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The smart money is on the Republican nomination for the 2012 presidential candidate to be a two-man contest.

Rick Perry is the new front-runner. He wasted no time in attacking his main rival Mitt Romney in a debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential library – a shrine to the iconic Republican president:

“The fact is, while he has a good private sector record, his public sector record does not match that. As a matter of fact, we created more jobs in the last three months in Texas than he created in four years in Massachusetts.”

Romney reminded his rival that Texas has natural advantages:

“States are different. Texas is a great state. Texas has zero income tax. Texas has a right-to-work, a Republican legislature, a Republican Supreme Court. Texas has a lot of oil and gas in the ground. These are wonderful things, but governor Perry does not believe he created those things.”

The verbal joust between the two front-runners overshadowed the other six candidates at the debate, including Tea Party darling Michelle Bachman.

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