Saturday’s New Hampshire Republican debate, only two days before the first primary election, was, most likely, the last chance candidates had, to come forward and make their case. But, most of them, instead of showing off with their policies, decided to make Romney take the heat.
It’s not a common occurrence for Mitt Romney to be constantly attacked and put in the spotlight with challenges from competitors. Or at least, not like in the Saturday’s New Hampshire debate, where Republican candidates did their best to win some popularity votes by ripping into front-runner Mitt Romney.
According to ABC News, the organizer of the “Your Voice, Your Vote” Republican debate, the program was watched by 6.25 million viewers and ranked highest in Nielsen’s measures for the night’s non-sports program.
Newt Gingrich, former U.S. House Speaker, was the one who led attacks against Mitt Romney, questioning his electability and conservative credentials. Joining him were Ron Paul, Rick Santorum and Jon Huntsman Jr., all candidates that cannot afford leaving Mitt Romney enjoy his 15-point lead in polls with two days ahead of the New Hampshire primary election.
Referring to Romney’s statement that he wasn’t a career politician, Newt Gingrich snapped saying: “Can we drop a little bit of the pious baloney?”. He then tweeted: “Help me stop Romney’s pious baloney today” and linked that to his website for campaign donations. The former U.S. House Speaker went so far that he questioned whether Mitt Romney could ever stand a chance in a face-to-face race against president Barack Obama.
“There’s a huge difference between a Reagan conservative and somebody who comes out of the Massachusetts culture with an essentially moderate record, who I think will have a very hard time in a debate” with Obama, stated Gingrich.
Rick Santorum, the second front-runner, said: “We want someone who’s going to stand up and fight for the conservative principles, not bail out”. Also, Santorum couldn’t miss the chance of attacking Paul, after he called him a “big government person” in the Manchester debate. “The problem with Congressman Paul is, all the things that Republicans like about him he can’t accomplish, and all the things they’re worried about he’ll do Day One”, believes Santorum.
All in all, despite taking most of the heat, Romney managed to successfully close the New Hampshire debate and most analysts expect him to win Tuesday’s election.