Last night the GOP candidates went into hostile Michigan to face a hostile set of moderators who were booed into sticking to economic issues by the crowd after an unfair detour against Herman Cain. In all, the night turned into somewhat of a circus. Hopefully, the GOP will shun CNBC in the future, as this was the worst and most unprofessional case of moderation we have seen. But aside from that, let’s get to the winners and losers. First up…
It floored me when they tried to ask if companies should be making a profit or growing jobs. Excuse me, but how the heck do you create jobs if you aren’t making a profit?? Gingrich’s response was beautiful. Watching the moderator rolling her eyes when Gingrich said a 30 second answer on healthcare was ridiculous was fun to watch. But my favorite answer of Gingrich’s was on education, where he offered a real life example of a real life solution that addresses the issue of education that is getting exponentially expensive with much cheaper results. As someone who works full-time, is a full-time grad student and has been in college for a decade following various business and religious pursuits, I connected with Gingrich’s answer and could not agree more. This morning Neil Boortz in a morning phonecall to WOKV implied that Republicans needed to worry about who could beat Obama, not who would be the best President speaking of Newt Gingrich. Bull. Gingrich keeps winning debates because he is the smartest man on that stage. And he made a joke out of those bombastic, rude moderators.
Rick Santorum did well. This doesn’t mean anything, he still can’t win. But he did highlight his leadership on things like medical savings accounts and gave viewers no reason to mark him down. He has struggled in debates, but performed well last night. Ron Paul also did a good job. He avoided saying anything outlandish and produced a solid, constitutionalist approach. Bachmann did well, but was once again forgettable. Huntsman also did pretty well, though his attempt at “answer this in 30 seconds?” humor sounded like a lame, screwed up retelling of a good joke.
Mitt Romney needs to understand his precarious position. He is stuck at 30%. The rest of the GOP voters are looking for not-Mitt-Romney as their candidate. His smoothness, economic savvy, and gaffe free debate performances have gotten him this far (along with a great deal of establishment money). He needs to figure out how to get himself the rest of the way. He has to find a way to make Social Conservatives trust him. Mitt, if you are listening, make a major statement in favor of state personhood amendments. Consider that step one to breaking into the 40s in the polls.
Herman Cain also has hit a roadblock, but it is a policy roadblock. I think many viewers were left with the feeling that if nuclear missiles were airborne from China heading for the US, President Cain would be on the phone with the Chinese President telling him how his bold plan, the 9-9-9 plan, could solve their problems by growing China’s economy. 9-9-9 is to Herman Cain what Windex was to Tula’s family in My Big Fat Greek Wedding. This one dimensionalism will leave him open to a Gingrich rise. On the other hand, Cain did very well defending himself against accusations which are more and more looking like racist smears from the Axelrod/Democrat machine.
Rick, Rick, Rick. By the way, if you want to see the sexism of the left, just watch how long Perry’s crash and burn stays in the media cycle and blogosphere compared to a Palin or Bachmann gaffe. Talk about not being ready for primetime. I think Perry likes to start talking and get rolling, and that’s why he sometimes forgets what he was talking about mid-sentence. No excuses. You are running for President of the United States. Running before you secure the ball is how you lose games. Running your mouth before you have your answer and grasp on the issues is what makes Presidents say stupid things. E.g. Barack Obama talking about police officers who arrested his professor friend.
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