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Up Close with the Candidates; Speeches by Democrat Barack Obama and Republican Rudy Giuliani

Aired January 20, 2008 - 17:00   ET


JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Welcome back to the CNN BALLOT BOWL. I'm John King live at New Port Richey, Florida. Thanks for spending some your Sunday with us today as we continue with a final very busy final hour of our BALLOT BOWL today or you might say our fourth quarter. Four hours of extended political coverage here today on CNN as we bring you the presidential candidates in their own words both from arguably competitive races, on both the Democratic and Republican side.
In the hour ahead: We will hear from Republican candidate, Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts.

Also: From Rudy Giuliani, the former New York City mayor who has invested so much here in the state of Florida.

The former Arkansas governor, Mike Huckabee trying to get back on track. He won first in Iowa, has been struggling a bit since. We will hear from him as well.

And: We'll also hear from the Democratic candidate Barack Obama, the first credible African-American candidate for president speaking in the pulpit of the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church.

We begin this hour though with the Republican race here in the state of Florida -- 57 delegates at stake here for the Republicans as the race goes on. Republicans here vote 10 days from now, nine days from now on the 29th from Florida. Among the candidates already here, actively campaigning is former Massachusetts governor, Mitt Romney. He was disappointed in Iowa, disappointed in New Hampshire, in South Carolina. He did win though in his birth state of Michigan. Also the caucuses in both Wyoming and in Nevada yesterday. Governor Romney is hoping to build on his delegate lead here in the state of Florida. This is Governor Romney speaking to supporters and perhaps to undecided voters in Jacksonville last night.


MITT ROMNEY, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Americans are also family-oriented and we believe in God, most of us do, that is if people don't in this country, I found they even then believe in something bigger than themselves, whether it's their community or their ethnicity or some other element, there's something bigger that motivates them. And of course, Americans are patriotic. And I've seen that time and again. I had the chances, I mentioned, to help run Olympic Games out of Salt Lake City and I noted when they had the athletes, you get the gold medal. The athlete that gets the gold medal gets on the top platform of that podium and they raise their flag and they play the national anthem of their country. And kids from other countries, almost without exception, are either standing there respectfully or they're high fiving each other, you know, we're number one, we're number one, something like that, some kind of celebration. But when kids from our country get the gold medal, almost without exception, they put their hand on their heart. And you can see them sing the words to the national anthem. And sometimes they get it right. And they -- you know, I've seen some athletes cry as well. You see tears running down their faces. And if you ask them why it is, it's not because they're so happy that they're the best in the world, but it's instead that they're happy to represent the country that is the hope of the world. This is a remarkable land. These values -- this culture is what makes America what it is.

Some time ago, Ann and I were with my dad and Ann turned to him. We were relatively young married at the time and he was probably in his 70s at that point and Ann said to him, you know, dad, what was your greatest accomplishment? And my dad was an accomplished guy. I'll tell you. He was born in very humble -- with very humble roots, very humble beginning, he was born in Mexico of American parents living there. When he was five years old, they moved to Los Angeles and they moved to Idaho and then, they moved to Utah, they went broke more than once I'm told. And my dad couldn't afford to finish college, put all those credits together so, he never got a college degree but he went on to become the head of a car company. Now, they didn't make mustangs or corvettes but they only make (INUADIBLE) but it's pretty cool anyway, to be a head of a car company. And then he went on to become governor of Michigan. Three terms, governor of his own state, from that kind of a humble beginning. And then, he ran for president, didn't make that one but became a member of the president's cabinet and ultimately founded a very important volunteer effort across the country. A remarkable accomplishment and so Ann asked him, what was your greatest accomplishment? And without any hesitation, just like that, he said, raising you four kids. That was my greatest accomplishment. And I agree.

