GOP candidates agree Hillary is public enemy number one
By Karyn Chenoweth Oct 22, 2007, 13:32 GMT
US Senator Hillary Clinton (Democrat- New York) speaks to supporters at the National Women\'s Finance Council Summit held at the Capitol Hilton in Washington, D.C., USA on 17 October 2007. Clinton is campaigning for the Democratic presidential nomination. EPA/DENNY HENRY
One thing the array of presidential candidates on the Republican side of the aisle can agree on, Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton is the person to beat for the upcoming elections.
Depsite the GOP differences between the candidates, from McCain to Romney, all urge their base of support that a vote for Hillary will spell disaster for America's future.
Long time political reporter for the AP, Libby Quaid reports that Republicans, "when they weren't feuding with one another in their most direct and contentious exchanges yet," they were busy casting stones Clinton's way..
Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani used humor to hit Clinton, exclaiming, "You gotta be kidding!" when asked if he differs with her on abortion and gay rights.
"There are two things I agree with Hillary Clinton on. First of all, we're both Yankee fans," he said to laughter.
Then Giuliani quoted her as saying, "I have a million ideas; America cannot afford them all."
"I'm not making it up," he said to more laughter. "No kidding, Hillary - America can't afford you."
Quaid reports that Giuliani kept at it, and "reinforced his image as a front-runner much as he does on the campaign trail, by disparaging the former first lady as much as he criticizes other Republicans."
The New York senator is leading in polls against GOP contenders.
Quaid reports the audience, sponsored by Fox News Channel and the Florida Republican Party, cheered all the GOP jabs at the senator from New York.
"Scoring points on Hillary in this group - hell, that's like a 5-foot basket. You're just dropping the ball in," said David Johnson, a Tallahassee political strategist and former head of the Florida GOP, according to Quaid.
Mitt Romney challenged Clinton's experience.
"She hasn't run a corner store. She hasn't run a state. She hasn't run a city. She has never run anything," the former Massachusetts governor said.
Sen. John McCain mentioned Clinton's effort to spend $1 million on a Woodstock Museum to commemorate perhaps the most famous counterculture event of the 1960s.
"Now, my friends, I wasn't there. I'm sure it was a cultural and pharmaceutical event," McCain said.
"I was tied up at the time," he deadpanned, and the audience rose, applauding the reference to McCain's years as a Vietnam prisoner of war, reported Quaid.
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a Southern Baptist, said, "Look, I like to be funny. There's nothing funny about Hillary Clinton being president."
Quaid reported the GOP candidates went overboard trying to "sell" the crowd who was the real conservative in the group.
Former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson said: "Mayor Giuliani believes in federal funding for abortion. He believes in sanctuary cities. He's for gun control. He supported Mario Cuomo, a liberal Democrat, against a Republican who was running for governor, then opposed the governor's tax cuts when he was there."
Thompson also mentioned Romney's 1994 campaign against Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy, when Romney cast himself as a defender of a woman's right to abortion, an issue on which Romney says he has changed his mind.
"Actually, Mitt, I didn't know there was any room to the left of Ted Kennedy," Thompson quipped.
Giuliani called Thompson the "single biggest obstacle" in the Senate to curbing frivolous lawsuits.
Thompson responded by saying it's a matter of federalism, the concept of power divided between national and state government. "Local issues belong at the state level. Most states have passed tort reform," he said.
Quaid reported that Thompson managed a graceful response to a question about whether he is lazy.
After recounting his personal history and vocational path, "If a man can do all that and be lazy, I recommend it to everybody," he said to laughter and applause, adding that he is a father of five children, two of them under age 4.