Winners and Losers at GOP National Security Debate

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Analysis from ABC News Political Director Amy Walter:


Herman Cain: He didn’t have a 53-second brain freeze, but it was also clear that he was out of his element. His answers to questions on foreign policy were vague and showed a thin understanding of these issues.

9-9-9:  This may be the first time at a Republican debate that the economic slogan didn’t get mentioned – not in German or Spanish and not by any of the candidates, including Herman Cain.

Journalists as Questioners:  The debate was shown on CNN and was hosted by Wolf Blitzer. But every question came from a person associated with conservative think tanks American Enterprise Institute and Heritage Foundation, including from former Bush administration official Paul Wolfowitz and former Chief of Staff to Vice President Dick Cheney David Addington.

Leon Panetta: Perry thinks he should resign in protest of President Obama’s declaration that he’ll veto any attempt at reducing the automatic cuts to the military budget

Winners:Newt: The new front-runner got to show his foreign policy chops and avoided any of the attacks that normally come with a rise in the polls. But  will his position on amnesty for illegal immigration cause him some troubles among conservatives down the road?

“I don’t see how the party that says it’s the party of the family is going to adopt an immigration policy which destroys families that have been here a quarter century. And I’m prepared to take the heat for saying let’s be humane in enforcing the law without giving them citizenship but by finding a way to create legality so that they are not separated from their families.”

President Obama: For the first time in a long time, the president didn’t take much oncoming fire from his GOP opponents.