Hosted by CNN host Wolf Blitzer, the final four faced off in the University of North Florida’s Lazzara Performance Hall to convince Florida voters they are capable of beating President Barack Obama in the upcoming November presidential election.
The audience was particularly active in the debate, giving boos and praise when appropriate. Moderator questions regarding Mitt Romney’s tax returns, which have repeatedly been called into question, seemed to disinterest the crowd.
Rick Santorum said more relevant questions were needed, and the crowd agreed decisively.
Tensions flared further over immigration reform between the two front-runners, Newt Gingrich and Romney.
Ron Paul alleviated some of the tension when commenting on his age, saying he would be willing to challenge the other three candidates to a 25-mile bike ride.
Although the feeling from the crowd seemed to favor Romney’s answers, UNF students might agree that the demographic present in the debate audience was not representative of campus politics.
Outside the performance hall, students and protesters amassed on the green with shows of patriotism and camaraderie. The student support was teeming with Paul signs, clearly voicing their displeasure at the fact the venue was not open to all students.