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Ballot Bowl '08: New Hampshire Primary
Aired January 5, 2008 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JOHN KING, CNN NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Welcome back to the CNN "Ballot Bowl." You see there, the spectacular Bedford Village Inn Bedford, New Hampshire. We appreciate their hospitality, today as we share with the candidates for president in their own words. The New Hampshire primary, three days from now, a critical leadoff primary, especially fresh from the Iowa caucuses where both the Democratic and the Republican race tossed into volatility by the victories of Obama on the Democratic side, Huckabee on the Republican side.
Our partner here, in New Hampshire, affiliate WMUR has been doing a remarkable job sitting down with the candidates so that they can meet New Hampshire voters and take their questions and speak to them on any subject. We want to share with you now what the call "Candidate Cafe" with candidate, Rudy Giuliani.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUDY GIULIANI (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: How are you? How are you doing? Good morning.
What would you like to know?
QUESTION: How about those Red Sox?
GIULIANI: Congratulations. Congratulations.
As an American League fan, I'm happy for the Red Sox, I always like to see the American league do well, it tells me the Yankees are better that way. Joe Torre is a close, personal friend. So it's -- the Joe Torre part is a personal part. I'm going to miss him. He was the Yankee manager in '96. That was the first Yankee championship since '78. I was the mayor then. The Yankee championship was kind of symbolic of the comeback in New York City, sometimes I kid around and say I'm going to put Joe Torre on my ticket as vice president.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, you'd win.
GIULIANI: But he comes from Brooklyn, too. I was very unusual. I was a Yankee fan in Brooklyn. Not by choice, by my father's design. My father came from Manhattan, my mother came from Brooklyn. My father was required to live in Brooklyn because of my mother's family. She wanted him to live with her family, so he always resented it, and he secretly made me a Yankee fan. Babe Ruth and Joe DiMaggio, and by the time I was able to go out and play with the other kids, I was in a Yankee uniforms and they were throwing me in the mud. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We need to change the subject, so I would like to know what your favorite reading material is, what you like to read and, or enjoy reading?
GIULIANI: I guess I have always liked reading history the most and biographies and that comes from my mom. My mom was a frustrated teacher, meaning she wanted to be a teacher all her life, she got interrupted by the depression. She was -- my mother was very, very smart and very well read. I always thought I was her only real student and she loved teaching and she was very good at it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What made you decide to go into law? And once you got there, what made you decide you wanted to be a mayor?
GIULIANI: I graduated high school and was going to go to the seminary. I was going to join the Mannford Fathers Seminary and then I changed my mind about half -- about a third of the way through that summer and I decided I wanted to go to college and go into premed. I took some kind of aptitude test, where you press these little things and I sat with my advisor, and he said, you have real aptitude for reasoning, logic and reasoning, and maybe you should think about law. I started thinking, I know so much about what's wrong with New York City, maybe I should be the mayor, maybe I should run for mayor. I never tried to be in the hands of one person giving me the view of the organization. I used to require my commissioners to come to city hall with their deputies, never alone. This idea that you want people around you to just tell you what you want to hear, well, you have to be stupid to want that.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What do you feel is your greatest accomplishment?
GIULIANI: I think probably the thing I'm the proudest of is changing around the spirit of New York City. Not the specific things that we got right, even the specific things that we got wrong, because you make mistakes. I think ultimately what a leader -- political leader has to do is to get people to believe in themselves, and I even think that that was the most important thing we did to help the city get ready for what we didn't know what's going to happen, which was September 11.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: One of the interviews you conducted, somebody asked you, well, what are you doing for yourself? How do you keep yourself going in the midst of this tragedy? And I remember that you talked about certainly faith and family, but you also said you went back and reread some of the history and some of the other leaders that had saved crises.
GIULIANI: While I was on the street still dealing with it, I kept thinking, I'm going to have to explain this to my people. I'm going to have to explain it to them. I'm going to have to give them the framework to deal with this because they are going to be - they're going to be lost, just like I am to some extent. And, so my mind immediately got to, who has gone through something like this before? And my first thought was nobody. What was it about Churchill, what did he say, what did he do and how did he act? And the conclusion I came to reading those pages, which I can summarize quickly, I mean, there are a lot of things is, he became defiant.
