Mitt Romney's showed flashes of testiness at last week's debate. It was the first time a national audience saw it, but that side of him has come through several times on the campaign trail this time around -- something that wasn't seen as much in 2007-2008.
Romney's raw reactions are reminiscent of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, whose popularity with conservatives seemed to soar higher because of his contentious moments with voters. Christie considered a run himself, but opted against it and endorsed Romney.
But is Romney channeling his inner Christie -- or is this just how he reacts to being challenged?
There's a split on the interpretations of Romney's testy moments. Some, including the campaign, say the moments reflect strength. Others thought differently.
Republican voters may respond to the confrontational style in a primary, but will swing voters in a general election?
Romney campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul responded this way in an email to First Read:
"These moments have been moments of strength for Gov. Romney -- he has shown his passion about the issues and made it clear that he is going to stand up for what he believes in and to defend his record from misrepresentations."
The statement pivoted to President Obama:
"While President Obama has created an economic disaster zone, yet still seems to think things are going well, Gov. Romney realizes that this campaign is about the big issues facing our country and understands what is at stake."