News / USA

Republican Presidential Contenders Spar With Each Other and on Iran

Republican presidential candidates former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, right, reaches out to former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum during a Republican presidential debate Monday Jan. 23, 2012, at the University of South Florida in Tampa, Fla.
Republican presidential candidates former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, right, reaches out to former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum during a Republican presidential debate Monday Jan. 23, 2012, at the University of South Florida in Tampa, Fla.

The four remaining candidates for the Republican Party's presidential nomination met for a testy debate in Florida late Monday, just one week before a crucial primary vote in that southern state.

There were a number of heated exchanges during the NBC debate between the two top contenders, former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.

It was a combative debate from the start.  Romney went after Gingrich’s record as speaker of the House of Representatives in the 1990s, saying he resigned in disgrace.

Romney also attacked Gingrich for working as what he called “an influence peddler” when he was a consultant to the government-backed mortgage giant Freddie Mac, which critics say contributed to the U.S. housing crisis.

Romney said he was being more aggressive after being attacked in last week’s South Carolina primary, which Gingrich won.

Romney said, “I had incoming from all directions and was overwhelmed with all of the attacks and I am not going to sit back and get attacked day-in and day-out without returning fire.”

Gingrich fired back, accusing Romney of spreading falsehoods about his background and recalling statements from Romney rivals in the 2008 presidential campaign who charged that the former Massachusetts governor “can’t tell the truth.” Gingrich said, “You know there is a point in this process where it gets unnecessarily personal and nasty and that is sad."

Foreign policy also played a role in this latest debate with all four Republican contenders weighing in on whether President Barack Obama has been weak in his dealings with Iran.

Romney said Iranian threats to block the Strait of Hormuz, a vital route for global oil supplies, amounts to an act of war. “It is appropriate and essential for our military, our Navy, to maintain open seas,” he said.

Gingrich said Americans were not interested in a war with Iran but said the president’s policies have emboldened Iran’s leadership.  “I think there is a very grave danger that the Iranians think that in fact this president is so weak they could close the Strait of Hormuz and not suffer substantial consequences,” he said.

Former Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania said the U.S. must be prepared to use force to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons.  “Obama’s Iran policy has been a colossal failure,” he said.

The only dissenting voice on Iran policy was that of Congressman Ron Paul of Texas, who said there was no justification for the U.S. to use military force against Iran.

“No, the people are not ready.  We don’t have any money,"  he said.  "We have too many wars and the people want to come home and we certainly don’t want a hot war in Iran right now.”

The next major test in the race for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination is next Tuesday’s Florida primary.  There have been three different winners in the three Republican contests so far - Rick Santorum won in Iowa, Mitt Romney in New Hampshire and Newt Gingrich in South Carolina.

The series of state primary and caucus votes will continue until June, followed in August by the Republican convention, which will officially pick the Republican who will run against President Obama in November's general election.

You May Like

Americans Celebrate Thanksgiving With Feasts, Festivities

Feasts centering on turkeys with an array of traditional sides and desserts are part of the holiday's traditions, which falls on the fourth Thursday in November More

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

With two years left in term, analysts say, president has less to lose by taking conversation on race further More

Video Italian Espresso Expands Into Space

When Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti headed for the ISS, her countrymen worried how she would survive six months drinking only instant coffee More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Community Kicks Off Thanksgiving With Paradei
X
Anush Avetisyan
November 26, 2014 10:57 PM
Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States, a holiday whose roots go back to the country's earliest days as a British colony. One way Americans celebrate the occasion is with parades. Anush Avetisyan takes us to one such event on the day before Thanksgiving near Washington, where a community's diversity is on display. Joy Wagner narrates
Video

Video US Community Kicks Off Thanksgiving With Parade

Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States, a holiday whose roots go back to the country's earliest days as a British colony. One way Americans celebrate the occasion is with parades. Anush Avetisyan takes us to one such event on the day before Thanksgiving near Washington, where a community's diversity is on display. Joy Wagner narrates
Video

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

Throughout the crisis in Ferguson, Missouri, President Barack Obama has urged calm, restraint and respect for the rule of law. But the events in Ferguson have prompted him to call — more openly than he has before — for profound changes to end the racism and distrust that he believes still exists between whites and blacks in the United States. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Online Magazine Gets Kids Discussing Big Questions

Teen culture in America is often criticized for being superficial. But an online magazine has been encouraging some teenagers to explore deeper issues, and rewarding their efforts. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky went to this year’s Kidspirit awards ceremony in New York.
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid