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More oh-eight (R)


Bloomberg previews Romney's speech today by noting how Romney "initially cast himself as a traditional-values Republican," but is now "styling himself as the heir to President Ronald Reagan's legacy of tax cuts...  He is weighing a cut in the top individual tax rate from the current 35 percent; a reduction in the corporate income tax; and deep cuts in automatic-benefit programs such as Medicare and Social Security." 

Following his announcement speech in Michigan on February 13, Romney will visit Iowa, South Carolina, and New Hampshire over a three-day period before returning to Boston.  "Romney's decision to hold the campaign kickoff event in Michigan sends a clear signal of how important he believes his native state will be to his 2008 efforts." 

The Detroit Free Press notes that "Romney had just 8% of the support among people who expect to vote in next year's Republican presidential primary, according to a recent The Detroit Free Press-Local 4 Michigan Poll." 

Rudy Giuliani has gained ground on Sen. John McCain in a new poll of New Hampshire Republicans.  "McCain was favored by 28 percent and Giuliani 27 in the CNN/WMUR poll of likely primary voters that was conducted until Monday - before Giuliani announced he was in the race.  Last September, McCain led Giuliani, 32-19." 

The New York Times points out that despite filing his statement of candidacy, Giuliani remains an undeclared candidate.  "A few skeptics have wondered whether Mr. Giuliani, who has been crisscrossing the country over the last few months and signaled his interest in the presidency again and again, may ultimately back out - as he did in 2000, when he contemplated a race for the Senate but withdrew."  

If he does get in, however, the New York Daily News writes that the pro-choice, pro-gun control, pro-gay rights Giuliani could benefit from efforts by California, Florida, Illinois, and New Jersey to move up their primaries. 

He has been invited to give the commencement address to the Citadel's graduating class on May 5. 

The Chicago Tribune notes that Giuliani's speaking fees -- and lavish travel -- could receive scrutiny if he officially gets into the race.  "He commands $100,000 for a speech, not including expenses...  In one speech last year at Oklahoma State University, Giuliani requested and received travel on a private Gulfstream jet that cost the school $47,000 to operate.  His visit essentially wiped out the student speakers annual fund."