This debate was held at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, California and sponsored by NBC News, Politico and the Reagan Library Foundation. Originally aired September 7th, 2011 on MSNBC.
Participants: Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman, Ron Paul, Rick Perry, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum
Here is the entire video for your viewing pleasure, it is approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes:
Report from The New York Times:
SIMI VALLEY, Calif. — The fight for the Republican presidential nomination began narrowing into an intense and ideological battle at a debate here Wednesday night, with Gov. Rick Perry assailing Social Security as a “monstrous lie,” while Mitt Romney warned the party against choosing a nominee whose outspoken positions would provide an opening for President Obama.
Mr. Perry and Mr. Romney traded a volley of attacks on each other’s job creation records and qualifications to challenge Mr. Obama, quickly illustrating the extent to which the two men are seeking to turn the crowded Republican contest into a two-person race. Their exchanges suggested that the two are poised for a long and bitter fight that will offer a starkly different choice for Republicans.
In his first debate since joining the race less than a month ago, Mr. Perry showed that he intends to embrace the views he has taken on the future of Social Security, declaring, “Maybe it’s time to have provocative language in this country.”
Mr. Romney, a former governor of Massachusetts, urged Republicans against adopting that view. Even as he defended the challenges to his own record, he sought to strike the tone of a statesman.
“Our nominee has to be someone who isn’t committed to abolishing Social Security, but who is committed to saving Social Security,” Mr. Romney said. “I will be sure that we keep the program and make it financially secure.”
The exchanges between the two men often overshadowed the six other Republican candidates, as well as the criticism of the Obama administration’s handling of the economy. The debate, on the eve of the president’s economic speech to a joint session of Congress, focused far more on the records of the Republicans than on Mr. Obama.
The focus, perhaps too much, was squarely on Rick Perry and Mitt Romney, the two perceived front runners for the nomination. The other candidates got in their jabs including Newt Gingrich who once again used the opportunity to scold the moderators and the media which drew strong applause. Rick Santorum and Ron Paul also gave strong performances and, for the first time, Jon Huntsman actually seemed to come out with a well-honed message. Michele Bachmann gave a strong performance, however, she was overshadowed by Perry.
Hermain Cain also had some strong substantive answers and each candidate came off quite well overall.