December 21st, 2007
09:19 AM ET
14 years ago

Obama hits Clinton on electability

Obama hit Clinton on her electablity Thursday.

(CNN) - Barack Obama took direct aim Thursday night at Hillary Clinton’s claim that she is the most electable Democrat in the presidential field, telling a New Hampshire crowd that the argument that “is being pushed, by the way, by a candidate who starts off with a 47 percent disapproval ratings.”

The remarks come days after a new Gallup survey found that Obama fared better than Clinton in head-to-head match-ups with the leading Republican candidates.

“I’m not going to mention names, but I mean the notion that a viability or an electability argument is being made by somebody who starts off with almost half the country not being able to vote for them doesn’t make sense,” the Illinois senator told a Portsmouth audience, according to a report in Foster’s Daily Democrat.

“For whatever reason I keep on defying this notion that somehow the American people are not ready for me. That just is not borne out,” he said.

Obama’s campaign has grown more aggressive in recent days, sending out press releases and mailers that directly take on senator’s chief rivals for the Democratic nomination.

Obama and Clinton were tied in the Granite State, but the New York senator has opened up a double-digit lead among primary voters there in the latest CNN poll, released this week, in large part because of major gains among older voters.

Last week, Bill Shaheen, Clinton’s New Hampshire campaign co-chairman, resigned after telling a reporter that she was more electable because Obama’s youthful drug use would be a target for Republicans in a general election contest.

- CNN Associate Political Editor Rebecca Sinderbrand

December 21st, 2007
08:15 AM ET
14 years ago

McCain scores Boston Herald endorsement

McCain won a big newspaper endorsement Thursday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Boston Herald endorsed Republican John McCain Thursday, praising the Arizona senator for his "brand of courage that is rare in the public arena these days."

The endorsement comes five days after McCain received the backing of Boston's other major newspaper, the Globe. Both papers reach a sizeable number of voters in neighboring New Hampshire.

"There are times in this nation’s history so perilous that they cry out for a steady, experienced leader, a person so trusted that we would put the fate of this country in his hands," the Herald's editorial staff wrote. "This is one of those times, and Sen. John McCain is that person."

"In an age when too many candidates are driven by polls and focus groups, fashioning and re-fashioning their ‘core’ beliefs, McCain is a man of unwavering conviction and integrity," they added. "His values, his beliefs, his goals are what they were when he first entered public life, what they were in 2000 and what they will be a decade from now."

The editorial also states the paper is breaking a "decades-old tradition" by not endorsing both a Republican and a Democratic candidate this election cycle. That decision came, wrote the editorial staff, because they agreed with Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman when he said "no one should let party lines be a barrier to choosing the person we believe is best qualified to lead our nation forward." Lieberman’s remarks came earlier this week, when he announced his own support for McCain’s candidacy.

The endorsement comes the same day an American Research Group poll out of New Hampshire shows McCain and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney tied at 26 percent among Republican voters.

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney


Filed under: John McCain • New Hampshire
December 21st, 2007
08:00 AM ET
14 years ago

Clinton warns voters not to go light on foreign policy experience

Clinton is campaigning in Iowa.

(CNN) - Democrat Hillary Clinton seemed to launch a new line attack against her leading Democratic rival Thursday, warning voters not to chose a candidate who lacks foreign policy experience because "that kind of logic got us George Bush."

"It is tempting any time things seem quieter for a minute on the international front to think that we don't need a president who is up to speed on foreign affairs and military matters," Clinton said at an Iowa campaign stop.

"That's the kind of logic that got us George Bush in the first place," she continued. "Experience in foreign affairs is critical for ending the war in Iraq, averting war in Iran, negotiating a Middle East peace and dealing with North Korea."

The line seemed to be a swipe at Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, one of Clinton's closest rivals for the Democratic nomination. Obama has served in the Senate since 2005.

Obama spokesman Bill Burton sounded the campaign's familiar mantra in response - that what Obama lacks in foreign policy experience he makes up in judgment.

