AZ for Mitt

A blog dedicated to informing Arizonans about Mitt Romney and the campaign for the 2008 presidential nomination.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Romney has gained some great endorsements of late, including the ultimate GOP endorsement in NH, and some previous Brownback supporters in Michigan.

Also, here are the results of some recent polls:

University of Iowa Poll for Iowa:
36%--Romney (+9 from Aug. 5)
13%--Guiliani (+2)
13%--Huckabee (+10)
11%--Thompson (+8)
6%--McCain (+3)

ARG Poll for Iowa:
27%--Romney (+5 from Sept. poll)
19%--Huckabee (+15)
16%--Guiliani (-5)
14%--McCain (+3)
8%--Thompson (-8)
2%--Tancredo (+1)
1%--Paul (-1)

ARG Poll for New Hampshire:
30%--Romney (+6 from Sept. poll)
23%--Guiliani (+3)
17%--McCain (-3)
7%--Huckabee (+4)
5%--Thompson (-3)

ARG Poll for South Carolina:
29%--Romney (+3 from Sept. poll)
23%--Guiliani (no change)
13%--McCain (-2)
10%--Thompson (no change)
5%--Huckabee (+4)
4%--Paul (+2)
2%--Hunter (+1)

These polls show a trend when compared to other polls as well. While some polls don't have Romney leading in South Carolina, he's usually in a close second. This is becoming a two-man race between Romney and Rudy.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Several polls this week show good news for Romney.

First, an internal poll from the Romney campaign shows Romney in 2nd place in South Carolina:


Second, a new poll out of New Hampshire shows Romney is maintaining his lead there:


Finally, a poll out of Florida shows Romney in second place:


What does all of this mean? Well, Thompson is not taking off with his campaign in the South, and Romney is continuing his steady climb. While Guiliani and Thompson have campaigned like rock stars (lots of hype), Romney has methodolically carried out his plan (with much more energy than the rock stars, how ironic).

It makes one wonder as to the perspective administrations of these men. Lots of hype and rhetoric (flash and style) or sound plans and determined implemenation (substance). Which would you prefer as your commander-in-chief?

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Romney wins the much-lauded conservative straw poll held this weekend at the Voters Values Summit in D.C. That makes three such nationally-based conservative straw polls in a row (the first two being the Southern Republican Leadership Conference and CPAC). The results:


Where does this leave Thompson who's main hope to win has been to rally conservatives around him?

To read Romney's remarks last Friday at the Voters Values Summit, click here.

To read about his reception and the endorsements by Evangelical Christians Romney received last week, check out and

Saturday, October 13, 2007 has done some homework on the numbers used by Rudy and Mitt in the latest debate.

In fact, the ensuing back-and-forth left heads spinning even among fiscal experts. "I have watched campaigns for decades and, even by the standards of statistics being misused, [Tuesday] night was excessive," said Michael Widmer, executive director of the nonpartisan Massachusetts Tax Foundation, when called by our bewildered fellow fact-checkers at Giuliani was particularly guilty of this when he accused Romney of raising taxes significantly in Massachusetts:

Giuliani: [T]he point is that you've got to control taxes. But I did it; he didn't. I controlled taxes. I brought taxes down by 17 percent. Under him, taxes went up 11 percent per capita. I led; he lagged.

Hearing this, one could be forgiven for thinking that Romney had raised tax rates substantially during his four-year term as Massachusetts governor. Not true – he tried to lower state income-tax rates three times but was stopped by the Democratic-controlled Legislature...

Giuliani's selective use of statistics threw fuel on the fire as far as Romney was concerned, but he then also made a misleading claim:

Romney: It's baloney. Mayor, you've got to check your facts. No taxes – I did not increase taxes in Massachusetts. I lowered taxes.

Romney is correct, as we noted above, that he did not raise anything he called a tax...

As for the other claims in their furious exchange, we'll take them in turn:

Giuliani: I cut taxes 23 times when I was mayor of New York City. I believe in tax cuts. I believe in being a supply sider. I cut the income tax I think it was 24 percent. We got 42 percent more revenues.… I cut taxes by over $9 billion.

We've seen – and panned – this film before. As we've written, eight of the 23 cuts he takes credit for were initiated at the state level, not by him at all, and a ninth, pushed by the city council, was resisted by Giuliani for some time before he acquiesced. It was the largest income tax cut in history for city residents. So Giuliani can claim personal credit for cutting either 14 or 15 taxes for a total of either $5.4 billion or $8 billion, depending on whether you give him credit for the council-sponsored cut described above – not 23 cuts totaling $9 billion.

