Republican presidential candidates gear up for Michigan primary
Posted by mesablue on January 5, 2008
No mention of Fred Thompson.
Romney officials said the first voting of the campaign — and the disappointing loss in Iowa — had generated a new sense of urgency among volunteers. And they’re banking on what is by far the most extensive network of political supporters and staff in the state to make a difference between now and Election Day.
“The difference between our organization and others is, we have an organization,” Romney staffer Katie Packer said.
Romney, an Oakland County native and son of late Gov. George Romney, has endorsements from four of the state’s Republican members of Congress and dozens of lower-level officials.
With the crucial New Hampshire contest looming, Romney supporters argued that the former Massachusetts governor is the only candidate competing across all the early states. And Michigan supporters renewed their promotion of Romney as best equipped to address the state’s economic malaise.
“When you look at where our country is economically and the economic challenge Michigan faces, it’s critical that taxes be reduced so we can get the economy humming again,” said Rep. Dave Camp, R-Midland, in a conference call with Michigan reporters Friday. Camp contrasted what he called Romney’s tax-cutting record with that of McCain, who opposed President Bush’s 2001 and 2003 tax cuts. McCain now says he wants those cuts to be permanent.
Romney aides said their campaign would spend the weekend recruiting volunteers and targeting likely supporters with phone calls.
McCain, the winner of the 2000 primary in Michigan, is hoping Romney’s loss in Iowa can give him the momentum to defeat Romney in New Hampshire, where Romney led throughout the summer and fall. The winner in New Hampshire, in turn, likely will carry enormous momentum into Michigan.
“We’re planning the next 11 days of events, getting out the yard signs and making the phone calls, a regular old grassroots campaign,” said Jerry Zandstra, a former Republican candidate for U.S. Senate and former backer of Sam Brownback who has endorsed McCain.
The Arizona senator began airing his first television ads in Michigan on Friday.
Democratic candidates have promised not to campaign in Michigan’s Jan. 15 presidential primary because the state jumped ahead of others, in violation of national party rules. The Republicans are starting to plan their Michigan ground games.
John McCain: Plans to hold rallies at the Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids and Oakland International Airport in Waterford on Wednesday. He’s scheduled back in Michigan, at events in Warren and Clawson, Jan. 12; Howell, Lansing and Battle Creek Jan. 13; Kalamazoo, Holland, Spring Lake and Grand Rapids, Jan. 14; and Traverse City and Ann Arbor Jan. 15.
Mitt Romney: Plans to be the guest speaker at the Oakland County Republican Party’s 60th Anniversary Gala Dinner in West Bloomfield Jan. 14.
I’m getting bombarded by the Romney and McCain campaigns.
I get an email every couple of days from the Thompson campaign asking for money. No information.
It’s starting to look like I may have backed the wrong horse.
And, Michigan Democrats, how does it feel to be left out of the democratic process by your party?