By Terri Ogan–1/7/2012
Mitt Romney seemed to be untouchable in tonight’s Republican debate. At St. Anselm’s College in Manchester, NH, Romney refrained attacking his fellow candidates. Instead he lashed out at President Obama.
When he was asked about foreign policy, Romney accused the President of making repeated mistakes and lacking the experience to lead the country.
“We have a president who had no experience in leadership,” Romney said. “He never led a business, never led a city, never led a state. And as a result, he learned on-the-job being President of the United States, and he has made one error after another related to foreign policy, the most serious of which relates to Iran.”
According to a New Hampshire Primary poll, Romney holds a strong first place lead with 39 percent of the votes. With such a wide margin separating himself from the other candidates, Romney did not waste his breath attacking the other candidates.
Christopher J. Galdieri, as assistant professor in politics at St. Anselm’s, said Romney made a smart move by holding back on negative rebukes toward his opponents.
“He’s got more money. He’s got more endorsements. He’s got more organization than any of these other candidates,” Galdieri said. “So for him to spend a lot of time attacking, you know, Jon Huntsman or…Newt Gingrich personally is, I think…would have a real chance of backfiring on him.”
St. Anselm’s psychology professor Elizabeth Ossoff said that Romney does not emotionally connect with voters as well as his opponents. In turn, this could pose a problem for future campaigning, but in the end, she said he will get the votes.
“People like to associate themselves with winners,” Ossoff said. “And if they see somebody gaining momentum, they may want to hitch themselves to their wagon. If they see this is someone who can really gain momentum and be the person who can challenge the President and really, that’s what it’s all about…”
The candidates will share the stage again in the morning at New Hampshire’s Chubb Theatre.