Did You Watch the GOP Debate?

Leah Canonico and Leah Canonico

The most recent GOP (“Grand Old Party”) debate was held on Tuesday, October 11th at Dartmouth College. This debate, in which the eight candidates were seated around a large table with mugs in front of them, was different from previous debates where traditionally, they stood at podiums. The setting allowed for more of a discussion, or conversation, rather than an extremely heated debate. Also contributing to the calmer feel of this debate was the lack of back-and-forth fighting between Mitt Romney and Rick Perry.

For the very first time since he entered the race, Governor Perry was not positioned in the middle, next to Governor Romney. The seating arrangement was determined by the relative strength of the candidates in a collection of polls, which put Perry to the side.

Another first for the debate was that Herman Cain, the former chief executive of Godfather’s pizza, was in the spotlight. He continually explained and defended his 9-9-9  plan, which John Huntsman “thought was the price of a pizza”. Michelle Bachmann also commented on Cain’s plan, saying that if were flipped upside-down, “the Devil’s in the details”.

The front-runner of the debate was undoubtedly, Mitt Romney. He came to the debate with a new air of confidence, and spoke more than the other candidates as he tried to show a command of economic issues.  When Mr. Cain confronted Governor Romney on the complexity of his 59-point plan, Mr. Romney embraced the criticism, saying that “simple answers are always very helpful, but oftentimes inadequate.” He re-iterated that his experience in the private sector as well as his experience as a governor make him the most well rounded and strong candidate to go up against President Obama in the upcoming election.