Melissa Block watched Monday night's Republican debate with a small group of voters in Greenville, S.C.: three business people and two housewives. They describe themselves as fiscal conservatives, first and foremost — not social conservatives or evangelicals — and Mitt Romney's message appeals to many of them. The attacks on Romney's record at Bain Capital do not register with these voters, and they see no point in the demands for him to release his tax returns. What does interest them: business experience, less government and long-term change to tackle the debt.
His confirmation that he pays at a much lower rate than many much less well-off Americans, is likely to reignite a debate over whether the wealthy should be asked to pay a greater share of federal taxes.
While his rivals scored points against Mitt Romney, none seemed to do anything to upend his candidacy. So the former Massachusetts governor still seemed to have a good shot at winning South Carolina, a state which has voted for every nominee since 1980.
Newt Gingrich criticized Obama for the growth in food stamps, calling him "the best food stamp president in American history." He later said that "more people have been put on food stamps by Barack Obama than any president in American history." We check it out.
The former Utah governor had a bankable blend of looks, charm, money, conservative karma and international street cred. Best of all, perhaps, was his ability to sit down with a big-time journalist and talk a good game.
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