Texas Governor Rick Perry was able to steal the spotlight after annouceing his plans to join the Republican race to the White House during his visit to New Hampshire. The 61-year-old conservative evangelist is expected to battle it out for the same public voters as Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who has yet to officially announce her candidacy though she sparked some rumors when she arrived in Iowa as well.
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Financial troubles across the United States were the main focus of the debate, as all eight candidates presented a united front on two major issues: Their opposition to US President Barack Obama's policies as well as their close friendship and unquestionable commitment to Israel.
Minnesota opponents Tim Pawlenty and Michele Bachmann, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum and businessman Herman Cain vowed to do all they can to prevent Iran from attaining nuclear weapons. Pawlenty stressed that the US must work side by side with Israel without any disagreements.
Meanwhile, Santorum remarked that since 1979 Iran has killed more Americans than any other country, while Cain mentioned the intent of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to wipe Israel off the map, a threat he said he takes very seriously.
Texas Republican Ron Paul presented an unusual stance when saying he was in favor of putting an end to the US' international funding and supported Iran's desire to attain nuclear weapons.
A whole new ball game
The debate was especially critical for Bachmann and Pawlenty, both from the state of Minnesota, who battled it out before this week's popular poll after which one of them will most likely drop out of the race.
Jeb Bush Jr, the nephew of former President George W. Bush and son of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, endorsed former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman for president Wednesday at a Miami press conference.
According to a poll conducted by CNN this week, 15% of Republicans and independents of the GOP supporters picked Perry at their top choice for the party's nomination, followed by former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.
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