Five Republicans woo Iowa voters ahead of 2012 race

HendersonFive possible Republican White House hopefuls including Newt Gingrich and Tim Pawlenty courted conservative voters on Monday in Iowa, the state that holds a critical early contest on the road to the party's 2012 presidential nomination.

Former House of Representatives Speaker Gingrich, former Minnesota Governor Pawlenty, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, former Louisiana Governor Buddy Roemer and former Godfathers Pizza CEO Herman Cain took turns bashing President Barack Obama.

Republicans aim to deny Obama a second term as president.

The Iowa caucuses, an important early prize in the race for the Republican nomination, are scheduled for February 6, 2012. No leading Republican, including the five who appeared at the event in Iowa, has yet formally launched a candidacy.

Meanwhile, a top aide to real estate tycoon Donald Trump visited Iowa on Monday to gauge interest in the idea of a Trump bid for the Republican presidential nomination.

Trump, a billionaire and the celebrity star of NBC's "The Apprentice," has been flirting with a presidential run, speaking to a conference of conservatives in Washington last month. Many Republicans doubt he is serious.

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