Caitlin Thompson, Executive Editor
Caitlin Thompson is WNYC.org's executive editor.
1. Let's just get this one out of the way: Rick Perry, listing the three government cabinets he'd like to axe as president... stalled out at number three.
"I will tell you, it is three agencies of government when I get there that are gone. Commerce, Education, and the—what's the third one there? Let's see." The candidate paused for a few moments, even getting a helpful suggestion from Mitt Romney that he was searching for the EPA. Perry ended his turn with a shrug and an "Oops," instantly triggering a Twitter meme.
You can watch the moment here:
2. Despite being the focus of intense media scrutiny for the past three weeks as accuser after accuser has come forward to claim that Herman Cain was guilty of sexual harassment while running the National Restaurant Association, the candidate did not have to address the issue save for one question early on.
But one supremely bizarre moment occurred when he referred to House minority leader Nancy Pelosi as "Princess Nancy" while discussing the Obama health care plan. in a post-debate interview, Cain was asked about the comment and conceded that "it's a statement I probably shouldn't have made."
3. Not surprising was Ron Paul's harsh criticism of the nation's student loan program - the Texan said student debt accounted for nearly $1 trillion in shortfalls that would be "dumped on taxpayers." After all, Paul has long pledged to eliminate the Department of Education.
But Paul was joined by a chorus of GOP candidates seeming to agree that the student loan program was a failure, and some even indicating that they'd move to end it. Newt Gingrich said the student aid actually spurred people "to stay in college longer because they don't see the cost," and Rick Perry said that he would "stand up for the young people" on the issue, while simultaneously seeming to claim that the program should end.