October 18th, 2007
11:30 AM ET
11 years ago

Poll: Nearly half think U.S. in recession

The New York Stock Exchange

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Nearly half of Americans feel the U.S. economy is in a recession, marked by a significant decline in economic activity, according to a survey released Thursday.

The poll by the CNN-Opinion Research Corporation found that while 46 percent of Americans hold that belief, 51 percent don't.

Black citizens were more pessimistic than whites, findings show.

Sixty-nine percent of black Americans feel the United States is in a recession, while only 42 percent of white Americans feel the same way.

The National Bureau of Economic Research defines a recession as "a significant decline in economic activity spread across the economy, lasting more than a few months, normally visible in real GDP (Gross Domestic Product), real income, employment, industrial production and wholesale-retail sales."

The GDP measures the economy's output. It represents the total market value of all goods and services produced in the United States during a specified period.

According to the bureau, "a recession begins just after the economy reaches a peak of activity, and ends as the economy reaches its trough. Between trough and peak, the economy is in an expansion. Expansion is the normal state of the economy; most recessions are brief and they have been rare in recent decades."


Filed under: Economy • President Bush
October 18th, 2007
11:22 AM ET
15 years ago

Report: Brownback dropping White House bid

Brownback will make a 'major announcement,' CNN has learned.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Republican presidential hopeful Sam Brownback, dogged by low poll numbers and a poor fundraising showing last quarter, has decided to abandon his bid for the White House, people close to the senator tell the Associated Press.

Meanwhile, a campaign source tells CNN's Chief National Correspondent John King that all scheduling has been put on hold pending a "major announcement" from the Kansas Republican.

Full story

Filed under: Sam Brownback
October 18th, 2007
11:00 AM ET
15 years ago

A Bush for Giuliani

Jeb Bush, Jr. is backing Giuliani. But who will his father support?

WASHINGTON (CNN) - As his uncle heads into the final stretch of his presidency, Jeb Bush, Jr. decided Thursday to throw his support behind former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s run for the White House.

“As someone who grew up around politics and candidates, I know that Rudy has the leadership qualities and unmatched experience to be the next President of the United States,” Bush said in a statement. “I’m honored to join his campaign and look forward to working with the many young professionals throughout Florida supporting the Mayor.”

Bush will join the campaign as the Chairman of Florida Young Professionals, and work to build up grassroots support among young people across the state.

Bush is the youngest son of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who many thought would run for president. Democratic strategist James Carville predicted earlier this week that the former governor would jump into the race and eventually win the Republican nomination.

- CNN Associate Producer Lauren Kornreich

Filed under: Rudy Giuliani
October 18th, 2007
08:50 AM ET
10 years ago

Can Colbert actually get on the ballot?

Watch Colbert discuss his political aspirations with CNN's Larry King.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - He made a splash with a surprise presidential announcement Tuesday, but can Comedy Central host Stephen Colbert actually get on the primary ballots in South Carolina?

The answer is yes, although it could get pricey.

The fee to be considered for the Democratic ballot is $2,500, while it’s a hefty $35,000 to gain admittance into the Republican primary.

Colbert has indicated he will seek to appear on each party's ballot and the South Carolina Secretary of State's office confirms a candidate is allowed to run in both primaries.

But it remains to be seen if the State Democratic Party's Executive Committee, whose approval Colbert needs to get on their ballot, will vote to certify a candidate who is also running in the GOP race. The rules state the candidate must be "actively campaigning" for the Democratic primary.

Meanwhile, the State Republican Party does not require an executive committee vote and would not prevent a candidate from appearing on both ballots.

Colbert has until the end of this month to file with both parties. The Republicans are holding their primary January 19, while the Democrats will vote January 26.

The Palmetto State is one of four lead-off primary states that will likely play a crucial role in determining the eventual nominee of both parties.

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

Filed under: South Carolina • Stephen Colbert
October 18th, 2007
07:50 AM ET
15 years ago

Is Fred Thompson's star fading?

