December 17th, 2007
10:30 PM ET
9 years ago

The Best Political Podcast

WASHINGTON (CNN) - GOP presidential hopeful Sen. John McCain picked up another endorsement Monday. This one came from across the aisle - from a fellow senator who, like McCain, has been known to do the unconventional on occasion. Mary Snow has that report.

Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider takes a look at the latest dust-up between GOP rivals Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee. This time the two are trading barbs over U.S. foreign policy. Schneider reports on what the greater implications of the foreign policy squabble may be in the GOP presidential nomination race.

Former president Bill Clinton has stepped up his attacks of Sen. Barack Obama, one of his wife's main rivals for the Democratic nomination. Suzanne Malveaux reports on the latest round of (Bill) Clinton vs. Obama.

Plus, Candy Crowley, Jack Cafferty, and Gloria Borger discuss Mike Huckabee's latest ad and Huckabee's recent critique of the Bush administration's foreign policy.

Click here to subscribe to The Best Political Podcast

–CNN Associate Producer Martina Stewart

December 17th, 2007
10:00 PM ET
13 years ago

Obama to run second TV ad in South Carolina

Obama's campaign is touting education in a new South Carolina TV ad.

COLUMBIA, South Carolina (CNN) - Sen. Barack Obama's campaign will launch a new television ad in South Carolina on Tuesday that promotes his education plan, its second television ad buy in the state.

A version of the 30-second spot, called "Chances I Had," has already run in New Hampshire. The ad includes snippets of Obama's biography along with elements of his education message.

"My parents weren't rich," Obama says in the ad. "My father left me when I was very young. The one thing I was able to get was a great education. We should give every child the same chances that I had."

Obama says investing in teachers alone is not enough to fix education, and that "we need parents to turn off the television and instill in our children a sense of excellence."

An Associated Press poll earlier this month ranked education as the fourth most important issue to Democratic primary voters in South Carolina, behind Iraq, health care and the economy.

Obama briefly ran a television ad here in late November called "Hope and Change."

Former Sen. John Edwards has run four different TV ads in South Carolina and has seen his poll numbers climb slightly as a result. Sen. Hillary Clinton has yet to run a television ad in the state.

A CNN poll of Democratic primary voters released last week showed Clinton leading in the state with 42 percent, followed by Obama at 34 percent and Edwards in third with 16 percent.

- CNN South Carolina Producer Peter Hamby

December 17th, 2007
07:39 PM ET
13 years ago

Bill Clinton: George H.W. Bush will help President Hillary

Bill Clinton said former president George H.W. Bush will help fix damage done to America's reputation by his son, George W. Bush.

ORANGEBURG, South Carolina (CNN) – Former President Bill Clinton said Monday that the first thing his wife Hillary will do when she reaches the White House is dispatch him and his predecessor, President George H.W. Bush, on an around-the-world mission to repair the damage done to America's reputation by the current president — Bush's son, George W. Bush.

"Well, the first thing she intends to do, because you can do this without passing a bill, the first thing she intends to do is to send me and former President Bush and a number of other people around the world to tell them that America is open for business and cooperation again," Clinton said in response to a question from a supporter about what his wife's "number one priority" would be as president.

A spokesman for the George H.W. Bush was not immediately available to comment on whether the former president would chip in some diplomatic help after his son leaves office next year.

Clinton and the elder Bush, rivals in the 1992 presidential election, have grown chummy in recent years, often traveling and appearing at public events together. In 2005, they started a charity to help victims of Hurricane Katrina.

UPDATE: The Republican National Committee issued this statement in response to Clinton's comments:

"In 2009, a Republican president will be working with our friends and allies abroad to continue to keep our nation safe," said RNC spokesman Danny Diaz. "The American people expect our leaders — both current and former — to present serious solutions to the very real challenges confronting our nation."

– CNN South Carolina Producer Peter Hamby

Filed under: Uncategorized
December 17th, 2007
06:30 PM ET
13 years ago

Huckabee launches Christmas ad

Huckabee launched a Christmas ad Monday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - If there’s anything more ubiquitous than Christmas commercials this time of year, it’s political ads. A new Mike Huckabee spot falls under both categories.

