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More Oh-Eight (R)

The Los Angeles Times previews Rudy Giuliani's imminent prospecting tour of California -- New York, New Jersey and Connecticut "account for three-fourths of the money he has raised" so far -- and covers speculation among Republicans that he could do very well in the state. 

Former Gov. Mitt Romney travels to Iowa for three stops, including a tour of the bio-renewable energy research facility at Iowa State University in Ames.  In a front-page article, the New York Times examines Romney's Mormon faith, which could alienate some of the conservative evangelical Christians he's trying to court.  "Mr. Romney's candidacy has stirred discussion about faith and the White House unlike any since [John F.] Kennedy."  The article adds that he has set up a meeting later this month in Florida with 100 ministers and religious broadcasters, and he is considering making a public address about his faith, like Kennedy did in 1960 when he was confronted with questions about being a Catholic. 

The Boston Herald says Romney has flip-flopped on yet another issue: tax cuts.  "In 2003, Romney stunned a roomful of Bay State congressmen by telling them that he would not publicly support Bush's tax cuts, which at the time formed the centerpiece of the president's domestic agenda."  But speaking to the Detroit Economic Club yesterday, Romney said renewing the cuts is "'absolutely critical.'" 

The AP today recounts Romney's evolving views on abortion. 

The Hill mentions another apparent evolution in Romney's thinking over the years which could trip him up with social conservatives.  Romney "strongly criticized campaign-finance regulations in a private meeting with House conservatives last week," but he "once touted dramatic restructuring measures such as taxing political contributions and placing spending limits on federal campaigns."  The Hill points out that many social conservatives "believe such rules place unconstitutional limits on free speech."  That said, "his condemnation of changes to campaign-finance rules struck a positive chord with the entire audience" last week. 

Contemporary Christian singer/songwriter Michael W. Smith has endorsed Sen. Sam Brownback; Smith has done campaign concerts for Bush in the past.

Iowa's Sen. Charles Grassley (R) apparently had some trouble remembering a name recently.  Per the Des Moines Register, Grassley was asked on a conference call if he'd met with any of the potential presidential candidates.  "'But I have, for instance, the week before, Huckleberry -' said Grassley, then stopped…  'Who?' asked the reporter…  Whatever…' said Grassley…  'Huckabee?' the reporter prompted…  'Huckabee.  Don't put that in your newspaper,' Grassley said."