"May I have your attention please? Will the real Republican please stand up? I repeat, will the real Republican please stand up? We're gonna have a problem here…"
We so wish we had the skills to make YouTube mash-up videos because the back and forth among the leading Republican candidates over who is the "real Republican" is just begging for a parody with Rudy Giuliani, Fred Thompson, Mitt Romney and John McCain all wearing matching white t-shirts and baggy jeans.
(Over to you JibJab guys…)
As the leading Republican candidates spar over their fiscal conservative credentials and who wins the "real Republican" title, Wednesday's Club for Growth fall conference provides as good an opportunity as any for each to move the ball forward and set himself apart.
Rudy Giuliani and Fred Thompson will attend in person at the Grand Hyatt in Washington DC and Mitt Romney will speak via live satellite. John McCain was not invited to speak. Club for Growth invited him to its Winter Conference in March and he declined then, leaving him off the roster for this event.
"We are hoping to hear the candidates put forward a bold, pro-growth agenda and embrace specific proposals, especially on tax cuts and entitlement reform, two topics that have been scant on details," Club for Growth spokeswoman Nachama Soloveichik told ABC News.
There is also a special request for Fred Thompson:
"We would also like to hear Fred Thompson renounce his previous support for McCain-Feingold and demonstrate his commitment to protecting political free speech," Soloveichik said.
The candidates will take questions from conference attendees for about 15-20 minutes, including Romney via satellite. Perhaps this will provide material for a question for Giuliani
The campaign of a Republican presidential rival is circulating this video of the former New York mayor saying: "I'm a Republican mayor, but I'm really not" while appearing on Charlie Rose in 1996 during the GOP's national convention.
GIULIANI: "Well, I'm a Republican mayor, but I'm really not. I'm the mayor of New York City. I ran as a Republican, I ran as a Liberal — which really confuses all kinds of people — and I ran as an Independent, as part of the Independent Party, which actually is now the party that's supporting Ross Perot. So I ran a fusion candidacy, like my predecessor Fiorello LaGuardia. So I'm not the most partisan of Republicans."
That "real Republican" back and forth continued Tuesday in Washington. ABC News' Jan Simmonds reports that Rudy Giuliani wasted no time in fighting back criticism from his GOP rivals in his remarks before the Republican Jewish Coalition.
"Am I real Republican?" Giuliani asked the crowd while not naming his critics by name. "I gave my blood for the Republican Party in New York. I often say I was the first Republican mayor in New York in 25 years. And I was the first to remain one in 50 years."
Giuliani, who touts his conservative credentials in almost every speech – especially his fiscal conservative merits – has made a concerted effort to convince naysayers that he is a conservative Republican, Simmonds reports. To that point, Giuliani often quotes conservative columnist George Will who has credited Giuliani with running the most conservative government in the last 50 years.
The latest CNN/Opinion Research poll shows Giuliani leading the Republican field with 27 percent, ahead of Thompson with 19 percent. It's interesting to note that Thompson is down eight points from CNN's last poll in the first week of September, while McCain is up two points, coming it at 17 percent).
On the Democratic side, Clinton has expanded her lead to 30 points, polling above 50 percent for the first time in this poll (just as she did in the USA Today/Gallup poll). Clinton is up five points from that early September poll, coming in at 51 percent with Obama second with 21 percent.
Tivo Alert! On Wednesday Obama will appear on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and The Ellen Degeneres Show. (Clinton did not dance with the host – will Obama?)