“While Senator Clinton takes a break from her ‘likeability tour’ to go back on the attack, Sen. Obama, the only major candidate who opposed both the Iraq war and the rush to war in Iran, will continue to demonstrate why he has the judgment to turn the page on the Bush-Cheney foreign policy,” Burton said.

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Hillary Clinton • Iowa
December 21st, 2007
07:57 AM ET
14 years ago

Obama looks to turn attacks into campaign cash again

Obama is seeking to capitalize off recent attacks.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Barack Obama, who has used attacks from Democratic rivals to raise funds for his White House bid, is making a new pitch for campaign cash based on similar actions by third-party groups who support his opponents.

“Right now groups supporting Hillary Clinton and John Edwards are flooding Iowa and the other early states with millions of dollars in paid ads, phone calls, and mailings,” he writes in an email sent to supporters Thursday. “Some of it is negative and even deceptive, and a lot of it is paid for by huge, unregulated contributions from special interests.”

“Taking on these groups isn't just a matter of setting the record straight about me or my positions. It's about proving that a new kind of campaign - funded by ordinary people who want something better for all of us - can defeat the same tired, old political textbook that so many Americans just don't trust anymore. Make your matching donation now to make it happen,” he adds.

The campaign had a fundraising windfall when it used a similar pitch earlier this month, after Clinton's New Hampshire campaign chairman, Bill Shaheen, told a Washington Post reporter that Obama's youthful drug use might make him an easy Republican target in a general election bid.

The Obama campaign has long complained that independent groups, including 527 and union-linked groups, have poured millions into Iowa on behalf of Hillary Clinton and John Edwards leading up to that state’s first-in-the-nation caucuses.

–CNN’s Rebecca Sinderbrand


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Hillary Clinton • Iowa • John Edwards
December 21st, 2007
06:06 AM ET
14 years ago

Bush: Clinton diplomatic tour will be a 'one-man trip'

Bush laughed off President Clinton's suggestion Thursday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Bush largely avoided answering questions about the 2008 presidential election during his press conference Thursday, but he did weigh in on Bill Clinton's recent claim that he and the president's father might embark on an around-the-world goodwill trip should Hillary Clinton win the White House.

“Well 41 didn’t think it’s necessary, it sounds like it’s going to be a one-man trip," an amused President Bush said of his father, former President George H. W. Bush.

Campaigning for his wife in South Carolina Monday, Bill Clinton said one of his wife's first priorities if she is elected president would be "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."

In a statement issued to CNN Tuesday, former President Bush said he had not discussed such a trip with the Clintons and said he did not think one was necessary.

Also in his press conference Thursday, the president said he would refrain from discussing the presidential race when he was asked about former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee's recent criticism of his foreign policy.

But he said he continues to raise money for the party and is "confident we'll hold the White House, and I'm confident we can pick up seats in both the Senate and the Congress."

Related video: Bush on what qualities his successor will need

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

December 21st, 2007
06:04 AM ET
14 years ago

TICKER MORNING EDITION: December 21, 2007

Des Moines, Dubuque and... Shreveport?

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Most of the major presidential candidates, Democratic and Republican, are spending the closing days of this year-long battle for the White House in Iowa and New Hampshire.

Today, Mike Huckabee, Fred Thompson, Barack Obama, John Edwards, Chris Dodd, Bill Richardson, and Joe Biden are all in the Hawkeye State. Mitt Romney, and Hillary Clinton are in New Hampshire.

Then there's John McCain, who is stumping in Louisiana - where voters don’t weigh in until after Super Tuesday - and his home state of Arizona.

Back in a more traditional campaign mecca, the GOP candidates have successfully courted most of the big-name Palmetto State endorsers. But one of the biggest remains unspoken for.

