Another GOP presidential debate is in the books. This debate was certainly the most enjoyable, free-flowing, and informative. Yes, the candidates are all focusing on Texas Gov. Rick Perry, but at the same time, many were able to score points on their own by addressing issues and not just sound bites. Perry needs work; Romney looked better; and the other candidates had their moments.

Thursday night’s debate was hosted by Fox News and Google. Many questions were provided from Americans across the country via e-mail or YouTube. As opposed to some of the previous debates, the questions and the way the moderators handled them were more above-board and less “gotcha.” The most interesting portion of the debate dealt with immigration, and Perry not only fumbled the snap, but he got sacked in the process.

That brief applause you heard was quickly drowned out by a chorus of boos, and rightfully so. Perry is wrong on this issue, and former Sen. Rick Santorum hammered him on it. Santorum had the best comeback to Perry’s insistence that children of illegal aliens should be allowed to have in-state tuition. Santorum told Perry that’s it’s one thing to say that these children should be allowed to get an education and another thing to SUBSIDIZE it. That’s right on! It’s preferential treatment, and it’s wrong.

Here is a good exchange between Perry and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney:

The best line of the night came from former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson who said, “My next door neighbor’s two dogs have created more shovel-ready jobs than this current administration.”

Herman Cain had a great response to a question submitted via YouTube regarding eliminating a government department:

The latest Rasmussen Reports poll shows Perry leading Romney 28% to 24%. Prior to Perry entering his first debate, he lead Romney 29% to 18%. This shows a potential problem for the Perry campaign, but one that can be overcome. Perry came across as stiff (his shoulders never moved), and his one-liners and zingers were often mangled. Romney, on the other hand, looks more relaxed with each debate. Romney always has a good grasp of the issues, but I still get surprised when he responds on his toes with a good come-back. He was on his game Thursday night.

Romney is leading Perry in the polls regarding the New Hampshire primary. Thus, after a few primaries and caucuses, the race could still be up for grabs. I believe that it is still Rick Perry’s to lose, but between now and the first real votes being cast, he MUST work on his responses and his delivery. Stiff and stumbling will not get the job done.

What do you think? Who do you think won the debate?

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