With Rudy Giuliani slated to bow out of the race and Mike Huckabee limping badly, McCain and Romney are almost certain to engage each other more sharply than they did in last week’s rather tepid GOP forum in Boca Raton, Fla.
The stakes are especially high for Romney. The former Massachusetts governor lost to McCain in Florida and now must try to thwart his momentum with the multistate Super Tuesday primaries and caucuses next week.
In a possible prelude to Wednesday’s exchanges, Romney in recent days called the Arizona senator dishonest, liberal, an economic novice and a lover of tax hikes. He sharply criticized McCain’s Senate record on immigration, campaign finance laws and energy.
McCain in turn ridiculed Romney’s shift on matters such as abortion rights, and said Romney had supported a premature withdrawal from Iraq.
McCain enters the debate with Giuliani’s likely endorsement and a new boost of confidence for his once-staggering campaign, putting the onus on Romney to persuade GOP voters to resist a McCain bandwagon.
The two-hour debate will be carried by CNN at 8 p.m. EST from the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif.
http://apnews.myway.com/article/20080130/D8UGBDPG0.html Liz Sidoti 1-30-2008
Filed under MCCain, Romney
Predicted results: McCain 13 states, 698 delegates; Huckabee 10 states, 582 delegates; Giuliani 10 states, 450 delegates; Romney 8 states, 249 delegates.
Retired Army General H. Norman Schwarzkopf endorsed McCain this morning, saying in a statement: “Senator John McCain has served our country with honor in war and in peace. He has demonstrated the type of courageous leadership our country sorely needs at this time. For that reason, he has my complete support.”
http://www.boston.com/news/politics/politicalintelligence/2008/01/schwarzkopf_end.html Foon Rhee 1-23-2008
Recent Gallop Poll:”The American public does not appear to believe it is important or necessary for an independent candidate outside of the traditional two major parties to step into the race in order to save the nation.”
* A startling 84% of respondents think there’s a candidate running who would make a “good president.”* Nearly three in four — 72% — say that the candidates are talking about issues they “really care about.”
* A solid majority — 58% — feel that one more more candidates has come up with “good ideas for solving the country’s problems,” a finding that runs directly counter to Bloomberg’s frequent and self-serving criticism of the other candidates
http://www.mydd.com/story/2008/1/22/21119/0567 Todd Beeton 1-22-2008
Mike Huckabee is asking his senior staff to keep working for him without pay, while lower level campaign staff are seeing their salaries cut dramatically or eliminated altogether. But many of those being asked to take the cut are refusing, and walking away, leaving the campaign with holes to fill.
“The money simply hasn’t come in at the rate that we expected,” says the aide. “Florida is a $7 million commitment that we can’t meet, and if we did, that leaves us exposed for Super Tuesday, where we have a lot of states and a lot media buys. We had to make tough decisions.”
From Matt Lewis: Huckabee seems to be realizing he can’t win Florida — especially with Rudy, McCain, and Romney all campaigning hard there. He has been traveling to other states, including Georgia, and seems to be planning a Feb. 5 strategy, instead of a Florida strategy …
http://race42008.com/2008/01/22/huckabee-im-broke/ Jason Bonham 1-22-2008
“Today I have withdrawn my candidacy for president of the United States. I hope that my country and my party have benefited from our having made this effort. Jeri and I will always be grateful for the encouragement and friendship of so many wonderful people.”
http://race42008.com/2008/01/22/thompsons-statement/ Matt C 1-22-2008