Republicans rivals clash at raucous debate

January 20, 2012 05:56

CHARLESTON, S.C. - Republican presidential candidates tore into each other on Thursday at a raucous campaign debate two days before the South Carolina primary that may decide the nomination race.

Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum all found themselves on the defensive at a debate that was the final chance for rivals to chip away at front-runner Romney's lead in South Carolina. Gingrich, the former speaker of the US House of Representatives, had perhaps the best shot.

He angrily denied charges from a former wife that were clearly aimed at damaging him in South Carolina. Ex-wife Marianne Gingrich accused him this week of asking her for an "open marriage" when he was having an affair.

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