Blogs » Politcs Plus » A Recap of Last Night's GOP Debate



There's one thing about republican debates that stands out; they are entertaining. It didn't take, but 5 minutes before Governor Perry hit Mitt Romeny's dismal record for creating jobs in Massachusetts. I have to give it to Mitt Romney. He stood tall and showed that he has developed into a polished debater. Rick Perry did not disappoint his base, but his point of view will not win him a general election. It's extremely hard to please the base and not say things that will hurt you in a general election.

I guess the headline was Rick Perry calling Social Security a Ponzi scheme. He compared a criminal enterprise with the system that provides security for several million people. He didn't say that he would abolish Social Security, but he didn't offer any solutions. Representative Paul Ryan didn't include Social Security in his budget because he knows how popular the program is with seniors who actually vote. Rick Perry will have to use some serious spin and backpedaling before he gets to Florida, where a lot of his elderly base resides. Social Security could be made solvent by just raising the caps. It doesn't need to be tied with Wall Street. Republicans didn't back President George W. Bus,h when he talked of privatizing a small portion on a voluntary basis. Herman Cain said that we should adapt the Chilean model. He was corrected in an interview on a MSNBC last night because he said it was a personalized system and using the word “privatization " is used to scare people away.

At times, the moderators sounded like book critics, because they took several passages from Rick Perry's book "Fed Up" to get a response from Rick Perry and some candidates until Newt Gingrich stepped in and cried foul. He said that they GOP were in unison in being against President Obama and that the debate moderators were just trying to get them to fight with one another. I guess that he just wanted NBC to air their campaign ads and allow them to praise themselves for two hours. Ron Paul would hear none of it because he went after Rick Perry on several occasions, but the one the stands out is the governor’s executive order to inoculate young girls with the HPV vaccine to prevent cervical cancer. After that exchange, it started going downhill for Rick Perry even though Mitt Romney gave the governor a mulligan. “He won't do it again," said Romney.

I agree with the pundits. Michelle Bachmann had a poor performance and her spot for tea party favorite now belongs to Rick Perry.NBC's Brian Williams gave the candidates a chance to take back their vote not to consider $10 in spending cuts to $1.00 of taxes; no one did and Rick Perry went along with his cohorts. Michelle Bachmann stepped in order to cast a vote for the late Ronald Reagan saying he would have voted the same way. Oh really, President Reagan increased, taxes 11 times and as governor created the largest income tax in history.

That is the first time I've ever seen Governor Perry in a debate. He came across as arrogant and willing to use tough accusative language to make his point. At one point, he said that President Obama either had some bad Intel or was an abject liar because the president said El Paso was the safest large city in the United States. According to CQ Press "El Paso, Texas is ranked by an independent-research organization as the safest city in the United States. San Diego came in at number five. The Southwest ranked well overall in the survey which looks at crime rates around the country. Despite being directly next door to Mexico's deadliest city, Ciudad Juarez, El Paso is ranked number one among cities with populations higher than half a million. The ratings are published each year by CQ Press which, among other things, uses FBI data to compile its list.

I think Ron Paul is handicapped in a debate that limits him to a 1-minute answer and 30-second rebuttal. I understood what he meant by a dime will buy you a gallon of gas, but I doubt he got his point across to the rest of the country. I'm still wondering what he meant by" a border fence could keep us in." I know Congressman Paul was talking about going back to the system we had in the 18 century and taxes and regulations imposed on a gallon gas, and I'm assuming he's talking about capital controls, in the fence analogy. Ron Paul won't win the debates, but he's in the long haul, and will be a torn in the side for Rick Perry.No love lost between those two.

At the end of the night Rick Perry is still the frontrunner even though Mitt Romney won the debate. It's a two-man race, and Mitt Romney might have cut into Rick Perry's lead with last night's performance. The GOP will have a couple more debates before month’s end. CNN will host the next one and Fox the proceeding one. It would be interesting to know if Jon Huntsman and Rick Santorum will be allowed to participate in the Fox debate. Last year they didn't allow Ron Paul at one of the debates because of his low poll numbers.