On the campaign trail…
--8:00 am ET: Accepts major endorsement at the Grand Hyatt, Washington, DC
--8:45 am ET: Delivers remarks at the Club for Growth Conference, Grand Hyatt, Washington, DC
--2:45 pm ET: Delivers remarks at the Des Moines town hall meeting, Drake University, Des Moines, IA
--6:00 pm ET: Delivers remarks at Muscatine town hall meeting, Muscatine Community College, Muscatine, IA
--8:15 pm ET: meets with Students for Rudy, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA
--8:45 am ET: Attends an "Ask Mitt Anything" Breakfast, Clinton, IA
--10:30 am ET: Participates in the DeWitt Main Street Walk, DeWitt, IA
--1:00 pm ET: Holds an "Ask Mitt Anything" Luncheon, Davenport, IA
--4:15 pm ET: Holds a media availability at the Ohio State University Airport, Columbus, OH
--4:30 pm ET: Delivers remarks to the Club for Growth Conference via satellite
--12:30 pm ET: Delivers remarks to the Republican Women's Federal Forum Luncheon, Capitol Hill Club, Washington, DC
--8:30 am ET: Meets with Jackson area voters at Denny's Restaurant, Jackson, MI
--10:15 am ET: Meets with Brighton area voters at Bob's Big Boy Restaurant, Brighton, MI
--12:15 pm ET: Speaks at Saginaw Valley State University, Saginaw, MI
--3:00 pm ET: Speaks at Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
--5:30 pm ET: Attends a Calhoun County Republican Party Event, Battle Creek, MI
--8:00 pm ET: Speaks at the Ottawa County Republican Party Headquarters, Holland, MI
--11:15 am ET: Attends a town hall meeting, Columbia, SC
--12:40 pm ET: Media availability, Columbia, SC
--3:15 pm ET: Attends town hall meeting hosted by the Sun City Carolina Lakes Republican Club, Ft. Mill, SC
--4:40 pm ET: Media availability, Ft. Mill, SC
-- 7:30 am ET: Speaks at the Republican Jewish Coalition National Women's Coalition Kickoff Breakfast, Washington, DC (Closed Press)
--12:30 pm ET: Delivers speech to the Club for Growth, Washington, DC
--12:15 pm ET: speaks at he Primary Insight Presidential Candidate Forum, Manchester, NH
--2:15 pm ET: Tours BAE Systems and meets with employees, Nashua, NH
--5:45 pm ET: Speaks at AARP, Divided We Fail Issues Forum, Manchester, NH
--7:30 pm ET: Participates in live interview by Myron Kandel of The Initiative for Corporate Responsibility with live audience for broadcast by New Hampshire Public Television, Nashua, NH
--6:00 – 7:00 pm ET: Radio interview on the Adam McManus show, KSLR
--9:00 – 10:00 pm ET: Radio interview on The American Voice with Gianni DeVincent Hayes, entitled "New World Order"
As for the Democrats…
--1:30 pm ET: Delivers remarks at the National Women's Finance Council Summit, Washington, DC
-- Tapes The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and the Ellen Degeneres Show, Los Angeles, CA; Cedar Rapids, IA and Reno, NV - No public events scheduled
--11:15 am ET: Tours a rural firehouse and holds a community meeting to discuss his plans to support first responders, Rock Rapids, IA
--1:15 pm ET: Attends a community meeting on strengthening rural education, Sibley, IA
--5:30 pm ET: Visits Iowa Lakes Community College and holds community meeting to discuss his plan to create rural jobs in the new energy economy, Estherville, IA
--7:30 pm ET: Visits a family hog farm to highlight his plan to protect family farms against consolidation by agribusiness conglomerates, Cylinder, IA
--Fundraises in New York
-- Attends to Congressional Duties for Ohio's 10th District
-- Tucson, AZ
Elsewhere in Washington…
--1:00 pm ET: Attends Congressional Gold Medal ceremony honoring the Dalai Lama, Washington, DC
--10:00 am ET: Seante Judiciary Committee holds a hearing on the nomination of Michael Mukasey to be Attorney General of the United States.
POLITICAL NEWS STORIES ON ABCNEWS.COM
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ABC News' John Hendren: "White House Defends Bush Visit With Dalai Lama"LINK
ABC News' Jan Simmonds: "Giuliani: I "Gave My Blood" for NY Republicans"LINK
ABC News' Jake Tapper: "Sen. Larry Craig: Liability to Republicans?"LINK
ABC News' Ariane de Vogue: "Post-9/11 Case Weighs on Mukasey Confirmation"LINK
ABC News' Lindsey Ellerson: "A Reality Check From a Century Past'LINK
ABC News' Jake Tapper: "Thompson Whacks Giuliani on Home Turf"LINK
ABC News' Bret Hovel: "McCain Money: a 95% Burn-Rate"LINK
ABC News' Christine Byun: "Thompson: 'I'm Consistent Conservative'LINK
POLITICAL VIDEO ON ABCNEWS.COM
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