POLITICS

Round 11, Who’s Counting Anyway and Romney’s Air Attack

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TAKE OFF THE GLOVES (ROUND 11)

Don’t yawn at the sight of another debate. This one could be fun! It’s the 11th so far, but it’s focusing on a subjects that can quickly separate the men from the boys; or women from girls (no exclusions here Rep. Bachmann!). The eight contestants will be put to the task by Wolf Blitzer on foreign policy and national securityTuesday night. So what can we keep our eyes on?

-Newt Gingrich is well aware that time at the top in the polls can be fleeting, so he’s taking the numbers seriously. The former Speaker announced Tuesday he’s put together a new team of foreign policy advisors just hours before the debate. Timely, huh?

It could be his biggest advantage over the field. A new Quinnipiac poll shows him at 26 percent of support from likely Republican voters, compared to 24 percent for Gov. Mitt Romney. Asked ‘Which Republican candidate do you think would do the best job handling foreign policy?’ support for Gingrich jumps to 46 percent, far ahead of Romney's 16, and Ron Paul's 5 percent.

-Herman Cain and his answers will be even more scrutinized than Gov. Rick Perry, who’s had a less-than successful showing at the debates. Foreign policy is hardly Cain's forte and he’s shown than with a cringe-worthy performance when asked about his views on Libya. If he still has all sorts of ideas “twirling around” in his head, he’d better take an aspirin - fast.

-Perry has likely been boning up on the matter and for him, a fumble-free performance would count as a slight victory. He still has a lot to prove and may take tonight as that opportunity. On the flipside, another “oops” moment could effectively kill his campaign. Despite this being debate #11, viewership is up significantly compared with a similar point in the campaign four years ago, according to the AP.

-If Ron Paul gets even just 90 seconds, it’ll still be more TV time than he got during the CBS debate. His campaign team, along with Michele Bachmann’s, complained vociferously about the lack of attention he received from CBS. “Part of why we’re here is to serve an audience. The Audience has a greater interest in people who are more likely to succeed in the process," CBS News President David Rhodes said.

COUNTING QUESTIONS:
-A breakdown of four debates (CNN, CBS, FOX & CNBC) by the AP shows those at the top of the polls get called on more. Here’s their tally:
Romney 45
Cain 37
Perry 36
Gingrich 35
Santorum 29
Bachmann 29
Paul 27
**Huntsman was not part of all 4 debates**

-For a breakdown of debate highlights, be sure to follow my live Tweets: @ABC7Scott

ROMNEY’S AIR ATTACK

Mitt Romney may be battling seven party colleagues tonight, but his day was spent hammering away at the current president. While Barack Obama was in New Hampshire pushing an extension of the payroll tax cut, Romney was giving his approval to ads all over TV. He unleashed the commercial below, going after the President on the economy. It’s the former Massachusetts’ Governor’s first wave of national attacks.

OCCUPY OBAMA:
The Occupy protesters have marched to the White House, sang an ‘occupy’ song to the President during dinner and now crashed his campaign event (although the White House would rather refer to it as a business stop) in New Hampshire.

As Obama was speaking, they used chants shouting “mic check” and "Over 4,000 people protesting."

Similar chants had been used at an event by Michele Bachmann, where she was ushered off stage by security, cutting her speech short. Obama stood his ground, smiled quietly, and eventually responded.

“For a lot of the folks who have been in New York and all across the country in the Occupy movement, there is a profound sense of frustration about the fact that the essence of the American dream, which is if you work hard, if you stick to it that, you can make it, feels like that’s slipping away,” Obama said. “And that’s not the way things are supposed to be. Not here. Not in America.”

Around 10 protesters were at the event, according to a pool reporter, and some lined the streets outside for the President’s motorcade. One man held a sign reading, ‘Obama isn’t working.'

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