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Ron Paul attacked Newt Gingrich for his consulting job for Freddie Mac. He claimed that since Gingrich took money from Freddie, he probably took the our tax dollars that were used to stave off the financial crisis.

Newt shot back that it was the Fed that caused the financial crisis, not Fannie and Freddie — an opinion Paul has expressed a lot.

URBANDALE, IOWA -- Newt Gingrich is turning the other cheek.

Faced with a barrage of attacks from the Mitt Romney campaign in the lead up to Saturday night's debate in Des Moines near here, the surging Gingrich told supporters at the grand opening of his first Iowa headquarters that he will not tolerate any negativity against his Republican opponents.

"We will not engage in negative ads," Gingrich said. "We're not going to engage in tearing people down."

But in his professed plan to take the high road, of course, Gingrich is putting Romney directly in his sights. Rather than going with negative attack ads, Gingrich is choosing to push back at Romney with a little public shaming.

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At the ABC debate in Iowa, Mitt Romney was asked about Newt Gingrich’s statement about himself, that he was “a lot more conservative than Mitt Romney, and a lot more electable than anybody else.”

Romney began laughing out loud. “Well, of course I don’t agree with that,” he then said. “I think a lot of people don’t agree with that.”

He then extolled his own virtues on the economy, and attacked Gingrich’s past statements about starting a lunar mining colony, and his current proposal to have schoolchildren work as janitors.

“The only reason you didn’t become a career politician is because you lost to Teddy Kennedy in 1994.”

Romney, prodded by Gingrich to point out their differences, names Gingrich’s position on a lunar colony and child labor laws.

Bachmann: “This tax shouldn’t have been put in the first place, the payroll tax extension.” Calls it a “gimmick” instead of a permanent solution.

Romney: “I don’t want to raise taxes on people, especially people in the middle class.” Calls it a “band-aid” and says it will provide temporary relief.

Santorum: “Is there a Social Security trust fund or not?” Says Obama is “defunding the Social Security system.”

Paul: “I want to extend the tax cut… but I want to pay for it.”

At the ABC debate, Newt Gingrich had the first answer to the first question, which asked the candidates how they would distinguish themselves from the other candidates on the issues of jobs and the economy.

“Well I think that there’s a clear record. I worked with Ronald Reagan in the early 80’s,” said Gingrich. “His recovery program helped translate, in this population, to 25 million new jobs.”

He also added: “It starts very simply: Lower taxes, less regulation, an American energy plan, and actually be positive to people who create new jobs,” compared to President Obama’s policies that Gingrich described as “higher taxes, more regulation, no American energy, and attacking people who create jobs, through class warfare.”

Coming off the back of Newt’s comments about how to fix the economy (in a line, lower taxes), Romney says there are in fact seven things you have to do to fix the economy. He lists them, but frankly most sound rather vague. Seems somewhat management jargon-esque and aspirational rather than genuinely practical.