A look at key moments in the GOP debate

AP News
Posted: Nov 09, 2011 11:07 PM
A look at key moments in the GOP debate

Key moments in Wednesday night's GOP presidential debate:


Perry Flub:

Texas Gov. Rick Perry struggled to remember the names of the three federal agencies that he would eliminate if elected president.

"Commerce, Education and the _ what's the third one there? Let's see," Perry said.

Texas Rep. Ron Paul chimed in, "EPA?" referring to the Environmental Protection Agency. Perry said, "EPA, there you go."

Debate moderator John Harwood asked Perry if EPA was the third agency he was talking about, prompting the Texas governor to stumble some more. "The third agency of government I would _ I would do away with, Education, the ... Commerce and let's see. I can't. The third one, I can't. Sorry. Oops."

Perry later said the third agency he would eliminate was the Energy Department.


Cain Allegations:

The debate audience at Oakland University groaned when businessman Herman Cain was asked about sexual harassment allegations while he led the National Restaurant Association during the 1990s.

Cain said Americans "deserve better than someone being tried in the court of public opinion based on unfounded accusations." Asked about the allegations, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney said people could "make their own assessment" about his Republican rival.

When Harwood turned to former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman and said, "let me switch back to the economy," the crowd cheered.


Europe Economic Jitters:

The Republican field said the United States could face the same debt and economic woes as Europe if it doesn't cut debt and reduce spending. And they were in unison that Europe was on its own if they won the White House.

Cain said there was not much the U.S. could do to help Italy, Europe's third-largest economy teetering on economic ruin. "They're really way beyond the point of return," Cain said.

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Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney said Europe was "able to take care of their own problems. We don't want to step in and try and bail out their banks and bail out their governments. They have the capacity to deal with that themselves."


Labeling Democrats:

By the end of the night, "Princess Nancy" was a trending topic on Twitter.

Businessman Herman Cain gave House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., the "princess" moniker, saying she blocked Republican efforts to repeal the Democrats' health care overhaul. Cain later apologized, telling CNBC he "probably should not have made" that comment.

A nickname for Obama's campaign strategist, David Axelrod, also resurfaced at the Republican debate. Rep. Michele Bachmann, D-Minn., criticized Obama's ability to create jobs, saying the president "continues to go to a General Axelrod in Chicago to look for his orders to figure out how to deal with the economy."