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Campaign Notebook

Romney dismisses idea of quitting if he loses race in Mich.

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January 14, 2008

Mitt Romney yesterday dismissed any suggestion he would leave the race if he did not win Michigan.

"We're going all the way through Feb. 5 - no ifs, ands, or buts about it," he said on CBS's "Face the Nation." "This is a race that is not going to be decided by a few states. It's a race that I'm taking to the nation."

Romney is eager for a Michigan win after second-place finishes in the Iowa Republican caucus and the New Hampshire primary.

Campaigning in Michigan yesterday, he focused on his roots in the state and promised to do more to lift up the economically hard-hit state than John McCain.

Romney and McCain, the New Hampshire winner, are statistically tied in Michigan, according to a Detroit News poll released yesterday, but Romney led McCain by 5 percentage points in a similar survey by the Detroit Free Press.

Today, Romney will address the Detroit Economic Club. "Michigan's economic worries should be America's worries," he said in his prepared speech. "Detroit can only thrive if Washington is an engaged partner, not a disinterested observer."

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Changing political issues pose problem for Giuliani

The changing mix of issues in the presidential campaign - and the difficulty that poses for Rudy Giuliani - was on vivid display during Thursday night's debate among the Republican White House contenders.

A significant shift has occurred in the topics that dominate the political discussion in both parties. The spotlight has shifted from terrorism and war to domestic issues, particularly the economy, which are not Giuliani's dominant themes. The first question Thursday concerning foreign affairs came about 40 minutes into the 90-minute forum.

While other Republican candidates are focused on tomorrow's Michigan primary, Giuliani is following a strategy of pushing for a Jan. 29 victory in Florida he hopes will propel him toward a strong showing on Feb. 5, when more than 20 states hold primaries and caucuses, and then on to the nomination.

With his plan for winning the GOP presidential nomination riding largely on a Florida victory, Giuliani yesterday made an atypical request of an evangelical congregation at El Rey Jesus church in Miami.

"I'm not coming here to ask for your vote," he said. "That's up to you, and it's not the right place. But I am coming here to ask you for something very special and more important: I'm asking for your prayers."

LOS ANGELES TIMES

Polls' projections of Paul's performance were right

For months now, Ron Paul supporters have been saying everywhere they could that the media, the polls, and the prognosticators were all wrong. There was a conspiracy.

Those Paul supporters were correct. The media, the polls, and the prognosticators were all wrong - about Barack Obama handily beating Hillary Clinton in the New Hampshire primary.

The media that the Paul camp loves to hate were right about Ron Paul. He was a long shot. He misfired again. And he got pretty much the same share of New Hampshire GOP votes as the polls indicated all along.

As he did in Iowa, Paul, despite raising the most money of any Republican presidential candidate in the fourth quarter - nearly $20 million (and another $650,000 this month) - and despite the vociferous support of many young supporters, once again finished in the back of the GOP pack.

He was in single digits this time, versus his 10 percent in the Iowa contest when he thumped Rudy Giuliani, former mayor of New York, who got 4 percent. Then Paul captured zero delegates in the Wyoming caucuses.

The 72-year-old representative from Texas vied with Giuliani for fourth or fifth place with 8 percent or 9 percent of the New Hampshire vote.

LOS ANGELES TIMES

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