Behind the Scenes at the Republican Debate
The nation is buzzing over the moment in the debate that actually got physical when Mitt Romney put his hand on Rick Perry's shoulder and said, "Rick, I'm speaking. I'm speaking. Would you please wait. Are you just going to keep talking? Are you going to let me finish with what I've got to say?"
Headlines across the country are detailing the incredibly raw exchange.
Matt Lauer said on the Today show, "Things got very heated."
On Good Morning America, George Stephanopoulos said, "It got personal."
Romney said, "You have a problem with allowing someone to finish speaking, and I suggest that if you want to become President of the Unites States, you've got to let both people speak. So first, let me speak."
Texas Governor Rick Perry, struggling to get back on top in the polls, ignited the fireworks when he went after frontrunner Mitt Romney on illegal immigration.
Perry said to Romney, "You lose all of your standing because you hired illegals in your home and you knew about it for a year. And the idea that you stand here before us and talk about that you're strong on immigration, is on its face, the heighth [sic] of hypocrisy."
Romney replied, "We hired a lawn company to mow our lawn, and they had illegal immigrants that were working there. And when that was pointed out to us, we let them go."
"A year later?" asked Perry.
The candidates faced off in Las Vegas. To give you an idea of the scope of the debate, the convention hall was empty just three days ago. It was quickly filled with 1,500 chairs and a 4,500 square-foot set that normally takes almost a week to put together.
A time-lapse video captured the elaborate set going up.
The executive producer of the event told INSIDE EDITION's Jim Moret, "There were a lot of people on our crew that said, 'Three days? We can't do this set in three days. But they came in here on Friday night, they worked literally 24 hours a day for two days to get this set up."
No detail was ignored, down to who would sit in every seat and, of course, where the candidates would stand on stage.
What you didn't see on TV were moments after the debate the candidates and their aides headed backstage to the spin room. Herman Cain, who's surging in the polls, drew a sea of reporters.
INSIDE EDITION's Jim Moret asked Cain, "Do you think your rise in the polls made you a target?"
"Oh absolutely. The higher up you are in the polls the more they're going to target you and come after you," said Cain.
Moret also caught up with Vegas legend Wayne Newton, who was front and center.
Newton told Moret, "Governor Romney handles himself extremely well."
Moret said, "He really came under tonight from all sides."
"He came under fire. He handled it well. He was strong about his answers," said Newton.