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CNN Student News Transcript: January 22, 2008

  • Story Highlights
  • Hear how politics played a role in some Martin Luther King Day events
  • Examine the fight for Florida among Republican presidential candidates
  • Learn what challenges face some Democratic candidates in South Carolina
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(CNN Student News) -- January 22, 2008

Quick Guide

Honoring MLK - Hear how politics played a role in some Martin Luther King Day events.

The Fight for Florida - Examine the fight for Florida among Republican presidential candidates.

Palmetto State Push - Learn what challenges face some Democratic candidates in South Carolina.



MONICA LLOYD, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: Welcome to CNN Student News. I'm Monica Lloyd. We're back from the long holiday weekend and we're ready to get you caught up on what's making news today.

PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: They say Martin Luther King Day is not a day off, it should be a day on. And so today, Laura and I witnessed acts of compassion as citizens were here in the library volunteering their time. And that's what's happening all across America today. But a day on should be not just one day. It really ought to be every day.

First Up: Honoring MLK

LLOYD: President Bush there, speaking about the federal holiday established to pay tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King. All across the country yesterday, people commemorated the life and work of the civil rights leader, and politicians popped up at several events in the Southeast. Two past Arkansas governors attended the annual MLK memorial service in Atlanta. One, Bill Clinton, is a former president, and the other, Republican candidate Mike Huckabee, is hoping to be a future president. Meanwhile, in South Carolina, the three leading Democratic candidates took part in events that honored Dr. King. More on them in a minute. But first, let's look at the GOP race.

The battle for the Republican nomination is wide open, and several candidates came up big in contests over the weekend. Sticking with South Carolina, John McCain, who won in New Hampshire, claimed victory in a close battle with Mike Huckabee, who took first place in Iowa. Out West, Mitt Romney came out on top in Nevada. The overwhelming win came on the heels of his victory in his home state of Michigan. And now, it's on to Florida. Mary Snow tells us what issue Romney is focusing on in the Sunshine State.


MITT ROMNEY, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm Mitt Romney and I'm running for president.

MARY SNOW, CNN REPORTER: Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, introducing himself to children attending a Martin Luther King Day parade in Jacksonville, Florida. To try and grab the attention of people who actually can vote in this state, he's introducing himself as a former businessman who can handle rough times in the economy.

ROMNEY: I spent my life in the private sector and spent my time helping to create jobs.

SNOW: But as he touts his economic experience, Romney is finding himself answering questions about why more jobs weren't created in Massachusetts while he was governor. He responds by saying Massachusetts isn't growing as fast as other states. Romney has a lot riding on his economic message. It helped him win in Michigan, where the auto industry is suffering. That win kept him in the presidential fight after two big setbacks in New Hampshire and Iowa. Voters in Nevada, where he won, said the economy was key. And the issue is expected to take center stage in Florida.

PROFESSOR LANCE DEHAVEN-SMITH, FLORIDA STATE: I think the economy will be the major issue. Florida has the struggling economy now, and we have a population that is somewhat cost sensitive.

SNOW: A large population of seniors live in Florida, many on fixed incomes who are worried about taxes and inflation. Romney is tailoring his message to them with a proposal.

ROMNEY: Anybody who is 65 years of age and older, theyıd have no payroll tax, either by their employer or by themselves.

SNOW: Among other things, Romney is proposing tax rebates for people in the lowest tax bracket and incentives for corporations. As Romney makes his case here in Florida, the non-partisn group, Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, is questioning his economic record while he was governor, saying Massachusetts only did better than a handful of other states. But the Romney camp says that it was Romney who pulled Massachusetts' economy out of a ditch. Mary Snow, CNN, Orlando.


The Fight for Florida

LLOYD: Now, Romney certainly isn't the only GOP candidate in Florida right now. Rudy Giuliani has been campaigning for votes in the state for a while. He hasn't seen any first place finishes in the early primaries and caucuses so far. But as John King explains, Giuliani is hoping a win in Florida will kickstart his White House bid into high gear.


JOHN KING, CNN REPORTER: Alone across the finish line at the famous Daytona Speedway, but Rudy Giuliani suddenly has company here in Florida, and good reason to be nervous.

RUDY GIULIANI, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: My Republican opponents all want to do tax reductions of one kind of another, but none of them are as bold as mine.

KING: That's just the warmup. Giuliani is getting more personal as his heavy investment here appears more and more at risk.

GIULIANI: I supported the Bush tax cuts. John McCain sided with the Democrats and voted against the Bush tax cuts. Mitt Romney was equivocal in his support for the Bush tax cuts.

