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Romney plays it safe on ground as he is critical on the air

Romney plays it safe on ground as he is critical on the air

In a grudge match before next week's presidential caucuses in Iowa kick off the nominating season, Republican Mitt Romney played it safe Saturday with a series of quick stops where he delivered a final pitch that was long on platitudes but short on substance.
The former Massachusetts governor's brief remarks _ filled with storytelling, chitchat and bullet points of his agenda _ belied the cutthroat nature of the Republican race and contrasted sharply with his hard-hitting television ads against rivals Mike Huckabee and John McCain.
"My vision for America is an optimistic one. I've brought change to what I've touched before. I'll bring change to Washington. I will also strengthen the American family," Romney said at every appearance, presenting his closing argument five days before voting.
Romney's strategy calls for winning early contests. But he is fighting to move past Huckabee, the come-from-behind former Arkansas governor leading in Iowa polls, and he is running a commercial questioning whether Huckabee is "ready to make tough decision" and calling him soft on spending, immigration, crime and foreign policy.
In next-up New Hampshire, Romney's campaign announced Saturday that it was airing a second ad in as many days taking McCain to task on immigration. The Arizona senator is gaining on Romney, who has an edge in state polls.
Nevertheless, the blistering criticism Romney has doled out to his rivals in recent weeks gave way Saturday to happy talk and voter contact in Iowa. He ignored his Republican opponents.
But Huckabee was not in a forgetting or forgiving frame of mind. Speaking in Osceloa, he denounced political attack ads, saying voters want a president who will tell them what he would do if elected. He criticized attack ads aimed at him, saying, "If I believed half of that stuff, I wouldn't vote for myself." He singled out Romney, saying "Mitt doesn't have anything to stand on except to stand against."


Updated : 2021-08-05 20:36 GMT+08:00