Posted: November 21, 2007 1:20 PM
Romney Decries Faux Pollster Calls, Jabs at Giuliani
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney kept his focus on immigration and continued his criticism of former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s record on the issue. On Monday, Romney took aim at Giuliani for claiming that his immigration polices in New York were “probably the most successful in the history of the country in creating an orderly, legal, lawful society.” Romney charged, as he has before, that as mayor, Giuliani provided a sanctuary to illegal immigrants.
In a statement, Romney spokesperson Kevin Madden said, “Mayor Giuliani’s advocacy of sanctuary city laws put him at odds with all of those Americans who believe we should be enforcing our laws and securing our borders, instead of encouraging more illegal immigration with a promise of lax enforcement and sanctuary policies embraced by the mayor.”
ABC News reported that Giuliani’s campaign swiped back by scrutinizing Romney’s immigration policies as governor of Massachusetts. Giuliani spokesperson Jarrod Agen said, “Under Governor Mitt Romney the number of illegal immigrants skyrocketed, while he recommended millions of dollars in state aid to numerous sanctuary cities and to companies employing illegal immigrants, not to mention the illegals working on his own lawn.”
Romney may also be the target of another campaign. The Associated Press reported at least seven people in New Hampshire and Iowa received twenty minute calls in which the caller pretended to be an opinion pollster but then posed negative questions about Romney and his Mormon faith, while making favorable statements about Sen. John McCain. According to the AP, the caller asked questions such as “whether the person receiving the call knew Romney was a Mormon, that he received military deferments when he served as a Mormon missionary in France, that his five sons did not serve in the military, that Romney’s faith did not accept blacks as bishops into the 1970s and that Mormons believe the Book of Mormon is superior to the Bible.”
The incident has prompted the attorney general of New Hampshire to launch an investigation.
Romney communications director Matt Rhoades said “Whichever campaign is engaging in this type of awful religious bigotry as a line of political attack, it is repulsive and, to put it bluntly, un-American.” McCain said his campaign was not behind the calls and called them “disgraceful”.
Despite this, a CNN/WMUR-TV survey out on Monday had Romney maintaining his lead over other Republican candidates in New Hampshire, which has yet to set its primary date. The poll of 404 likely primary voters had Romney with 33 percent, followed by McCain with 18 percent and Giuliani with 16 percent. CNN pointed out that “Romney’s support grew from 25 percent to 33 percent over the same period; McCain held steady at 18 percent; and Giuliani dipped from 24 to 16 percent.”
The campaign released its latest ad American Family which will air in New Hampshire and Iowa. In the ad, Romney appears with his wife, Ann, and says “The future of this country is more affected by the work that goes on within the four walls of the home than anything else.”
A couple of profiles of Romney were published in recent days. Over the weekend the Weekly Standard had a cover story on Romney that highlighted his experience in the corporate world. The New York Times looked at Romney’s experiences as a young missionary and his years at Brigham Young University in the 1960s.
Looking ahead on the campaign trail, Romney will be in Iowa on Wednesday. He’ll take a break on Thursday and Friday to celebrate Thanksgiving with his family in Belmont, Mass. Then it’s back to New Hampshire on Saturday and Sunday.