CNN SC GOP Presidential Debate (1/19/12)

CNN South Carolina

PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE RUNDOWN

The Full Video: FULL CNN GOP Debate South Carolina January 19 2012 – YouTube

The Full Transcript: CNN Transcript of the GOP Debate in N. Charleston – Charleston, SC

The Lady’s Take:

Gingrich won this one too. He came out with both barrels blazing as John King predictably kicked off the debate by asking him about his ex-wife Marianne’s accusations of an open marriage. It was a thing of beauty and I have never seen a commentator taken down quite as forcefully as I saw last night. I had to rewind and replay it a few times. That was the angry little attack muffin we all know! After the smack down part subsided, Gingrich answered the question: the claims are false.  He also added that they gave ABC several rebuttal witnesses and their version of events and ABC was uninterested in it. Imagine that. All of his answers tonight drew strong applause. He also used his time wisely and was  very succinct in his replies, often times weaving them into a nicely aimed attack on Obama.

Romney did himself little harm last night. He had several zingers in there that were clever but at the end of the debate he found himself stumbling over releasing his tax returns as Gingrich had done just prior to the debate commencing. On one hand, I understand his hesitation until he knows he is the nominee or not, but on the other hand he was made to  look the fool for not having released at least 2010’s.  He also took a lot of heat from Santorum on Romneycare. Santorum must have decided to forget all the past debates where the distinctions were drawn because he returned to the old attack that Romneycare was the model for Obamacare. Yawn. One thing that made me cheer  him was his defense of capitalism lines and not apologizing for being successful. Romney also took the debate back to Obama quite often — that needs to happen a lot more now.

Santorum had a strong debate. Having said that, he still didn’t sway me much. His lines of attack were sort of askew. I could see where he was trying to go but he didn’t get there very smoothly. I found him a tad naive – or rather unrealistic – on illegal immigration. His attacks on Gingrich for his plan (which was long and involved) made him look out of his depth a bit. He also went after Gingrich on healthcare and was summarily dismissed by Gingrich with a long list of facts – which Santorum ignored and continued to attack as if Gingrich had not even answered. Santorum did that a few times to Gingrich. Santorum did not alter his attack but returned to a canned talking point attack which gave the impression to me that he has trouble thinking fast on his feet.  The one thing that truly bothered me about him overall was his answer on SOPA. I think he backs it and King didn’t make  him expand on  his answer enough to suit me. His response, for me, says he is in line with the onus for protection of content being on the end-user instead of the producer. Wrong answer.

Paul was Paul. Predictable and during the illegal immigration bit defaulted to his ‘the fence will keep us in’ routine. Yawn. I did feel kind of bad for him a few times as it was clear John King was either ignoring him or blowing him off. Perhaps both .King nearly skipped him on two questions and the audience called King out for it. I’m glad, because regardless of how I feel about Paul, he should have his turn to respond to each question. His answers on abortion I liked. Side note: Paul also said he had no intention of releasing his tax returns.

CNN of course steered away from Foreign policy as much as possible and concentrated on issues that have a social factor to them.  Shocker. They revisited abortion – again. They managed to use up enough time so that Iran didn’t get touched.

Winner: Gingrich

The Rest in Order: Romney, Santorum, Paul

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About A.P. Dillon

A.P. Dillon is a freelance journalist and is currently writing at The North State Journal. She resides in the Triangle area of North Carolina. Find her on Twitter: @APDillon_
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