With Michigan in a virtual one-state recession, Mitt Romney won yesterday's primary by promising federal assistance. Will that work Saturday in South Carolina? With five candidates still standing, the Republican race is in chaos. We get an update and look at the role of the economy in presidential politics. Also, President Bush winds up his Middle East tour and, on Reporter's Notebook, despite possible damage to whales and other marine mammals, President Bush says the Navy can use sonar for anti-submarine training off the coast of California. What about state law and federal court rulings?
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In Cairo today, President Bush is winding up a Middle East tour designed to encourage Arab-Israeli peace, further isolate Iran and promote civil liberties. Rob Malley, special assistant to then-President Clinton and now Middle East Program Director for the International Crisis Group, is also in Egypt.
This month, a federal judge in Los Angeles ordered the Navy to create a nautical no-sonar zone off the California coast. Anti-submarine training would have to shut down if whales or other mammals got within 2200 yards. Critics contend that sonar signals will damage the marine mammals' hearing, with worldwide impact. During his trip to the Middle East, President Bush signed a waiver of court-imposed sonar limits, calling it an issue of national security. One environmental group says today he is "flouting the will of Congress," the state's Coastal Commission and a federal court. The controversy pits national security against whales and other marine mammals.
After one caucus and two primaries, there have been three Republican winners--or a whole field of losers, depending on how you see it. After Romney's victory in Michigan, he, Huckabee and McCain are on to South Carolina where Thompson awaits while Giuliani looks on from Florida. We update the Republican contest and look at what more and more evidence shows is becoming the dominant issue: the economy. Do voters blame President Bush and Republicans? Do they have confidence in the Democrats? What are the candidates saying?
John Harris, Politico (@HarrisPolitico)
Andrew Kohut, Pew Research Center (@pewresearch)
J. David Woodard, Clemson University (@ClemsonNews)
Jacob Hacker, Yale University
Bill Greener, III, Republican Strategist, Greener and Hook