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Rivals go hard after Romney, who goes after Obama

MANCHESTER, N.H. — Mitt Romney's GOP rivals attacked him as a candidate of the status quo and a timid, less-than-reliable conservative Thursday, seeking to slow his campaign momentum.

"Don't settle for less than America needs," said former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, who finished a close second to the former Massachusetts governor in Iowa.

A heavy favorite to win New Hampshire's primary next Tuesday, Romney turned to criticize President Barack Obama as a "crony capitalist. He's a job killer."

The rest of the field appears to share a common objective — hold down Romney's vote totals in New Hampshire, then knock him off stride 11 days later in South Carolina.

Also vying to emerge as Romney's chief rival are former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Texas Rep. Ron Paul and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, while Texas Gov. Rick Perry is bypassing New Hampshire to try to resurrect his chances in South Carolina.

Huntsman won the endorsement of the Boston Globe, which snubbed its former governor.

Gingrich unveiled a TV commercial citing one review of Romney's jobs program as timid and similar in part to Obama's.

Paul, who finished third in Iowa, arrives in New Hampshire today for two weekend debates.

Rivals go hard after Romney, who goes after Obama 01/05/12 [Last modified: Thursday, January 5, 2012 11:28pm]
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