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A simmering feud between Democrats Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama erupted into charges of distortion and exaggeration in a gloves- off presidential debate Monday, with Clinton accusing him of representing a Chicago slumlord and Obama countering that she was a corporate lawyer for anti-union Wal-Mart.
Even in the superheated atmosphere of their fight for the party's nomination, the statements and exchanges between Clinton and Obama were unusually acrimonious and personal.
As Obama tried to defend his recent comments about Republican ideas and Ronald Reagan, Clinton interrupted and said she has never criticized his remarks on Reagan.
"Your husband did."
"I'm here. He's not," she snapped.
John Edwards, who badly trails his two rivals, tried to stay above the fray while pleading for equal time.
"Are there three people in this debate, not two?" he asked.
"We have got to understand, this is not about us personally. It's about what we are trying to do for this country," Edwards said to applause from the audience.
"This kind of squabbling -- how many children is this going to get health care? How many people are going to get education because of this? How many kids are going to get to go to college because of this?" Edwards said to cheers from the crowd.
"I respect both of my fellow candidates, but we have got to understand this is not about us personally."
Last night's Democratic Debate in South Carolina on CNN (from 8pm-10:05pmET) was the No. 1 most-watched primary debate in cable news history among total viewers and all key demos.
The debate averaged 4.9 million Total Viewers and nearly 2 million in A25-54. This is according to Nielsen Fast Nationals (Live + SD).