This is kind of a follow up to "in regard to" or "in regards to".
I have always considered that regards to means sending well wishes, while regard to means "concerning". Hence with regards to or in regards to, meaning "concerning", are erroneous and should be with regard to or in regard to.
Yet just looking at the recent Presidential debates, we have the following quotes from Governor Romney:
And then, of course, with regards to standing for our principles, when -- when the students took to the streets in Tehran and the people there protested, the Green Revolution occurred, for the president to be silent I thought was an enormous mistake.
The — the greatest failure we've had with regards to — to gun violence in some respects is what — what is known as Fast and Furious.
Number two, with regards to Iraq, you and I agreed, I believe, that there should have been a status of forces agreement.
And finally, with regards to that tax cut, look, I'm not looking to cut massive taxes and to reduce the -- the revenues going to the government.
Well, President, you're -- Mr. President, you're absolutely right, which is that, with regards to 97 percent of the businesses are not -- not taxed at the 35 percent tax rate, they're taxed at a lower rate.
In all these cases, he means concerning and is not sending well wishes. Is this a Romney disfluency? Is this a regional variation? Is my intuition just completely wrong and this is generally accepted as standard?