From NBC/NJ's Erin McPike
BETTENDORF, IA -- Romney, Huckabee, and the press seem to agree that the race in Iowa between the two men is too close to call, so Romney's mind is back on McCain and New Hampshire.
He opened a session with reporters here by turning his attention to his chief rival in New Hampshire, where some of the most recent polling shows a statistical dead heat between the two. "On the political front, I understand Sen. McCain is back in Iowa," he said. "Welcome to Iowa, senator." Romney then proceeded to take McCain to task on the Bush tax cuts -- a matter of no small significance in Romney's next big target, the Granite State.
Specifically asked by a reporter just moments later if his focus has shifted to McCain, Romney loosened up a bit and laughed, "No, actually I figured you guys would talk to me about Mike Huckabee, so I took the chance to talk about John McCain."
And questions about Huckabee there were. The very first question was about Romney's thoughts on Huckabee's jetsetting out to California before the caucuses to appear on Jay Leno's show tonight. Romney took the chance to blast Huckabee: "Well, frankly my focus is on the caucuses here in Iowa. I think Mike is more concerned about the caucus in Los Angeles."