Tag Archives: Perry

S.C. GOP Debate Recap: No Huntsman & Not-Romney's

Monday night in Myrtle Beach, SC marked the 139th GOP debate in this election cycle. Well, perhaps that number is a bit high, but its close! With the number of debates ticking up month by month, there is virtually nothing new for the candidates to reveal about their platforms or positions.  South Carolina was not a debate to watch for new revelations.  What makes the Myrtle Beach debate so interesting is the fact that now that the field is thinning out, the gloves are coming off.

Huntsman officially bowed out of the race earlier in the day, bringing the number of men on stage down to five.  He wasn’t missed.

It was obvious from the start that Newt was fired up and ready to go after Romney.  He has made it his mission since Iowa to tear down Romney every chance he gets.  Newt is angry about Romney’s Super PAC and he made sure everybody knew it Monday night.  As a matter of fact, it seemed every candidate had finally decided to attack Mitt’s record on stage.  It may be too little too late, but it was almost refreshing to see Mitt being forced to defend himself with nearly every question/comment.  The only way any one else will become the nominee is to attack the front-runner directly.  If Mitt does win, he’ll be attacked like that every day in the generals.  Either way, it’s a win for Republicans to have the former Massachusetts governor challenged relentlessly.  Mitt seemed thrown off his game a bit by all the attention. He stuttered and dodged more than he previously has in any debate. This was clearly Romney’s worst debate performance to date.  That being said, it was still a performance worthy of at least a satisfactory rating from Romney fans.  Not-Romney candidates take note: Mitt is not accustomed to attacks.

I really hate to draw the ire of Paulistinians (as Levin calls them), but he really did seem kookier than normal in South Carolina.  Oh sure, the typical Paul crowd was in attendance, whooping and hollering with every Ron Paul-ism Ron Paul uttered.  But Ron Paul’s Ron Paul act is getting tired, and weird.  He made some vague distinctions between military spending and defense spending, complained at length (again) about useless wars and battle-happy Americans who “can’t wait” to start more wars; then he told the audience that he has more military support than any other candidate on stage. The Ronulans were clearly and typically impressed, but I suspect Paul did nothing to sway anyone else.

And what was up with Juan Williams? Did he just use the list of questions Stephanopolous rejected from the last debate? Williams spent a good amount of his moderating time race-baiting and giving typical left-wing talking points in the form of questions.  Diane Sawyer was proud, I’m sure.  We may hear a bit about Santorum regarding this tomorrow. He did step in it a bit when talking about the issues of letting felons vote and how it affects African-Americans.  His point was salient, but no doubt Media Matters and Rachael Maddow will have lots of fun with the old “conservatives are racist bastards” meme for the rest of the week.

Perry continues to turn in strong debate performances. He’s sunk a lot of capital into South Carolina and this could be his last stand. If Perry doesn’t poll well here, its questionable as to whether or not he stays in the race after this.  Perry was up to the task and took every chance to paint himself as the last “outsider” candidate – pro military, pro capitalism, pro small government, anti-Obama.  I’ve noticed the quality of Perry’s debate performances has increased as the height of his shirt collar has decreased.  Coincidence?

Santorum looked very confident and perhaps tied Newt as the winner of this debate.  He stumbled a bit, but only a bit and he received big applause for direct and strong attacks on Mitt Romney.  It is obvious Santorum is ramping up and with the news that he may have won Iowa after all, it is no wonder.  It was a good night for Santorum supporters, but the question remains: did he convince any new voters to lend him their support?

The primary train rolls on, considerably lighter but also much faster.  Tuesday’s primary vote in South Carolina will only bring the race into sharper focus. The process is tiring, but we are getting closer to the endgame. I’ll be honest, though  – the first man who promises to rid America of Flo from those damn insurance commercials gets my vote.

 

crossposted to kiradavis.net

NBC is Run By Heathens: GOP Sunday Morning Debate Recap

Two Republican debates within 12 hours of each other are enough to make even the biggest political junkie fatigued.  Sunday morning saw the follow up to the Saturday night ABC debate (Worst. Debate. Ever.) hosted by NBC and Facebook and moderated by David “Why are all Republicans racist, capitalist pigs” Gregory.  Apparently the heathens at NBC don’t attend church. Surprising? Hardly.

