Giuliani, Romney Clash at GOP Debate

GOP Presidential hopefuls Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani traded charges over taxes and spending at the Republican debate yesterday afternoon in Dearborn, Michigan:

Mr. Giuliani, a former New York mayor, and Mr. Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, employed a blizzard of often-conflicting statistics as they sought to undercut each other’s records on cutting taxes or spending.

But most of all, they clashed over a line-item veto that Mr. Romney said was essential to reducing spending in Washington and that Mr. Giuliani challenged successfully in the Supreme Court. It was an argument that offered a clear difference of opinion on an issue that is central to many economic conservatives in the party, and also reflected a continuing effort by Mr. Giuliani to raise questions about Mr. Romney’s candor and character.

“You have to be honest with people, and you can’t fool all of the people all of the time: the line-item veto is unconstitutional,” Mr. Giuliani said, his comments directed at Mr. Romney.
The Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling in 1998 that said the line item veto was unconstitutional because it repealed only parts of a statute. Romney continued to criticize Giuliani for his stand on the issue despite the high court's ruling.

Giuliani, on the other hand, blasted Romney for talking a good game on lowering taxes but not doing much about it while he was governor of Massachusetts. The two candidates eventually agreed that their positions were not that far apart in the end.

Meanwhile, Fred Thompson's debate debut was considered by some beltway analysts to be less than a success. "Dull" according to
Roger Simon of Politico. But conservatives across the internet seem mostly encouraged by Thompson's performance, many believing the former Tennessee Senator won the debate, narrowly defeating Rudy Giuliani who seems to get better and better at these gabfests after each one.

Except for an awkward moment or two, Thompson seemed comfortable, in command of the facts and issues, but rarely showed any emotion. An exception is when MSNBC's Chris Matthews shockingly gave an opinion about one of Thompson's answers to a question about a looming strike at Chrysler and whether the government should intervene.

Thompson said "No" and paused which prompted a follow up question from CNBC's Maria Bartiromo in which he expanded his answer.

Matthews then snidely remarked "You should have stopped at no." Thompson shot back, "That's your opinion, Chris."

All in all, a pretty dull debate. Considering the subject was the economy I suppose that was to be expected.
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