The slate of Republican presidential hopefuls squared off in a wide-ranging policy debate on Wednesday night at California’s Reagan Presidential Library. The two perceived frontrunners, Texas governor Rick Perry and ex-Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, exchanged barbs on each other’s job creation records. Perry claimed to have “created more jobs in the last three months in Texas than [Romney] created in four years in Massachusetts.” Romney fired back by saying Perry inherited a situation in Texas that made job creation easy, and that he can’t fully take credit for what he often calls the “Texas miracle.” Perry was also criticized over his skepticism on the theory of evolution and the science behind global warming. The Texas governor also called the country’s Social Security pension program a “Ponzi scheme” that robs the young to finance the old. Meanwhile, all the candidates were united in their denunciation of so-called “Obamacare,” the health care legislation that restricts health insurance providers from refusing to cover people in the United States. Congresswoman Michele Bachmann said the plan would lead to “socialized medicine,” while former House of Representatives Speaker Newt Gingrich called the legislation a “monstrosity.” Republican primaries for the 2012 U.S. presidential election start next February.
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