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Ballot Bowl '08: On the Trail in New Hampshire
Aired January 6, 2008 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JOHN KING, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Welcome back to the CNN BALLOT BOWL. I'm John King reporting live from Portsmouth, New Hampshire. A busy day of presidential politics here in the lead of primary state and a busy hour ahead as we continue our BALLOT BOWL coverage. The candidates in their own words: Speeches and small intimate meetings with voters across the state of New Hampshire in advance of Tuesday's primary. And the next hour: Live coverage of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton trying to get her campaign back on track after a disappointing third place finish in the Iowa caucuses.
Also: New poll numbers on the hotly-contested Democratic and Republican primary campaigns here in the state of New Hampshire. The stake is quite high in advance to Tuesday's primary. We'll take you inside our new poll numbers ahead in this hour. Also now, we want to turn to more coverage of the man of the moment on the Republican side here in New Hampshire. He is Senator John McCain. Remember a few months ago, many thought his support for that comprehensive illegal immigration reform proposal had knocked his candidacy off track, Conservatives not happy and yet McCain is at the lead of the Republican race here in New Hampshire at the moment, hoping to reassert himself in the Republican race for president. Publicly track of the senator's campaign at this pivotal moment in New Hampshire is our own Dana Bash who joins us now from Salem. Dana?
DANA BASH, CNN CORRESPONDENT, SALEM, NEW HAMPSHIRE: That's right there, John. John McCain was here in Salem. He had a very, very large town hall meeting. Even he said of a kind of change that you are just talking about in his campaign over the last several months. It was not too long ago that he was here having town halls. Not very many people showed up. Not very many people thought that he really could have the kind of comeback that he is definitely having right now. Probably about 1,000 people in this auditorium asking him a lot of questions. And John McCain after that did what he is known to do, what he became a very well known to do in the 2000 campaign, he came and he answered recorders' questions for a long time and on that in particular, the subject, the topic has been what Mary Snow was talking about earlier today with you, John and that is the controversy between John McCain and Mitt Romney over whether or not Mitt Romney thinks and calls John McCain's immigration plan -- amnesty. Remember last night, Mitt Romney said that he doesn't necessarily, technically think that John McCain's set of plan which would allow a pact of citizenship for illegal immigrants, he doesn't technically think it was amnesty, but even as he said that, ads against John McCain are running in New Hampshire saying exactly that. Well, this morning on ABC, Mitt Romney said, well, I didn't actually realize that those ads were running. So, this all has gone to the fact that it's not clear what Mitt Romney knows about his campaign, knows what ads are running. We asked McCain about that here in Salem earlier today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BASH: What you say about this morning that he didn't know that he had ads up against you saying that your immigration plan (INAUDIBLE).
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I did. (INAUDIBLE) Whatever he says is fine.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Were you surprised last night?
MCCAIN: Whatever he says, I certainly accept his word.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Were you surprised he said he had not called your immigration reform plan, amnesty during the debate last night, sir?
MCCAIN: Nothing surprises me during the debate.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you think your attacks against Romney are getting more personal? Do you like Romney?
MCCAIN: I like him fine and we've run one ad and we did a couple on Web things about leadership, but look, we run a very positive campaign. Just turn on your television. We have a very positive ad up and have positive spots up because we think that's what the people in New Hampshire really want. I don't think the people in New Hampshire like negative campaigning.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sir, does America need change or experience?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Senator, what do you have to do in this last 48 hours, 36 hours, to appeal to women side? Anything different?
MCCAIN: I think we have to keep working. I think we have to provide all of the information we can through our Web site, JohnMcCain.com to make sure that if there's any lingering questions people have, we can answer them. And we'll have a real army of volunteers out there and I think that's going to be very helpful.
MCCAIN: I have never been but I certainly take his word for what he says.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you have to win here?
MCCAIN: I think there's two major issues in America and frankly, in the world. In America, we need to restore trust and confidence in the government. And we need to face the transcendent challenge of radical Islamic extremism. We're in two wars. And both of those are part of the struggle against radical Islamic extremism and I'm making the case that my experience and knowledge and background gives me the judgment to handle these challenges and to restore trust and confidence in government.
MCCAIN: Sure. We'll win here.
