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Rick Perry Kills in GOP Debate

HANOVER, NH - Seeking to silence mounting criticism of his lackluster debate performances, Rick Perry delivered an aggressive showing and handily won Tuesday night's Republican debate at Dartmouth College after he shot Congressman Ron Paul in the face.

The stage was set when a question submitted via Twitter asking Perry to clarify his stance on granting illegal immigrants gun rights. The Texas governor used the question to highlight his strong support of the Second Amendment, noting his ownership of a concealed-weapons permit.

"In fact," Perry said, laying his beloved colt .45 on the podium, "since New Hampshire is an open-carry state, I really don't need to be hiding this right now." The gesture drew wild applause from the Tea Party-dominated audience.

Later in the debate, after fellow Texan Ron Paul criticized Perry's HPV-vaccine mandate, he used his 30-second rebuttal to execute his master stroke. "In the last debate, I said I liked to err on the side of life. This time I won't make the same mistake," Perry said as he picked up the pistol, calmly strode over to the congressman and fired.

The other candidates onstage stood silently, as the governor received a standing ovation from the audience.

Pundits agreed that Perry showed a marked improvement from his previous debate performances and won the night hands down. "In past debates, Perry looked uncomfortable with his record, especially on the HPV question," MSNBC analyst Howard Fineman said. "But you have to hand it to him, he really stuck to his guns this time."

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