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The Morning Grind / Political Hot Topics

Cheney hits Kerry, Kerry fires back

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Watch CNN-USA now: Soledad O'Brien, Bill Hemmer and Jack Cafferty look at Howard Dean's new Democracy for America initiative and set the stage for President Bush's planned speech on the anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. Watch for live coverage of that at 11 a.m. ET (1600 GMT).
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Morning Grind
Dick Cheney
John F. Kerry

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Check out the links below to hot political stories around the country this morning.

  • CHENEY HITS KERRY: In a blistering critique of John Kerry's record on military issues, Dick Cheney on Wednesday portrayed the Democratic presidential candidate as weak, inconsistent and a threat to the security of the nation.
  • The New York Times: In speech, Cheney attacks Kerry's record on the militaryexternal link

  • KERRY FIRES BACK: In a major national security speech of his own, the presumptive Democratic nominee offered a multi-count indictment of the Bush record in Iraq and elsewhere, saying Bush's diplomatic and military failures "have left the real interests of our country and of the world in tatters across this planet."
  • The Washington Post: Cheney enters campaign frayexternal link

  • DEAN'S REENTRANCE: Howard Dean is scheduled to return to Washington State today for the first time since he abandoned his presidential bid last month to ask supporters to back his new endeavor, Democracy for America. The group will lend support to Kerry and plans to recruit and back candidates for offices from the local to federal levels deemed to share Dean's ideology.
  • The Tacoma New Tribune: Dean turns campaign into advocacy groupexternal link

  • RELISHING THE FIGHT: It was the president's decision, White House and campaign officials said in interviews this week, to transform himself into an out-and-out political candidate a full eight months before the election. It was the president's decision, they said, to directly attack Senator John Kerry the day after Super Tuesday, when Mr. Kerry became the presumptive Democratic nominee.
  • The New York Times: Bush glad to be in the campaign fray and not above itexternal link

  • SPORTSMAN KERRY: The next time John Kerry comes to West Virginia, he might need to bring his rifle. Before he left the state Wednesday, sources close to his state campaign said they are trying to arrange a hunting trip in the state for the Massachusetts senator.
  • The Charleston Gazette: Kerry might go hunting in West Virginiaexternal link

  • HIS OWN PRIVATE IDAHO: When Kerry takes a break, he does it in style -- and privacy. The Democratic nomination essentially in hand, the Bay State senator retreated to his luxurious Idaho ski getaway yesterday to kick off a weeklong vacation.
  • The Boston Herald: Senator retreats to posh estateexternal link

  • MEDIA FUND'S ROUND TWO: A new television ad by a liberal interest group says President Bush has created jobs -- "in places like China" -- while another anti-Bush spot accuses the president of lying to Americans about the reasons for going to war in Iraq. and the Media Fund, groups working on behalf of Democrats but independently from Kerry, are running the ads in battleground states where Bush is on the air.
  • The Associated Press: Two groups' ads hit Bush on jobs, Iraqexternal link

  • CONVENTION CASH: The committee raising money to host the Republican National Convention has collected just over half its estimated $60 million budget, and Mayor Bloomberg may have to help lean on donors to get the rest, sources said.
  • The New York Daily News: Mike mulls GOP parley buck huntexternal link

  • CONVENTION MOVE?: Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's suggestion to pluck the convention from the FleetCenter and move it to the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center in South Boston has some residents of the most political of political neighborhoods thinking that it might be good for delegates to get a taste of something new. And it might be good for the neighborhood.
  • The Boston Globe: Many agree, DNC move could pay off in Southieexternal link

  • RALLY ROUND THE PRESIDENT: Congressional Republicans rallied to President Bush's defense yesterday, chiding Spanish voters for ousting a government that had backed his Iraq policy and dismissing anti-administration sentiment among many Europeans and Muslims as behind-the-times thinking.
  • The Washington Post: House GOP rallies around Bushexternal link

  • LOG CABIN DISILLUSION: For gay Republicans, the issue of same-sex marriage -- thrust center stage by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court and the mayor of San Francisco -- has provoked an identity crisis. Conservative on fiscal and foreign policy, they are not natural Democrats. But they say they are wounded, feeling rejected by their own GOP family.
  • The Los Angeles Times: Gay Republicans spurred to actionexternal link

  • HIGH HOPES FOR OBAMA: If Barack Obama wins the Illinois Senate race, he will instantly be catapulted into the top ranks of black leaders in the nation, setting expectations that may be difficult for a freshman senator to meet. What's more, being prepped for the role of crusader could hand Republican rival Jack Ryan a wedge to label Obama as a big-government liberal out of touch with the desires of mainstream voters.
  • The Chicago Tribune: Ryan, Obama enter new ringexternal link

  • SHOW PENNSYLVANIA THE MONEY: Cross-country contributions in Pennsylvania's GOP Senate primary highlight a central component of the race: It is playing to a national audience. In the face of a clash between the moderate and conservative wings of the Republican Party, Rep. Pat Toomey and Sen. Arlen Specter are raising a large portion of their money outside the state.
  • The Philadelphia Inqurier: Out-of-state money pours into Toomey-Specter raceexternal link

  • SELLING HOPE: The residence where Bill Clinton lived for three years, starting when he was about 5, is up for sale on eBay, with the bidding in one week rising from $45,000 to $215,700. The home's owner, now married, is looking for a bigger place. The auction will close April 7.
  • The Associated Press: Clinton's boyhood home for sale on eBay

    Compiled by Mark Rodeffer

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