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September 06, 2007 06:18 PM UTC

Republicans Duke it Out in NH Debate

  • by: Colorado Pols

From The Washington Post

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani — the two leading candidates for the Republican presidential nomination — came under pointed criticism both from their rivals and from New Hampshire residents in tonight’s debate in the Granite State.

Romney, who leads in polling in both Iowa and New Hampshire, was repeatedly questioned about his issue positions on matters ranging from the surge in Iraq to his past statement equating his sons’ work on behalf of his campaign to the service of American troops in Iraq.

After Romney said that the surge of American troops in Iraq was “apparently” working, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) quickly jumped in. “The surge is working,” McCain bristled. “Not ‘apparently.'”

Later, a man whose son is serving in Iraq castigated Romney for making the comparison between his sons’ sacrifice and those of the men and women fighting in the Middle East. The man said Romney had “offended” him and added: “You never should have said it.” Romney responded somewhat gamely but was clearly flustered.

Giuliani, too, came in for criticism — in the form of a college student who asked him ( albeit obliquely) — whether the problems in his personal life in any way contradicted his advocacy of family values. Giuliani was ready for this line of attack, repeating his past response that he has never claimed to be perfect and has some of the same struggles in his family life as many Americans do.

The focus on Romney and Giuliani reinforced the notion that the race right now is between those two men with former Sen. Fred Thompson who did not attend the debate as a potential wildcard. (Thompson announced he was running during a taping of “The Tonight Show” earlier this evening and will follow it up with a tour of early voting states tomorrow.)

For the first time in the debates, Romney and Giuliani took each other on over issues, battling for the conservative mantle on immigration and crime.


12 thoughts on “Republicans Duke it Out in NH Debate

  1. without Fred Thompson.  The grassroots are with Fred, and he easily eclipsed the debate in terms of media attention. My bet is Thompson is the nominee for the GOP.

    1. he makes it that long. The man has already been labeled. He waited too long to jump in, hasn’t responded to any attacks, and is too old. He’s has no real appeal other than people not knowing who is, but rather hoping he’s the next Reagan. Well, if I’ve got news for those folks… he’s no Reagan. An actor, yes and perhaps a better one, but his record will show what type of politician he is.

    2. Then it’s Thompson’s own fault.  He’s declared, but he’s got it all timed out so he doesn’t have to file his expenses this quarter.  It’s all very calculated – by declaring on the day that he did, he doesn’t have to form his committee until today (I think), and by forming his committee today, he doesn’t have to file until… October 1 – the day after the deadline for this reporting period.

  2. Given that a key topic of this debate was illegal immigration, you’d assume TT would have gotten some airplay and press mention. But no… Stick a fork in him…

    Long ago he said he was in the race to bring attention to illegal immigration. Seems he’s accomplished that (and pretty much guaranteed that the GOP will be the minority party for the next 100 years) – so why’s he sucking up contributions now?

    1. Just before the debate he was advocating the prosecution of two NH State Legislators for proposing a state law maintaining the separation of Federal and State law enforcement resources regarding illegal immigration.  (That’s called “sanctuary” by the anti-immigration folks…)

      At the debate, Tancredo tried to claim ownership on the immigration issue; unfortunately for him, Duncan Hunter claimed that his fence along the San Diego border with Mexico was proof that he was the anti-immigration candidate, which stole a bit of Mad Tom’s thunder.

    2. Giuliani and Romney are suspect when it comes to stopping illegal immigration and they don’t get it.

      Stopping illegal immigration is about enforcing the rule of law and protecting our national security and sovereignty.

      On Iraq, I don’t think he has memorized his lines, yet.

  3. Heard on radio and confirmed at FOX site that Hannity and Colmes did a viewer text-messaging poll with the strange result that Ron Paul, the fringe, anti-war libertarian Republican candidate, won hands down with 33%, way ahead of #2 Huckabees 18%.  It was downhill from there for the front-runners.  Not at all scientific. Scientific polls showed nothing of the kind.  Still, that’s how Hannity and Colme’s text messaging viewers voted.  There were safeguards against taking repeat texts from the same number.  Rabidly pro-war, ultra social conservative Hannity was stunned and tried to brush it off as due to some mix up.

  4. The exchange between Huckabee and Paul on Iraq and the Constitution was stunning.  A real debate; each articulated their position deliberately, clearly and with passion.  They were absolutely at polar opposites on the issue, but on fire with commitment.  That was worth the whole debate.

    the last time I saw that kind of guts, logic and intelligence was when Mike Miles ran and before that Gene Nichols….

    Huckabee is the dark horse for the Republicans…again, out of Arkansas….that has the worst educational system in the country next to Mississippi….and it kepts turning out…Fullbright, Clinton, Perot, the guy who founded Walmart and now Huckabee……what goes with the water down there?

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