FARGO, North Dakota – The Romney campaign has complained to the North Dakota attorney general about what it claims are dirty tricks by the McCain campaign.
Jason McBride, who is running North Dakota for the Romney campaign, said the campaign has heard numerous complaints from voters here about anonymous and misleading automated phone calls.
The caller, McBride said, falsely claims to be from the Romney campaign but says positive things about John McCain. He said the caller has a strong “Hispanic accent.”
McBride said that by using caller ID and the reverse directory, the Romney team has traced the calls to the office of a McCain aide in Michigan. The campaign, he said, lodged a complaint today by e-mail to Atttorney General Wayne Stenehjem.
UPDATE: Crystal Benton, a spokeswoman for the McCain campaign, said there is no validity to the Romney campaign's complaint. "This is absurd," she wrote in an e-mail.
But otherwise, it was a good day for the Romney campaign here. Ann Romney arrived late this afternoon to greet volunteers at a Fargo phone bank, and then spoke to about 125 people, including Lieutenant Governor Jack Dalrymple, at a Ramada Inn. In a state where none of the major candidates has campaigned, this was big, and it got heavy coverage in the local TV news.
At the Ramada Inn, Romney spoke about her husband’s devotion to family and skill at problem-solving; she also said he was the “life of the party” and had a terrific sense of humor that has not always been apparent in the campaign.
“It’s unfortunate,” she said, “sometimes his real personality can’t come out” in the heat of debates where he is taking criticism from all sides.
A massive pool tournament was taking place in a ballroom down the hall, resulting in an odd mix of traffic in the hallway -- Republican ladies in red dress coats, weathered men in checked shirts and ballcaps, and some rather tough-looking fellows in denim cruising by with cans of Miller Light.
Romney was presented with a box of “chippers,” the pride of the Red River Valley, and a treat people here say is not to be missed.