GOP rivals concentrate on Obama

June 13, 2011 at 11:38 PM
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MANCHESTER, N.H., June 13 (UPI) -- Seven Republicans who all want President Obama's job spent a good part of their Monday night debate in New Hampshire attacking him rather than each other.

Michele Bachmann, the Minnesota congresswoman and Tea Party caucus leader who announced she has filed her paperwork to run for president, declared Obama, a Democrat, "will be a one-term president," MSNBC reported.

Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker whose campaign staff has left him, laid the nation's stubbornly high jobless rate at Obama's feet despite the plummeting economy the president inherited from his two-term Republican predecessor.

"When 14 million Americans are out of work we need a new president to end the Obama Depression," Gingrich said.

Tim Pawlenty, the former Minnesota governor, attacked what he called "crony capitalism" that weds the federal government to favored industries or corporations, MSNBC said. But he resisted going after fellow Republican Mitt Romney when debate moderator John King of CNN asked him why he used the term "Obamneycare" when going after the former Massachusetts governor Sunday. Romney, when governor, had shepherded into law healthcare reform for Massachusetts that is very similar to the package Obama got through Congress.

Romney, who leads the Republican pack in the polls, said he would work to repeal Obama's work on healthcare reform, The New York Times reported.

"First, if I'm elected president I will repeal Obamacare," Romney said, adding he preferred to let states determine what works for them.

Rick Santorum, the former senator from Pennsylvania, took a sideways swipe at Romney for his position change on abortion, saying voters should look at a candidate's "authenticity."

Texas Congressman Ron Paul sounded his clarion call once again for the United States to pull back from its overseas military adventures.

"We should think about protecting our borders, rather than the orders between Iraq and Afghanistan," Paul said.

Romney said American troops "should not fight a war of independence for another nation," but avoided committing to a strict timetable for getting U.S. troops home.

Herman Cain, a former pizza company executive turned radio host also was part of the debate, while former Utah Gov. Jon M. Huntsman Jr. and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who have not entered the race, were not.

CNN, WMUR-TV and the Union Leader newspaper sponsored the face-off in Manchester.

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