This debate was much, much better than Saturday night’s martini fueled disaster (there was some question as to Sawyer’s sobriety), although that is not due to Gregory’s moderating, that much is sure.  I won’t delve too much into Gregory’s liberal bias. We all know and understand where he’s coming from.  It is no surprise that all his questions were thinly veiled “gotcha” questions so let’s not waste time on that.  What was surprising is that the candidates seemed much more alert and enthused at this early morning debate than the previous night.  With the possible exception of Jon Huntsman everyone on the stage looked alert and ready to rumble. Huntsman looked quite tired. I can’t blame him. He’s staked everything on a New Hampshire surge and I’m quite sure he spent the better part of the night boning up for this last debate before the primary votes are counted. Huntsman look tired, but he sounded more enthused than in any previous debates I can remember. He even reached out to attack Romney once or twice and clearly David Gregory and NBC want Huntsman to make a splash in New Hampshire. He is in last place in every poll but was offered more time screen time than most of the other candidates and certainly more than he’s received in debates thus far.

The real surprise this morning was Rick Perry. Saturday night he looked good, but Sunday morning he looked great. Perry is obviously staking his ground as the last “outsider” in the field and it seems to have reenergized him.  He refused to be sucked into the gotcha questions and succinctly expressed his opinion that big government and socialist policies have been destroying America for far to long.  Perry was also the only in the field Sunday morning to consistently remind voters that Obama is a socialist. Mr. Gregory didn’t like that. He offered Perry very few turns to speak.

Rick Santorum was much better than his very decent Saturday night performance. Perhaps his best line came when asked what he would do if his son told him he was gay (insert eye roll here). Santorum responded, “I would love him just as much as I did the second before he told me.” What a dumb question. It made me wonder if the moderator from New Hampshire has any children. As a voter I was most curious to see how he would address the right to work issue, as he had voted against it while in the Senate. He was offered the opportunity and explained that he voted against the legislation in the Senate because Pennsylvania was not a right to work state and he did not wish to give Washington D.C. the power to determine Pennsylvania state law. Its up to the voters to decide if that answer was satisfactory.

While each candidate did take a turn at jabbing Romney, the only one that really went for the throat was Gingrich, predictably. Newt is mad about Romney’s super pac attack ads and he has vowed to take down Romney accordingly.  At this point a Gingrich win seems unlikely, but the remaining candidates will probably owe him a debt of gratitude when this is all over, since no one else is willing to go for Mitt’s jugular.

There was the typical line of questioning about gay rights and gay marriage because as we all know Republican primary voters are very concerned about that. Somewhere along the way two New Hampshire news personalities (I use that term lightly) showed up to self-righteously grill the candidates about why they are such cruel, racist, classist, sexist homophobes.  They fit right in with David Gregory. Why do we let people like this moderate GOP debates? It does little to illuminate the real issues REPUBLICAN voters are concerned with.

Saturday night’s debate was a true and complete disaster.  Sunday morning’s debate was slightly more dignified, but it was the performance of the candidates that elevated it in the end.  Clearly these men are sensing that the final push is on.  Perry seems to have finally awoken and is depending on a very good showing in South Carolina to garner the next GOP surge, which will be bad news for Santorum if he pulls it off.  Tuesday’s primary in New Hampshire will be very telling.  I look forward to putting a fine point on some of these races… but please, no more Sunday morning debates. Especially from the East Coast. Some of us on the Left Coast actually enjoy sleeping past 5:30 a.m. on the weekends.

 

crossposted at kiradavis.net

ABC New Hampshire GOP Debate: Worst. Debate. Ever.

Saturday night’s Republican debate has to go down as one of the worst debates of the year, and maybe even in history.  It was hosted on ABC and moderated by Diane Sawyer, George Stephanopolous and some other dude who disappeared half way through; there was some question as to whether or not Diane Sawyer was actually sober.  Her speech was slightly slurred at times, her eyes not always focused, and in some points it seemed she wasn’t really even paying attention.  Perhaps there was something spoiled in their “pre-game” meal because her colleague, Josh somebody (McElveen, actually) asked one question of the candidates before he disappeared. He wasn’t heard from again for the rest of the broadcast, which mysteriously ended a full 20 minutes early.  It was unclear if that was planned or not, but the end came so abruptly it was jarring. The audio from the mics made each candidate sound like they were broadcasting from outer space and I’m not sure, but I think Sawyer may have forgotten to comb her hair before she hit the stage.  It was all extremely odd.

