Republicans Square Off in SC

GOP hopefuls swap heated words on economy, Iran, immigration
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 10, 2008 9:34 PM CST
Republican presidential hopefuls, former Sen. Fred Thompson R-Tenn., left, and former Gov. Mitt Romney R-Mass., shake hands prior to the Republican presidential debate in Myrtle Beach, S.C. Thursday,...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – GOP presidential hopefuls jostled for position during a South Carolina debate last night, with Mitt Romney taking aim at new front-runner John McCain and an aggressive Fred Thompson going after Mike Huckabee. Romney criticized McCain for giving up on manufacturing jobs in Michigan, a crucial primary state, but McCain defended his "straight talk" and urged retraining and tech investment, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Sparks flew during the debate when Reagan's legacy became a theme. "This is a battle for the heart and soul of the Republican Party and its future," said Thompson, ripping into Huckabee's "liberal" policies. Huckabee defended his record, saying he "stayed faithful with the things Ronald Reagan was faithful to."