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.

14 comments
  1. Ron Paul easily won. Its so much common sense to have a balanced budget, sort out the ferderal reserve looking after their buddies, and reduce the federal govt so people decisions are done by the individual states. On Foreign policy he is so damn sensible it makes me cringe to listen to the warmongers…USA is hated abroad for being bullies in the world playground…all you do is buy yourselves trouble with a big T. Listen to Paul most yanks are brainwashed into the present foreign policy and war mongering and cant see you create your own enemies.
    Suggesting Paul is a loser tends to make me think the writer is pretty dumb.

    1. Richard, I see you like applying Saul Alinsky tactics.  Because we disagree on Paul’s performance doesn’t make me dumb.  I don’t question your intelligence.  You can and I just see this differently (as does the rest of the electorate).

  2. Sadly, Shane you have, yourself, lied by your assertion – by your misrepresentation of the truth with what Dr. Paul said re: OBL.  That you rely on a video clip that has been selectively edited to remove the relevant content on either side of it speaks much more to your own integrity than it does to Dr. Paul’s.

    Deliberate twisting of someone’s words to create a false impression is in essence, lying …. which I don’t believe not a very Christian thing to do.Further, from reading your comments regarding several other candidates above, I am left with the inescapable conclusion that you align yourself with the ProLifers For Death, and Murderers for Jebus (who isn’t Jesus BTW)

      1. Is English a second language for you ?

        Which word in the following do you not understand:
        “…… not in the way it took place ….”

      2. I know “no” is the central word in his vocabulary, so perhaps he should have said, “yes I would, but this is what would have been different.”

        The fact is he’s doubled down on this position several times.  Only his supporters are not bothered by it.

  3. It’s journalists like you who try to decide for the voters and it sickens me. I used to be a Romney supporter until I started reading more on issues such as foreign policy. But what made me a RP supporter is how he is being ignored and downplayed by the media and journalists like you. I’m glad the majority of people disagree with you, twitter and Facebook tell a completely different story and view than the one you just displayed.

    1. My use of free speech sickens you?  This is commentary.  Guess what the majority of voters don’t disagree and the fact you’re referencing Facebook and Twitter as sources is laughable.

      1. On what do you base that assertion? We are but 2 of 50 primaries into this cycle. How do you know what the majority of voters want. the Chicago Council on Global Affairs ran a poll that showed only 18% of Americans want war with Iran. Where are you getting your information?

  4. Wow, swing and a miss, Shane.  Paul was saying he would go after terrorists (including OBL), however not by violating international law.  He voted for the authority to go after OBL in Afghanistan and astutely brings up how we outsourced this job to afghanis.  He also is for renewing the idea of letters of marque and reprisal. Please do an ounce of research next time before posting such garbage. Your article is my first impression of “Caffeinated Thoughts” and the small-minded and amateur nature of the piece hurt the credibility of the site.

  5. I agree that the three men who did the best were the three conservatives: Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, and Rick Perry. We are not electing a debater-in-chief however. Rick Santorum has my vote as the full spectrum conservative who will defeat Obama in the fall.

    1. rick santorum is hardly conservative.
      he is a lunatic psycho who suffers from delusions of grandeur, and will mercifully be gone after saturday.

  6. The Ronulans are too delusional to accept the fact that he still isn’t getting a majority. If Paul doesn’t win it was because . . . A. He was misunderstood.B. The media ignored/mistreated himC. The majority were too stupid to agree with him.D. All of the above.Must be nice to have an easy excuse for every loss.  The only things I’ve seen him win are those in which the measure of success is gauged by an online response.  Put the vote to Twitter, blogs, or FB and Paul has a landslide win.  Put it to an actual primary/caucus and he’ll get his typical crowd – those who probably won’t vote Republican anyway if he doesn’t win the nomination.

  7. Switch to de-caff. 

    Ok, so this isn’t exactly a Ron Paul hit piece, but just be well aware: The media has been so  egregious in its coverage (or lack thereof) on Dr. Paul that supporters are gonna bring the hate if your take isn’t even and fair across the board. And frankly, I am fine with it. 

    Anything perceived as anti-Paul is gonna not just pull hate, but fuel the fires of Paul’s support. so for that, I thank you.  

    RP2012 

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