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Coming Soon, an End to Debate Season in Iowa

DES MOINES -- Iowa voters will get their final chance to see the Republican candidates side by side when they debate this afternoon for the final time before the Jan. 3 caucus kicks off the 2008 presidential voting. The debate will begin at 2 p.m. Eastern time and will be carried by the major cable news networks and C-SPAN.

Attention will be riveted on the two former governors who have emerged as top rivals in the state. Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee has seized the lead here from former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, who has built his presidential campaign on the idea that he will win Iowa and New Hampshire.

That strategy is now in trouble. Recent polls show Huckabee surging into a wide lead. But that newfound success is attracting much harsher scrutiny for Huckabee from his rivals and from the media, who have begun exploring his gubernatorial record and his past statements about religion, homosexuality and other topics.

Romney on Monday launched his first negative ad, contrasting his own position on immigration with Huckabees. In the ad, which is running only in Iowa, Romney attacks Huckabee for supporting in-state tuition and scholarships for illegal immigrants. Observers say they expect Romney to hammer that theme at the debate.

The debate is being sponsored by the Des Moines Register and Iowa Public Television and will be moderated by Carolyn Washburn, the editor of the Register. In addition to Huckabee and Romney, the debate will include: Arizona Sen. John McCain, former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani, California Rep. Duncan Hunter, Texas Rep. Ron Paul, Colorado Rep. Tom Tancredo, former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson and former ambassador Alan Keyes.

A Democratic debate will be held in Iowa on Thursday.

--Michael D. Shear

By Web Politics Editor  |  December 12, 2007; 11:32 AM ET
 
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Comments

RON PAUL IS THE NEW WAY
What we need is a President who will show us the way. Not the old way. Not the same way, but a NEW way. Think about this for a minute. What if we pulled all of our troops out of South Korea? They've been there for 50+ years. What if we quit worrying about Iran, but instead, realized that its having a nuclear weapon will not mean the end of the world? What if we pulled all of our troops out of the Middle-East, and brought them all home? What if we realistically addressed the National Debt, and paid attention to REALLY DOING SOMETHING about stopping illegal immigration? These are the ideas of Presidential candidate, Ron Paul. He's a ten term Congressman and a physician who has delivered over 4,000 babies. He's an intellectual who's published four books, three of which are devoted entirely to sound economics and one to foreign policy. He was raised on a dairy farm in Pennsylvania as a pious Lutheran, but now he attends a Baptist church. Paul is given to mulling things over morally. Whenever he recollects the helicopter pilots he treated as an Air Force Flight Surgeon (Captain) during the Vietnam War, a war which he now says was "totally unnecessary and illegal," he laments, "They were gung-ho. I've often thought about how many of those people never came back." Candidates with the high level of personal integrity and proven track record of adherence to The Constitution, Congressman Paul has always demonstrated only come around once in a lifetime, if we're lucky.

Posted by: howarddiploma | December 13, 2007 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Mitt Romney won the debate with solid answers to solve serious problems!

Read about it at:
http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=YmMxYTUyYzA1YTk2YzE5NGVmNjc0OGFjYWJmNzMzNjI=&p=1

Posted by: a44wilson | December 13, 2007 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Who won the Des Moines Register Republican Debate in Iowa?

http://www.youpolls.com/details.asp?pid=1286

.

Posted by: jeffboste | December 12, 2007 3:07 PM | Report abuse

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