Manchester, New Hampshire (CNN) -- Seven Republican candidates faced off on Monday in the first debate in New Hampshire, which holds the first primary of the 2012 election.

Michelle Bachmann, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Tim Pawlenty, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum addressed issues ranging from the debt ceiling to abortion rights.

Front-runner Romney was expected to be a target of the other debaters, seeking to bring him back closer to the pack, most of who trail him by double digits in most polls.