June 27th, 2007
06:00 PM ET
9 years ago

Edwards confronts Coulter in on-air clash

Elizabeth Edwards confronted Coulter, above, Tuesday on a TV show.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Her husband's presidential campaign has used some of conservative commentator Ann Coulter's most controversial statements about him to raise campaign cash, but on Tuesday Elizabeth Edwards directly confronted the best-selling author and asked her to "stop the personal attacks."

"The things she has said over the years, not just about John but about other candidates, lowers the political dialogue at precisely the time we need to raise it," Elizabeth Edwards said in a phone call to MSNBC's Hardball host Chris Matthews as Coulter, a guest on the program, listened.

"It debases political dialogue," Elizabeth Edwards added. "It drives people away from the process. We can't have a debate about issues if you're using this kind of language."

Elizabeth Edwards’ husband, former Sen. John Edwards, D-North Carolina, is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination.

Coulter responded that Elizabeth Edwards was asking her to stop speaking completely and suggested it was hypocritical for the Edwards campaign to criticize her comments after promoting them in fundraising solicitations.

"I don't mind you trying to raise money," Coulter said. "I mean it's better this than giving $50,000 speeches to the poor." Coulter was referring to criticism about the former senator’s speaking fees.

Elizabeth Edwards penned a fundraising letter that hit email in-boxes Wednesday morning with a link to a video of her exchange with Coulter.

“Where I am from, when someone does something that displeases you, you politely ask them to stop,” she wrote.

Elizabeth Edwards also asked potential donors to “Please give what you can right now to help raise the dialogue and show that Ann Coulter-style politics will never carry the day.”

The on-air clash came one day after Coulter, appearing on ABC's Good Morning America, joked “If I’m going to say anything about John Edwards in the future, I’ll just wish he had been killed in a terrorist assassination plot.”

On that program, Coulter was referencing the firestorm following her March comments, in which she referred to the North Carolina Democrat as “a faggot” at the Conservative Political Action Committee conference held in Washington. She claimed that, during the same period of time, liberal television host Bill Maher “was not joking” when he said that “he wished Dick Cheney had been killed in a terrorist attack.” According to Coulter, Maher didn’t take the same heat for his comments that she did for hers.

In addition to promoting the latest war of words, Edwards's campaign posted both Coulter's comments in March and earlier this week on their Web site.

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

Filed under: Uncategorized
June 27th, 2007
05:00 PM ET
9 years ago

Texas court rules against reinstating DeLay conspiracy charges

Delay said Wednesday the charges are "politically motivated."

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Texas Court of Appeals ruled against reinstating a dropped conspiracy charge against former Rep. Tom DeLay Wednesday, but one Democratic-leaning watchdog group is making sure people know "serious criminal charges remain."

"No one should be confused, Tom DeLay remains under indictment for serious criminal activity," Lone Star Project Director Matt Angle said in a statement. "DeLay’s very name has become shorthand for a corrupt public official. If justice is done, Tom DeLay’s future blog postings will be done behind bars."

The Lone Star project says on its Web site that it is unaffiliated with the Democratic Party, but describes itself as a watchdog group on the Texas GOP.

The former House majority leader had been charged with conspiracy to violate the state's election laws in the 2002 election cycle, but a judge threw out the charge after DeLay's defense attorneys successfully argued that the law he was accused of violating was not written until 2003. On Wednesday, the Texas court held up the decision in a 5-4 vote.

In a post on his blog reacting to the ruling, DeLay lashed out at Texas prosecutor Ronnie Earl for raising the charges.

"Ronnie Earle’s politically motivated indictments cost Republicans the leader of their choice, and my family hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees," he wrote. "The damage he has done to my family and my career cannot be rectified, but the courts have recognized a significant portion of the injustice and ruled accordingly."

The Texas Republican, who resigned from Congress last June, still faces criminal charges in association with money laundering.

Filed under: Tom DeLay
June 27th, 2007
04:15 PM ET
9 years ago

Richardson: Diplomacy path to progress with Iran

Richardson discussed his views on Iran Wednesday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Democratic presidential hopeful Bill Richardson, speaking Wednesday at the Center for National Policy, stressed the need to increase worldwide security.

"There are few issues that deserve more attention from Congress than keeping the world's most dangerous weapons out of the hands of the most dangerous people," he said.

Richardson, governor of New Mexico, talked specifically about Iran and how to persuade the country's leaders to halt their nuclear enrichment program, saying "the key is to make them see that they will be better off and more secure without nukes than with them."

