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GOP debate: Biggest winner, loser and missed opportunity

September 7, 2011 |  8:26 pm

GOP Debate

Biggest Missed Opportunity: Rick Perry. He needed to explain what he means when he calls Social Security a Ponzi scheme. Does he want to repeal it? Change it? We still don't know.

Biggest winner: Mitt Romney. Looked and sounded presidential. Had a solid response to Perry on Social Security. Cited his 59-point economic plan about 59 times, but you would too, if you had produced a 59-point plan.

Biggest loser: Michele Bachmann. Next to Perry and Romney, looked and sounded like last month's flavor.

Best supporting actors: Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman and Ron Paul. They don't look as if they're getting anywhere in this race, but they had interesting things to say. A good argument for keeping debates open to second-tier candidates.

RELATED:

Rick Perry's make-it-or-break-it debate?

McManus: A two-man GOP presidential race?

Where do Republicans stand on social mobility?

Cheney and Rove vs. Rick Perry on Social Security

Our next GOP president must facilitate the American dream

--Doyle McManus

Photo: GOP presidential candidates debate at the Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley. Credit: Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times / September 7, 2011

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