Photo: Courtesy of CNN
The Republican presidential candidates met onstage Tuesday night for an energetic Las Vegas showdown that provided more than enough fodder to tide us over until debates resume in November.The seven candidates were in full attack mode, pulling out all the stops to take advantage of their last opportunity to throw elbows before doubling down for a month of campaigning. There were quite a few heated moments — and even a little physical contact — as the debate devolved into a sparring match that made for pretty awesome television.
To heighten the entertainment, the two-hour fracas was punctuated by some head-scratching one-liners that sent the Twittersphere aflutter. In case you missed it, here’s a recap of the night’s weirdest moments.
PERRY on Cain's 9-9-9 plan: 'Herman, I love you brother, but let me tell you something, you don't need to have a big analysis to figure this thing out. Go to New Hampshire, where they don't have a sales tax, and you're fixing to give them one.'
PERRY: I'll bump plans with you, brother, and we'll see who has the best idea about how you get this country working again.
ROMNEY on the 9-9-9 plan: I like your chutzpah on this, Herman, but I have to tell you, the analysis I did, person by person, return by return, is that middle income people see higher taxes under your plan.
ROMNEY: This has been a tough couple of debates for Rick, and I understand that. And so you're going to get testy.
ROMNEY: You have a problem with allowing someone to finish speaking. And I suggest that if you want to become president of the United States, you have got to let both people speak. So first, let me speak.
ROMNEY: So we went to the company and we said, look, you can't have any illegals working on our property. I'm running for office, for Pete's sake, I can't have illegals.
BACHMANN: Well, I think the person who really has a problem with illegal immigration in the country is President Obama. It's his uncle and his aunt who are illegal aliens...who've been allowed to stay in this country, despite the fact that they are illegal.
PERRY: You can build a fence, but it takes anywhere between 10 and 15 years and $30 billion. There's a better way, and that's to build a virtual defence zone, if you will, along that border, which -- not unlike what Herman's talking about, and you can do it with strategic fencing in the obvious places where it matters.
GINGRICH: I mean, if you want to understand how totally broken Washington is, look at this entire model of the super committee, which has now got a magic number to achieve. And if it doesn't achieve the magic number, then we'll all have to shoot ourselves in the head so that when they come back with a really dumb idea to merely cut off our right leg, we'll all be grateful that they're only semi-stupid instead of being totally stupid.
BACHMANN: defence spending is on the table, but again, Anderson, now with the president, he put us in Libya. He is now putting us in Africa.
PAUL: ...I don't think aid to Israel actually helps them. I think it teaches them to be dependent. We're on a bankruptcy course. And -- and look at what's the result of all that foreign aid we gave to Egypt? I mean, their -- their dictator that we pumped up, we spent all these billions of dollars, and now there's a more hostile regime in Egypt. And that's what's happening all around Israel. That foreign aid makes Israel dependent on us. It softens them for their own economy. And they should have their sovereignty back. They should be able to deal with their neighbours...
CAIN:...And as far as contrasting me with President Obama, if I am fortunate enough to become the Republican nominee, it's going to be the problem-solver who fixes stuff versus the president who hasn't fixed anything in this country.
COOPER: Your campaigns are telling us we have to end. It's time...
BACHMANN: Oh, no, no, no...Anderson, Anderson, that is...
COOPER: It's your campaigns. I'm...
COOPER: If you want to defy your campaigns, go ahead. Congresswoman Bachmann, 30 seconds.
BACHMANN: Anderson -- Anderson, the good news is, the cake is baked. Barack Obama will be a one-term president; there's no question about that.
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