September 25th, 2007
09:38 PM ET
9 years ago

Richardson: Ahmadinejad ‘a demagogue and a despot’

Bill Richardson said Tuesday that the U.S. should "turn down the fiery rhetoric and turn up the smart pressure" when it comes to Iran.

(CNN) – New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson joined his fellow candidates for the White House in criticizing Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who has been visiting New York City and the United Nations on Monday and Tuesday. Ahmadinejad “is a demoagogue and a despot,” Richardson said in a statement released by his presidential campaign on Tuesday.

“While I would not have invited him to speak at Columbia, I do support academic freedom on American campuses,” Richardson said also weighing in on Ahmadinejad’s controversial speech at Columbia University on Monday. “We need to start talking with other nations again – both our friends and our enemies,” the statement also said.

Richardson, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, also criticized legislation currently pending in Congress regarding Iran. “With sanctions for bad behavior and economic benefits and security guarantees as rewards for good behavior, we can strengthen Iranian moderates and pragmatists and integrate Iran into the community of peaceful nations,” explained Richardson.

Richardson’s statement also said that stability in the Middle East would not be achieved if the U.S. maintained its current course in Iraq and kept troops in the war-torn country.

Related: Richardson attacks rivals on Iraq in new ad

Related: Candidates question university's invitation to Iran president

- CNN Associate Producer Martina Stewart

Filed under: Bill Richardson • Iran • Iraq
September 25th, 2007
09:24 PM ET
13 years ago

Romney's S.C. stops postponed due to sickness, personal time

Romney was scheduled to campaign in South Carolina this weekend.

COLUMBIA, South Carolina (CNN) - Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney postponed several campaign stops in the Palmetto State this weekend due to a brief sickness and some subsequent "personal time," according to Romney's South Carolina campaign office.

The Associated Press reported Tuesday that Romney was postponing his stops "after getting sick during a rush to raise money before the end of the month." Romney was scheduled to appear in the Irmo Okra Strut Parade parade on Saturday, as well as holding two "Ask Mitt Anything" events and a meet and greet in Florence on Saturday and Sunday.

"Governor Romney was feeling under the weather, but he's fine now," Romney spokesman Will Holley told CNN. "He is taking some personal time this weekend, but otherwise is keeping a full campaign schedule."

The campaign stops have been postponed until October 18th.

- CNN South Carolina Producer Peter Hamby

Filed under: Extra • Mitt Romney • South Carolina
September 25th, 2007
08:00 PM ET
13 years ago

Clinton grounded by radar failure

Sen. Hillary Clinton was stuck in Little Rock, Arkansas Tuesday after appearing at an event there with her husband.

CHICAGO (CNN) – Sometimes it doesn’t matter who you are – even presidential candidates can’t overcome air travel headaches.

Like thousands of other travelers, Senator Hillary Clinton, D-New York, found herself stuck on the tarmac Tuesday. She was grounded in Little Rock after a communications line failed, knocking out radar and telephone service to the Federal Aviation Administration’s Memphis Center.

The delay forced her to cancel an appearance at the Change to Win union convention in Chicago, where she was to deliver an afternoon address. Instead, she spoke to the gathering by phone, explaining she was still on the tarmac. Fellow Democratic candidates Barack Obama and John Edwards spoke to the convention earlier in the day.

Related: Radar fails in Memphis; hundreds of flights affected

- CNN Political Desk Managing Editor Steve Brusk

Filed under: Hillary Clinton
September 25th, 2007
06:35 PM ET
13 years ago

Obama to skip another Iowa event

Obama declines another Iowa event.

DES MOINES, Iowa (CNN) - Criticized last week for not attending a candidate forum in Iowa, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, will also be absent from another upcoming Hawkeye State political event, the annual Johnson County Democrats' Fall Barbeque on October 6, his office confirmed Tuesday.

The event, held in the traditionally Democratic-leaning Johnson County, will include Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-New York, former Sen. John Edwards, D-North Carolina, New Mexico governor Bill Richardson, and Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Connecticut.


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Iowa
September 25th, 2007
06:18 PM ET
13 years ago

Clinton pulling away from Obama in New Hampshire

Watch CNN's Bill Schneider report Sen. Hillary Clinton has a commanding lead in the latest CNN New Hampshire poll.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton has significantly increased her lead over rival Barack Obama in the crucial early-voting state of New Hampshire, according to a CNN/WMUR poll conducted by the University of New Hampshire released Tuesday.

The New York Democrat registered 43 percent in the latest poll, 23 points more than Obama, a senator from Illinois. In a similar poll conducted in July, only 9 points separated the candidates, with Clinton then at 36 percent and Obama at 27 percent. (Full poll results [PDF])

"The seven-point change for both candidates is within the poll's sampling error, but may indicate growing support for Clinton as the primary approaches," CNN Polling Director Keating Holland said.

Meanwhile, former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards stands at 12 percent in the latest poll, three points higher than July. New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson is at 6 percentage points, 5 points lower than the last survey from CNN and WMUR. (CNN Interactive: The latest poll results)

Full story

NEW: Check out for the latest news on the political front and from the campaign trail

September 25th, 2007
05:29 PM ET
13 years ago

Pelosi: 'I have to do what I have to do'

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California

WASHINGTON (CNN) - House Speaker Nancy Pelosi blamed Republicans in the Senate for blocking legislation that would either limit or end the war in Iraq in an exclusive interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer on Tuesday.

"The Republicans in the Senate have now taken ownership of the war in Iraq," Pelosi said. "It was President Bush’s war. And now it is the Republicans in Congress’ war. And that marks a big turning point for us because we had hoped to have bipartisanship in redeploying out of Iraq."

