July 7th, 2007
09:02 PM ET
9 years ago

Giuliani consults women's guide on NASCAR

Giuliani was to attend a NASCAR race Saturday

(CNN)-On the spot from local media, Rudy Giuliani revealed what he has been reading to prepare for a NASCAR race Saturday night. "Its a female guide to NASCAR. It was given to me by the person who wrote it," the former New York mayor told reporters in Jacksonville, Florida. "She participated in a fund raiser for me, she's an expert on NASCAR." Giuliani said his advisors had also suggested "NASCAR for Dummies" but he had not read that yet.

"I've watched NASCAR on television before, I haven't gone to one. I'm real excited about it," he said when conceding he was a relative newcomer to the sport. "I did go to a track once in Kentucky and drive around," during a fund raiser for Senator Jim Bunning of Kentucky.

Giuliani was campaigning in Jacksonville and Orlando on Saturday. He was to attend the 49th annual Pepsi 400 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona, Florida Saturday night.

- CNN Political Desk Editor Jamie Crawford

Filed under: Race to '08 • Rudy Giuliani
July 7th, 2007
08:47 PM ET
9 years ago

Romney critical of Democrats before young Republican audience

Romney campaigned in Florida Saturday.

(CNN)-Speaking before the Young Republican National Convention in Hollywood, Florida Saturday night, Mitt Romney drew a sharp contrast of the Republican and Democratic party philosophies for the 2008 election.

He singled out New York Senator Hillary Clinton for criticism saying she would immediately raise corporate and personal income taxes. "Corporate taxes aren't the end of it. Democrats have their sights on 2011 for a record-breaking personal income tax hike," he said. "And whenever you take money away from citizens, and give their money to government, you slow down the economy."

Romney did take both parties in Congress to task over earmark legislation, the narrowly targeted spending items members of Congress attach to spending bills to direct money to their districts and states. "If I am elected president, I will cap non-defense discretionary spending at inflation minus one percent," Romney said. "If Congress sends me appropriations that exceeds that cap, I will veto them. I don't care if it's a Republican or a Democratic Congress. I will veto."

When it came to health care, Romney championed coverage through the private sector, over the increase in taxes and insurance premiums he sees with Democratic proposals. "At least Barack Obama had the courage to admit that his plan means higher taxes," he said. "The right answer for healthcare isn't government, and the new Secretary of Health and Human Services should not be Michael Moore."

On national security, Romney citied the recent terror incidents in the United Kingdom as an example of why he believes an offensive posture on terror is necessary. "America will either remain the world's superpower or instead become just another member of the family of nations. If we choose strength, we will be remembered by our children as a great generation. If we choose weakness, we will be remembered as something much less."

Romney was the keynote speaker for the event. He campaigned in West Palm Beach, Florida earlier in the day.

- CNN Political Desk Editor Jamie Crawford

July 7th, 2007
07:40 PM ET
9 years ago

Congress, White House standoff over testimony of former aide

WASHINGTON (CNN) - A former White House staffer is asking for compassion from the Senate Judiciary Committee in what may be another constitutional standoff between the legislative and executive branches, while the committee's Democratic chairman is sharpening his words.

The lawyer for former White House political director Sara Taylor - who has been subpoenaed to testify before the senate this week about the firing of several U.S. attorneys - sent a letter to Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont, asking that she not be used as "the focus of the constitutional struggle."

"In our view, it is unfair to Ms. Taylor that this constitutional struggle might be played out with her as the object of an unseemly tug of war," wrote lawyer Neil Eggleston.

He said that Taylor has done nothing wrong and would testify "without hesitation" if not for an expected order from the White House - where she worked until six weeks ago - that she not comply the subpoena.

Eggleston urged senators to focus any punitive action against the White House, not his client. He said Taylor was caught in a "monumental clash between the executive and legislative branches of government" that could ultimately be decided in the courts.

Sen. Leahy's response to the letter was unrelenting as he continued to press for Taylor's testimony and wrote that he expects her to appear. Leahy fired away at the White House for what he called interference on the committee's investigation.

"I hope the White House stops this stonewalling and accepts my offer to negotiate a workable solution to the Committee's oversight requests," he said in a written statement.


Filed under: President Bush • Senate • U.S. attorney firings
July 7th, 2007
01:31 PM ET
9 years ago

Democratic candidates address climate change in virtual forum

(CNN)- The Live Earth concerts across the globe on Saturday were not the only realm where the issue of climate change was being addressed. The Democratic presidential candidates all participated in a "virtual" town hall meeting sponsored by the group MoveOn.

According to the group, the candidates took questions from members in advance, and their answers were sent to over 1,300 house parties that were to take place on Saturday. Partygoers would watch the Live Earth concerts after watching the candidates answer questions, MoveOn said.

"What I've proposed and will be detailing in the next several weeks is a system in which you have a cap and trade system that also auctions off the permits," said Illinois Senator Barack Obama, "so that we are getting the sorts of investment in creating a market for clean technologies but we're also generating billions of dollars each and every year that we can devote to the sort of Apollo Project or Manhattan Project on clean energy."

Bill Richardson said he would create a separate agency in his administration to deal with the issue. "I would create within the White House a cabinet level agency and a prestige individual to head it up," the New Mexico governor said. "But it would be run by me, the President, because I believe it's going to require presidential leadership to get it through the Congress."

Members were asked to go online after listening to the candidates and vote for the best plan. MoveOn said the results would be released on Wednesday, July 11.

- CNN Political Desk Editor Jamie Crawford

Filed under: Race to '08
July 7th, 2007
01:30 PM ET
9 years ago

Thompson thanks Clinton, New York Times for support

Former Senator Fred Thompson

(CNN)-Former Senator Fred Thompson thanked the New York Times and Hillary Clinton campaign Saturday for some publicity in the "Scooter" Libby case.

Thompson, speaking before the Young Republican National Convention Saturday in Hollywood, Florida, told the crowd how he had been an early supporter of Lewis "Scooter" Libby's legal defense. "I didn't know Scooter, but I knew an injustice when I saw one," the former actor told the crowd.

He went on to offer some word of thanks for the publicity about his support of Libby. "The New York Times and the Hillary Clinton campaign have got us number one on their target list, so I want to report that and say I appreciate all their help," Thompson said. "If nothing else, we've apparently convinced the Clinton's that it really is a bad thing to lie under oath," he said as his line was greeted with laughter from the audience.

Libby, Vice President Cheney's former chief of staff, was facing a 30 month prison term for perjury, obstruction of justice and lying to federal investigators probing the leak of a CIA operative's identity. President Bush commuted Libby's prison sentence on Monday, but left his conviction in tact.

Thompson is exploring a possible run for the GOP presidential nomination, and is expected to formally enter the race later this summer.

- CNN Political Desk Editor Jamie Crawford

Filed under: Fred Thompson • Hillary Clinton