Posted: January 2, 2008 7:07 PM
Romney Makes Final Iowa Push in Heated Race with Huckabee
On the final day of campaigning before Thursday’s Iowa caucuses, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney was doing a full-court press in the Hawkeye State with stops in Bettendorf, Cedar Rapids, Clear Lake and West Des Moines.
In an interview on CNN Wednesday, Romney took a shot at Democratic rival Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., alluding to the sex scandal that tarnished her husband Bill Clinton’s second presidential term.
Romney was asked about comments he made recently in Iowa that he and his wife, Ann, would not embarrass the nation in the White House. “We’ll try and represent ourselves and our nation well also to our kids because I think kids watch the White House and there have been failures in the past in the White House — if you go back to the Clinton years and recognize that — that I think had an enormous impact on the culture of our country,” Romney said. “And we’ll do our very best, our whole family will to — well, if we can’t be perfect, we’ll do our best to uphold and to be a good example for the kinds of values I think people expect from our leaders.”
The latest polling has shown Romney and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee in a statistical dead heat in Iowa. A new Reuters/C-SPAN/Zogby poll out on Wednesday showed Huckabee leading Romney by two points, which is within the poll’s margin of error. However, a CNN poll out on Tuesday had Romney ahead with 31 percent and Huckabee at 28 percent. The survey’s sampling error was five percentage points.
The Des Moines Register poll of 800 likely GOP caucus-goers also has Huckabee ahead of Romney 32 percent to 26 percent.
The race between Huckabee and Romney has heated up in recent weeks with Romney attacking Huckabee’s record on immigration, taxes and crime while governor of Arkansas.
On Wednesday, Romney’s campaign released a new online ad called Roundabout Kick , which once again targets Huckabee. The ad asserts that the former governor granted 1,033 pardons and commutations, including 12 for convicted murderers.
On Monday, Huckabee held a press conference, where he announced he would not air an attack ad against Romney but then showed it to reporters anyway. On Wednesday, the New York Times reported that Huckabee took a few jabs at the former Massachusetts governor. According to the Times, “When asked by a reporter about Mr. Romney’s roughly $17 million in personal loans to his campaign, Mr. Huckabee asked how voters could expect understanding of their problems from a candidate who writes checks for tens of millions of dollars and doesn’t miss the money?”
Heading into Thursday’s caucuses, Romney, who served as CEO of the 2002 Winter Olympics, downplayed expectations to ABC News, saying he would win “either the gold or the silver and then go on from there.”