With the Iowa caucuses closing in, Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee are taking the gloves off in the state critical to both their campaigns, the LA Times observes. Romney has taken to calling Huckabee, the Iowa front-runner, weak on crime and immigration. Huckabee calls Romney a flip-flopper. “I didn’t just suddenly decide to be pro-life because ‘Hey, that’ll help me running for president,'” he says.
Romney gave no pardons as Massachusetts governor—“a heck of a lot better,” he says, than Huckabee’s 1,033. Retorts the former Arkansas governor: The leniency rap “would be real news to the 16 people whose executions I carried out.” Romney also knocks Huckabee for criticizing Bush’s foreign policy, saying the president is owed “a great debt of gratitude."