And I thought, well, I'm going to have to find a way to do that for the people of New York. And that's why I kept appealing to them to keep moving forward. There were only two places that I relaxed, from September 11 until the day I left office, which was four months later. And one was, watching baseball. The Yankees were in the World Series that year with the Arizona Diamondbacks and the other was watching my son's freshman football games. He played freshman football then. I'd be standing there and like a surreal experience, I'd be standing there at St. Joseph's High School watching my son play football and all of the kids just trying to tackle each other and it would say to me, life is going -- it's not normal right now, life is not normal right now for so many people and for me. But it's going to get back to normal. Maybe it's a great microcosm of how life ultimately should be. You know, we play by rules and the best person wins and, you know, that. So I guess -- and then also it's just plain fun.
KING: Rudy Giuliani there in his own words as part of the wonderful "Candidate Cafe" series presented by our affiliate and partner, here in New Hampshire, WMUR-TV. You're watching continuing coverage of the CNN "Ballot Bowl." The candidates, Democrat and Republican for president in their own words, unfiltered throughout the day. A quick up date before we get back to the candidates.
There is a lot of action here in New Hampshire, but action today in the presidential race out in Wyoming, as well. New Hampshire votes Tuesday, Wyoming is voting today. Republican caucuses in the state of Wyoming, 12 delegates at stake, about 58 percent of the state in so far. You see 12 delegates at stale, six for the former Massachusetts governor, Mitt Romney, one for California congressman Duncan Hunter. Six for Romney, one for Hunter as the counting continues out of the state of Wyoming, a small state, a modest amount of delegates there, but in such a competitive race, every delegate counts, so we will continue to track the results in Wyoming.
We also, later today, will have the first CNN/WMUR University of New Hampshire presidential tracking poll, here in New Hampshire. The first glips glimpse how the results out in Iowa affected the race here in New Hampshire.
Out in Iowa, the big surprises were Obama and Huckabee, but they are not the only surprises in this remarkable presidential election. A candidate written off as perhaps dead politically, just a few months ago, is the Arizona Republican senator John McCain. Our latest poll, and again, we're awaiting our new poll today, shows him in a dead heat here in the state of New Hampshire with Romney. This is a state, of course, with the maverick McCain burst onto the scene back in 2000, when he unsuccessfully sought the Republican presidential nomination. Back now to Dana Bash, who is helping to track the Republican candidates here in the state of New Hampshire.
And Dana, quite a bit at stake for Senator McCain. BASH: Absolutely, everything at state for Senator McCain, at stake for Senator McCain, rather, in this state of New Hampshire, as you said, because this is his territory, this is his political home. This is where he did extraordinarily well, surprisingly well, of course, back in 2000, beating George W. Bush and this is where he has been basically camping out since, you know, for the past several months.
You know, it's really interesting, John, I remember talking to Senator McCain, I covered Congress, back in Washington, at his, probably his lowest point, back in the spring when he had run out of money or the majority of his staff quit and he said, you know, I'm just going to go back up to New Hampshire and I'm going to keep talking about what I have done, here in Washington, here in the Senate. The fact that I reached across the aisle, that I have proven that I can show bipartisanship. And that is exactly what he's doing. And if you look at the crowds and you look at the polls, it seems to be working for him.
He has Senator Joe Lieberman, former Democrat, now Independent, with him, he endorsed Senator McCain that is being used to illustrate the fact he can reach across the aisle. And he's also trying to say that he can change. Mitt Romney is using the word "change" pretty much every other -- every word that he uses is "change," but John McCain is sort of responding to that by saying: I can be an agent for change, and I will do that with my experience in Washington.
Unclear whether or not he's going to be able to sell that at the age of 71, that he an agent of change, but certainly he's trying. And if you look at what happened earlier today in Petersboro, New Hampshire, he had an oversized crowd. Our producer, Tasha Diakias (ph) was there, said that it was so crowded about 800 people, the fire marshal essentially had to close the doors. And we'll give you a little bit of a taste of what he said to the voters there, earlier today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN JOHN MCCAIN (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm running for president of United States for two reasons, and the first reason is that I want to restore trust and confidence in our government. The American people have lost that trust and confidence. You can look at any poll, you can look at any -- talk to any American and it's because we've done a number of things wrong, but the biggest thing I think are Republican base as well as most American are unhappy about is the spending and corruption in Washington.
