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I've just got something in my eye: GOP contenders get teary-eyed at debate

It was emotional times as half of the candidates looking to be the next US president shed tears at a debate held over the weekend…

Rick Perry speaks as Herman Cain wipes away his tears.
Rick Perry speaks as Herman Cain wipes away his tears.
Image: UnfilteredView/YouTube

RUNNING FOR THE highest office in the land can get to a person and the Republican party’s presidential candidates were not afraid to show their tears at a debate over the weekend.

An emotional round-table discussion that focused on the US presidential candidates’ Christian faith and moral values reduced three grown men, Herman Cain, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich, to tears and left the debate moderator to remark: “I feel like Dr Phil”.

Held in the first caucus state Iowa, the online-only Citizen Link debate did not feature frontrunner Mitt Romney or Jon Huntsman, both Mormons, but as well as  the three tear-stained candidates, Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann and Ron Paul also took part.

The six were appealing to the State’s religious and political leaders for the chance to be the anti-Romney candidate, The Times (paywall) reports, as the former Massachusetts governor builds-up a growing sense of inevitability that he will be the party’s nominee to face Barack Obama next year.

Emotions got the better of Cain when he discussed his wife Gloria and the moment when the doctor broke to them the news of her illness. Watch it here:

“I said I wasn’t gonna do this,” he said as the tears began to flow. “I will never forget before my wife and I were about to get in the car I said, ‘I can do this’… She said, ‘We can do this’”.

As he took off his glasses and was wiping away his tears, Texas governor Rick Perry cracked a joke to lighten the mood (via ):

But then the tears flowed again as the former governor of Pennsylvania Rick Santorum spoke about the emotional turmoil of bringing up a child with a severe genetic disorder who against the odds is now three-years-old (via ):

Not to be outdone, former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich recalled the story of a sick child of a friend who overcame a series of medical difficulties, a single tear rolling down his cheek as he did so (via ):

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Hugh O'Connell

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