“Are you about worn out of all the television commercials you’ve been seeing, mostly about politics? I don’t blame you,” says the former Baptist minister, sitting in front of an elaborately-trimmed Christmas tree as ‘Silent Night’ plays softly in the background.

“At this time of year, sometimes it’s nice to just pull aside from all that, and remember that what really matters is the celebration of the birth of Christ..... I hope you and your family will have a magnificent Christmas season. And on behalf of all of us, God bless, and Merry Christmas.”

The campaign says the spots will run in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.

- CNN’s Rebecca Sinderbrand

Filed under: Iowa • Mike Huckabee • New Hampshire • South Carolina
December 17th, 2007
06:12 PM ET
13 years ago

Romney: 'I have emotions just like anyone else'

Romney got emotional at a campaign stop Monday.

LONDONDERRY, New Hampshire (CNN) - Republican Mitt Romney got emotional at a New Hampshire campaign stop Monday, a day after the former Massachusetts governor choked up on NBC's Meet the Press.

Romney was relaying a story - one he tells often on the stump - about watching a soldier return home in a casket at Boston's Logan airport while he was governor.

"The soldiers that I was with stood at attention and saluted," Romney told the crowd. "And I put my hand on my heart, and tears begin to well in your eyes, as you can imagine in a circumstance like that. I have five boys of my own. I imagined what it would be like to lose a son in a situation like that," said the former Massachusetts governor, whose voice quivered noticeably.

"As I looked up there, every single hand was on every heart, and I recognized this is a nation that comes together and respects and reveres those who serve this great nation, and who joins in mourning when one of them is lost," Romney continued.

Romney's emotional display comes just one day after an appearance on "Meet the Press," during which the presidential hopeful was again visibly misty while discussing the 1978 decision of the Mormon Church to extend blacks full rights.

In the interview, Romney said, "I pulled over and literally wept, even to this day it's emotional. And so it's very deep and fundamental in my life and my most core beliefs that all people are children of God."

When asked about his recent emotional displays, Romney told reporters, "I'm a normal person. I have emotions just like anyone else and I'm not ashamed of that at all."

- CNN New Hampshire Producer Sareena Dalla

Filed under: Mitt Romney • New Hampshire
December 17th, 2007
06:00 PM ET
13 years ago

Romney references Bill Clinton's 1992 New Hampshire showing

LONDONDERRY, New Hampshire (CNN) - Republican Mitt Romney Monday referenced former president Bill Clinton's 1992 second-place showing in New Hampshire when asked what a loss in the Granite State would mean for his presidential bid.

Romney expressed confidence in his New Hampshire position, but left room open for a less-than-frontrunner finish by pointing to former President Bill Clinton's successful presidential campaign - even without a New Hampshire primary win.

"A defeat in New Hampshire, I'm not hoping to be able to understand fully personally," Romney told reporters.

He then asked out loud, "Did Bill Clinton win New Hampshire?

Sen. Judd Gregg, R-New Hampshire, who stood by Romney's side answered, "No, he came in second."

Romney continued, "He came in second here, so the political wins and the implication of them is something I'll leave to others."

Romney holds a comfortable lead in New Hampshire according to several recent polls. But he has lost his once significant lead in Iowa to Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.

- CNN New Hampshire Producer Sareena Dalla

Filed under: Mitt Romney • New Hampshire
December 17th, 2007
04:40 PM ET
13 years ago

Paul 'pleasantly surprised' at record fundraising haul

DES MOINES, Iowa (CNN) - GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul said Monday that his campaign has raised a sum of money so vast he isn't even sure how to spend it yet - but his advisers have already gotten to work on the top items on their wish list.

A spokesman for the Texas congressman's campaign told CNN's Rebecca Sinderbrand that they are in the process of adding staff in Florida and in several of the states that head to the polls February 5. He also said they were buying airtime in the early-voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada.

At a Monday press conference touting the fact his campaign raised more than $6 million the day before, Paul said that even his most optimistic supporters were "pleasantly surprised" by the massive haul.

"Towards the end it was difficult to keep up with all the accounting," Paul said.

