August 14th, 2007
05:30 PM ET
13 years ago

Brownback plays up foreign policy experience

Brownback is seeking to differentiate himself from his White House rivals.

(CNN) – Sen. Sam Brownback says the next president “shouldn’t have to learn foreign policy on the job.”

The Republican from Kansas and GOP White House hopeful made the comments while campaigning Tuesday in Barrington, New Hampshire.

Brownback also added that the United States must “walk wiser and humbler in the world.”

The comments by Brownback, a three-term senator who served on the Foreign Relations Committee, may be a new line of attack against some of his rivals for the GOP nomination, such as former governors Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee. The comments also appear to be a slight against President Bush, the man Brownback hopes to succeed.

Brownback is swimming against the tide of modern electoral history by embracing this argument. Four of the past five presidents entered the White House after serving at least one term as a state governor. The last sitting U.S. senator to be elected president was John F. Kennedy in 1960.

- CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser

Filed under: Mike Huckabee • Mitt Romney • Sam Brownback
August 14th, 2007
03:12 PM ET
13 years ago

Bloomberg defends New York immigration

Watch Bloomberg's immigration comments Monday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - He's not a presidential candidate, at least not yet, but New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is weighing in on comments from former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney that New York is a "sanctuary city" for illegal immigrants.

"I can't think of any laboratory that shows better why you need a stream of immigrants than New York City," he said Monday. "I don't know what to tell anybody. They just - if they don't believe that immigrants add a heck of a lot more than they cost, they just aren't looking at the numbers.”

Romney has repeatedly criticized GOP frontrunner Rudy Giuliani saying the former mayor supported illegal immigration in New York City during his term in office. During his comments, Bloomberg did not mention either candidate by name.

While New York City has never declared itself a sanctuary city, it does protect citizens' confidentiality when they seek medical care or report a crime, according to The Associated Press. Giuliani supported that policy when he was mayor.

Following a tour of the border in San Ysidro, California on Monday, Romney said, "We welcome legal immigration. Legal immigration is great for this country. It brings culture and vitality, skill and innovation, which is helpful to this country and always has been."

"We are a country largely of immigrants and it’s a wonderful thing," he added. “But we want to make sure it's legal immigration. We have to end illegal immigration; we have to protect legal immigration. "

Filed under: Michael Bloomberg • Mitt Romney • Rudy Giuliani
August 14th, 2007
01:12 PM ET
13 years ago

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Gotham)

Leahy has landed a role in the newest Batman movie.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - He's a veteran statesman and hard-hitting chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. But Sen. Patrick Leahy is set to leave the marble halls of Washington for the bright lights of Hollywood - at least briefly.

Vermont's senior senator has landed a speaking role in the newest Batman movie, CNN affiliate WPTZ reports and confirmed by Leahy's office.

Leahy is apparently a big comic book enthusiast, and actually served as an extra in the 1997 Batman installment: Batman and Robin.

The senator told the station he can't reveal the exact details of his role in the upcoming movie, but he did say he has landed a scene with its two stars, Christian Bale and Heath Ledger.

It’s not particularly uncommon for senators and other Washington notables to accept movie roles when given the chance. Arizona Sen. John McCain made a brief cameo in the 2005 Summer blockbuster, "Wedding Crashers." The cast of the 1993 political comedy “Dave” starred, among others, Sens. Chris Dodd, Tom Harkin, Howard Metzenbaum, Paul Simon and Alan Simpson, as well as Speaker Tip O’Neill.

Related: Leahy: Rove leaving under a cloud

- CNN's Alexander Mooney and Lauren Kornreich

Filed under: Patrick Leahy
August 14th, 2007
01:11 PM ET
13 years ago

Giuliani on top in two new national polls

Rudy is No. 1 in two new national polls.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Two new national polls released Tuesday indicate former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani continues to lead the field of Republican White House hopefuls, but former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has gained ground in both polls.

Giuliani leads Romney and former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson by at least ten points in both surveys.

A CBS News poll conducted August 8-12 has Giuliani on top with 38 percent, followed by Thompson at 18 percent and Romney with 13 percent. Thompson dropped seven percentage points since last month while Romney gained five percentage points in that same time. The number of Republicans who say they are satisfied with their candidate choices has increased 16 percent since June, a finding that may account for Romney's uptick in support and Thompson's decline.

"It's possible that Thompson's delay in officially announcing his candidacy has given Romney the opportunity to get a second look from Republicans, and perhaps some of them are starting to like what they see," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

The CBS News Poll surveyed 302 Republican primary voters and carries a margin of error of plus or minus six percentage points.

