August 19th, 2007
11:56 AM ET
13 years ago

Romney critical of Democratic debate

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.

(CNN)–GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney said Sunday's debate between the Democratic presidential candidates was not much of a debate.

"Today's Democrat presidential candidates debate can be best summed up as bumbling gang tackle on one Democrat with almost no experience but lots of wrong ideas by several Democrats with a long history of experience pushing the very same, old, wrong ideas," he said in a release from his campaign.

At the debate Sunday in Des Moines, Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama worked to counter suggestions from his fellow competitors that he is too inexperienced for the job.

- CNN Political Desk Editor Jamie Crawford

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Iowa • Mitt Romney • Race to '08
August 19th, 2007
08:16 AM ET
13 years ago

Obama to limit future debate appearances

Senator Barack Obama, D-Illinois.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. Barack Obama will limit the number of debates and forums he will attend and instead focus more of his time campaigning in key presidential primary and caucus states, the Illinois Democrat's campaign manager announced on Saturday.

In a statement posted on Obama's website, "Debates and forums going forward," campaign manager David Plouffe notes that Obama has already participated in seven debates and 19 forums. With just a little more than four months before the Iowa caucuses, the Obama campaign has decided to take more control of the senator's schedule.

"Unfortunately, we simply cannot run the kind of campaign we want and need to, engaging with voters in the early states and February 5 states, if our schedule is dictated by dozens of forums and debates," Plouffe wrote. "Ultimately, the one group left out of the current schedule is the voters and they are the ones who ask the toughest questions and most deserve to have those questions answered face to face."

The Illinois Democrat will participate in the five remaining Democratic National Committee sanctioned debates, a September debate sponsored by Univision in Florida and two Iowa debates in December. Obama will also consider participating in forums - events where candidates are not on the stage at the same time - but Plouffe noted "we are unlikely to accept many of these."

Ploffe acknowledged it is a risky strategy, because it could alienate important Democratic constituencies who were planning debates and forums in the coming months.

"Many friends and terrific organizations are sponsoring or planning to sponsor debates and forums," Plouffe wrote. "So this is not an easy decision for us to execute. But it simply won't work to navigate this one by one. We felt we needed to make our approach clear and consistent. I think this approach will be better for the voters and the campaign."

Plouffe said the campaign will evaluate what debates to participate in when the calendar turns to January.

The next DNC sanctioned debate will be held Sunday morning in Iowa and broadcast on ABC.

- CNN's Jamie Crawford and Mark Preston

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Race to '08
August 19th, 2007
08:05 AM ET
13 years ago

Biden launches first TV ads in Iowa

Biden launched his first TV ad campaign in Iowa on Sunday.

(CNN)-Senator Joe Biden launched his presidential campaign's first television ads in Iowa on Sunday.

In an ad entitled "Cathedral," Biden recounts a story from one of his several trips to Iraq, during which he was on an Air Force transport plane with a flag-draped coffin. Biden, a Democrat from Delaware, says that moment was pivotal in his effort earlier this year to secure funding for new mine resistant vehicles for troops in Iraq.

In an ad entitled "Security," Biden lays out the case for why his leadership qualities and life experiences prepare him to be Commander-In-Chief.

His campaign said in a news release that the ad campaign is scheduled to run through Labor Day weekend at a cost of approximately a quarter of a million dollars.

Biden, and his fellow competitors for the Democratic nomination, took part in a debate in Des Moines Sunday morning.

- CNN Political Desk Editor Jamie Crawford

Filed under: Iowa • Iraq • Joe Biden • Race to '08