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GOP N.H. Debate: What Did We Learn?

The one thing that stands out in my mind after watching the GOP Presidential Debate in New Hampshire last night is that we have a stronger, more potent group of challengers to Barack Obama than most people know, or are willing to admit today, especially in the media. While we have been told there is no front-runner, or no real stand-out Republican candidate, I believe just the opposite was revealed last night. At minimum we have five or six strong, viable candidates right now, even without the very potent conservative from Texas, Governor Rick Perry, and the former VP candidate and Governor of Alaska, one Sarah Palin throwing their hat in the ring. Competition brings the cream to the top, and right now the competition for the 2012 Republican Presidential candidacy is wide open. This heavy-hitting lineup of conservative Americans also has folks like Rudy Guiliani and Donald Trump currently mandated to sitting on the sidelines as observers, which says a lot about this group. Thus, I do not believe anyone really stood out head and shoulders above the rest last night, but there were  some pleasant surprises. Lets keep in mind that every single one of these candidates qualifies as a form of the anti-Obama, in the fact that their love for America, and American values is unquestionable. Another point not to be forgotten is the fact that every Republican candidate grew up in America, which should be of vital consideration today, considering Obama’s largely anti-American views against capitalism and big parts of American life in general. So the debate and primary process should be about who looks like the strongest, most determined candidate to reverse the current Socialist, big government control and regulation of  our main industries agenda.

The biggest surprise of the night for many folks including myself was Newt Gingrichs’ gritty, tough forceful answers to every question thrown his way. Newt almost looked angry, yet kept his composure and certainly showed his intelligence concerning America’s problems and offering possible solutions last night. Many people might view this as good acting, but I saw genuine concern and a heartfelt desire to help America recover from the onslaught of liberal policies and regulations of the past four-plus years.That said, Newt reminded me of a tiger backed into a corner last night, and most of us know how he was the one who actually backed himself into that very same corner recently. He is still considered to be a strong conservative, yet his choice to re-start his campaign in L.A. just might be the final nail in Newt’s political coffin as a viable candidate in 2012. A Hollywood producer could not re-write Newt’s script well enough to completely cover up Newt’s recent ill-advised statements, and now most of his campaign staff has jumped ship. The upside to this tragedy, is that the rest of the candidates are going to benefit from listening to some of his political wisdom for as long as Newt hangs in there.

Tim Pawlenty stumbled a bit, especially when he was confronted by moderator John King who was trying to bait him into denouncing Romney on the health-care issue. Tim didn’t take King’s bait though, and while once again we see the he looks like he has some uncomfortable degree of intrepidation in these debates, he still offers some real solutions to America’s current slew of problems today. Pawlenty’s background and experience are solidly conservative, and we can look for him to study up and get more comfortable in future debates somewhat. Pawlenty is knocked for supposedly leaving Minnesota with a bigger debt than when he entered the governor’s office,which is proven once again to be false Democratic propaganda.  When the State has a Democratic majority in both houses. coupled with a strong element of progressivism, it can render a governor powerless to stop the spending, leading to increased debt,yetwith a Democratic majority during his second term, Tim Pawlentybalanced the state’s budget, period. (That is for the person claiming to be from Minn. last night in the RedState debate chat-room and whom lied about Pawlenty leaving Minn. with a huge debt problem and called him a progressive.)

Ron Paul stuck to his guns again last night and called out the insanity of the Fed printing out massive amounts of money that is damaging our economy and will continue to haunt America for years to come. Ron Paul articulated on the separation of church and state well, and blasted the illegal war actions in Libya and Yemen with a courage some of the other candidates lacked. No matter how the mainstream media, or the old guard GOP establishment  try to denounce and/or slander Ron Paul, he has held his ground on what he believes our government should have the power to do or not do, and his beliefs are all based on our Constitutional law. That resolve alone  makes him a difficult person for anyone to beat in a Presidential debate, to a certain degree. Ron Paul’s main problem is that many informed people in America today realise just how Barack Obama and our Congress are blatantly ignoring our constitutional laws today. If we truly elected a President on the basis of  our Constitution, and the obeying of it, Ron Paul wins hands down. The main problem with this, is that many folks have now accepted the almost daily pattern of  the ignoring our constitution today. This is the real tragedy here, and due to that acceptance of  ignoring our constitution, Ron Paul has less of a chance to being elected as President. How can folks say they are true conservatives and denounce Ron Paul at the same time? You either believe in the U.S. Constitution, or you do not.

