Former mayor Rudy Giuliani mugged and joked when lightning struck as he was going to discuss remarks a bishop made comparing Rudy to Pontius Pilate during last night's third Republican debate. His sound was cut and the other Republican presidential hopefuls also got into the act - Mitt Romney pointed at him - and Giulani said, "Look, for someone who went to parochial schools all his life, this is a very frightening thing that's happening now."

As for the debate itself, the candidates discussed the immigration bill (Rudy called it "a typical Washington mess"), evolution (Huckabee said God created the world) and the war (McCain criticized Hillary Clinton "for calling the invasion of Iraq 'President Bush's war'"). The Daily News gave high marks to Giuliani and McCain, noting how Giuliani "attacked Dems instead of GOP rivals" and was impressed with McCain's "passionate defense of the immigration bill" (Romney was "not so Reaganesque this time").

And while possible candidate Fred Thompson was not at the debate, he told Fox News, “It’s a badge of honor to get attacked by some of these bozos." Well, Fred, sure, but your new website's URL, ImwithFred.com, is pretty goofy.

Finally, today the Giuliani campaign revealed Rudy won't be competing in the Ames Iowa straw poll, which The Caucus says is "the earliest indicator of where Republican primary voters stand." The campaign cited the cost ($3 million) and how there are other early primaries.

Photograph of Romney and Giuliani by Elise Amendola/AP