Skip Navigation

Close and don't show again.

Your browser is out of date.

You may not get the full experience here on National Journal.

Please upgrade your browser to any of the following supported browsers:

Trading Barbs: Drama to Look For at the Next Debate Trading Barbs: Drama to Look For at the Next Debate

This ad will end in seconds
 
Close X

Not a member? Learn More »

Forget Your Password?

Don't have an account? Register »

Reveal Navigation
 

 

The Trail: 2012 Presidential News from the Field / campaign 2012

Trading Barbs: Drama to Look For at the Next Debate

photo of Jenna  Zwang
February 21, 2012

With the last Republican presidential debate before Super Tuesday set for Wednesday, we look at four areas where the candidates might clash:

1. Anti-Obama rhetoric. The Republican contest is still in a heated phase, so there will be plenty of candidate infighting. But that doesn’t mean President Obama will be spared. Mitt Romney has been attacking Obama since the start of the primary campaign, when he assumed he could ignore his GOP rivals and focus on the general election. The verbal temperature is escalating in recent days. Newt Gingrich contends he is "incapable of defending the U.S," and is blasting Obama's foreign policy. Rick Santorum has gotten some heat for seeming to compare Obama to Adolf Hitler, but that hasn't stopped his anti-Obama talk from getting tougher.

2. The contraception rule makes an appearance. The candidates have made their opinions known on the contentious contraception insurance mandate issue. Look for it to make a prime-time appearance so they can demonstrate their conservatism. The flare-up over whether Catholic institutions should have to offer insurance with free contraceptive coverage also provides a way for the candidates to attack the current administration.

 

3. Up for debate: Who's the most conservative? Santorum and Romney have oft traded words over conservatism, often with the former accusing the latter of a track record that doesn't demonstrate party allegiance. However, Romney has been striking back, accusing Santorum of not being a true fiscal conservative. As social issues rise to prominence, the candidates also are trying to demonstrate their commitment to conservative values

4. Electability will play more of a role. Republican voters' No. 1 goal is to select a candidate with the greatest chance of beating President Obama, so attacking another candidate's electability is becoming an argument of choice. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas has criticized Santorum as unelectable, while Romney has told supporters that he'll have no problem in a general election. Romney will have a tougher time than usual making that argument after his recent losses.

More The Trail: 2012 Presidential News from the Field
Job Board
Search Jobs
Transportation Planner
American Society of Civil Engineers | Salinas, CA
Biomedical Service Internship Position
American Society of Civil Engineers | Flint, MI
Fire Sprinkler Inspector
American Society of Civil Engineers | Charlotte, NC
Deputy Director of Transit Operations
American Society of Civil Engineers | San Jose, CA
Structural Engineer
American Society of Civil Engineers | New Haven, CT
Assessment and Remediation Team Lead
American Society of Civil Engineers | Regina, SK
Professional Development Program Engineer
American Society of Civil Engineers | Farmington Hills, MI
Assistant Professor - Water Resources/Ecological Engineering
American Society of Civil Engineers | Auburn, AL
Quality Systems Manager
American Society of Civil Engineers | Greensboro, NC
Rail Field Construction Inspector
American Society of Civil Engineers | Jacksonville, FL
Manager, Quality Assurance
American Society of Civil Engineers | Memphis, TN
Sr. Controls Systems Engineer
American Society of Civil Engineers | Grand Island, NE
Quality Engineer
American Society of Civil Engineers | Attica, IN
Civil Engineering
American Society of Civil Engineers | Steamboat Springs, CO
Commissioning Intern
American Society of Civil Engineers | Chicago, IL
 
Comments
comments powered by Disqus