Thursday, January 17, 2008

Battle Plans

From the Washington Post. 1/17/08

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Mitt Romney headed to Las Vegas after briefly meeting with reporters in South Carolina, where aides said the campaign has not given up on making a decent showing.

The former Massachusetts governor skipped out on the final day of campaigning in South Carolina, preferring to spend Friday as the only GOP candidate competing in the Nevada caucus.

But his South Carolina state director, Terry Sullivan, said the campaign made 15,000 telephone calls to voters here and continues to run television and radio ads.

"We're extremely competitive with all of the other candidates on the air," Sullivan said, but he admitted that John McCain is clearly in first place. "We're going to try to win here."

Romney made tentative plans to head to Florida on Saturday, even before the results of the South Carolina and Nevada voting are in. He released a new ad in Florida Thursday in which he blasts Washington as broken and vows to "take it apart and put it back together again."

The theme is one that worked for him in Michigan, where anger about the federal government's indifference to the state's economic plight runs deep.

Before boarding the plane to Nevada Thursday, Romney held a brief news conference with reporters at a Staples store outside of Columbia, once again emphasizing concern about the nation's economy.

"The issue that people are focusing on is the issue of jobs and the economy," he said, calling for "immediate action" by Congress and the president to stimulate the economy. "Preventing recession is an important responsibility for government."

Romney promised his own economic stimulus package within two days but would not comment on specific proposals that have been floated on Capitol Hill.

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