I don't use the word corruption lightly. We have former members of congress residing in federal prison, and we have a system that earmarking and pork barrel spending that is -- that has been in disgrace and outrage and betrayal of our Republican principles of being careful stewards of your tax dollars. My friends...
My friends, we spent $3 million a couple of years ago to study the DNA of bears in Montana. I don't know if that was a paternity issue or a criminal issue, but it was your money, it was your money. And we came too power, we Republicans in 1994 to change government and government changed us and we let it get completely out of control.
In fact, we presided over the largest increase in the size of government since the great society. You know, I use a lot of lines of Ronald Reagan's and one of them that he used to say is, he used to say: congress spends money like a drunken sailor, only he never knew a sailor drunk or sober with the imagination of Congress. And that's kind of a cute line and, you know, I use it a lot and I'm not making this up when I tell you about six months ago I received an e-mail from a guy that said: as a former drunken sailor, I resent being compared to members of Congress. I can't blame the guy. I can't blame him. I cannot blame him.
So, my friends, what has happened? The tipping point was -- and there's tipping points in everything, as we know. The tipping point was the $233 million of your tax dollars we decided to spend on a bridge in Alaska to an island with 50 people on it. That's when our base became dispirited. My friends, I want to assure you of two things. One, I have never asked for nor received in 24 years in Congress for a single earmark or pork barrel project for my state of Arizona, I never will and I'm proud of it and my state is doing fine because I have never done that.
And I want to assure you of something else. I've got an old pen that Ronald Reagan gave me years ago. This isn't it. And I use that -- I will carry that pen with me wherever I go. And I will veto every single pork barrel bill that comes across my desk, I will make them famous, you will know their names, we will stop it. We will stop it. We will stop it.
Because, my friends, we got to do the hard things. We got to stop wasteful spending because we've got to fix Social Security and we've got to fix Medicare and we've got to make sure that the next generation of young Americans receive Social Security benefits and Medicare, which they will not today under the present system. Well, I want to do the hard things and we will do the hard things. Not the easy things.
And so, my friends, I just want to tell you that I will fix that. And now I need to just mention to you, first, the war in Iraq, and finally, the war in Iraq. I am running for president, the other reason is because I believe we face the transcendent challenge of this century, which is the struggle against radical Islamic extremism. My friends, that struggle -- that struggle takes many forms, that struggle is in military, diplomatic intelligence, and cyberspace. I'm sure you may have seen just in the last couple of weeks Osama bin Laden was able to get out two messages. One of them was to try to motivate the Sunni to turn against the Americans in Anbar Province in Iraq. He is able from some obscure place in the world to get out a message of hate and destruction and he's able to orchestrate, motivate and recruit. And my friends, by the way, I will get Osama bin Laden as president of the United States, I'll follow him to the gates of hell and I will bring him to justice. I want to assure you that as president of the United States.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BASH: And there you heard John McCain clearly trying to tout his national security experience, his experience on the foreign stage. But, also a large part of what we just heard was him appealing to New Hampshire Republicans who absolutely cannot stand the fact that the federal deficit has grown, that federal spending has grown. Under Republican control, mostly in Washington, John McCain making the point very clearly he gets them, that he is one of them when it comes to that particular sense of the fact that spending should be cut down and that is why he's hitting that extremely hard here. And that is one of the many reasons why John McCain through just staying here, going -- doing what you just saw, taking tough questions from the voters of New Hampshire, has risen in the polls, risen from basically the point where everybody thought he was politically over. And that, what you just heard, is a big reason why -- John.
KING: Dana Bash on the streets of Manchester. More from Dana later in the program.
I spoke with Senator McCain yesterday, by the way, and he says voters looking for change, look what he did on Iraq policy. He said he forced a change in Iraq policy that he makes the case is now saving American lives. Fascinating to watch the senator make his case, here in New Hampshire. The person perhaps with the most at stake, especially after Iowa here in the state of New Hampshire, the one-time presumptive Democratic nominee, Senator Hillary Clinton. Suzanne Malveaux tracking the Clinton campaign and with us on the other side of the break. Please stay with us. You're watching the CNN "Ballot Bow," the candidates for president in their own words, just three days away from the leadoff presidential primary here in the state of New Hampshire.
