"I was giving them a little extra air time to them," Fred says of Huckabee and Mitt. Fred doesn't take the opportunity to hit them on their records, maybe sensing that using the YouTube 30-second spot as an attack ad was all he needed and didn't want to cross into meanness.
Mitt responds really strongly. "I don't know how many times I can say it. I was wrong."
He sounds authentic, serious, and human on a serious and human issue, and I'd bet he put that line of attack to rest for most of the night. Parried really nicely.
Mitt's doing a good job tonight of connecting issues to regular people instead of just referring to himself. With illegal aliens, he wondered if regular Americans would need to check papers to hire workers. With the abortion questions, he wondered if anyone in the audience have ever had to admit being wrong about something. The people in the audience feel like he's addressing them and connect with him. It's a simple thing and it's effective. It tends to make the attacks seem petty even when they're not, necessarily.