Now that we have five boys of our own, we recognize that's our greatest sense of fulfillment and achievement, is seeing the happiness in their lives and it's why I think Ann and I frequently comment that there's nothing more important to the future of our country than the work that goes on within the four walls of the American home. That's where people learn these lasting values. And so, as I was thinking at the future of our country and the change Washington needs, I think about people and how we need to strengthen people. I want to strengthen our families, so, our families have the capacity to teach kids the values they need and there's a lot of ways you strengthen families. One of course is to make sure our kids have good schools they can go to. By the way, I think our better teachers are underpaid. I like fixing schools. I think people need good healthcare. Families want to know their kids are going to have good healthcare. You know, I know that there are some people who say, wait a second, Mitt, healthcare, that's a Democratic issue. That sounds like universal coverage. I know that universal coverage to most people means government is taking over healthcare. And I don't want that. I don't want socialized medicine. I don't want "Hillary-care," don't worry, I'm not going there. But there is a Republican way of getting everybody insured and we worked on it for a couple of years in our state and got it done. I was happy that the Heritage Foundation helped us with major parts of it and we were able to find a way to get everybody who was uninsured, were able to get them on track to get insured with private free-market insurance and personal responsibility to make sure they weren't free- riders anymore causing the rest of us to pay for them. And we can do that for America just like we did it there. There are other ways we strengthen our families of course, strengthen the home. One is to make sure we taught our kids an important lesson. Before they have babies, they should get married. Marriage comes first.


KING: Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, former Massachusetts governor campaigning in Jacksonville, Florida last night hope for a win in this big state -- 57 delegates at stake on the Republican side here in Florida. Joining us again as part of our BALLOT BOWL coverage, our extensive coverage today, Dana Bash. She is in Charleston, South Carolina. Dana, the Romney campaign is trying to say, oh, shucks (ph), while we didn't do so well in South Carolina but that's because Senator McCain and Governor Huckabee spent so much more time focusing on South Carolina, a little bit of what we call spin in that political business in that answer, no?

DANA BASH, CNN CORRESPONDENT, CHARLESTON, S.C.: Revisited history, you can call it what you will, but you're right, you know, Mitt Romney spent about $4 million in this state. And he came in fourth place. The pretty distant behind John McCain and Mike Huckabee. And he did spend a lot of time, a lot of resources here early on, back when he was sort of trying to compete as maybe a social conservative. The same kind of message he thought perhaps would work in the state of Iowa he thought would work here, talking about the fact that he was a true social conservative. But that didn't really fly in the state of Iowa because of the fact that he has changed his position. Admittedly, he's changed his position on key issues to those cultural conservative voters like abortion, like same-sex marriage and things of that nature. So you know, Mitt Romney, once he realized he had to completely change his message after his Iowa loss and, of course, into his - in that of his New Hampshire loss into this idea that he is a businessman, that he is somebody for change, he realized that that isn't necessarily the kind of message that he's going to do very well here in South Carolina. So, he came here for about a day. He kept his ads on television. He kept his very vast staff here in South Carolina. But he went out to Nevada and it sort of wanted to give, as you said, the illusion that he wasn't really competing here so, it didn't really matter that he wasn't going to do well. But the reality is -- he did put a lot of resources here in South Carolina and he didn't do well. So, the question is -- whether or not he can do better in the state of Florida where once again his campaign tells us they are willing, ready and able to pump a lot of resources into that state because it's a four-way tie essentially down where you are, as you know, John, between Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, Rudy Giuliani and John McCain. John?

KING: And Dana, we'll keep track of the resource spending here. Governor Romney already has spent more than $20 million of his own personal fortune. We will see how much deeper he is willing to dig as the campaign goes on. Dana Bash in Charleston, South Carolina. Dana has to get on yet another plane ride as the campaign continues. Thanks for joining us so much today though in our BALLOT BOWL coverage. And as we continue our coverage just after a short break, more of the presidential candidates in their own words, you will hear from one of the Republicans Dana has just mentioned, the former Arkansas governor, Mike Huckabee. He is in Texas today, raising some money and some controversial comments by one of his pugnacious, you might say, sidekick - the actor, Chuck Norris. Stay with us, you'll hear from Governor Huckabee, Chuck Norris and much, much more when the BALLOT BOWL continues.