KING: Welcome back to the CNN "Ballot Bowl," I'm John King in Bedford, New Hampshire. Just before the break, we were talking about one of the candidates in an upbeat mood, here in the state of New Hampshire, Republican John McCain. Well, if there is a candidate that has perhaps the most at stake in the New Hampshire primary, it is the candidate who just weeks and months ago was considered by far away the Democratic frontrunner, Senator Hillary Clinton of New York. Our Suzanne Malveaux, tracking the Democratic campaign.
And Suzanne, Senator Clinton has to know this is a state that is critical to her future chances.
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely, John. And I spoke with Clinton aides, if there was anything, lessons learned from Iowa, they said they made the mistake of underestimating the youth vote and that is why we have today, she added, at the last minute a round table with young, undecided voters who she'll be addressing. Aides say that they will be aboard her bus at some point today. And also on FaceBook, they've added this "Ask Hillary" segment, so they can ask questions to the candidate base. Say, they are redoubling their efforts in this state to reach out to those young voters, the ones that Senator Barack Obama captured.
Now, the one thing that they said was not a mistake was the emphasis on her experience. They believe if they can put her in front of these crowds and make the case that she can talk about any issue at any time, that they have won the voters over. I saw earlier today, at an event I attended, they had people -- hundreds of people who could not get into this packed room. The fire marshals were concerned about having enough chairs. Senator Clinton took over, told Chelsea, her daughter, make room. You had people sitting on the floors. They managed to get all of those people inside and they did something unprecedented, John. For two hours she answered all of their questions, any questions they had and there were two things the aides say she wanted to do, essentially answer the question, who can lead day one? And also who can win? And so she started off talking about her Iraq policy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The next president is going to face a lot of problems on that first day, January 20, 2009. We have a war to end in Iraq, we've got a war to resolve in Afghanistan, we've got 47 million uninsured Americans, we have an economy that is faltering and I don't know what the economists are going to say, but I think it's slipping into a recession and we've got to take action, now.
We've got an energy crisis with $100 a barrel oil, that is contributing to the economic challenges we face, and then we've got to be absolutely committed to repairing the damage that has been done by the Bush administration around the world and here at home. So, there's a lot to be done, and I have proposed comprehensive plans to deal with healthcare for everyone, an energy agenda that will be energy efficient, create clean, renewable energy, get us off of other dependence on foreign oil. We cannot continue with that kind of backwards economic approach. And there's so much more to be done. And I've laid out all of these plans in the campaign.
I think you need to realize that withdrawing troops is dangerous. You don't just wake up one morning and say, OK, load everybody up, take them out. You have to guard the exit routes, which means you need troops protecting the convoys. You have to take out the equipment, you can't leave that. We don't want that to fall into the wrong hands. I also believe you've to plan for what you will do with our civilians. We have over 100,000 American citizens who are not in the military, they work for the embassy, they work for businesses, they work for nonprofit agencies that are there. And I have injected into this debate about withdrawal something I feel very strongly about. We have to figure out what we are going to do with the Iraqis who helped us.
A lot of Iraqis put their lives on the line...
...to serve as translators and drivers. You know, I went to Fallujah in 2005, shortly after the marines had taken it back in a very bloody house-to-house battle. And I know a young Marine captain who told me that he doesn't believe he and his men would have survived in Fallujah had it not been for their Iraqi translator. And then he said, you know, now everybody knows he was a Marine translator and he and his family are targeted. So, we need to identify people like that. I think I can begin withdrawing our troops within 60 days. I see no reason that I can't, and I believe that based on my assessment of the military situation, I was the first person to say, earlier this year, that we can take safely out one to two brigades a month.
And at the same time, though, we've got to send a very clear message to the Iraqi government that the blank check they've been given by the Bush administration is no longer valid. That they have to be begin finally to take those decisions that have been waiting, which are only theirs to make and we have to immediately embark on intensive diplomatic negotiations with the countries in the region to figure out how we can try to stabilize Iraq as we withdraw.
