The Fight For Florida

Tuesday, January 24, 2012 - 10:51am

The remaining GOP candidates debate in Florida, but the focus is on Romney, Gingrich, and the money they made.

There were four candidates on stage, but Gingrich and Romney dominated the debate -- mostly back-and-forth about the money they've earned.

In 2010, Mitt Romney earned over 20 Million and paid 3 Million in taxes.

An estimate of his latest return comes out today -- with a bevy of lawyers and tax experts to explain why he's paying just 15%. "I pay all the taxes that are legally required and not a dollar more. I don't think you want someone as the candidate for President who pays more taxes than he owes," said Mitt Romney, (R) Presidential Candidate.

Romney's taxes - and Newt Gingrich's consulting - dominated last night's debate.

Two hours before, Gingrich released his contract with housing giant Freddie Mac, showing he earned $300,000 for "consulting and related services." "I have never, ever gone and done any lobbying. . . You know, there is a point in the process where it gets unnecessarily personal and nasty. And that's sad," said Newt Gingrich, (R) Presidential Candidate.

Turns out, Romney invested up to half a million in Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. Rick Santorum characterized both as the rich protecting the rich: "My question to Governor Romney and to Speaker Gingrich, if you believe in capitalism that much, then why did you support the bailout of Wall Street?" said Rick Santorum, (R) Presidential Candidate.

Ron Paul was asked if he'd drop out and run as a third party candidate. "I have no plans to do that, no intention," said Ron Paul, (R) Presidential Candidate.

But he didn't completely rule it out, either.

The next debate takes place Thursday in Jacksonville. The Florida primary is next Tuesday.

Tracie Potts, NBC News, Washington.

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