Thursday, January 26, 2012

CNN Jacksonville Republican Debate

Santorum Wins

Hour 1

I believe that the questioning so far is designed to undermine Gingrich, and keep him on the defensive. Gingrich keeps being asked to defend himself.

Gingrich lost the immigration exchange with Romney. It is no surprise, since Gingrich already backtracked on the issue.

Then Gingrich was invited to attack Romney on his finances,, which Newt tried to avoid, but both Romney and Blitzer goaded him into it. Romney nearly called Gingrich a coward for attempting to refuse, in fact. I'm not sure how that played with voters, but Romney seemed to get the edge on that exchange, except for when he pleaded ignorance on his finances because his money is in a blind trust. Romney repeated that several times. He said, in effect, that he has no idea what happens with his money. That makes me wonder if he'll give the same answer one day as president, when questioned about particulars.

Next, the talk shifts to Gingrich's promise to have a moon base by the end of his second term as president. To me, that's a completely wacky idea in light of the state of national debt and the economy. I can't imagine there are many American's excited over a lunar base when we're largely just trying to survive. Even as a Gingrich supporter, I think that makes him look completely out of touch with reality.

In sum, Newt really needs to find a way to score some points. He is not looking great tonight.

Santorum looks competent and considerably more animated than usual. Santorum is much, much more aggressive. He attacked Romney pretty persuasively on Obamney Care. I do not know whether it will be enough to lift him this Tuesday. It may even help Newt instead.

Hour 2

Santorum is scoring big "Free-ridership has gone up five-fold in Massachusets. Five times the rate it was before. Why?"  Because it is cheaper to pay the fine for not having medical insurance than to pay the premiums under RomneyCare, explains Santorum.

Romney testily responds: "First of all, It's not worth getting angry about."

That's a huge flub folks! And he hesitated afterwards. I think he realized his mistake. Those who feel the way I do will be thinking, "Hell yes it's worth getting angry about! What do you think this election is all about?"

Santorum continues to go after Romney, insisting that there is no fundamental difference between RomneyCare and ObamaCare. He scored HUGE points with his line of attack. I'm impressed, and thankful that someone finally forcefully made the case against RomneyCare. It should have been done long ago. Romney has got to be sore from those Santorum body-blows.

The candidates try to outdo one another on how pro-Israel they are. Gingrich promises to issue an executive order to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The candidates all gave good answers about how religion would affect their governance. (Why don't Democrats ever get that question? Everyone knows that religion is just a pretense for them.) I liked Gingrich's and Santorum's answers best

Santorum finishes with a final salvo on both Romney and Gingrich for top-down government, mandates, cap and trade, etc.. That was smart, since they could not rebut him.

I was ready early on to call the debate for Romney, but Santorum changed my mind. This was his night. In my view, Santorum is the clear winner. I wonder if his win will benefit himself or Gingrich more for exposing Romney's weaknesses.

Update: I was correct. This is the line of the night that everyone is talking about.

'It's Not Worth Getting Angry About?' Santorum Decimates Romneycare

Gateway Pundit weighs in

Legal Insurrection

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