By Katie O’Donnell–1/8/2012

The candidates came out swinging. And their target was Mitt Romney. He got a pass at last night’s debate, but it was different today in Concord.

“I realize the red light doesn’t mean anything to you because you’re the frontrunner…” former Speaker Newt Gingrich said to Romney.

The candidates spent the first ten minutes of the debate treating Romney like a proverbial punching bag when they were asked if the former Massachusetts governor were “electable.”

Gingrich had a Freudian slip when he said, “I think he will have a very hard time getting reelected…getting elected.”

Ron Paul politely declined to comment on Romney’s electability. Instead, he steered the conversation back to the issues. “Character is important and motivation’s important. But I really consider that in the debate format to be less significant than what we really believe in.”

The candidates shifted their attacks to President Obama’s policies, which gave Romney a chance to go on the offense. “I don’t blame him for the recession and for the decline. What I blame him for is having it go on so long and going so deep. All these things collectively create the reality of a president who has been anti-investment, anti-jobs, anti-business.”

The candidates may have tried to rip apart Romney, but his numbers have continued to spike. Romney has a twenty point lead over the second place candidate Paul, according to Real Clear Politics’ Sunday polls.

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