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Republican Reagan Library Debate – Open (Tweet of the Night added)

Republican Reagan Library Debate – Open (Tweet of the Night added)

Not going to be “live blogging” it, but will make some observations.

Your comments are welcome.

Update 8:40 p.m. – at the first break, I can’t say there are any clear winners or losers.  Romney is doing well, dealing with his “issues” without any real problem.   Perry is, as someone who has never really seen him before, okay; I can’t say great, but adequate.  Newt had the lines of the night so far, refusing to take Politico’s attempt to play Republican against Republican and declaring universal solidarity in the goal of removing Obama.  John Huntsman is a positive surprise, but it doesn’t matter.  Herman Cain is good as usual.  The moderators are not focusing on Bachmann, so she’s not getting the airtime and prominence of prior appearances.  Santorum, Perry didn’t appear to know his name, referred to him as “the prior individual.”  Did I leave anyone out?

Update 9:18:  Rick Perry stood fast on social security being a Ponzi scheme; that’s his position, and he’s sticking to it.  The context he said was promises made to young people that cannot be met unless there is reform.  Perry also took a shot (back) at Karl Rove, saying he’s not responsible for Rove anymore.  He was blunt throughout the night: ““For Obama to come to TX and say border is more secure than ever, either he has worst intel in history or he’s an abject liar.”  Newt was good, a glimpse of what he can be.  Romney was less of a presence, but no damage done.  The others were non-events.  BUT – Ron Paul fell off the rails saying a border fence may be used to keep people in.

Added:  How liberal.  MSNBC brought in a Hispanic journalist to ask quesitons about immigration, leading to what is the likely Tweet of the Night:

 Final Update:  Final segment was a bit tired.  So were the candidates.

All in all I think it was a good night for Romney, he came across as presidential, poised and conservative.  He was good on the Tea Party refusing to play the game of whether he was a Tea Party “member,” he said there is no card carrying involved but that he supports the goals of the Tea Party, smaller government and fiscal responsibility.

I don’t think it was a stellar night for Perry.  He was okay, but expectations were high, and I don’t think he met them.  I can see Romney decimating Obama in a debate; based on tonight’s performance Perry has a ways to go.  And just as I wrote those lines, he came in with a forceful defense of capital punishment — if you come into our state and kill our children or citizens, you will pay the ultimate price; his best of the night.

Newt was very good.  Forceful, on point, commanding.  Could he be the comeback kid?


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oh man, I have to watch MSNBC to watch this debate? YUCK.

[…] This debate matters and might even prove more fun than the last one. Share HillaryIs44: […]

huskers-for-palin | September 7, 2011 at 9:51 pm

Having Perry talking about the border makes me smirk and roll the eyes. For a guy who givs in-state to children of illegals, is against the fence/e-verify and likes talking to La Raza he makes Romney look good (sheesh).

I thought Perry did alright, I just wanted to see if he completely fell apart, and he didn’t, did pretty ok. Its basically down to Perry or Romney for me, and I think I’m going with Perry, he looks like more of a fighter.
If Romney becomes the nominee, ok, fine, I’ll vote for him.
My vote is going 100% against Obama, Perry is who I’m voting for for the repub primaries, but if Perry doens’t make it, that vote will go to whoever the eventual repub nominee is.

I did not get to see it all, just the last hour. Perry’s answer was good on the death penalty.

What stood out to me was the question: Brian Williams asked Perry on the number of people executed, “How do you sleep at night?” What kind of #%$%#%$ question is that?!?! And the other guy, from Media Matters, all his liberal-premises-up-front loaded questions were horrrid – to the point where it was not possible to answer ANYTHING without taking a defensive position.

Losers at NBC/MSNBC. They were not moderators.

I did like one thing Ron Paul said, at the end, his not accepting the premise that handing out federal dollars hand and fist is the only way to be “compassionate.” All the other things he said were a fail, IMHO.

Newt had some great points! I see him as a Chief of Staff or Secretary of State. So knowledgeable, and so capable of keeping our nation on the Constitutional path. But not the president; there isn’t enough drive, or something.

