Candidates evaluated in 'spin room'

Pictured above is the spin room only seconds after the end of the CNN GOP debate on Thursday. (Brian Troutman/WCIV)

By Victoria

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- So what do you do after a fiery, two hour debate? You head to the spin room to hear what politicians think of each other's performances.

"You saw one jobs president on that stage tonight," said Governor Nikki Haley about Mitt Romney's showing. "Mitt Romney brought it. It was awesome. It couldn't have been more solid. I think he's gonna bring it home Saturday."

Rick Santorum bravely made his way through the cramped and crowded room, swarmed by microphones, cameras, and the buzz of journalists.

"In primary history, this was probably the most tumultuous 24 hours that we've seen," he said.

When asked about his on-stage attacks on the other candidates, Santorum said it was time to settle some scores.

"They've been drawing the contrast to me on television, and I thought I would return the favor and draw the contrast on television," he said.

Santorum called out Newt Gingrich on his often unpredictable behavior. But perhaps it was the unpredictable first question that gave Gingrich a jump-start in the debate.

When asked by moderator John King if he would like to address allegations by his ex-wife that he once requested an open marriage, Gingrich said, "No, but I will."

He then skewered King and media. Even his challengers had no choice but to come to his defense.

POLITICO reporter Dave Cantonese summed it up this way, "Newt Gingrich is still the main actor in this primary."

But will the antics of any of the candidates on the stage Thursday night{} translate into votes at the polls Saturday? {}

That could be tough to spin, until primary day.

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