How quickly things change. Texas Gov. Rick Perry—once considered the frontrunner for the Republican nomination for president—spent the early part of Tuesday’s GOP debate largely silent and being posed very few questions. In his first response, Perry turned around a question about the economy and instead started talking about energy independence. When asked to elaborate further, he said he would lay out an economic plan in the next three days and that “Mitt’s had six years to work out a plan. I’ve been at this for about eight weeks.” While few questions were asked to former House speaker Newt Gingrich, he tried to jump into a few discussions.