Romney rivals seek to close gap

bbcbreaking98 retweets
Romney rivals seek to close gap

Share this page

Front-runner Mitt Romney was challenged by opponents Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich on Sunday

The six men left in the Republican presidential race are making final pitches to New Hampshire voters ahead of the state's primary on Tuesday.

Mitt Romney remains the strong front-runner, with polls on Monday showing Ron Paul and Jon Huntsman jockeying for position behind him.

Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich are vying for conservative votes, with one eye on the next race in South Carolina.

The eventual nominee will challenge President Barack Obama in November.

Primaries and caucuses will take place in every US state over the next few months before the Republican nominee is crowned at the party convention in August.

But votes in New Hampshire, South Carolina and Florida this month could well prove decisive in shaping the eventual outcome of the race.

'Pious baloney'

The pace of campaigning picked up on Sunday and will continue throughout Monday.

The candidates took part in two televised debates within 12 hours, on Saturday night and Sunday morning.

Mark Mardell BBC North America editor

Given that fear and loathing in New Hampshire remains unwritten, a Romney win here is pretty much a forgone conclusion. It will mean more voters will jump on his bandwagon.

A Romney nomination seems to many a grim inevitability, like death and taxes.

The former Massachusetts governor's economic programme was called "timid" and his conservative credentials were also questioned.

Mr Gingrich - who endured a barrage of negative advertising before the Iowa caucuses from a fund-raising committee backing Mr Romney - said his rival was spouting "pious baloney".

A pro-Gingrich political action committee - known as a Super PAC - has now unveiled a short film attacking Mr Romney over his business career.

Focussing on his record at Bain Capital, the video portrays Mr Romney as a greedy "corporate raider" who destroyed the lives of American families.

The pro-Gingrich group, Winning Our Future, is poised to spend $3.4m (£2m) on TV advertising in South Carolina after the New Hampshire vote, the New York Times reported on Monday.

'Timid moderate'

Sunday's debate was was co-hosted by NBC's Meet the Press , the New Hampshire Union Leader and Facebook - with some questions being sent over the social networking site.

Mr Gingrich, a former House of Representatives speaker, accused Mr Romney of trying to mislead voters by suggesting he was not a career politician.

Mitt Romney: Ex-Massachusetts governor and Mormon; presumed front-runner though doubts remain for some over his conservative credentials

Rick Perry: Texas governor; once seen as a conservative alternative to Mr Romney, his campaign has been damaged by a series of gaffes

Ron Paul: Texas congressman and, at 76, oldest in race. Libertarian-minded, with a band of devoted followers

Rick Santorum: Ex-Pennsylvania senator and social conservative. Nearly written off, but saw a surge that helped him come second in Iowa

Newt Gingrich: Ex-House of Representatives' speaker; Briefly led the field, but support collapsed amid a fusillade of attacks ads

Jon Huntsman: Ex-Utah governor and Mormon. Served as President Obama's ambassador to China.

"Just level with the American people," Mr Gingrich urged him, reprising a previous attack that Mr Romney would have spent the last 17 years in politics if he had won a 1994 bid for a Senate seat.

Mr Romney replied: "Politics is not my career. My life's passion has been my family, my faith, my country."

Mr Gingrich described Mr Romney as a "relatively timid Massachusetts moderate," adding: "I think he'll have a very hard time getting elected."

But Mr Romney said he was proud of his record, adding: "I think the one thing you can't fool the people of New Hampshire about is the record of a governor next door" in Massachusetts.

Rick Santorum, the former Pennsylvania senator who lost the Iowa caucus by just eight votes, questioned why Mr Romney had not sought a second term as governor, asking him: "Why did you bail out?."

Mr Romney adopted the same tactic as during Saturday's debate, largely refraining from making digs at his opponents - though he pointed to Jon Huntsman's period as ambassador to China under Mr Obama.

Mr Huntsman replied on Sunday: "I was criticised last night by Governor Romney for putting my country first. He criticised me while he was out raising money. I want to be very clear. I will always put my country first."

Mr Romney's three main rivals - Mr Santorum, Mr Gingrich and Texas congressman Ron Paul - attacked each other again.