In a separate poll conducted August 9-12 by American Research Group (ARG), Romney gained six percentage points since July to tie Thompson for second place at 16 percent. Both trail Giuliani who tops the poll with 27 percent.


August 14th, 2007
12:35 PM ET
13 years ago

Clinton 'walks a day in the shoes' of a nurse

WASHINGTON (CNN) - New York Sen. Hillary Clinton worked side by side with a nurse in Henderson, Nevada on Monday night, taking part in a major union's effort get all of the presidential candidates to "walk a day in the shoes" of ordinary, working Americans.

The day after completing rounds of the medical and surgical units at St. Rose Dominican Hospital with nurse Michelle Estrada, Clinton aired the first ad of her presidential campaign focusing on health care reform.

"I think that as a result of our time together, Senator Clinton has a better understanding of the energy and hard work it takes to care for patients for 12 hours and then come home to raise a family," Estrada said in a statement. "I’d welcome her back on the job any time.”

The event was part of SEIU's "walk a day in my shoes" program. Democratic presidential candidates John Edwards, Gov. Bill Richardson, Sen. Chris Dodd and Sen. Barack Obama have already taken their turns. Delaware Sen. Joe Biden and former Gov. Mike Huckabee are scheduled to participate by the end of the summer.

- CNN Associate Producer Lauren Kornreich

Filed under: Uncategorized
August 14th, 2007
12:09 PM ET
13 years ago

Gergen weighs in on Rove

Could Karl Rove become the architect of a kinder, gentler politics?

WASHINGTON (CNN) - David Gergen, a former White adviser to several presidents, ponders What Karl Rove's ultimate legacy will be over at the Anderson Copper 360 Blog.

Filed under: Karl Rove
August 14th, 2007
09:08 AM ET
9 years ago

Dem candidates concerned about military draft

Clinton said Bush needs to clarify his draft policy Monday. Edwards and Obama have weighed in as well.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - New York Sen. Hillary Clinton said Monday that President Bush needs to clarify recent comments from an administration official saying the military draft "has always been an option on the table."

In a letter to Bush dated Monday, Clinton writes, "While our forces, in particular the Army and Marine Corps, are under strain, re-establishing a draft is not the answer. The seeds of many of the problems that continue to plague our mission in Iraq were planted in the failure to adequately plan for the conflict and properly equip our men and women in uniform."

"In previous years, when asked about a draft, your Administration has stated that it is the Administration’s policy to oppose a military draft and support the all-volunteer force," the presidential frontrunner added. "Given Lieutenant General Lute’s comments last week, I ask that you clarify whether there has been a change in your Administration’s opposition to reinstituting a draft."

On Friday, Deputy National Security Adviser Douglas Lute told National Public Radio, "I think it makes sense to certainly consider [the draft.]"

"And I can tell you, this has always been an option on the table. But ultimately, this is a policy matter between meeting the demands for the nation's security by one means or another," added Lute, who is sometimes referred to as the "Iraq war czar."

It was his first interview since he was confirmed by the Senate in June.

The United States ended the draft in 1973. Restoring it, Lute said, would be a "major policy shift" — one that Bush has made clear he doesn't think is necessary.

UPDATE: Both of Clinton's chief rivals for the Democratic nomination have also weighed in on Lute's comments. Illinois Sen. Barack Obama called any draft considerations "completely unacceptable" in a statement.

"It is completely unacceptable that a senior administration official is considering reinstating a draft that would send thousands more young Americans into the middle of a war in Iraq that never should've been authorized and never should've been waged," Obama said.

"I call on President Bush to clarify his Administration's position on maintaining our all-volunteer military," he added.

Former Sen. John Edwards, in a statment released over the weekend, said the comments reveal "the true danger of the Administration's breathtaking failures in Iraq and around the world."

"Now, instead of ending this war and doing what is right for our troops, their families and the nation, President Bush is floating the idea of a draft that would send more young Americans to Iraq," he added. "Enough is enough. Let there be no doubt that the Bush Administration's new talk of a draft is a profound measure of how much this president has failed our brave men and women in the military, and the American people."

- CNN's Alexander Mooney and Jessica Yellin

August 14th, 2007
09:08 AM ET
13 years ago

Edwards/Obama ticket?

John Edwards said he was 'open-minded' to having Barack Obama as his vice presidential running mate.

JEFFERSON, Iowa (CNN) - At a stop on his "Fighting for One America" bus tour Monday, Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards was asked whether, if chosen to be the nominee, he would consider tapping Democratic opponent Barack Obama as his vice presidential running mate.

