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Candidates Take Aim at Obama in First GOP Primary Debate


You can watch the debate live here via Fox News. The debate is happening right now. Check back later for a fuller report on who said what.

Fox News has some details:

The five participants in the first Republican debate of the 2012 presidential race Thursday night are looking to prove themselves to be more than the party's B-team, as they try to catapult their White House bids into the national spotlight.

Fox News and the South Carolina Republican Party are sponsoring the debate, which will feature former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, Texas Rep. Ron Paul, former New Mexico Gov. Gary John and businessman Herman Cain.

Here's more on how the debate shook down:

Republican presidential hopefuls came out swinging in their first debate Thursday night, attacking President Obama's foreign policy despite his leadership in ordering an operation that killed Usama bin Laden this week.

Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty congratulated Obama for capturing the world's most wanted terrorist nearly 10 years after the Sept. 11 attacks.

"I tip my cap to him in that moment," he said. "But that moment is not the sum total of America's foreign policy. He's made a number of other decisions relating to our security here and around the world that I don't agree with."

Pawlenty cited Libya as one example, saying he didn't agree with Obama's decision to defer to the United Nations on how to deal with Muammar Qaddafi's violent crackdown on rebels.

"If he says Qaddafi must go, he needs to maintain the option to make Qaddafi go and he didn't do that," he said.

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum said the only thing Obama has done right in his foreign policy is continue President George W. Bush's policies.

"The decision he made with Usama bin Laden was a tactical decision," he said. "It wasn't a strategic decision.The strategic decision was made by President Bush to go after him. What President Obama has done on his watch, the issues that have come up while he's been president, he's gotten it wrong strategically every single time."

Pawlenty and Santorum were among the five participants seeking to prove themselves to be more than the party's B-team as they try to catapult their White House bids into the national spotlight.

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