Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

GOP rivals target Romney ahead of N.H. primary

CONCORD, N.H. — Mitt Romney's Republican presidential rivals piled on the criticism Sunday, two days before New Hampshire's primary, with a combative Newt Gingrich leading the aggression by accusing the GOP front-runner of "pious baloney" and charging him with hiding behind inaccurate attack ads aired by allies.

In the increasingly acerbic nomination fight, Romney fired back at Gingrich during a morning debate: "This ain't beanbag .… we're going to describe the differences between us." By evening, Romney also had taken shots from Rick Santorum, Jon Huntsman and Rick Perry.

With time running short to curtail Romney in New Hampshire and perhaps elsewhere, his opponents started the day assailing him on the debate stage and ended it by doing the same in appearances across New Hampshire and South Carolina.

In South Carolina, Santorum trumpeted the endorsement of former Republican presidential candidate Gary Bauer.

Santorum alluded to Romney's position switches on a series of issues, saying: "We've got a lot of candidates that just adapt to whatever the environment is. … I don't, because the truth doesn't change."

Looking to revive his flagging candidacy, Perry also swooped into the Southern state. He told roughly 300 people at a packed burger joint in Spartanburg, S.C., that his campaign, after a disappointing finish in the Iowa caucuses, was like the last stand at the Alamo. He also assailed Romney, casting him as an insider and arguing: "We've got to have somebody that is an outsider that is not interested in tinkering around the edges — but that will go into Washington, D.C., and overhaul that place."

Back in New Hampshire, Gingrich assailed Romney as a "Massachusetts moderate" and promoted a video being released by his allies that attacks Romney's business career. The Gingrich-leaning Winning Our Future PAC said a 28-minute online video — which assails Romney for "reaping massive awards" while head of Bain Capital — may show up on TV in the coming weeks.

Romney won the Iowa caucuses on Tuesday by a scant eight votes over Santorum but is so far ahead in New Hampshire polls that his rivals have virtually conceded he will win.

South Carolina comes next, on Jan. 21, the first Southern state to hold a primary.

Santorum finished second in Iowa, followed by Ron Paul, with Gingrich fourth, Perry fifth and Michele Bachmann in last place. She has since quit the race.

Huntsman, the former Utah governor, skipped Iowa in hopes of a breakout showing in New Hampshire.

He was mobbed at a coffee shop in Hampstead on Sunday, where he stood on the counter to defend his past service in the Obama administration and assail Romney, saying: "I put my country first. Apparently Mitt Romney doesn't believe in putting country first. He's got this bumper sticker that says ... Believe in America. How can you believe in America when you're not willing to serve America? That's just phony nonsense."

GOP rivals target Romney ahead of N.H. primary 01/08/12 [Last modified: Sunday, January 8, 2012 10:37pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Senate to take up AUMF debate as Trump defends reaction to Niger attack

    World

    WASHINGTON — The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is taking up a long-awaited debate about authorizing military force against the Islamic State as President Trump comes under unprecedented public scrutiny for his treatment of dead soldiers' families, following an ambush on troops helping to fight Islamic …

  2. In fear and vigilance, a Tampa neighborhood holds its breath

    K12

    TAMPA — There was a time, not long ago, when Wayne Capaz would go for a stroll at night and Christina Rodriguez would shop whenever she wanted. Michael Fuller would go to his night job as a line cook, not too worried about his wife at home.

    More than 50 people gathered and walked in the Southeast Seminole Heights community Friday to pay respects to the victims of three shootings. The crowd took a moment of silence at the corner of 11th Street and East New Orleans where Monica Hoffa was found dead. [JONATHAN CAPRIEL  |  Times]
  3. Fennelly: What's not to like about Lightning's start?

    Lightning Strikes

    BRANDON — No one is engraving the Stanley Cup. No one has begun stuffing the league MVP ballot box for Nikita Kucherov.

    The Lightning, with a win tonight, would match the best start in franchise history, 7-1-1 in the 2003-04 Cup season.
  4. Study: Pollution kills 9 million a year, costs $4.6 trillion

    World

    NEW DELHI — Environmental pollution — from filthy air to contaminated water — is killing more people every year than all war and violence in the world. More than smoking, hunger or natural disasters. More than AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined.

    New Delhi’s landmark India Gate, a war memorial, is engulfed in morning smog on Friday.
  5. Quarterback Jameis Winston will start Sunday for the Bucs

    Bucs

    TAMPA — Jameis Winston hadn't thrown in practice since he injured his right shoulder in Sunday's loss at Arizona, and with that uncertainty, a wide line of TV cameras and reporters' cellphones were all out Friday morning, recording the moment as Winston tested his shoulder with his first throws early in …

    Despite a sore shoulder, Jameis Winston will be making his 38th consecutive start since being drafted first overall in 2015.