Republican presidential hopefuls have gone head to head in a televised debate just days before the primary in the key state of South Carolina.
And as expected, the front runner Mitt Romney – who made millions from private equity investments – came under attack from the more conservative candidates for his business record.
Romney hit back: “My record is out there, proud of it, and I think that if people want to have somebody who understands how the economy works, having worked in the real economy, then I’m the guy that can best post up against Barack Obama.”
On a foreign policy question, the former US senator Rick Santorum said: “I do not support a military mission in Syria, but we should be much more aggressive in following through with policies that effectuate the removal of Assad for the benefit of the Syrian people and for their neighbour Israel.”
The libertarian representative Ron Paul drew boos from the audience by saying the US should be careful about intervening abroad.
“Maybe we have to consider a golden rule in foreign policy: don’t do to other nations what we don’t want them to do to us,” Paul said. “So we endlessely bomb those countries and we wonder why they get upset with us and yet it continues on and on.”
The South Carolina primary is on January 21.