KING: Welcome back to the CNN BALLOT BOWL. I'm John King reporting live from New Port Richey, Florida. The Republican presidential contest has moved on here to the state of Florida. But sometimes, the candidates take a break to raise a little money, among the Republican candidates doing just that -- Mike Huckabee. He is in Texas today at a ranch with his friend, Chuck Norris. Chuck Norris, the movie star, the action hero is at Governor Huckabee's side across the country in the early contest state. Now, normally, here in the BALLOT BOWL, we show what the candidates say in their own words but Chuck Norris drawing a bit of controversy today at that event. So, let's hear from Chuck Norris first. Governor Huckabee had said, he is running a positive campaign; he's trying to limit attacks on his opponents and keep things on the upside and the positive side. But listen to Chuck Norris here a bit earlier today in Texas, getting a little pugnacious.


CHUCK NORRIS, ACTOR/HUCKABEE SUPPORTER: Mike is a very positive guy. He doesn't want to talk about it, I will. I'll tell you why I picked him over the other candidates. And, you know, with Giuliani, I don't go along with, I'm opposed to gay marriage. I'm against that. I'm pro-life. Giuliani isn't. So, he's trying to get me on his campaign and so, I can't because I don't believe in a lot of what he stands for. And then with Romney, I feel he's very shallow. I think everything he does is from the head, a memorized script just like I do as an actor when I do a role. And I think it's nothing coming from the heart. And then, John, who I love, I've known for over 20 years, John I think (ph) at 72 to take over the presidency, you know, look at the presidents in the past. Look at George W., look how he's aged in seven years. He's aged three to one in seven years. Bill Clinton, he aged three to one. Former President Bush, (INAUDIBLE) a lot, I saw him aged from those four years. And I'm thinking, now, John takes over the presidency at 72, then, if he ages three to one, how old will he be in four years, he'll be 84-years-old. And can he handle that kind of pressure in that job? And so, that's why I didn't pick John to support because I'm just afraid that the vice president will wind up taking over his job (INAUDIBLE) presidency.

(END VIDEO CLIP) KING: Some tough words there from movie actor, Chuck Norris, a supporter of Governor Mike Huckabee in the presidential race, taking aim at several of the candidates. But most pointedly at Senator John McCain who will be 72 if he won the presidency. Chuck Norris saying that you age three to one when you're in such a stressful situation. Maybe next BALLOT BOWL, we can check in with Dr. Sanjay Gupta on that theory but tough words there from Chuck Norris. Asked about that criticism of Senator McCain's age, Governor Huckabee said, well, he considers Senator McCain to be a candidate of great vigor and someone who is a capable man. He also said though that maybe the true answer could be known only by John McCain and his hairdresser. So, a bit of humor there, a trademark humor from Governor Huckabee but Chuck Norris' criticism likely to be discussed on the campaign trail in the days ahead. Why was Governor Huckabee in Texas with Chuck Norris? Well, he's trying to raise money. One of the things you need to go on in this very crowded early primary calendar is resources. Florida is a big state. Television ads cost a lot. And then, Super Tuesday after Florida, some 20 states holding contest for president on February 5th. So, Governor Huckabee off the trail in Florida to raise some money in Texas. Let's listen to some of what Governor Huckabee had to say at that same event.


MIKE HUCKABEE, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I was a southern candidate but I wasn't the only southern candidate. I was also running against John McCain who had competed there before. He had been a strong contender and almost won South Carolina eight years ago. You know, he had a very contested primary. Look how much money Mitt Romney spent in South Carolina. We spent a fraction of that, and got, you know, two to three times the votes. So, if you look at the resources that we expended and the results we got, I think it was a pretty good showing for us. Again, we wanted to win. No doubt about that. But we didn't lose. We just didn't come in first place. There's a difference.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In your campaign and you talk about that momentum and oftentimes your momentum put on the holds (ph) that money could count -- how do you get that momentum back?

HUCKABEE: Starting today. We reset that the clock. And I woke up this morning and thought the momentum is back. I mean, this really one of these things, you look at this as I often describe it now, some of the candidates are plagiarizing me and saying the same thing, it is a marathon, it's not a sprint. And everything I learned in marathon that I've been able to apply to presidential politics and it's really a very apt description. It's not just how you're doing at the beginning. It's not how you're doing in the middle. It's whether you still have some kicks left at the end. And, you know, another way to put it in Old South terms, it's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog. And there's still a lot of fight left in this old dog. So, we're anything but finish.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Do you consider Senator McCain now the frontrunner? HUCKABEE: No, I still consider myself the frontrunner. I just haven't caught up with all the voters. (INAUDIBLE). They don't come around to that real soon.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: You good a second (INAUDIBLE) in the future?

