October 18th Republican Debate Review
October 19, 2011 Leave a comment
Last night CNN hosted a debate with Anderson Cooper Vanderbilt as host. Keep in mind this host has accused Republicans of lying eight times more than Democrats on his CNN show. Not surprisingly as moderator of the debate Cooper encouraged fighting and asked loaded leftist questions. On to the analysis.
Let’s start with Rick Perry who essentially lost any hope he had last night. Perry came out with over the top attacks on Mitt Romney, including accusing him of hiring illegal house help. He brought this up repeatedly, as though his accusation would somehow make everyone forget he’s giving free college education to illegals in Texas. There’s no point in going through all that went wrong for Perry last night. But it should be noted that all of the stunts Perry pulled were straight out of the Democrat Party handbook. He grew up in that party and he clearly hasn’t given it up.
Herman Cain did not have a particularly good night. He failed to properly address concerns with his 999 plan. His plan is revenue neutral and the middle class isn’t going to be paying more in taxes. What he failed to point out last night is that 999 eliminates FICA and Medicare taxes, which total around 9%. Businesses would no longer pay their share of that 9% to employees, which effectively equals the sales tax increase thus prices wouldn’t rise. Cain had to explain that and he didn’t. It was also incredibly troubling to hear he might negotiate with terrorists for the release of Guantanamo Bay terrorists. He backed off his original statement but it was troubling nonetheless.
Mitt Romney was in the middle of a number of heated exchanges. He bested Cain, Perry and Newt last night. It won’t win him the nomination yet but it puts him a step closer. Romney is certainly capable of being President. His problem remains his flip flopping and his Rockefeller Republicanism. He isn’t a conservative, which is why the party will continue to rate him below 30%. Even after a very strong performance last night.
Newt is perhaps the most knowledgable candidate on state. He knows the conservative position and articulates it better than anyone else. His vow to challenge Obama to Lincoln-Douglas style 3 hour debates with no moderator was priceless. One wonders if Newt doesn’t become the next conservative flavor of the month if Cain drops off. He had another strong performance.
Michele Bachmann’s voice is shrill and she continues to repeat the same old lines. Though I’ll give her credit for not mentioning her 28 children this debate. Nevertheless she mentioned her tax attorney job from 20 years ago and the fact that she’ll repeal Obamacare. Bachmann has strong positions, she makes good arguments. But she makes the same arguments over and over again. The problem I have with Bachmann is that she knows everything that’s wrong with the current administration but she tells us little of her vision to replace all that she would get rid of. Until she can offer a vision outside of getting rid of all things Obama, she can’t possibly be a first tier candidate.
Rick Santorum is the only guy up there talking about the family. The family is the #1 enemy of the progressive left and it always has been. So it’s great to see one of these guys talking about it. But Santorum comes off so whiny. He comes off as the neglected underdog who wants to tell you all about how neglected he is. Last night he seemed to support Iran-Contra, which ought to end his chances completely. When you’re polling under 5% you can’t expect to stick around when you support something like Iran-Contra. Santorum loves to mention how he’s won two elections in blue state Pennsylvania. He neglects to mention he lost his last re-election battle in 2006. It’s time for Santorum to end his campaign.
What does one say about Ron Paul? It wouldn’t be a debate without Paul grousing about the Fed. He can’t help but mention it, as though we don’t know his position. It wouldn’t be a debate without him declaring that terrorists aren’t actually terrorists, as he did yet again last night. If Ron Paul were just running an economic campaign, he wouldn’t be so bad. But Paul has a well thought out foreign policy that is contrary to the overwhelming majority of Republicans. He isn’t like Cain, who’s inexperience can be made up for with solid advisers. Paul has thought about these issues for decades and like the far left he takes the blame America position. This is the single biggest issue keeping him from rising to the level of contender.
Win: Romney because he dished it to everyone and didn’t make any mistakes
Place: Newt, with Cain’s fall Newt took advantage and may be the next flavor of the month
Show: Bachmann, she’s shrill and didn’t offer anything new but she at least does a good job saying the same thing over and over again. But let’s face it, no one else did a good enough job to come in third place.
Big Losers: Perry’s campaign is done after last nights debate. Cain didn’t do as good a job as he should have but he has enough support right now that he has a chance to rebound.