"I am open minded about it, to answer your question," said the former senator from North Carolina. "I have made what, at least for now, would be a short list for me of people to consider, just as I've done the same thing for each cabinet position."

So who would Edwards pick? Well, when it comes to selecting people for an administration, he says they wouldn't necessarily have to align with his political party.

"I know this is not the greatest thing to say in front of Iowa Democratic caucus-goers, but they don't have to be a Democrat. I'm looking for the best people I can find."

Edwards went on to say that he's not looking for "'yes people' like George Bush has around him."

The stop in Jefferson is part of the campaign's seven-day "Fighting for OneAmerica" bus tour, which kicked off earlier in the day in Des Moines. Edwards outlined a plan to "improve care for injured Iraq and Afghanistan veterans." He also called on the Iraqi parliament to "end their month-long vacation early."

"More than 30 American soldiers have been killed in Iraq this month," Edwards said in a statement.


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Iowa • John Edwards
August 14th, 2007
09:07 AM ET
13 years ago

The Ticker AM

Compiled by Alex Mooney
CNN Washington Bureau

Making news today…

* The talk of Washington is Karl Rove, who "with his voice breaking at times and with President Bush at his side..said Monday that he would resign as a deputy White House chief of staff at the end of the month." (New York Times)

Rove said "now is the time" to leave, but "his departure deprives Bush of his shrewdest advisor when the president's popularity is near its lowest ebb." (Los Angeles Times)

He's still on the job until the end of the month, but Rove's legacy is already being sized up: "His advocates credit him with devising a winning strategy twice in a row … his detractors blame Rove for a style of politics that deepened divisions in the country." (Washington Post)

More to the point: Rove leaves "despised and deified." (Politico)

His exit "could provide an opening for the White House and the Republican Party to move away from [his] signature policy of relying on the party base and appeal more to independents who will probably determine the outcome of the 2008 election." (Boston Globe)

But Rove's influence will be felt in the 2008 election: "A look at the roster of every Republican presidential candidate finds people who have worked with him, and they have brought some of his methods to this race." (New York Times) Meanwhile, Rove himself is likely to play some kind of role. (Ticker)

And, "Congressional Democrats said yesterday that they will continue to demand the testimony [from Rove] about a range of sensitive policy matters. (Washington Post)

As for Rove's replacement, CNN's Suzanne Malveaux reports former RNC head and current counselor to the president Ed Gillespie is not likely to fill the role, despite rumors. Instead, the job is likely to be partitioned to several staffers.

* Speaking of 2008, Mitt Romney revealed Monday he is "by far the wealthiest presidential candidate," worth between $190 million and $250 million, according to a financial disclosure with the FEC. (Boston Globe)

"He earned as much as $15 million in 2006 and early 2007 from the private equity firm he left eight years ago, helping him expand his personal fortune and bankroll his campaign." (Washington Post)

Though he has "divested from companies doing business in Iran, he still holds stock in an oil company that does business in Sudan." (Los Angeles Times)

The President's Schedule

In Crawford, Texas, the president has no public events planned.

Also on the Political Radar

* Former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards continues his "Fighting for One America" bus tour of Iowa Tuesday. On the schedule: a 9:15 a.m. ET breakfast in Sioux City; a 11:30 a.m. ET community meeting in Ida Grove; a 1:30 p.m. ET community meeting in Rockwell; a 3 p.m. ET community meeting in Pocahontas; a 6:45 p.m. ET community meeting in Clarion; an 8:45 p.m. ET community meeting in Clear Lake.

* New York Sen. Hillary Clinton also spends the day in Iowa, slated to deliver a speech in Dubuque at 4 p.m. ET. She will also hold a town-hall meeting at 8 p.m. ET in Council Bluffs.

* Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd is also in the Hawkeye State. On his schedule: a 1:15 p.m. ET kitchen table meeting in Adel; a 3:15 p.m. ET kitchen table in Boone; a 6:45 p.m. ET kitchen table in Fort Dodge.

* Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney spends the day in Oklahoma and Texas. At 1 p.m. ET he holds an "Ask Mitt Anything" event in Oklahoma City, followed by a press availability at 2:05 pm. ET. He is also slated to attend Sean Hannity's Freedom Concert in Grand Prairie, Texas at 8 p.m. ET.

* Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani campaigns in South Carolina, scheduled to deliver a speech in Aiken at 9:30 a.m. ET. He is also slated to hold a town hall meeting in Columbia at 2:30 p.m. ET.