During Romney's next at-bat, he said this:

Romney: But if you want to cut taxes, you're going to have to cut spending. … Mayor Giuliani took the line item veto that the president had all the way to the Supreme Court and took it away from the president of the United States. ... I'm in favor of the line-item veto. I exercised it 844 times.

Giuliani did challenge President Bill Clinton on the line-item veto after he used it to cut a provision that could have helped NYC's bottom line. It was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 1998. Romney is also correct to say that he exercised his state-level line-item veto power 844 times...

The former governor had much more to say:

Romney: He also fought to keep the commuter tax, which was a very substantial tax, a almost $400 million tax on commuters coming into New York. And when it's all said and done, if you're a New York taxpayer, city taxpayer, your state and city tax combined can reach as high as 10 percent. And in our state, if you're a Boston worker, it's going to be more like 5.3 percent.

Giuliani indeed fought like a wolverine when state officials moved to eliminate the city's non-resident income tax. He lost that battle. During 1999, the last year it was in effect, it brought in close to $400 million, according to an estimate by the city's nonpartisan Independent Budget Office, as Romney says.

Romney's also correct about New York City taxes – in fact, at the end of Giuliani's term, combined city and state taxes went as high as 10.5 percent for some residents...Romney's figure for Boston is right as well.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

I'm not a friend of Slate, but they can be right sometimes:

But one secret to Giuliani's debate success is that he doesn't mind fudging all those facts he cites. In the Tuesday debate, Giuliani asserted once again that he had passed 23 tax cuts as New York mayor. This is an exaggeration. According to and, he can rightly claim credit for about 14 of those cuts. One of the largest cuts for which he claims credit he initially opposed for five months before changing his position.

He also claims to have added more cops in New York than he actually did and cherry-picks data to support inflated claims about the number of adoptions during his tenure. After the Tuesday debate, found a host of new faulty claims.

No commentary needed.

On the campaign trail this year, Rudy Giuliani has cast himself in the model of Ronald Reagan. But one of his senior aides, in a 2004 book, offered another parallel: William Jefferson Clinton...

It's a view that matches more closely with Giuliani’s political success in New York, and one that could preview his more moderate general election appeal. It's also, at its core, a warning to Republican conservative partisans that Giuliani's feelings toward his party's right edge may be less respect than "contempt."

...Avlon's chapter on Giuliani captures the former mayor's disdain for partisanship by way of a famous image — of Giuliani dressed as a woman at a New York City benefit. Avlon recalls the words that went with the scene.

"When actress Julie Andrews asked him onstage if he now better understood the challenge she faced every night in 'Victor Victoria' — 'playing a woman pretending to be a man pretending to be a woman' — Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani replied that she obviously hadn't seen his act: 'a Democrat pretending to be a Republican pretending to be a Democrat.'"

Mark DeMoss brings up some interesting points (thanks to

Someone is almost certain to appoint two, three, or four justices to the Supreme Court. Do we want that person to be Hillary Clinton, Rudy Giuliani or Mitt Romney?

Someone will cast vision and lead Congress on matters of national security, including securing our borders against illegal immigration. Should that be Hillary, Rudy or Mitt?

Someone will deal with the definition of marriage in America—and will either defend and model a faithful marriage and strong family, or not. Who should that person be?

Someone will either defend unborn life—or defend those who place their rights and desires above those who can’t defend themselves. Would we prefer that Clinton, Giuliani or Romney be in that position?

Someone will need to deal with radical Islamic Jihadists and the threat they pose to our nation. As evangelicals, do we want to entrust Hillary Clinton, Rudy Giuliani or Mitt Romney with that critical assignment?

Finally, someone will either welcome evangelicals and people of faith into the White House and their administration; or shut them out of deliberations and consideration for various appointments. Would Hillary, Rudy or Mitt be most accepting of evangelicals and people of faith?

The kind of quasi-endorsement most Republicans wouldn't be so proud of...

The religious right is threatening to rebel should Rudy Giuliani win the nomination for the White House. But while the former New York City mayor's stance on abortion rights is making him a pariah within some conservative circles, it could win him favor among pro-choice advocates.
In a phone interview with the Huffington Post, NARAL's political director Elizabeth Shipp acknowledged it "would help" the pro-choice movement if a Republican proved it was possible to win the presidency while still supporting abortion rights.