Now, people ask me all the time, you know, well, what happens if the situation really deteriorates? And I think that's a fair question. But, I don't believe, based on a lot of careful study of this, I don't believe that in the absence of Iraqi government action, it matters whether we stay a week, a month, a year or 10 years. In fact, I believe that our beginning to withdraw will focus the attention of the Iraqis unlike anything else we can say or do. And it is only then that they will begin to do what they must do to figure out how to deal with the militias and the allocation of oil. So, I will begin within 60 days and we will have our troops out as quickly as we possibly can.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MALVEAUX: And, John, she also talked about the idea of withdrawing one to two brigades each month. So, starting the first 60 days, that troop withdrawal would begin and then would continue. But, what she's trying to do is essentially say that she will sit down and take this in a measured tone, but that she, as the other candidates would like, essentially to get out of Iraq as quickly as possible. But, that she has the experience and she has the policy in mind that she will sit down with the commanders on the ground and try to find out what is the most prudent way of doing this.
Now, covering the Clintons, as you and I both know, generally speaking, if they feel they're up against a formidable foe, it's punch-counterpunch. Well, it's a very difficult and delicate balancing act for Senator Clinton, up against Senator Barack Obama. Aides say that they are not going to go negative here, but obviously in trying to make this point here, that experience really matters and that she has the experience to bring about change, she decided not to necessarily go after Senator Obama on this specifically, but rather she used an example with President Bush to make the point. Let's take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON: It's hard to remember how in 2000 he said he would be a uniter, not a divider, he was going to bring America together, he was going to end partisanship, he was going to have people working together, that he didn't need a lot of experience because he had good interruption and he understood people and he'd be able to meet with these rogue leaders, look into their eyes and their soul and solve our problems. Remember that?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MALVEAUX: So, John, she really is implying here that look, you had somebody who didn't have that kind of foreign policy experience that was necessary, look what ended up happening in that situation, perhaps inferring that something similar to that would happen if you didn't have somebody with an experienced hand in that position.
Now, finally, the other point that she made here is that she is trying to set up the scenario where she says, look, day one it's going to be a serious situation, perhaps a crisis, that this is a dangerous world.
Now, we know that the campaign talks about the Bush administration using fear as a tactic, but there certainly is a sense she is using this kind of warninging of the potential dangers in the world to make the case that she's the one, as opposed to her opponents, who is ready to go in from day one. Let's take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON: And look what happened in Great Britain. Tony Blair leaves, Gordon Brown comes in, the very next day, there are terrorist attacks. Thankfully, they were unsuccessful, from London to Scotland. So, you've got to be prepared on day one with everything ready to go. And I'm afraid we are going to have a lot of work to do to get us in a good shape when it comes to emergency preparedness.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MALVEAUX: John, tonight you know, there's a debate among the Democrats and aides can see this is going to be a very big and important debate for Senator Clinton, that she's going to have to come out fighting on these specific points, that she going to have to make her case because obviously everybody is talking about change, here. They have won these young voters to Senator Barack Obama. He improved when it came to women, as well. So, she is really going to have to make the case she can bring about that change, but she's also going to have to use this experience argument. She's been doing that so far. We see how it worked in Iowa. We're going to have to see how it works in New Hampshire - John.
KING: Suzanne Malveaux. And it is fascinating to watch Senator Clinton having to try to save her campaign in the very state her husband self designated himself the "Come Back Kid," back in 1992, 16 years ago, Bill Clinton saving his campaign for president after the character crisis, you might call it, here in the state of New Hampshire. Bill Clinton worth noting placed second in the 1992 New Hampshire primary to revive his campaign, many believe Senator Clinton, this time, cannot afford anything but first. The CNN "Ballot Bowl" continues on the other side of the break. I'll take a bit of a break, but back with you later today. But when we return, discussion of a candidate who is not making much of a push here, in New Hampshire. He will be part of some weekend debate, but instead he is looking after a third place finish in Iowa, to somehow revive his Republican campaign elsewhere. Out her in New Hampshire, he is the former Tennessee senator, Fred Thompson. Stay with us, more of CNN's "Ballot Bowl," the candidates, unvarnished and in their own word, just ahead.
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hello, I'm Suzanne Malveaux, John will rejoin me in just a little while. Welcome back to BALLOT BOWL 08. To our up most personal look at the presidential race as it touches down here in New Hampshire. The first in the nation's primary on Tuesday, this year a mere five days after the Iowa Caucasus. Now in just a few minute from now we will hear from Democratic candidate Bill Richardson, who finished fourth in Iowa and remains in the race for the White House.
