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Round 2: GOP debate on the surface

It was the second debate of the fall season Monday night. Now we're talking. Here's your recap of the nitty gritty:

1. Desperate times call for desperate measures. And Jon Huntsman is certainly getting desperate. We're sure you'll see him at the next debate. But you know where you won't see him? The Laugh Factory. Or any comedy venue. Huntsman had more lines fall flat than Dick Cheney's heart monitor (too soon?).

His tie choice said a lot. Whereas last time he went with post-partisan gold, this time he went with searing red. He must be reading THE BLAZE.

2. If you close your eyes while Herman Cain is talking, you can almost imagine President Mr. T. He's good. During the debate Cain gave an anecdote about people who say to him, "You don't know how Washington works." His response: "It doesn't." In our own live chat polls, Cain does very well. But that's not translating nationally, so far/yet.

Also, like Huntsman, he ditched the "I'm not a politician" gold tie.

3. Newt Gingrich didn't go after the moderator this time! But that doesn't mean he realized his competition is actually the other candidates and not the guy(s) asking the questions. No, when asked to, he still refused to choose between Mitt Romney and Rick Perry (both of whom should claim CNN as a Super PAC tomorrow. Each got more free time than a fifth-grade class in one of D.C's public schools).

4. Speaking of Perry, the other candidates ganged up on him like a red-headed stepchild on a couple issues. The governor's record is a bit eh on immigration and a bit eek! on mandated vaccinations for little girls. Perry was met with an onslaught of criticism from his fellow Republicans on both. BLAZE writer Tiffany Gabbay has it here.

Also, there was a lot of smizing on Perry's part (Definition of "smizing"). Was he compensating for talking too tough at the last debate? Here's Perry smizing as Romney attacks him on Social Security:

5. Michele Bachmann went after Perry hardcore on the vaccination issue. She played up the mom angle and it was a solid showing. Did she give an award-winning performance for the polls? She'll probably steal some of what Perry will lose, but that's all we're willing to wager. Don't get hasty.

6. And Romney. Other than the brief sparring with Perry over Perry's "Ponzi scheme" Social Security remarks, what can we say? He's still a frontrunner.

7. Rick who?

8. At this point, you could replace Ron Paul with one of those animal sound games and he wouldn't be missed. We know his pitch: Pick any program or institution created or overseen by the government and he's for ending it.

Read our last "GOP debate on the surface" here.

One last thing…
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