Tuesday night's Republican presidential debate saw Herman Cain front and center, with Mitt Romney holding steady. Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum spoke well, Jon Huntsman was full of one-liners, and Newt Gringrich continued to be inflammatory. Ron Paul had some trouble being articulate, but Rick Perry was the biggest zero of the night, relying mainly on vague disclaimers and attacks on his fellow candidates. Below, some of the best GOP quotes from the evening.
10. Rick Perry on His (Non-Existent) Economic Plan:
Mitt's had six years to be working on a plan. I've been in this for about eight weeks.
9. Mitt Romney on Leadership:
I'd be prepared to be a leader... You can't get the country to go in the right direction and get Washington to work if you don't have a president who's a leader.
8. Mitt Romney on President Barack Obama:
He said he'd bring us hope and change. Instead, he's divided the nation and tried to blame other people.
7. Ron Paul on the Federal Reserve:
If you want to understand why we have a problem, you have to understand the Fed... When there are booms and they're artificial, whether it's the CRA [Community Reinvestment Act] or whether it's the Fed, easy credit, when you have bubbles, whether it's the Nasdaq or whether it's the housing bubbles, they burst.
6. Jon Huntsman on Herman Cain's 9-9-9 Plan:
I thought it was the price of a pizza when I first heard it.
5. Mitt Romney on His (Middle-Class Focused) Economic Plan:
I'm not worried about rich people. They're doing just fine.
4. Rick Perry on Obama:
You've got an administration that by and large - either by intimidation or overregulation - has put our energy industry and the rest of the economy in jeopardy.
3. Rick Perry on America's Future:
Let America be America again. [Note: He stole this quote from Rick Santorum, who in turn stole it from the late black poet Langston Hughes]
2. Michele Bachmann on Herman Cain's 9-9-9 Plan:
The 999 plan isn't a jobs plan, it is a tax plan. ...When you take the 9-9-9 plan and turn it upside down, I think the devil's in the details.
And finally, outside the debate proper, Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., swung back against Newt Gringrich, who suggested Frank be jailed for his role in the financial crisis.
1. Rep. Barney Frank on Newt Gringrich:
In fact, Chris Dodd and I were in the minority from 1995 until 2006, so Gingrich is blaming us for Republican failures. I think that a man like Newt Gingrich who is as impressed as he is with his own intellect is a little unsettled by the fact that he is running behind Michele Bachmann in the polls.