This is a compilation of links and my own impressions from the 3rd GOP Debate of 2011 held at the Reagan Library.
The Lady’s Take:
Let me preface my remarks with the fact that MSNBC ran this debate. Biases aside, seriously, it was the worst run debate I’ve seen in two elections. What was worse was the post-debate panel. After 10 minutes I had to turn it off or be ill. The only saving grace was the acknowledgement and montage paying tribute to Reagan and a lovely focus on Nancy there in the audience. Foolishly, I expected a lot more from Brian Williams. The politico hack was predictable and laced his questions with verbage that I am sure (to him) was meant to sound even keeled but it failed. My biggest question was what was with the stunt of bringing a Telemundo personality out to ask questions on Immigration? Really MSNBC, you’re ‘Lean Forward’ tag line morphed right into ‘Lean Amnesty’ there.
The race has boiled down, for me, to four candidates – Perry, Romney, Gingrich and Cain. The poll here mirrors my assessment. I will break those four out but first some comments on the others. Santorum, try as he might, just is not winning me over. That is not to say I don’t like him because I do, but he’s seems so damn confrontational all the time. Paul has always been Mr. Constitution but that is not enough to lead this country out of the situation it is in and his short sightedness on foreign policy scares the Hell out of me. Paul’s answer on the border fence is a prime example of ideology trumping reality. Hunstman was never in it for me – the guy has something about him I can’t really put my finger on except to say I feel like he’s up there just to throw a Democratic wrench into the mix — or perhaps the Mormons bankrolling him think Romney isn’t their kind of Moron. Bachmann, while I admire her pluck and smarts on National Security, I find her to be fading fast. I was glad I wasn’t the only one to wonder about the extra-large hair. Petty? Yeah probably but wtf? I applaud her in standing firm and hope she really does repeal Obamacare.
Perry: Won it but with Romney nipping at his heels. A lot of pundits are saying that Romney won it, but for me it seemed more like Romney was auditioning for a VP slot. Despite being made a human punching bag for both moderators and participants, he didn’t tumble. You have to factor in he has just come in from dealing with a massive disaster in his state and it’s not over yet. I’d like to have seen a sharper response on the global warming crap and I think he was holding back a bit too much. He does his best when he’s using those brass balls of his instead of placating. He should have slapped around the moderators on the firefighter budget more.
Romney: Looked good, sounded good and snapped at the red meat the moderators threw at him. That’s not necessarily a good thing and we saw him back off Perry bashing later in the debate. This was a clear sign to me that he’s keeping his options open and that if he isn’t the nominee that he might be a clear VP pick. Romneycare is still over his head and I don’t see that going away. He has a weak job creation problem as Perry pointed out and I really can’t get a handle on where he stands on foreign policy.
Gingrich: People called last night’s debate the Perry-Romney show, but you know what? Gingrich had some of the best and most concise answers of any of them. He didn’t get nearly enough playing time up there and I think that was on purpose after he manhandled the moderators for their biased questioning. He’s a man with solidified opinions and with clear ideas on what do to about the hot topics. That is a plus in my mind but there is always this little hint that Newt will do what Newt wants despite all advice to the contrary.
Cain: He was strong in his answers and you can see him hitting a stride in terms of confidence up there. I’m not sold on his 9-9-9- plan and need to read more about it. Foreign policy remains his achilles heel. I could see him being great in the Commerce Department, however the Chilean model being injected is a little questionable but his using personalization in place of privatization makes all the difference in how he sees applying it. I happen to agree with personal retirement accounts. This confidence crossed over into interviews after the debate on MSNBC – he takes Sharpton head on and owns him. The Right Scoop has a video clip here.
9/7 Debate Links:
Michelle Malkin: Why the Reagan Library GOP debate sucked. This post encompasses a lot of my own thoughts about what wasn’t covered.
Yid With Lid: No Obama Speeches-Lets Use Rick Perry as a Pinata-Republican Candidate Debate. Yid read my mind again.
Gateway Pundit: Republicans Cheer Death Penalty at Reagan Library. I am glad someone caught this bit (with video!) because I was cracking up laughing at Brian Williams reaction and follow-up question about it. These aren’t liberals, Brian.
The Other McCain: Republican Debate Reaction Round-up: Romney vs Perry; Huntsman WTF? Let me just say this – LOL about the Huntsman bit. I’ve been saying this since the first debate! Hunstman is a non-starter and not even a VP pick. He’s just in the way.
The Washington Examiner: Perry Endures shots from Rivals in First Debate. MSNBC wasted no time in turning Perry into a “pinata at the party” as Perry put it.
PJ Tatler: Scoring the GOP Debate.
Weasel Zippers: Newt rips moderator for biased questioning. Glad they put this clip up, because it was obvious and needed to be called out.
NRO: The GOP Onstage. I found Nordlinger’s assessment of Perry a bit unfair considering he just came out of dealing with a disaster in his state and MSNBC made him the punching bag on about every question.
Instapundit: Glenn Reynolds has two links worth hitting – Althouse (who’s bias against Perry is obvious and who clearly wants to jump Romney) and Stephen Green (drunk), who both blogged the event.
Legal Insurrection: Republican Reagan Library Debate. I can always count on Professor Jacobson to find the best tweets and the one he showcases is my exact thought.
The Lonely Conservative: Thoughts on the GOP Primary debate. “Jon Huntsman, on the other hand, reminded me of why I don’t like him. Not only did his fake tan make him resemble Charlie Crist, he sounded more like Al Gore than any Republican I’ve ever met. I don’t see a whole lot of difference between Huntsman and Obama. They’re both really good at attacking Republicans.” Yes, yes.. YES!
The Hill: Fireworks erupt between Romney and Perry. Perry responded: “Michael Dukakis created jobs three times faster than you did, Mitt.” Romney retorted: “Well, as a matter of fact, George Bush and his predecessor created jobs at a faster rate than you did, governor.” Meoooowww. Nice jab Mitt, but you just highlighted that Perry did what it took two presidents two terms to do. About 1/2 through the debate, Mitt tries to make nice with Perry by softening the Gardisil issue the others attacked him on.
The Blaze: Perry on the Ponzi Scheme and Ron Paul wants to unplug the A/C for the troops. One of a couple of Paul’s Great Pumpkin Moments last night. Also, it IS a Ponzi scheme and I think those saying this hurts Perry are fooling themselves. We all clamor for honesty in debates, well, there you have it. It’s ugly, but it’s true.