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The best zingers from the GOP debate

GOP Presidential Debate

Mitt Romney and Rick Perry take part in the GOP presidential debate sponsored by CNN on Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2011, at the Venetian. Launch slideshow »

Candidates pick fights during GOP debate

KSNV coverage of a heated GOP debate among presidential candidates at the Sands Convention Center, Oct. 18, 2011.

Tuesday night’s GOP presidential debate was an often-testy affair, with the candidates sparring over issues from foreign policy to immigration, tax plans to past debate performances. Here are a few of the best zingers from the Las Vegas debate.

Newt Gingrich taking at shot at President Barack Obama:

“Unlike President Obama, I’m glad to be in Las Vegas. It’s a great place to have a convention.”


Rick Perry to Herman Cain on his 9-9-9 tax plan:

“They're not interested in 9-9-9. … At the end of the week, I'm going to be laying out a plan that clearly -- I'll bump plans with you, brother, and we'll see who has the best idea about how you get this country working again.”


Cain responding to attacks on his 9-9-9 tax plan:

“The reason that my plan ... is being attacked so much is because lobbyists, accountants, politicians, they don't want to throw out the current tax code and put in something that's simple and fair. They want to continue to be able to manipulate the American people with a 10-million-word mess.”


Mitt Romney to Perry during a heated exchange in which Perry, who has performed poorly in recent debates, accused Romney of hiring an undocumented worker:

“This has been a tough couple of debates for Rick, and I understand that. And so you're going to get testy.”


Rick Santorum to Romney, comparing the health care plan Romney helped pass while governor of Massachusetts to the new federal health care law:

“What you did is exactly what Barack Obama did: focused on the wrong problem. … Well, the right problem is health care costs. What you did with a top-down, government-run program was focus on the problem of health care access. You expanded the pool of insurance without controlling costs. You've blown a hole in the budget up there. And you authored Obamacare, which is going to blow a hole in the budget of this country.”


Ron Paul on his opponents’ hesitance to cut defense spending:

“We have enough weapons to blow up the world about 20-25 times. We have more weapons than all the other countries put together essentially. And we want to spend more and more, and you can't cut a penny? I mean, this is why we're at an impasse. I want to hear somebody up here willing to cut something. Something real.”


Michele Bachmann on comments Cain made before the debate about being willing to consider a trade of Guantanamo prisoners if an American were taken hostage by al-Qaida:

“For any candidate to say that they would release the prisoners at Guantanamo in exchange for a hostage would be absolutely contrary to the historical nature of the United States and what we do in our policy. That's naive; we cannot do that. The United States has done well because we have an absolute policy: We don't negotiate (with terrorists).”

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