Michele Bachmann had some excellent points, especially on our national security and on energy production. Excellent.

Huntsman’s performance was sad. His liberal RINO views were all too obvious.

Herman Cain was good, but not quite as good as he has been in the past, from what I saw.

Santorum was flat. He looked like he was in pain. And, unfortunately, none of his points seemed to hit the mark. I predict he will drop out next.

Romney was solid, but was a bit too polished – he kept going back to “my plan” even when it had no direct connection to the issue per se. But good. Solid. I also liked his “no member card” needed to agree with the TEA Party.

I didn’t hear it all, but I hope someone said the obvious: the TEA Party is just average, hard-working, normal, everyday Americans who are SICK OF THE SPENDING, the out of control government growth and invasion into every crevice of our lives. Did I miss that?

I think with the Perry/Rove fracas we have now put to rest any charge that Perry is just another Bush. Perry just checked off a very important item off the candidate list – NOT George W Bush.

Don’t get me wrong, I like W for the good things and disagree with him on other things like immigration.

I just watched some clips from earlier. The best of the night was Newt:

“Every person up here understands ObamaCare is a disaster…..if this President had any concern for working Americans, he’d walk in Thursday night and ask us to repeal it – because it’s a monstrosity. Every person up here agrees with that!”

Another home run: “…I hope all my friends up here are going to repudiate every effort of the news media to get Republicans to fight each other to protect Barack Obama, who deserves to be defeated; and all of us are committed as a team – whoever the nominee is – we are ALL for defeating Barack Obama.” (Perry clapping.)

Well said, Mr. Speaker. Excellent!

MaggotAtBroadAndWall | September 7, 2011 at 10:54 pm

I saw Romney talking about his economic overhaul plan with Kudlow. He’s done alot of work thinking it through and putting it together. It’s pretty impressive. But he has flip-flopped so much, and he signed Romneycare into law, so I just don’t know if I can trust his conservative credentials. I like his economic plan but he has more to do to convince me about his conservativeness.

I thought Perry was fine for his first debate. Not as polished as I would have liked, but the substance was good. It seemed to me he was trying to speak slowly and deliberately so he didn’t say something that came out jumbled. He’ll probably get better as he does more debates.

Ron Paul is a perennial disappointment. I always want him to do well to advance libertarianism, but he always comes off as an angry, old, crazy, crank. Too bad.

I agree Newt had a good night. I also think he won the last debate. But he’s about 15 years too late. People want fresh faces and he reminds us of another era. I don’t see how he can get any traction.

    The problem with the Romney fiscal plan is that he had to put it out in book form. Who the heck is going to read it beside economic professors and Kudlow? Americans what it made simple. And it is; don’t spend all the money, don’t over regulate and over tax, and get out of the way of the private sector and let them do what they do best, create growth that creates jobs.

    Now, the Professor might think Romney looked “presidential, poised and conservative” but I think perhaps the Professors idea of conservative (being an East Coaster)might just differ a bit from us rubes in flyover country. Romney look just like he always does; a Massachussets bramain who seems just a bit uncomfortable around the “little” people.

    Governor Perry looked tired. But that has a lot to do with the fact that at dawn this morning he was flying over my county to assess the damage done by the fires and the loss of almost 800 homes (something Professor Jacobson hasn’t thought news worthy enough to report on).

    But hey, I guess if it doesn’t affect the East Coast, it’s not important.

      LukeHandCool in reply to retire05. | September 8, 2011 at 12:29 am

      The Professor is probably opposed to the fires.

      You’ve reached the point of where I don’t even bother to read your posts anymore.


      OT We love the Cedar Creek-East Travis Hills-Bastrop areas and our prayers are with you and your neighbors, 05

      Weirddave in reply to retire05. | September 8, 2011 at 3:42 am

      Yea, all of us on the east coast, or the west coast, or the midwest, we just all hate Texas. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard someone say in conversation “Let the Texans burn!”(sarcasm). As I said before, and you ignored, your attempt to play the poor, poor pitiful me card to deflect conversation about your Perry messiah has failed, and it’s a poor, POOR reflection on you and other Perry supporters.