BASH: How does the United States repair its image in the world with you as president?
MCCAIN: Well, actually our image in many part of the world is good. We have good allies. We now have a pro-American president of France, which I mention at every opportunity. But I would declare we will never torture another prisoner in our custody. I would declare the culture of Guantanamo Bay and move those prisoners to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas and proceed with tribunals, not court trials but tribunals and I would declare my commitment to a global agreement on climate change and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions that would have to include India and China. Those are some of the beginning things that I would do.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Senator, what did you make of the question the guy was waving between you and Obama, (INAUDIBLE) the independent voters?
MCCAIN: You know, I'm told that there's a lot of voters who are waiving between me and Senator Obama. I'm kind of pleased that the independents have narrowed it down to a choice of two. So, I hope that there will be a number of those independents that I can convince. And I think that the time we'll know how they went, probably it's about the time when the polls closed.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Senator, what do you make of the people who say, I want to vote for Senator Obama. Tell me why should I vote for you? (INAUDIBLE)
MCCAIN: Well, we have - he's a liberal Democrat. I'm a conservative Republican. We have fundamental philosophical differences, whether it be healthcare or taxes or any of those things. But primarily, I think it's because we are in this struggle. And there are manifestations of the problems all the time, Pakistan being the latest where I know how to handle the issues. I've been there. I know and have the experience and judgment to address those issues.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BASH: And there you heard it, at the end there, Senator McCain talking about something that is very interesting, perhaps a little bit surprising that's shaping up in the race here in New Hampshire. Because there's so many voters here in New Hampshire who are independent, they can vote in the Republican or Democratic primary, there seems to be a lot of them -- a lot of them seem to be trying to decide between two candidates who seem very, very different as John McCain pointed. Barack Obama and John McCain. But it is apparently because there is a sense of a need for straight talk, as John McCain likes to say, but also the need for kind of a different approach towards Washington. And there you heard Senator McCain saying, it's really are coming down to a choice between the two of us, remember, I'm a conservative Republican, and I, more importantly, for John McCain's point of view have a lot of experience. And that is what he's pushing here. You ask Mitt Romney, his chief rival here, he says, you know what? That's what Hillary Clinton pushed in the state of Iowa against Barack Obama and it didn't work, and it's not going to work for you here, Senator McCain. John?
KING: Well, Dana, what is their straight talk, as they would put it on this question? John McCain began the race as the establishment candidate in the view of many Republicans picking up a lot of old Bush support from 2004. His campaign of course went off the track. Now, he says he is being resurgent now because he's back to being the old maverick John McCain. Many Republicans say if he can win in New Hampshire, win in Michigan, and push Mitt Romney from the race that he will again be the establishment Republican going against insurgent, Mike Huckabee. In the McCain campaign, would they consider that a blessing or a curse?
BASH: Both, I think. You know, it is always been John McCain's problem, I think, when you look at the way he is trying to run his campaign. You mentioned the fact that back in the beginning of the race, he tried to emulate George W. Bush's 2000 run, to lock up as many important players around the country and the important states as he could, raise as much money as he could and basically became inevitable. That means you are the establishment candidate. It didn't work for him for a lot of reasons. But now, he is coming back as the old John McCain. So, it is going to be very, very interesting to see if John McCain does win here in New Hampshire which is the only way he will continue to be viable beyond New Hampshire. How he will sort of play the dynamic. See if he learned lessons from especially trying to be the establishment candidate once in this race and it not working. It is going to be really fascinating to see how they play that in the next few weeks going down the pike to the next contest in Michigan, perhaps in South Carolina. John?
KING: Dana Bash for us in Salem, New Hampshire. If as Dana notes, still the operative word, John McCain hoping he can stage another New Hampshire victory as he did in campaign 2000. But if it's still the operative word as the sun as set on Sunday night, the evening of campaigning tonight, another full day of campaigning tomorrow in advance of Tuesday's primary here in the state of New Hampshire. Our special coverage will continue tonight with a special presentation, a replay of the ABC/WMUR Facebook debate from last evening here in New Hampshire. The Democrats and the Republicans sitting down back to back for quite intriguing debates. A lot of contentious moments, we will bring you to those along with special coverage tonight beginning at 7:00 o'clock here on CNN. When we return here in this hour to the CNN BALLOT BOWL: A sprinkling of other sounds from the candidates. They are spread out all across New Hampshire today, again, campaigning with great urgency. There's excitement in the crowds. And the crowds are getting bigger. More of our special coverage, the candidates in their words, when the CNN BALLOT BOWL continues in just a moment.
