At first it sounded like the Republican presidential candidates would come together in agreement during Thursday night’s debate in Florida that they should not attack each other personally, but stick to the issues.
But Mitt Romney stopped that from happening.
It all started when CNN moderator Wolf Blitzer asked former House Speaker Newt Gingrich if rival Romney’s releasing of his tax filings this week satisfied him. Gingrich responded that, “This is a nonsense question.”
“How about if the four of us agree for the rest of the evening to actually talk about issues that relate to governing America?” Gingrich said.
Blitzer responded: “You made an issue of this — this week — when you said that he lives in a world of Swiss bank and Cayman Island bank accounts. I didn’t say that. You did.”
“I did,” Gingrich replied. “And I’m perfectly happy to say that on an interview on some TV show but this is a national debate when you have the chance to get the four of us to talk about a whole range of issues.”
The crowd booed when Blitzer pressed on: “If you make a serious accusation against Gov. Romney, you need to explain that.”
But Romney chimed in, telling Gingrich to attack him. “Wouldn’t it be nice if people didn’t make accusations somewhere else that they weren’t willing to defend here?”
Gingrich then went on to criticize Romney.