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Did Ron Paul win GOP's national security debate?

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Jonathan Ernst /REUTERS

(Read caption) Republican presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul of Texas speaks during the CNN GOP national security debate in Washington Tuesday.

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Did Ron Paul win Tuesday's GOP debate at DAR Constitution Hall in Washington?

OK, it’s hard to really say anyone “wins” a debate, given that there’s no scoring, and Wolf Blitzer doesn’t come out afterward and hand out a medal. In general, last night’s word fight was high-minded and good for everybody, except maybe Herman Cain, since he didn’t say much.

CNN’s Blitzer did well, too – drawing candidates into real conversations, and emceeing questions from assembled think-tank luminaries. The whole thing was a real debate in that it juxtaposed real differences of opinion.

Which is where Congressman Paul comes in. It was him against the Republican world last night. His positions are often very different from those of his GOP opponents, and he defended them with his typical well-honed points. You’re reminded once again that he’s been at this for decades. Even longer than Mitt Romney.

University of Virginia political scientist Larry Sabato tweeted last night that Paul tied with Newt Gingrich as last night’s winner. Sabato gave both a “B+.”

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