T Nation

The Republican Candidates Debate


A long clip but very enlightening in my mind. Anyone see a clear winner? I sure did ; )


Just some quick thoughts before work:

1) This is clearly a race between Romney and Perry. That was felt to be the case BEFORE the debate; but it was solidified last night.

2) Romney (IMO) came out looking and sounding like a Presidential Candidate; Perry as someone who solidified his position with the Tea Party and/or the Right Wing of the Party. What this means is that the GOP Primary is a toss up. With that said, Romney (IMO) would cause the most trouble for the President in a general election.

3) Romney and Perry finally "separated" themselves in two ways: a) as above and b) on Social Security. Perry feels that it, as a "Ponzi Scheme", should be completely eliminated in it's current form; Romney feels that it simply needs to be fixed. This will most definitely be a point-of-contention on the Primary trail.

4) Bachmann lost the momentum she had. In many ways (IMO) her and Perry were fighting for the same base, and Perry won. I think she is out.

5) Huntsman and Cain.

Huntsman really would be a great President, with his experience in State, National, and International affairs; and his grasp of economics, business and what needs to be done for our economy. But he is almost "too" calm and uninspiring (regrettably).

Cain has some great and bold ideas...that would never get passed. I also think that he is too easily rattled and would self-destruct, with time, with the brutality of the campaign trail.

6) Ron Paul

I'm as "free market" as the next guy; but I don't think that the "free market" is the answer to EVERYTHING any more that the government is. He also came off as rambling with many of his answers. He obviously is a man with a lot of interesting ideas and a passionate following. But he will never be President.

7) Newt's time has passed. He took a HUGE jab at the "Mainstream Liberal Media" accusing them of wanting the candidates to argue amongst each other. Otherwise, it was more about reciting his resume and all that he had been a part of (including the "Reagan Revolution") and the economic prosperity of the Clinton years.

The most interesting thing to me will be Romney and Perry campaigning a) in the "Bible Belt", and how much Romney's beliefs will come into play and b) how Perry will play in States like Florida with his stand on Social Security. (Older voters are the ones who come out and vote in Primaries, especially GOP primaries).

IMO, after last night, I think that The President would fair the best against Perry in a General election. Romney would certainly be the more formidable opponent against the President; but the question is will he ever make it past the GOP Primaries.



Wish they'd just answer the goddamn questions. Also, Bachmann looked like crap.

Good assessment, Mufasa.


My honest thoughts on the debate are as follows:

The debate centered mainly around Romney and Perry, as was to be expected. The media is already picking winners and essentially ignored Michelle Bachman. John Huntsman seemed to have gotten more questions than usual as well. The questions asked to Paul, Santorum, and Cain were generally skewed based on allusions, and did not have the substance to create a meaningful answer to the audience. Basically, if you ask someone a trivial question, how can they give a solid response.

Romney for the most part looked more composed than Perry, though I think Perry is trying to differentiate himself with more radical answers. For the most part, I thought John Huntsman had some very sensible answers, though he was a bit off tangent with the CHinese and immigration speech.

Bachman basically took the bait that she was goaded into, and that comment about gas makes her look ridiculous.

Gingrich- he actually had some pretty solid points and seemed composed.

Cain- I liked his presentation, well spoken, put things in laymens terms but probably does not have the silver tongued skills neccessary or media attention to get any further.

Santorum- well, lets just say im not a fan.

Paul- The LBJ question was really fucking stupid. They didnt really ask him too much of substance, though I think he could have handled his questions in a more frank manner. Raising a point about a silver dime, while valid, could have been much more easily explained by saying gas is a commodity pegged to the dollar, which is devalued through our current inflation.


It's physiologically impossible for anyone involved in politics to answer an asked question.


Perry did not look as good as hoped.
He must clarify (temper) his position on science and social security.
He actually has good points on both issues but he's coming off as an unelectable radical.
I believe he wants to 'fix' SS as well, but he's got to get past the "Ponzi Scheme" label even though it is.

Also, Romney looked more relaxed and composed next to Perry.
But hey, Obama is relaxed and composed as well --- and it's not making him a great leader.


What I find funny is the fact check on the Perry statemnet on climate change, that it is a widely supported scientific theory, really? I would say it is about a 50/50 split. And from what is coming out, most of the data being used to strongly support it is either fabricated or manipulated.

Most of the analytical scientists I know understand there is a natural and cyclical warming and cooling of the earth, including the cyclical patterns seen in the magnetic field of the sun and other natural phenomena, he just needs to pull out someone who he can quote not just make arbitrary statements.