KING: Welcome back to the CNN BALLOT BOWL, part of our special coverage in advance of the New Hampshire presidential primary. In the 5:00 o'clock hour now in the evening here on a Sunday night in New Hampshire. Thanks for sharing your time with us on this Sunday. Most of the BALLOT BOWL has been the candidates in extended form. In their own words, large differences, speeches, and the other events here across the state of New Hampshire. I want to take a little bit of a turn now if you will, some shorter segments from the candidates out on the trail today. Mayor Giuliani, the former mayor of New York City, former Senator John Edwards, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton among the candidates you'll hear from. Let's listen in.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUDY GIULIANI, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We can have a country that is energy-independent. It can be done. We've been talking about it for, my goodness, since Richard Nixon. Talk, talk, talk. Some things done but now it's not fair to say, nothing's been done, things have been but a lot of things are either on hold or not being done. And we've got to push all these things and the president has to push all these things whether it's biofuels or hybrid vehicles or nuclear power or clean coal or liquid natural gas and natural gas or going solar, hydropower. All of these things have to be pushed as well as domestic oil and more refineries. So, getting these things done is enormously important to making ourselves -- let's call it energy diversified and then energy independent. Most importantly, to sum up the rest of my commitments, they almost all have to do with a philosophy, a way of thinking about America which I believe, and of course, everyone has somewhat of a different opinion on things like this. But I believe this is the core of what has made America great. America is great and America is greatest, let's say, when America relies not on government to solve domestic problems, but on its people.
JOHN EDWARDS, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: For those of you who saw the debate last night, I think I'm the only candidate who spoke about this. You know, we desperately need a president who understands in a personal way the importance of American jobs. I talked a great deal about my father working in the mills for all those years. Where the mill, he finished his job in is closed now and those jobs are gone, the mill in my hometown. The mill that supported those jobs. You had the same thing happen right here, particularly in northern New Hampshire, but in another places around in New Hampshire, too. We have the potential to lose as many as 30 million more jobs over the next decade. And by the way, the people who are most at risk for losing the jobs are college graduates. This is not, you think just because you have an education, you're safe. Wrong. College educated workers are the most at risk; I think is the way they described it. This has to change. I think we need a number of things. We need trade policy that instead of incentivizing (ph) companies to send jobs overseas, actually looks out for American workers in the middle class in this country. We need environmental and labor standards in the trade agreements that the president enforces. And finally, can we end the insanity of giving tax breaks to American companies that are sending jobs overseas. MIKE HUCKABEE, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I am glad to say that we have gotten past a lot of things, but there's still a lot of things we still aren't past. And folks, if we're going to really have the kind of greatness in America, then, we have to recognize that just as 100-some odd years ago, we recognized the importance of valuing every human being, irregardless of their color, we need to now value every human being in regardless of their net worth, of their IQ or their ability or their disability. I'm a pro-life person not because that's a political position for me. I'm a pro life person because I believe every human being has worth and value. Every person counts. Nobody is insignificant. Everybody has significance.
SEN. HILLARY CLINTON, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: How would you like that debate last night? Well, you know, what was important about that debate is that it made very clear what the principle difference in this election is about. It is about how we bring about change by making sure we nominate and elect a doer, not a talker. that we begin to separate out rhetoric from reality. Because this is one of the most important decisions that the voters of New Hampshire will ever be asked to make.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: This is a campaign that began long ago, and for many of you perhaps, a campaign that is gone on too long. But as you can sense from the excitement of the crowd, the urgency in the candidates voices, we're at a pivotal moment in a campaign that in some ways just beginning but in many ways perhaps at a critical turning point. Just a day and a half away from the New Hampshire presidential primary, snippets there from some of the candidates on the trail today when we come back on the BALLOT BOWL, more from our extensive coverage of the candidates. Several more candidates. You can hear them in your own words as you consider your own choice for president and also we want to make note of more special coverage tonight on CNN. A replay of the ABC News/WMRU Facebook debates. Fascinating conversations. The Democrats and the Republicans sitting down in the run-up to the critical New Hampshire primary. We'll have that for you on tonight as well on CNN's unprecedented coverage of presidential politics continues. Thanks for sharing your Sunday with us. We'll be right back after the break.
