Heated charges, counter-charges in Florida debate

AP News
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Posted: Jan 23, 2012 9:59 PM
Heated charges, counter-charges in Florida debate

Republican presidential contenders Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich clashed repeatedly in heated, personal terms Monday night in a crackling campaign debate, the former Massachusetts governor tagging his rival as an "influence peddler" in Washington, only to be accused in turn of spreading falsehoods over many years in politics.

"You've been walking around the state saying things that are untrue," Gingrich said to his rival in a two-hour debate marked by interruptions and finger pointing.

The debate marked the first encounter among the four remaining GOP contenders _ former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and Texas Rep. Ron Paul shared the stage _ since Gingrich won the South Carolina primary in an upset last weekend, a double-digit victory that reset the race to pick a rival to challenge President Barack Obama this fall.