Was Fred Thompson worth the wait? John King reports on how some GOP activists feel about Thompson now.

(CNN) - Fred Thompson's formal entry into the race for the White House was eagerly awaited by many Republicans. Chief National Correspondent John King reports on how Thompson is being received in some of the key, early primary states now that the actor and former U.S. senator is no longer sitting on the side lines.

Click here to see CNN's new political portal: CNNPolitics.com

Filed under: Fred Thompson • Iowa • New Hampshire • South Carolina
October 18th, 2007
07:45 AM ET
15 years ago

Deconstructing the black vote

Who are black women supporting? Bill Schneider takes a look.

(CNN) - Sens. Hillary Clinton, D-New York, and Barack Obama, D-Illinois, are both courting blacks as they vie for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination. Bill Schneider reports on new CNN poll results about which of the two Democrats blacks are supporting at this point in the race to the White House.

Click here to see CNN's new political portal: CNNPolitics.com

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Hillary Clinton • Polls
October 18th, 2007
07:40 AM ET
13 years ago

Ensign to Craig: Leave now

Watch Sen. Ensign's interview with Wolf Blitzer.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. John Ensign, who chairs the Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee, made clear to CNN's Wolf Blitzer Wednesday he wants embattled Idaho Sen. Larry Craig to leave the Senate - immediately.

"The senator said that by the end of September, if the guilty plea was not overturned, if he was not reestablished on his seniority on committees, that he would resign," said Ensign, a Republican representing Nevada. "Neither one of those things are going to happen. I call on Sen. Craig, if he loved the Senate and his party, he would keep his word. "

Ensign also brushed aside the notion that the Idaho Republican should be given leniency, because he only pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor.

"This wouldn't be making the national news if it was an ordinary misdemeanor," Ensign said. "He pled guilty to something that, you know lewd behavior, that's not the behavior a United States senator should be engaged in."

Ensign also dismissed the suggestion that Craig's case is similar to that of Republican Sen. David Vitter, who has admitted to committing a "serious sin" with a Washington prostitute when he served in the House.

"First of all, he never said exactly what he did," Ensign said of Vitter. "Secondly, it happened before he got into the United States Senate, and there were no laws that were broken as far as anybody knows."

Ensign also said that Craig's continued presence in the Senate will hurt Democrats and Republicans alike.

"There's too many people that paint with a broad brush that we're all corrupt, we're all amoral," he said. "And having these kinds of things happen, whether it's a Republican or Democratic senator - we certainly have had plenty of Democratic scandals in the past - we need people who are in office who will hold themselves to a little higher standard."

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

Filed under: Larry Craig • The Situation Room
October 18th, 2007
07:00 AM ET
15 years ago

Clinton's upstate appeal

Sen. Hillary Clinton won over Republicans in upstate New York. Can she do so nationally to win the White House?

(CNN) - Mary Snow reports from Duchess County, New York. She takes a look at how Republicans in upstate New York are reacting to Sen. Hillary Clinton's presidential candidacy.

Click here to see CNN's new political portal: CNNPolitics.com

Filed under: Hillary Clinton
October 18th, 2007
07:00 AM ET
15 years ago

Giuliani: Just one debate a month for me

Giuliani says he is limiting himself to one debate or forum appearance each month.

DES MOINES, Iowa (CNN) - Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani said Wednesday that he'll only participate in one debate or forum each month because, as he says, if you try to pick and choose "you end up insulting more people than you really intend to."

"I've been invited to like a dozen debates sometimes on the same day, and you just can't do them all. You just can't," the former New York City mayor said at a stop in Des Moines. "We've tried to have a rule of one per month, and the first one we accept. Then we've got to say 'no' to all the rest, because if I go to all the debates, I can't run my campaign."

Giuliani says it would be too hard to raise the money needed and impossible to make all the "political points that you want to make" if he were to accept more invitations to multiple-candidate events.

