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Front-runner's Absence Noted At Forum

Texas Gov. Rick Perry, c,  answers question from citizens and the media in Bastrop after his return from a campaign trip to South Carolina on September 5, 2011.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry, c, answers question from citizens and the media in Bastrop after his return from a campaign trip to South Carolina on September 5, 2011.

Rick Perry missed his first opportunity to appear on a national stage with his Republican rivals, but the absence of the presidential front-runner did not keep him out of the conversation.

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