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Politics

GOP Presidential Debate: Live Analysis

October 18, 2011
8:39 Sean Sullivan: Romney in a back and forth over his health care plan with Rick... Santorum. About as heated an exchange of interruptions as we have seen in any debate so far. Then, Romney lands in a back and forth with Gingrich over the plan. Perry will take all the extra attacks against Romney he can get. 8:39 Josh Kraushaar: Romney seems to be embracing his Mass. health care plan -- and the controversial individual mandate -- more than in the past. Its a sign he's more confident of his primary prospects and is looking ahead to the general -- but it's going to further aggravate conservatives already skeptical of Romney's record. 8:26 Jessica Taylor: The difference between this debate and last week's Bloomberg debate is palpable. Not only do the podiums make it easier for candidates to go on the attack, but they clearly weren't prepared for Cain's last time. Now, the candidates (including Perry) have come to play and have come to hit him hard. They've all suffered by his rise, and they're trying to make sure his bubble is popped. 8:22 Sean Sullivan: Where was this Perry in previous debates? He opens with a sharp barb aimed at Romney, saying he (Perry) is not a "conservative of convenience" then goes right after Cain's 9-9-9 plan, promising a plan of his own. Perry looks like he came to play tonight in a way we have not seen before. 8:20 Kathy Kiely: The debate over Cain's 9-9-9 tax plan has given Bachmann, a former tax lawyer, a chance to talk at length and show off the depth of her knowledge on the subject. 8:19 Josh Kraushaar: Romney's got to be smiling as his Republican rivals gang up on Herman Cain and his 9-9-9 tax plan, He couldn't have scripted the opening any better. 08:07 Kathy Kiely: Jon Huntsman is trying to steal the stage from afar. "What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas," he just told an a town hall meeting in Hopkinton, N.H. National Journal/CBS News campaign reporter Lindsey Boerma is there and says he got enthusiastic applause. In a just-issued email, Huntsman says he's trying to "show my solidarity" with the Granite State's efforts to push back Nevada's planned Jan. 14 caucus date.
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