Saturday, April 28, 2007
Former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani pulled out the S-word to criticize universal-health-care plans advocated by Democratic presidential candidates.
The Republican hopeful said in a visit to Raleigh, N.C., that Democrats who urged "mandatory" universal health care at a debate Thursday night were "moving toward socialized medicine so fast, it'll make your head spin," according to the Associated Press.
Giuliani instead advocated for a private solution. "When we want to cover poor people, as we should, we give them vouchers," he said.
All Democratic candidates support the government providing health care for those who cannot afford it, though the popularity of that position has come only in recent years. On Thursday, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) spoke of the "scars" she still bears from her 1994 universal-health-care proposal.
Former senator John Edwards (N.C.), another Democratic White House aspirant, said Giuliani is running a campaign aimed at polarizing the country. "Rudy Giuliani needs to put an end to his campaign to divide America and concentrate on offering solutions to the big challenges we face," he said.
-- Zachary A. Goldfarb
Renzi Vows to Stick Around
Rep. Rick Renzi (R-Ariz.), who temporarily stepped down from the House intelligence and Natural Resources committees after the FBI raided a family business last week as part of a probe into a land deal, rejected speculation that he would resign from office.
"For several weeks, I have been the subject of leaked stories, conjecture, and false attacks about a land exchange," Renzi said in a statement. "None of them bear any resemblance to the truth, including the rumor that I am planning on resigning."
But both Republicans and Democrats are preparing to run if Renzi resigns.
Readying for a special election, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has opened a special election fund to collect cash that would benefit the party's eventual nominee. If a vacancy occurs, the Democratic special election nominee would benefit from an immediate cash infusion from this fund. The DCCC began raising money yesterday for the effort.
"Rick Renzi's seat was a target before his family business was raided by the FBI. It's even more so now. If and when there is special election, the Democratic candidate will have the support needed to win," said Jennifer Crider, a DCCC spokeswoman.
-- Chris Cillizza
Debate Gives Gravel His Moment
CNN asked whether former Alaska senator Mike Gravel (D) is the "breakout star."
The New York Times said he was the candidate at the Democratic debate who made front-runners such as Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) "uncomfortable."
And if you're measuring -- in this new age -- by YouTube videos, online politics critic Howard Mortman says Gravel took the prize with 18 videos posted after the debate.
In the 24 hours since the debate, Gravel, the fiery, self-described "elder statesman" who left politics 26 years ago, definitely got more attention than he had seen since he became the first Democrat to declare for president last April. It was the chance every long-shot candidate hopes for.
And for Gravel, it might give his campaign a few more months of liquidity. In an interview, Gravel said he left Columbia, S.C., at 4 a.m. yesterday with his campaign account $900 in debt.
By later yesterday, the account had more than $10,000. "Lo and behold!" Gravel said.
He added: "We need the resources to take account of ourselves, and of course we will be able to do that if the money keeps up."
-- Zachary A. Goldfarb
· Melissa Fitzgerald, the actress who played Carol Fitzpatrick, assistant to the press secretary on NBC's "The West Wing," is talking to local Democrats about challenging Rep. Jim Gerlach (R-Pa.) in 2008, according to the Allentown Morning Call. Gerlach deflected a stiff challenge last year.
· California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger announced that a special election to fill the House vacancy created by the death of Rep. Juanita Millender-McDonald (D) will be held Aug. 21.