Perry and Romney battle early in GOP presidential debate

It took only minutes in the GOP Presidential debate for the two front runners, governors Rick Perry and Mitt Romney to spar over job creation, in particular their records creating jobs in their home states.

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MSNBC’s Brian Williams set the tone of the debate with an opening question on jobs and the economy.  A recent poll, he said, showed that a majority of people in the country believe the economy is going to get worse before it gets better. Also, a majority believe this is a result of the Republican policies of the first eight years of this decade but also believe President Obama is not taking the country in the right direction.

Governor Perry said that economic relief will come when we “Free the entrepreneur,” lower the tax burden, free the capital of businesses and and reduce the impact of regulation, allowing businesses to do what they do best: create jobs.

“What Americans are looking for is for someone to get this country working again,” Perry said.  He touted creating one million jobs in Texas. He asked rhetorically, Who on this stage can get America working again and  said “we know by now the current resident of the White House cannot.”

When Williams suggested the jobs created  in Texas were no t necessarily good jobs, Perry said that 95% of all the jobs in Texas created were above minimum wage and added that it would be hypocritical of the White House or anyone else to be critical of any job creation in this country.

Romney said when he became governor of Massachusetts the state was “in a real free fall.”  Comparing his performance to President Obama he said “We created more job in Massachusetts than this president has done for the entire country.”

Of Romney’s record Perry said “While he had a good private sector record, his public sector record was not very good.”

Romney defended his record by saying that states are different with different political realities. Perry took a jab and said that Michael Dukakis, the former governor of MA, created three times more jobs than Romney. Not missing a beat, Romney said George Bush and his predecessor created jobs faster than Perry.

Perry and Romney are jockeying to prove who is more credible on the economy and job creation pulling no punches in their first official debate against each other.

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