Politics

Republicans get testy with each other

Republican presidential rivals Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney scornfully debated immigration in a provocative, no-holds-barred CNN/YouTube debate just over a month before the first votes are cast.

Giuliani, the front-runner in national polls, accused Romney Wednesday of employing illegal immigrants at his home and running a “sanctuary mansion.” The testy personal exchange came after Romney said Giuliani had retained New York’s status as a sanctuary city while he was mayor.

Big business steps up political giving

Big business is shoveling more money than ever into U.S. political campaigns, with Wall Street donations way up, a watchdog group said on Tuesday.

The securities and investment industry — which includes brokerages, hedge funds and private equity firms — registered the sharpest increase in giving since 2004 among all industry sectors studied by the Center for Responsive Politics.

Hillary haters take center stage

Prowling the Internet, spilling venom on blogs and dominating the airwaves on conservative talk radio, “Hillary haters” are back and out in force as 2008 presidential nominating contests loom.

Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton is sparking the same waves of vitriol in the conservative echo chamber that burst forth during her husband Bill Clinton’s eight years in the White House.

Just 37 days before the leadoff Iowa caucuses, Clinton remains a lightning rod, targeted again by enemies who hounded her as first lady but adored by supporters backing her potentially historic campaign.

Can Oprah save Obama?

Call it the “O Factor.” Oprah Winfrey picks a “favorite book” or a “favorite thing,” and poof, it’s a best seller.

And now Winfrey’s “favorite senator,” Barack Obama, hopes the O Factor will work for him, too, as the talk-show host and media icon prepares to campaign for the presidential candidate in the early voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.

Fact-checking Mitt Romney

As governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney issued no pardons, limited lobbying by would-be judges and sought to create a judicial nominating process based solely on merit.

Despite his best efforts, the Republican presidential hopeful finds himself enmeshed in just the kind of “law and order” controversy he had hoped to avoid. A judge he appointed in 2006 freed a convicted killer who is now charged with murdering a newlywed couple last week.

Huckabee’s glossed-over record

Mike Huckabee’s presidential rivals are pointing to chinks in his record as Arkansas’ governor — from ethics complaints to tax increases to illegal immigration and his support for releasing a rapist who was later convicted of killing a Missouri woman.

The Republican presidential candidate has plenty to champion from his 10 1/2 years as governor — including school improvements and health insurance for the children of the working poor. But his record has rough edges, and Huckabee has a habit of playing fast and loose with it.

Immigration: A defining issue?

One of the trickiest tightropes being walked by the 2008 US presidential candidates, all of them descended from immigrants, is how to tackle illegal immigration as they bid for the White House.

Democrats are forced into a delicate dance around the thorny issue, scrambling to court the booming Hispanic-American population without irking party moderates, analysts said.

Political ad wars take over airways

In Iowa, ’tis the season for TV pitches, political and commercial. By the time Iowans ring in the New Year, they may be sick of both.

An earlier date for Iowa’s caucuses probably means presidential candidates will run more television ads from mid-November through December, the height of the Christmas shopping season when retailers want to promote sales.

Mitt & Rudy continue their war

The back-and-forth backbiting between Republican presidential rivals Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney spilled over into Sunday as Giuliani contended that the former Massachusetts governor has fumbled on health care and economic matters.

Asked by a diner patron about Romney’s health care program while governor, Giuliani said Romney “made a mistake” by mandating coverage for all Massachusetts residents. “When you mandate it, it ends up costing you much more money,” said Giuliani, a former New York mayor.

Hillary: ‘I can beat the GOP’

Hillary Rodham Clinton maintained Sunday that she’s the best candidate to win against Republicans, saying she has more experience battling the GOP than any other candidate in the Democratic field.

“I believe that I have a very good argument that I know more about beating Republicans than anybody else running. They’ve been after me for 15 years, and much to their dismay, I’m still standing,” she said in answer to a woman’s question about her electability. “I’m leading in all the polls, I’m beating them in state after state after state.”