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Romney And Gingrich Considered Debate Winners

Agnus Dei Farrant |
October 11, 2011 | 9:42 p.m. PDT

Assistant News Editor

GOP presidential candidates.
GOP presidential candidates.
The Republican Presidential Debate Tuesday night covered unemployment, the economy, tax rates, the Federal Reserve, bailouts and health care. The candidates were able to ask another candidate one question. The two-hour debate was held at Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H. and sponsored by Bloomberg, The Washington Post and WBIN-TV.

Presidential candidates Herman Cain, Jon Huntsman, Michele Bachmann, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry, Rick Santorum and Ron Paul participated.

Romney asked Bachmann how she intends to get Americans back to work beyond tax policies.

Bachmann said she understands how difficult it is for young people to get jobs because she has five children and fostered 23 children.

"The business world is looking at $1.8 trillion in compliance costs," Bachmann said. "That's got to go."

Cain spoke often about his 999 plan that would implement a flat tax rate of 9 percent for business, sales tax and personal income.

"999 throws out the current tax code," Cain said.

"The 999 is not a jobs plan, it's a tax plan," Bachmann said.

Cain said his 999 plan is simple, neutral, efficient, translucent and fair. He asked Romney if he could name all 59 points of his own plan and if it was simple, neutral, efficient, translucent and fair.

Romney said it would take more than tax policy to get the economy going. He said he would stop Obama regulations and reverse them.

"To get this economy restructured fundamentally," Romney said, "it's going to take someone who know how to do it and it will take more than one or two things."

Gingrich asked Romney why he would make capital gains tax cuts for people making less than $250,000 annually.

"The median income has declined by 10 percent during Obama years," Romney said. "If I'm going to use precious dollars to reduce taxes, I'm going to cover the people in the middle who need a break."

CBS' Brian Montopoli named Romney, Gingrich and Paul as the winners of the debate. Cain, Perry, Santorum, Huntsman and Bachmann were considered losers.

CBS said Romney had another sterling performance and "once again looked far more presidential than anyone else onstage." Gingrich was said to likely not become president, but had a good night keeping his name in the headlines.

Montopoli wrote that Paul likely won't win the election either, but "had the aura of a truth teller."

As for Cain, Perry, Santorum, Huntsman and Bachmann, Montopoli said Cain spent too much time on the 999 plan and Perry didn't speak much during the first half of the debate. Santorum, Huntsman and Bachmann met the low expectations that existed of them.

The Washington Posts' Chris Cillizza wrote that Romney, Gingrich and Cain were the winners.

"Nothing so dominated tonight's debate as chatter about Cain's 'bold' (his words - repeatedly) plan to restructure the tax system in the country," Cillizza wrote. "There's little question that the 9/9/9 plan will be the single most searched term in the wake of this debate."

Perry and Bachmann needed a spark that they didn't get, Cillizza wrote.




Reach assistant news editor Agnus-Dei Farrant here.

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