With just a month to go until Palmetto State Republicans head to the polls – and five primary candidates pulling double-digit support in most recent surveys – “Could an eleventh hour endorsement for president by Mark Sanford, the state's Republican governor, put a GOP hopeful over the top?” Click here for the full story.

- Associate Political Editor Rebecca Sinderbrand


Filed under: AM Political Ticker
December 21st, 2007
06:04 AM ET
14 years ago

TICKER MORNING ROUND-UP: December 21, 2007

Compiled by Lindsey Pope
CNN Washington Bureau

Boston Herald: Choice Is Clear: Mccain’s The One
There are times in this nation’s history so perilous that they cry out for a steady, experienced leader, a person so trusted that we would put the fate of this country in his hands. This is one of those times, and Sen. John McCain is that person.

New Hampshire Union-Leader: New Mccain Ad A Personal Tale Of Christmas Spirit
Buoyed by a new poll showing him in a tie for first place in the New Hampshire Republican presidential race, John McCain's campaign yesterday added to the barrage of candidate Christmas television ads with a 30-second spot his spokesman says sets it apart from the others.

Washington Post: McCain Says Allegations That He Did Favors for D.C. Lobbyist Are Untrue
Sen. John McCain said Thursday that he has "never done any favors for anybody - lobbyist or special interest group," as his presidential campaign issued a statement denouncing allegations of legislative favoritism as "gutter politics."

CNN: Opponent Of Illegal Immigration Ends White House Bid
Rep. Tom Tancredo abandoned his long-shot bid for the Republican presidential nomination Thursday and endorsed Mitt Romney's candidacy, saying the Massachusetts Republican "can go the distance."

LA Times: Voters' Mood In California
Californians won't cast presidential primary ballots until Feb. 5, but in case you were wondering about the mood in the Golden State, Hillary Rodham Clinton's once prodigious lead has narrowed significantly in the Democratic race, according to a new Field Poll of likely voters.

Boston Globe: Romney Never Saw Father On King March
Mitt Romney acknowledged yesterday that he never saw his father march with Martin Luther King Jr. as he asserted in a nationally televised speech this month, and historical evidence shows that Michigan's Governor George Romney and the civil rights leader never did march together.

FULL POST


Filed under: Uncategorized
December 21st, 2007
06:03 AM ET
14 years ago

ON THE TRAIL: December 21, 2007

Compiled by Lauren Kornreich and Katy Byron, CNN Washington Bureau

* Hillary Clinton attends a "Hillary I Know" event at Orchard Store in Concord, New Hampshire. Later, she visits Popovers on the Square in Portsmouth and holds a "Working for Change, Working for You" event in Stratham.

* Mike Huckabee attends the grand opening of the Scott County Republican Party Headquarters in Davenport, Iowa. Later, he holds meet and greets in Muscatine, Coralville and Dubuque.

* Mitt Romney meets with Skillsoft Corporate Employees Skillsoft, New Hampshire. Later, he holds a town hall meeting in Rochester.

* John Edwards is a guest on Iowa Public Television in Johnston, and delivers a speech in Des Moines. Later, he holds a roundtable discussion with undecided caucus goers in Nevada, and holds a campaign event in Tama.

* John McCain meets with the media in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

* Barack Obama holds town hall meetings in Davenport and Coralville, Iowa. Later, he meets with Iowans at Washington Junior High School in Washington.

* Chris Dodd continues a tour through Iowa with stops in Cedar Rapids, Manchester and Iowa City.

* Bill Richardson holds house parties in Cedar Rapids and Ankeny, Iowa. He talks to Iowans about Iraq in Newton and Ames.

* Joe Biden speaks at Caucus Countdown events in Vinton, Anamosa, Bellevue and Clinton, Iowa.

* Fred Thompson campaigns through Iowa, with stops in Sioux City, Sioux Center, Sheldon, Spencer and Fort Dodge.

* The Senate Radio-Television Correspondents' Gallery

* The House Radio-Television Correspondents' Gallery


Filed under: On the Trail
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