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Florida Early Onset Debate Fatigue Coverage (Tweet of Night added)

Florida Early Onset Debate Fatigue Coverage (Tweet of Night added)

I already have debate fatigue.

But will soldier on. Not “live blogging” but insightful and inciteful analysis at appropriate points. Comments are welcome and encouraged.

Final Assessment:  Rick Perry didn’t help himself; just don’t understand why he’s not more comfortable in this setting, not quick on his feet, doesn’t have good answers to the same questions that get asked every time.  Romney was very comfortable; have said before it’s easy to see him going head to head with Obama.  Herman Cain raising his profile steadily, coming across much more of a mainstream candidate (VP?).  Newt not much of a presence.  Bachmann neither here nor there.  Gary Johnson had a good first appearance.  Santorum pretty strong.  Huntsman okay, hanging in there.  Frank Luntz viewer panel on Fox News overwhelmingly says Romney won the debate.

Tweet of the Night:


9:20 break:  “I’m sorry, but it seems like a game show,” says the wife.  Good quick answers by all so far; Gary Johnson the newbie on the stage had a good line about vetoing more bills than the Governors of all others states combined.  Herman Cain gets plenty of audience applause.

10:00 break:  Perry and Romney went at it on social security.  Romney brought up Perry’s book, and Perry brought up that Romneycare.  Perry needs to deal better with the issue.  Romney would not say that Obama is a “socialist” but did say he takes his lead from European Social Democrats.  Gary Johnson came out in favor of eliminating the federal Dept. of Education, pointing out that the feds impose more mandates than it pays for.  Perry pointed out that Romney is in favor of Obama’s “race to the top,” Romney said “nice try” but never denied it; on further questioning Romney said he’s not sure what Perry is referring to, basically danced around the question and never answered it.

On immigration, the mandatory use of E-verify came up, and Tea Party objections to such a mandate.  Gingrich said yes, but not so simply, and then added he wants English as official language.  On in-state tuition discount, Romney came out against it and used stark numbers showing that an American citizen from another state would pay $100k more than an illegal alien.  Perry came back pretty strong on his efforts and pointing out his long border, said if children brought to country through no fault of their own, “you don’t have a heart” if you are against it.  Santorum responded that it’s an issue of subsidizing them, not whether they can go.  Santorum said Perry is soft on illegal immigration.

Ron Paul was questioned on his prior comment about a fence keeping people in.  He says destruction of currency leads to capital controls and people controls.

Mid-point assessment — Perry still struggles in these debates.  Just doesn’t seem comfortable in the format.

10:30 Break:  On foreign policy, no real surprises.  Not much time spent on it.

On DADT, Santorum said becomes a special privilege, injects social policy into military, would reinstitute policy.  Ron Paul asked about rape exception to abortion and morning after pill, said should be left to the states, laws not the answer.

Perry asked about what makes him different from Bush, said they have a good relationship, differences as much in style as in substance; says was against Medicare Part D (prescription drug) and no child left behind.  Herman Cain’s battle with cancer came up, and he related how he was able to undergo treatment immediately without having a government timetable..  He got a huge applause from the audience.

On Gardasil issue, Bachmann repeated her prior positions; Perry pretty much repeated his prior position.  Said was lobbied on issue by 31 year old woman with cancer, but I thought I heard somewhere he didn’t meet her until after his executive order (?) On uninsured issue in Texas, Perry says requested waiver from feds but couldn’t do it, so state could not come up with its own solution.  Not sure the answer made sense.

Perry said don’t know which Romney is here tonight, basically saying flip flopper.  Romney said Perry already backing away from book written six months ago.

Mid-point assessment — not a good debate for Perry.  Romney much more in charge.  Herman Cain getting the most applause.  Where’s Newt?  Few questions asked to him.

10:45 break:  Candidates asked what they would do to turn the country around.  Mostly sound bites.  Newt made the point I’ve made, only defeating Obama can turn around the country.  Gary Johnson line of night:  My neighbors’ two dogs have created more shovel ready jobs than this administration.  For what it’s worth, my Twitter feed is pretty negative on Perry’s performance, seems ill prepared and lethargic.

Last question – Who would you pick as running mate of people on stage:

Johnson would pick Paul.  Santorum would pick Newt.  Newt says doesn’t have any idea, will not pick.  Paul says inappropriate and will defer.  Perry says staying with game show theme, mate Herman Cain up with Newt Gingrich.  Romney also says will not name someone now.  Bachmann doesn’t name anyone, says conservatives always told to settle.  Cain says would pick Gingrich because of his experience, but just hypothetical.  Huntsman says Herman Cain.


