July 31st, 2007
07:22 PM ET
12 years ago

Giuliani camp calls Judith profile "hatchet job"

Giuliani's campaign struck back at a Vanity Fair article about his wife Judith.

NEW YORK (CNN) - If you're Judith Giuliani, Vanity Fair is not your best friend. An article in the magazine’s September issue reads: "Terror Alert, Judi Giuliani." It goes downhill from there and it’s got former Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s camp crying "hatchet job.”

“There are so many inaccuracies in that story,” Mark McKeon, Rudy Giuliani’s senior adviser told CNN, “so many innuendoes in that story that is so vile that it really isn't worth going into."

But Vanity Fair’s Judy Bachrach stands by her story and every last unflattering detail.

“When the Giuliani people say that Vanity Fair or I’ve done a hatchet job, you have to consider the source,” says Bachrach. “They are the kings of hatchets. They try to muzzle the press at every opportunity.”

Despite the Giuliani campaign’s uncooperativeness, Bachrach says she prevailed in writing "Giuliani’s Princess Bride,” referring to the tiara Judith wore on her wedding day and quoting an un-named former Rudy Giuliani aide who said, "Queen is her goal."

The former mayor stood up for his wife at a campaign event on Tuesday saying, “I think the article is a very incorrect article that has an enormous numbers of inaccuracies in it. And one of the unfortunate prices that families pay in a situation like this is that they get castigated, attacked, and most of the time reporters doesn't even ask about it.”

But Bacharach said she tried to interview Judith Giuliani and was denied access. Through others, Bacharach says she determined that Mrs. Giuliani is an "opportunist" who went after a famous, married man, with kids – then Mayor Rudolph Giuliani – and "proffered her business card,” flaunting their affair by appearing at New York City functions while then-Mayor Rudy Giuliani was still married.

Bacharach went on to write that Judith Giuliani is now enjoying the fame and wealth that accompanies being married to the former mayor, among the perks: a "full-time assistant” to style her hair, designer clothes, and when she flies, an “entire plane seat for Judith’s ‘Baby Louis’” – a Louis Vuitton designer bag.

The Giuliani camp says none of those allegations are true, including the full time hairdresser. As for whether any of this will hurt the campaign, the Giuliani campaign told CNN it will have no effect.

–CNN Correspondent Carol Costello

Filed under: Race to '08 • Rudy Giuliani
July 31st, 2007
06:02 PM ET
12 years ago

Democrats call for Gonzales impeachment

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Some House Democrats are calling for impeachment hearings against Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to begin in the House Judiciary Committee unless he voluntarily resigns or is dismissed by President Bush.

"There is a national embarrassment in the United States attorney general's office," said Rep Jay Inslee, D-Washington, the resolution's author. "It needs to be remedied. And if the president does not do his clear job, we will do ours."

Inslee and 14 other Democrats introduced a resolution Tuesday ordering the House Judiciary Committee to "investigate whether Alberto R. Gonzales, attorney general of the United States, should be impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors."

The measure's sponsors cite Gonzales' controversial testimony last week before the Senate Judiciary Committee on the domestic surveillance program and the firing of several United States attorneys as adequate grounds for impeachment hearings.

"An investigation will root out all the details and will move us in the right direction," said Rep Ben Chandler, D-Kentucky.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer did not explicitly support the resolution, but said it "reflects significant sentiment in Congress and around the country. Alberto Gonzales has not been candid and truthful with the Congress of the United States and the American people."

Unlike the House Judiciary Committee's recent contempt of Congress charges against White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten and former White House Counsel Harriet Miers, intervention by the Department of Justice would not be needed for an impeachment investigation, supporters of the measure say.

"The president thinks he has a checkmate over democracy," Inslee said. "Well, he cannot checkmate an impeachment inquiry. This is the tool in the toolbox we can use."

A spokesman for the House Judiciary Committee did not say if the resolution will be taken up by the committee when Congress returns from August recess.

–CNN Congressional Producer Evan Glass

Filed under: Alberto Gonzales • House
July 31st, 2007
06:00 PM ET
12 years ago

Cat and mouse on the Hill

Senator Ted Stevens, R-Alaska

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The day after federal agents raided his Alaska home, Republican Sen. Ted Stevens actively avoided reporters on Capitol Hill.

