The Spectacle Blog

Tonight’s Debate, Part II

By on 8.11.11 | 9:58PM

Responding to immigration questions from Susan Ferrechio of the Washington Examiner, Romney gives the most polished answer, Cain gives the most charming answer ("America's got to learn how to take a joke," he quips, in reference to his previous suggestion that the border be guarded with electric fences in addition to moats and alligators), and Gingrich gives the wonkiest answer. With Ron Paul dragging troop withdrawal from Afghanistan and Iraq into the question, everyone is playing his part.

After Pawlenty owns up to, and apologizes for, raising cigarette fees, Bachmann attacks him again, suggesting, inaccurately, that he gave Minnesota legislators the choice to either oppose raising fees or opposing abortion. The two then get mixed up in another war of words.

Pawlenty and Bachmann fighting each other is perfect for Romney, but Chris Wallace leads Pawlenty to follow up on his infamous "ObamaneyCare" dig at Romney's health care record, and he does, following up with an attack on Romney's spending record. This is the first time Romney is challenged. Yet Pawlenty doesn't go beyond merely asserting that Romneycare and Obamacare are similar, lessening the impact of his accusation. Romney is able to respond with his canned defense of his bill, which includes a reference to the 10th amendment.

Bachmann follows up with a promise to not rest until Obamacare is repealed. No reference to what she would replace Obamacare with, though, nor any suggestion that she favors any other reforms.

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