KING: Welcome back to the CNN BALLOT BOWL and our extensive presidential campaign coverage here in New Hampshire. I'm John King reporting live from Portsmouth, New Hampshire along the New England sea coast. Much more of the coverage ahead. Tonight, we'll replay the ABC/WMUR Facebook debates. We'll also have on the next few moments, new poll numbers here in New Hampshire, the CNN/WMUR/The University of New Hampshire presidential primary poll, a fascinating glimpse at how the terrain has changed in New Hampshire in the wake of the Iowa caucuses. Also, our Suzanne Malveaux just moments ago had a chance to have a quick conversation with Senator Hillary Clinton. We'll bring you a bit of that. But also at the moment, we want to go back now to our snippets from the campaign trail today in New Hampshire. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. BARACK OBAMA, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Here's what I would do. I would invest in early childhood education so that every child is prepared when they start school. Number two, I will invest in teachers, recruiting teachers, paying teachers more, giving them more professional development, giving them career ladders that allow them to stay in the profession. Number three, we're going to reform no child left behind. Not only will we deliver on the money that was left behind for "No child left behind" but, we're going to change the assessment process. But right now, a kid comes into school. He's three years behind grade level on reading. At the end of the school year, he's only one year, he's caught up two years. That teacher has done a great job, the school has done a great job, but according to "No child left behind" that teacher is still a failure. That discourages and demoralizes schools, and it's got to stop. It's also crowding out art and music are important elements to a child's well- rounded education. So, we will have -- we will have a new way of assessing -- it can include a standardized test, but, it won't be a single standardized test that will determine what -- how a school is viewed and what kind of money it gets.
MITT ROMNEY, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This is going to be a time of choice for our party. Are we going to have somebody as a nominee who's going to be able to stand up to Barack Obama, who I think could very well be their nominee. He'll stand up and talk about change. He hasn't ever done it, but he'll talk about change, and he'll be able to stand up as he is right now against long-serving U.S. senators who talk about their experience. He just blows them away. Are we going to do the same thing and put another long-serving U.S. senator up against him for him to talk about or are we going to put somebody up -- I hope it's me - somebody up who has spent his lifetime, not just in politics, not in Washington, but changing things? Changing businesses for the better, changing the Olympics for the better, changing a state for the better; not by himself. I don't do that by myself, I do it with a great team of people that come together to help make change. I will change Washington, and I look forward to going toe to toe with Barack Obama and if not Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton. I can't wait to meet Hillary Clinton face-to-face. You see, you see, both Barack and Hillary, and for that matter, John Edwards, all three senators. They have so many ideas. You heard Hillary. She says she has a million ideas, just not enough money to pay for them all she says. That's for sure. But you know, the great thing about debating them is they'll talk about their ideas and I'll talk about what I did and what I can accomplished and I'll show that I brought change and they only talked about change. We're going to keep America strong. We're going to go down that to-do list and get them accomplished. We're going to make sure that our future is brighter than our past and that America will always be the hope of the earth.
GOV. BILL RICHARDSON, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, I want to be in the top three. If that doesn't happen, I'm continuing on to Nevada and the western primaries, but I made the war the main issue, ending the war, getting all the troops home. That is resonating with voters. New Hampshire, they got their first real look at me last night. I feel I won the debate. I think I showed the most experience, the ability to change this country, and a little humor, which has helped. So, I felt very good after the debate. A lot of undecided voters are going to move towards me. I'm hoping to be in the top three. You know, it's hard to fight these behemoths with millions of dollars, but I'm moving up and we've got 50 states to go. This is a marathon. It's not going to be decided right away but New Hampshire obviously is very important.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: new Mexico governor, Bill Richardson there as we continue our CNN BALLOT BOWL coverage, the candidates in their own words. When we continue, Ron Paul in the candidate cafe. That is a key contribution to our coverage from our affiliate, WMUR TV. Ron Paul on his own words in a small intimate setting with New Hampshire voters. Also, it's about 90 minutes from now, CNN will replay and we believe this is very important -- the ABC/WMUR/Facebook debate. Last night, the Democrats and Republicans sat down to talk about the issues important to the people of New Hampshire and the people all across the United States. That all part of our extended political coverage here. We hope you'll be with us for that at 7:00 o'clock tonight and we'll hope you'll be staying with us as the BALLOT BOWL continues after a short break.