First let's ask that question, where is Fred? As in the former Tennessee senator and some might say part-time presidential candidate, Fred Thompson. Fresh from his uninspiring fourth place finish in Iowa, he has no scheduled appearances today. So let's ask, what is going on with Fred? Let's ask our own CNN's congressional correspondent, Dana Bash. Dana.
DANA BASH, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Suzanne, Fred Thompson is here in New Hampshire. He's going to participate in a debate tonight. There's another debate tomorrow night. So he is going to sort of be a part of the mix. But you're right; he has absolutely no public schedule here in New Hampshire. He's not campaigning here and never, at least over the past month or two, it was pretty clear he was not a contender here. He shot himself in the foot, if you will, by announcing his presidential campaign on the very night of a very important debate here. But he didn't do it here. He did it in California. He did it on the Jay Leno Show. That and several other reasons made it pretty hard for him to compete here in New Hampshire.
What we are told instead of doing that is they have sent pretty much all of the resources they have left, all of the staff and the supporters, they have all gone down to South Carolina. Fred Thompson is, of course, a former senator from Tennessee. They are hoping that his southern roots, his southern sensibility, will allow him to do OK there. An advisor to Fred Thompson, they are calling it going Custor. They are referring to, of course, Custor's last stand back in the Civil War, and the battle of little big horn.
But the problem if you remember, Suzanne, Custor didn't make it past that land stand. He died in that battle. It's an interesting analogy for Fred Thompson's campaign. That's what they are calling their strategy. They are going to South Carolina and hoping to pull off some frankly a miracle there and that's why you are not seeing him campaign here in New Hampshire. You will see him at tonight's debate.
MALVEAUX: And we have time from a quick question. What do you think is the big issue in his campaign that they are trying to push for and promoters to get a sense of who he is as a candidate?
BASH: Experience, experience, experience, experience. I was with him in Iowa. He did a 50-city bus tour there. I was with him at the beginning of it. He was there through the Iowa caucuses and you heard him essentially say, if you have a president sitting across the table from your enemy, you want me there. He sort of delivering lines, the actor delivering lines, and he thinks people want to hear, want to see from a president. That has been the thing he's tried to get across and he is somebody you can trust in the driver's seat. You can have somebody who can trust with basically your finger on the button.
But the problem that he faced and that was evident in what happened in Iowa, is that he just didn't really inspire voters that he really believed that he wanted to be president. And that was a big problem for Fred Thompson, and it's been a big problem since his late entry into this race in the fall and it certainly continues to be. We will see what happens in South Carolina.
We will have much, much more of the BALLOT BOWL continuing in a moment. Stay with us.
KING: Welcome back to the CNN BALLOT BOWL. I'm John King coming to you live from Bedford, New Hampshire. Three days of campaigning before the crucial New Hampshire presidency primary, the first primary in the presidential process coming just five days after the leadoff caucuses out of the state of Iowa. Those caucuses rejiggered both the Democratic and Republican races for president. Barack Obama winning on the Democratic side. Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee winning on the Republican side.
The candidates not only out-campaigning here in the state of New Hampshire today. There you see them, Edwards, Clinton, Romney, Obama, McCain, and Huckabee. Others out campaigning for the nominations at a very busy and crucial weekend in the state of New Hampshire out campaigning.
Also inside debating tonight. Jessica Yellin, part of the best political team on television, joins us from the side of one of tonight's debates. Jessica, if you had to say there's one candidate who has the most -- the most at stake, it would be?
JESSICA YELLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It would be Hillary Clinton. You know it, John. Tonight she has to do something to make herself stand out, to define herself and give her a victory here in New Hampshire. Just over three days from today. You know, they expected to have a tough race in Iowa. There was no expectation that Obama would come out so far ahead of her in Iowa. The fact he had -- his campaign is calling it a dominating win. Her campaign would call it disappointing but not fatal.
