Concord, N.H.

In today's NBC debate, Newt Gingrich was able to land perhaps the most devastating blow on frontrunner Mitt Romney of the morning.

Rick Santorum had the assist, setting up the attack by criticizing the former governor of Massachusetts for refusing to run for reelection in 2006. "Well, if [Romney's] record was so great as governor of Massachusetts then why didn't he run for reelection?" Santorum said. "If [you] wouldn't stand for the people of Massachusetts and run on your record, if it was that great, why did you bail out?"

Romney responded by saying his participation in politics was not a career move. “My life’s passion has been my faith [and] my family,” Romney said, adding that he considered his run for president as a duty of his citizenship.

Gingrich was quick to shoot back. “Could we drop a little of this pious baloney?” he said. “You didn't have this interlude of citizenship while you thought about what you were going to do. You happened to lose to McCain [in 2008] as you did to Kennedy [in 1994]...Just level with the American people. You have been running at least since the 1990s."

“Citizenship has always been on my mind,” Romney responded.

The damage was already done.

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