Republican candidates for their party’s presidential nomination in 2012 sparred on their approaches to improve the U.S. health care system, as leading contenders Mitt Romney and Rick Perry took center stage.

The two main areas of focus were President Barack Obama’s 2010 health care law which requires residents to purchase health insurance and also candidate and former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney, whose plan during his time as governor was also to require a s-called individual mandate.

Republican candidates for their party’s presidential nomination in 2012 focused on former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s health care plan in the state, attacking it’s mandate to require individuals to purchase health insurance.

Romney reiterated his proposal to issue an executive order to halt the implementation of the 2010 health care law championed by President Barack Obama.

Michele Bachmann reiterated her claim that she was the first Washington lawmaker to call for a repeal of the 2010 health care law.

She also warned that an executive order, granting waivers to states, would not be enough to overturn the law, as both Perry and Romney vowed.

She said she would be a “strong, bold leader” who would lead the effort to repeal the law.

“None of us should ever think that the repeal bill will just come to our desk,” she said.

Perry attacked Romney’s health care plan in Massachusetts, saying the plan was a bad example for the country and said it was an opportunity to look at what did not work.

Romney said the mandate required people to be responsible for their own health care.

When asked if it was ever appropriate for federal or state governments to require citizens to buy health insurance, former Utah Gov. and Ambassador and ambassador to John Huntsman said he was opposed.

“Absolutely not,” he said.

Herman Cain also attacked Mitt Romney’s health care law in Massachusetts, which required residents to buy health insurance, calling it unconstitutional.

Meanwhile, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich drew applause when he said Republican candidates should “defeat efforts by the news media” to create struggles between themselves, when the main push was to defeat President Obama in 2012.

“Frankly, I’m not interested in your effort to get Republicans fighting each other” over healthcare, he said.

“I will repudiate every effort of the news media to get Republicans fighting one another” as an effort to draw attention away from Obama.