KING: The former New York mayor has spent 50 days campaigning in Florida, talking tough on national security.

GIULIANI: Our goal in Iraq has to be victory in Iraq.

KING: And signing up support while his rivals were slugging it out elsewhere.

GIULIANI: Are we going to win Florida? Thank you, and God bless you!

KING: But the competition is here now, and eight days before Florida votes, it is not Giuliani getting the crush of attention. The Cuban coffee at Miami's Versailles Restaurant is the stuff of local legend. Giuliani has made inroads in the Cuban American community, but John McCain believes his support is deeper and can help him follow up his win in South Carolina with another victory here.

JOHN MCCAIN, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We come into Florida with some wind at our back.

KING: At the moment, the economy is the lead debating point.

MCCAIN: I understand the economic difficulties that are affecting Florida and this country.

KING: McCain says he opposed the Bush tax cuts because the plan did not also include spending cuts. Now, he says he backs the White House plan to stimulate the economy with new tax cuts and rebates, but adds a warning:

MCCAIN: If Congress loads it up with the pork barrel projects, which is the major reason why we have gotten into the mess, then obviously I would be in opposition to it.

KING: Giuliani for months has predicted a big win in Florida would serve as a springboard to the 20 Super Tuesday contests a week later. But not only has the mayor lost his once commanding lead here, two new polls out show him trailing Sen. McCain in one of the biggest Super Tuesday prizes: Giuliani's home state of New York. John King, CNN, Orlando.


Palmetto State Push

LLOYD: All right, back over to the Democrats now. How are things shaping up in their race? Well, Hillary Clinton just took home top prize in Nevada. But as we mentioned earlier, she, John Edwards and Barack Obama are all in South Carolina right now. You see, the state's Democratic primary is coming up on Saturday. All three candidates are working to rally support from the African-American community, which could represent up to 50 or even 60 percent of the voters in this weekend's contest. Jessica Yellin looks at some of the obstacles that the leading candidates are facing heading into the important faceoff.


JESSICA YELLIN, CNN REPORTER: At a march and rally honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., an unexpected gift from Senator Clinton: She was running so late, for a time, she ceded center stage here to her competitors. Eventually, all three spoke of the legacy of Dr. King.

BARACK OBAMA, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: King inspired with words not of anger, but of an urgency that still speaks to us today. He said: unity is the great need of the hour.

JOHN EDWARDS, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: All three of us are on the journey with you, on the march to equality and justice and fairness in the United States of America.

HILLARY CLINTON, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The dream is nowhere fulfilled, and now we are called to rise up, speak up and finally get it done.

YELLIN: Sen. Clinton faces an uphill fight here. Polls taken prior to her Nevada win show she's lost ground among African-Americans, and her husband is locked in a nasty spat with Barack Obama, drawing criticism from this African-American leader.

REP. JIM CLYBURN (D): As they would say in Gullygeechee country, "He needs to chill a little bit."

YELLIN: John Edwards was born in South Carolina. After Nevada, where, to quote the candidate himself, he got his "butt kicked," a strong finish in his home state could recharge his campaign. But arguably the most pressure is on Barack Obama. He is aggressively shooting down rumors that he's Muslim, which could hurt him in this conservative Christian stronghold.

OBAMA: You know, I've been at the same church, the same Christian church, for almost 20 years.

YELLIN: Expectations are high for Obama to win this state, prove Iowa was no fluke, to demonstrate he can rally African-Americans to his campaign while staying true to his message of unity. It's a theme he hits in a new ad: "We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the starts and stripes." A message he hopes will carry him through Super Tuesday.



CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Time for the Shoutout! You just heard stories about these three states: Florida, Nevada and South Carolina. Let's see how well you know your capitals. Match the letter of each state to the number of its capital. Here are the capitals: Columbia, Tallahassee and Carson City. We'll give you five seconds to do this. Ready, set, GO! Florida's capital is Tallahassee, Nevada's is Carson City and South Carolina's is Columbia. That's your answer and that's your Shoutout!

Before We Go

LLOYD: Before we go, you won't believe what came in with the tide. There's drift wood and then there's this! You're looking at thousands of tons of timber. It washed up on the shores of Sussex, England, over the weekend after a cargo ship sank in the English Channel. Cleanup crews came to clear the loose lumber from the area, but not before residents could come and cart some of it off!



LLOYD: And that's it for today. Thanks for watching. I'm Monica Lloyd. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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