Fox News Debate: Rick Perry Wants To Be Tim Tebow Of Iowa
Accusations were flying Thursday night in Sioux City, Iowa, as as seven candidates for the Republican presidential nomination went back and forth in the most recent of more than a dozen debates. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Rep. Michele Bachmann and Texas Governor Rick Perry, among others, appeared on the Fox News debate in one last effort to win over voters in the lead up to the Jan. 3 Iowa Caucuses. Many of the barbs were directed at Gingrich, who has risen in recent polls as the latest favored candidate.
Bachmann questioned Gingrich on payments he received after leaving office from Freddie Mac, the troubled mortgage giant that was at the heart of the recent U.S. Housing crisis. Bachmann alleged Gingrich “had his hand out and received $1.6 million to influence senior Republicans and keep the scam going in Washington, D.C.” Gingrich denied the accusation. “Just not true,” he said. “I never lobbied under any circumstances.”
Bachmann and Texas Rep. Ron Paul also squared off over foreign policy issues, particularly Iran's capability — and eagerness — to enrich uranium and to develop and use nuclear weapons against the U.S. and its allies. “There has been no enrichment in Iran,” Paul said. “We know without a shadow of a doubt that Iran will take a nuclear weapon, they will use it to wipe our ally Israel off the map,” Bachmann said.
Perry, countering criticism of his ability to face off against President Barack Obama in the November 2012 general election, likened himself to the Denver Broncos’ quarterback Tim Tebow, known lately for his fourth-quarter saves. “There were a lot of folks who said Tim Tebow wasn't going to be a very good NFL quarterback. I hope I am the Tim Tebow of the Iowa Caucus,” Perry said.
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney attempted to explain what some have called changes in his stances on LGBT issues and gun rights. “Experience taught me sometime I was wrong,” Romney said. “Where I was wrong, I've tried to correct myself.” In regards to the issue of same-sex marriage, Romney has, for the most part, remained consistent. “I'm firmly in support of people not being discriminated against based upon their sexual orientation. At the same time, I oppose same-sex marriage. That's been my position from the beginning,” Romney said.