Best Moments From the GOP Debate

The GOP presidential hopefuls went head-to-head Thursday for the Fox News/Google Republican debate. From Ron Paul playing to the crowd to Perry and Romney’s duel, watch video of the highlights.

09.23.11 2:45 AM ET

Ron Paul Plans to Use His Veto Power

Ron Paul isn’t going to be easily forgotten. Paul made his first answer of the night short and sweet when asked a question via YouTube by viewers in Spencer, Ind. Brandy and Michael wanted to know what the presidential hopeful would do to uphold the 10th Amendment of the Constitution, keep the federal government from overstepping its boundaries, and leave the governing to the states. Paul stated simply, with time to kill, that as president he’d veto any bill that violates the amendment designed to keep the federal government in check. 

Will the Real Rick Perry Please Stand Up?

Welcome, again, to the Rick vs. Mitt show. Unconvinced by Rick Perry’s proposal for state-run Social Security, Mitt Romney pointed out that the Texas governor proposed an almost contradictory plan in his book and previous interviews. Not one to take a critique lying down, Perry shot back revealing that the paperback edition of Romney’s book was missing a line endorsing his own health-care plan that was present in the hard-copy version.

Former President Barack Obama: Big-Spending, European Liberal

Mitt Romney, on the other hand, is just a business guy who didn’t inhale—at least that’s what he said. Megyn Kelly got a chuckle out of the GOP candidates when she brought up their previous comments on President Obama’s supposed socialism. Mitt Romney joined in the fun, insisting that the president takes his governing inspiration from Europe and proclaiming, “Guess what: Europe isn’t working in Europe. It’s not going to work here.” The former Massachusetts governor also tried to disassociate himself from the average politician by pointing out his lengthy business career before entering office.

Santorum Wasn’t Paying Attention at Mexican Border

Rick Santorum slammed Perry’s stance on immigration, calling him weak for his opposition to building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and for once endorsing “bi-national health insurance between Mexico and Texas”—something not even our current big-spending, socialist president would go for. Perry retorted that if Santorum had ever been to the border between Mexico and Texas he would realize the impracticality of building a border fence. Without much explanation as to how, Perry promised to end drug cartels, illegal immigration, and basically danger in general.

What’s Sex Got to Do With It?

If gay soldiers are for looking for a reason not to vote for Rick Santorum, here’s one: he’s definitely bringing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell back. Santorum is of the mind that if sexuality in the military isn’t discussed it must not exist, telling Megyn Kelly that giving gays the “special privilege” of not being discriminated against is harmful to the military’s objectives. But don’t worry Steven Hill and other soldiers who outed yourselves in the excitement of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’s abolishment, President Santorum won’t kick you out of the army, but he might force you back into the closet.

Bachmann Blasts Perry’s HPV Vaccine Mandate

The night wouldn’t be complete without rehashing Michele Bachmann’s views on the HPV vaccine. Bachmann started off by denying any insinuation that the vaccine is “potentially dangerous” and insisting that her issue is with Rick Perry’s state-wide mandate that all 12-year-old girls receive the shot. She actually sounded pretty coherent explaining that Perry “gave parental rights to a big drug company, that big drug company gave him political contributions and hired his former chief of staff to lobby him to benefit the big drug company. That’s what was wrong with that picture.” Perry got emotional talking about a cervical cancer patient he knew who died.

Again With the Books

Rick Perry just can’t keep Mitt Romney’s mood swings straight. One minute he’s for Roe v. Wade, the next he’s against it. He loved the Second Amendment then he hated it. What does this man stand for? Rick Perry would like to know. Well, Romney insists, if he read his book he’d find out. And here’s another thing: “There are a lot of reasons not to like me. There are a lot of reasons not to like the other people on this stage.” Yep, Romney said it.

Running Mate Question Allows Candidates to Flatter Each Other

If ever there was an “Are we in high school?” moment in tonight’s debate it was when the candidates were asked to pick hypothetical running mates from the motley crew sharing the stage with them. Not only did this scene bring back memories of picking teams in gym class, it really allowed the candidates to bring out their inner ass-kisser. Rick Perry announced that he would create his ideal VP by “mating up” Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich (an image Mitt Romney would like to get out of his head). Romney on the other hand really took the easy way out by saying any one of the candidates would make a great president.