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I can’t seem to get interested in debates yet. These campaigns are too long already. Besides, to a NY voter, it doesn’t matter much.

    Mutnodjmet in reply to billdyszel. | September 22, 2011 at 10:25 pm

    I don’t know. Given Obama’s low approval numbers in that state, along with the results of NY-09, I consider New York a “swing state”. 🙂 😉

So I have to ask, Professor: Why do you, the dominant established liberal mass media, and even the rest of the conservative pundits continually brush aside Herman Cain? Why is it the focus us always on RomneyPerry and not a successful black American who does not want to be objectified by the color of his skin?

interesting several pick Newt as VP ….I like Newt ….think he would be a good President to damned bad he doesn’t have the numbers

That was the first “debate” I’ve been able to watch.

Perry was a big disappointment. Not fast on his feet at all.

I have reservations about Romney, but can easily see him picking apart Obama on a one-on-one debate. Yes, he seems almost too polished and cautious … but maybe that’s what we need to beat Obama. He easily seemed the most presidential. His boring but businessman-like behavior seemed reassuring.

I never thought I’d say this, but judging just by what I saw tonight, I’d go with Romney. He’s not perfect, but he was governing a very blue state. He projects competence … he should just fess up where he went wrong before, and say he learned from his mistakes.


I don’t trust a word out of Romneys mouth. It’s as if he puts his finger in the air checks the wind direction and answers accordingly. I may not like some of Perry’s answers (especially on in-state tuition) but at least I believe he’s telling the truth, warts and all. I cannot vote for another slick Willy. That’s just how Romney comes across to me. Also, $200,000 is rich according to Romney, isn’t that the same position Obama has. If Romney will not lower taxes for anyone making over $200,000 a year, then how is he going to stimulate the economy? Many small business owners make in excess of $200,000/year. I don’t want a waiver from Obamacare and I don’t want to pay higher taxes. I will not vote for Romney.

bob aka either orr | September 23, 2011 at 12:48 am

It will not be difficult for me to become a Cainiac after tonight’s performance. I can only hope that he gains traction.

I watch the debates to see who crashes and burns… sad to say as somebody who liked Gov. Perry but he.. sigh. He fumbles with words. Is it too much to expect a candidate to know what he’s going to say before he says it in a debate? I can’t believe he hasn’t sussed these issues out yet. I mean, *I* know how to express my thoughts verbally better than he did.

Did you see the segment afterwards, where Frank Luntz was interviewing his crowd? He asked a specific question of one of his audience members, asking him to name an example of what he had alleged. The poor guy’s mind blanked, and he looked befuddled. Luntz says “Ladies and Gentlemen: Rick Perry!” Yeah. In a nutshell.

Herman Cain looked fantastic, I think at this point I’m going to hold out for him to be my guy. So far he looks to be the one that matches my ideals, and inspires the most confidence. But I could vote for Bachmann, Santorum, Romney without a problem. Newt, Huntsman and Paul are all non-starters for me. Who were the others, again?

Sarah Palin won the debate tonight simply by not participating. First of all, as Thomas Sowell has pointed out, there are just too many candidates to reasonably pursue too many topics. Rehearsed soundbite answers and glib talkers are always the debate “winners.”

Fox again put Perry and Mittens side-by-side and played one against the other. So I think we should have an honest two-man debate instead of this showmanship. Of course, Perry is terrible in the debate format, which tells me Obama will have him for lunch.

Mittens carries more baggage than everyone but Obama — but the Obama handlers will spin his flip-flopping. I do not know why Santorum, Bachmann, Huntsman and Johnson are even in the race. Ron Paul and Herman Cane are the “Kinky” Friedman’s of this group who add some entertainment, so they can stay. Newt has got to get over his ego and bow out.

Of course, the 800 pound gorilla in the room (and on Fox’s payroll) is Palin. Her following (which includes me) understands that she is the only candidate who has consistently stayed on message, who has been thoroughly vetted (yet again today upon exposure of the McGinness literary hoax) and who is the most recognized candidate thanks to the unrelenting attacks by the media and the left. We have to have a conservative in the White House and she is the furthest to the right with the possible exceptions of libertarian Gary Johnson and sometimes libertarian Ron Paul. I do not have to remind you of how miserably pathetic the Big L guys are as candidates.

I’m not happy with Perry’s responses here, Romney while a known RINO is certainly well polished which is both good but also scary since the last thing we need is another slick fast talking huckster. Perry’s inner RINO was showing and the question really is IF he has the ability to restrain it in response to public opinion much as Bush was able to walk back his position on illegal immigration/amnesty when the base of the GOP strongly objected.

