National Catholic Reporter

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Last Night's Debate

I confess, I fell asleep halfway through last night's GOP debate. But, what I saw convinced me that Gingrich was able to more or less parry the attacks against him. The man is a first class debater and no one landed a punch, at least not a crippling punch.

That said, it would be a fun time to be an ad man for Gov. Rick Perry or Cong. Michele Bachmann. The spots needn't be expensive nor require much in the way of production values. The candidate looks straight into the camera and says, "Newt assures us that he did not lobby for Freddie Mac. Okay. But, then, what exactly did he do to garner $1.6 million? If it wasn't lobbying, what was it?" Another spot would have the candidate saying, "The media wants you to believe this is a two person race between Gov. Romney and Speaker Gingrich. Do we Republicans really want to award our nomination to either of these two guys who both, at different times, supported an individual mandate in health care?"

Romney returned to his "above the fray" stance. He directed his broadsides against President Obama. As one commentator noted, wouldn't you like to know what his internal polls are showing. Perry gave his best performance ever, with some of his famous charm finally shining through. I wouldn't count him out. And Bachmann also gave a strong performance.

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The race is fluid. Very fluid.

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