Thursday, January 26, 2012

Jacksonville Debate: Romney Hammers Gingrich For 'Inexcusable and Inappropriate' Radio Ad

This gets pretty heated.

See Los Angeles Times, "With stakes high in Florida, Romney keeps Gingrich on defensive."

Reporting from Jacksonville, Fla. and Miami, Fla.—

Picking up where their last debate left off, Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich resumed battling Thursday night over personal integrity and the tenor of their respective campaigns, each accusing the other of unfair character attacks.

Romney, clearly itching for a fight, turned an early discussion on immigration policy into an assault on Gingrich over a radio spot he ran earlier this week on Florida's Spanish-language airwaves. Gingrich pulled the ad, which described Romney as "anti-immigrant," after it was criticized by Republican Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, a rising national star in Latino politics who is staying neutral in the primary.

"That ad was inexcusable and inflammatory and inappropriate, Mr. Speaker," Romney said. "I'm not anti-immigrant. My father was born in Mexico. My wife's father was born in Wales....The idea that I'm anti-immigrant is repulsive."

Later, it was Gingrich who took umbrage, accusing Romney of making "personal attacks about personal activities about which you're factually wrong."

The debate, which also included former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and Texas Rep. Ron Paul, was the second this week in Florida, after Monday night's session in Tampa. There a pugnacious Romney faced a comparatively subdued Gingrich. This time, Gingrich gave as good as he got.
More at the link.

And at New York Times, "Debate Caps a Hard-Fought Day in Florida."