      GUESS WHAT, JACKWAGON, I’M FROM TEXAS AND MUCH OF MY FAMILY STILL LIVES THERE! I’m worried as hell about them. You, on the other hand, seem to only view the tragedy of the wildfires as a political opportunity. You are a despicable person, not even worthy of disgust.

        retire05 in reply to Weirddave. | September 8, 2011 at 9:54 am

        Jackwagon, if you are “from” Texas, perhaps it is good you no longer liver here. My comments about Perry and the FIRE IN MY COUNTY, are two separate issues that you apparently are too stupid to grasp.

        There are now 1,387 homes totally burned down in my county. Don’t you think (as a “Texan”) that would warrent a brief notation by our web host?

        But as I peruse the web, there is very little mention about what is going on here with you trying to make it political. IT’S NOT.

        So how about contacting the Red Cross and donating 100 bucks to help out the Bastrop Country fire disaster instead of wasting your time slamming me?

          Weirddave in reply to retire05. | September 8, 2011 at 10:47 am

          No, they’re not two separate issues, because you won’t let them be. These last few days, every time you get pressed on your political views, you try to deflect it by whining about the wildfires. You need to grow, son. First grow up, then grow a pair.

        retire05 in reply to Weirddave. | September 8, 2011 at 11:47 am

        I see, so in your tiny mind, any mention of the wildfires that have devestated so many lives, is political?

        Tell me again who needs to grow up?

        And btw, if you check the records, I was not here, posting on this site until yesterday as I was without internet service. But be sure to tell me what state you live in so when a natural disaster hits you, and you are suffering, I can let you know just how little I care.

I thought Perry flubbed the Social Security question. He needs to improve there. First, he needs to open and close that discussion by assuring who won’t be impacted and what won’t change (current seniors and their benefits), and do so more forcefully. Second, I agree with the Ponzi Scheme statement, but he needs to have a better sound bite as to why it is. Third, he needs to emphasize that the sooner we act, the easier it is to protect current seniors or close-to-eligible, who otherwise will be at risk. I think enough the nation is ready for an adult conversation on SS. I agree with his sentiments, but I think the language needs to be nuanced very carefully for the broader audience.

Not a terrible, but not a great night for him. However, he can’t assume he has lots of time to make up for it – if he gets defined early, especially by Romney, and ends up on the defensive its a harder path to hoe. I also know how hard it is to be fresh for these things when flying all around the country and worrying about the fires ravaging your state … But being President ain’t easy. You only get a pass once, and he just used it up.

The death penalty was forceful. He’ll get asked again on it, though. I’m not sure what the exact path is, but I think there is a comparison to the drone stikes and innocent civilians killed that reminds people that Presidential actions has a lot of moral gray areas. It would keep the core law-and-order crowd fired up, but keep the issue positioned properly for the independents.

As for the rest:

I like Santorum, but he doesn’t project Presidential, and he’s finished at this point.

I like Ron Paul on the Fed intellectually, but he is becoming just an angry old crank on the debating stage. Time to start hearing more from Rand in the Senate than from Ron at these debates.

I like Cain, I really do. Too late to make an impact, but I hope he stays in for a while, I think if he continues to hone his style he could make it to the Senate on the heels of his exposure here. I would give to that campaign, although you could say it squanders his actual executive experience in a legislative role …

Romney – solid tonight, but nothing is going to change my opinion of a technocrat with no real convictions other than managerial expertise solves problems. I’m sure he will sign a repeal of Obamacare if it lands on his desk. I’m not sure how hard he will fight for it to get there.

Bachmann – Something is just a bit off with her for me. I think she does OK in these debates and is smart, but it doesn’t quite click for me. The lack of executive experience is a problem with Romney, Cain, and Perry in the race.

