GOP Field Packed With Friends—and Frenemies

Gingrich 'everyone's buddy'; Romney, Perry not so tight
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 28, 2011 8:35 AM CST
GOP Field Packed With Friends—and Frenemies
Romney and Perry speak during a Republican presidential debate in Las Vegas.   (AP Photo/Chris Carlson, File)

(Newser) – We’ve seen them battle on camera—but how do the Republican candidates relate to each other behind the scenes? The candidates’ complex network of relationships is the stuff of TV drama, a New York Times piece suggests: They range from buddy-buddy to all-out “frenemies.” Having worked together as governors, Rick Perry and Jon Huntsman seem to be the closest pair, palling around during debate commercial breaks, writes Ashley Parker. Newt Gingrich is “everyone’s buddy,” but is particularly close to Herman Cain.

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Romney, for his part, has seen a much friendlier party this time around than he did in 2008. So who’s his best pal? Well, “it doesn’t rhyme with smerry,” says a Romney insider. Indeed, tension remains between the two, centered on issues like Perry’s refusal to endorse the former governor in 2008 and the Salt Lake City Olympics' refusal to allow Boy Scouts to play a role in the 2002 event; Perry, an Eagle Scout, reportedly saw Romney's hand in the decision. Romney and Jon Huntsman aren't great pals either, also stemming from the lack of a 2008 endorsement. Meanwhile, Rick Santorum and Huntsman have bonded over their struggle to get a word in during debates. (Read more Election 2012 stories.)

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