Fred Thompson's First Debate

Republican presidential candidate Fred Thompson makes a campaign stop in Greenville, S.C., last month. (AP)

DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) -- The newcomer at the latest Republican presidential debate says the economy is strong, but that the government is "spending money of future generations."

Fred Thompson, taking part in his first debate since launching his candidacy last month, didn't advocate any specific changes to shift course. He drew the first question at the debate in Dearborn, Michigan, focusing on the economy.

John McCain said President Bush was right to veto an expanded children's health program. He said Bush should also veto a multibillion-dollar public works measure.

Sam Brownback offered a similar view. When asked to name a program he would cut, Brownback cited one involving "advanced technology."

Mitt Romney said it's inexcusable that Michigan appears to be locked in a "one-state recession." He says Bush should be open to suggestions from the auto industry, which has lost hundreds of thousands of jobs.

Romney and Rudy Giuliani clashed over tax and spending cuts. Each said he was more committed than the other.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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