Archive for Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Front-runner Romney fends off attacks in South Carolina debate

January 17, 2012


— Under heavy debate pressure from his rivals, Republican presidential front-runner Mitt Romney defended his record as a venture capitalist, insisted he bears no responsibility for attack ads aired by his allies and grudgingly said in campaign debate Monday night he might release his income tax returns this spring.

“I have nothing in them that suggests there’s any problem, and I’m happy to do so,” he said. “I sort of feel like we’re showing a lot of exposure at this point,” he added.

Romney came under criticism from Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry and Rick Santorum across two hours in the first of a pair of debates in the run-up to this weekend’s first-in-the-South primary in South Carolina. The former Massachusetts governor won the first two events of the campaign, the Iowa caucuses and last week’s New Hampshire primary, leads in the pre-primary polls in South Carolina and won an endorsement from campaign dropout Jon Huntsman earlier in the day.

Gingrich has virtually conceded that a victory for Romney in South Carolina would assure his nomination as Democratic President Barack Obama’s Republican rival in the fall, and none of the other remaining contenders has challenged that conclusion.

That only elevated the stakes for Monday night’s debate, feisty from the outset as former House Speaker Gingrich, Texas Gov. Perry and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum sought to knock Romney off stride while generally being careful to wrap their criticism in anti-Obama rhetoric.

“We need to satisfy the country that whoever we nominate has a record that can stand up to Barack Obama in a very effective way,” Gingrich said.

The five men on stage also sought to outdo one another in calling for lower taxes.

Texas Rep. Ron Paul won that competition handily, saying he thought the top personal tax rate should be zero.

In South Carolina, a state with a heavy military presence, the tone turned muscular at times.

Gingrich drew strong applause when he said: “Andrew Jackson had a pretty clear idea about America’s enemies. Kill them.”

Perry also won favor from the crowd when he said the Obama administration had overreacted in criticizing Marines who were videotaped urinating on the corpses of Taliban fighters in Afghanistan.

The former House speaker and Perry led the assault against Romney’s record at Bain Capital, a private equity firm that bought companies and sought to remake them into more competitive enterprises, with uneven results.

“There was a pattern in some companies ... of leaving them with enormous debt and then within a year or two or three having them go broke,” Gingrich said.

Perry referred to a steel mill in Georgetown, S.C. where, he said, “Bain swept in, they picked that company over and a lot of people lost jobs there.”

Romney said that the steel industry was battered by unfair competition from China. As for other firms, he said, “Four of the companies that we invested in ... ended up today having some 120,000 jobs.

It was Perry who challenged Romney, a multimillionaire, to release his income tax returns. The Texas governor said he has already done so, adding he believes Gingrich will do likewise later in the week.

“Mitt, we need for you to release your income tax so the people of this country can see how you made your money. ... We cannot fire our nominee in September. We need to know now.”


Ragingbear 6 years, 3 months ago

Before all the Republicans jump behind their new messiah, they should take a good, long look at his "faith" and see what type of world the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) would have Romney implement. Just a few things changed would be:

Outlawing tobacco. Starting the process of outlawing coffee and tea. Eliminating rights for homosexuals, limiting rights for women, limiting rights for African-Americans. Modifying school history books to reflect their versions (from BC:400 to AD: 1950), outlawing divorce, making sex outside of marriage a crime, outlawing contraception, increasing the price of meat, decreasing overall industry, outlawing any type of clothing, swim wear or underwear that does not cover what a pair of long boxers and a full T-Shirt would cover, eliminating 90% of TV programming, implementing a system where women are discouraged from becoming educated, a form of communism they refer to as "The Law of Consecration", and watching the church take over most media.

If you don't believe me, then I suggest you take a look at what bills they have sponsored, their speeches, their magazines and their history when certain members held higher political positions throughout history. I can prove every assertion that I posted, and will if needed.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 6 years, 3 months ago

I am not much worried about this. The Republicans are ripping themselves apart for all to see in the eyes of the American public. The stupid drumbeat against the EPA, their savage prejudice against gay people, their slavish devotion to fanciful religious fantasy all falls flat in the eyes of intelligent and reasonable people. The president is safe in his job and I am assured he will be re-elected in light of the incredible stupidity of all the Republican clowns pretending to be "candidates."

jhawkinsf 6 years, 3 months ago

Hey Ragingbear, maybe as a safeguard against all those problems, we should implement something like a separation of church and state. And then to ensure that separation is held to, we should establish something like a Supreme Court to define that separation.

voevoda 6 years, 3 months ago

RagingBear, I think that you have confused guidelines that the LDS church issues for its own members (and which its members freely choose to obey or not), with their expectations for non-Mormons. And you've got some Mormon recommendations wrong. Many Mormon women are highly educated and pursue careers. Mormon teachers in public schools teach the same versions of history as everyone else. The LDS church has repudiated its earlier opposition to black members and now welcomes persons of all races. Mormon businesses and Mormon individuals happily serve coffee and tea and alcohol to non-Mormons. Your rant seems to be rooted in anti-Mormon prejudice, rather than any understanding of their religion.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 3 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 3 months ago

There was nothing in my comment that warranted removal.

Ragingbear 6 years, 3 months ago

Romney isn't the one that knows how to make money. It's the Church. That's something I have to say about the LDS Church is that they know how to run a business. They pay for every expense out of their own pockets in one way or another. Even the insurance on the buildings,cars and missionaries are insured through the church.

Of course, that is like saying that the Caligula was a good leader because he knew how to party.

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