Michele Bachman said at the Republican debate last night at the Reagan Presidential Library that repealing Obama health care along with jobs would be the chief issues of the 2012 presidential election.

Of course, that might depend on who the nominee is. Don’t count out the issue of Social Security, which gained prominence when Texas Governor Rick Perry called it a “Ponzi scheme” and a “monstrous lie” to younger Americans.

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney jumped on Perry’s comments, declaring, "Our nominee has to be someone who … isn’t committed to abolishing Social Security but who is committed to saving Social Security."

The Social Security debate will remain prominent. Even the former president responsible for Social Security is getting into the debate. The Franklin Roosevelt Presidential Library in New York currently has a special exhibit titled, “Our Plain Duty,” FDR and America’s Social Security.”

The debate was lively with Perry treated like a “piñata” as he said, being hit by both candidates and moderators. It might also be because Perry didn’t back off from some language a moderator referred to as “provocative.”

"Maybe it’s time to have some provocative language in this country," the Texas governor responded. He certainly provided some, at one point saying either President Obama has poor information or is an “abject liar” for a statement he made about border security.

The question of job creation will be the subject of the president’s speech tonight, but the Republican candidates got into the subject from the get-go.

Who’s better at creating jobs? Perry said Romney did not create the same number of jobs as former Massachusetts governor and presidential candidate Michael Dukakis.

Oh, yeah.

Romney responded that Perry didn’t create jobs as fast as president and former Texas governor George W. Bush and his predecessor.

Meanwhile, former Utah governor Jon Huntsman standing at the end of the row of candidates did a “hey look at me over here” retort by noting that he was the number one job creator as governor.

Huntsman also stood out when asked by NBC’s Brian Williams about taking the no tax pledge, he responded, “I’d love to get everybody to sign a pledge to take no pledges.”

FlashReport’s Jon Fleischman sitting in the reporter’s tent said such an answer would make conservatives go bonkers, or something like that. But a no-pledge pledge is worth considering.

Speaking of Huntsman, his campaign manager, Matt David, an old California hand as communications director for Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger was enthusiastic after the event saying Huntsman’s performance was strong and he would be in the thick of the battle for president.

Big applause line from the audience: When former House Speaker Newt Gingrich reviewed his immigration position and said English should be the official language of government.

Another applause that caught everyone off guard came not from an answer but from a question.

Before moderator Williams could even complete his question on Texas’ use of the death penalty – when Williams mentioned that Texas had executed 234 people during Perry’s tenure, there was extended applause from the audience disrupting the question.

Probably not a good sign for those opponents of the death penalty in California who recently announced they would pursue an anti-death penalty initiative.

Congressman Ron Paul defended his libertarian positions arguing that the media should not believe that if someone believes in liberty they don’t believe in compassion.

However, in responding to a charge from Perry that Paul wrote to President Reagan that he was quitting the Republican Party, Paul said he supported the message delivered by Ronald Reagan but the consequences of his administration were not so great.

Paul should not expect an endorsement from Mrs. Reagan any time soon.