* Arizona Sen. John McCain is also in South Carolina Tuesday. He holds a town-hall meeting in Port Royal at 9 a.m. ET, followed by a media availability at 10 a.m. ET.

* Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback campaigns in both New Hampshire and South Carolina. He is slated to give an 8 a.m. ET speech at Thomas Moore College in Merrimack, New Hampshire before making a stop in Barrington, New Hampshire at 10 a.m. ET. He then heads south to the Palmetto State, where he is scheduled to hold a meet and greet in Rock Hill at 3:45 p.m. ET and another meet and greet in Columbia at 6 p.m. ET.


Political Hot Topics
(Today’s top political stories from news organizations across the country)

Rove Exits: With his voice breaking at times, and with President Bush at his side on the South Lawn of the White House, Karl Rove said Monday that he would resign as a deputy White House chief of staff at the end of the month. The decision ends Mr. Rove’s role as the president’s longest-serving and closest aide, and the one who most personified the bare-knuckle brand of politics Mr. Bush favors. New York Times: Rove to Resign as Bush Aide at End of Month

Bush loses key adviser: President Bush will finish his final 17 months in office without his political guru and alter ego, Karl Rove, who announced Monday that he would leave the administration at the end of the month. Rove, who has worked on Bush's political campaigns for 15 years, is the last Texan in the president's inner circle to leave the White House - and the president - behind. Los Angeles Times: Bush losing key advisor at a low ebb

What did 'The Architect' build?: President Bush once nicknamed him "The Architect," heaping gratitude on his chief strategist for helping engineer two presidential victories and two cycles of congressional triumphs. But as Karl Rove resigns from the administration, a question lingers over his legacy: What, exactly, did the architect build? His advocates credit him with devising a winning strategy twice in a row for a presidential candidate who seemed to start out with myriad weaknesses. His detractors blame Rove for a style of politics that deepened divisions in the country, even after the unifying attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Washington Post: 'Architect' Envisioned GOP Supremacy

Dems still seek Rove testimony: Congressional Democrats said yesterday that they will continue to demand the testimony of senior White House adviser Karl Rove about a range of sensitive policy matters even after he leaves the West Wing at the end of the month. "Karl Rove's resignation will not stop our inquiry into the firings of the U.S. attorneys. He has every bit as much of a legal obligation to reveal the truth once he steps down as he does today," said Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), who has helped lead the Senate Judiciary Committee's inquiry into the dismissals. Washington Post: Democrats Continue to Seek Testimony From Rove

Strategy Shift looms? The departure of Karl Rove, the longtime adviser to President Bush who announced yesterday that he is leaving at the end of this month, could provide an opening for the White House and the Republican Party to move away from Rove's signature policy of relying on the party base and appeal more to independents who will probably determine the outcome of the 2008 election, analysts said yesterday. Boston Globe: Rove exit could launch new political strategy

Rove leaves during historic GOP downturn: During the 2000 campaign, Karl Rove often spoke of the 36 years of Republican realignment engineered by President William McKinley and his political strategist, Mark Hanna. Rove seemed to say that he would be the Hanna of our time. But as Rove stood on the White House lawn Monday, struggling to keep his composure as he announced his resignation, history seems poised to render a more uneasy verdict on this indelible political figure. The Politico: Rove leaves during historic GOP downturn

Rove's influence lasts: Whatever history makes of Karl Rove’s role in the White House, his legacy as a political strategist can be measured in a presidential campaign that has already begun without him. A look at the roster of every Republican presidential candidate finds people who have worked with him, and they have brought some of his methods to this race. New York Times: Despite Bruises of ’06, Rove’s Influence Lasts

The end of Bush's presidency? Karl Rove, perhaps the most powerful White House aide in recent history, called it quits Monday, provoking some to declare a symbolic end to the presidency of George W. Bush. Known as "Bush's brain" by critics and "the architect" by Bush himself, Rove announced his resignation during a low point in the administration, with Democrats having taken control of Congress and after Bush's immigration and Social Security plans failed. Author: Rove exit signals 'end of Bush presidency'

Giuliani to get tough on immigration: Rudy Giuliani will jump back into the debate over immigration policy today, but don't expect him to talk about his days as mayor – when his policies were all but lifted from his liberal predecessor, Ed Koch. As Giuliani seeks the Republican nomination for President, few issues leave him as open to attack as immigration, a topic that has ignited the conservative GOP base this year like no other. New York Daily News: Tougher Rudy to hit back on immigration

