Friday, January 27, 2012

CNN FL GOP debate highlights

Here's a highlight reel of last night's CNN Florida GOP debate via Reuters:



I'd say a very Romney-friendly crowd last night somewhat benefited the former MA Governor, but as Aaron Goldstein pointed out, "I don't think Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich have helped themselves with their terse exchanges on illegal immigration and Fannie & Freddie." It was Rick Santorum who cut past the Romney/Gingrich soap opera and made the salient points.

After providing his answer to a question between the bickering, Santorum stepped in as the voice of sanity, cutting at the heart of the petulance and distraction by emphatically declaring, "Leave that alone and focus on the issues!"


Although Newt attempted to call a truce, Blitzer and Romney would have none of that. Yet, speaking of those two, the seemingly eruptive topic of the day was padded when the questioning turned to Gingrich's Reagan bonafides. As Goldstein pointed out, "Romney just said he "wasn't terribly politically involved" until he ran for Governor here in Massachusetts. So Romney "wasn't terribly politically involved" when he ran against Ted Kennedy in 1994? He "wasn't terribly politically involved" when he said he didn't want to return to Reagan-Bush?"

Nonetheless, the topics moved on, and when it came down to healthcare and government's involvement, Santorum stuck to one of the most substantive issues at hand and eviscerated Romney over top-down mandated RomneyCare! "Folks, we can't give this issue away in the election. It is about fundamental freedom... Your mandate is no different than Barack Obama's mandate. It is the same mandate."


Then towards the end, when asked about how faith would influence his decisions as President, Santorum hit it out of the park with a magnificent answer. "No other country in the world has its rights based in 'God-given rights', not government-given rights. And so when you say 'faith has nothing to do with it', Faith has everything to do with it."


I know that the media has chosen to stay on the Romney/Gingrich tug-of-war, and you know who they've sided with, but the real winner of last night's debate was the man who continues to stay above the fray. I can only hope that the people of Florida saw the same last night, and have the insight to make the wiser choice going into their primary.

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