‘Tis the season for procrastinators – the folks who wait ’til the last minute to buy their Christmas gifts, plus all those Iowans who’re waiting ’til the last minute to choose a presidential candidate to support on Caucus Night. Republican presidential candidate Tom Tancredo tried to shift a bit of momentum toward rival Mitt Romney Thursday.
Tancredo dropped out of the race and endorsed Romney. Tancredo admitted he’s trying to keep candidates who he deems weak on illegal immigration, namely Mike Huckabee, from winning Iowa’s Caucuses. "Throughout the campaign I’ve learned a great deal about the candidates. I’ve certainly been impressed with Governor Romney’s ability to solve very complex problems and I believe he is a man of personal integrity and great character," Tancredo said. "I think he would bring honor to the oval office."
Huckabee, meanwhile, has been accusing Romney of "back-biting" and "name-calling." But during a mid-week campaign event in West Des Moines, Huckabee himself took a swipe at Romney. "Frankly over the past few weeks a lot of people have started realizing that running for president’s not about just saying, ‘I’ve got a lot of money, you ought to vote for me,’" Huckabee said. "It’s about saying, ‘I understand where you’ve come from.’"
Romney has been criticizing Huckabee’s record on a number of issues, like crime. "I’m very proud of the fact that we, in my state when I was governor, we made it tougher for people with meth labs. We cracked down on crime and on meth in particular and it’s a very important topic," Romney said Thursday morning in Indianola. "I want to make sure that we do everything we can to keep kids off this terrible, pernicious, captivating drug." Romney is critical of Huckabee for reducing penalties for meth-making while he was governor of Arkansas.
During a stop in Atlantic, former Tennessee Senator Fred Thompson sought to steal a little bit of former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s thunder when it comes to tackling terrorism. "I was the Republican floor manager for the Homeland Security bill which I like to think has something to do with the fact that we haven’t been attacked again since 9/11," Thompson said.
On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton focused on foreign policy as she campaigned in Tipton Thursday. "There is no military solution in Iraq and I do not want to see our sons and daughters serving as referees of the Iraqi civil war," Clinton said. "If we want to support our troops, we should support them by bringing them home and that is what I will do as your president."
Clinton, meanwhile, is drawing fire over a campaign flier produced by AFSCME, the government workers’ union which is backing Clinton’s bid for the White House. The flier includes a quote from John Edwards that’s critical of Barack Obama’s health care plan — seeming to suggest the Edwards campaign is behind the attack rather than the Clinton camp.