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THE NATION

Republican hopefuls hit '08 trail in Michigan

February 11, 2007|From the Associated Press

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. — Republicans Mitt Romney and Sen. Sam Brownback promoted their presidential campaigns before nearly 3,000 party activists at the Michigan GOP convention Saturday.

Romney reminded the crowd that he grew up sharing the Automotive News each morning with his father, George, who headed American Motors Corp. before serving as Michigan's governor from 1963 to 1969.

The younger Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, said his father brought many of the lessons he learned from business to the governorship. "He got Michigan moving again," Romney said.

Then Romney ran through his stands in opposition to abortion and same-sex marriage and in favor of tight controls on illegal immigration.

"It's time for Republican principles to come back to Michigan again," he said.

Brownback, of Kansas, who is portraying himself as the conservative heart of the party, won a warm reception with his pledges to protect life and the traditional family.

He also called for wiping out cancer in 10 years and for putting more resources into alternative energy.

"Michigan is going to be a key state in getting that done," he said, noting its efforts to encourage the production of ethanol and biodiesel.

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