- The Washington Times - Friday, April 27, 2007

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Former Virginia Gov. James S. Gilmore III yesterday entered the race for the Republican presidential nomination with an Internet-driven announcement that he said allows him to talk directly to voters.

“This is going to be something unique in American politics and something I think is the wave of the future, which is the chance to talk directly to the people as we develop the campaign through the Internet,” Mr. Gilmore said.

He made his announcement in a webcast originating from the Iowa Republican Party headquarters in Des Moines and sent out via his campaign’s Web site.

Mr. Gilmore offered a sharply conservative theme in an effort to distance himself from Republican rivals, who are better known and financed.

“This is a campaign about national security and the security of Americans everywhere,” he said.

In an interview, Mr. Gilmore singled out former New York City Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Arizona Sen. John McCain as the top three candidates in the Republican field whom he must overtake.

“I don’t think Mayor Giuliani has even suggested he’s a conservative,” he said. “Senator McCain has not made his reputation as a conservative. He’s made it as a maverick.”

Mr. Gilmore said Mr. Romney is shifting his views to offer himself as a conservative, but that won’t work.

“The difference is he is attempting to shift into becoming a conservative,” he said.

Mr. Gilmore, who headed the Republican National Committee in 2001, formed a presidential exploratory committee earlier this year, but raised only about $200,000 through March. He left office in Virginia in January 2002.

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