MANCHESTER, N.H — Hillary Clinton and Mitt Romney targeted their main rivals for attack Friday as the presidential candidates wasted no time reflecting on Iowa's results before dashing in the pre-dawn hours to New Hampshire, which will hold the nation's first primary Tuesday.
Advisers to Clinton, a Democratic senator from New York, said she planned to rebound from her disappointing third-place finish in Iowa by attacking the winner, Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, and giving former President Bill Clinton a larger strategic role in the campaign.
Republican former Massachusetts Gov. Romney — wedged between former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee's Iowa victory and Arizona Sen. John McCain's surge in New Hampshire — began attacking his rivals immediately, launching new Web ads ripping them both as tax-raisers and soft on illegal immigration.
Attack tactics underscore that the stakes are huge and time is short before New Hampshire voters weigh in. Victories in Iowa by relative upstarts Obama and Huckabee shook the Democratic and Republican party establishments and signaled that 2008 may be a year of political upheaval.
Obama bounded into New Hampshire charged with momentum and suggested that a second Clinton loss there would seriously damage her prospects.
"If you give me the chance Iowa gave me last night, I truly believe I will be president of the United States of America," he told hundreds at a morning rally in Portsmouth.
Later Friday, he received a thunderous welcome at a Democratic dinner in Milford.
"In four days' time, it is your turn to change America," he said to cheers and chants of "Obama, Obama, Obama." It was the most enthusiastic response to any of the candidates appearing at the party fundraiser, including Clinton, as hundreds of supporters crowded against the stage to get close to him.
Romney took the gloves off after a disappointing finish in Iowa.
One 30-second Romney ad asks, "Remember? Last time John McCain attacked President Bush's integrity."
The ad shows McCain from the 2000 campaign, when he was running against Bush for the Republican presidential nomination, saying of Bush: "His ads twist the truth like (President) Clinton." A voiceover pipes in, saying "Comparing Bush to Clinton? He was wrong then, and he's wrong about Mitt Romney now."
The ad goes on to say that McCain voted against Bush's tax cuts and supported the president's immigration plan, which included a guest-worker provision.
"Higher taxes, amnesty for illegals," the ad voiceover says. "That's straight talk for being in Washington too long."
McCain said he intended to bring up what he considered Romney's inconsistent record during New Hampshire's Republican debates Saturday and Sunday nights, but wouldn't get into a tit for tat of negative ads with him.
"I've always been proud of the campaigns I've been involved in, and I'm going to be proud of this campaign," he said.
Romney took similarly hard shots earlier this week at Huckabee and his campaign partner, martial arts legend and actor Chuck Norris, in a 30-spot titled "Roundhouse Kick." Norris appeared with Huckabee on Friday in Henniker, N.H.
"Two good men, both into fitness," an announcer says, adding, "Where do they stand on crime? Chuck Norris: 'Give a presidential pardon to no one, ever.' Norris subdues criminals with an icy stare."
The ad then notes that during his tenure as governor Huckabee granted 1,033 pardons and commutations, including 12 to convicted murderers.
Huckabee dismissed Romney's attacks Friday, saying that Iowa voters had proved that they won't work.
"We showed money in politics is not as important as message in politics," Huckabee said. "They (Iowans) proved they wanted a campaign based on issues, not what candidates could find wrong with someone else."
In his only public event Friday, Huckabee joined an enthusiastic crowd of about 1,000 at New England College in Henniker and spent most of his time playing guitar with the rock band Mama Kicks.
After playing "Mustang Sally," "Twist and Shout" and "Midnight Hour," with Norris watching, Huckabee asked, "Do you really think they have that much fun in Hillary crowds?"
In the ads and on the stump Friday, Romney sought to wrest the mantle of Washington outsider from Huckabee and of maverick from McCain.
"There is a strong movement in this country to reject Washington and look for change," Romney said in Portsmouth, N.H. "There's no way McCain can come to New Hampshire and say he's an agent of change."
McCain is giving Romney a run for his money, though. Polls have McCain slightly ahead or tied with Romney in the former governor's neighboring state, where Romney has invested a lot of time and campaign cash.
Huckabee faces a daunting task in New Hampshire. He won in Iowa because Christian conservatives and evangelicals voted heavily for him. However, they account for only 15 to 20 percent of the Republican vote in New Hampshire. A Reuters/C-Span/Zogby poll released Friday had Huckabee in a distant third place with 10 percent. McCain was first with 34 percent, Romney second with 30 percent.
"It's not the same electorate as in the South or the Midwest," said Andrew Smith, the director of the University of New Hampshire Survey Center. "The biggest problem Huckabee's got is he has no organization here."
Clinton tried to put a positive spin on the Iowa results, saying in New Hampshire, "This is a new day, this is a new state.
"I was never a front-runner of any significance in Iowa. Iowa, I knew, was always going to be hard for me."
On her flight from Iowa to New Hampshire, Clinton campaign officials made it clear that they intend to get more aggressive against Obama. Former Democratic Party Chairman Terry McAuliffe, campaign spokesman Jay Carson and others said the campaign would begin to draw "sharp contrasts" with Obama, political speak for going on the attack.
"This has been very much a referendum on her, and I think people will take a harder look at the choice and the president who's needed for this time," said Mark Penn, Clinton's chief strategist.
That's a perilous strategy, though. Clinton already has high negative poll ratings, and attacking Obama could worsen her image for those who see her as harsh.
Clinton campaign officials also said that former President Clinton would have a bigger role in planning. "He's already mind-gaming New Hampshire," McAuliffe said.
Asked what the former president's advice was, McAuliffe replied: "You'll see; We've got four days to get our message out."
Democratic former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards, appearing energized by his second-place finish in Iowa, continued his populist pitch Friday in Manchester by comparing himself to a legendary come-from-behind racehorse.
"We are Seabiscuit," he hollered during an early morning rally. "I am not the candidate of money. I am not the candidate of glitz. I am not the candidate of glamour.
"But what I am is I am the candidate for president of the United States that is the people's candidate."
(Matt Stearns, Margaret Talev, Barbara Barrett and Steven Thomma contributed to this report from New Hampshire.)