He finally appeared at the weekly GOP lunch, but slipped in a backdoor and back out down a back stairway in the Senate. But showing a great example of the game of cat and mouse often played by lawmakers and journalists, CNN's Ted Barrett and Dana Bash split up to catch the seven-term senator. Barrett was eying one door and Bash was around the corner. He saw Stevens slip out and gave Bash the head's up to run down a back way to find him. She slipped away from the pack of reporters and ran down to greet Stevens at the bottom of those stairs.

Stevens came down, saw Bash and turned around and started going back up the stairs. She said one of his aides tried to physically stop her from following him but she told her it was a public hallway. She followed Stevens back up the stairs asking him questions and he was furious.

Bash asked Stevens why federal agents went to his house and what they took. "Can you understand English? That's the only statement I'm going to make," Stevens said.

When Bash tried to ask again, he said: "I understand you're recording this, but I told you again, I made the statement, it's issued. And that's all I'm going to say!"

Filed under: Senate
July 31st, 2007
03:08 PM ET
12 years ago

Cheney: Senate probe is a "witch hunt"

Vice President Dick Cheney.

(CNN)–Vice President Dick Cheney told CNN's Lary King Tuesday his thoughts on the Senate investigation regarding the firings of U.S. Attorneys. "With respect to the U.S. Attorneys, there has been, I think, a bit of a witch hunt on Capitol Hill as they keep rolling over rocks hoping they can find something," he said. "But there really hasn't been anything that has come up to suggest that there was any wrongdoing of any kind."

When asked his thoughts on the man at the center of the controversy, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, Cheney was equally resolute. "Al's a good man, a good friend, on a difficult assignment," he said.

"Are you troubled by what appears to have happened, the appearance of him not telling the truth?" King asked. "Well, I don't want to get into the specifics with respect to his testimony and the questions that were asked. I know Al on a personal and professional basis and I hold him in high regard," Cheney replied. The Vice president again re-stated his support for Gonzales.

Cheney also discussed with King his role as President of the Senate.

The full interview with Vice President Cheney can be seen on "Larry King Live" at 9:00pm eastern Tuesday on CNN.

–CNN Political Desk Editor Jamie Crawford

Filed under: Alberto Gonzales • Dick Cheney
July 31st, 2007
03:05 PM ET
12 years ago

Romney ad calls for securing the border

Romney re-released an ad focusing on illegal immigration.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Less than two weeks before Iowa's straw poll, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has re-released an ad focusing on the contentious issue of illegal immigration.

"People who are here illegally are going to have to get in line with everyone else, with no special pathways to become a citizen," Romney says in the ad. "Legal immigration is great, but illegal immigration, that we've got to end."

In the ad, Romney criticizes employers that hire illegal immigrants, and calls for a federal database that lists the names of legal workers.

The ad, which originally aired in a longer format in May, has been trimmed down to 30 seconds. It hit Iowa's airwaves on Tuesday.

–CNN Associate Producer Lauren Kornreich

Filed under: Immigration • Mitt Romney
July 31st, 2007
03:04 PM ET
12 years ago

Poll: Clinton, Obama running close; Giuliani leading

WASHINGTON (CNN) – New polls shows former mayor Rudy Giuliani, R-New York, ahead in the early caucus and primary states of Iowa, South Carolina, and New Hampshire and Sens. Barack Obama, D-Illinois and Hillary Clinton, D-New York, neck and neck.

According to the from polls the American Research Group, Giuliani is the leading Republican candidate in all three states with former Gov. Mitt Romney, R-Massachusetts, coming in second in New Hampshire in Iowa, and former Sen. Fred Thompson, R-Tennessee, placing second in South Carolina.

On the Democratic side, Sen. Clinton in ahead in Iowa but neck and neck in New Hampshire with Sen. Obama. In South Carolina, Sen. Obama has the advantage.

