February 24th, 2012
05:05 PM ET
2 years ago

Specter disputes Santorum account of support

(CNN) – Arlen Specter disputed on Thursday Rick Santorum's account of a conversation which Santorum said the two Senate colleagues had ahead of Specter's 2004 campaign for reelection.

At Wednesday's CNN Arizona Republican Presidential Debate, Santorum said he offered his endorsement of fellow Pennsylvanian Specter – which Republicans have criticized – after Specter offered assurances he would support President George W. Bush's judicial nominees. "Every nominee he supported, passed," Santorum said.
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February 23rd, 2012
04:30 PM ET
3 years ago

Axelrod on GOP candidates: 'All hat, no cattle'

(CNN) - David Axelrod, senior strategist for President Barack Obama's re-election campaign, responded Thursday to GOP attacks against the president from the CNN Arizona Republican Presidential Debate and described the candidates as "all hat, no cattle."

"It seemed like such a negative grinding affair, going after each other, going after the president and certainly going after the country," Axelrod said in an interview on CNN's "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer." "That was a dispiriting thing to watch."
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Romney: 'I wonder which team Santorum was taking it for'
February 23rd, 2012
12:14 PM ET
3 years ago

Romney: 'I wonder which team Santorum was taking it for'

Phoenix (CNN) - Picking up where he left off after CNN's GOP debate in Mesa, Mitt Romney went back on the attack, turning Rick Santorum's own words against him.

Speaking to a business group in Phoenix Thursday, Romney recalled Santorum's explanation for why he supported the No Child Left Behind law during his time in the Senate.
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February 23rd, 2012
08:38 AM ET
3 years ago

Democrats attack Romney over immigration

Mesa, Arizona (CNN) – Mitt Romney's top campaign advisers were pleased with their candidate's performance in Wednesday night's GOP presidential debate hosted by CNN and the Arizona Republican Party–and so were top Democratic Party and Obama re-election campaign officials.

During the debate, Romney defended Arizona's controversial 2010 illegal immigration law, saying, "You know, I think you see a model here in Arizona."
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February 23rd, 2012
07:47 AM ET
3 years ago

Truth Squad: Gingrich misses target on Iran's nuclear effort

Editor's note: Part of the CNN political fact-checking series

(CNN) – Newt Gingrich criticized the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff for characterizing Iran as a "rational actor" in international affairs and defending the possibility of preventing an Israeli attack on Iranian nuclear sites, during Wednesday night's Republican candidates debate hosted by CNN and the Republican Party of Arizona.

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February 23rd, 2012
07:41 AM ET
3 years ago

Truth Squad: Santorum on the budget: Close enough for government work

Editor's note: Part of the CNN political fact-checking series

(CNN) - Rick Santorum pointed out the growth of government benefits compared to defense spending during Wednesday night's Republican candidates debate in Mesa, Arizona, hosted by CNN and the Republican Party of Arizona.

The statement: "When I was born, less than 10% of the federal budget was entitlement spending. It's now 60% of the budget. Some people suggest defense spending is the problem. When I was born, defense spending was 60% of the budget. It's now 17%. If you think defense spending is the problem, you need a remedial math class to go back to."

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February 23rd, 2012
07:31 AM ET
3 years ago

Five things we learned from Wednesday's debate

Mesa, Arizona (CNN) – The four GOP presidential candidates had one last chance to state their case in front of the nation before Tuesday's primaries in Arizona and Michigan.

Did one candidate stand out from the rest? Here are five things we learned from the CNN Arizona Republican Presidential Debate.

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February 23rd, 2012
07:23 AM ET
3 years ago

Romney jabs at Santorum's record in CNN debate

Mesa, Arizona (CNN) – Rick Santorum found that his position at the top of polls made him the biggest target in Wednesday's CNN Republican presidential debate, possibly the last of the GOP primary and caucus campaign.

Mitt Romney, who has been front-runner off and on through the campaign but saw his momentum blunted by Santorum's recent surge, went after the former Pennsylvania senator over his record in Congress, trying to shoulder past him before Tuesday's primaries in Arizona and Michigan, which most polls show neck-and-neck between the two.

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Romney, Santorum go after each other in debate
February 22nd, 2012
10:28 PM ET
3 years ago

Romney, Santorum go after each other in debate

Mesa, Arizona (CNN) - Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum mixed it up over their records on the debt, taxes and earmarks Wednesday night in the first Republican presidential debate in almost a month, and the first before three contests in the next 10 days followed by the Super Tuesday primaries and caucuses on March 6.

Answering a question from the audience on how to bring down the nation's debt, the former Massachusetts governor attacked Santorum's record when he was representing Pennsylvania in the Senate.

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Live blog: CNN Arizona Republican Presidential Debate
February 22nd, 2012
09:55 PM ET
3 years ago

Live blog: CNN Arizona Republican Presidential Debate

(CNN) - The CNN Political Ticker is live blogging the CNN Arizona Republican Presidential Debate in Mesa. Check here for live updates throughout the event and be sure to follow @PoliticalTicker, @CNNPolitics and use #CNNDebate.

Participating in Wednesday's debate are former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, and Texas Rep. Ron Paul. Read more here.

10:33 p.m. ET - Read a transcript from the fourth part of tonight's debate here. The full transcript is posted here.

10:18 p.m. ET - From @SarahPalinUSA: Newt's message on energy development was spot-on. Drill now and stop bowing to foreign regimes begging them to do it for us. Then we'll all be "cheerful."

10:13 p.m. ET - Read a transcript from part 3 of tonight's debate here.

10:11 p.m. ET - Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer tells Borger the debate made it harder for her to choose a candidate to endorse. She said Gingrich's answer on immigration was strong, particularly his pledge to work with governors of border states.

10:09 p.m. ET - Watch CNN National Political Correspondent Jim Acosta in the post-debate spin room here.
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