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Republicans opt for new worldview
The candidates try to distance themselves from the president’s foreign policies but try to not alienate Bush loyalists.
WASHINGTON — Last week, after Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee criticized the Bush administration for an “arrogant bunker mentality” toward the world, rival Mitt Romney rose to George W. Bush’s defense. “Mike Huckabee owes the president an apology,” Romney said.
But Romney too has criticized the Bush administration, saying the occupation of Iraq was “underplanned, understaffed [and] under-managed,” resulting in “a mess.”
Other GOP candidates have also found things to dislike in Bush’s foreign policy: Former New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani has dismissed the president’s campaign for democracy in the Muslim world as naive and opposed his drive to establish a Palestinian state. Sen. John McCain of Arizona thinks Bush hasn’t sent enough troops to Iraq and has been too easy on Russian President Vladimir V. Putin.
McCain closing gap with Romney
In N.H. poll, Obama inches ahead of Clinton
Senator John McCain of Arizona, whose bid for the Republican presidential nomination was all but dead this summer, has made a dramatic recovery in the Granite State 2 1/2 weeks before the 2008 vote, pulling within 3 percentage points of front-runner Mitt Romney, a new Boston Globe poll indicates.
McCain, the darling of New Hampshire voters in the 2000 primary, has the support of 25 percent of likely Republican voters, compared with 28 percent for Romney. Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani has slid into third place, with 14 percent. A Globe poll of New Hampshire voters last month had Romney at 32 percent, Giuliani at 20 percent, and McCain at 17 percent.
Among Democratic voters, Senator Barack Obama of Illinois has opened up a narrow lead over Senator Hillary Clinton of New York, 30 percent to 28 percent. That, too, represents a major shift from last month’s Globe poll, which had Clinton with a 14-point advantage. Former senator John Edwards of North Carolina remained a steady third at 14 percent.