Candidates pitch to GOP faithful in Michigan, Missouri, California


Saturday, February 10th 2007, 10:30 pm
By: News On 6


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) _ Republicans Mitt Romney and Sen. Sam Brownback promoted their presidential campaigns before nearly 3,000 party activists at the Michigan GOP convention Saturday.

Romney reminded the crowd that he grew up sharing the Automotive News each morning with his father, George, who headed American Motors Corp. before serving as Michigan's governor from 1963 to 1969.

The younger Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, said his father brought many of the lessons he learned from business to the governorship.

``He got Michigan moving again,'' Romney said, before running through his stands in opposition to abortion and same-sex marriage and in favor of tight controls on illegal immigration. ``It's time for Republican principles to come back to Michigan again.''

Brownback, of Kansas, running as the conservative heart of the party, earned a warm reception with his pledges to protect life and the traditional family.

He also called for wiping out cancer in 10 years and for putting more resources into alternative energy.

``Michigan is going to be a key state in getting that done,'' he said, noting its efforts to encourage the production of ethanol and biodiesel.

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ST. LOUIS (AP) _ Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney evoked the principles of President Reagan in front of an appreciative crowd of Missouri Republicans Saturday night.

Delivering the keynote speech at the GOP's annual Missouri Lincoln Days conference, the 2008 presidential candidate claimed the leading Democratic contenders would push bigger government, higher taxes and more regulation.

Romney countered that he supports ``the Ronald Reagan way.''

``Ronald Reagan came in in 1982 and he said, you know what, if we want America to get going, we've got to lower taxes, we've got to lower regulations, we've got to make it easier to do business and for businesses to grow and thrive, we've got to make sure that we can complete globally,'' Romney said.

``The history of the last half-century has proven to us that Republican principles work,'' he added.

Romney also spoke briefly about the need to control rising health insurance premiums, compete economically with Asia and deal with radical Muslims intent on ``ultimately conquering the world.''

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) _ Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani received a warm welcome Saturday from California GOP activists.

Being mayor, he said at the California Republican Party convention, ``prepares you as best you can be prepared to be the president of the United States.''

Giuliani spoke for nearly 45 minutes, touching on health care, crime, terrorism and Iraq. He mocked inaction in Washington, saying he would be a decisive leader.

``Presidents make decisions and move things forward,'' he said. ``That's the kind of president I would like to be.''

On a day when a leading Democrat, Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois, announced his presidential bid by invoking Abraham Lincoln, Giuliani said Lincoln's legacy, holding the nation together through the Civil War, really belonged to Republicans.

``As Republicans, we're the party of freedom,'' he said. ``We're the party of Abraham Lincoln.''

Giuliani met for about an hour Friday night with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, also a Republican. Schwarzenegger urged him to help bring about a national debate on health care reform and the country's dependence on fossil fuel.

Giuliani's California visit continues with an address Monday in Silicon Valley and an appearance Tuesday at an agricultural fair in the Central Valley.