Giuliani Plans First Trip to Iowa

The Associated Press
Tuesday, March 6, 2007; 10:17 PM

BOSTON -- Presidential contender Mitt Romney has tapped a prominent Cuban-American Republican in Florida for his first radio ad targeting Spanish-speaking voters.

Al Cardenas, former chairman of the Florida Republican Party and a close ally of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, describes Romney as a friend of the Hispanic community and an ally in its drive for a Democratic Cuba.

"It is a difficult time in the world, in the Americas, and in our Cuba in transition," Cardenas says in his native Spanish during the spot, which promotes Romney's speech Friday at a Lincoln Day Dinner in Miami-Dade County. "Mitt Romney understands the dynamic of Cuba."

During an appearance in Florida last month, Romney declared he supported the current U.S. embargo on Cuba to avoid enriching Cuban President Fidel Castro, a Communist dictator he accused of disrupting peace and stability in the region.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., a leading rival for the GOP nomination, similarly supports the embargo and has picked up the support of three prominent Cuban-American lawmakers, Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Lincoln Diaz-Balart and Mario Diaz-Balart, all Florida Republicans.

Romney has enjoyed the backing of several major allies of Jeb Bush.


WASHINGTON (AP) _ Republican presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani is planning his first campaign trip to Iowa next month, a sign that he is considering competing in the early voting state where social conservatives dominate the GOP caucuses.

The Giuliani campaign said Tuesday that the former New York City mayor plans a few days of events in the state the week of April 2.

Giuliani leads the crowded GOP field in several national polls. But it's unclear just how much support a pro-abortion rights, pro-gun control, pro-gay rights Republican can get among those attending Iowa's GOP caucuses.

That has led to speculation that Giuliani may skip Iowa's contest to focus on states that would be more amenable to his moderate stance.

In recent weeks, Giuliani has brought on Jim Nussle, a former Iowa congressman and 2006 candidate for governor, as an adviser, and Tony Delgado, a former staffer at the Republican National Committee, to focus on the state.

CONTINUED     1           >

© 2007 The Associated Press