McCain, Romney: I'm the Real Conservative
GOP rivals battle over right-wing credentials
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 5, 2008 2:55 AM CST
Republican presidential hopeful former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, answers a question as fellow Republican presidential hopeful Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., looks on during the Republican presidential...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – GOP contenders John McCain and Mitt Romney have both staked out claims on the conservative heart of the Republican party, hoping to convince voters heading to the polls today that they're the genuine article. Romney insists conservatives up and down the country have told him: "We don't want Senator McCain. We want a conservative in the White House." McCain, meanwhile, slammed Romney's Massachusetts record and said his own hard-line positions on Islamic extremism and for limiting federal spending are truly conservative.

McCain is ahead in many states but it's expected to be a close contest today in delegate-rich California, and both candidates made last-minute detours there yesterday to shore up support. Romney labeled himself the underdog but was quick to point out that underdogs "typically win." He vowed:  "We're we're going to hand the liberals in our party a little surprise Tuesday evening when we take California."