TPM News

The debate stage has not been the best place for Rick Perry to make his case to voters. But as the candidates gather for the last time before the Iowa caucuses at a debate in Sioux City tonight, Perry is in the midst of making his final case to Iowans -- and getting a little help in that department from a Democrat.

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President Obama and his campaign have signalled they have no problem turning the killing of Osama Bin Laden into a campaign issue as they ready for a general election that will likely be chock full of charges from Republicans that Obama’s been weak on foreign policy.

Obama campaign strategist David Axelrod continued the trend Thursday after Mitt Romney accused Obama of having a “timid” foreign policy stance.

“Wonder if bin Laden and demolished AQ leadership agree with Mitt that President Obama is timid on national security?” Axelrod tweeted.

Newt Gingrich mocked attacks on him as “zany,” responding to a foreign policy question with: ‘I’m very concerned about not appearing zany.’

Rep. Allen West (R-FL) has thrown another rhetorical bombshell, the Washington Post reports: Comparing Democrats' political messaging to that of Joseph Goebbels, the Minister of Propaganda in Nazi Germany!

West was responding to poll data, showing that Americans are blaming Republicans for the lack of compromise in Congress, and viewing the GOP as "more extreme" than the Dems.

"If Joseph Goebbels was around, he'd be very proud of the Democrat Party, because they have an incredible propaganda machine," West told reporters during House votes Thursday afternoon. "Let's be honest, you know, some of the people in the media are complicit with this and enabling them to get that type of message out."

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At the Fox News debate, Ron Paul was asked about his policy that he would not act to stop Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, and would get rid of sanctions including those imposed by President Obama — which, moderator Bret Baier said, would have a Republican nominee Ron Paul running to the left of Obama on this issue.

“But I would be running with the American people, because it’s a much better policy,” Paul said. He further elaborated, denying that Iran even has an active nuclear weapons program. “You know what I really fear here? It’s another Iraq coming — it’s war propaganda.”

Paul also said that other countries are active in the region, casually saying that Israel already has 300 nuclear weapons — something that is widely believed, but Israel has never officially confirmed having any nuclear weapons.

“Sanctions are an act of war when you prevent goods and services going into a country,” Paul said, also adding: “We ought to exercise a bit of diplomacy once in a while.”

Romney gets some laughs when he describes Obama’s plan for getting back the downed drone from the Iranians as “saying ‘pretty please’”

Santorum attracts both cheers and jeers for saying Mutually Assured Destructive won’t work with Iran: “their principle is martyrdom. It’s an inducement to war. They want to create a catastrophe. This is what their theology teaches.”

As the final debate before the Iowa caucuses hits us tonight, the wacky race that is the GOP primary has been getting more and more manic. Or, as some might say, zany.

The two front runners are going head to head in a "you're richer than I am" debate and enlisting surrogates across the board to push their message and attack their opponents.

Evan McMorris-Santoro waves the checkered flag and lets them have at it.

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At the Fox News debate, Rick Perry reiterated his call for a part-time Congress, in order to roll back the size of the government and the extent of its policies.

Neil Cavuto asked what would constitute a part-time status.

Perry responded: “I would suggest to you 140 days every other year, like we do in Texas.”