McCain, Romney Spar in California Debate

Former Mass. governor questions front-runner's conservative credentials
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 30, 2008 7:36 PM CST
Republican presidential hopeful Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., left, and Republican presidential hopeful former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney participate in the Republican presidential debate at the Ronald...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Mitt Romney took aim at John McCain's conservative credentials at a debate in California tonight, looking for a chink in the front-runner's armor less than a week before Super Tuesday, the AP reports. McCain, endorsed by Rudy Giuliani hours earlier, shrugged off the attack. The two also sparred on Iraq, with Romney denying he ever backed a timetable for withdrawal and accusing McCain of "dirty tricks" for suggesting he did. McCain insisted he's correct.

Romney called McCain a "good Republican" but criticized his vote against tax cuts and his policy on immigration, among other things. McCain defended his record. "I am proud of reaching across the aisle and getting things done," he said. "That's what the American people want us to do." He also noted that he'd been endorsed by Romney's hometown paper, the "conservative Boston Herald." Mike Huckabee and Ron Paul also took part.