Friday, December 16, 2011

Fox News Iowa GOP debate


Here’s what you needed to have heard going into last night’s final GOP debate before the Iowa Caucus votes begin…

Rush discussed the GOP elites dumping on Newt, as well as Mitt & Newt dumping on each other…then there’s Paul

…then in the evening, [from the Mark Levin Show website]…

On Thursday's Mark Levin Show: Mark begins by asking the audience, what do you look for in a President? What specifically do people want changed and what leadership qualities are they looking for? Mark also talks about National Review and other publications that are attacking Newt Gingrich while at the same time pushing Mitt Romney as a conservative and the only acceptable candidate. Mark says that there is a Republican establishment and there is an ongoing battle within it.

The segments where Mark takes NRO to task are definitely worth a listen, particularly the constrast from the Run, Newt, Run! Rich Lowry article in 2006 and the Winnowing the Field ‘editors’ article from Wednesday evening…

…as well as mentioning Bill Buckley’s nephew, Brent Bozell, firing back at National Review [from CNSNews]:

Brent Bozell, a nephew of conservative icon William F. Buckley Jr., who founded National Review magazine in 1955, and whose father, Leo Brent Bozell, collaborated with Buckley for many years at NR, today dismissed the magazine as having lost the identity forged for it by its founder.

“National Review's endorsement of Romney & Huntsman proves only that this is no longer the magazine of William F. Buckley Jr. My uncle would be appalled,” said Bozell in postings on Facebook and on Twitter.

You also heard both Limbaugh & Levin mention remarks from Rudy Giuliani, who likes Newt, Perry and Santorum, thinks Ron Paul is a distraction (ditto), and calls Romney out on his modus operandi (h/t the Right Scoop)…

Here’s an additional mentionable, or rather, a headline to think about…Gallup: Gingrich Leads Romney by 20 Points Among Conservatives; Romney Leads Gingrich by 10 Among Liberals, Moderates


NOW…with all this in mind, we can finally move to the debate highlights

Gengrich defended his ‘electability’, as well as his conservative credentials when challenged on both.

There were a couple of ‘classic’ Newt moments that really ignited the audience. First, Megan Kelly (e.g., lawyer) attempted to call Gengrich out on his plan for dealing with an activist judiciary. She didn’t stand a chance. Newt defended removing judges because of judicial overreach.

Then later, Gengrich blasted Obama’s pipeline veto threat (without appearing to be ‘zany’!)

A stellar moment for the former Speaker.

Through Chris Wallace’s failed attempts to ignite tension between Mitt and Newt, Romney went on to defend his business record.

However, he didn’t fare quite as smoothly as usual when Wallace challenged him on the flip-flops throughout the years.

Speaking of Wallace…oh how he’s so concerned with those precious ‘Independents’ or ‘moderates’ who just might vote for Obama over the GOP candidate (particularly when a new poll shows that the majority of Americans want Obama out!). Bachmann handed a strong answer back to Wallace, laying out her track record of trust and authenticity, as well as fighting Obama on every issue.

Bachmann was definitely on the offense last night. The first tense moment was the spar between Bachmann & Gengrich over influence peddling with regard to Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac, which honestly, I see both sides to that coin.

She later questioned Newt’s support for life based on actions he’d previously taken to not defund Planned Parenthood when he had the opportunity, as well as his stated willingness to campaign for Republicans who supported partial birth abortion. When Newt again accused her of not having her facts straight, Bachmann launched back at him, expressing her seriousness as a candidate and that her facts were absolutely correct. She was clearly insulted in this tense moment between the two.

And since we’re focused on a few confrontations, Santorum took Paul to task over his wacko foreign policy towards Iran.

Bachmann joined in the conversation as well, siding with Santorum, against Paul’s worldview. She’s on the freakin’ committee that would know, Mr. Paul! Just because you think there's no report, doesn’t make it so.

And Perry attempted to tie his campaign to some of the relevant popular cultural news out there by say that he wants to be the ‘Tim Tebow’ of the Iowa Caucuses.

On a more serious note, he later gave an excellent response concerning the Fast & Furious scandal: “If I were president, I’d have Holder resign immediately.”

Other mentionables were Santorum’s ‘Made in the U.S.A.’ plan.

And another one from Paul…defending earmarks?

There’s no mention of Huntsman here because, well, as Aaron Goldstein of the American Spectator said, “His debate performance was so much better on Saturday night.”


For the most part, it appeared that Newt stayed on top, with Romney not hurting himself any. Bachmann made some great comments and was definitely more assertive, but the question is will it help elevate her? Santorum really needed to break out, and gave some really good responses throughout the debate, but for some reason isn’t getting that boost (at least in the debates) that’s needed to compete with the two at the top. This was actually one of Perry’s best (and most comfortable) debates, but being the last one before the Iowa Caucus, will it be enough to elevate him? As for the remaining, Paul harmed himself among Republican voters solely with his non-Republican foreign policy, and Huntsman remained practically irrelevant.

Here’s a few links that I found interesting assessing the ‘winners/losers’ of last night’s debate:

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