Oct 22, 6:26 AM (ET)
By LIBBY QUAID
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - Republican front-runners Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney defended their conservative credentials in the face of pointed attacks from campaign rivals Sunday night in the most aggressive debate to date of the race for the White House.
"You've just spent the last year trying to fool people about your record. I don't want you to start fooling them about mine," Arizona Sen. John McCain bluntly told Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts.
Former Sen. Fred Thompson made Giuliani his target, saying the former New York mayor supported federal funding for abortion, gun control and havens for illegal immigrants.
"He sides with Hillary Clinton on each of those issues," added Thompson, referring to the New York Democrat who leads in the polls for her party's presidential nomination.
The clashes in the early moments of a 90-minute debate prompted former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee to say he wanted no part of a "demolition derby" with others of his own party. "What I'm interested in is fighting for the American people."
Whatever their disagreements among one another, the eight rivals agreed on one issue. They took turns criticizing Clinton, the Democratic front-runner.
Asked whether she was fit to be commander in chief, Romney replied, "I'd vote no."
Giuliani said he agreed with one thing the former first lady said recently. "I have a million ideas. America cannot afford them all," he quoted her as saying as laughter filled the debate hall. "I'm not making it up."
McCain said Clinton had recently tried to spend $1 million on a Woodstock Museum, commemorating perhaps the most famous counterculture event of the 1960s. http://apnews.myway.com/article/20071022/D8SE7MDG0.html
What a mess - each of the candidates has a conservative flaw or two or dozen!
McCain - wel I am just not able to look past his back stabbing activities while the Republican's had control.
Thompson - has done a poor job differentiating himseld from the pack.
Giuliani - says hes a republican, looks like a republican, but votes as a liberal.
Mitt - well, the religious right will never accept a Morman.
What to do?