US Republican hopeful Mitt Romney had said that fellow US Republican hopeful and rival John McCain was out of touch with the conservative mainstream. Romney said that McCain had voted twice against President George W. Bush’s tax cuts and pushed for finance reforms that restricted fundraising and spending.
Currently, the Republican establishment supports the tax cuts and opposes the new campaign laws. Many have seen that as more help to the Democrats.
“Those view are outside the view of mainstream Republican thought,” Romney said at the opening of the debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. This comes 24 hours after John McCain had won Florida.
But McCain disputed Romney’s claims by saying: “I’m proud of my conservative record.” Then he would attack Romney by saying that he left the state of Massachusetts with a large amount of debt. “His job creation was the third worst in the country,” McCain said firing back at Romney.
Romney talked about how McCain opposed Bush’s tax cuts during the first term in office because they were for the wealthy. He insisted that such a cut would lower rates and stimulate the economy.
However, McCain said that he opposed tax cuts not coupled with spending restraints.
“McCain’s national security credentials and Romney’s business and economic know-how combined with a whole lot of talk about Ronald Reagan to produce very little new in this battle,” according to Vaughn Ververs, CBSNews.com Senior Political Editor. Ververs added: “With several high-profile endorsements either made or coming, it leaves McCain in the same position he held coming in, that of front runner.”
Mike Huckabee and Ron Paul watched as the McCain and Romney attack one another.
Huckabee would say in protest: “This isn’t a two-man race.”
“If you want to talk conservative credentials, let me get in on that,” Huckabee insisted.