He said he hopes that the United States and other global leaders, including China and Russia, will work together to break ground with Iran. "We have many differences with the Iranians, but we and our allies also have common interests with them," he said.

Progress is possible through bipartisan, international diplomacy, Richardson said, but he noted leaders must forget "poisoned relations" from the past.

Despite a track record of diplomatic failures with Iran, Richardson said he remains hopeful that diplomacy is a powerful weapon. "There is reason for optimism that Iran might well choose to chart such a new course if presented with the right incentives," he said.

- CNN's Karen Hopkins

Filed under: Bill Richardson
June 27th, 2007
03:45 PM ET
9 years ago

Clinton helps launch new think tank

WASHINGTON (CNN) – New York Senator and presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton stressed the need to rebuild alliances abroad and bring troops home from Iraq in a speech on Wednesday at the official launch of a new think tank, the Center for a New American Security.

"Every challenge we face begins with the biggest challenge," Clinton said. "Restoring our leadership by once again valuing alliances, respecting our values and understanding that American strength is more than just the show of force."

Clinton, who was introduced by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, criticized the Bush administration for keeping open the terrorist detention center at Guantanamo Bay, saying that it "weakens" America's moral standing in the world and harms national security.

The Center for a New American Security, which is located in Washington, will be dedicated to "advancing a strong, centrist national security strategy."

- CNN Associate Producer Lauren Kornreich

Filed under: Hillary Clinton
June 27th, 2007
03:07 PM ET
9 years ago

Thompson sounds like a candidate in South Carolina

Thompson, not yet a presidential candidate, is greeted by supporters.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - He's not yet an official presidential candidate, but former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson sure sounded like one in a speech to several hundred South Carolina supporters Wednesday.

The Tennessee Republican and "Law & Order" star, who is widely expected to jump into the race in July, focused on conservative themes during the lunchtime speech and stressed the importance of the war on terror.

"This world is not safer when the United States of America appears to be weaker," he said. "This world is more dangerous when our country appears to be weaker, and we can never let that happen.

"And some of our colleagues here in the United States need to learn that," he added. "This is going to be not a war of bombs. This is going to be a war of will, a war of will that we have to win, over whatever period of time."

In a lighter moment, Thompson, who served as senator from 1994 to 2003 before joining the cast of "Law & Order," compared Hollywood to Washington, noting he agrees with the saying that "politics is show business for ugly people."

In a news conference following the event, Thompson noted his high standing in many recent national polls "without raising a dime."

"You know they said you'd have to raise $100 million this year to compete, the experts did, and without raising a dime you know, I was in the pack," he said. "So I've already saved $50 million this year."

- CNN's Alexander Mooney and Susan Brown

Filed under: Fred Thompson • South Carolina
June 27th, 2007
01:30 PM ET
9 years ago

Bush calls on Muslims to reject extremism

President Bush makes remarks during the re-dedication ceremony of the Islamic Center of Washington in Washington, Wednesday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Bush on Wednesday called on Muslims to reject violence and extremism, and predicted that the Muslim world will one day realize a future of freedom, prosperity and peace.

"The greatest challenge facing people of conscience is to help the forces of moderation win the great struggle against extremism that is now playing out across the broader Middle East," Bush said, citing "the rise of a group of extremists who seek to use religion as a path to power and a means of domination."

Such "betrayers of the true Muslim faith" claim falsely that America is at war with Islam, "when in fact it is these radicals who are Islam's true enemies," Bush said at the Islamic Center of Washington on the occasion of its 50th anniversary. Prior to entering the holy site, the president followed Muslim custom and removed his shoes.

He said recent attacks on Muslim holy sites were intended to divide Muslims "and make them fight one another."

But most of the victims of violence in the Middle East have been Muslims themselves, he said, citing the bombing of a wedding reception in Amman, Jordan, a housing complex in Saudi Arabia, and a hotel in Jakarta, Indonesia.

"They claim to undertake these acts of butchery and mayhem in the name of Allah," Bush said. "This enemy is not the true face the Islam. This enemy is the face of hatred."

Bush said it is the duty of Muslims "to speak out and condemn this murderous movement before it finds its path to power."


Filed under: President Bush
June 27th, 2007
12:42 PM ET
9 years ago

Race to '08: Thompson in South Carolina

Listen to the latest Race to '08 podcast.

