CNN Republican debate turns into fiery accusations b/w Romney, Santorum
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CNN Republican debate turns into fiery accusations b/w Romney, Santorum

Boston : MA : USA | Feb 22, 2012 at 10:03 PM PST
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House Session 2011-07-14 (10:00:45-11:00:23)

Wednesday's CNN Republican presidential debate was an episode of fiery accusations between Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum. The two GOP presidential candidates blasted each other for their takes on government expenditures, financial bailouts and health care.

Mitt Romney, who has been a likely victor at several points throughout the campaign, but Santorum's latest rise blunted his thrust, went after the ex-Pennsylvania senator over his history in Congress.

"Voting for the debt ceiling five different times without voting for compensating cuts," said Romney. "Voting to fund Planned Parenthood, voting to expand the Department of Education. During his term in the Senate spending grew by some 80% of the federal government."

Santorum, who pitched to the pinnacle of state and national polls after winning the Feb. 7 competition in Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri, was fast to respond.

"When you look at my record of never having raised taxes -- Gov. Romney raised several hundred million dollars in taxes and fees in Massachusetts. I never voted to raise taxes," Santorum said. Gov. Romney even today suggested raising taxes on the top 1%, adopting the Occupy Wall Street rhetoric. I'm not going to adopt that rhetoric," Ron Paul said.

Moreover, Paul went on to accuse Santorum of not being a real conservative. He said Santorum had voted for programs that he then wanted to revoke.

While all four of the GOP presidential candidates, who sat in chairs lined up side by side, talked against the federal bailout package for the auto industry in 2008 and 2009, Santorum went on to say that he had opposed other government-sponsored bailouts.

It is pertinent to mention here that a recent Associated Press Gfk poll found that President Obama is all set to beat any of the four remaining GOP presidential aspirants in a theoretical matchup. Besides, the poll results showed that Americans are more optimistic about the condition of the economy, the leading matter in the contest.

Even in the middle of the GOP debate, during the most expected instant when contraception became subject of the talk, Santorum did not outperform his rivals. He came up with his typical case for the family, but Mitt Romney dashed in with a fervent cover of religious liberty.

"If you voted for Planned Parenthood, like the senator has, you voted for birth control pills," Paul said. "And you literally, because funds are fungible, you literally vote for abortions because Planned Parenthood gets the money ... they have the money left over to do abortion."

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U.S. Republican presidential candidate Santorum and Romney discuss an issue during the Republican presidential candidates debate in Mesa
U.S. Republican presidential candidate Santorum and Romney discuss an issue during the Republican presidential candidates debate in Mesa
Kamran Ahmed is based in Seattle, Washington, United States of America, and is an Anchor on Allvoices.
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