COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- The three leading Republican presidential candidates worked to establish their conservative credentials in a debate among ten candidates last night in Columbia.
Republican strategist Joe Gaylord says last night's debate was more contentious than the Republicans' first gathering in California earlier this month.
Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Arizona Senator John McCain and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney were targeted by the other seven candidates in the debate.
The first debate in California on May Third was a mostly polite affair filled with Ronald Reagan references.
Gaylord says he thought last night's debate was more enlightening. Gaylord is close to former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who is considering joining the crowded presidential field.