7:45am

Tue June 14, 2011
The Two-Way

Republican Debate Highlights: Romney 'Unscathed,' Bachmann Jumps In

A few headlines and morning-after analyses of last night's seven-candidate Republican presidential debate in New Hampshire (which was live-blogged over at It's All Politics):

-- "Mitt Romney Leaves GOP Debate Unscathed": "If Tim Pawlenty, Newt Gingrich and other Republican presidential hopefuls feel they need to close the gap on front-runner Mitt Romney, they didn't show it at the New Hampshire debate. Romney, the former Massachusetts governor who leads in the early polls and fundraising efforts, had a surprisingly easy two hours Monday night.' (The Associated Press)

-- "Minnesotans Seize Debate Spotlight": "Minnesota Republicans Tim Pawlenty and Michele Bachmann ... provided two of the dramatic highlights of the GOP presidential debate in New Hampshire Monday night. Bachmann, the only woman on the stage, took over the spotlight with a surprise announcement that she had filed legal papers with the Federal Election Commission for a presidential bid. Meanwhile, Pawlenty found himself awkwardly backing away from a pre-debate swipe in which he had coined the term 'ObamneyCare' to highlight the similarities between the federal health care mandates and the program front-runner Mitt Romney had created as governor of Massachusetts." (The Star-Tribune)

-- "Pawlenty Beats Hasty N.H. Retreat": "Tim Pawlenty's puzzling decision at Monday's debate to abandon a new line of attack on Mitt Romney's healthcare record is prompting fresh doubts among members of his own party about his readiness to confront the GOP frontrunner." (Politico)

-- "Republican Candidates Go After Obama": "The leading contenders for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination appeared together onstage for the first time Monday. But they used the debate to train their fire on President Obama rather than to define their differences." (The Washington Post)

-- "Candidates Blast Obama, But Avoid Attacking Each Other": "The contenders in the Republican presidential primary spent Monday's debate at St. Anselm College talking about themselves, the economy, job creation, tax cuts and beating up on President Barack Obama." (New Hampshire Union Leader)

-- "Top Five Takeaways": "The debate was about Barack Obama. ... Mitt Romney maintains his status. ... Tim Pawlenty blinked. ... America, meet Michele Bachmann. ... The other candidates did what they could." (CBS News)

The other candidates on stage last night: Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), businessman Herman Cain, and former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA).

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