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December 15, 2011 | By Michael A. Memoli
Tonight's presidential debate in Iowa -- the last such meeting before the first votes are cast in the GOP nominating race -- may be the best chance the candidates get to make a convincing closing argument to voters. After the event, broadcast on the Fox News Channel starting at 9 p.m. EST, there will be just two full weeks of retail campaigning sandwiched around an expected Christmas cease-fire. But given how the race has been heavily influenced by the dozen televised forums, this may be the last real opportunity for a narrative-changing moment to take hold.
May 5, 2011 | By Michael A. Memoli
Polls show that Americans' top concern is the economy, but the killing of Osama bin Laden put foreign policy at the top of the agenda in the first Republican candidates debate of the 2012 presidential campaign. In the forum, broadcast by Fox News from Greenville, S.C., a quintet of lesser-known candidates offered their views on the operation that killed the Al Qaeda leader and how it might affect America's mission in Afghanistan. Tim Pawlenty, the former Minnesota governor, praised President Obama for "being decisive" in launching the raid on Bin Laden's compound, but attacked his broader foreign policy outlook.
January 16, 2012 | By James Oliphant
We're down to the final five. With Jon Huntsman Jr.'s decision to go no further, the GOP presidential field has been pared down to front-runner Mitt Romney and four others desperate to find some way to slow his momentum. South Carolina remains the best hope for Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Ron Paul or Rick Perry to pull off an upset. But to do it, they'll need to knock Romney off his game at Monday evening's debate in Myrtle Beach, S.C. There's risk involved. Gingrich and Perry have found that some conservatives haven't warmed to their attacks on Romney's work at Bain Capital.
September 7, 2011 | By James Oliphant, Washington Bureau
In the two debates preceding Wednesday night's dust-up in Simi Valley, Mitt Romney had the luxury of being the man above the fray. While rivals such as Michele Bachmann and Tim Pawlenty tore at each other, Romney stayed cool, removed. He didn't break a sweat. That could change in a big way at the Reagan Library. Romney is no longer the favorite - and can no longer approach his candidacy like a long-distance runner. Rick Perry's surge has forced the former Massachusetts governor to recalibrate his approach in multiple ways.
January 23, 2012 | By Paul West and Seema Mehta
In a potentially pivotal GOP presidential debate, Newt Gingrich repeatedly found himself on the defensive Monday night, as Mitt Romney sharply assailed his record as House speaker and his work as a highly paid consultant to Freddie Mac, the federally backed mortgage giant. Romney, reeling from a double-digit loss to Gingrich two days earlier in South Carolina, improved on his halting performances in recent debates but didn't land a knockout blow. Gingrich, who brought debate crowds to their feet last week, was restrained and passed up several opportunities to attack Romney.
July 20, 2011 | By James Oliphant
Six Republican presidential candidates participated in a tea-party sponsored debate on Twitter on Wednesday - and the results showed both the promise and the limits of the social medium. The format allowed the six, Reps. Michele Bachmann and Thaddeus McCotter, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, ex-Sen. Rick Santorum, former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, and businessman Herman Cain, to interact directly with supporters and detractors - and allowed their respective messages to be relayed and retweeted across the ever-expanding platform.
January 21, 2014 | By Michael Hiltzik
Whether it's because President Obama recently highlighted the issue or because most Americans are really feeling the pain, the debate over income inequality is now part of the mainstream kitchen-table debate. That's the conclusion to be drawn from a Gallup poll released Monday, on Martin Luther King Day. The survey finds that two-thirds of adults are somewhat or very dissatisfied with income and wealth distribution in the U.S. The poll was taken on Jan. 5-8, or about a month after the president's speech about economic inequality .  The partisan breakdown is about what you'd expect.
January 23, 2012 | By Kim Geiger
It took NBC debate moderator Brian Williams about 15 minutes to turn to Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, and when he did, he hinted at the question on the minds of most observers of the Republican presidential race: When will Paul drop out? “To say that there has only been three races and talk about not being electable, I think is a bit of a stretch,” Paul said. Paul finished in third place in the Iowa caucuses and second in the New Hampshire primary. But he placed last in South Carolina last weekend among a narrowed field of four candidates.
January 8, 2012 | By Paul West and Seema Mehta
In the most contentious debate of the GOP presidential campaign, Mitt Romney got a long-anticipated pummeling from his Republican rivals Sunday morning, just two days ahead of the New Hampshire primary. The Republican front-runner had floated above the fray less than 12 hours earlier, in an another network debate. But when he joined the rest of the GOP contenders on NBC's “Meet the Press” for a rare morning confrontation, he found himself on the receiving end of a fusillade of attacks -- for his shape-shifting on issues, his political ambitions and his record as governor of next-door Massachusetts.
December 10, 2011 | By Mark Z. Barabak and Paul West
With Newt Gingrich as their common target, the Republican presidential hopefuls piled on the new party front-runner in a lively debate Saturday night, jabbing him over his political consistency, the sturdiness of his character and the plausibility of his policy proposals. One after another, rivals portrayed the former House speaker - who looked on stern-faced - as an opportunist who changes his beliefs to suit the political times and his personal ambitions. "He's been on different positions, you know, on so many issues," said Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, voicing a theme picked up by others on the Drake University stage who each insisted he or she alone was the true conservative who could best take the fight to President Obama.
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