"The Republican Party used to be about the conservative principles of limited government intervention in private life," Shipp said. "It seems to me if they went back to that and stood out from the rigid mainstream, anti-choice agenda, I think yeah, it would be good for the movement."

...As mayor of New York City, Giuliani had a pro-choice record, which has come under intense scrutiny since he entered the presidential race. In the GOP debates this past May, Giuliani said "it would be okay" to repeal Roe v. Wade, before adding, "But ultimately, since it is an issue of conscience, I would respect a woman's right to make a different choice." In recent weeks, a coalition of prominent Christian conservative figures has threatened to support a third-party candidate should Giuliani win the Republican nomination.

NARAL has yet to announce an endorsement in the 2008 race. But Shipp acknowledged that Giuliani is the lone Republican in the field who could potentially win the organization's support.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

A new poll released out of Florida has Romney increasing support and within the margin of error of Rudy (meaning, since statistics are all about probability, that the poll, which has a margin of error of 5.3%, could in reality have Romney that much higher and Rudy that much lower, putting them in a tie):

Quinnipiac GOP Florida Primary

Rudy Giuliani 27% (28%)
Fred Thompson 19% (17%)
Mitt Romney 17% (11%)
John McCain 8% (10%)
Mike Huckabee 4% (2%)
Ron Paul 2% (2%)
Sam Brownback 1% (0%)
Tom Tancredo 1% (0%)
Don’t Know 16% (18%)

Survey of 345 registered Republicans was conducted October 1-8. The margin of error is +/- 5.3 percentage points. Results from the poll conducted September 3-9 are in parentheses.

Thanks to for the scoop.

A few more thoughts on last night's debate:

Columnist Matt Towery: "Best Performances: Romney... Most 'Presidential': Romney..." (Matt Towery, "Thompson Becomes Real - Now He Has To Get Better," Insider Advantage Georgia,, Posted 10/9/07)

The's John Fout: "Former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney, who I think won the debate, was best prepared to answer the question. He suggested everyone had to pitch in to help the economy, including business and government. He recognized the need to fix schools, invest in technology, encourage free trade and keep taxes down. He took a shot at Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, a Democrat, by jokingly suggesting he was 'nervous she would put a tax on the debate.'" (John Fout, "Middle Class Can't Read GOP's Lips In Debate," The,, Posted 10/9/07)

The National Review's Jim Geraghty: "Romney: Overall, prepared and seemed sharp... ." (Jim Geraghty, "The Republican Debate In Michigan: The Wrap-up," The Campaign Spot Blog On The National Review,, Posted 10/9/07)

Michigan State News' Ashley A. Smith: "One of the major candidates who seemed the most comfortable addressing Michigan's issues was Mitt Romney, said Bill Ballenger, editor and publisher of Inside Michigan Politics." (Ashley A. Smith, "GOP Comes To Mich," Michigan State News, 10/10/07)

While it has long been clear that Rudy is a social liberal, the fact that he's also a fiscal liberal (or at best, moderate) is now becoming clear.

At last night's debate he boasted of having fought the presidential line-item veto all the way to the Supreme Court, and won. Interestingly, here's a list of the people who have plead for a presidential line-item veto to rein in spending, and those who have opposed it:

Ronald Reagan
Newt Gingrich
Dick Armey (former House Majority Leader, R-TX)
John Ensign (R-NV)
John Kasich (R-OH)
Bob Dole
Trent Lott (R-MS)
Bill First
John Kyl (R-AZ)
Stephen Moore (CATO Institute)
Tommy Thompson (R-WI)

Rudy Giuliani
Nancey Pelosi
Harry Reid
Barbara Boxer (D-CA)
Robert Byrd (D-WV)
Patrick Leahy (D-VT)
Richard Gephardt (D-MO)

On the other hand, Romney said he used the line-item veto over 800 times as governor to control wasteful spending, and is urging for it to be given to the president. Could there be a clearer contrast between the two?

In pointing out the differences, Romney declared:

"One is he opposed the line-item veto, took it all the way to the Supreme Court. I think it's the key thing for a President to be able to rein in spending. And the other is, in Mayor Giuliani's case, he fought to put in place or to keep in place a commuter tax which cost some $400 million for people to commute into New York City. That I think is a real mistake. And finally, the Mayor of New York City that followed Mayor Giuliani said that he was left with an enormous deficit."

