The 2012 Republican presidential candidates -- what's left of them -- will debate for the very last time Wednesday night and we're sure going to miss them.
"Over the years [these debaters] have charmed us, dazzled us, and even stolen our hearts," a famous political journalist wrote. "We'll look back on them like old friends who've given us something special. We'll look back on the classic rivalries that inspired perfection, or near perfection, in the eyes of both the judges and the audience." Oh wait, that wasn't a political columnist, that was the intro to the 1991 ABC Sports highlight reel movie Gymnastics Greatest Stars. When it comes to the GOP debates, it's more that over the months, these politicians haver shocked us, appalled us, and even elicited our pity. In this highlight reel of classic Republican debate moments, we'll meet them again and thank them for giving us such funny jokes.
We'll be liveblogging the grand finale, airing on CNN at 8p.m. eastern time, starting at about 7p.m. Until then, our favorite moments from the there-were-so-many-you-can't-count-them-all-on-your-fingers-and-toes debates:
June 13: Romney laughs. The resulting BuzzFeed gif helps explain his authenticity problem:
October 11: In a post-debate chat with some college guys, Perry commits a gaffe by referring to the American Revolution happening in the 16th century. This was before the oops moment that crippled his candidacy.
October 18: Romney gets so mad at Perry over immigration that he grabs his shoulder.
November 9: In the movie Notting Hill, Julia Roberts' character falls in love with Hugh Grant's character when he's climbing over a fence and says "oopsie daisies." Rick Perry's "oops" was not so charming. He couldn't remember which three government agencies are so terrible he wants to eliminate them.
November 22: Williard Mitt Romney doesn't know his own first name:
November 22: Herman Cain clarifies that when he said he wouldn't be comfortable with Muslims in his Cabinet, he only meant the Muslims "that are trying to kill us." Would he let in the Protestants who are trying to kill us? Cain did not say.
December 10: Romney makes that $10,000 bet:
January 8: Certain livebloggers complained about the early-morning start of this debate. Apparently, the audience was sleepy, too. You can see a woman dozing behind David Gregory at about 11 seconds in.
January 20: This was a good one. Newt Gingrich gets real mad when John King asks if he asked his second wife for an open marriage. You can actually hear "Newt! Newt! Newt!" chants from the debate audience. In your face, liberal media.
One gif demonstrates Ron Paul's appeal, via BuzzFeed.
January 23: Romney struggles to explain why he hasn't released his taxes. "I pay all the taxes that are legally required, and not a dollar more. I don't think you want someone as candidate for president who pays more taxes than he owes." That was code for "Swiss bank account."
Will there be more special memories created tonight? Something tells us that, yes, there will be.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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