GOP candidates take aim at Michigan

January 14, 2008 6:30:10 PM PST
The leading Republican presidential contenders swarmed the state of Michigan Monday. Primary voters there have a chance to shake up the top tier of GOP candidates in Tuesday's primary.

According to the latest ABC News and Washington Post poll, 29 percent of those asked, now call that economy the most important issue in their vote. That's nearly triple what it was just last September.

After second place finishes in both Iowa and new Hampshire, Mitt Romney is going for the gold in Tuesday's Republican primary in Michigan.

Over the last 40 years, a lot has changed. Michigan isn't what it was economically. In fact, 300,000 jobs have been lost in that state since the year 2000. But Romney, who was born and raised in Michigan, disagrees with the claim of Rival John McCain that some of those jobs are gone for good.

"I want to bring Michigan back. I'm not willing to sit back and say, "too bad for Michigan. Too bad for the car industry. Too bad for the people who've lost their jobs; they're gone forever. That's not the kind of pessimism I think that will make Michigan strong again," says Romney.

At a town hall meeting in Kalamazoo, McCain emphasized the need for re-training the workforce and green technologies.

"We have the innovation, the talent, the knowledge, and the ability in Michigan. We will create new jobs," says McCain.

Socially, conservative Western Michigan is where Mike Huckabee has his sights set.

Today, he took direct aim at Mitt Romney-- son of former Governor George Romney.

"For those of us for whom summer is not a verb, for those of us who didn't go to fancy boarding schools on the east coast, for those of us who didn't grow up with a silver spoon, who were lucky to have a spoon -- ask those folks and they'll tell you the economy is not doing well for them," says Huckabee.

You haven't heard much about the Democrats in Michigan. That's because a battle erupted between the national and state Democratic Party when Michigan moved its primary up, trying to beat Iowa and New Hampshire. The national party didn't like that and Obama and Edwards pulled their names off the Michigan ballot.


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