He also drew a distinction between himself and other candidates in the GOP field by adding that his funds did not come from "powerful special interests."

"In our case it came from individuals who were concerned about what was happening," Paul added, "and I have offered an alternative both economically speaking, monetarily, as well as in foreign policy."

"I believe this is the reason they have come and joined the campaign."

Paul spoke to a room where members of the press outnumbered the few supporters gathered, but that didn't stop him for criticizing the media for focusing on candidates with money.

"Its disappointing to me personally," Paul said, "because it looks to me like money talks, and I like to say ideas talk…[and that it's] my position on foreign policy and the monetary system that should have gotten the attention of the media."

Related video: Paul touts fundraising

–CNN's Chris Welch and Rebecca Sinderbrand

Filed under: Iowa • Ron Paul
December 17th, 2007
04:30 PM ET
13 years ago

Obama jabs Edwards on Senate record

Obama stepped up his criticism of Edwards Monday.

SPENCER, Iowa (CNN) - Barack Obama again took aim at Democratic presidential rival John Edwards Monday, telling an Iowa audience that comparing his record with the former North Carolina senator’s “will give you a sense of whether or not folks are real about fighting for” working men and women after winning the White House.

Edwards has made “fighting lobbyists and special interests” a central theme of his campaign, and the two men have spent the past few days in a verbal back-and-forth over the issue.

On Monday, the Illinois senator said he had played a major role in changing federal regulations on congressional gifts, telling the crowd that when he arrived in Washington, there was “a mindset that said there’s nothing wrong with lobbyists scratching the backs of congressmen.”

“The reason now that I raise the issue of special interests is because everybody now in the campaign talks about how I am going to fight for you,” said Obama at a campaign stop in Spencer. “Like Sen. Edwards - who is a good guy – he’s been talking a lot about ‘I am going to fight the lobbyists and the special interests in Washington.’”


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Iowa • John Edwards
December 17th, 2007
04:00 PM ET
13 years ago

Obama, Clinton launch dueling ads in Iowa

Clinton won the Des Moines Register's endorsement, but Obama is touting the positive media coverage he's received.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton won the Des Moines Register's coveted endorsement over the weekend, but rival Barack Obama is making sure Iowa voters know a slew of media outlets have also praised his candidacy.

In a new 30-second TV spot that seems designed to counter Clinton's big endorsement, an announcer reads several glowing descriptions of the Illinois senator delivered by journalists the last year - including two quotes from the Register itself.

Meanwhile, the New York senator’s campaign also launched a new ad Monday that touts the Des Moines Register's endorsement. The ad's announcer reads quotes from the Sunday editorial backing the senator, and ends with the words: "Hillary Rodham Clinton can do great things for our country."

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Hillary Clinton • Iowa
December 17th, 2007
04:00 PM ET
13 years ago

Dodd out of Iowa for Senate filibuster

Dodd left Iowa for Capitol Hill Monday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - With just weeks until the pivotal Iowa caucuses, presidential candidate and Democratic Sen. Chris Dodd has abandoned the Hawkeye State to lead a filibuster against a controversial measure that would give special legal protections to the telecom industry.

“Given the choice of having to cancel a bunch of meetings in Iowa or being at [the Capitol], obviously politically with 14 or 15 days to go you don’t have to have a Ph.D. in political science to know where you’d rather be,” he told reporters Monday.

Dodd, who is registering in the low single digits in Iowa, received a major fundraising boost two months ago when he first announced his intention to filibuster the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

The Connecticut Democrat has criticized the proposed renewal of government spying powers, insisting it gives too much power to secret agencies and lets large telecommunications firms off the hook for handing over reams of private data on American phone calls and e-mails.

Under the measure being considered this week, telecom firms would be given legal immunity from invasion of privacy lawsuits that result from the release of this information to government officials.

“Why not your medical records the next time? Why not your financial records the next time?” Dodd asked in a fiery Capitol news conference. “When do you put your foot down? When do you say enough is enough?”

For now, Dodd is in the minority on the issue. The bill he opposes easily cleared a procedural hurdle on Monday.


Filed under: Chris Dodd • Iowa
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