Romney seems to be losing his debate mojo. He managed to slide through 16 of these like a pro - but tonight, it's starting to seem like he's answering some familiar questions for the very first time. The gap in audience reaction - the space between the boos he drew on the tax question and Gingrich's standing o's - is so wide you could drive a tricked-out campaign bus through it.
It isn't just that Newt Gingrich, who started out strong right from the top, has had a very good night so far. Mitt Romney's having a bad one.
Gingrich's Hollywood slam is so tough it's easy to forget: he's a movie producer himself. Many times over.
Releasing your tax returns is sort of like yanking off a band-aid. Quicker is better. Is Romney really opting to spend the next two months pulling it off? (ouch)
Not the way you might've expected that to go: the Santorum slam on Gingrich drew a bigger crowd reaction than Gingrich's return serve.
Ah yes - Romney's still here. His performance so far tonight has mostly been a lot like his campaign so far: No blowouts. No major flubs. Nothing that could kill his candidacy; nothing that would push him over the top. Is that still good enough?
Keeping Them Honest: for a field that wants to cut government spending, they sure sound nostalgic about a lot of government programs: the GI Bill, government housing, etc
Guys like Rick Santorum apparently like to refer to themselves in the third person.
What exactly replaces "Obamacare"? Romney's not the only candidate still working on how to answer that one.
Some more details from Romney on his Bain jobs math: "120,000, less 10, means we created something over 100,000 jobs"
Did you hear that Rick Santorum won Iowa? Just in case you didn't catch that the first time he mentioned it tonight...Rick Santorum would like you to know: he won Iowa.
And the Gingrich campaign decides now would be the ideal time to release his tax returns. Here they are: http://j.mp/A4CGUj
Two standing ovations for Newt in the first 12 minutes. On a question about infidelity. In the South. #yesreally
Seems like the others are jumping on the Newt train too.
You're watching the CNN debate right now. So are we. And not just because we're getting paid: today has been one of the wildest news cycles of the race so far and it's not over yet. The Final Four face off tonight for the last time before Saturday's Republican primary vote in South Carolina. Tune in to tonight's debate, then stick around for Anderson's live interviews with newly-crowned Iowa winner Rick Santorum and surging South Carolina contender Newt Gingrich.
Anderson Cooper goes beyond the headlines to tell stories from many points of view, so you can make up your own mind about the news. Tune in weeknights at 8 and 10 ET on CNN.
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