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Presidential debate: The most entertaining, unexpected, weirdest and awkward moments

September 8, 2011 |  4:38 am

presidential debate Reagan library Nancy reagan 8-9-7-11

Quick take-aways from last night's Republican presidential debate at the Reagan Presidential Library:

BIGGEST WINNERS: Rick Perry, who did much better than not bomb, and Mitt Romney, who looked presidential again and magnanimous.

BIGGEST LOSER: Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, who wasn't there, but will learn this morning that he'll be joining the 14 million unemployed if virtually any of these Republicans get to the White House.

BEST PRESIDENTIAL PUT-DOWN: Romney calling the president a nice fella but one who's clueless about economics.

MOST OUTSPOKEN LIBERTARIAN: Ron Paul.

MOST ELOQUENT: Newt Gingrich warning moderators probing for differences among the eight Republicans that any minor distinctions pale in comparison to their unity over defeating Barack Obama.

LOUDEST APPLAUSE: See Most Eloquent.

BIGGEST AIRPLANE EVER HANGING OVER DEBATERS: President Reagan's Air Force One 707.

PINKEST TIE: Rick Santorum.

MOST ENTERTAINING CHRIS MATTHEWS BLOOD PRESSURE RAISER: Perry on this whole global warming hoax.

WARMEST FAMILY MENTION: Michele Bachmann, as message-disciplined as ever on Obama killing jobs, also recalling raising five biological and 23 foster children.

MOST PUZZLING PLAN ABOUT SOMETHING: Herman Cain's 9-9-9.

BEST FINANCIAL TIP IF THE GOP WINS NEXT YEAR: Buy stock in border fence companies.

MOST UNEXPECTED APPLAUSE-GETTER: NBC's Brian Williams asking Perry about Texas executing 234 convicted murderers.

BEST FIVE-WORD ANSWER: Perry asked to explain that applause: "I think Americans understand justice."

CALMEST CHINESE-SPEAKING EX-AMBASSADOR: Jon Huntsman.

MOST AWKWARD MOMENT: Moderator John Harris introducing a gotcha video clip of Romney that wouldn't play. So, the gotcha guy got got.

UNDECLARED CANDIDATE WHOSE ABSENCE WENT LEAST NOTICED: What's-her-name from Alaska.

WEIRDEST SUGGESTED ECONOMY MOVE: Ron Paul's idea to save billions by bringing home air conditioners cooling troop tents in Afghanistan.

BIGGEST UNANSWERED QUESTION: What in the world did Telemundo's Jose Diaz-Balart do to be denied a chair on stage like Williams and Harris had?

RELATED:

Ron Paul's federal disaster relief plan: Kill FEMA

Rick Perry grins, shrugs and swings away at GOP Reagan Library debate

Gov. Jon Huntsman's jobs plan: 'Straightforward and common sense'

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photo: Chris Carlson / Associated Press (Nancy Reagan and the eight Republican presidential debaters in the library's reconstructed Oval Office).

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