Sen. Hillary Clinton
LAS VEGAS, Nevada (CNN) – Sen. Hillary Clinton stepped into the ring Thursday in this city known for prize fights, successfully beating back an onslaught of punches thrown from the left and right as her opponents sought to rattle the front-runner seven weeks before the Iowa caucuses.
Clinton, who entered this Democratic debate vulnerable following a lackluster performance two weeks ago, came out fighting in the first round.
For the New York Democrat, a good defense was a strong offense, and she sought to silence her critics who stood just feet away.
"I don't mind taking hits on my record, on issues," she said. "But when somebody starts throwing mud, at least we can hope that it's both accurate and not right out of the Republican playbook."