DES MOINES, Iowa (CNN) - From questions over his conservative credentials to his controversial comments over Palestinians to his acknowledged infidelity, Republican White House frontrunner Newt Gingrich was in the line of fire at a GOP presidential debate Saturday night.
And with just over three weeks to go until the Iowa caucuses, the first contest in the Republican presidential primary and caucus calendar, the showdown was more combustible than the three previous showdowns between the GOP candidates.
Des Moines, Iowa (CNN) – Hours before Republican presidential candidates face off in Iowa, self-proclaimed positive campaigner Newt Gingrich took a veiled swipe at Mitt Romney, vowing to not use campaign surrogates to attack competitors or endorse third party groups who go negative on a candidate's behalf.
"I want you to know that my campaign will be relentlessly positive. Our advertising will be positive," Gingrich said, speaking to supporters Saturday at the opening of a campaign office in Urbandale Iowa.
Des Moines, Iowa (CNN) - Just hours before six presidential candidates were set to meet at a debate at Drake University, three of those candidates addressed a small crowd of roughly 50 Iowans at a candidates forum hosted by Veterans for a Strong America.
Speaking mostly about veterans' issues and national security, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania and Texas Gov. Rick Perry took turns professing their support for the armed services and criticizing President Barack Obama for his handling of international relations.
(CNN) – Mitt Romney, who's watched opponent Newt Gingrich speed ahead to frontrunner status in the GOP presidential horserace, said he'll use Saturday night's presidential debate in Iowa to highlight his differences with the former House speaker.
"I'll be doing that tonight," Romney said during a surprise stop at his Iowa campaign headquarters in Des Moines on Saturday. "I'm sure we'll get plenty of opportunities to talk about our similarities and our differences."
(CNN) - Joanne Gutcher sits on the cold ground at Arlington National Cemetery Saturday. For the first time, she is seeing her son's headstone.
Around her, family and friends hold each other, touch the headstone. Among the visitors is Gena Hernandez, who served with Gutcher's son in Iraq. Hernandez believes she wouldn't have made it back without him. He was an excellent gunner.
Des Moines, Iowa (CNN) – Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann backed out of a scheduled appearance at a candidate forum sponsored by Veterans for a Strong America in Des Moines on Saturday.
Bachmann skipped the event to prepare for Saturday night's Republican presidential debate in Iowa, said her spokeswoman Alice Stewart. The candidate's husband, Marcus Bachmann, spoke in her stead.
(CNN) - As the GOP presidential race heats up with more attacks and negative ads, Michele Bachmann on Saturday threw out a less-than-common word to amplify the political rhetoric, describing a few of her top rivals as "milquetoast."
"I must raise every available dollar between now and January 3rd to ensure our hard-charging constitutional conservative campaign – not some milquetoast opponents like Mitt Romney, Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich – wins over these undecided Iowa voters," Bachmann said in a statement to supporters.
(CNN) - President Barack Obama outlined a grim picture for economic recovery, saying in an interview to air Sunday night that it could take years for the nation to reverse what he called structural problems "that have been building for two decades."
"That's going to take time. That's going to take more than a year," Obama tells "60 Minutes" on CBS. "It's going to take more than two years. It's going to take more than one term. It probably takes more than one president."
(CNN) – Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich stands by his support for a Palestinian state, his spokesman said Saturday, despite his comment about an "invented Palestinian people" that has drawn fire from leaders in the West Bank and from a GOP rival.
Gingrich backs a negotiated peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, said his spokesman, R.C. Hammond. But the Gingrich camp made no apology for the remark - which some Palestinian leaders declared "racist" - saying the former House speaker was simply referencing "decades of complex history."
(CNN) - Senior Palestinian leaders on Saturday strongly criticized comments by Republican presidential frontrunner Newt Gingrich that the Palestinians are an "invented" people, calling them ignorant and racist.
Top Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat said the Gingrich remark was "the most racist statement I've ever seen."