The focus of Tuesday's Republican presidential debate was supposed to be Herman Cain, but Rick Perry and Mitt Romney went at each other like heavyweights, suggesting that each thinks the other is his main competition.
In a debate notable for bickering, animosity, and highly personal exchanges, Mr. Romney played the part of punching bag on numerous occasions, most notably on health care and immigration. And for the first time in the eight Republican debates to date, Romney appeared flustered at times, especially as opponents repeatedly interrupted his rebuttals.
“You just don’t have the credibility, Mitt, when it comes to repealing ObamaCare,” former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum charged in one early exchange – claiming, as other candidates did, that Romney’s plan in Massachusetts that included an individual mandate was “the basis for ObamaCare.”
A little later, Texas Gov. Rick Perry fielded a question about the number of uninsured children in Texas and turned it into an attack on Romney’s immigration stance, citing a lawn-care company Romney once used that employed illegal immigrants.
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