Also I think a leader should show some signs of passion and agitation to some extent. If you cannot you cannot rally people.


Most agree that Romney "took his lumps" four years ago...and grew in the process. He seemed more prepared for questions this time. He even defended "RomneyCare" and distanced it from "ObamaCare".

Perry also pulled out the "Gun-totin'/We'll hang 'ya and fry 'ya in Texas" card last night...to applause. Again; great for the base; but on the National Stage, capital punishment will not have as receptive an audience.



I think that is more a media contrived idea then a reality.

That is why so many more states are passing extension of castle laws and use of lethal force in self defense.

But we know who controls the media, the ones against it. So of course they would want to push the idea it is taboo.


What is "the media contrived idea"?



That a majority of people are against the death penalty. Most people are against how long it takes and that we have to fund this time.


Well...Capital Punishment is certainly divisive, not only on it's own; but because it is often mixed with arguments on abortion.

And obviously people have strong feelings about it. (as evidenced by the strong, spontaneous applause Perry got).



I don't have much time right now because of work pressures.

Here are a few quick thoughts.

Perry hurt himself with seniors by callig SS a Ponzi scheme. He's probably right, but he should have qualified it. Romney helped himself with seniors by essentially cleaning up Pery's answer. Romney also seemed very Presidential. It's easy to see who has been through the process before.

Bachman did nothing to pull her self back into the race. With each passing week she becomes more insignificant.

I fell asleep half way through most of Cain's answers - He has some good ideas but he has no chance. His personality is better than Ambian for a good nights sleep.

Ron Paul went from being an old crank to a conspiratorial old crank last night. Comments like "building a fence to keep illegal immigrants out of the country will also be able to hold us in" was just crazy. But then he's always been prone to crazy statements and nutty ideas. Not unlike many of his youthful libertarian followers.

Gingrich surprised me a little as he seemed to exude some leadership qualities. He is a solid choice for anyone wanting a good VP.

Huntsman has ZERO chance with the base as his social beliefs are far too liberal. He could balance out a ticket with a staunch conservative like Perry however. But he's pretty bland.

Romney will have it tough taking down Perry in the primaries as Perry is playing to the conservative base rather well. But as I've said before Romney has the best chance of getting rid of Obama as he would appeal to the independents far better than Perry.

A Romney/Gingrich ticket would have a chance.


It would have been interesting to see where Bachmann would be at this point if Perry had not entered the race. With that being said, the race has certainly been energized now that he is in.

I also think that the speculation about Palin entering is essentially over. There is absolutely nothing she could add to a pretty solid field at this point.



If you remember correctly Bachman was imploding prior to Perry getting in the race. Her support would have gone to one of the other more conservative candidates, and of course some to Romney.

Palin was never going to be a candidate for the Presidency this time around. When she resigned as Governor I said she was going to cash in on her celebrity status and that's exactly what she's done. Beyond that she can absolutely motivate the base to turn out in the general election, which makes her an important figure.


She looks more and more like Linda Blair in the Exorcist. Was waiting for her head to do a 360 or at least projectile vomit on one of the moderators.


Ron Paul exceeded himelf in nuttery in this debate. Apparently the border fence is designed to keep Americans in.


Just think how much fun Paul will be to watch in 2016. He absolutely gets more entertaining every four years.


Honest question on Mitt Romney. Do you think America is ready to elect a Mormon president? I know quite a few older, heavily republican Christians who have said they would never vote for Romney simply because he's Mormon.

I'm not meaning this to be a question of the tenets of Mormonism, but rather does it worry any on the right that there is a chance to lose votes (possibly a significant number) because of his faith.



America (as a whole) may be...but not the Christian Right/Evangelicals. It will be difficult for him to even win the Primary.

His "real" test will come on "Super Tuesday", which historically was a "Southern Primary" that cuts right through the Bible Belt. (More states have since been added).

Many may remember that things got so bad for Romney on the Primary Trail in 2006-07, that he had to come out with a speech on Faith and Tolerance. It was an excellent speech; but it didn't sway the "faithful" one iota.

Now some have argued that 1) America elected a Catholic President (Kennedy) and 2) given the choice of Obama, the Christian Right/Evangelicals will vote for the GOP nominee, even if it is Romney. My answer is:

1) barely...with some voting shenanigans in West Virginia and the help of organized Crime (Sam Giancana) and 2) they will not vote at all, is my impression.

At this point, many feel that Perry is the strongest Primary candidate (the Tea Party/Evangelical Wing of the GOP appears to be behind him); but Romney would have the best chance of beating the President.

Romney will never get that chance unless there is some "soul-searching" among this important voting block within the GOP.