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You're reading: Romney sails through soft Republican debate
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Expected to be a punching bag, the former governor of neighboring Massachusetts with a big lead in New Hampshire got a major break as his main rivals stopped short of going all-out negative against him and instead squabbled among themselves.

This leaves Romney in a strong position in New Hampshire, where polls show him winning the primary handily on Tuesday. That would put more pressure on his rivals to try to stop him at the next contest in South Carolina, where he also has a small lead.

Looking cool and confident with hands in his pockets, Romney repeatedly positioned himself above the fray. He stuck to lines from his campaign stump speech and trained fire on the man he wants to replace in November’s election, Democratic President Barack Obama.

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