JOHN KING, CNN HOST: Welcome back to the CNN "Ballot Bowl." I'm John King reporting live from Portsmouth, New Hampshire, keeping track of a truly remarkable presidential campaign, my sixth and the most eventful in the six presidential campaigns I have covered.
So many dramatic storylines, from the rise of Barack Obama, the troubles of Senator Hillary Clinton, the surprise of Mike Huckabee on the Republican side as well as the resurgence of John McCain in New Hampshire.
Those aren't the only surprises. Across this country, a great deal of energy for Ron Paul, the Libertarian turned Republican, seeking his party's presidential nomination. He's not registered yet in the polls, nor did he do all that well in Iowa, but he's been a fund-raising dynamo on the Internet and a factor in all of the key debates.
Ron Paul now at the Candidate Cafe, a key contribution from our affiliate, WMUR, as we try to give you an extended look at the candidates in their own words.
RON PAUL, (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Hi, how you doing? Everybody gets up early. Get busy and work hard.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Probably not as early as you, though.
PAUL: You know what? Today was great. I had the choice of coming in real early this morning. I came in late last night. I got a good night's sleep, but I needed it. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What's the most challenging issue for you and your family since you decided to run for president? People say good things about you, bad things about you and your family?
PAUL: Yeah, I think the schedule is challenging, and I'm such a complainer, you know. Why am I doing this?
Not too many weeks ago, we had a rally over here. As a matter of fact, the park over there, we had 800 people -- volunteers come, and it was a family event. I think we had 30 members of our family. We have five children and 18 grandchildren and spouses and all. I was very amazed how many showed up because I didn't organize it. My middle son, who is an ophthalmologist in Kentucky, he organized it. He said, "Get the family up there."
When we were in Florida for the debate, two of my grandchildren were there with me, and my wife will go on about half of the trips. It's not easy because I really like to go home.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What was your defining moment that made you say, I think I should be the president of the United States?
PAUL: Well, for me, it's a little bit different because I approached it differently because I never had that, you know, this is what I want to do. In many ways, most people want to be president because they are -- they believe the president's job is to run your life, run the economy, run the world. And mine is so different. Mine is actually opposite. I don't want to run your life. I want your life to be your own and you assume responsibility for it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We would like to know where you get the courage to stand and speak your views that are very different from your party.
PAUL: I think it comes from having studied a long time and always worked to try to come up with the right conclusion. And I could defend those positions. I guess it comes from a lot of things, whether it's independence. You have to have confidence to, you know, to be a doctor. You have to know how to take care of an emergency and even though, fortunately in delivering babies, most of the work is done by the mother.
I only have a picture of one politician in my office, Grover Cleveland. And the quote is "What is it worth, winning an election or getting re-elected if you don't stand for something."
I was in Congress from '58 to '64. Then I wanted to go back to my medical practice. I do OB/GYN, delivered a lot of babies. I missed it and didn't want to be a professional at this game of politics. I went back to OB/GYN.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do you think is more difficult, politics or delivering babies?
(LAUGHTER) PAUL: With risks, I'd say delivering babies is a lot more fun. At least you end up with something new and precious. It was exciting. Even though this was old fashioned, back in the old days, when we delivered, it wasn't so much the family participating. Now it's a big family event. Like I say, this is old fashioned, but it was sort of exciting. You deliver the baby and there were no ultrasounds. Nobody knew. You would walk out and talk to the husband and say, you have an eight-pound boy.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How many grandkids do you have?
PAUL: 18 grandchildren and one great grandchild.
KING: And one great grandchild? Can you name them all?
