(Bloomberg) The final Republican presidential debate before tomorrow’s South Carolina primary found Newt Gingrich forced to defend his personal and public lives and Rick Santorum repeatedly on the attack against his rivals.
In the debate’s opening moments last night Gingrich chastised CNN moderator John King for starting off with a question about allegations surfacing earlier in the day that he had once asked for an “open marriage” with his second wife.
The former U.S. House speaker then faced attacks on his ethics, policy positions and claims of accomplishments from Santorum and Mitt Romney. Gingrich has been surging in polls ahead of South Carolina’s primary, threatening the lead Romney enjoyed and presenting a hurdle to Santorum’s campaign.
“I am appalled that you would begin a presidential debate on a topic like that,” Gingrich said in a comment directed at King that drew applause from the debate’s audience in North Charleston, South Carolina.
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