They don't have that long to make her come ahead, to make her pull ahead here in New Hampshire. And with this compressed schedule, there's a new urgency for her to do something that will give her the edge that Obama currently has. So all eyes are going to be on her tonight to see what she says, what she does, what her tone will be, to help differentiate her and the trick for Hillary Clinton tonight will be to do that, to say she's the candidate with more experience, she's the candidate who, for example, on health care has, in her view, a more comprehensive plan, a more Democratic plan, without sounding negative.
And the challenge will be how negative does she go? How can she go negative? Barack Obama's people insisting they expect her to go very negative will hit back. That's a lot of spin. Today so far she's not gone negative on Obama on the trail but who knows what happens tonight. John.
KING: Spin in politics, Jessica, I can't believe it. After the Iowa caucuses, we saw two of the Democrats depart the stage. Senator Christopher Dodd of Connecticut, Senator Joe Biden of Delaware, both stepping aside and bowing out of the race after they were unable to break through. Other long shot candidates in the race, among them Governor Bill Richardson. What are the stakes for Governor Richardson as the campaign goes forward?
YELLIN: Richardson right now is still campaigning hard. His big issue is the Iraq war. All along he maintained he's the one who has the most experience and most sort of clearest thinking on Iraq with the real plan and that's the thing he's been hammering home here in New Hampshire. And expect to hear from him on the debate tonight. His campaign staff, some of them was laid off after Iowa, a sign of paring down, saving resources. But his campaign folks are saying he's ready for the long fight.
He thinks the lack of so many with Biden and Dodd out of the race that gives Richardson more oxygen to be heard. And so we will certainly hear from him significantly tonight. He's quite the talker, as you know. But we can probably take a listen to some of what he's been saying on the campaign trail. This is Richardson talking about the Iraq war.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. BILL RICHARDSON, (D): I want to just say how privileged it is to run for president. Because all around the country people want to be inspired. They want us to come together as a nation. The partisanship and dysfunctional relationship that exists between the president and Congress, American people want good government. They want unity. They want us to resolve the huge problems of the middle class today that are straining over wages that are not keeping up with inflation, foreclosures that have claimed over 2 million homes, pensions that are not protected, college loans that burn young people for years and years, preventing them from buying a home or starting a business. And then jobs that go overseas with the trade policy in this country today that has a wonder our trade deficit goes to pay off $96 per barrel oil. And so you see this anxiety, but at the same time you see a lot of people wanting change. But they want to have that change to get it done. What our campaign is is change and experience. You can't change this country without experience. You got to know how to do it. You got to know how to go.
UNIDENTIFED FEMALE: Yes.
RICHARDSON: You got to know how to bring people together.
UNIDENTIFED FEMALE: Yes.
RICHARDSON: You got to be bipartisan. You have to have solutions. Solution that's work. And all my life, all my life as a hostage negotiator, as something who brought cease-fires in countries together and talked to the world's worst people. I like to say my speech to President Clinton, and here's what he said to me, bad people like presidents. And so that is the emphasis of an American that wants us to be respected internationally.
We are going to do it with diplomacy, not with war. We are going to do it by becoming, again, a community of nations. And I'm an elected president; I will follow the constitution of the United States. When I'm elected president, we will also bring back Habeas Corpus to our legal system. If I'm elected president, we will not eavesdrop on our own citizens. When I'm elected president, we will not use torture.
When I'm elected president, we will follow the Geneva Convention society. When I'm elected president, we will sign the global treaty. When I'm elected president, we will have a government that will reflect the will of the people. And I want to just conclude with what this campaign is all about, and what we are going to be raising all over the country. And that is the fundamental issue affecting America today is ending the war and bringing our entire troop's home!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
YELLIN: Well, john, he got to Iraq there towards the end. Quite an enthusiastic crowd for him. I have to say, on the campaign trail, even when you go to Obama events and Clinton events, there are quite a number of people who say they are considering Richardson because they really do like his position on the Iraq war. The big challenge for Richardson is economic issues have overcome Iraq in many quarters of this country in the Democratic field as a top issue. Iraq not as dominating a concern for many democratic voters as it once was. Richardson has found his way to supporters and keeps chucking along in New Hampshire. No doubt he will hit on his Iraq theme. John.
