Republican Presidential Hopefuls Debate the Economy in Michigan

Posted November 9th, 2011 at 10:25 pm (UTC-5)
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U.S. Republican presidential hopefuls have debated how to fix the economy and create jobs, as they faced off in Michigan, one of the states hardest-hit by home foreclosures and the nationwide recession.

The debate outside the city of Detroit is an important one for Georgia businessman Herman Cain, who has surged to the front of the pack and is hoping to maintain that momentum despite the emergence of sexual harassment accusations against him.

Cain responded to a question about the allegations to loud applause from the audience, saying Americans deserve better than someone being tried in the court of public opinion based on “unfounded allegations.”

But his seven Republican competitors chose not to engage in the fray surrounding the allegations, instead directing their criticism toward the White House and President Barack Obama.

Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, also a leading candidate in national polls, received big applause when he said the U.S. has a president and administration that “doesn't like business,” referring to a common Republican refrain that Mr. Obama has increased regulations and taxes on businesses that diminish their ability to grow.

The debate comes one year before the general election, and about two months before the first state-by-state votes to choose a Republican candidate to face President Obama, a Democrat, in the 2012 poll.

The other Republican hopefuls taking part in the debate were Representatives Michele Bachmann and Ron Paul, former House speaker Newt Gingrich, former U.S. ambassador to China Jon Huntsman, Texas Governor Rick Perry, and former Senator Rick Santorum.