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Edwards Ads Take Aim At Veto

By Politics
Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Former senator John Edwards (D-N.C.) is launching the first television ads for his presidential campaign to coincide with President Bush's veto of the Iraq funding bill.

The ad, which will run in the D.C. media market, is aimed at sending a message to Congress as it considers the next steps on the war. In the ad, nine people are featured protesting the Bush administration's handling of the war in Iraq and asking Congress to stand up to the commander in chief.

"President Bush isn't listening to us," says one.

Another advises: "Don't back down to President Bush."

"Send him the same bill again and again," a third says.

Edwards appears in the ad only at its conclusion to offer the required tagline: "I'm John Edwards, and I approved this message."

The Edwards campaign refused to release the amount being spent on the ads, but they will run in the D.C. market on both broadcast and cable at a "strong buy" level, according to spokesman Eric Schultz.

There is also a major online component to the effort, in which users will be allowed to incorporate their own message to Congress and Bush into the ad and post them on both Edwards's presidential Web site and YouTube.

-- Chris Cillizza

Clinton, Obama Join N.H. Debate

The proliferation of presidential debates continued when Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) agreed to participate in a June encounter in New Hampshire.

The decisions by Clinton and Obama shattered a plan by the Democratic National Committee to limit the number of candidate debates to six between now and the end of the year and came after growing speculation that they might try to skip the New Hampshire session.

CNN, WMUR-TV in Manchester and the Manchester Union Leader earlier had proposed a pair of presidential debates for April but found few takers among the top tier of candidates in either party.

Because of the rejections, the sponsors announced earlier they would move the debates to June. Then, the DNC announced its plan to sanction just six debates and did not include the June debates in New Hampshire on the list.

Obama and Clinton held back for a time, but there was considerable pressure on them from their New Hampshire supporters to participate. Eight years ago, then-Texas Gov. George W. Bush decided to skip an early debate in New Hampshire and ultimately paid a price when he lost the primary to Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).

The Democratic debate will be June 3, with the GOP debate on June 5. Each debate will run two hours.

Republicans will hold their first debate on Thursday in California, with a second in South Carolina on May 15.

-- Dan Balz

Giuliani Touts Immigration Ideas

Former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani (R) said that illegal immigrants "should become citizens" if they pay a penalty and back taxes, show they can speak English, have a grasp of the "basic ideas of America," and wait their turn. "We reestablish in this whole process a sense of assimilation and Americanization."

Giuliani's position, outlined in a speech to the conservative-tilting Latino Coalition, places him on the side of Republicans who favor a comprehensive immigration approach that includes both border security and a path to citizenship for some of the 12 million or more illegal immigrants in the country. Many Republicans, including several presidential contenders, object to an approach that does not focus solely on securing the border.

Giuliani said he supports a border fence but situated security in the broader context of anti-terrorism efforts. "People around this world are planning to come here and kill us," he said. "We have to look at it from the point of view of: 'How do we make America more secure?'"

Giuliani said that all immigrants should be registered in a database and given a tamper-proof identification card. "We should know who they are and satisfy ourselves they're here for a decent purpose," he said.

The Latino Coalition said that Giuliani was the only presidential candidate who agreed to address its summit, held at the Four Seasons Hotel.

-- Zachary A. Goldfarb

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