This was probably the best debate I’ve seen so far. It is amazing what narrowing the field by two candidates can do in order to provide more time for the candidates. Quick run down of the winners and losers.
Winners: Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum
Gingrich had the best moment in the debate with the exchange with Juan Williams in the video below:
(HT: Hot Air)
Gingrich also had a great exchange with Ron Paul over Al Qaeda, in particular authorizing going after Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan (more on that when I discuss Paul). His attack on Romney’s user of Super PACs felt flat in light of his own being charged with making false statements in regards to Mitt Romney’s record at Bain Capital. Overall a solid debate as we have come to expect from the former Speaker.
Rick Santorum also had a good night. As he said he would do this morning he was going to go after Romney and Ron Paul on their ads. The best exchange was with Mitt Romney:
You can see his exchange with Ron Paul here. He was also solid on foreign policy and manufacturing jobs. Below is a clip of his criticism of President Obama’s handling of Syria:
Rick Perry, while I wouldn’t say he won the debate, this had to be his best debate. His best moment and applause line was when he said South Carolina is at war with the Federal government:
Losers: Ron Paul and Mitt Romney
Ron Paul actually gave a pretty good answer to the question related to his plan to cut military spending, but then the second hour of the debate came and foreign policy was discussed. He again proved that he is out of his depth. Here’s Gingrich taking him to task:
Then proved himself to be a liar when he denied saying he would not have authorized killing Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan. The problem is he said it all right, on the Simon Conway Show on WHO Radio 1040 AM in Des Moines, IA. You can watch below:
Mitt Romney was the king of dodging questions tonight. He was put on the defensive.