Pelosi said she would continue trying to get bills passed to limit the missions and deployments for troops and promised to hold the administration "accountable time and time again for the conduct of this war."

Despite their disagreements, Pelosi said she thinks she and Bush have a good working relationship, and was optimistic that they could work together on an energy bill.

"I respect him as a person, I respect the position he holds," she said. "He respects the position of Speaker of the House. He knows he has to do what he has to do. He knows that I have to do what I have to do. And so I think we have a good rapport. We understand each other."

You can see the interview tonight in The Situation Room at 7 p.m., ET.

- CNN Associate Producer Lauren Kornreich

Filed under: Nancy Pelosi
September 25th, 2007
01:40 PM ET
13 years ago

Richardson attacks rivals on Iraq in new ad

If elected president, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson plans to withdraw all U.S. troops from Iraq.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson will release a new television ad in New Hampshire Wednesday morning criticizing his rivals for their positions on the Iraq war.

“Clinton, Obama and Edwards all say they want to end the war in Iraq," blogger Matt Stoller says in the ad, which will begin airing hours before a Democratic presidential debate in Dartmouth. "But they support leaving thousands, even tens of thousands of troops behind. That doesn’t make any sense.”

In a video posted on his campaign's web site on Monday, Richardson says he is the only candidate that will bring all of the troops home from Iraq.

"Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and John Edwards would leave tens of thousands of non-combat troops behind in Iraq," campaign manager Dave Contarino said in a statement. "An estimated 97,000 American non-combat troops are in Iraq. Leaving behind up to 97,000 American troops does not end this war. As President, Bill Richardson will withdraw non-combat troops in tandem with combat troops to get them all out of Iraq safely."

–CNN Associate Producer Lauren Kornreich

Filed under: Bill Richardson • Iraq • New Hampshire
September 25th, 2007
01:35 PM ET
13 years ago

No Minnesota trip for Craig

Sen. Larry Craig, R-Idaho.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - A Minnesota judge will be hearing Sen. Larry Craig's petition to overturn his guilty plea on a disorderly conduct charge in Minneapolis Wednesday, but Craig will not be at the hearing.

"I have been advised not to. I will not be attending," Craig, R-Idaho, told CNN.

He was arrested June 11 during a police sting in an airport men's room for allegedly making sexual overtures to an undercover male police officer. He entered a written guilty plea to the disorderly conduct charge in August.

In his petition to vacate the plea, Craig's attorney maintained the senator's "panic" over the possibility that the allegations would be made public drove him to accept a guilty plea without seeking legal advice and that he had been assured by the arresting officer that the matter would remain private.

A spokeswoman for the 4th Judicial District told CNN the court has not yet gotten any word from the senator's attorneys as to whether he will attend.

The Minnesota prosecutor who handled the disorderly conduct case against Craig said that the Idaho Republican was "calm" and "methodical" as they discussed his entering a guilty plea and that Craig was warned his case would be a matter of public record.


Filed under: Larry Craig
September 25th, 2007
01:30 PM ET
13 years ago

CNN scores Emmy for 2006 Election Night Coverage

CNN was awarded an Emmy for its 2006 Election Night coverage.

(CNN) - The Best Political Team on Television received an Emmy award for CNN’s live minute-by-minute coverage of the 2006 Election Night, in which Democrats took control of both the U.S. House and Senate for the first time in 12 years. The National Academy of Television and Arts and Sciences presented the award Monday night at a ceremony in New York City.

From its 25-foot-wide video wall that provided viewers with real-time information at a glance, to its top analysts and correspondents across the county, to its groundbreaking “Election Night Blog Party,” CNN’s 2006 coverage included the latest newsgathering and news production technology to offer viewers the most content-rich election programming available anywhere.

Filed under: CNN
September 25th, 2007
12:40 PM ET
13 years ago

Elizabeth Edwards questions Clinton's health care record

Elizabeth Edwards stepped up her attack on Clinton's health care record Monday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Elizabeth Edwards, the outspoken wife of Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards, stepped up her attacks over rival Hillary Clinton's record on health care Monday, alleging the New York Democrat abandoned her effort in the 1990’s to save "political capital."

In an interview with the New York Daily News, Mrs. Edwards said Clinton's first attempt at health care reform "failed when the Clinton administration….said, 'We're not going to use any more political capital on this, on the fight for universal health care.' And that's an important part that Sen. Clinton leaves out."

"The stick-to-it-iveness, the determination to get it done when there was opposition both from the Republicans and from the entrenched insurance interests, that part wasn't there," Mrs. Edwards added.

Edwards further alleged, as she did in an interview with CNN last week, that Clinton and her husband, then-President Bill Clinton, abandoned the health care fight in order to focus on passing the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) through Congress.

John Edwards, a former North Carolina senator, is heavily courting labor unions, many of which continue to adamantly oppose NAFTA.

While her husband often refuses to criticize his opponents directly, Mrs. Edwards has assumed an increasingly vocal role in the campaign. In the interview with CNN last week, she suggested Clinton had copied the Edwards health care proposal released months earlier.

"I don't call it Sen. Clinton's health care plan," she said last week. "I call it John Edwards' health care plan as delivered by Hillary Clinton. The truth is that anyone who tries to describe Hillary's health care plan will run through every material part of John's health care plan."

In the interview with CNN, Mrs. Edwards also said of Clinton's earlier attempt at health care, "I am glad she did that health care plan. I was impressed with her when she did it. But did she learn something from it? I can't see what she's learned."

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

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