PAUL: You know, I might have to stop and think. Yes, I can, and do that. But I always brag when I'm introducing my wife. I said, we have 18 grandchildren and I can name them all, but my wife knows all their birthdays. So I would have trouble with all those birthdays.
We went to high school together.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wow.
PAUL: And our first date was, you know, she was born on -- this is why I married her, I have to confess. She was born on February 29th. Every four years. No way, buddy. She had a birthday party on her 16th birthday, and for some reason, she was determined to get me to the birthday party. Believe it or not, I was very shy. She asked me, and I -- it was one of my first dates, too.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If you had one free day where you couldn't campaign, and you couldn't deliver any babies, what would you do with the free day?
PAUL: That would be tough. You know what I would like to do? I love riding bicycles. I love to be outdoors. That is always my biggest complaint when I'm busy on the campaign trail because I had a ritual of walking and riding bikes a lot.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If you come across a genie in a bottle, what are you three wishes?
PAUL: A lot more peace in the world, a lot more freedom in the world. And then we would have a lot more prosperity.
KING: Ron Paul there, the libertarian turned Republican presidential candidate. Our thanks to WMUR, our affiliate and partner here in the state of New Hampshire, for helping us present the candidates in their own words.
Congressman Paul has raised so much money on the Internet, a huge factor in the fundraising in this campaign, having a big impact on the debates as well.
He is not invited to one debate being held tonight, but you can see him in a Republican debate, part of our special political coverage beginning at 7:00 on CNN, a replay of the ABC-WMUR-Facebook debates, part of our special coverage of politics here in the state of New Hampshire. Again, Those debates coming up at 7:00. We hope you'll join us for those.
And we hope you'll stay with us as the "Ballot Bowl" continues. We're just a few moments away from the release of the latest poll numbers. CNN-WMUR-University of New Hampshire poll here, showing you a behind the scenes look at how voter interest and voter sentiment is changing in the state of New Hampshire in the wake of the Iowa caucuses, coming up in just a few moments as the CNN "Ballot Bowl" continues. Please stay with us.
KING: Welcome back to the CNN "Ballot Bowl." I'm John King reporting live from Portsmouth, New Hampshire along the New England sea coast.
Change is now the slogan of this campaign. You hear it from the candidates and see it in their strategies as they try to either capitalize on their wins or recover from their struggles. And nowhere is this more evident than in the case of Senator Hillary Clinton.
Often criticized from being inaccessible, suddenly, Senator Clinton is staying late at events to answer question after question for New Hampshire voters. She answered reporters today. At times, she can go weeks without taking questions from reporters, but she met with them at length today, and Suzanne Malveaux caught up with her with one-on-one conversation.
Suzanne now joins us live from Nashua.
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: John, definitely sweeping this campaign and the strategy as well. They're talking about not words but actions. It's not rhetoric but results. Clearly, there are two things they're responding to. One is the loss out of Iowa. The other is the critical debate that happened yesterday, which we'll rebroadcast. It was quite contentions at times. At times she was strong. At other times she was ganged up upon. I asked her about both of those things.
MALVEAUX: Senator Clinton, thanks for joining us. Last night, there was a moment in the debate, Senator Edwards joins Senator Obama in trying to characterize you as the status quo, them being the age of change. You responded very strong, even with a flash of anger. In light of the fact that this campaign has been so much about likeability, do you think that helped or hurt you? HILLARY CLINTON, (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm passionate about change, and I responded passionately because I have been an agent of change. I don't just talk about it, I actually have done it.
I want the voters to know the differences among us. I thought the debate last night began to draw the contrasts. You know, I'm against the status quo. I have been fighting George Bush and the Washington Republicans for a very long time. We're sometimes in lonely fights. In fact, when I was taking on the health insurance industry to get to universal health care, taking on the drug industry to try to get them to test drugs to make sure they were safe for kids, and so much else.
And I want people to know I'm a fighter. I'm not out here making a speech, not just shaking hands. I'm out here to make it clear that I will get up every day and work my heart out to make the changes that America deserves to have. Sometimes I'm going to have to take on some tough interests and to fight back, and I want people to know that about me.
MALVEAUX: Governor Bill Richardson joked about it and said he has been in hostage negotiations that were more civil than last night. What do you want voters to know about your temperament as a leader?
