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Romney heads to Iowa

Mitt Romney tomorrow is taking his unannounced presidential campaign to Iowa, home of the country’s first presidential caucus vote Jan. 14, 2008.

The former Massachusetts governor and his son, Tagg Romney, plan to lunch with residents at Buck’s Restaurant in Waterloo and tour Hawkeye Renewables, a renewable fuels plant in Fairbank.

They will round out the day at a reception at the Best Western Midway Hotel’s Hoffman House Restaurant in Dubuque.

— S.A. Miller, Capitol Hill correspondent, The Washington Times

Meet the new Newt, same as the old Newt

CAMBRIDGE, Md. - Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is not known for his brevity.

The Republican was the lunch speaker at today’s retreat. Word has it his talk went on - and on - longer than expected. Republican leaders were supposed to meet with reporters staking out the gathering at 1. That became 1:15, then 1:30, and finally they trotted out at 2:10.

“It was Newt being Newt,” Minority Leader John Boehner said. “There was nothing new there.”

Maryland Rep. Wayne Gilchrest, whose district includes the Hyatt where Republicans were retreating, happily gave five minutes of the region’s million-year history. When he started talking about sediment, some of the other leaders sneaked smiles at each other. Seems they’d heard the speech before.

— Christina Bellantoni, Capitol Hill correspondent, The Washington Times

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