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If the challengers for the Republican nomination for President hoped to derail the Mitt Romney express at the first of two debates before next Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary they got switched to a siding.
Romney, leading all polls by a comfortable margin in the Granite State, sailed through the debate on cruise control, looking comfortable while his challengers spent as much time attacking each other as him.
A panel of New Hampshire voters assembled by Capitol Hill Blue agreed, for the most part, that Romney emerged a clear winner from the debate.
“He appeared Presidential,” said Andrea Wilson. “The others looked more like rowdy children.”
Paul, who thinks America should get out of the war business, called Gingrich a “chickenhawk” for evading military service during the Vietnam war.
That pissed off Gingrich, who retaliated:
Dr. Paul has a long history of saying things that are inaccurate and false. The fact is, I never asked for deferment. I was married with a child. It was never a question. My father was, in fact, serving in Vietnam in the Mekong Delta at the time he’s referring to. I think I have a pretty good idea of what it’s like as a family to worry about your father getting killed. And I personally resent the kind of comments and aspersions he routinely makes without accurate information and then just slurs people with.
Paul shot back that he also had children but “I went.”
The candidates sidestepped an attempt by to bring up gay marriage.
A second debate is scheduled for Sunday morning.