New Hampshire’s first presidential debate of the 2012 cycle will mark the debut of frontrunner Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor who already is bracing for what may be an unusually sharp barrage of attacks from other GOP candidates.

Although Republicans usually shy away from bare-knuckled exchanges in the early debates, there are indications that unspoken rule may be tossed out the window early this cycle.

On Fox News Sunday, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty lowered the boom on Romney by calling President Barack Obama’s controversial healthcare reforms “Obamneycare.”

“President Obama said that he designed Obamacare after Romneycare and basically made it Obamneycare,” Pawlenty said. “What I don’t understand is that they both continue to defend it.”

Continue reading →