Weekend Campaign Trail Wrap-Up - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Weekend Campaign Trail Wrap-Up

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - Republican presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani on Tuesday plans to launch a trio of radio ads in New Hampshire and in Iowa, highlighting his accomplishments as New York's mayor and promises he has made during the campaign.

"Leadership is about what we can do, what we can accomplish, never saying, taking 'No' for an answer," Giuliani says in one ad.

The ads come weeks before Iowa's Ames Straw Poll, an early indicator of a candidate's strength. Giuliani and Arizona Sen. John McCain both plan to skip that contest. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is widely expected to win the Aug. 11 straw poll.

The new ads are not Giuliani's first. His campaign did a national ad buy earlier this year, but these are his first in the key early voting states. In them, Giuliani tells voters he overcame expectations and turned around New York.

"Every promise I made running as mayor of New York City they said couldn't be done, said I couldn't cut crime, New York City was the crime capital of the America - can't be done," Giuliani says.

A voice-over says crime dropped 56 percent during Giuliani's tenure. The unseen narrator also tells voters welfare rolls in New York City also dropped 58 percent and that Giuliani turned a $2.3 billion deficit into "a multibillion dollar surplus and cut or eliminated 23 taxes."

Giuliani was mayor during a period of declining crime rates nationwide. Crime in New York peaked in 1990 and had been dropping for three years before Giuliani took office, according to FBI data.

The crime rate decreased by 60 percent in New York and 24 percent nationally between 1993, the year before Giuliani took office, and 2002, when he left.

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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Two Republican presidential candidates are demanding apologies from fellow GOP hopeful Sam Brownback for questioning their opposition to abortion in automated phone calls to voters.

"Mitt Romney is telling Iowans he is firmly pro-life. Nothing could be further from the truth," said the Brownback campaign's phone message.

The message goes on to attack the former Massachusetts governor's wife, warning: "His wife, Ann, has contributed money to Planned Parenthood."

Romney spokesman Tim Albrecht expressed outrage at what he called "despicable, negative phone calls."

"They should apologize to Ann Romney and Governor Romney for this personal attack," Albrecht said.

Brownback's campaign has also been making phone calls in Iowa that criticize Colorado Rep. Tom Tancredo for taking campaign money from a Planned Parenthood backer.

"Say no to Tom Tancredo and his Planned Parenthood friend and help end abortion in America," the caller says, according to a script confirmed by Brownback's campaign.

Tancredo said Brownback, a Kansas senator, is a longtime friend who "is well aware of my lifelong commitment to the unborn."

"I call on Senator Brownback to cease with the maliciously misleading push calls intended to harm me and apologize," Tancredo said in a statement.

Brownback's campaign stood by both calls.

"We stand by the accuracy of our statement that Mrs. Romney financially supported Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the world," said spokesman John Rankin.

Rankin also said that Tancredo "says he is committed to being pro-life but has accepted thousands of dollars from the founder of a major Planned Parenthood network."

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EXETER, N.H. (AP) - Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney is refusing to apologize for posing with a sign that said "No to Osama, Obama and Chelsea's Moma," lumping two Democratic rivals with the Sept. 11 mastermind.

"I don't look at all the signs when I'm having pictures taken. I have a lot of pictures taken with people," Romney said. "I don't really spend all that much time looking at the signs and the T-shirts and the buttons. I don't have anything to say about a sign somebody else was holding."

Romney posed for the photograph while campaigning in South Carolina last week. An audience member at a town hall in Exeter on Sunday pressed him to apologize, saying it was inappropriate to compare Democratic Sen. Barack Obama with Osama bin Laden, the mastermind of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. It also referenced Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, whose daughter Chelsea was part of the handwritten sign.

"I'm just concerned because I can remember where I was at on Sept. 11," said Jerid Kurtz, a New Hampshire-based contributor to Buckeye State Blog. "How can you compare any American to Osama bin Laden? How can you do that?"

Kurtz's bio on the Web site notes he is a former Democratic campaign operative.

"You know what? Lighten up slightly," Romney said. "There are a lot of jokes out there. I'm not responsible for all the signs I see."

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