POSTED: Wednesday, October 19, 2011 - 10:56am
UPDATED: Wednesday, October 19, 2011 - 11:05am
NBC NATIONAL NEWS — What happened in Vegas didn't stay in Vegas last night. The fire between these candidates was on display for the whole country to see.
In their testiest exchange yet, Rick Perry and Mitt Romney locked jaws over whether Romney hired illegal immigrants. "We hired a lawn company to mow our lawn, and they had illegal immigrants who were working there. And when that was pointed out to us, we let them go," said Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney.
"A year later?" replied Rick Perry (R), Presidential Candidate.
"You have a problem with allowing someone to finish speaking," said Romney, "this has been a tough couple of debates for Rick, and I understand that, and so you're going to get -- you're going to get testy."
Rick Santorum accused both of being less conservative than they appear, and almost everyone jumped on Herman Cain's "9-9-9-" flat tax plan. "84 percent of Americans would pay more taxes under his plan," said Rick Santorum, (R) Presidential Candidate
"That simply is not true," replied Presidential Candidate Herman Cain, (R).
"Go to New Hampshire, where they don't have a sales tax, and you're fixing to give them one." Rick Perry/ (R) Presidential Candidate
"The state tax is an apple. We are replacing the current tax code with oranges," argued Cain.
Romney joined the fray, "and I am going to be getting a bushel basket that has apples and oranges in it, because I'm going to pay both taxes."
Romney on the defense; Cain fighting back; Perry bouncing back, and other candidates coming off the sidelines.
Jon Huntsman called it a "game show." He skipped the debate to protest Nevada moving its caucuses ahead of New Hampshire's primary.