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One Liners on Spending

Questions over economic concerns and tax cuts gave McCain and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee a chance to flash their wit.

McCain recounted an e-mail from a "former drunken sailor" who rejected the comparison to free-spending members of Congress. That drew a good laugh from the crowd.

But McCain was one-upped by Huckabee, who said that Washington had "spent money like John Edwards at a beauty shop" over the past few years. That one brought an extended eruption of laughter and applause.

McCain, Romney and Giuliani all sought to use the question on fiscal policy to paint themselves as opposed to that status quo in Washington.

McCain, in his drunken sailor quip, said of congressional spending: "I never knew a sailor drunk or sober with the imagination of my colleagues," he said.

Romney drew on his experience as governor of Massachusetts to show his fiscal conservative bona fides. "We need to have fundamental change in the way business in Washington is carried out," Romney said.

Giuliani referenced the praise lavished on him from the Club For Growth for his stewardship over New York City's economy. "I ran probably one of the most fiscally conservative governments in the past 30 or 40 years," he said. "I did it in a place that it's real hard to do."

By Chris Cillizza  |  May 15, 2007; 9:33 PM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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