Summary of Saturday Dec 10 Republican Iowa Debate

By: AP
By: AP

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- Republican presidential hopefuls say
lower taxes and fewer regulations will create jobs. But they're
struggling to explain what they'd do differently from their rivals
to make that happen.

In a presidential debate Saturday, the six GOP candidates
onstage -- former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, former House
Speaker Newt Gingrich, Texas Rep. Ron Paul, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and Texas Gov. Rick Perry -- all say they want to reduce the burden on American businesses.

Only Romney is offering a specific number of jobs he says he
would create by the end of his first term. None of the candidates
specified how their plans differ from their rivals'.

Paul did differ by blaming the federal reserve and bank bailouts
for a loss of jobs in America.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- Republican presidential candidates Mitt
Romney and Newt Gingrich mixed it up early in a debate in Iowa
Saturday, with Romney accusing Gingrich of far-fetched ideas such
as mining minerals on the moon.

Romney said the bigger difference is that he offers decades of
experience as a private sector executive, while Gingrich was a
Washington insider.

Gingrich, the former House speaker ahead in Iowa, countered that
Romney would have become a Washington insider had he not lost his U.S. Senate bid in 1994.

"The only reason you didn't become a career politician is because you lost to Ted Kennedy in 1994," Gingrich said.

Romney quickly retorted: "If I'd been able to get in the NFL as I'd hoped as a kid, I could have been a football star too."

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- Republican presidential hopeful Newt
Gingrich says he is being factually accurate when he calls the
Palestinians an "invented" people and says they are the creation
of anti-Israel propaganda.

Gingrich's chief rival for the presidential nomination, former
Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, says the former House speaker has made a mistake in the description and has made it more difficult
for Israelis and Palestinians to negotiate toward peace.

In remarks Saturday night at a candidate debate, Romney said the
United States should allow both sides to talk without signaling a
preference.

Gingrich responded to the criticism by saying he is speaking as
a historian but adds that it's time for a candidate to stand up and
call Palestinian leaders "terrorists."

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- Republican presidential hopefuls Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry are tying rivals Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich together and calling them not conservative.

Bachmann referred repeatedly to "Newt-Romney," saying Gingrich
and Romney hold similar views on health care, illegal immigration,
cap-and-trade legislation and the payroll tax cut extension.

Perry said he agrees with Bachmann. He attacked Romney for
including an individual mandate in the insurance plan he signed as
governor of Massachusetts.

Bachmann says if voters want a "proven conservative, it's not
Newt-Romney."

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- Republican presidential candidate Mitt
Romney noted his privileged background during Saturday's debate in
Iowa, but said he grew up appreciating hard work because of his
parents' influence.

Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, grew up the son of
an automotive CEO and Michigan governor, who rose up from childhood poverty.

"I didn't grow up poor," Romney said. "But I grew up with a dad who had been poor and my dad wanted to make sure I understood the lessons of hard work."

Quite the opposite, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann noted her
parents' divorce when she was an adolescent, and remembered her
mother's struggle to make ends meet.

"We went to below poverty overnight. I know what it's like for single moms to struggle," Bachmann said. "We're still coupon clippers today."

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- Republican presidential candidates Rick
Perry and Rick Santorum say a candidate's fidelity to their spouse
is a factor voters should consider, subtly distinguishing themselves from national poll leader Newt Gingrich.

Perry, Texas' governor, said: "If you cheat on your wife, you'll cheat on your business partner. It's a characteristic people look at."

Perry and Santorum, a former Pennsylvania senator, are both
aggressively courting social conservatives, and touting their
family lives. "Certainly, it's a factor and it should be a factor
when you're electing a leader," he said.

Gingrich, who has admitted past infidelity, was asked the question last and confronted it as he has throughout the campaign.

"I think it's a very important issue," he said. "I've made mistakes at times and I've had to go to God for forgiveness."


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