              IA      NH     SC 
Clinton       30%     31%    29% 
Edwards       21%     14%    18% 
Obama         15%     31%    33%

              IA     NH       SC 
Giuliani      22%    27%      28% 
McCain        17%    10%      10% 
Romney        21%    26%       7% 
F. Thompson   13%    13%      27%  

Sampling Date: July 26-30 
Sampling Size: 600 likely voters 
Margin of Error: +/- 4%

–CNN Political Researcher Xuan Thai

July 31st, 2007
02:54 PM ET
12 years ago

Senators seek reform of presidential primary system

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Senators Joseph Lieberman, I-Connecticut, Lamar Alexander, R-Tennessee and Amy Klobuchar, D-Minnesota unveiled a bill Tuesday that would radically overhaul the presidential nomination process. The proposed tri-partisan bill, which would take effect in the 2012 presidential race, seeks to solve the issue of so-called primary “front-loading.”

The proposal would spread out primaries by dividing the nation into four regions — West, Midwest, South, and East — with a rotating lottery system determining the order of primaries for each region. The first primary would fall on March 1, 2012 for the first region, followed by one region each month until the season is complete after the final region’s primary on June 1.

Iowa and New Hampshire would retain their privileged “first-in-the-nation” status through a special exemption allowing them to start the delegate selection process before March 1.

“Primaries were not intended to be an arms race,” said Klobuchar. “This schedule gives power and influence back to the voters in every state.”

“The guiding principle of our democracy is that every citizen has the opportunity to choose his or her political leaders,” said Lieberman. “But the sad truth is this principle no longer bears a resemblance to the reality of an increasingly compressed and arbitrary presidential primary system.”

Lieberman added that many voters feel the 2008 presidential race started too early and is already too long.

Currently, a large number of states have scheduled their primaries for the first Tuesday of February 2008, or what some are now calling “Super Duper Tuesday.”

In addition to the proposed regional primary, Sen. Alexander announced his intention to push for an increase in the amount an individual can donate to a presidential campaign from the current $2,300 to $10,000.

                                                                          -From CNN's Kevin Mayer and Xuan Thai

Filed under: Uncategorized
July 31st, 2007
02:53 PM ET
12 years ago

GOP candidate aims, fires

Brownback in Ames, Iowa today.

AMES, Iowa (CNN) - Republican presidential candidate Sam Brownback fired a few shots today, though not at any of his opponents.

The Kansas senator spent some time on a shooting range in Ames, Iowa - a town also known for a certain well-known straw poll coming up August 11 - and emphasized his position on gun rights to a group of reporters.

"We have a Second Amendment," Brownback said. "It is a right to bear arms, and those should be stood by and those should be honored as a right an individual has."

Brownback said he holds an 'A' rating from the National Rifle Association but that he is not currently a member. The campaign said he's hunted on several occasions.

"I don't think there should be more gun control. I think there should be more education," he said.

Brownback fired an AR-15 rifle. And in case you're wondering, he didn't quite hit the bull's-eye but wasn't too far off from the target either.

"Am I low, high?" Brownback asked after his first shots. "Where'd that go?"

"Just over the top of the target," said an onlooker.

–CNN Iowa Producer Chris Welch

Filed under: Iowa • Race to '08 • Sam Brownback
July 31st, 2007
02:39 PM ET
12 years ago

Race to '08

Listen to the latest Race to '08 podcast.

CNN Senior Political Correspondent Candy Crowley and CNN's John Lisk take a look at the money Fred Thompson has raised for the month of June.

Filed under: Race to '08 podcast
July 31st, 2007
11:48 AM ET
12 years ago

Edwardses celebrate their anniversary at Wendy's

John and Elizabeth Edwards celebrate their 30th anniversary at Wendy's.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - John and Elizabeth Edwards took a break from their hectic campaign schedules on Monday to celebrate their annual tradition - eating their anniversary dinner at Wendy's.

The tradition started on their first anniversary, when the Edwards were in the middle of moving and too busy for a formal dinner. They decided to continue it and have eaten there every year since.

The couple celebrated their 30th anniversary at a Wendy's in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

–CNN Associate Producer Lauren Kornreich

Filed under: Elizabeth Edwards • John Edwards
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