Stephen Reader covers politics for It's a Free Country, WNYC's interactive politics site. He joined the station in 2010 and has also worked for Studio 360, WNYC's Peabody Award-winning show about art, culture, and creativity.
The madness marches on with Day 2 of first round match-ups in our GOP debate moments bracket.
In the first round so far, Rick Perry has a unanimous win in the Gaffes division with his "Oops" moment over Michele Bachmann's "Anderson!" and in the Audience Participation division, "Let Him Die" takes the win over applause for Rick Perry's execution record. Vote for your favorites to emerge from the Policy Jingles and Dust-Up divisions today! Voting closes at midnight.
Admit it: you miss Herman Cain. It's been months since you were able to play the "9-9-9" debate drinking game.
In this clip, he says it three times in under two minutes, then throws in a "That dog won't hunt" for good measure. For a brief, shining moment, it was the most effective debate strategy any candidate had.
September 22, 2011 — Fox News Google Debate
For better or worse, Ron Paul is not a sound bite machine. His talking points, when restricted to only a handful of 30-second rebuttals in any given debate last fall, teetered under the weight of his ideas: repealing the income tax, abolishing the federal reserve—Paul's campaign has felt at times like one long lecture on monetary policy.
But he had a nice barb against Rick Perry while the Texas Governor was still in the limelight, correcting some statements and earning some laughs before launching into his trademark argument that all government spending is a tax.
September 12, 2011 — CNN Tea Party Debate
One of the reasons Newt Gingrich won the South Carolina primary was his nimble performance in debates leading up to it. When Juan Williams challenged his "food stamp president" comments, asking if they betrayed some racial coding or insensitivity, Newt's response was brisk and totally unapologetic. It allowed him to pontificate on work ethic, overpaid janitors, and "elites"—and earned him applause that drowned out Bret Baier as he tried to go to commercial.
January 16, 2012 — Fox News South Carolina Debate
In hindsight, this exchange between Rick Perry and Mitt Romney seems a little bizarre. Trying to stake a tough position on immigration and ding the front-runner, Perry accuses Romney of employing illegal immigrants to do yard work at his home. It's a moment where Romney's wealth, the issue of undocumented workers, and Perry's sputtering campaign align for a few of the most heated and interrupt-heavy minutes of the campaign season.
October 18, 2011 — CNN Las Vegas Debate