Six GOP candidates are touring the state today, making a final pitch for votes in next Tuesday’s Caucuses. Mitt Romney began his day at a restaurant in Cedar Falls.
“This is not just about changing a president. It’s about saving the soul of America,” Romney told the crowd. “Are we going to change America into something most of us wouldn’t recognize or are we going to restore to America the principles that we have loved since the beginning of this nation?”
Ron Paul drew applause from a crowd in Perry for his stand on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“What about this unique idea about not going to war unless the people have their members of congress vote and declare the war and do it that way?” Paul said.
Rick Santorum has been telling Iowa audiences his candidacy can get a “spark” from the Caucuses and he made that case again today to a crowd in Coralville.
“There’s plenty of tinder on the ground that will start burning in these other states if we become the clear alternative, as I hope we will be in the Caucus — the conservative alternative to Mitt Romney, there’ll be a lot of folks who will rally to our side in New Hampshire,” Santorum said. “We’ll have a strong showing there. I’m not suggesting we’ll win New Hampshire. I haven’t run one television ad in New Hampshire.”
Rick Perry urged a crowd in Cedar Rapids not to “settle for anything less than an authentic conservative.”
“Listen, I’ve got all the respect in the world for those men and woman I’m on the stage with…but you’ve got to ask yourself: if we replace a Democratic insider with a Republican insider, you think Washington’s going to change any?” Perry asked, getting a few responses of “No” from the crowd.
Perry replied: “I agree with you.”
Michele Bachmann sounded a similar theme during a news conference in Des Moines.
“We can’t preserve liberty if the choice a year from now is between a frugal socialist and an out-of-control socialist,” Bachmann said. “We can’t afford to have a ‘big government’ Republican take the place of a ‘big government’ socialist.”
Newt Gingrich campaigned in northwest Iowa today, joined on the trail by an economist who had helped Herman Cain craft his popular 9-9-9 tax plan. Gingrich has proposed an optional flat tax and called for lowering the corporate tax rate to equal international competitors like China and Brazil, where the corporate tax rate is 25 percent.