2012 RACE

GOP Holds First Presidential Debate

Republican presidential hopefuls attacked President Obama’s foreign policy at the first debate of the 2012 election on Thursday night—although the debate was most notable for its lack of big-name contenders. A main bone of contention was Obama's decision not to show photos of Osama bin Laden's corpse. Several of the contenders, including Rep. Ron Paul (who argued on behalf of government transparency) and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty ("It would have been OK,") insisted that they would have released the grisly shots. The debate, sponsored by the South Carolina Republican Party and Fox News, featured five potential candidates—Paul, Pawlenty, former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, and businessman and former pizza magnate Herman Cain. There were many notable absences: Sarah Palin, Jon Huntsman, Donald Trump, Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, and Newt Gingrich—many of whom have expressed interest in running, something Cain criticized by saying, "The first rule in leadership is you have to show up.”