At a town hall meeting on the campus of Drake University, Giuliani was asked whether or not he would participate in the nationally televised AARP/Iowa Public Television 'Divided We Fail' GOP forum on October 25. So far Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kansas, and former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee have confirmed. According to the forum's website, the other campaigns have said "they don't know."

"If we said 'no' to it, it does not at all have to do with your organization," Giuliani continued in his answer. "It has to do with the fact that we already agreed to a debate."

The 'Divided We Fail' Democratic forum back in September included all the top-tier Democrats except Illinois Sen. Barack Obama.

-CNN Iowa Producer Chris Welch

Filed under: Iowa • John McCain • Mike Huckabee • Rudy Giuliani • Sam Brownback
October 18th, 2007
06:46 AM ET
15 years ago

CNN Political Ticker AM

For the latest, breaking political news, check for updates throughout the day on the CNN Political Ticker http://www.cnn.com/ticker. All politics, all the time.

Making News Today…

Congressional sources: Hastert to announce resignation

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert will resign his
congressional seat rather than serve out the rest of his term, two GOP
congressional sources told CNN Wednesday evening.

Over the summer the Illinois Republican had said he would not seek
re-election in the state's 14th District. Both sources said Hastert would make
an announcement "soon" but probably not on Thursday.

"I think he is just done with being a member of Congress," a GOP aide
said of Hastert, who has just over a year remaining in his term.

Hastert, 65, is the longest-serving Republican Speaker in history,
holding the post from Jan. 1999 to Nov. 2006.  

- CNN Congressional Producer Deirdre Walsh


Thompson touts conservative credentials in new Web ad

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson is scheduled to release a new Internet advertisement Thursday that calls into question two of his rivals conservative credentials, while proclaiming he is the true conservative in the race for the Republican presidential nomination.

The advertisement coincides with the Values Voter Summit, a three day gathering of social conservatives in the nation’s capital, a Republican source tells CNN. Thompson and his rivals for the GOP presidential nomination will address the group.

“I was a proud conservative yesterday, I remain one today, and I will be one tomorrow,” Thompson states in the ad that will be placed on the Human Events Web site. The Republican source said that the advertisement would later be placed on other Web sites.

The advertisement also highlights a past statement made by former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney on abortion and a previous comment made by former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani on abortion and gay rights. The remarks by Romney and Giuliani were contrary to social conservative views.

- CNN Political Editor Mark Preston


Massachusetts governor to back Obama’s ’08 bid

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick will endorse Sen. Barack Obama for president at an event next week in Boston, an aide to the Illinois Democrat tells CNN.

Patrick is the first black governor of Massachusetts, and his decision to back Obama comes at a critical time as the Democratic presidential contenders are all competing for the support of African-Americans. The battle for this important voting bloc is particularly competitive between Obama and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-New York. Last week, Georgia Rep. John Lewis, a civil rights legend, endorsed Clinton’s presidential bid.

Patrick served in the Justice Department under former President Bill Clinton, the husband of Sen. Clinton. In addition to being prominent black political leaders, Obama and Patrick share a top political strategist. David Axelrod helped Patrick win election last year, and is a senior strategist on the Obama presidential campaign.

- CNN Political Editor Mark Preston


Edwards to argue he has greater appeal

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Former Sen. John Edwards will seek to take the theme of “electability” to a higher level Thursday, by announcing a four day drive aimed at convincing Democrats he is the best positioned candidate to win the general election.

The North Carolina Democrat’s presidential campaign is calling this effort the “True Blue Majority,” and has scheduled events in Georgia, Oklahoma and Wisconsin to advance this idea, according to an Edwards’ aide. While the Edwards campaign did not say it was seeking to compare him with any one specific rival, it is widely assumed they are trying to contrast the North Carolina Democrat with Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-New York.

“John Edwards is the only Democratic candidate with the bold ideas and strong leadership needed to campaign in all 50 states and lead Democrats to victory in 2008 general election,” the Edwards aide said in an email to CNN last night.

