Leadership scramble: GOP rivals vie for title

By Nancy Benac

Associated Press

Published: Saturday, Jan. 28 2012 1:30 a.m. MST

Evelyn Solomon of Boca Raton, Fla., a supporter of Republican presidential candidate former House Speaker Newt Gingrich waits during a Republican Jewish Coalition rally at the South County Civic Center, Friday, Jan. 27, 2012, in Delray Beach, Fla. Romney and Gingrich square off over immigration and other issues as they look to woo Hispanics a day after a feisty, final debate before Tuesday’s Florida primary.

Matt Rourke, Associated Press

WASHINTON — The Republican presidential contenders are making a pitch to voters that sounds a lot like a children's game: Follow the leader.

When Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich aren't puffing up their own leadership credentials, they're running down the leadership skills of one another and President Barack Obama.

In a race where all the candidates are trying to out-conservative one another, stressing leadership credentials gives the GOP rivals a way to try to distinguish themselves.

And in a year when Obama's own leadership skills are seen as one of his weakest qualities, it gives the Republicans another arrow in their quiver as they argue over who would be most electable in a matchup with Obama come November.

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