Michelle Bachmann announced her 2012 Presidential candidacy right on the debate show last night, which was somewhat of a pleasant surprise for people across the conservative spectrum in America. She elaborated her answers to the questions thrown at her with conviction and resolve. She explained the Tea Party movement well, and I noted that she also was very graceful in acknowledging valid points made by other candidates, while expanding on those same points. Michelle Bachmann showed a deep determination in expressing her heartfelt desire to pull America out of the current Democratic economic ditch that we are currently buried in. Her support should increase somewhat after last night, especially since she has now formally announced that she is all in.

Rick Santorum had solid answers to most of the questions thrown at him last night, but was obviously being downplayed by the moderator in the fact of how much less air  time he received than other candidates. Santorum is a fighter, and I look to see him get more forceful in demanding more debate time in the near future. His conservative credentials can not be questioned, and his refusing to bend over for the media and play the part of a moderate is having an ill affect on the public’s perception of him, IMHO. I look for Santorum to fight back against this today and tomorrow, while hitting the airwaves and Internet to convey his answers to the questions he was left out of last night. Santorum has to step up his messaging, lest he be left behind by this solid group of conservatives.
Herman Cain, not Mitt Romney was the one who seemed to be under attack last night, and the man handled it very well. He was very quick to point out when John King spun his words and called him out on it right away. Cain got caught up in somewhat of a trap by King on whether he would hire Muslims in his cabinet, as King tried to paint him as some kind of racist against Muslims. Let me help John King out here on this topic. Americans now realise that they cannot distinguish Muslim terrorist sleeper agents from decent American Muslims in many situations today, and therefore are not comfortable having any of them in our government. That is a fact. Herman Cain, as our President would have the sworn duty to protect us from Sharia law creeping into our country, and for that he is to be thanked, not made out to be a racist. Cain is a problem solver who states that he understands how important it is for our President to surround himself with the right people, lest we get folks like the Communist Van Jones working right in our White House, or have you folks already forgotten that little episode in Obama’s fundamental transformation of America?  This is exactly what Herman Cain was trying to convey. Herman Cain is as conservative and American as you can get. This is exactly what type of candidate scares the left today, resulting in them attacking him 24/7. That alone should tell us he is a solid conservative candidate for President in 2012. This country has very serious economic problems, and Herman Cain has the solutions. Get the government out of private business and industry, period. This isn’t communist China we are talking about here, this is America.

Mitt Romney certainly played the debate game well, drawing on past debating experiences, in which he answered the questions quite impressively. I noted that Mitt Romney was given the podium at center stage also. Herman Cain and Rick Santorum were set out on the wings( fringe) and you can makeof that whateveryou will. In the political debate game, not much happens by accident, and this new debate style just seemed to carry with it an agenda of allowing the moderator to promote one candidate over another to some degree, as most TVdebates today appear designed to do. Mitt Romney was solid in this debate and this shows why he is leading the very early polls that we are bombarded with on a daily basis, some 17 months before the elections. I came away with the distinct feeling that this debate wasn’t necessarily designed to let these Presidential candidates show their true conservative credentials, and instead was a stealth attempt to discredit some, or all of them. Also of note is the fact that over 75% of the people that I chatted with online during the debate expressed disgust with John King as moderator. That shouldn’t surprise anyone, considered this debate was on CNN.

With the utter importance of the 2012 elections, I fail to understand the lack of attempts by anyone in the media to conduct more thorough debates in a manner that would show voters just what kind of a President these candidates would make. The short time period for answers does not let candidates state their stances and the reasons for them completely. I,d like to see the candidates themselves set up their own debates, to be moderated by a true conservative, period. Just like the Democrats did in 2008. Makeit more of a round-table discussion instead of a game-show. Split the candidates up into groups of 3 or 4, andthen switch the participants around for the next debate. Getdown to a real debate, like we had in high school, where one person states their stand on an issue and the others state their rebuttal or agreement. Take out the ability of the moderator to spin the questions as he sees fit. This isn’t rocket science here, just have people send in questions, put them in envelopes and have a candidate pick an envelope, read the question and answer it, plain and simple. The debate process itself has evolved into a TV production being used as a ratings ploy. Bring it back to more of a round-table discussion, and we might be able to better judge how a candidates ideology lines up with our own views.

The debate format and moderator aside, I am very proud of our 2012 Republican Presidential hopefuls last night. We are seeing just how diverse, powerful and straight-up American this group of Republicans truly are. There is no perfect candidate that will please everyone, yet the lasting impression I am left with after last night’s debate, is that any one of them would make a wonderful American President, something we haven’t had since Barack Obama took office. We will truly win the future in 2012.


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Rich Mitchell

Rich Mitchell is the editor-in-chief of Conservative Daily News and the president of Bald Eagle Media, LLC. His posts may contain opinions that are his own and are not necessarily shared by Bald Eagle Media, CDN, staff or .. much of anyone else. Find him on twitter, facebook and

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