I couldn't have said it better than Kathleen Parker at

WASHINGTON -- Evangelical Christians never had it so good, but they seem not to know it. Instead of supporting the candidate who most shares their values -- Mitt Romney -- they seem hell-bent for the proverbial cliff.

Meeting recently in Salt Lake City, conservative Christian leaders almost unanimously approved a resolution to support a third-party candidate if neither major party nominates someone who is pro-life.

To their credit, these leaders are unwilling to sacrifice conviction for political expediency, but they may be creating their own worst nightmare by dividing the party and making a Democratic victory more likely...

That leaves just one person -- Romney -- as the obvious pick for the values party. If anything, the golly-gee guy is too perfect. Nary a follicle out of place, he's never enjoyed a caffeine buzz nor awakened to the rare tortures of having been overserved.

His resume otherwise has perfect creases. As governor of Massachusetts, he fought same-sex unions and embryonic cloning. He's pro-life, even if he was previously pro-choice. As a businessman, he made a personal fortune and bailed out the Olympics. He's even got a beautiful, first-ladylike wife, who thus far has not demanded cell-phone reassurances of unfaltering love during her husband's stump speeches.

The only hitch: He's a cultist. Or so some Christians think. Even though Romney shares their belief in Jesus Christ as God, other doctrinal differences tied to his Mormon beliefs apparently cause deep conflicts for evangelicals.

The crafters of push polls are no doubt working overtime, especially in South Carolina, where nobody goes broke baiting fear and phobia. If they could convince racist voters in 2000 that McCain's adopted Indian child was African-American, they won't have much trouble advancing the idea that Romney is a closet polygamist -- despite the fact that he's the only leading Republican candidate who has had just one wife.

Ultimately, Christian leaders (some of whom make off-the-record, supportive calls to Romney, I'm told) most likely will back the Mormon. But their actions meantime have hurt Romney as he tries to close the deal nationally.

If they were smarter, they'd embrace Romney as the one who can beat Hillary because he, more than anyone else, unites all wings of the party -- economic, security and social.


From the man himself in the latest edition of Newsweek (thanks to EFM):

The Making of a Candidate

I am an American running for president, not a Mormon running for president, but I am also very proud of my faith. And I am not a cafeteria Mormon, choosing some parts to accept and reject—I am "true blue, through and through." My family and I are better people and far happier than we would have been without our faith. It is puzzling that when NEWSWEEK looks at me ("A Mormon's Journey: The Making of Mitt Romney," Oct. 8) what you mostly see is a Mormon. I would have thought that more important to my potential presidency would be my record as a governor, 25-year business leader, Olympic CEO, father, husband—and American.

Mitt RomneyBelmont, Mass.

Sounds like McCain has taken a page out of Hillary's book for a socialist economy:

McCain addressed the group just a few hours before he was scheduled to take part in The Wall Street Journal/CNBC/MSNBC debate on economic issues in Dearborn. McCain hit on a wide range of topics... He suggested that government should supplement the income of older workers for “a few years” so they could afford to take lower wage entry-level jobs in newer industries.


Listening to ABC news on the radio this morning, political analyst George Stephenopolous stated that Rudy won the debate last night, being the most relaxed and confident candidate. In fact, George went on to boast that Rudy hasn't had a bad debate yet.

George, did you see the first debate back in May? Obviously not. And does anyone else find it ironic that the former advisor to Bill Clinton is extolling the praises of the most liberal and Clinton-esque (especially in his private life) of the GOP candidates?

Anyway, here's how more conservative pundits saw the debate:

Townhall's Matt Lewis: "Romney makes a good point about the line item veto. He used it 844 times, he says. Romney also points out that Rudy fought against it all the way to the Supreme Court. This is what he sees as a clear contrast..." (I strongly agree with Romney about this)." (Matt Lewis, "Live Blogging The Debate," Towhall,, Posted 10/9/07)

The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza: "The three frontrunners used a question about how to convince voters that Republicans can be trusted with the economy to offer their larger philosophical visions. Romney, not surprisingly, was the most upbeat of the trio." (Chris Cillizza, "A Contrast In Visions," The Washington Post's The Fix,, Posted 10/9/07)

