The governor handled an abnormal amount of criticism from almost every candidate in the field, not just from former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. But he also received the most focus as he has a decade-long political record that has encouraged scrutiny.
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney
Romney still has the most detailed economic plan of the bunch. In fact, his plan probably only falls behind President Obama's as the most comprehensive. Most questions about jobs and the economy were fielded with ease by Romney as he simply reiterated the points in his plan. Romney avoided most talk of "Romneycare" for this debate. Candidates spent so much time on Perry that the former Massachusetts governor eluded most criticism. He also got his punches in on Perry at the very beginning when Perry said he thought there ought to be a conversation about the health care issue. "We're having that right now," Romney snapped back.
Romney, in order to stay out of the way of criticism, ceded a lot of talking time to his main competitor, Perry. Romney didn't take the opportunity to expound upon what he disliked about Obamacare, which he has done spectacularly in the numerous town hall meetings he has attended over the past few months.
Romney wasn't a high priority target for the rest of the field, but he also seemed relatively quiet. It seemed like this was a tactical decision by the campaign to let Perry -- the frontrunner in most polls -- trip over a few of his own words.