Republicans Seek Edge in Calm Florida Debate

Candidates focus on economy ahead of next week's state primary
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 24, 2008 8:50 PM CST
Republican presidential hopeful, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. looks out towards the audience during the Republican Presidential Debate in Boca Raton, Fla. Thursday, Jan. 24, 2008. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The GOP debate in Florida remained a largely civil affair last night, with the leading candidates agreeing that the economy needs aggressive tax cuts and that Hillary Clinton has no business returning to the White House, the AP reports. In one of the few bits of drama, Mitt Romney took John McCain to task for voting against Bush's first tax cuts. McCain responded that it was the right move at the time and said he was "very proud" of his record as a fiscal conservative.

Rudy Giuliani, slumping in the polls in his make-or-break state, compared himself to the upstart New York Giants, now bound for the Super Bowl. He, Romney, and McCain all criticized Clinton as weak on Iraq and predicted she'd raise taxes. "She's exactly what's wrong with Washington," said Romney. Mike Huckabee and Ron Paul also participated, seeking to sway voters five days before the state's primary.