The aide also wrote, “The stakes are too high in this race – the war in Iraq, the 45 million Americans without health care, the 37 million Americans in poverty – for the Democratic Party to nominate a candidate who may not perform the strongest in a general election.”

- CNN Political Editor Mark Preston


Richardson to tackle disease, climate change and refugees

WASHINGTON (CNN) – New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson will outline what his presidential campaign is describing as a “21st Century Marshall Plan,” to address several issues facing the nation and the international community.

Specifically, Richardson’s campaign said he will talk on Thursday about climate change, pandemic diseases and refugee crises and “will call for doubling our foreign development assistance to 2% of our federal budget.”

“These are not just the problems of individual nations,” Richardson will say in the speech, according to excerpts provided by his campaign. “They are the problems of an independent world. We are the most powerful nation in the history of the world. Yet, we are not immune from such threats. It will take vigilance and bold action now, to preserve our safety for the future.”

Richardson will deliver the speech in Des Moines, Iowa

- CNN Political Editor Mark Preston

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

Compiled by Lindsey Pope
CNN Washington Bureau

FIRM INDICTED FOR FRAUD STILL GIVING TO DEMS: Over the years, as it became Exhibit A for critics of shareholders’ class action lawsuits, the law firm of Milberg Weiss often enjoyed the support of Democrats who called the suits an invaluable weapon in the universal conflict between big business and the little guy. New York Times: Accused Firm Keeps Giving to Democrats

DETAILS MISSING IN OBAMA'S FINANCIAL REPORT: In his third-quarter financial report filed this week with the Federal Election Commission, Senator Barack Obama did not provide a full accounting for where his campaign had spent money on travel, catering or a variety of other expenses. New York Times: Obama Campaign Spending Report Incomplete

GIULIANI: “A TAX IS A TAX ON WAGES. AND IT DOESN’T MATTER WHAT YOU CALL IT”: The Republican candidates addressed ballooning costs of entitlements on Wednesday. New York Times: GOP candidates Address Entitlements

RUDY PICKS UP SUPPORT FROM TEXAS GOVERNOR: Texas Governor Rick Perry has endorsed former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani in the 2008 presidential race. AP via USA Today: Texas Governor Endorses Giuliani

GIULIANI'S CONSENSUS AMONG PARTY CORE SHAKY: Rudy Giuliani shares the lead among conservative voters in the Republican presidential race, despite the New Yorker's three marriages and moderate views on abortion, guns and gays. Yet a close look suggests his support from the GOP's potent right wing is less than meets the eye, according to recent Associated Press-Ipsos polls. NY Daily News: Giuliani's Conservative Support Tenuous

FRED'S SOCIAL SECURITY PLAN LEAVES SOME DONORS NERVOUS: Congressional supporters of Sen. Fred Thompson (R-Tenn.) are splitting with him over his proposal to curb the cost of Social Security by cutting projected benefits by as much as 25 percent over the next 33 years, according to the estimate of one conservative think tank. The Hill: Thompson's Plan Spooks GOP backers

OBAMA REACHES OUT TO K STREET FOR HELP IN EARLY PRIMARY STATES: Even as Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) has intensified his attacks on Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) for her ties to K Street, he has been reaching out to lobbyists to provide volunteer manpower in early primary states. Roll Call: Obama Bashes, Courts K Street

"I GET CONFUSED SOMETIMES WHEN PEOPLE SAY, 'WELL, HE DOESN'T HAVE ENOUGH EXPERIENCE…SOMETIMES I THINK MAYBE IT'S JUST BECAUSE I LOOK YOUNG. I'VE GOT THESE BIG EARS. I LOOK LIKE OPIE,": Barack Obama told a crowd of about 300 people in Indianola Friday that perhaps some political opponents misjudge his experience because of his youthful looks. Des moines register: Iowa Ear: Chart toppers