Romney reveals wealth: Mitt Romney, by far the wealthiest presidential candidate, and his wife, Ann, are worth $190 million to $250 million, his advisers said yesterday after filing a personal financial disclosure statement with the Federal Election Commission. The statement filed yesterday offers the most detailed look at Romney's finances available yet. Massachusetts did not require Romney to disclose information about his blind trust, which he created when he became governor in January 2003. Romney has not released his tax returns. Boston Globe: Romneys are worth up to $250m

Romney old ties to firm pay off: Republican Mitt Romney, the wealthiest candidate in the presidential race, earned as much as $15 million in 2006 and early 2007 from the private equity firm he left eight years ago, helping him expand his personal fortune and bankroll his campaign. The extent of Romney's continuing relationship with Boston-based Bain Capital Partners, which has also supplied him with scores of savvy fundraisers and well-heeled donors, was detailed in a financial disclosure report filed yesterday with the Office of Government Ethics. Washington Post: Romney's Old Ties To Firm Pay Off

Romney portfolio has link to Sudan: Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney divested from companies doing business in Iran, but he still holds stock in an oil company that does business in Sudan - where the government is accused of sponsoring genocide - his financial disclosure report filed Monday shows. Romney, the wealthiest presidential contender, is worth $190 million to $250 million, with investments spread among stocks, treasuries and high-end funds. Los Angeles Times: Romney portfolio has link to Sudan

Clinton's first lady records locked up: Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton cites her experience as a compelling reason voters should make her president, but nearly 2 million pages of documents covering her White House years are locked up in a building here, obscuring a large swath of her record as first lady. Clinton's calendars, appointment logs and memos are stored at her husband's presidential library, in the custody of federal archivists who do not expect them to be released until after the 2008 presidential election. Los Angeles Times: Clinton's first lady records locked up

Edwards staking campaign on Iowa win: Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards is staking his campaign on winning Iowa's first-in-the-nation caucus, even at the cost of stinting on the next big test in New Hampshire. Edwards yesterday began a bus tour that will snake through Iowa's cities and towns for seven days - just a week after a two-day swing - packed with stops that will let him exploit his down-home style to win over Iowans. He has campaigned here more than twice as much as he has in New Hampshire, where his folksy demeanor does not seem to connect as well with flinty New Englanders. So far, his Iowa gamble is paying some dividends in the polls, but it is hardly a safe bet. Boston Globe: Edwards takes risk staking run on Iowa

Edwards keeps supporters waiting: John Edwards’ weeklong Iowa bus tour stumbled out of the starting gate Monday as dozens of voters waited outside in the heat for more than an hour for the presidential candidate to appear at his Des Moines headquarters. The former North Carolina senator often is late for campaign appearances, but the hour-and-20-minute delay was unusual. Tardy Edwards keeps supporters waiting in heat

Richardson careful discussing VP possibility: Democratic presidential long shot Bill Richardson insists he's "not interested" in the vice presidency but he refused yesterday to rule out the possibility of accepting the No. 2 slot. Asked in a telephone interview with the Daily News Editorial Board how he responds to people who believe his presidential campaign is more aimed at securing the V.P. slot than the Oval Office, Richardson replied, "I tell 'em they're wrong." "I'm not interested in that," Richardson declared. "If I don't get elected President, I'll come back to the best job in the world: governor of New Mexico. New York Daily News: Richardson can't say no on veep

McCain still thinks he can win: U.S. Sen. John McCain said Monday he most likely has to win two of the first three nominating contests to become the Republican Party’s 2008 choice for president. In a 70-minute interview with editors and reporters at The State newspaper, McCain brushed off questions of what caused his campaign to stumble and nearly collapse this summer and said “we’re doing fine.” The State: McCain thinks he still has shot to win

McCain appeals to vets: John McCain can always draw a crowd at campaign stops. But unlike in 2000, when he first ran for president as a Republican maverick, McCain's audiences now are generally dominated by older Americans, many of them military veterans. They admire McCain's Vietnam War service and believe the Republican senator from Arizona is the candidate best prepared to handle 21st-century foreign-policy challenges. What's often missing is the electricity that younger people lent to McCain's 2000 bid to upset GOP front-runner George W. Bush. Arizona Republic: McCain has big appeal with vets

Hastert planning retirement announcement? The congressional retirement season has started, and it appears former Speaker Dennis Hastert may soon announce his own plans to ride off into the sunset. The Illinois Republican sent supporters a letter over the weekend asking them to join him for a speech this Friday at the Kendall County Courthouse in Yorkville, Ill. Politico: Will Hastert say farewell on Friday?

Filed under: AM Political Ticker