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Perry vs. Romney Battle Resumes at Las Vegas GOP Debate

Ethan Miller, Getty Images

There were plenty of fireworks in Las Vegas last night, when the GOP candidates met up for the last in a series of five debates.

Rick Perry, who has had less than desirable performances in the last 4 debates, really needed a strong debate to stay in the race. And last night, he came out swinging, maybe a little too much. He and Mitt Romney had several heated exchanges throughout the night, and at one point looked like he was about to come to blows with Romney. he might have come on a bit too strong, but it’s clear that Perry’s not out of the race yet.

Mitt Romney, on the other hand, suffered some rare missteps last night. The constant attacks from Rick Perry started to take a toll on the Massachusetts governor, coming close to losing his temper at one point, but he did regain his composure. Romney didn’t necessarily have a “bad” debate, (at this point, I think it’s impossible for the man to have a bad debate) but it was his weakest performance to date.

Herman Cain also had a target on his back, with all the candidates taking aim at his “9-9-9″ plan. He handled the attacks as best he could, but the fact is, it’s really hard to explain a new, complex tax plan in under 60 seconds. And using metaphors (apples and oranges) and directing folks to his website (which apparently was down during the debate) does not really help. If all Cain has is this plan, he’s probably not going to win the nomination.

For more on the lively debate, visit politico.com for the full recap. This will be the last debate for a while, so now the campaigning really begins.

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