"HILLARY IS NOT THE FIRST POLITICIAN IN WASHINGTON TO DECLARE 'MISSION ACCOMPLISHED' A LITTLE TOO SOON": Is Barack Obama worried about polls that show Hillary Rodham Clinton leading the Democratic presidential field? "We've got a long way to go," the senator said Wednesday on late night television talk show The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. USA Today: Obama Lances Clinton, Jokes About Cheney on Leno

CLINTON DISSED IN CLINTON: A strange "Clinton" motif followed Gov. Mitt Romney through eastern Iowa Wednesday as he campaigned for president. Des moines Register: Romney criticizes Clinton while in Clinton

CLINTON TOUTS EXPERIENCE: In a concerted effort to deflect attacks on her presidential credentials, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y) and her allies repeatedly say she has 35 years of relevant experience. The Hill: Experience- Sen. Clinton Says She Has 35 Years of It

CLINTON RIVALS FLOCK TO IOWA: The two main rivals to Hillary Clinton for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination are making defiant stands in Iowa, traditionally the first state to pick a candidate. The Times of London: How Wooing Pig Farmers Might Stop Hillary Clinton Hogging the Votes   

THE SOFTER SIDE OF HILL: Everywhere she goes, Hillary Clinton asks voters to help her make history as the first woman president. Yet Clinton is increasingly portraying herself more as motherly and traditional than as trailblazing and feminist, sometimes playing up the differences between men and women. Boston Globe: Clinton Shows Femininity to Court Older, married Women

PRIMARY SEASON MEETS THE HOLIDAY SEASON: Oh, the Christmas season: the scent of eggnog, the sounds of sleigh bells, the good cheer — and all those slashing political attack ads, hard-hitting mailings, pre-recorded candidate phone calls and intrusive, get-out-the-vote drives? New York Times: Newest Factor for Primaries: Grinch Effect

SOME DEMS WANT CAUCUS DATE SAME AS GOP TO AVOID CONFUSION: Some county Democratic leaders in Iowa, frustrated by uncertainty over the date for the presidential caucuses, are urging state party officials to schedule the nation's traditional leadoff nominating contest the same day as Iowa Republicans' event. Des Moines Register: Democrats say: Time caucuses with GOP

THE MOST POWERFUL MAN YOU DON'T KNOW: HE'S BEEN featured in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times and the Boston Globe, and on the ABC News Web site and more. He's been referred to as the most powerful man in America no one knows. New Hampshire Union-Leader: Gardner the guardian

GOP TO ATTACK DEMS AS "STATUS QUO": Confronting a dire outlook for next year’s elections, House Republicans have begun to fight back with a new three-pronged strategy: painting the new Democratic majority as part of an unpopular Washington status quo, forcing Democrats to make unpopular votes on tough issues and locking arms around a new GOP issues agenda. Politico: Republicans Plot Fall Offensive

MARK WARNER: “WE HAVE TO GET OUT OF IRAQ”: U.S. troops should begin withdrawing from Iraq this year, Democratic Senate candidate Mark Warner said Wednesday, but the U.S. government should not set a timetable for removing all of its military presence from the Middle Eastern country. DC Examiner: Mark Warner Calls For Speedy, But Careful Start to U.S. Troop Withdrawal

NRCC MEMBERS NEED TO PAY UP SAYS CHAIRMAN: National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Tom Cole (Okla.) painted a volatile and uncertain 2008 political landscape on Wednesday and intimated that members of his own Conference need to do more financially to help the party win seats next year. Roll Call: Cole: Conference Needs to Close Cash Gap

BUNDLING "SOURCE OF ABUSE": The bundling of political donations once was an innocuous play in the game book of Washington political operatives. Now, the fund-raising practice has grown so widespread, and some of its practitioners so brazen, that bundling has become the chief source of abuse in the American campaign-finance system. WSJ: Donor Bundling Emerges as Ill

RANGEL TO DIRECT MONEY FOR PROJECTS BEARING HIS NAME: In what may be the ultimate in vanity plates, House Ways and Means Chairman Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) is hoping to steer some $2 million to a building project at the City College of New York that will house — wait for it — not one, not two, but three construction projects bearing the gravelly voiced lawmaker’s name. Roll Call's Heard on the Hill: A Rangel By Any Other Name

