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Romney, Santorum Assail Each Other in Latest Debate

Republican candidates before CNN debate in Arizona
Republican candidates before CNN debate in Arizona (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Primed for a fight, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum traded fiery accusations about health care, spending earmarks and federal bailouts Wednesday night in the 20th and possibly final debate of the roller-coaster race for the Republican presidential nomination.

Santorum, surging in the race, also took his lumps from the audience, which booed when he said he had voted several years ago for the No Child Left Behind education legislation even though he had opposed it.

“Look, politics is a team sport, folks,” he said of the measure backed by Republican President George W. Bush and other GOP lawmakers.

With pivotal primaries in Arizona and Michigan just six days distant — and 10 more contests one week later — Romney and Santorum sparred more aggressively than in past debates, sometimes talking over each other’s answers.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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