Republicans leap to attack Romney at debate

January 17, 2012 05:37

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. - The Republican presidential hopefuls attacked front-runner Mitt Romney's business record and his failure to release his tax returns on Monday, looking to halt his growing momentum during the early stages of a debate in South Carolina.

Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry and Rick Santorum challenged Romney on his record and urged voters to take a critical look at the former Massachusetts governor, who leads the race to pick a challenger to US President Barack Obama.

"We need to satisfy the country that whoever we nominate has a record that can stand up to Barack Obama in a very effective way," said Gingrich, the former House speaker, defending his questions of Romney's work at a private equity firm that critics say slashed jobs and plundered companies.

"That's part of what a campaign is about, to answer those questions and deal with them effectively," he said.

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