All I can say is this, whomever wins the nomination, they should tap all the remaining candidates for positions within the next GOP administration according to their strengths. It is what the GOP does best, tapping the most qualified to do the job.

    retire05 in reply to dscott. | September 23, 2011 at 9:56 am

    Gad-fly, I think your memory might be a bit foggy. George Bush never walked back his position on immigration. He had no choice but to accept the voice of the people when the Congressional switch board was shut down due to the calls from Americans all across the nation disagreeing with the McCain/Kennedy Shamnesty Bill. That bill never got out of the Congress and Bush never had to sign it.

    And you cannot equate the Shamnesy Bill (which I read) to a state giving in-state university tuition to kids that have completed high school due to the SCOTUS ruling Plyler.

    Texas is not the only state that gives the children of illegals in-state tuition; Oklahoma, New Mexico, Utah, Washington State and one other also gives in-state tuition to the children of illegals.

    The question no one ever asks, and that Perry doesn’t mention, is that many of those children, born to parents who are in the U.S. illegally, were born on our soil. They are the anchor babies that is so often discussed.

    It is also a state (10th Amendment) issue.

    Now, I am quite open to listening to your remedies for those children. ICE is not going to deport them. ICE is not deporting anyone who is not a criminal. And many of their parents are tax paying home owners because the Clinton Administration and Barney Frank’s boyfriend, wrote the rules for the Community Reinvestment Act that allowed groups like ACORN and La Raza to pre-approve mortgage loans. Also, if you are an illegal, you can get a federal tax I.D. number that allows you to file an income tax return.

    So, those kids have parents that are working here with federal tax I.D. numbers, own homes they pay taxes on, and you want to punish those kids for the crimes of their parents? When, as a nation, did we start holding children liable for the sins of the parents?

    I want to know this: do you think that a child, who was brought here as a toddler, by his/her parents, illegally should be held responsible for that? Do you think that by punishing the children of law breakers you will have fewer law breakers? Or do you think that it was the responsibility of the federal government to prevent the illegal entry of the parents in the first place?

    For Mitt Romney to say that in-state tuition is a draw to come here illegally is moronic. Does he really know so little about the mind-set of those who cross our southern borders illegally that he thinks they are thinking 15 years down the road to their kid’s education?

    In-state tuition for the children of illegals (many who are considered citizens) was a state decision. Our legislature, with the support of Texans, pass that bill. If Massachussets does not want to do that, it is up to the people of Massachussets.

    If you want to condemn children, be they Hispanic, Chinese or any of the other nationalities that come across our borders illegally, to a life of being relegated to menial jobs the rest of their lives, if you do not want to teach them that this nation is truly the land of opportunity and that if you work hard, and make it to the top 10% of your class, you will still be punished for what your parents did when you were young, I have to agree with Perry. You have no heart and you are simply operating from an emotional point of view due to your disappointment with the federal government.

    The “children of illegals” is simply a catch phrase for the “children of Hispanics” since the Pew Research Center says that the largest number of illegals in this nation is first Mexico, and then other Spanish speaking nations. The Chinese are in there somewhere. And that point is not going to be lost on Hispanic voters. Even though they are legal, many born here as Texas has had a large Hispanic population since the days before we were even a state, Hispanics are not going to view this debate as what is fair, or what should be fair, they are going to view it as anti-Hispanic and I will promise you this, no candidate can win with the Republican Hispanic vote.

    The Hispanic vote is growing and it is not just due to illegal immigration. It is due to the fact that most of them are Catholic and are having larger families than white are having. They represent 15% of our population (latest census) compared to the dropping number of black Americans at 9%. In Texas alone, Hispanics represent 49% of the population making Texas a minority-majority state. New Mexico, Arizona and California are rapidly following.

    Now, we can encourage Hispanics to become Republicans because the GOP more closely mirrors their family values (strong families, pro-life, hard work pays off to gain the American dream) or we can beat up on them as a group, and drive them all to the polls to vote again for Obama.

    Perception is everything, and picking on kids who are here through no fault of their own is not going to win the GOP any votes from the Hispanic bloc. They are going to view it as “Mexican” bashing and will vote Democrat.

I “was” a Perry supporter. His “you have no heart” comment was the deal breaker. That’s what I’d expect to hear from the mouth of Obama, Reid, or Pelosi.

Umm R05 — Retirement obviously isn’t going well for you. Reread my post and your response, please. As Kipling said: “Never the twain shall meet.”