MSNBC's Chuck Todd: "[Romney's] coming across, so far, as the most prepared for this debate. He appears to be the least nervous; this topic, of course, is in Romney's wheelhouse." (Chuck Todd, "Romney Strong So Far, Avoiding Bush Comparisons," MSNBC'S First Read Blog,, Posted 10/9/07)

MSNBC's Domenico Montanaro: "There was a clear difference seeing Fred Thompson versus Romney in style. Romney was much more direct, clearer and had a handle on the issues." (Domenico Montanaro, "On Style," MSNBC's First Read,, Posted 10/9/07)

The Politico's Jonathan Martin: "A nice moment for Mitt, comparing his record in the private sector to that of Hillary. 'I've done it, she's just talked about it,' he hit home at the end of his answer." (Jonathan Martin, "Mitt: I Can Take A Piece Out Of Hillary, Too," Politico,, 10/9/07)

Wlady At AmSpec Blog: "Romney, speaking second, was much smoother and fluent – and smart enough to focus on Michigan's problem and blast Gov. Granholm's tax hikes." (Wlady, "Top of the Order," AmSpec Blog, 10/9/07)

The New Republic's John Judis: "Of the frontrunners, Romney had the clearest and most forthright answers." (John Judis, "GOP Debate," The Plank On The New Republic,, Posted 10/9/07)

Right Wing News's John Hawkins: "Mitt slices Rudy on the line item veto... Mitt always sounds so smooth when he talks and he emotes well... Mitt sounds good smacking around Ahmadinejad." (John Hawkins, "Liveblogging The Debate," Right Wing News Blog,, Posted 10/9/07)

CNBC's Morris Reid: "I thought if anyone stood out it is probably Romney because he is the strongest on this." (CNBC, "Your Money Your Vote," 10/9/07)

Wlady At AmSpec Blog: "Good for Romney to chide others for focusing on gloom and doom. Double good for looking forward to debating Hillary on the economy, given his career spent inside it." (Wlady Pleszczynski, "American Dream," The American Spectator Blog,, Posted 10/9/07)

Real Clear Politics' Tom Bevan: "[Romney] appeared relaxed, confident, and in his element, probably as a result of being more less on his home turf in a forum that played to his strength as a business exec." (Tom Bevan, "Snap Impressions From The Debate," Real Clear Politics Blog,, Posted 10/9/07)

- Bevan: "[Romney] got off to a fast start with a good line about it being unacceptable that Michigan in undergoing a 'one-state recession' and had a sharp exchange [sic] with Rudy over the line item veto." (Tom Bevan, "Snap Impressions From The Debate," Real Clear Politics Blog,, Posted 10/9/07)

The American Spectator's John Tabin: "On the first question, Thompson seemed like he was winging it, especially in contrast to Romney's answer immediately afterwards. Romney has obviously done the homework on Michigan-specific issues that Thompson hasn't. This is pretty much exactly what we've come to expect." (John Tabin, "Notes On The Debate, One Quarter In," The American Spectator Blog,, Posted 10/9/07)

CBN's David Brody: "Fred Thompson gave a somewhat generic answer to the first question about what he will do to 'ensure economy vibrancy in this country'. But then Romney followed with statistics, solutions, and a forward looking agenda. I mean, my goodness, he hit it out of the park." (David Brody, "The Republicans Debate In Dearborn: Reaction," CBN's The Brody File,, Posted 10/9/07)

- Brody: "It was Mitt Romney's night." (David Brody, "The Republicans Debate In Dearborn: Reaction," CBN's The Brody File,, Posted 10/9/07)

- Brody: "Mitt Romney was as sharp as he's ever been tonight." (David Brody, "The Republicans Debate In Dearborn: Reaction," CBN's The Brody File,, Posted 10/9/07)

- Brody: "Now, as for Romney, man he's a good debater." (David Brody, "The Republicans Debate In Dearborn: Reaction," CBN's The Brody File,, Posted 10/9/07)

- Brody: "[Romney] had it going. Very impressive indeed." (David Brody, "The Republicans Debate In Dearborn: Reaction," CBN's The Brody File,, Posted 10/9/07)

- Brody: "I must say Mitt Romney is truly a human power point presentation... And I say that in a very positive way." (David Brody, "The Republicans Debate In Dearborn: Reaction," CBN's The Brody File,, Posted 10/9/07)

Well, George, any additional thoughts?

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

For all those who belief the DNC and MSM inspired myth that Mitt Romney is some kind of flip-flopper extraordinaire, check out his campaign agenda from 1994 (thanks to