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GOP candidates spar at New Hampshire debate

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Republican presidential candidates U.S. Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), left, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum participate in the ABC News, Yahoo! News, and WMUR Republican Presidential Debate at Saint Anselm College Jan. 7, in Manchester, N.H. The GOP contenders are in the final stretch of campaigning for the New Hampshire primary, the first in the nation, to be held on Jan. 10.

msnbc.com National Affairs Writer Tom Curry reports:

Former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum, who looked for a bounce out of his virtual tie in Iowa, did mention in passing Romney's support for an individual mandate to buy health insurance and Romney's support for the bailout of financial firms in the fall of 2008, but didn't press Romney on these points.

Santorum also tried to attack Romney early in the debate by alluding to his business career at the investment firm Bain Capital. Santorum said, “Business experience doesn’t necessarily match up” with the skills needed to be president. Romney replied that career politicians such as Santorum “don’t understand what happens out in the real economy.”

Read the full story: Romney emerges mostly unruffled by rivals' charges in New Hampshire debate  

Watch the NBC News / facebook debate on 'Meet the Press' Sunday morning.