Romney's rivals suggest he's not electable

January 8, 2012 - 10:32 AM
Republican Debate

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum reacts as former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney answers a question during a Republican presidential candidate debate at the Capitol Center for the Arts in Concord, N.H., Sunday, Jan. 8, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — Mitt Romney's rivals are casting doubt on whether he's the strongest candidate to take on President Barack Obama.

The Republican hopefuls sparred on a nationally televised debate Sunday.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich called the former Massachusetts governor's economic program "timid." Rick Santorum suggested Romney was a quitter who had walked away from his governorship rather than run for re-election.

Romney defended his record and said his business background would serve him well as president.

Gingrich pushed back at Romney's claim that he was not a politician, calling it "pious baloney."

Romney is strongly favored to win the New Hampshire primary Tuesday.