In the first debate of his nascent quest for the White House, Fred Thompson stuck to a traditional Republican agenda as the gloves of rivals Mitt Romney and Rudolph Giuliani came off in some of the sharpest clashes so far. The LA Times reports that Thompson, a former senator, appeared visibly nervous but grew in confidence as the debate went on.
Thompson "gave solid answers, though nothing to stir the Republican soul," said one analyst, and the clashes between frontrunners Giuliani and Romney dominated the debate. "You've got to control taxes," Giuliani said in one exchange. "But I did it. He didn't. I led; he lagged." Romney bristled, challenging Hizzoner to "check your facts."