The remaining candidates came out again to debate in South Carolina. Voters should take notice because this one was very important.
For example, Paul was booed heavily for his foreign policy and views about whether or not we should have gone after Bin Laden. Romney was booed heavily for saying that the President should be able to detain US citizens without habeus corpus indefinitely if they are terror suspects. Meanwhile Gingrich brought down the house with wild applause when Juan Williams challenged him on having children in poor schools work as a form of racism and Newt gave such a clear and profound answer that Juan’s original question ended up sounding absurd.
Santorum scored points with states rights positions and rebutting Romney’s citizen detention stance, but also demonstrated that he has baggage by admitting he was wrong in his support for several bills such as No Child Left Behind.
Santorum and Paul both had to defend themselves as representatives of states when it came to right to work and the right to sue gun manufacturers. If you are ok with Romney’s explanation on Romneycare, you are probably ok with Santorum and Paul’s excuses as well.
Romney and Santorum were timid on Social Security private accounts. In fact, Romney’s debate performance wreaked of playing it safe. Although, he did help himself by strongly condemning the Superpac system. We will see if his Superpacs slow down at all as a result of his public admonition, or if it ends up just being a show.
Newt had a strong debate performance. Meanwhile Romney’s safe approach made him near irrelevant in comparison. Perry’s tired attack lines became even more useless when he called for Romney to release his tax returns. Why Rick? What smoking gun are you going to find in his tax return? That he has a lot of money? Conservatives don’t vote against people because they make money.
Santorum did well, but came across as Romney’s Huntsman to Newt Gingrich. Ron Paul probably stirred up the most debate, coming across as a conservative superstar half the time and a dangerous ideologue at others.
In the end, just like early November debates, this one should be a game changer for Newt, but probably won’t be.