The GOP candidates debated again tonight, with a wonky focus almost exclusively on the economy, reports AP. Despite all the policy talk, though, it's a safe bet that a big story line will be a doozy of a blooper by Rick Perry: He promised to abolish three federal agencies— commerce, education, and ... he couldn't remember the third. "Oops," he said after some awkward fumbling. (Before answering his next question, he said it was energy, but he was already being savaged in the Twittersphere. See the video from Mediaite at left.) As for the Herman Cain allegations, they did come up after about 20 minutes—with the question greeted by audience boos, notes the New York Times.
- Cain: "The American people deserve better than someone being tried in the court of public opinion based on unfounded accusations," he said to applause. "I value my character and my integrity more than anything else."
- Mitt Romney: "Herman Cain is the person to respond to these accusations," he said when asked about it next. "He just did. The people in this room and around the country can make their own determination."
Other notable moments:
- Newt Gingrich on Occupy protests: Said he has yet to hear a reporter ask a protester "a single rational question about the economy that would lead them to say, for example, who's going to pay for the park you're occupying if there's no businesses making a profit?" See Politico.
- Cain nickname for Nancy Pelosi: He mocked her as "Princess Nancy." He also brought up his 9-9-9 plan repeatedly, at one point saying, "Tax codes don't raise taxes. Politicians do."
- Ron Paul on Europe debt: "You have to let it liquidate. We took 40 years to build up this worldwide debt."
- Jon Huntsman: “I’m going to be the president of the 99%. Thank goodness we have the ability to speak out.”
- Romney on Europe: "That's where we're headed if we don't change our course."
- Michele Bachmann: Drew applause pointing out that 47% of Americans don't pay federal income taxes. (But they do pay payroll taxes, notes the Wall Street Journal blog.)