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GOP Contenders Hold 'Raucous' Debate In Vegas

The reviews are in about last night's CNN Republican presidential debate in Las Vegas and the consensus seems to be that it was a slugfest in Sin City:

-- "The near-weekly ritual of Republican presidential debates took a raucous turn Tuesday night as the unsettled field of candidates ganged up on one another in a series of attacks more intense and personal than any in their previous appearances together." (The Washington Post)

-- At times, it was a free-for-all. (NPR's Ina Jaffe on Morning Edition)

-- "Mitt Romney was thrown off balance for the first time in the 2012 race, as a gang of primary opponents assailed him on the issues of health care and immigration during Tuesday night's GOP debate." (Politico)

-- "Former Godfather's Pizza executive Herman Cain was at the center of a pile-on Tuesday night at the presidential debate hosted by CNN and the Western Republican Leadership Conference, as his GOP rivals took turns picking apart his "9-9-9" plan to reform the United States tax code." (CNN)

-- "In an already testy debate, Mitt Romney and Rick Perry got into an all-out squabble over Romney's use of a lawn-mowing company that had hired undocumented immigrants in the past." (The Hill's Ballot Box blog)

-- "In a boxing match of a GOP presidential debate, the verbal punches flew furiously Tuesday night in Las Vegas between Mitt Romney and Rick Perry as the two candidates got personal on illegal immigration. The two stood face-to-face on stage and angrily interrupted each other." (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

On that Perry-Romney exchange on immigration, CNN writes that "the long-standing bad blood between Romney and Perry boiled over in the debate's first hour as the two GOP heavyweights traded harsh accusations and showed flashes of anger."

At one point, the two men ended up face-to-face talking over each other. CNN has the video here.

Frank James follows the campaign over at It's All Politics.

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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