Mr Santorum said Mr Paul had "never really passed anything of any importance".

"One of the reasons people like Congressman Paul is his economic plan. He's never been able to accomplish any of that, has no track record of being able to work together. He's been out there on the margins and has really been unsuccessful in working together with anybody to do anything."

And when asked about President Obama's patriotic credentials, Rick Perry said: "We have a president that's a socialist. I don't think our founding fathers wanted to make our country as socialist country."

Are you in New Hampshire? If you would be willing to be interviewed by the BBC about the forthcoming primary please fill in the form below.

Send your pictures and videos to or text them to 61124 (UK) or +44 7624 800 100 (International). If you have a large file you can upload here .

(Required) Comments

If you are happy to be contacted by a BBC journalist please leave a telephone number that we can contact you on. In some cases a selection of your comments will be published, displaying your name as you provide it and location, unless you state otherwise. Your contact details will never be published. When sending us pictures, video or eyewitness accounts at no time should you endanger yourself or others, take any unnecessary risks or infringe any laws. Please ensure you have read the terms and conditions.

From other news sites

Most Popular



#GOP2012 in images

Brad Marston's Twitter Photo

Picture of daguilar6
3 Nov 2012
Wow. #Obama supporter admitted he's voted 4 times already w/ 1 to go. #tcot #gop2012 #mapoli #NCpoli

A photo from @sllambe

Picture of daguilar6
31 Aug 2012
The most truthful thing at #GOP2012: You bet you did.

Mitt Romney's Twitter Photo

Picture of daguilar6
30 Aug 2012
RT @MittRomney PHOTO: #WeCanChangeIt #gop2012 #tcot @RightWingAngel

#GOP2012 in videos

Martin Sheen: Stand Up for Medicare

Picture of daguilar6
26 Mar 2012
Martin Sheen: Stand Up for Medicare via @youtube #gop2012 #CTL #tcot #p2b

You Say You Want A Revolution... Youth For Ron Paul!...

Picture of daguilar6
17 Jan 2012
Ron Paul best chance to beat President Obama: #SCDebate #SCTweets #SCGOP #TCOT #TeaParty #right #GOP2012

Halftime in America: OFFICIAL Chrysler Super Bowl 201...

Picture of daguilar6
6 Feb 2012
It's half-time America (actually we're in OT right now) #clint #eastwood #gop2012 #tcot

#GOP2012 in articles

Jeb Bush defends brother in speech at RNC

Picture of daguilar6
31 Aug 2012
Jeb Bush says enough with the Bush-bashing #GOP2012

Hatred In Harlan's Hills: Federal Anti-Gay Hate Crime...

Picture of daguilar6
24 May 2012
Federal Anti-Gay Hate Crimes Law Gets First Test In Kentucky #tcot #Gop2012 #Nobama2012 #Mitt2012 #Lnyhbt

YID With LID: Arab News Service Says US About To Inte...

Search The Lid Last Night, Thanks Mostly To You --I Purchased This Laptop Sparky The Laptop Has Gone To Meet His Maker at That Great HP Factory In The Sky. He Donated Some of His Vital Parts So Other Laptops (such as my wife's) Can have a Better Life I Should Be Back Up Full Speed in A Few Days Once I reload all of the Software. Sunday, February 26, 2012 The Pan-Arab news service Asharq Al-Awsat claims the United States is preparing plans to intervene in Syria to prevent the Bashir government from ...

Picture of daguilar6
27 Feb 2012

#GOP2012 in sites

News Bulletin - 09:35 GMT update

Picture of daguilar6
25 Jan 2012
Sen. Rand Paul Delivers State of the Union Response - Jan. 24, 2012 #GOP #GOP2012 #RandPaul #RonPaul #RonPaul2012 #SOTU

YouTube - Broadcast Yourself.

Picture of daguilar6
24 Jan 2012
On the way to the NBC #FLDebate #Decision2012 #tcot #gop2012

BBC News - Home

Picture of daguilar6
29 Aug 2012
The votes from the New Jersey delegation have put Mitt Romney "over the top" as the #GOP2012 Republican nominee