CLINTON: I'm a very clear-headed and effective decision maker who evaluates what we need to do and brings people together to come up with the ideas and plans and then execute them.
But that I also am someone who will stand up and fight back because we need a president who will fight for the American people.
Ten years ago, I wrote a book called, "It Takes a Village to Raise a Child." And I had a chapter entitled "Every Child Needs a Champion," and I think the American people need a president who is their champion. We have to get back to fighting for the American people and fighting through the changes we need to make and restoring our position and our pride in our country.
MALVEAUX: And John, I also asked her about Iowa, what happened in Iowa, with name recognition, the money, also being from the neighboring state of Illinois, what was the problem there? She said she's not looking back, just looking forward, but you can tell already how they're retooling the campaign, taking a lot of questions, trying to prove she has specific ideas, has a wide range of knowledge for various issues. And they're also making it very clear they are now willing to go after Senator Barack Obama when it comes to what they believe is a weak record, a thin record.
Once again, many of his aides saying it's not just about the words here. It's not just about the talk. One person saying, "Show us the beef." That's what they're going to focus on and they are going to be very critical. We have heard it today. Expect that the next 24 hours or so. They hope to retool and change the nature of the race -- John?
KING: Suzanne, do you get the sense -- what is the sense of her move -- I guess is the best way to put it. If you talk to people inside her campaign, they seem to worry that some of this is beyond her control. She is someone who likes to hold a closely managed operation. That's a compliment, not a criticism. But sometimes in politics, something takes hold and no matter what you do, you can't change it. Do they have that sense in the Clinton campaign?
MALVEAUX: It's interesting. They're obviously trying to downplay the power he has, the inspiration he has with people. They talk about, he's a good speaker, but what has he done, what does his record prove.
KING: You've got it.
MALVEAUX: This is much beyond their control, whether or not they can really ream in some of the power that he has, particularly the emotional, the inspirational aspect of it, which you see in his speeches and among the people who support him.
KING: Suzanne Malveaux after her one-on-one with Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire.
Funny watches those signs in the pictures you see there. The candidates often try to supplement their speeches with words "ready" you see with Hillary Clinton, trying to make her case. "Change you can believe in," is what you'll see when you check in with Senator Obama.
When our coverage continues in just a moment, you'll want to be with us for the release of the latest poll numbers on the race here in New Hampshire. New poll numbers on the standing of both the Democrats and the Republicans, just ahead with the CNN "Ballot Bowl" continues. You're getting to see extended looks at the candidates in their own words. We hope you'll stay with us.
KING: Welcome back to the CNN "Ballot Bowl." I'm John king reporting live from Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
All day long, we have been showing you the candidates making their cases here. Just one more day tomorrow for them to campaign in advance of the New Hampshire primary.
We've been showing you the candidates in their own words, making their sales pitches all day long. Are they working? We have new poll numbers out right now, exclusively releasing them to you.
Our Bill Schneider is standing by in Manchester, New Hampshire.
Bill, when we released of the poll numbers last night of the CNN- WMUR-University of New Hampshire poll, it showed a dead heat on the Democratic side between Clinton and Obama. Any change today? BILL SCHNEIDER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes, indeed. Polls suggest there might be an Obama surge going on in New Hampshire. Obama's gaining at the expense of Clinton and Edwards. Obama's lead is now ten points in our poll, 39 percent Obama, 29 percent Hillary Clinton going into the home stretch.
Now, with a 5 percent margin of error in the poll, a 10 point lead is just at the edge of statistical significance. It could be a solid lead for Obama going into the home stretch. It looks like what George Bush's father once called, in 1980 after he won the Iowa caucuses, the Big Mo. It didn't work well for him. He then lost New Hampshire. We'll see what happens with Obama.
KING: I want to talk more about the underlining dynamics in a moment. But let's check in on the Republican side. How about the shifts there?
SCHNEIDER: On the Republican side, we're seeing small shifts. McCain is still about six points ahead of Mitt Romney, just as he was yesterday. But the change has been in the third and fourth place finishers. Yesterday, our poll reported that Rudy Giuliani was coming in third with 14 percent, Mike Huckabee, fourth at 11 percent. Now, Huckabee be is third at 14 percent, Giuliani at 11 percent. None of these are statistically significantly. They're simply suggestive of momentum. I would call it the Little Mo for Huckabee. It's not a friendly state for him. There are not a lot of evangelical voters. But he's showing some possible gains here in New Hampshire. He's now running third in the Republican primary, it looks like.
