10:09 PM: Mitt: “I’m not a bombthrower.” Newt: “I will tell the truth even if it’s at the risk of causing some confusion sometimes with the timid.”
10:10 PM: This exchange over Israel is really the key exchange. From the point of view of the intended audience, I think both of them had good points. It pointed to a lot of Newt’s problems, but in a way that I’m not sure will damage him in a GOP primary audience. But Mitt got a chance — which he hadn’t remotely up till now — to make his basic point which is that Newt’s a “bombthrower”, a person who is just not temperamentally suited to be president — something that is unquestionably true.
10:22 PM: Marveling that Rick Perry — who actually grew up humble — managed to blow this question … Mitt’s answer, meanwhile, was about as good as he could do.
Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.