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Perry and Romney clash at debate

Thursday, September 08, 2011 - 02:21

Sept 08 - Republican rivals, Rick Perry and Mitt Romney clash over job creation records at fiery presidential candidate debate. Marie-Claire Fennessy reports

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Job creation took centre stage at the Republican presidential candidate debate. Rivals, Texas governor and current front-runner Rick Perry and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney exchanged sharp blows over who had created more jobs. (SOUNDBITE) (English) RICK PERRY, TEXAS GOVERNOR AND REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE, SAYING: "But the fact is, when he moved that experience to government, he had one of the lowest job creation rates in the country. The fact is, while he has a good private-sector record, his public-sector record did not match that. As a matter of fact, we created more jobs in the last three months in Texas than he created in four years in Massachusetts." (SOUNDBITE) (English) MITT ROMNEY, FORMER MASSACHUSETTS GOVERNOR AND REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE, SAYING: "Texas is a great state. Texas has zero income tax. Texas has a right-to-work state, a Republican legislature, a Republican Supreme Court. Texas has a lot of oil and gas in the ground. Those are wonderful things, but Governor Perry doesn't believe that he created those things. If he tried to say that, well, it would be like Al Gore saying he invented the Internet. Look, the reality is there are differences. There are differences between states. I came into a state that was in real trouble -- huge budget gap, losing jobs every month. We turned it around." Their battle largely over shadowed the six other candidates in the Ronald Regan presidential library. Proof that the campaign is increasingly a two-man contest. Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann is at best third place in Republican polls with Romney now in second. Former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman said his record trumped both on job creation. (SOUNDBITE) (English) JON HUNTSMAN, FORMER UTAH GOVERNOR AND REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE, SAYING: "I have an offer for the two great governors over here. And I hate to rain on the parade of the Lone Star governor, but as governor of Utah, we were the number one job creator in this country during my years of service." Romney said if elected president he would not keep Ben Bernanke as chairman of the Federal Reserve. SOUNDBITE) (English) MITT ROMNEY, FORMER MASSACHUSETTS GOVERNOR AND REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE, ASKED IF BEN BERNAKE WOULD HAVE A JOB IN HIS ADMINISTRATION, SAYING: "I think Ben Bernanke has overinflated the amount of currency that he's has created. QE2 did not work, it did not get Americans back to work." The event was the first in a series of debates over the next six weeks, likely to help shape the 2012 republican race. It happened a day before US President Barack Obama makes his crucial speech on his plan to reduce the unemployment rate. Marie-Claire Fennessy, Reuters

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Perry and Romney clash at debate

Thursday, September 08, 2011 - 02:21