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December 09, 2011 - Image 6

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The Michigan Daily, 2011-12-09

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40

6- Friday, December 9, 2011

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Romney campaign launches
broad new assault on rivals

Gingrich attacked
professionally,
personally
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP)
- Republican Mitt Romney
opened a broad and newly abra-
sive assault on rival Newt Gin-
grich on yesterday, dispatching
surrogates and staff to cast him
as unworthy of the GOP nomi-
nation and unfit to be president
Romney's allies also readied a
blistering new ad in Iowa that
says Gingrich has spent "30
years in Washington flip-flop-
ping on issues."
The former Massachusetts
governor is aiming to under-
mine his rising rival on both
personal and professional fronts
ahead of the 2012 campaign's
opening contest Jan. 3 in Iowa -
a reversal by the one-time front-
runner who had previously all
but ignored his Republican foes.
"He's not a reliable and trust-
ed conservative leader because
he's not a reliable or trustwor-
thy leader," former Missouri
Sen. Jim Talent, a Romney sup-
porter, said of Gingrich, offer-

ing a preview of the attacks
Romney's team promised would
continue in the next few weeks.
Romney allies, for their part,
announced a $3.1 million TV ad
campaign in Iowa beginning
Friday that includes the new
commercial assailing Gingrich
on a host of fronts.
"Newt has a ton of baggage
... And on the issues? Newt's
been on all sides," says the ad
by Restore Our Future politi-
cal action committee, which is
made up of aides of Romney's
failed 2008 campaign.
Campaigning in South Caro-
lina, Gingrich brushed off the
verbal assault and insisted his
campaign would not change
its above-the-fray approach
regarding fellow Republican
contenders.
"We're focused on remaining
positive," he said.
Gingrich's reluctance to
engage may be out of necessity.
He dramatically lags Romney
in organizational firepower as
he tries to rebuild his campaign
after an early summer implo-
sion that left it deep in debt.
The onslaught of criticism
from Romney and his allies,

after months of focusing solely
on President Barack Obama and
little on his GOP foes, comes as
the race has developed into a
two-person contest. Gingrich's
quick rise in national and early-
state polls threatens Romney's
claim as the likeliest Republi-
can to be chosen to challenge
Obama next fall.
Romney's attack strategy car-
ries risks.
If he's successful in tearing
down his main rival, there's no
guarantee that ina multi-candi-
date field he'll end up benefiting
from a possible Gingrich fall. At
the same time, congenial Iowa
voters generally don't look kind-
ly on candidates who engage in
negative politics, and they could
end up punishing Romney in a
state that already presents hur-
dles for him. Plus, questioning
Gingrich's adherence to conser-
vatism could draw attention to
Romney's own liabilities as hav-
ing switched positions on key
social issues including abortion
and gay marriage.
The candidate, himself, per-
sonally stayed out of the fray
yesterday, raising money in pri-
vate in Virginia.
WITTER

0

A Montgomery County law enforcement officer stands guard with a shotgun after a multiple shooting and ensuing cam-
pus-wide manhunt on Virginia Tech's campus left two people dead in Blacksburg, Va., yesterday.
V ir ginia Tech gunman kills
police officer, then found dead

0

During incident,
campus officials
were at a hearing on
2007 shooting
BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) - A
gunman killed a police officer in
a Virginia Tech parking lot yes-
terday and then apparently shot
himself to death nearby in a baf-
fling attack that shook up the cam-
pus nearly five years after it was
the scene of the deadliest shooting
rampage in modern U.S. history.
The shooting took place on the

same day Virginia Tech officials
were in Washington, fighting a
government fine over their alleged
mishandling of the 2007 blood-
bath where 33 people were killed.
Before it became clear that the
gunman in yesterday's attack was
dead, the school applied the les-
sons learned during the last trag-
edy, locking down the campus and
using a high-tech alert system to
warn students and faculty mem-
bers to stay indoors.
"In light of the turmoil and
trauma and the tragedy suffered
by this campus by guns, I can only
say words don't describe our feel-
ings and they're elusive at this

point in time," university presi-
dent Charles Steger said. "Our
hearts are broken again for the
family of our police officer."
The officer was killed after
pulling a driver over in a traf-
fic stop. The gunman - who was
not involved in the traffic stop -
walked into the parking lot and
ambushed the officer. Police did
not know what the motive was and
they didn't release the identity of
the officer or shooter.
A law enforcement official who
spoke on the condition of anonym-
ity confirmed the gunman was
dead, but wouldn't say how he
died.

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RELEASE DATE- Friday, December , 2011
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