HUCKABEE: You know and that's a good point you've made. We also on the delegate count and people are recognizing that unlike other elections which is sort of about this contest of the contest, this is a contest about delegates. And even the contest of the delegates is one that isn't going to be over after Florida or probably even after February 5th. So, what has been perceived all along is that this thing will be over before he got to February 5th, definitely be over by then (ph) and now, I think everybody sort of retooled and said, no, this could go on all of the way to the convention. It very well could.


HUCKABEE: The next couple of days just in terms of where we are. Florida is a unique state because it's a winner-take-all state. Obviously, Giuliani's put everything in Florida. I mean, the good thing for us is there's no state where we have said it's this or nothing. Thompson said it was Iowa and then, he said in South Carolina and in both cases, you know, it hadn't happened to him. So, I have to make the assumption based on what he said in his speech last night that we're (ph), you know, only a timeframe away from when he says, it's over. Again, that's not my decision to make for him, but if he doesn't, then he's got to explain why he said it would be over if he didn't win Iowa and didn't win South Carolina and clearly, he didn't come close in either contest. So you know, we've never said, well, if we don't win New Hampshire, we're out. If we don't win Florida, we're out. We said from the very beginning, back when people were still laughing at us, we said then that we are in it for the long haul. I think with all my heart that one of the reasons John McCain and I are both at the top and not at the bottom is because we've had a civil campaign. Maybe we're wrong. Maybe people want the old you know, blood-and-guts approach to politics but I would kind of like to think that we're entering a new era where people take a stand as to what they're for.


KING: You've been listening to the former Arkansas governor, Mike Huckabee. He's in Texas today raising money, discussing there his take on the remarkably competitive Republican presidential race. Governor Huckabee saying, despite coming in second in South Carolina, he believes he still has good prospects of winning the nomination and he plans to battle on not only here in the state of Florida but 20 states to vote on February 5th. Governor Huckabee saying there, he believes the Republican contest could go all of the way to the Republican convention this summer. So, Governor Huckabee voicing optimism, he will stay in the race. You're watching the CNN BALLOT BOWL: The presidential candidates in their own words. We're going to take a quick break but when we come back, you will want to be here with us. You'll hear from Senator Barack Obama, the Democratic candidate as well the new and back forth between the Clinton and the Obama campaign. And it's not always pretty. We'll also hear from Rudy Giuliani, the former New York mayor who has invested so much on a victory here on the state of Florida. Yet at the moment, he's trailing slightly on the polls and we'll have a special appearance by our own Bill Schneider. He will look inside the numbers from the fascinating Clinton-Obama race for the Democratic presidential nomination. Stay with us. Keep watching.


KING: Welcome back to the CNN BALLOT BOWL. I'm John King in New Port Richey, Florida. Thanks for spending some of your Sunday with us. We're looking at the Democratic presidential race, the Republican presidential race, giving you the chance to listen to the candidates in their own words as they campaign to their party's presidential nomination. But we want now to take a break to look behind the curtain if you will, at the fascinating dynamics under way in the Democratic race for president. Both nominating contests are remarkably competitive at this moment. And we want to bring in our own senior political analyst, Bill Schneider. He is at the side of a very important event tomorrow night. The Democrats will sit down at a debate hosted by CNN and the Congressional Black Caucus Institute. Bill is already in Myrtle Beach for the festivities. Bill, we want your help breaking down some of the numbers. Obviously, we're watching the Democratic candidates today. It's no coincidence, we are seeing them campaign in African-American churches as they compete in South Carolina, the first state where the African-American electorate will be so significant in the Democratic contest. What do we know? What are we learning about how that breaks down? Does it help one candidate over another today (ph) ?

