David Usborne: Republican rivals set sights on Obama
Contenders slam president on economy in run-up to 2012 vote
GALVANISED BY gathering indications that America's recovery is unlikely to gain speed ahead of next year's presidential race, seven Republican hopefuls took the opportunity of a first televised debate in New Hampshire to repeatedly lambaste President Barack Obama for mismanaging economic policy.
"This president has failed, and he's failed at a time when the American people counted on him to create jobs and get the economy growing," declared Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts and executive with a record of turning faltering businesses around.
He and the founder of the Tea Party caucus on Capitol Hill, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, from Minnesota, may have been the standouts at Monday night's debate.