your connection to The Boston Globe

Giuliani says he erred in joining Iraq Study Group

Republican presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani with a supporter during a campaign stop yesterday in Des Moines. Republican presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani with a supporter during a campaign stop yesterday in Des Moines. (Charlie Neibergall/associated press)

DES MOINES -- Republican presidential contender Rudy Giuliani said yesterday that it was a mistake for him to join the Iraq Study Group, on which he lasted just two months and failed to attend any official meetings.

Newsday reported that Giuliani was a no-show for two of the group's meetings and instead attended paid public appearances.

"I thought it would work, but then after a month or two I realized the idea that I was possibly going to run for president would be inconsistent with that," Giuliani said during a campaign stop in Iowa.

Giuliani, who often speaks of his leadership skills, said he decided the group was the wrong place for him.

"It was a mistake because I had an active political career that could interfere with the way in which the recommendations of the commission would be viewed," he said.

Giuliani campaigned in Iowa for the first time since announcing that he would skip the August straw poll, an early test of political strength. His appearance came after a series of setbacks and surprises, which prompted reporters' questions that overshadowed his speech on fiscal conservatism.

The chairman of Giuliani's campaign in South Carolina, Thomas Ravenel, was indicted on cocaine charges. Giuliani named former state GOP chairman Barry Wynn as a replacement.

Clinton slams Bush
WASHINGTON -- Trying to win over her party's liberal activists, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton yesterday accused President Bush of disregarding the Constitution and promised to bring a new progressive vision to the White House.

Bush's government has "a stunning record of secrecy and corruption, of cronyism run amok," she said in one of the more partisan speeches of her campaign. "It is everything our founders were afraid of, everything our Constitution was designed to prevent."

Clinton returned to the Take Back America conference where she was booed last year for opposing a set date for pulling US troops from Iraq. This time, she said she is working to deauthorize the war. (AP)

Romney denies report
CONCORD, N.H. -- Mitt Romney's campaign is denying a report that aides pulled over a New York Times reporter trailing the former governor's caravan in New Hampshire, checked his license plates, and told him to leave.

The reporter, Mark Leibovich, wrote that while following Romney's caravan last month, an aide stopped him and told him his plates were run.

New Hampshire law does not allow campaign aides access to license plate databases, nor does it allow private staff members to pull over fellow citizens.

Romney spokesman Matt Rhoades said yesterday that aides did not stop Leibovich.

"We will not comment on security procedures for the governor," Rhoades said. "We can confirm, though, that at no time was the reporter's license plate run through a check or was his vehicle pulled over."

Romney's campaign said the group became lost on back roads after a May 29 stop at Harvey's Bakery in Dover, N.H .

Romney travels with aides to campaign stops in a motorcade of black sport utility vehicles and his aides wear earpieces. (AP)