BILL SCHNEIDER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, John, the candidates have try to dampen down the differences over race, the tension that sprang up last weekend but you can see evidence of the strains. Look at the vote in Nevada among Democrats yesterday in that caucus. Take African-American voters in Nevada. Their vote was six to one, a huge margin. Six to one for Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton. Now, we're seeing a very big shift in the African-American vote. Back in October, African-Americans were strongly for Clinton over Obama. But when he won the Iowa caucuses that convinced a lot of African-American voters that he could be elected, that he could win white votes and now, they rallied strongly behind Obama. Compare that with white voters in Nevada yesterday. The white vote went strongly for Hillary Clinton by about 20 points. And here's the big surprise. Nevada was the first state where Latino voters had a strong voice. And they showed up and they voted to a lot of people's surprise two to one for Hillary Clinton. Now, tension between African-American voters and Latino voters is something the Democrats do not want to see in their campaign.

KING: Those lines are striking there, Bill, along racial and ethnic lines in the Democratic electorate. Are you seeing any other signs of division within the Democrats? SCHNEIDER: There are divisions -- the division of course by gender. Hillary Clinton won the crucial New Hampshire primary by rallying women to her side. And we're now seeing a very substantial gender gap in the Democratic Party -- women favoring Hillary Clinton by a big margin; men tending to favor Barack Obama. Another interesting difference - generations: younger voters. We saw this in Nevada. Younger voters favor Barack Obama. Older Democrats, those over 45, are supporting Hillary Clinton. So, if Barack Obama does not get on the national ticket, the Democrats may have to deal with a generation of disillusioned supporters.

KING: And so, Bill, from the data we have so far, Democratic voters look at Barack Obama, they look at Hillary Clinton, what do they see as the biggest difference?

SCHNEIDER: Well, the good news is it's not ideological. It's not based on an issue. They're not fighting over the war, they're not fighting over civil rights the way Democrats did a generation ago. What's the real difference? Well, among Democrats who said the most important issue was the economy, that's about half of Democrats in that Nevada caucus. Hillary Clinton had the lead by almost 10 points. I call her the "where's the beef" Democrat. She's a traditional Democrat. She's the one that Democrats look to to deliver the goods. On the other hand, among Democrats in Nevada who said, what they were looking for is a candidate who can bring about change. That was the quality they were looking for and that was also about half of Democrats. They went heavily for Barack Obama. I call him the "new menu" Democrat. He offers hope, he offers inspiration but a lot of traditional Democrats want to look at Obama and they ask, where's the beef. John?

KING: And "where's the beef" Democrat and the "new menu" Democrat, labeling them like only Bill Schneider can. Bill, thanks so much with that analysis and again, Bill at the sight of a big event tomorrow night, a Democratic debate, the Democratic candidates for president, debating here on CNN. That event sponsored by the Congressional Black Caucus Institute. You will not want to miss it heading into a very competitive Democratic primary in South Carolina. And you will want to stay right with us as the CNN BALLOT BOWL continues. The presidential candidates on their own words on the other side of the break, we'll have the man Bill Schneider was just talking about - the Democratic candidate for president: Barack Obama. Please stay with us.


JOHN KING, CNN NEWS ANCHOR: Welcome back to the CNN "BALLOT BOWL." I'm John King in Newport Richey, Florida. This is giving us a chance to give you an opportunity to listen to the presidential candidates beyond the sound bite, extended snippets of their speeches as they campaign across the country for the Democratic and Republican presidential nominations.

This is a fascinating campaign. Close contests on both sides. Potentially, a history-making campaign. Hillary Clinton, the first woman with a creditable chance of winning not only her party's nomination but perhaps even the White House, and Barack Obama the first African-American with a credible chance for winning his nomination and perhaps the patsy of the united states.

All the more remarkable that we found Barack Obama on this day in the pulpit on the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church on this weekend people celebrate Martin Luther King's birthday.

Barack Obama in the pulpit of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta today.


BARACK OBAMA, (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: There's a young woman 23 years old, white woman named Ashley Bian who organizes for our campaign in Florence, South Carolina. Ashley has been working to organize mostly black folks. She's in Florence, South Carolina. She's been doing it since the beginning of the campaign.

Yesterday, she set up a round-table discussion where everyone around was telling their story about who they were and why they were there. And so Ashley explained, she started things off by explaining why she was there. And she explained that when she was 9 years old, her mother got cancer. And because she had to miss a day of work she was let go and she lost her healthcare. And then she had to file for bankruptcy. They were on hard times.

