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October 19th, 2011
03:00 PM ET

Five things we learned from Tuesday's GOP debate

Editor's note: Tune in to AC360° at 8 p.m. ET for an in-depth analysis of the GOP presidential candidates and the state of the race.

LAS VEGAS (CNN) - Seven Republican presidential candidates engaged in a sometimes contentious debate Tuesday in Las Vegas, Nevada, as bad blood boiled between front-runners and the surging Herman Cain found his opponents taking aim at his tax plan.

Here are five things we learned from the debate:

Why 9-9-9 was No. 1: A rise in the polls brings more scrutiny, so we knew that Cain's "9-9-9" tax plan would come under attack from his rivals. And we didn't have to wait long for the full frontal assault.

In response to the first question of the debate, from an audience member asking the candidates their "position on replacing the federal income tax with a federal sales tax," the other candidates were quick to pile on and rip apart Cain's much-touted proposal to reform the country's tax code, a plan which has helped the former Godfather's Pizza CEO surge in the polls. The six other candidates sharing the stage with Cain fired away, terming the plan as risky and simplistic.

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soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. Rodney collins

    Im not a republican nor a democrat nor tea party , but the only one YOU ARE ALL over looking is Ron Paul , NO ONE had a rebuttal to his plans or had anything to say to him at all , he has a solid plan and it looks like he trying to be fair and balanced for everyone and yet MEDIA will not support him at all , But he is finding a way and he has my vote now because it has exposed Everyone's agenda.

    October 20, 2011 at 12:48 pm |
  2. Jo Jo

    It should be obvious that Ron Paul has the only legitimate plan for us to recover.

    October 20, 2011 at 11:35 am |
  3. Irene

    After last night's Republican debate, many political analysts said Obama was the real winner. I am not so sure. I think there are a lot of people out there like me who may have voted for Obama, but are frustrated by the inability of our President to get anything done with the current Congress. I would rather vote for someone like Romney if Congress will stop the bickering and get to work. If Obama gets re-elected I am not sure the Republicans in Congress are going to start cooperating to get things done all of a sudden. We will just have 4 more miserable years. Having said this, if the Republican candidate ends up being Cain or Perry (God forbid!) I will not vote for them. I will vote for Obama again. I think there are a lot of independents and "on the fence" Democrats who would vote for a moderate like Romney if we can Congress to work. BTW, I thought Romney getting feisty was good! He was laughing at Perry who couldn't come up with anything more petty than illegal lawn care specialists!

    October 19, 2011 at 11:51 pm |
  4. Steve Dockeray

    Hey Mr. Anderson – Last Night Cain said the 9% Fed. Sales Tax comes from removing hidden Taxes - What he did not say is , The hidden Taxes are Taxes Business Pays now ie: they would be passed to the Consumer & then Businesses would take the Tax money they saved & the let those SAVINGS TRICKLE DOWN to the Consumer with loser prices = if u believe the saving will Trickledown then i have some prime swamp land for you !!!!!!!!!!

    steve dockeray
    milner bc
    canada

    October 19, 2011 at 8:23 pm |
  5. Merrill Bender

    As smart as some conservative critics are, they have forgotten to mention that Herman Cain's plan eliminates 6 categories of tax collection and replaces it with three (3). The 9-9-9 plan eliminates the payroll tax for employees; eliminates the payroll tax for the employer; eliminates the estate tax; eliminates capital gains tax; eliminates the current personal income tax code; and eliminates the current corporate tax code (all with an estimated $430 billion in compliance cost) and replaces those 6 taxing categories with 3 simple standardized and fair taxes each at a flat 9% rate. Herman Cain is not adding additional tax categories or taxes – he is reducing and simplifying them from 6 to 3 categories that will be easier to file, easier to pay, with less cost to administer, comply with or to enforce.
    One of the best reasons to keep the national sales tax portion is to level the playing field against cheap imports and improve manufacturing at home which is key to future job growth. Lowering Corporate rates to 9% and eliminating employer payroll taxes will lower the cost to produce goods in the U.S. Now when you compare the wholesale cost of a US made product to an import, the US product is cheaper and more competitive in the US market and even more competitive in the export market. This is the economic engine that we need. Just a Flat income tax will not lower the product cost enough to compete as well as the 9-9-9- plan. If you want to supercharge American manufacuring and more fairly compete with chinese than support the Cain plan. Another advantage to a sales tax on a Chinese import is that that product will now pay a federal sales tax that will help support the federal budget including Social Security and Medicare.

    October 19, 2011 at 7:48 pm |
  6. Mary Dickinson

    One other thing concerning the wealthy not paying their fair share of taxes. How can Republicans possibly put the blame for the "job" situation in the country on the President, when they were the ones that said that if they don't pay taxes, they will create jobs, did that happen? Where are the jobs that were going to come from their tax "relief"?

    October 19, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  7. Mary Dickinson

    Mr. Cooper, During the debate last night, did you bring up the fact that 75% of Americans (if not more) want the wealthy to pay their fair share of taxes? The people are speaking loud and clear across the country, but is anyone asking the Republican candidates what they feel about the American people's concern with taxes?

    October 19, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
  8. Kris Weinshilboum, Lopez Island, WA

    someone PLEASE ask Herman Cain, or better yet a tax expert, how he is going to pay for Social Security and medicare if he is not going to collect payroll taxes. some reports I have seen say that he is going to privatize both of these social programs...he has stated communities and churches should suppliment the services? I have not seen many people look into this very important part of his 999 plan. It is extremely important to know what he is wanting to do in this case, and not ignore it. He is also saying he would ask Paul Ryan to be his VP, that is another indication he wants to do away with social security and medicare/medicaid. Thank you for exposing the truth in this 999 plan. thank you

    October 19, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
  9. Kayla

    I was disappointed to hear you use the derogatory term "obamacare" in last night's Republican debate. "Health care" is a more appropriate and accurate label. After all, Obama, as President has the best health care this country has to offer. "Obamacare" is health care for the people who cannot afford to buy their own health care.

    October 19, 2011 at 3:58 pm |