MUKASEY TO SHIELD POLITICS FROM JUSTICE: Attorney general nominee Michael Mukasey says he will insulate the Justice Department from politics and rebuff President Bush if he needs to, emphasizing an independent streak that received a warm reception from a Senate panel Wednesday. USA Today: Mukasey Vows to Isolate Justice From Politics

AG NOMINEE ASSAIGLS WHITE HOUSE MEMO ON TORTURE: Michael Mukasey sailed through the first day of Senate hearings on his nomination for attorney general, as Democrats pushed the former district court judge to ensure his tenure would not mirror the rocky leadership of his predecessor, Alberto Gonzales. The Hill: Memo "Worse Than a Sin"

BUSH: "I WILL TELL YOU, THOUGH, THAT A FIRM LIKE BLACKWATER PROVIDES A VALUABLE SERVICE": President Bush said yesterday that private security firms like Blackwater USA provide a "valuable service" to U.S. government personnel abroad, a day after Blackwater's top executive complained of a lack of support from top U.S. officials over the company's role in a deadly shooting incident on a Baghdad street. Washington Times: Bush Lauds Security Firm

PLAME WRITES ABOUT BUSH ADMINISTRATION'S "ARROGANCE AND INTOLERANCE": Four years after her Central Intelligence Agency cover was blown in a newspaper column, Valerie Plame is settling scores with the Bush administration, Republican lawmakers and the journalists involved in the White House leak scandal. WSJ: Valerie Plame's Book Criticizes Bush, Journalists For Leak Scandal

MILITARY ADVERTISES ON GAY WEBSITE: The Army, Navy and Air Force unwittingly advertised for recruits on a website for gays, who are barred from military service if they are open about their sexual orientation. USA Today: Military Inadvertently Recruits Gays

On the Trail:

Compiled by Lauren Kornreich
CNN Washington Bureau

* Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-New York, participates in a health care forum sponsored by Families USA and the Federation of American Hospitals at the Kaiser Family Foundation in Washington, D.C.

* Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney holds an "Ask Mitt Anything" town hall meeting at Applewood Pancake House in Pawleys Island, South Carolina. After, he attends a luncheon in Florence, and talks to the press in Spartanburg. In the evening, Romney hosts another "Ask Mitt Anything" town hall meeting and barbeque at Tega Cay Beach and Swim Club in Fort Mill.

* Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, holds a town hall meeting at the Grand Sierra Resort in Reno, Nevada. He then heads to North Las Vegas for a community event at Cheyenne High School.

* Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee campaigns in New Hampshire, starting with two speeches at Franklin Pierce College in Rindge and a meet and greet in Peterborough. In the afternoon, he officially files his candidacy papers to get on the New Hampshire ballot in Concord. Later, Romney stops by his campaign office in Concord and a Republican Party fundraising event in Amherst.

* New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson delivers a major policy address entitled "Facing Down the Threats of the 21st Century" at the Temple for Performing Arts in Des Moines, Iowa. Later, he talks about Iraq in Nevada and Des Moines.

* Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani meets with local residents at Peter's Grill in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Later, he heads to Chicago, Illinois for a roundtable discussion at UIC College of Medicine.

* Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, takes a tour of a nursing school and holds a town hall meeting in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Later, he holds another town hall meeting at the Senior Action Center in Greenville.

* Sen. Joe Biden, D-Delaware, stumps through Iowa with morning stops in Sheldon and Cherokee. In the afternoon, he meets with local voters in Storm Lake, Laurena and Lohrville.

* Former Tennessee Gov. Fred Thompson receives an endorsement at Preferred Jet in Kennesaw, Georgia. Later, he fundraises in Atlanta and Powder Springs.

* The Senate Radio-Television Correspondents' Gallery Daybook

* The House Radio-Television Correspondents' Gallery Daybook

Filed under: AM Political Ticker
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