GOP Hopefuls Lock Horns, Slam Obama in Iowa

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SIOUX CITY, Iowa - The Republican presidential candidates may disagree on some things, but they are unanimous in the desire to oust President Obama in 2012.

During Thursday night's debate, televised on the Fox News Channel, current front-runner Newt Gingrich laid out his strategy.

"I believe I can debate Barack Obama, and I think in seven three-hour debates. Barack Obama will not have a leg to stand on," Gringrich said.

Other candidates, like Rick Santorum, pointed out why they'd be a better choice.

"The Speaker had a conservative revolution against him when he was speaker of the House. I had conservatives knocking down my door," Santorum recalled.

Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., called Gingrich an "influence peddler" because of the money he made off of mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac during the housing crisis.

"We can't have as our nominee for the Republican Party someone who continues to stand for Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae," she exclaimed.

But Gingrich dismissed her claims as "factually not true."

"I never lobbied under any circumstance," he said.

However, Bachmann and Gingrich weren't done, as she chastised the former House speaker for not being a true pro-life candidate.

"He would campaign for Republicans who are in support of the barbaric procedure known as partial birth abortion," Bachmann charged.

"Sometimes Congresswoman Bachmann doesn¹t get her facts very accurate," Gingrich countered.

"I think its outrageous to continue to say over and over through the debates that I don¹t have my facts right when, as a matter of fact, I do," Bachmann said.

Gingrich did score some points on an important topic to social conservatives.

"I decided if you have judges who are so radically anti-American that they thought 'One Nation Under God' was wrong, they shouldn¹t be on the court," Gingrich said as the audience responded with applause.

Meanwhile, Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, and Bachmann argued over the potential danger of Iran.

"We need to only go to war when there's a declaration of war and just carelessly flouting it and starting these wars so often," Paul said.

"The problem would be the greatest under reaction in world history if we have an avowed mad man who uses that nuclear weapon," Bachmann answered.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney aimed his Iran remarks at Obama. He chided the administration over attempts to retrieve a U.S. spy drone that recently crashed in Iran.

"He says 'pretty please?' A foreign policy based on 'pretty please?' You got to be kidding," Romney said.

As for Texas Gov. Rick Perry, he pinned his comeback hopes on the National Football League's current miracle quarterback.

"I hope I am the Tim Tebow of the Iowa caucuses," Perry said.

The Sioux City debate was the last one before the Iowa caucuses, which will be held on Jan. 3. In the meantime, voters will be inundated with campaign television commercials -- many of them attacking front-runner Gingrich.

The race is a close one, and there are many undecided voters -- so it's anybody's ball game.

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CBN News
David Brody and Dana Ritter

David Brody and Dana Ritter

CBN News

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