Apparently George has some insider information that Republicans will be selecting their primary candidate based on gay marriage and contraceptives.  That’s right: birth control.  Georgie grilled Mitt Romney over the issue of states banning contraceptives for minutes!  It was so bizarre even Romney was taken aback by the question…all four times it was asked.  By the last time even the largely subdued audience was booing Steph, and one heckler managed to raise his voice above the boos to chide Steph. I couldn’t make out what he was saying, but if it was anything close to what I was yelling at the television it went something like this: “Contraceptives George? Really? Unemployment is sky high and national debt is at $15 trillion and rising and you’re asking about birth control? Shut up!”…I’ll stop there because it got a little blue after that. My apologies to my Twitter followers.

Gay marriage and birth control may be issues the larger population will want more answers on in the generals, but these are primary elections and it’s the economy, stupid!

The candidates were largely a let down as well – although I can’t tell if it was really them or if the moderator’s questions were so inane that the candidates could do little with them. Santorum was obviously the one to watch Saturday night coming out of Iowa. The first question was directed at him and he got off to a choppy start.  He seemed a bit nervous.  Santorum isn’t used to leading and it showed.  His performance got stronger as the night went on, but it wasn’t as strong as he needed it to be.

This was perhaps Rick Perry’s best debate so far.  Unfortunately he wasn’t given the opportunity to answer a question until 20 minutes into the debate, and he was rarely heard from the whole evening. Could that be why he sounded so much better?  In actuality, Perry had some very solid and stirring points on defense, foreign affairs and energy. If his heart is still in this thing, this could be the point where we see Perry start to gain some momentum. Clearly debates are not his strong suit, but Presidents are not elected on debates alone. Two words – George Bush.

The rest of the field seemed satisfactory, if not boring. Romney was strong but vague as usual and Newt made an applause-worthy point during Stephie’s sexy-time grilling about gay marriage and contraceptives. He pointed out the hypocrisy of forcing Catholic adoption services to close and leave orphans without this vital service because of their beliefs and anti-Christian bigotry. It was a great point that only Newt could have made with such sharpness and confidence.

Ron Paul actually played the race card and it was very strange. This may be the first time I’ve ever noticed Ron Paul responding to his media coverage. He’s been having a few issues with old racist newsletters he published (but did not personally write) many years ago and it was obvious he was sensitive to that.  I think Paul’s surge is over, despite ABC’s best effort by giving him more screen time than any other candidate. Will he go third party?

Jon Huntsman was there. Skipping Iowa, he seems to have put all his eggs in the New Hampshire basket; but if he was hoping this debate would give him the chance to surge I suspect he and his supporters will be disappointed. Huntsman seems like a nice man and he’d probably be a whole lot better of a President than Obama, but he’s not a serious candidate at this point.

Besides a couple of chuckles and one or two applause lines no one stood out Saturday night. No one stepped out to claim his right to the Presidency with boldness. The losers of this debate were clearly ABC, Stephanopolous and Diane Sawyer.  I was on Twitter and Facebook through the entire debate and the general consensus seemed to be that Diane was drunk and George was stupid. Why do Republicans let former Clinton operatives and liberal journalists who hate us all run these things? Its ridiculous. Saturday night must surely go down as the Worst Debate Ever. My professional conclusion? ABC sucks. Worst debate ever. Oh, did I say that already? Sorry.

Worst Debate Ever.

 

crossposted at kiradavis.net

Perry Stays In The Race

Not to be deterred by a poor 5th place finish in Iowa last night, Texas Gov. Rick Perry tweeted the following:

And the next leg of the marathon is the Palmetto State…Here we come South Carolina!!!

Perry spokesman Mark Miner said Perry would stay in Texas until Friday. After that he will head to New Hampshire and participate in the two debates this weekend and will then head to South Carolina.

It was confirmed he will continue his bid for the nomination even though Tuesday night he said “With the voters’ decision tonight in Iowa, I decided to return to Texas, assess the results of tonight’s caucus … and determine whether there is a path forward for myself in this race.”

A CBSNews report stated Perry told reporters in West Des Moines, Iowa, he thought the Iowa caucusing process was “loosey goosey” and that he was looks forward to competing in “actual primaries.”

“This wasn’t a hard decision,” Perry said. “[Iowa] is a quirky place, a quirky process to say the least and we’re going to go into places where they have actual primaries and there are going to be real Republicans voting.”