Republican presidential hopefuls former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani talk to each other after the GOP Presidential candidates debate at Ford Community and Performing Arts Center Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2007, in Dearborn, Mich.
Republican presidential hopefuls Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani quarreled over tax and spending cuts Tuesday, each claiming greater commitment than the other in a debate in the nation’s struggling manufacturing heartland.
The government “is spending money of future generations and those yet to be born,” added Fred Thompson, making his debut on a debate stage after a late entry into the race. He said future retirees should receive smaller Social Security benefits than they have been promised.
Well, Fred Thompson lost many Baby Boom Generation voters with this BIG revelation. Voters of Flap’s generation have always been skeptical of whether they would ever get ANY of the money that for years they have been paying into the Social Security system.
In the meantime, Rudy and Mitt DUKE IT OUT with a TIT for TAT that shows Romney’s desperation and means nothing for Rudy.
Americans know that Rudy cleaned up New York City and was a LEADER on 9/11.
So, does this heated discourse on taxes matter?
“I cut taxes 23 times. I believe in tax cuts,” said Giuliani, former mayor of New York and leader in national Republican polls.
Romney initially conceded that, but quickly criticized his rival for once filing a court challenge to a law that gave President Clinton the right to veto spending items line by line. “I’m in favor of the line-item veto,” he said, adding he exercised it 844 times while governor of Massachusetts.
Romney also said that while mayor, Giuliani “fought to keep the commuter tax, which is a very substantial tax … on consumers coming into New York.”
The former governor leads his rivals in the polls in Iowa, where caucuses will be the first contest of the campaign, and he and Giuliani are in a close race in surveys in New Hampshire, the leadoff primary state.
Giuliani responded that spending fell in New York while he was mayor, and rose in Massachusetts while Romney was governor.
“The point is that you’ve got to control taxes. I did it, he didn’t. … I led, he lagged.”
“It’s baloney,” retorted Romney. “I did not increase taxes in Massachusetts. I lowered taxes.”
The exchange was among the most heated of the campaign for the Republican presidential nomination, reflecting a quickening pace as the 2008 caucuses and primaries draw close.
It also left Thompson, Sen. John McCain of Arizona and the other contenders as something of bystanders for the several moments that Romney and Giuliani went at one another.
Not one iota. Rudy shrugged off Romney’s attacks and looked the better for the exchange.
Here is Rudy being interviewed after the GOP debate by Larry Kudlow:
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