CNN Senior Political Correspondent Candy Crowley and CNN's John Lisk discuss Fred Thompson's appearance in South Carolina, in the latest Race to '08 podcast

Filed under: Fred Thompson • Race to '08 podcast
June 27th, 2007
11:10 AM ET
9 years ago

Fred Thompson to address GOP activists in South Carolina

Watch CNN's Candy Crowley examine the Thompson effect.

COLUMBIA, South Carolina (CNN) - Preparations are underway at the Clarion Town House Hotel in Columbia, South Carolina for a lunchtime address by former Tennessee senator and assumed White House hopeful Fred Thompson.

He will speak to roughly 300 Republican activists and party faithful in a fundraiser for the state GOP. Those who plunk down $500 a piece will get some private time with the "Law and Order" star before the $50 a plate luncheon.

According to a spokesman, Thompson will touch on familiar themes, including immigration, the global war on terror and the need "to fix the entitlement train wreck." He is also expected to argue that government needs to become more efficient before it is given more authority.

After the lunch, Thompson is scheduled to "drop by" the office of Republican Governor Mark Sanford, who, according to a spokesman, has not and will not make an endorsement in the '08 primary.

Aides to Thompson say they are still aiming for a mid-July announcement.

- CNN's Candy Crowley and Sasha Johnson

Filed under: Fred Thompson • South Carolina
June 27th, 2007
10:38 AM ET
9 years ago

Obama: Bill, not Hillary, prepared to be president on 'day one'

Watch Obama's comments on the Clintons.

CHICAGO (CNN) - Presidential contender Barack Obama says he's not questioning rival Hillary Clinton's qualifications, though he notes only her husband is "prepared to be president on day one."

His comments came Monday night as the two leading Democratic candidates both raised money in Chicago in the final week of second quarter fund-raising.

A reporter asked Obama about the Clinton campaign touting her experience at recent events.

"The only person who is probably prepared to be President on day one is Bill Clinton, not Hillary Clinton," Obama said. "I think we're all very qualified for the job. The question is who can inspire the nation to move beyond the politics that have bogged us down in the past."

The Illinois senator claimed his candidacy would be stronger at "bridging some of the divides that have blocked progress on health care, blocked progress on energy. That's what we're interested in - not repeating the same old fights but trying to bring about a new consensus that move this country forward."

Meanwhile, former President Clinton sent a fund-raising e-mail Tuesday for his wife's campaign that used the same "day one" phrase. In the message, Clinton wrote, "America is ready for change, and we need a president ready to lead on day one. Ready to end the war in Iraq and restore America's standing in the world." Later in the message, he said, "Hillary is the best candidate for president because she'll stand up for them - she already does every day in the Senate."

A campaign spokesman said the e-mail was pre-planned, and was "absolutely not" a response to Monday night's words. Asked about the Obama remarks, the spokesman said, "no comment."

- CNN Political Desk Managing Editor Steve Brusk

June 27th, 2007
09:15 AM ET
9 years ago

Poll: Support for Iraq war reaches new low

U.S soldiers search a house during a patrol in southern Baghdad.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - A new low of 30 percent of Americans say they support the U.S. war in Iraq and, for the first time, most Americans say they don't believe it is morally justified, a poll released Tuesday said.

In the poll, which was carried out Friday through Sunday, 30 percent of respondents said they favor the war in Iraq; 41 percent said they oppose it because they think the 2003 decision to go to war was a mistake; 26 percent said they oppose it because they think it has been mismanaged; and 3 percent said they had no opinion. (Full Poll Results [PDF])

Support is down 4 points from what it was May 4-6, when 34 percent of respondents said they favored the U.S. war in Iraq.

Asked during the latest poll how things are going for the United States in Iraq, more than two-thirds (69 percent) said badly - 4 percent said "very well," 26 percent said "moderately well," 25 percent said "moderately badly" and 44 percent said "very badly."

There appears to be little optimism that things will improve, with 17 percent saying the situation is getting better; 46 percent saying it is getting worse; 35 percent saying it is staying the same; and 1 percent offering no opinion.

Nearly two-thirds of those polled want withdrawal of U.S. troops to begin - either in part or in total. Asked what the United States should do about the number of U.S. troops in Iraq, just 17 percent said it should send more troops; 16 percent said keep the numbers the same; 24 percent said withdraw some troops; and 39 percent said withdraw all troops.

Asked whether the U.S. action in Iraq is morally justified, 54 percent said no, versus 42 percent who said yes and 4 percent with no opinion. Just two weeks ago, a poll found less than half (47 percent) saying the war was morally unjustified.


Filed under: Uncategorized