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Giuliani blasts immigration bill

WHITE RIVER JUNCTION, Vt. -- Former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani yesterday called the immigration bill championed by one of his presidential rivals a hodgepodge that won't accomplish what should be its central goal: tracking everyone who crosses the border.

"We need to know everyone who's in the United States who comes here from a foreign country. That has to be the goal of our immigration law," he said.

"If you make that the objective of your law, you will clear up a lot of the confusion that presently exists both in our present immigration law and in what Congress is trying to do right now, which kind of goes in 10 different directions without any central focus."

But Arizona Senator John McCain, a cosponsor of the compromise bill being debated by Congress, defended the measure against attacks from his rivals for the Republican nomination, saying it is needed to protect the country from terrorism.

"People who grew up in London, people who have spent most of their lives in the United States, have somehow become induced to be terrorists and that argues strongly for accounting for and bringing under control a situation where 12 million people are in our country illegally," McCain said in back-to-back conference calls yesterday with reporters in early voting states.

New ads by Dodd, Romney
WASHINGTON -- Christopher Dodd is taking on his Democratic presidential rivals -- again. And Republican Mitt Romney is now highlighting his home state -- with a bit of a sneer.

In new television commercials, the two presidential candidates are each addressing some of their biggest challenges.

For Dodd, that means directly confronting Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. For Romney, it means acknowledging he once governed Massachusetts, a state conservatives consider a center of left-wing thought.

Dodd makes note of his support for legislation that would have cut off funds for the war in Iraq by March 31, 2008. In an ad two weeks ago he challenged other Democrats to join him.

"It worked," an announcer in his new ad says. "Now Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have changed their positions to follow Chris Dodd."

Romney's commercial paints him as a leader in a hostile environment.

An announcer intones: "In the most liberal state in the country, one Republican stood up and cut spending, instead of raising taxes. He enforced immigration laws, stood up for traditional marriage, and the sanctity of human life."

"In the toughest place," the ad concludes, "Mitt Romney's done the toughest things." (AP)

Clinton shift on Iowa urged
NEW YORK -- Hillary Clinton's deputy campaign manager wrote a memo this week urging the New York senator to bypass the Iowa caucuses, in order to spend time and resources in New Hampshire, South Carolina, and several larger states hosting primaries Feb. 5.

The memo emerged days after a new Des Moines Sunday Register poll of likely caucus-goers showed Clinton trailing rivals John Edwards and Barack Obama in Iowa, which is scheduled to hold the first voting contests on Jan. 14.

"I believe we need a new approach to winning the Democratic nomination," deputy campaign manager Mike Henry wrote. "This approach involves shifting the focus away from Iowa and running a campaign that is more focused on other early primary states and winning this new national primary."

There was no indication yesterday that Henry's advice would be heeded. Campaign spokesman Howard Wolfson said both the candidate and her top advisers are committed to campaigning in Iowa and that Henry's views were not shared by others in the campaign. (AP)

Edwards: No 'war on terror'
NEW YORK -- Democrat John Edwards yesterday repudiated the notion that there is a "global war on terror," calling it an ideological doctrine advanced by the Bush administration that has strained American military resources and emboldened terrorists.

In a defense policy speech to the Council on Foreign Relations, Edwards called the war on terror a "bumper sticker" slogan Bush had used to justify everything from abuses at the Abu Ghraib prison to the invasion of Iraq.

"We need a post-Bush, post- 9/11, post-Iraq military that is mission focused on protecting Americans from 21st-century threats, not misused for discredited ideological purposes," Edwards said. "By framing this as a war, we have walked right into the trap the terrorists have set -- that we are engaged in some kind of clash of civilizations and a war on Islam." (AP)