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How Many's a Crowd? Debate Debate Pits Kucinich Against Edwards and Clinton

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Saturday, July 14, 2007

Two Democratic presidential candidates, former senator John Edwards (N.C.) and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.), were caught Thursday by Fox News microphones after a forum in Detroit discussing their desire to limit future joint appearances to exclude some lesser-known rivals.

Edwards says, "We should try to have a more serious and a smaller group."

Clinton agrees, saying, "We've got to cut the number" and "They're not serious." She also says that she thought their campaigns had already tried to limit the debates and "we've got to get back to it."

Fellow candidate Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich (Ohio) lashed out at Edwards. "This is a serious matter, and I'm calling him on it," Kucinich said. "Whispering, trying to rig an election, then denying what's going on and making excuses. It all reflects a consistent lack of integrity."

Edwards and Clinton were asked about the exchange yesterday, and they offered different explanations. In New Hampshire, Clinton seemed to lay responsibility on Edwards. "I think he has some ideas about what he'd like to do," she said, adding that she liked participating in the forums.

Edwards told reporters in Iowa that he wasn't in favor of barring anyone from future gatherings. Rather, he said he wanted to see them separated into two groups of four candidates each, chosen randomly. "The result would be that we would have a much more serious discussion, and people would actually be able to see what the differences are between us," he said.

Kucinich called Edwards's explanation "disturbing" and said he planned to contact Edwards and Clinton to demand an apology. "I accept their offer to participate in a debate with just the two of them," Kucinich said. "John should be happy with this, since he wants a small group."

-- Associated Press

Clinton Wants to Close Tax Loophole

Hillary Clinton yesterday urged closing a tax loophole that she said unfairly benefits a few top Wall Street financiers. Clinton called the loophole a "glaring inequity" and joined other lawmakers in a push to raise the tax rate on "carried interest" gains made by senior partners in the booming private equity and hedge fund businesses.

"It offends our values as a nation when an investment manager making $50 million can pay a lower tax rate on her earned income than a teacher making $50,000 pays on her income," Clinton said.

"As president I will reform our tax code to ensure that the carried interest earned by some multimillionaire Wall Street managers is recognized for what it is: ordinary income that should be taxed at ordinary income tax rates."

-- Reuters


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