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Mitt vs. Hillary

Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney took aim at Democratic rivals yesterday, calling them all unprepared to lead the country and comparing Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton'seconomic plan to that of Karl Marx.

"It would be helpful to have a person leading the country who understands how the economy works and has actually managed something," the former Massachusetts governor told reporters after a Republican fundraiser in Nashua, N.H. "In the case of the three Democratic front-runners, not one of them has managed even a corner store, let alone a state or a city."

Mr. Romney, who leads Republicans in New Hampshire, has focused his criticism in recent weeks on Mrs. Clinton, Sen. Barack Obama and former Sen. John Edwards rather than rival Republicans, the Associated Press reports. It's a strategy he hopes will help him maintain his lead over Sen. John McCain and former New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani.

"I wanted to focus on the Democrats," he said. "By and large, the best way to further my interest is to let people know what I would do and to distinguish that from what the Democrats would do."

"Hillary Clinton just gave a speech the other day about her view on the economy. She said we have been an on-your-own society. She said it's time to get rid of that and replace that with shared responsibility and we're-in-it-together society," Mr. Romney told the crowd. "That's out with Adam Smith and in with Karl Marx."

No stopping them

Charleston, S.C., the scene of tonight's debate between Democratic presidential candidates, will also be the scene of the latest protest against Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton by the folks at StopHerNow.com.

A plane chartered by the anti-Clinton Web site will fly over downtown Charleston this afternoon flying the "Stop Her Now" banner, said Dick Collins, founder of the site.

"We want Senator Clinton to know that wherever she goes, we will be there exposing her liberal ideology and hopefully crack a few smiles along the way," Mr. Collins said.

StopHerNow.com previously flew its slogan over Dallas, when Mrs. Clinton visited that city for a June 15 fundraiser. In addition to the aerial stunt, Mr. Collins said his group has also responded to the request that questions be submitted for the debate via online videos at YouTube.com, posing questions about the Fairness Doctrine, illegal immigration, and health care.

"Senator Clinton's liberal voting record on the immigration bill, her statements on government-controlled speech and government-sponsored health care in America are just a few issues we hope to expose in the next debate," Mr. Collins said.

"We have become the most interactive presidential education Web site on the Internet," he added.

'Revolving door'

"Law-abiding Americans and legal immigrants are sick of the revolving door that allows convicted criminal aliens to be set free to wreak havoc and violence across the country," syndicated columnist Michelle Malkin says in an online video ad for a new site, DeportThemNow.com.

Showing mug shots of illegal immigrants convicted of serious crimes, Mrs. Malkin says: "These crimes were 100 percent preventable. How many more criminal-alien rapists, kidnappers and murderers will be let loose before politicians finally act?"

The Web site asks volunteers to sign up for "a grass-roots campaign to pressure Washington to stop this insanity."

Tax dollars at work

A commentator for National Public Radio has declared Elizabeth Edwards, wife of Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, "The Sexiest Woman in Politics."

"I'm sorry, but chick fights are sexy," NPR's John Ridley wrote Wednesday at his blog on the federally subsidized network's Web site (www.npr.org).

"Ladies throwing down is just plain hot, and that's true whether they're drunk and tussling on the Vegas Strip or if they're doing some verbal mud wrestling in the media. And the woman least afraid to get her li'l dukes up, and therefore currently the sexiest in politics, is Elizabeth Edwards."

Praising Mrs. Edwards for recently calling into a television talk show to argue with conservative columnist Ann Coulter, Mr. Ridley suggested that Miss Coulter is a transsexual: "I'm never sure myself if Coulter is pre-op or post-op."

NPR is run by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which receives $390 million annually from federal taxpayers.

At the Media Research Center's blog, NewsBusters.org, Paul Detrick remarked of Mr. Ridley's blog: "The blogosphere is full of opinions, but this one you're paying for."

'Women's issues'

"Elizabeth Edwards might as well have been 'Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus' author John Gray when she rapped Hillary Clinton last week for supposedly falling short in her commitment to American women," Courtney Martin writes in the New York Daily News.

" 'I'm not convinced she'd be as good an advocate for women,' she told the online magazine Salon.com. 'Sometimes you feel you have to behave as a man and not talk about women's issues.'

"Since when did intelligent feminists decide it was okay to reduce complex, political issues to smarmy self-help categorizations?" the writer asked.

"What are 'women's issues,' anyway? It sounds like a term that my golf-playing, barbecuing uncle would use to refer to 'that time of the month.' I place it right up there with 'private parts' and 'dude thing' in terms of specificity and usefulness. But here we have a major political player, taking swings on her husband's behalf, using the phrase as if it were actually legitimate.

"For years, politicians and pollsters have been artificially dividing our public life into female territory like health care, education and abortion and male terrain like, I guess, the economy, war and hunting. A woman — especially one as smart, savvy and successful as Elizabeth Edwards — should know better."

Scaling back

Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney said Saturday he has scaled back plans for a straw poll in Iowa next month that two chief rivals are skipping.

He told reporters in Algona, Iowa, that he hopes to do well, but "we're not trying to overshoot dramatically." That means reducing the budget for the straw poll Aug. 11 in Ames and the number of supporters his campaign plans to bus in to the event, the Associated Press reports.

In June, former New York City Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani andArizona Sen. John McCain bowed out of the decades-old nonbinding contest. Mr. Romney has put great resources into preparing for the event, which now shapes up as a contest involving several lesser-known contenders.

Greg Pierce can be reached at 202/636-3285 or gpierce@washingtontimes.com.

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