On Saturday evening ABC presented a GOP debate live from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. The debate was sponsored by ABC News, Yahoo! News, WOI-TV, the Des Moines Register and the Republican Party of Iowa. This was the first debate held since Herman Cain ended his 2012 run leaving just 6 candidates on stage to field questions. Jon Huntsman did not meet the polling requirements set forth by ABC to participate in this debate.
Here is the entire 1 hour and 30 minute debate video via YouTube:
You can also view the full video directly from ABC News available here.
Original Air Time: Saturday, December 10 at 9pm ET / 8pm CT / 6pm PT on ABC
Participants: Romney, Perry, Bachmann, Gingrich, Santorum, Paul
Report from ABC News:
With the Iowa caucuses looming, six Republican presidential candidates clashed tonight over their conservative credentials and personal histories in a Des Moines debate that saw resurgent frontrunner Newt Gingrich battling attacks by his rivals from all sides.
But it was Mitt Romney who stole the spotlight for a $10,000 bet with Texas Gov. Rick Perry over what he wrote about the individual health insurance mandate — then removed — in subsequent editions of his book, “No Apologies.”
“I read your first book and it said in there that your mandate in Massachusetts should be the model for the country. And I know it came out of the reprint of the book,” Perry said. “But, you know, I’m just sayin’, you were for individual mandates, my friend.”
Romney disputed the claim, challenging Perry to a $10,000 bet over who was right.
“I have not said, in that book, first edition or the latest edition, anything about our plan being a national model imposed on the nation,” Romney said.
“I’m not in the betting business, but I’ll show you the book,” Perry replied.
In the first version of Romney’s book, a line referring to a universal health care mandate reads: “We can accomplish the same thing for everyone in the country, and it can be done without letting government take over health care.”
In the later paperback version, the line was changed to: “And it was done without the government taking over health care.”
I think each candidate performed well with, perhaps, the exception of Mitt Romney who was knocked a little off his game. Santorum, Paul, Bachmann and Perry all came off quite strong in this make-or-break debate. Newt Gingrich seemed to get by fairly unscathed as he was mostly able to explain away or dispute any lines of attack. I say “mostly” because I think some may have brought him down a peg.
This could open the Iowa field and give Santorum, Paul, Bachmann or Perry a chance to improve in the caucus polls and maybe pull out a win. Iowa can be unpredictable and the ground game efforts of Santorum, Paul and Bachmann, most notably, can’t be underestimated despite the “front runner” status of Ginrich and/or Romney.
Overall a good debate, quite informative, substantive and entertaining.