Inside the post-debate spin roomPosted: Updated:
MESA, Ariz.-- It's called the "spin room" because as soon as the debate wraps up, candidates and their supporters head there to give their "spin" on the debate to reporters.
During the debate, several dozen reporters and photographers sat quietly in the spin room, which was actually in a vacant building directly outside of the Mesa Arts Center. Most of us tweeted and posted on Facebook while watching the debate on big flat screen TVs brought in for the event.
But as the show started to wrap up, crews began congregating and mulling about the open area, waiting for the first familiar face to walk in and waiting to pounce.
I would say there were at least two dozen television cameras and dozens of still photographers in the room, and at several points ALL OF THEM tried to push into the same interview (see photos).
First through the doors was Arizona House Speaker Andy Tobin who said Mitt Romney "hit it out of the park" during the debate.
But the real big "crush" came when Texas Governor/former presidential candidate Rick Perry entered to "spin" on behalf of Newt Gingrich. Perry seemed happy to be back in the spotlight and stood for almost 10 minutes taking questions.
Rick Santorum apparently stops by every post-debate spin room and tonight was no exception.
I think it's accurate to say chaos ensued upon his entrance. He could not even make it onto the little platform on which the candidates are supposed to stand because he was so swarmed by cameras.
Luckily, we were able to throw him a couple of quick questions as he exited the spin room. He seemed tired as he was escorted out by security.
Then Gov.Jan Brewer made her way in, and said the debate was "fabulous," but that she still had not decided whom she will endorse, or would not say if she had.
While Ron Paul certainly had the most vocal and visible supporters outside of the debate, no big names came to "spin" for him after the debate. We did speak with his national press secretary who said Paul had fun on stage.
There was no sign of the other candidates. Romney's people don't tend to allow microphones to be thrust into his face. We were told the Gingriches left immediately after the debate to speak to supporters at a Scottsdale night club.