Fred Thompson makes his much anticipated debate debut Tuesday when the GOP '08ers gather for their sixth meeting of the cycle. The debate, which will run for two hours, will focus on economic issues and CNBC has the live broadcast beginning at 4:00 pm ET, with a rebroadcast on MSNBC at 9:00 pm ET.
Hoping to avoid what they see as Rudy Giuliani's mis-steps at the '08ers' first debate back on May 3 at the Reagan Library, Team Thompson has had the former senator hunkering down for the past number days, preparing for his first match up with his GOP rivals.
The latest ABC News/Washington Post poll of the Republican field shows Thompson hasn't had much of a bounce since entering the race in September. He's now at 19 percent compared to 17 percent in early September, numbers better than John McCain and Mitt Romney nationally, but still behind Giuliani.
The debate comes one day after Thompson announced a national team of senior advisors and surrogates which includes Vice President Cheney's daughter Liz Cheney and former Senator George Allen.
As for the Democrats, Barack Obama joined John Edwards in going after Hillary Clinton's support for the Kyl-Lieberman amendment, which designated the Iranian Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization telling ABC News' Sunlen Miller: "Senator Clinton obviously in 2002 voted to authorize the war in Iraq. And her willingness to once again extend to the president the benefit of the doubt I think indicates that she hasn't fully learned some of the lessons that we saw back in 2002."
"We have to be very cautious in how we approach these kinds of issues. Because we've already seen enormous damage done to US's prestige around the world, the US's strategic interests in the world. Part of the reason Iran has been strengthened is because of that war that had been authorized in Iraq, he added.
Edwards himself stepped up his attack on Clinton in an interview on "progressive" radio. "You've got George Bush out there rattling his saber about going to war in Iran. The last thing we need to do is give that guy any authority on the first step to move forward. So, I do differ with Senator Clinton about this," said Edwards on The Ed Schultz Radio Show.
Moments after Edwards was on the program Randall Rolph, the registered Democrat who pressed Clinton about her vote on Sunday, told Schultz that Clinton "barked" at him and made it seem like he didn't know what he was talking about. Rolph also accused Clinton of representing "more of the same" as the current Bush administration.
For now, John Edwards has focused his fire on Clinton. But what will happen when Barack Obama begins to wiggle his way into the story?
Will the Southern Smoothie go after Obama for missing the vote?
On Tuesday, Clinton travels to Webster City, Iowa, to discuss retirement security at 11:00 am ET, before attending meeting with residents in Dakota City at 2:00 pm ET.
Obama is in New Hampshire for a 10:30 am ET town hall in Londonderry. He then travels to Plymouth, NH for a 6:30 pm ET town hall meeting held in the courtroom of the Hartman Union Building.
Edwards addresses the Oregon AFL-CIO 50th Convention held in Seaside, Ore., at Seaside Civic and Convention Center at 1:00 pm ET.
Chris Dodd is in Iowa, stopping in Des Moines for a 10:30 am ET press conference on the West Steps of the Iowa State Capitol, before attending a forum with Employees of Principal Financial Services at 12:30 pm ET. Later in the evening, he wines and dines at La Favorita, for a house party with the Latino community beginning at 8:00 pm ET.
Tivo Alert! Mayor Michael Bloomberg will appear on Good Morning America, WABC-TV, for a live interview at 8:30 am ET.
Post-debate, McCain stops by a debate watch party hosted at Dimitri's on the Avenue Restaurant and Giuliani makes remarks at Andiamo in Dearborn. Earlier in the day, McCain makes 9:45 am ET remarks to the Detroit Economic Club and attends a media avail. Romney drops his head in a debate party too at Kiernans Steak House.
As for the White House…
President Bush participates in a meeting on No Child Left Behind Reauthorization at 1:15 pm ET in the Roosevelt Room.
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