Last week, millions of Americans tuned in to CNN to watch eight presidential contenders debate foreign policy and national security issues live from Washington D.C.’s Constitution Hall. Questions were asked by policy experts from The Heritage Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute, the co-hosts of debate. Critics agree that it was the “most substantive” debate of the season. Here are a few of those reactions. What did you think? Let us know in the comments below!

… a substantive debate that brought to the fore differences among candidates on a variety of foreign policy issues …

Jim Rutenberg and Jeff Zeleny, The New York Times

The Republican presidential candidates have held many debates with terrible moderators, biased questions, and nonsense about what food and beverages they prefer eating … Finally, America was brought a serious, adult debate where substance was served up from beginning to end.

Eric Golub, The Washington Times

…probably the most substantive and serious presidential debate of this election cycle.

Michael Barone, The Washington Examiner

The idea of having think-tank executives and scholars ask the questions worked marvelously well. The queries were much deeper and more substantive than those the candidates typically get from political journalists and handpicked ‘regular voters.’

James Taranto, The Wall Street Journal

Republican presidential candidates grappled Tuesday over how to balance civil liberties and securities, as they engaged in a lively and substantive debate over how best to protect Americans from threats around the world.

David Lightman and Steven Thomma, McClatchy Newspapers

The hosts of this debate – CNN, Heritage, and AEI – did a very nice job with both the debate generally, and with outreach to New Media sources (like, well, RedState**). The logistics to these things are formidable, by the way: successfully presenting a debate is not easy, but they did it.”

Moe Lane, Red State

…we got an articulate, informed and serious group of candidates responding to sober, intelligent questions — most of which were posed from the audience by associates of two conservative think tanks, Heritage Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute.

Michael A. Walsh, New York Post

Fortunately for CNN, Tuesday night’s debate will divert from the previous 11 network debates in both content and location … And to help drill down where the candidates stand, CNN has teamed up with two prominent conservative think tanks, the American Enterprise Institute and Heritage Foundation … Feist said, “It really is a partnership between the three organizations. In many ways, they are the foreign policy experts, so they are very much helping to drive the content of the debate.

Michael Calderone, The Huffington Post

…a tense national-security debate that laid out sharply contrasting views on how to keep America safe from attack.

The Seattle Times

This was also the best audience participation we’ve had at a debate, largely because the joint sponsorship by the Heritage Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute meant that the questions were coming from conservative intellectuals (including some recognizable faces, like Ed Meese, Fred Kagan, and Paul Wolfowitz) rather that the usual YouTube and Twitter rabble. As such, this was the first debate that actually seemed formatted for the tastes of a Republican audience aiming to seriously vet their choices for the presidential nomination.

Troy Senik,