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Campaign Notebook

Romney assails Clintons as lacking in family values

HOOKSET, N.H. - Mitt Romney yesterday sharply criticized the "family values" of Hillary Clinton and her husband, recalling Bill Clinton's affair with a White House intern that led to an impeachment battle.

Asked by a woman how a president can promote family values, Romney wasted no time in bringing up the Clintons.

"There's no question that one of the ways that you help instill family values is by having the White House be a place that demonstrates that," Romney said. "So I think that during the last Clinton presidency, the White House did not demonstrate that in a way that was helpful for our nation's culture."

The woman, who was crowded into a house party for Romney, murmured, "I agree."

Romney added, "At least during the time you're in the White House, you ought to live by a high standard, because the world is looking at you, you're representing not only yourself but your country, and the kids of America are looking at you."

In response, Clinton spokesman Howard Wolfson said, "Hillary Clinton needs no lessons on character from a man who switches his positions on a daily basis."

Romney, who has vowed to use the White House as a bully pulpit to strengthen family values, often mentions how he married his high school sweetheart, Ann, now his wife of 38 years, as evidence of his commitment.

MICHAEL LEVENSON

Tancredo throws a gauntlet
Forget those lame bets between politicians over big sporting events - those wagers of steaks or clam chowder or whatever food a city calls its own.

Republican presidential hopeful Tom Tancredo wants to put something really important on the line for the World Series: his candidacy.

Before the Red Sox shellacked the Rockies 13-1 in Game 1 Wednesday night, Tancredo's campaign called ABC News to issue this challenge: The Colorado congressman will drop out of the race if the Rockies lose - if rival Mitt Romney agrees to pack it in if the Sox lose.

Romney has a lot at stake. He's leading in the Iowa and New Hampshire polls, is competitive nationally, and has invested more than $17 million of his own money in his campaign.

The Romney campaign declined. "The governor is in the race to win the race," spokesman Kevin Madden said.

FOON RHEE

Iowa Democrats pick a date
DES MOINES, Iowa - Iowa Democratic Party officials are poised to settle on Jan. 3 for their presidential caucuses, the same day Republicans will vote, a party official said yesterday.

The Democratic State Central Committee will hold a conference call Sunday night to make a formal decision, party spokeswoman Carrie Giddins said.

Giddins said Iowa's Democratic chairman, Scott Brennan, is recommending the move to Jan. 3 after consulting with Governor Chet Culver and US Senator Tom Harkin. Approval is considered a mere formality and would take one more step toward settling a shifting campaign schedule.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

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