That's when Ashley, 9 years old at the time, decided she had to do something to help her mom. She knew that food was one of their most expensive costs. They didn't have a lot of money. Ashley lived in a poor household. So Ashley convinced her mother that she really liked and really wanted to eat more than anything else mustard and relish sandwiches. She had heard that condiments like mustard and relish were cheap. She concocted, in her own mind, at the age of 9, that she would convince her mother that that's the only thing she wanted to eat every day because she figured there would be a way of saving money for the family and helping them alleviate their hardships. So she did this for a year until her mom got better.

And in that round-table she told everyone that the reason she joined our campaign was so that she could help millions of other children in the country who want and need to help their parents, too. She had heard me speak about my mother having cancer and having to worry about maybe not getting the healthcare she needed because of pre-existing condition and she had connected with that. She thought maybe Barack would fight for my mother. And if he would fight for my mother then maybe I will fight alongside him. That's what had brought her to Florence.

So Ashley finishes her story and then goes around the room and asks everyone else why they're supporting the campaign. They all had different stories and different reasons. Some bring up specific issues. Some talk about I'm upset about affirmative action. Some talk about, you know, I want to see more jobs in the community, some are frustrated about trade, some just like me. They all got a bunch of different reasons. And finally at the end of this discussion they come to this elderly black man. He's been sitting there quiet the whole time, hasn't been saying a word. And Ashley asks him, why is he there. And he doesn't bring up a specific issue. He doesn't say healthcare, the economy, he doesn't talk about the Iraq war, doesn't say anything about education. He doesn't say that he's there because he likes Barack Obama or he's proud of the possibility of the first African- American president. He simply says to everyone in the room, I am here because of Ashley. I am here because of this young girl and the fact that she's willing to fight for what she believes in. And that reminds me that I still have some fight left in me. And I'm going to stand up for what I believe in.

Now, by itself, that single moment of recognition between that young white girl and that old black man, that's not enough to change a country. By itself it's not enough to give healthcare to the sick, jobs to the jobless or education for our children. But it is where we begin. It's why I believe that the walls in that room began to shake at that moment. And if they can shake in that room, then they can shake here in Atlanta. And if they can shake in Atlanta, then they can shake in the state of Georgia. And if they can shake in Georgia, they can shake all across America. And if enough of our voices join together, if we see each other in each other, we can break those walls tumbling down. The walls of Jericho can finally come tumbling down. That is our hope, but only if we pray together, if we work together, if we march together. Ebenezer...


KING: An optimistic, uplifting message there from Senator Barack Obama, Democratic presidential candidate earlier today in the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta. Senator Obama focusing on his theme of hope in that speech to the congregates there at Ebenezer Baptist Church.

Our Jessica Yellin joins us on the telephone in Columbia, South Carolina, the next key test in the Democratic campaign.

Jessica, you hear Obama in his speeches focusing on a positive, uplifting message. Behind the scene there is more sniping and finger pointing between the Obama camp and Clinton camp, including over the role of Bill Clinton in this campaign?

JESSICA YELLIN, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely, John. Senator Obama has said in recent days -- he said to the reporters yesterday, he feels Bill Clinton has been distorting Obama's remarks lately. There are reports that in an interview he came to "ABC News" that is supposed to air tomorrow, he's also saying that he feels he's campaigning against both Clintons, not just Hillary but Bill Clinton and it's troublesome, not appropriate for his former president.

That's not all. In addition to that, his campaign just told reporters that there was a pattern of disenfranchising voters in Nevada. He seemed to be blaming the Clinton campaign, saying the Clinton campaign agitated to have doors closed at caucus sights, many of them at least, half an hour too early. Anybody who showed up in that remaining half hour when they were supposed to be able to get in, they were not allowed to vote. An accusation of suppressing the votes.

They don't come out and point their finger aggressively at the Clintons. They say they're not going to take this to court, which makes you scratch your head, if there is a vote suppression why aren't they going to court. They say they want the Democratic Party to investigate and they want to highlight there. It was seen as a shot across the bow saying we're hip to dirty tricks and we're not going to stay quiet they happen.

