Originally aired on Monday, September 12th, 2011, the CNN Tea Party Republican debate featured eight candidates vying for the 2012 nomination. Here is the entire video in four parts courtesy of CNN.
Participants: Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman, Ron Paul, Rick Perry, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum
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Continue reading for parts 2, 3 and 4.
Report from CNN:
Tampa, Florida (CNN) — With Texas Gov. Rick Perry threatening to cement his standing atop the national polls, his rivals for the Republican presidential nomination aggressively sought to undermine his conservative credentials on Monday during the first-ever CNN/Tea Party Debate in Florida.
Perry repeatedly found himself in the crosshairs, as the field of candidates took turns attacking his positions on illegal immigration, Social Security, and his controversial 2007 push to vaccinate Texas schoolgirls against human papillomavirus, a common sexually transmitted that can lead to cervical cancer.
Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, whose standing among Republicans has slipped dramatically since Perry entered the race, said she was “offended” by Perry’s executive order, which included an opt-out provision for parents who did not want the vaccine.
“To have innocent little 12 year old girls to be forced to have government injections through an executive order is just flat-out wrong,” Bachmann said.
Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum — like Bachmann, a staunch social conservative struggling to gain traction in the polls — also pounced.
“This is big government run amok,” Santorum said to applause. “It is bad policy and it should not have been done.”
Perry said he regretted his decision to push for the vaccine using an executive order, but said he was standing up against cancer.
Perry and Romney dominated the first 15 minutes of this debate just like last time, however, the knives for Perry came out early and often from many of his lower tier rivals. Specifically Paul, Bachmann and Santorum all went hard after Perry on the issues of taxes, the role of government and anything they perceived as a weakness. The one benefiting the most from the attacks on Perry was, of course, Mitt Romney who walked away largely unscathed. Newt Gingrich also had some memorable lines.