Romney and Giuliani go on the offense

First, Romney has been tackling his weak conservative credentials:

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney is launching a radio ad touting the strength of his opposition to gay marriage.

Romney, who has come under criticism from conservatives for his past support of some gay rights issues, says he is the only major GOP candidate backing a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage.

“Not all Republican candidates agree, but defending marriage is the right thing to do,” Romney says in the 60-second spot to begin airing Wednesday.

The ad is meant to set him apart from Fred Thompson, John McCain and Rudy Giuliani in the minds of conservative voters.

Set him apart it might, but not necessarily in a good way. Not everyone agrees with a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. Many think it should be a states’ rights issue as opposed to the federal government stepping in.

Giuliani is embroiled in a battle with MoveOn.org:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani moved on Tuesday to thwart a liberal anti-war group’s attack on him for resigning from a high-profile panel on the Iraq war.

Giuliani has come under fire from MoveOn.org over his decision to withdraw from the Iraq Study Group last year as it debated recommendations for President George W. Bush on how to change course in Iraq.

MoveOn.org first bought $50,000 in television time in the early voting state of Iowa for an ad that labels Giuliani “AWOL” for resigning from the panel after serving for two months.

The group then decided to spend $50,000 more to run the ad nationally on CNN.

“Republican voters should ask: ‘Giuliani: Where were you when it counted?’ ‘Rudy Giuliani. A betrayal of trust,”‘ the MoveOn.org ad states.

I’ve got to say, I think this will only help Giuliani in Republican circles. If MoveOn.org is against him, then he will gain support from moderates and conservatives in my opinion. MoveOn’s charges against him are pretty meaningless and will not help their cause in the least.

Giuliani responded by taking his glove off and slapping them in the face a second time:

Giuliani, meanwhile, takes a different approach in his new Iowa radio spot – portraying himself as the Republican most likely to win over the more moderate electorate in the general election. Many conservatives are leery of Giuliani because of his views on issues including gay rights and abortion.

The ad Giuliani began airing Tuesday points to criticism of the candidate from the liberal group MoveOn.org and argues that Democrats fear Giuliani most as a potential GOP nominee.

“Why is MoveOn.org attacking Rudy Giuliani?” the ad asks. “Because he’s their worst nightmare.”

I think he’s actually correct here. Republicans, and Democrats, see him as the most electable Republican candidate and therefore, he has a price on his head in liberal circles.

The bottom line is that Mitt’s offense may give him mixed responses. Rudy, on the other, I think will come out of this much stronger.

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