Romney.jpgBy Katherine Spalla — 10/18/2011

The GOP presidential candidates were back debating tonight. Anderson Cooper moderated the CNN Western Republican Debate in Las Vegas.  It has been just a week after their last debate. It was ironic that the debate was in Las Vegas since Nevada Republicans are threatening to hold their caucus close to the New Hampshire primary. That has thrown some of the campaigns into a panic.
The candidates returned to the debate stage with quick responses to the issues raised in the previous week’s debate. They were energized as quips were thrown and bold statements were made.
Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 tax plan drew early criticism. Texas congressman Ron Paul called it dangerous while former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum quoted the Tax Policy Center, which has claimed the plan would raise taxes for 84% of Americans.
Newt Gingrich said Cain was courageous. “He has us at least talking about something that matters, as opposed to the junk that all too often is the masquerade in politics,” Gingrich said.
The debate moved on to immigration. Some candidates proposed building a wall on the Mexican border.
Rick Perry fueled a heated discussion when he accused former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney of hiring illegal immigrants to landscape his home. Romney denied the accusation, saying that the lawn mowing company he used had been the one to hire illegal immigrants.  He said that he had fired the company when he found out. In turn, Romney criticized the Texas governor for the state’s increase in illegal immigration.
The audience booed as Perry interrupted Romney’s defense. “If you want to become President of the United States, you’ve got to let both people speak,” Romney said.
Santorum went after Romney’s Massachusetts healthcare plan, comparing it to President Obama’s plan.
On defense, Texas congressman Ron Paul proposed military cuts. He said the United States does not need troops in so many countries.
Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann spoke to mothers with a personal conviction, and she pledged to fix the housing crisis.  “Hold on, Moms out there.” Bachmann said. “It’s not too late.”
Before the end of the debate, Gingrich called to end campaign bickering. The next Republican presidential debate is on November 9.