off the air in the Hawkeye State earlier this week - and lackluster poll numbers have kept him out of the race’s top tier in most early-voting states.

– CNN's Rebecca Sinderbrand


Filed under: Fred Thompson
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