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Even though he stood before an audience most likely to support him, Rick Perry's weaknesses were exposed at Monday night's CNN/Tea Party Express debate.

For nearly the entire session, Perry was attacked by his opponents on all manner of topics ranging from immigration, to the controversial HPV vaccine he briefly mandated in Texas to the so-called Texas Miracle to, of course, Social Security.

How did Perry do? Though he eventually found the answers to the questions being thrown at him, viewers were faced with the unlikely image of a tea party crowd literally booing Perry (during the conversation about letting immigrants go to college at in-state rates) and Perry on the run during the talk about HPV. Polls show he's still very clearly the frontrunner, but we saw tonight that he's not immortal.

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Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) took a shot at Texas Gov. Rick Perry during Monday night's GOP presidential debate in response to a question about how Republican candidates were attracting Latino voters.

He fumbled.

"What what Gov. Perry has done is he provided in-state tuition for illegal immigrants, maybe that was an attempt to attract illegal vote -- I mean Latino -- voters," Santorum said.

"You attract Latino voters by talking about the importance of immigration in this country," Santorum said. "We are a melting pot, not a salad bowl, and we need to continue that tradition."

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The last two Republican presidential debates have been some of the most macabre on record. Last time around, at the Reagan Library, the crowd gave the biggest applause of the night to the 234 executions that have occurred in Texas while Rick Perry was governor.

In Tampa, Florida at the CNN/Tea Party Express debate Monday night, the tea party-filled audience literally cheered aloud for the uninsured to be allowed to die.

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The crowd at the CNN Tea Party Debate broke out into cheers when host Wolf Blitzer brought up Gov. Rick Perry's comments that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's emergency economic policies "almost treasonous."

Perry stood by the comment, calling it "a very clear statement of fact."

"I am not a fan of the current chairman allowing that Federal Reserve to be used to cover up bad fiscal policy by this administration," Perry said. "And that, I will suggest to you, is what we have seen."

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Mitt Romney has his talking point: Rick Perry might just take your Social Security away, and his talk about the program is too dangerous to allow into a general election campaign.

At the CNN/Tea Party Express debate Monday night, we got Perry's response: Don't worry, seniors -- you're gonna be a-ok in a Perry administration. Everything else Romney talks about it just pure hypocrisy.

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Long-time California campaign treasurer Kinde Durkee not only "nearly wiped out" Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-CA) campaign funds, but it appears she has "wiped out" Sen. Dianne Feinstein's (D-CA) war chest as well, Politico's Jonathan Allen and John Bresnahan report.

"I was wiped out too, we don't know how much," said Feinstein, who is up for reelection next year. According to Feinstein, the company headed by Durkee handled her campaigns in 1992, 1996, 2000, 2006, and her gubernatorial campaign. "I trusted her implicitly."

Durkee, arrested this month on mail fraud charges for allegedly using money from campaign funds she managed for personal expenses, was ordered to be released on $200,000 bond on Friday.

Sen. Feinstein is the latest victim in what is amounting to one of the largest finance scandals in California history, one that has already ensnarled a California state assemblyman, Jose Solorio (D), and Reps. Susan Davis (D-CA) and Loretta Sanchez (D-CA).

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This post was updated at 6:18 p.m. ET.

Rick Perry has picked up the endorsement of a fellow Republican governor: CNN reports: Gov. Bobby Jindal, from neighboring Louisiana, who has often been mentioned in political media as a potential vice-presidential running mate.

Jindal will also reportedly be Perry's guest at tonight's "Tea Party Republican Debate," broadcast on CNN from Tampa, Florida. Jindal is expected to officially announce his endorsement of Perry before the debate.

Jindal's endorsement comes on the same day as former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty endorsed Mitt Romney. Pawlenty, who ran for the Republican nomination but dropped out of the presidential race last month after a poor third-place showing in the Iowa straw poll, will be Romney's guest at the debate tonight.

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Perry, feeling the heat from his Social Security-bashing comments, backtracks. Big-time.