suxdebateMuch, much, much, much better than last week’s ABC News/Yahoo! News Debate.  So Fox News is a winner for asking different and more substantive questions.  The only question that I did not like was the one about “electability.”  That is too subjective and driven by media poll narratives.

Newt Gingrich: He had a solid debate with the exception of the Freddie/Fannie question, I think he lost some votes there.  It’s just hard to defend yourself when you’ve been paid over a million dollars by an entity that is hopelessly broken.  Linking working for them with volunteering for Habitat for Humanity was an epic fail.  Things were much improved after that, and his answer on reigning in the judiciary was masterful.  I especially liked his line to Megyn Kelly, “historians know better than lawyers” about this subject was classic.  He handled Bachmann’s critique of his endorsements well, and avoided attacks on his immigration position.  I was rather surprised he wasn’t attacked more.

Mitt Romney: Much better debate than last week.  No major gaffes, no sound byte moments, but then as it is with Romney nothing really memorable either.  He was honest about his support of gay rights.  What he fails to realize is the “anti-discriminatory” polices he supports led to same-sex marriage rulings he says he was against.  His response to Santorum’s critique was weak.  That won’t matter much to his current supporters, but to those who care about this issue and were giving him a look over it will turn them off.

Both Gingrich and Romney needed to be asked that while they say they are pro-life why do they support exceptions?  I was disappointed no one went there.

Rick Perry:  Best debate yet, his strongest answer was about Eric Holder and Fast and Furious.  I’m curious to hear how he would make Congress part-time and cut salaries when Congress votes on the budget.  That’s a promise he can’t keep.  Also I wonder why is he in favor of a no-fly zone over Syria when they aren’t bombing their people, exactly what would this accomplish?  He didn’t have any gaffes, but he wasn’t overly impressive either.

Rick Santorum:  Solid answers.  He had a good exchange with Romney on marriage, he was ready for addressing Romney’s position on it.  He was strong on discussing his manufacturing jobs plan.  His best moment in the debate was discussing the Iranian threat.  His answer on border security and future concerns within our hemisphere was also good.  My fear is that these debates are not helping him as they could since he’s largely being ignored.  All in all solid debate.

Michele Bachmann: She went on the attack, and she needed to.  I don’t think it was effective though.  While I disagreed with some of Gingrich’s endorsements, her statement saying he said he’d back Republicans who support partial-birth abortion was taken out of context.  He said he’d campaign for Republicans, not that he specifically supported those who were in favor of that procedure.  Again, I disagree with him on this, but Bachmann put words in his mouth and she doesn’t seem to have all of her facts straight when attacking him.  With Iran she also had a good answer, honestly nothing else really stood out for me.

Ron Paul: Only Ron Paul fans will believe he won that debate.  He was good the first hour.  I was actually surprised that he said he believed anyone on the stage could beat Obama, but avoided giving the answer to what they were really looking for – if he will run third party if he doesn’t get the nomination.  He fell apart on Iran, this has been his Achilles heel in the debates.  Showing concern for a state sponsor of terror acquiring a nuclear weapon is not the same as wanting to be the policeman of the world.  Saying you don’t want to take a military option off the table doesn’t mean you’re eager to start a war.  What you are concerned about is our Israeli friends, and the fact they will have a nuclear shield and it will embolden them to continue to sponsor terrorism.

Side note: Any Ron Paul supporter that comes over to this blog and labels any other candidate or another candidate’s supporter a “warmonger” will have their comment deleted and they will be banned.  I’m tired of the rhetoric. Just saying… you’ve been warned.

Jon Huntsman: Not a bad debate, but like Santorum was marginalized.  Nothing he said really stood out to me.  Some issues he’s really good on, others not so much.  Perhaps if he would come to Iowa I’d take more time to actually examine his record, and if he’d give Iowans the opportunity to ask him some questions we’d be able to learn more about him.  I think one of the things that turn me off (besides some of his policy positions) is how smug he seems when he debates.  Superficial?  Probably, but that isn’t the only reason why I’m not supporting him.

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  1. What a dumbass, ron paul obviously won it given by the cheers.  But bachman wasnt given enough time otherwise she might have.

  2. I wouldn’t say Iran is Ron Paul’s achilles heel. The moderators were hard on him on this issue and he defended his position vigorously. For the US to take military action against Iran (including economic sanctions) over their unwillingness to cooperate on nuclear inspections is wrong. Israel has also refused nuclear inspections and refuses to sign the nuclear non-proliferation treaty. Yet the other candidates are bending over backwards to say the US should be sending military aid to Israel. Ron Paul explains his position much better when he’s not forced into a 30 or 60 second response time.  His pre-debate interview with Megyn Kelly was very conciliatory and really helped to explain his more controversial positions:

    1. Has Israel declared they are working to eliminate the USA? Iran has. Iran has declared this many times, by government officials and the true Rulers, Iatola Konami and crew. Do you not believe them? Is declaring they are working to eliminate the USA not a declaration of war? Iran has been very clear, is it that you just wish it not to be true? If your neighbor told you and anyone who would listen that they plan on blowing your house up while you and your family slept on a daily basis and then started aiming rocket launchers at your house, would you just ignore the threat? By your assertion the police or anybody else would have no right to intervene. Would you be announcing your neighbor has every right to do this and stay out of his business? In your line of thinking as he aimed the launchers and declared that he is now going to shoot, not even YOU would have the right to shoot him before he eliminated you, your house and your family. 

      1. This is Ron Paul’s stance on Iran in a nutshell. I am not a Warmonger but I will not ignore countries that openly declare War. Lord knows I will not vote for a President that will!

      2. I would agree, Ron Paul will not ignore countries that openly declare war. But that’s a gross hypothetical as no country has declared war on US since World War 2. We can have a strong military without having a physical presence in 120 countries. Sweden and Switzerland are not the targets of Iran because they have no bases threatening Iran. We’re much safer if we bring the forces back to the US. Ron Paul’s foreign policy is the safest course to follow.

  3. North Korea is isolationist.
    Switzerland is non interventionst.
    US is interventionist.

     What Ron Paul advocates is not using the Dept. of Defense for Offense. Preventative pre-emptive strikes and wars are Offense unless there is a direct threat to the US. He doesn’t single any country out for anything, treat them all the same. Don’t throw the 1st stone; but if a response is required have it agreed and declared and then win it.

     Voters have a choice. I would hope that those that choose offensive options for our military are honest enough to have themselves, their own children and neighbors sign up to fight.

     We won’t be able to effectively differentiate ourselves with Obama on foreign policy by trying to start more undeclared wars than he has.


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