The Republican candidates for president of the United States sharply escalated their attacks on one another, clashing over which of them is the most conservative, most experienced and most electable in a debate that one likened to a "demolition derby."This situation disproves the maxim that the enemy of my enemy is my friend.
The debate Sunday night stood out for the intensity and personal nature of the exchanges as Republicans tried to distinguish themselves, a tactic that risked highlighting the unhappiness among conservatives with much of the field.
But as they scrimmaged, the leading candidates took even stronger aim at just one Democratic candidate: Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York. In addition to helping them score points with Republican voters, their attacks on Clinton may have the side effect of helping her score points with Democrats.