Some of the Republican candidates jab at their opponents while campaigning, but don’t attack when prompted at debates. For example, consider Jim Gilmore before he dropped out. In the South Carolina Fox debate, Chris Wallace asked him to explain his one-liner on why Rudy McRomney is not a conservative. Gilmore didn’t name names in his initial response when criticizing the candidates, speaking in vague generalities such as “one candidate …”. Only when prompted by Wallace did Gilmore call out the candidates by name.
The same is happening here tonight. Mike Huckabee, who has to have a strong performance in this debate to fully capitalize on his Ames straw poll second-place showing, passed up on an open opportunity to attack Mitt Romney’s abortion stance. Instead, he deferred and said he’d let the others “sort out the differences they had”. Huckabee, like Gilmore, readily criticizes his opponents on the stump.