All of this is happening behind the scenes while Senator Obama himself is hitting more positive themes this morning at Ebenezer Church. What you heard from was probably the most fiery, you know, stand up and cheer kind of piece of that speech. A lot of it was just sort of quiet inspiration. It seems Senator Obama was making a very deliberate attempt to speak not just to the congregation there but to a whole national audience that would receive his message well.

Even in that clip you played you could hear he was talking to an African-American audience, telling the story of a white girl who connected with an older African-American man. It sort of symbolizes Obama's message of unity, racial community, bringing people together. And you know, the pastor when he introduced him said Obama represents sort of the realization of Dr. King's dream and there's a way in which Obama without saying that himself is sort of acting in that way, that it's a peaceful effort to try to bring people together.

Now, I can tell you that the pastor there at that the important church, Martin Luther King's church, did not come out and endorse Barack Obama from the pulpit. But CNN's Rowland Martin tells us he does plan to endorse Barack Obama for president in the coming days, a significant development and really good notch on Obama's belt.

President Bill Clinton plans to visit that church later this week. Some say Mrs. Clinton ain't getting his nod, the pastor plans to endorse Barack Obama -- John?

KING: Jessica Yellin for us on the ground in Columbia, South Carolina, reporting on yet another important development as the Democratic candidates move on to South Carolina, a race that includes much more important competition for the African-American vote, endorsements of clergy critical. Jessica Yellin on the ground in south Carolina watching the Democratic campaign in the week ahead, including our debate sponsored by the Congressional Black Caucus Institute in Myrtle Beach. You'll want to be here for that.

You're watching the CNN "BALLOT BOWL," the candidates in their own words. We're going to take a quick break.

Still more of the "BALLOT BOWL" ahead. More of the presidential candidates, including Rudy Giuliani, the former New York City mayor, who largely skipped, didn't fare at all in the early presidential contest. He says he will turn that all around in the state of Florida, a risky strategy. You'll hear from Mayor Giuliani when "BALLOT BOWL" continues. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: Well back to the CNN BALLOT BOWL." I'm John King in Newport Richey, Florida.

We want to show you some of Rudy Giuliani campaigning here in just a moment. First, an episode at ant event earlier today, Giuliani was campaigning in Sun City. A woman was arrested at that event after making a demonstration inside the event. Hillsboro County Sheriff's Office says her name is Isabelle Darcy. She wanted to speak with the candidate Rudy Giuliani when she became disruptive and refused to leave she was charged with trespassing. Police say Darcy explains her behavior saying a car in Giuliani's motorcade hit her car and she wanted to speak to the candidate about it. You see her being led away there by the police in Sun City, Florida.

That one of several stops here for Rudy Giuliani in the state of Florida. This state is critical. He has done poorly in all the early contests, not campaigned very aggressively. Some of those states says it will all turn around here when Florida votes. He says he will sweep in victory in Florida and make his mark in the Republican race and continue on to Super Tuesday.

A short time ago Rudy Giuliani was campaigning right here in Newport Richey, Florida. Let's listen.


RUDY GIULIANI, (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The reason is not just a political reason. It's not even a political reason. Some taxes, if you lower them, wouldn't bring you more revenues. Some taxes, if you lower them, wouldn't have much of an impact. You've got to know the ones to lower. You have to know the strategic tax cuts because -- here's the way you hurt the American economy. The opposite is the way you straighten it out. I'll give you four things. Over- taxing, over-spending, over-regulating, and over-suing. Those four things.

So here's what I would do as president and I say to you quite honestly I would be the best at that. Certainly, a lot better than the Democrats and I believe my record is such that I would be a lot better than the Republican in these areas.

I would be the best in lowering taxes because I've done it before and done it successfully before, more successfully than anyone else. And the plan that I'm laying out, which is even more important because after all the past is a pro log to the future but this is about future plans. My plan for tax reduction has been found to be the best and the most aggressive. And there's one part of it that's very, very exciting that I think you're going to like. You see this? That's a one-page tax loan. One page. You get to put it on one page.

You can fill this out, you know, in an hour or whatever, you know. It's pretty simple. It has the basic. It's that basic, critical deductions to our economy -- home mortgage, charitable, ones relating to -- the ones relating to child exemptions. It will include another exemption that's a really important one that is a $15,000 tax exclusion so you can buy your own health insurance, so you can have your own, you can buy your own with tax-free money and you can set up health savings accounts.

