WASHINGTON (CNN) - Former Chrysler CEO Lee Iacocca announced Thursday he's backing Democratic presidential candidate Bill Richardson for president, praising the New Mexico governor's "bold plans."
"Unlike others on the stump, he's offering bold plans, not just pandering talk," Iacocca said in a statement released by the Richardson campaign. "I like his jobs plan, his healthcare and energy plan, education plan and his plan to get us out of Iraq. I also just plain like the guy."
In the same statement, Richardson praised Iacocca as a man who "has lived the American dream."
"He went to school, worked hard, and, with a bit of luck, brought his creative ideas to fruition," Richardson added. "I am glad to have the support of such a legendary problem-solver."
- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney
(CNN) - Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton returned to her alma mater Tuesday, the all-women’s Wellesley College in Massachusetts, as her campaign suggested this week’s debate could help her with women voters.
Clinton seemed to allude to sharp attacks from Democratic rivals in Tuesday’s showdown, telling the enthusiastic crowd, “in so many ways, this all women’s college prepared me compete in the all boys’ club of presidential politics.”
The New York senator’s comment came as aides told The Washington Post the criticism directed against her could attract more women voters. The paper quoted one adviser as saying, ‘Ultimately, it was six guys against her, and she came off as one strong woman."
The campaign prepared a video showing a montage of rivals saying her name in the debate, labeling it the politics of piling on.
On Wednesday, as she was presented with boxing gloves while accepting the AFSCME endorsement in Washington, union president Gerald McEntee said, “Six guys against Hillary. I'd call that a fair fight."
Related video: Analysis: Clinton and the 'boys'
- CNN Political Desk Managing Editor Steve Brusk
Colbert's presidential bid is likely over.
COLUMBIA, South Carolina (CNN) - The South Carolina Democratic Party voted Thursday to keep comedian Stephen Colbert's name off the Democratic Primary ballot, according to Executive Director Joe Werner.
This essentially means that Colbert’s short lived White House run in the Palmetto State will come to an end, because he has said that he would not try to be placed on the Republican Party primary ballot.
The state party's executive council met this afternoon in Columbia to decide which Democratic candidates met the criteria to be placed on the ballot. To be placed on the South Carolina ballot a candidate must demonstrate national viability as well as campaign in the state.
Colbert, who officially filed papers to get on the ballot this morning, lost a roll call vote, 13-3.
Meanwhile, presidential long shots, Rep. Dennis Kucinich and former Alaska Sen. Mike Gravel, made the cut.
State Democratic Party Chairwoman Carol Fowler suggested Wednesday that Colbert does not meet the standard of national viability.
"He does not appear to be campaigning to win if he is only running in one state," she said.
Werner confirmed Thursday that viablity was the issue - because Colbert only sought to run in South Carolina and has essentially acknowledged his bid was a joke, the party could not deem him viable.
- CNN South Carolina Producer Peter Hamby
Fireworks mark the opening of the Clinton LIbrary in 2004. Library documents are becoming a campaign issue.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. Hillary Clinton's rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination are accusing her of delaying the release of records from her husband's administration, something the front-runner and President Clinton have denied.
"We have just gone through one of the most secretive administrations in our history. And not releasing, I think, these records at the same time, Hillary, that you're making the claim that this is the basis for your experience, I think, is a problem," Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, charged during a presidential debate Tuesday.
But Clinton, who represents New York, said the release of the records are not up to her or former President Clinton but the archivists at the National Archives.
Related video: Sen. Clinton's White House records
WASHINGTON (CNN) - It has been a truly scandalous few months for the GOP - for the third time in three months a Republican lawmaker is accused of soliciting sex with another man.
This time it's Washington State Rep. Richard Curtis - whose “I’m not gay” defense sounds a lot like Florida State Rep. Bob Allen's and Idaho Senator Larry Craig's.
Curtis told the Columbian newspaper in Spokane that he did not have sex with the man.
But the Spokane police department tell CNN a different story.
They say that on October 26, Curtis, dressed in women's lingerie, is alleged to have approached a young man in the "Hollywood Erotic Boutique."
The rest of the story is contained in a graphic 50 page police document. The young man alleges Curtis offered him $1,000 for unprotected sex at a nearby hotel.
And he says, "At the conclusion of the sexual activities, Curtis fell asleep."
The police report says the man, Cody Castagna, then took Curtis’ wallet - in order to extort money from the representative - and "threatened to publicly expose Richard Curtis' gay lifestyle to his wife."
At that point, police say Curtis called on an officer to investigate, hoping the incident would go away once police nabbed a suspect for taking his wallet.
Instead the media got wind of the case and found Curtis' alleged sex partner-who went public with his attorney.
"He gave me his wallet…as collateral for what he promised me" said Castagna.
Romney met with potential supporters Wednesday night at a house party in Adel, Iowa.
ADEL, Iowa (CNN) - Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said Wednesday that if he does well in Iowa and New Hampshire "and then on in Michigan and South Carolina, the whole nation would move toward my campaign."
"Because people will say 'Gosh, I haven't looked at this guy. Let's get to know him better," Romney said.
"The test that comes from the early states will either give me the momentum I need to go on and become our nominee or give that momentum to somebody else."
Romney spoke highly of the current nominating system, saying it allowed people in early-voting states to make decisions after meeting candidates face to face. He added that he's made 462 total stops in Iowa and New Hampshire.
"I like the fact that you select the nominee not based on just what you see on TV, but instead based on meeting candidates in living rooms and in town meetings."
Incidentally, the former Massachusetts governor leads all other candidates in terms of money spent on TV commercials so far in this election cycle.
Romney–the consistent Republican front-runner in both Iowa and New Hampshire–made the comments to a group of about 75 people at a house party in Adel, Iowa. It kicks off another couple of days stumping throughout the Hawkeye State.
-CNN Iowa Producer Chris Welch
Edwards is launching his first ad in Iowa.
While Edwards' closest competitors in Iowa, Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-New York, and Barack Obama, D-Illinois, have been airing television ads in the Hawkeye State for months, the former North Carolina senator has waited until the last months of the primary campaign "for when people are making up their minds" and there are "still large a number of caucus goers that are undecided," said Jonathan Prince, Edwards' deputy campaign manager. Obama and Clinton also have a substantial cash advantage over Edwards to spend on expensive television advertising.
Edwards will hit campaign stops in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and New Orleans as part of the heroes-theme week of campaigning tied to the ad, which shows a montage of everyday American "heroes" and Edwards discussing how he plans to "stand up for working men and women," he says, if he's elected the next president.
- CNN Political Assignment Editor Katy Byron
John Edwards with son Jack.
BEDFORD, New Hampshire (CNN) - Jack and Emma Claire Edwards knew it wasn’t their average Halloween night.
Starting a quarter after five, former Sen. John Edward’s, D-North Carolina, accompanied his two children along with a dozen friends and staffers door-to-door in an affluent Granite State neighborhood. Neighbors were expecting them.
Jack, age seven, donned a spartan warrior costume while Emma Claire, age nine, sported a pink fifties bop girl dress. But, no get-up for the presidential hopeful - only a pair of blue jeans and a fleece.
Photographers quickly learned that the Edwards children were not on board with the spectacle, dodging and running from the cameras at every opportunity. At one moment, the Democratic presidential candidate told his children to “slow down,” at which time Jack responded, “We want to get away from the grown ups!”
A reporter yelled back, “What’s wrong with grown ups?”
- CNN New Hampshire Producer Sareena Dalla
WASHINGTON (CNN) - CNN's Bill Schneider takes a look at the politics behind offering driver's licenses to illegal immigrants, and reports the issue has caused a headache for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.