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Perry vs Romney on Immigration at Republican Presidential Debate - 1st time Romney loses his cool

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Published on Oct 19, 2011

This is the entire unedited immigration exchange between Rick Perry and Mitt Romney at the Western Republican Presidential Debate (Oct 18, 2011) where Romney loses his cool but recovers with a solid counterpunch.

After several poor debate performances, Rick Perry knew this debate was an important one for him. He basically came in for a knife fight and as seen by this clip, he got one. It causes Mitt Romney to lose his cool for the first time in the debates.

In the 2000 Presidential Debate, there's a famous moment when Al Gore stands up and approaches George Bush in an intimidating manner (Bush simply nods at him). This incident changed the rules of Presidential debates thereafter, disallowing this kind of gesturing. So you can imagine how unusual it is for political opponents to physically touch one another during a debate. Romney does so, putting his hand on Perry's shoulder to try to keep him from talking (at the 0:50 mark). He also angrily asks "Would you please wait? Are you just going to keep talking?" This kind of reaction has not been seen before from Romney during the debates and is perhaps a sign that Perry has gotten to him. Romney does well to recover and comes back with a hard counterpunch.

The discussion continues later in the debate and Perry tries to provoke Romney again: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UMEfQJ...

This 2011-2012 Republican primary campaign was arguably one of the most contentious in U.S. election history. This clip is evidence of that. One of the contributing factors is undoubtedly because of the evolution of the media, allowing propaganda and videos like this to be spread and seen faster over and over worldwide with the click of a button or a finger press on a screen. The candidates now realize that anything they do or say have the potential to be instantly seen and shared by the world in a manner never seen before in election history.

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