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September 13, 2011

More Reactions to the GOP Debate

Some additional thoughts on last night's Republican debate in Florida:

Walter Shapiro: "After watching nearly four hours of Republican debate since Thursday night, I will confess to feeling like a detective searching for a missing clue. The Perry versus Romney story line seems too simple, too predictable to define the race all the way to the Iowa caucuses. While Perry is still atop his perch, the only safe bet is that something unexpected will jumble the GOP contest before the first frost."

Howard Kurtz: "In the end, the Tampa debate didn't move the ball much. Perry and Romney are still slugging it out as the most likely nominees. But Romney served notice that he is going to fight like hell, and perhaps more important, this sometimes-awkward candidate seemed comfortable doing so."

Andrew Sullivan: "The weirdest debate so far: feisty but surreal. If I had to game this one, I'd say Bachmann stayed alive, Perry began very strong but wobbled, Romney did fine, and Ron Paul shone the way only he can. But clearly the crowd loved Perry the most. God help us."

Ben Smith: "If the CNN/Tea Party debate, and particularly the central Perry-Romney confrontation, were being scored on debater's points, there's no doubt Romney would win. He's better prepared to talk about both his own record -- witness the snappy pivot off Romneycare -- and about Perry's record, ahead of the Texan at pretty much every step... But this isn't scored on debating points, and Perry -- though he's getting pummeled from left and right -- is working to talk past his rivals, and to regularly remind voters of his economic conservatism. That may be enough."

Paul Burka: "Perry was clearly off his game during the tea party debate. He looked uncomfortable, his face was strained, his combativeness was muted. He looked to me like a man with back pain. I wondered  if he were wearing a brace. I've had back surgery, and it hurt to watch him."


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