That's a direction we want to take. So we've got to get taxes competitive. We've got to get taxes competitive. We've got to take regulations and make them competitive because you can over-regulate people and businesses out of the country. We have got to get government spending under control. And I worked on that very, very diligently as mayor of New York City. And we've got to reduce spending by cutting down on the number of people, number of civilians we hire for the federal government, hiring only one position for every two that retire. Just the way businesses have done. Putting targets on these agencies to lower their spending, which is really important.

And then we've got to get control of suing too much. I use this case as an illustration. Remember the man who sued for the loss of his pants? $54 million in the loss of his pants? Went to trial. He was a judge, I think. Went to trial. He lost. He took it up on appeal. You know what it cost the family? It cost him $100,000 to defend that case. Should he have to pay them the $100,000? That would be a fair legal system.

So we got a lot of things to accomplish. We've got a lot of things to accomplish. We have to lower -- I know we can do it. I've done it before. Why can't I do it? I can only do it with your help. I can only do it with your support.

We can have energy dependence in this country. If we have a president that is bold enough to lean down after it like Eisenhower and Kennedy and Johnson and Nixon led the effort to put a man on the moon. We can do it, as Americans. We have to achieve energy independence and we need a president that has had achievements like that.

We need a president that knows how to end illegal immigration, not just talk about it. I would be able to do that.

We need a president that can crack through this partisan divide that we have, bring a new spirit to Washington. Bring a spirit of trying to figure out the things that can get done for the public good and think through some of the mistakes Washington has made in the past.

And there are so many other things. A point judges who are strict constructionist judges, reform our laws. In order to accomplish any of this, in order to do this, I need your vote and I need your support.


KING: Rudy Giuliani making his case to voter here's in the state of Florida right here at the Spartan Manor a few hours ago in Newport Richey, Florida. Rudy Giuliani, so much at stake in the presidential primary, the next stop of the Republicans. Our "BALLOT BOWL" will continue in just a moment. As we go to break we want to remind you of another political event on CNN, the Democrats debate, the leading Democrats debate in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. That debates hosted by CNN, sponsored by the Congressional Black Caucus Institute. An important event before South Carolina Democrats make their choice in this hotly contested presidential race next weekend. You will hear that tomorrow night, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, 8:00 p.m. eastern here on CNN.

Stay with us. A few more minutes of "BALLOT BOWL" right after the break.


KING: We're about out of time in this edition of the CNN "BALLOT BOWL" but thank you for spending some of your Sunday afternoon. We also urge you to stay with CNN.

A very busy week of politics ahead. Two hotly contested presidential contests on the Republican and Democrat side. On the Democratic side, the race moves to South Carolina. Intense competition for votes of African-Americans and more words of fighting suggests today between the Clinton and the Obama camps.

The Republican race is now shifted here to the state of Florida. 57 delegates at stake. A huge risky strategy for Rudy Giuliani will be tested here. He has counted on a win in Florida to get his campaign back on track.

Senator John McCain hoping to build on his dramatic victory just last night.

Another major event here on CNN tomorrow night, the Democrats debate in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina in advance of that critical South Carolina primary. That event co-sponsored by Congressional Black Caucus Institute.

I'm John King reporting live from Newport Richey, Florida. Thanks again for spending some of your Sunday with us. A special edition of "Lou Dobbs, Independence Day" after the break. Have a great night.

TONY HARRIS, CNN NEWS ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm Tony Harris in Atlanta. A special edition of "Lou Dobbs this Week, "Independence Day, Awakening the American Spirit" is next, but first, a look at the headlines.

Police in Indianapolis have arrested four men in connection of a crime that shocked and outraged the city. Two women, a newborn and a toddler were shot to death in their home Monday. Police haven't confirmed a motive, but the suspects all face a robbery charges with two of them charged in the murders.

About 200,000 people turned out for the pope Sunday's appearance at the Vatican. The large crowd came to show support for the pontiff after a speech at a Rome university was cancelled. The visit was called off after students and faculty protested saying they were opposed to a religious leader speaking at a secular campus.

Sad news out of Hollywood today. Actress Suzanne Pleshette is dead.