KING: Jessica Yellin, an excellent point. He started talking about exclusively about Iraq on the Democratic side but more and more the economy, health care and domestic issues taking precedence in an ever-changing and ever-volatile campaign. The CNN BALLOT BOWL will continue. Today the candidates in their own words, the Democrats and the Republicans. When we return here, more from the big winner. And now the man at the front of the Democratic pack, junior senator from Illinois, the man who hopes to become the United States first African- American president. We will hear from Barack Obama and others when the CNN BALLOT BOWL continues in just a minute.
MALVEAUX: Coming up at the top of the hour, Rudy Giuliani and Hillary Clinton are trying to make their respected cases to New Hampshire voters. What are they saying? We will get with them just minutes from now.
But first every four years the presidential candidates trudge through the New Hampshire snow to honor a tradition. Eating and chatting with voters at the Merimax (ph) Cafe in New Hampshire. Barack Obama stopped by after an invitation from our affiliate WMUR.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA: Hi, guys, this is one of the most fun events on my schedule. What schedule, what I was told, we don't have a firm, set agenda.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's right.
OBAMA: We can just talk about anything you want except the Red Sox because I'm a White Sox fan. I congratulate them. That's all I want to say about it.
I'm married to Michelle, who is spectacular.
I thought, I like this. So I asked her out, and she said, I can't. I'm your advisor. I said, this isn't serious, you're not -- you know, evaluating me or supervising me. We can go out. She said no, no, that won't be appropriate. So they started setting me up with some of her friends. Which none of them were interesting at all to me? But I wore her down. I had two daughters, Malie and Sasha, who are 9 and 6 years old. They are above average. Exactly, Exactly.
Which is, by the way, the hardest thing about running for president. The saddest thing, I used to worry about them. Now I realize I'm the one in pain all the time. They are like, daddy; we're having a great time here. You're in the hotel room. Eating your cold take-out food so they are having a ball.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Describe your daughters to us.
OBAMA: Malea, the older one, is -- she's like an old soul. She's one of these kids who from a very early age was just real wise. The older one's temperament is much more like me. Where as the younger one is more like Michelle. I mean, she's much more stubborn, much more, you know, Michelle will acknowledge this. Shorter fuse. And so my mother-in-law will say that our younger one is just like Michelle was.
I think when you grow up without a dad in the house, sometimes you -- you project sort of, OK, what kind of man should I be? I was lucky enough, my mom, even though they divorced, always told me how smart he was and how he had gone back to Kenya and was involved in government. So I got this image in my head. It turned out later; the image wasn't really accurate, that he was a troubled man.
So part of it was living up to the image that wasn't there to dispel the image. My mom thought I was the greatest man in the world and that can make up for other stuff. If you have one person who thinks you're just the bomb.
UNIDENTIFED FEMALE: In high school, were you like Lois Clever or more like Eddie Haskell?
OBAMA: I was definitely the bad kid. I was always confident but I was a goof, all the way up through high school.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How do you stay normal and humble? You have to use little tricks to do it. I know you do.
OBAMA: I am reminded every day of my imperfections. And I think that -- I tend to learn more -- I am one of these people who tend to listen more to -- to criticism than I am somebody who laps up the adulation. I am always saying how I could have done this better or that didn't make sense and why did I say that? That was kind of a boneheaded thing to say.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And I'm an Oprah fan. You watch Oprah every day, obviously?
OBAMA: Taught me a couple of things.
UNIDENTIFED FEMALE: Are you going to utilize Oprah in the campaign in some way? Is she going to do what she's done for let's say literacy and books and getting people interested? She definitely has that forum.
OBAMA: I'm not a book or hand lotion or something that I can be marketed like that.
UNIDENTIFED FEMALE: I understand.
OBAMA: But one of the things I'm pleased with is she -- I think like a lot of people -- have not been interested in politics.
UNIDENTIFED FEMALE: That's right.
OBAMA: Or have been cynical about politics. And I have been able to maybe make them feel like this might be something worthwhile. They will not vote for me just because Clooney says vote for me. But they will come out, see? And now I have to get him offstage as quickly as possible because nobody will be listening to me. I know what's going on.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
YELLIN: And stay with us. You're watching BALLOT BOWL TWO. At the top of the hour, CNN will project the winner of the Wyoming GOP caucus. That's at the top of the hour. As BALLOT BOWL TWO continues with CNN an up close look at all of the candidates through out the day.
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