Reporting Jon Keller
BOSTON (CBS) – The Republican candidates said volumes without saying a word during Tuesday night’s debate.
WBZ’s Jon Keller and body language expert Don Khory took a closer look at the body language of the presidential hopefuls.
According to body language experts, we can learn even more from the way they look and react than we can from their rhetoric.
Khoury said the key to this and any other debate isn’t what the candidates say, but how they say it, and how they react to what others say.
Watch Keller @ Large:
“Reports are now out that 84 percent of Americans would pay more taxes under (Herman Cain’s tax) plan,” former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum said in the debate.
When Santorum went after Cain’s 9-9-9 tax-reform plan, Khoury saw trouble in Cain’s body language.
“He’s leaking nervousness, he’s leaking fear, a number of things… He’s going to start to falter,” said Khoury.
Khory said the dust-up with Mitt Romney was a disaster for Texas Gov. Rick Perry, starting when Romney grabbed his arm.
“He’s demeaning Perry, ‘Little boy, let me tell you how it is. Let me guide you through this,’” said Khoury.
Perry then pointed his finger at Romney.
“He quickly pulled the finger back because he knew he shouldn’t have been pointing the finger at him,” said Khoury. “You can point a finger at third parties and inanimate objects, or at institutions, but never point the finger at a person because that makes you look bad.”
Romney was not without his bad body-language moments.
“He’s getting frustrated. This interlocking of the fingers would show frustration. The higher up you go would indicate the more frustrated you are,” said Khoury.
All in all though, Romney performed well, according to Khoury.
“(Romney) conveys a certain amount of intellect. He conveys a certain amount of transparency. He conveys that he’s actually thought a lot of these things through and he believes much of what he says,” said Khoury.
Khoury gives very high marks for body language to a candidate who wasn’t at the debate in Las Vegas on Tuesday night: former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman. In fact, he predicts the New Hampshire primary will come down to a Romney-Huntsman battle.
You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. and 12:25 p.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.