In this morning's Michigan news headlines...

Jun 18, 2012

Romney to wrap up Battleground Bus Tour in Michigan

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is on a tour of half a dozen battleground states that winds up tomorrow in Michigan. Michigan Public Radio’s Rick Pluta reports:

Romney will make three campaign stops and attend a pair of fundraisers.  Matt Frendeway is with the Michigan Republican Party.  He says the swing through Michigan is a signal that Romney will make a strong play for Michigan and its 16 electoral votes.

"He’s going to come to Michigan and talk to folks who are struggling under President Obama’s economy, under his failed policies. He’s going to be visiting small towns and talking to folks about the difficulties they’ve faced, the 400,000 Michiganders here who are still out of work, looking for work, looking for jobs."

Democrats have tried to make an issue of Romney’s opposition to federal loans to GM and Chrysler. But two recent polls show the race for Michigan’s 16 electoral votes is tightening.    
   
Rich Robinson tracks political spending for the Michigan Campaign Finance Network. He says Romney appears to be benefiting from advertising by independent groups attacking the president’s job performance.

"They’re not explicitly saying, ‘Don’t vote for this guy,’ but the effect of what they’re doing is pretty obvious."

The Republican presidential nominee last won Michigan in 1988.

Nuns on the Bus

A group of Catholic nuns will be touring the state this week to criticize Republican plans to cut federal spending. Steve Carmody reports:

The Nuns on the Bus tour started over the weekend in Iowa and will reach Michigan by Friday. The bus tour has stops planned in Grand Rapids, Jackson and Detroit.

While in Michigan, the group plans to demonstrate outside the offices of two Republican congressmen who voted to turn Medicare into a voucher program, and cap non-defense spending.

"Some of your politicians who voted for it…and actually some who voted against it are Catholics,” says Sister Simone Campbell. She is part of the group called Network, which describes itself as a progressive national Catholic social justice lobby. "And we’re hoping to point out to those who voted for it the serious flaws in the budget and what devastation it will do to Michigan."

NASCAR's Dale Earnhardt Jr. wins at MIS

Dale Earnhardt Jr. raced to his first Sprint Cup victory in four years, ending a 143-race winless streak Sunday at Michigan International Speedway, the Associated Press reports.

From the AP:

Earnhardt's win came almost exactly four years to the day after his last trip to Victory Lane in a Cup race. That also was in Michigan on June 15, 2008. He led for 36 laps last weekend at Pocono but made a late stop for gas instead of trying to stretch the fuel to the end.  On Sunday, it wasn't even close. He pulled away over the final 25 laps of the 400-mile race, and led by over five seconds in the final laps before his black Chevrolet with the green No. 88 crossed the finish line well ahead of Tony Stewart.