KING: Bill, peel back the curtain a little bit. You shared the horse race numbers with us there in your study and analysis of the poll. Is there anything moving from an issues perspective or favorability perspective that you think is driving the numbers right now?
SCHNEIDER: We have no new favorability numbers, but the ones we had from yesterday's poll were suggestive. They said Barack Obama and John McCain have something unique about them, which is they appeal not only to their own partisans, but to partisans on the other side. That may be something that voters in New Hampshire are responding to.
In McCain's case, it's particularly interesting. New Hampshire is a state that doesn't like George W. Bush very much. It was the only state in the country that voted for Bush in 2000 and voted against him in 2004. McCain beat Bush by a solid margin, 18 points in the 2000 Republican primary here in New Hampshire. Maybe by supporting John McCain, which they seem inclined to do in New Hampshire, they may be sending the message, we told you so.
KING: It's fascinating to see Obama and McCain at the top of their races. given we have seen from so many voters and heard so many times at events, independent-minded voters choosing between Obama and McCain. If they're both at the top, what does that tell us about independence or maybe is the question better put, McCain must be doing much better among Republicans since he can't count so much on the Independents this time. SCHNEIDER: That's right. Most of the Independents are voting in the Democratic primary. At least as of yesterday -- I haven't checked the figures for today -- as of yesterday, Obama's margin was entirely due to his support from Independents. That may be changing. He had a lead among Independents. Hillary Clinton was in the lead among registered Democrats. But there are a lot of Independents voting in the Democratic primary.
On the Republican side, McCain was leading among both registered Republicans and Independents voting in the primary. There were just fewer of them. His Republican support turns out to be crucial.
KING: One final question. As I ask, I want to show our viewers a live picture of Barack Obama still campaigning in New Hampshire. Whether it's from the poll numbers or your observations over the long campaign, something has changed, and Barack Obama is the candidate with the momentum right now. In your view, simply, why?
SCHNEIDER: Because he represents something new, something different -- change. And he represents a message of unity. He says he wants to be a uniter, not a divider, to deliver on the promise that George Bush made way back in 2000 and did not deliver on. I think he's capturing a lot of young voters and independent voters' imagination. He doesn't talk like the typical politician.
Same thing with Mike Huckabee and a little bit with John McCain. McCain is famous for not saying things voters want to hear. Here is John McCain, who supports comprehensive immigration reform. Republicans don't like that, but they like him. Here is McCain, who likes troop build-up in Iraq. Democratic don't like that. But here in New Hampshire, the Democrats like McCain. He's getting mileage from saying unexpected things that people don't necessarily want to hear.
Both McCain and Huckabee and Obama are candidates who do not talk or behave like typical politicians, at least in the view of the voters here in New Hampshire.
KING: Bill Schneider sharing his insights with us, along with new exclusive CNN-WMUR poll numbers, showing Barack Obama pulling ahead in the Democratic race, John McCain maintaining his lead in the Republican race in the state of New Hampshire.
We want to thank you for joining us today in the CNN "Ballot Bowl" for our extended political coverage, sharing some of your Sunday afternoon with us. And please stay with us tonight as our extensive political coverage continues. A replay of the debate last night, the ABC-WMUR-Facebook debates. Some crafty moments between the candidates on both sides, also, some insightful moments as they're pressed on the issues important to the voters of New Hampshire and the nation. We'll have a replay in a little more than an hour on CNN beginning a 7:00 p.m. here on CNN. We hope you'll join us for that.
We also want to remind you, the New Hampshire vote just two days away on Tuesday, the first presidential primary. CNN and its political team will have extensive coverage Tuesday night, all the results, the exit polls, analysis from the best political team on television. We hope you'll join in that as well.
I'm John King reporting live from Portsmouth, New Hampshire, this hour. I'm going to make my way to Manchester for our debate one hour from now. Hope to see you then. Thanks for spending time for us today. And after a short break, "Lou Dobbs Weekend." Take care.
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