Newt – Fun to listen to him debate, but I have zero interest in seeing this dinosaur run. I also think his motives in this run are too self-interested for my taste … a speculative comment, of course … but if I sense that aura, others will too, and we don’t need a whiff of self-interest, we need the opposite, to win against Obama (who reeks of self-interest).

I’ll support whomever the nominee is … I have not made up my mind, but Perry, Cain (unlikely I know) lead the pack for me.

Finally, can we get a different format, with some real conservative questioners, where the goal isn’t to generate sound bites for Obama’s team in the general election? “Just say no to Politico” and MSNBC in future debate requests.

    I don’t think Perry “flubbed” the SS question at all. In fact, his “maybe it’s time for provocative language” statement was dead on. Any system that directly takes money from one set of people to give to another set of people while promising the first set that THEY will get something in the future (from unborn people yet to steal from) IS, by definition a Ponzi scheme. Perry was specific that he is not talking about cutting off any benefits to people in their 50’s on up but – as Paul Ryan has said, as GW said before – the system cannot go forward. Period.

    Let me be provocative – anyone that claims Perry (or Ryan) is out to “end” Soc. Sec. is a liar or a willing dupe of liars.

    tiger66 in reply to PrincetonAl. | September 8, 2011 at 9:26 am

    Excellent summary, PrincetonAl. Succinct. Thnx

StephenMonteith | September 8, 2011 at 12:30 am

If Governor Perry’s best line of the night was about capital punishment, then he did worse than I thought. He and Governor Romney had a pretty interesting good twin-evil twin dynamic going on during the first part of the night (though it’s hard to tell who was the evil twin), and they seemed to justify their positions as co-frontrunners. However, Romney kept altitude throughout the night and Perry faltered. Jobs may be the most important issue in the campaign, but there are certainly other issues, and Perry couldn’t speak to them as well as he could jobs. Romney could, though, and did. Finishing “strong” with a statement in support of the death penalty may have worked in the ’80s if he were running against Mike Dukakis, but Romney is no Dukakis.

Newt Gingrich doesn’t seem to get the point of debates; or elections, for that matter. The point is to make yourself evident as the best candidate to take on the president in 2012. If it doesn’t matter who challenges him, then why run in the first place? The moderators were (mostly) right to ask the questions they did. Candidates should be willing to say why they’re a better choice than the others. Gingrich got a good bit of applause in the last debate slapping down Chris Wallace, so he decided to try it again. Unfortunately, that trick won’t work twice.

As for the others, they weren’t given much to work with, because frankly, MSNBC and the majority of viewers were mostly interested in the Perry-Romney Hour. Bias? Nope; just “good television”. Rick Santorum and Herman Cain were able to find ways to insert themselves, as was Jon Huntsman to a degree, so they all did well. To a lesser degree, so did Michele Bachmann, but she needed to do more than just get noticed; she needed to engage the frontrunners and demonstrate she was still one herself. She couldn’t find a way to do that. I hope she does in the next debate, or we’ll lose a good candidate down the road.

Final analysis: Romney is still moving right along to the finish line, and Perry is starting to come down from his post-announcement pedestal. Unless Bachmann can regain momentum, it will be either Romney or Perry; that is to say, it will be Romney.

    Final analysis: Romney is still moving right along to the finish line, and Perry is starting to come down from his post-announcement pedestal.

    As of this writing, Intrade gives both Romney and Perry a 36% chance of winning the nomination. Soon after he announced, Perry took something like a 6% lead.

Perry needs to warm up and get a bit smoother, and also out of Texas mode. He needs to keep aware that it’s not all about Texas and he’s not talking to Texans, and he can be cut to shreds (and will be) with the wrong soundbites. Romney is slick and practiced. It is unfortunate that so much rides on acting ability. That’s how mediocre narcissists with little to offer get into office.

Thanks for the synopsis of the question and answer session at the Reagan Library. I just can’t sit and watch those events any longer. Also, it was nice to learn that only Hispanics are allowed to ask questions on immigration. I once heard that one should wish to live in interesting times, however, I fear we are now living in very perilous times and half of the country seems to be oblivious to this fact.

P.S. I love your Petula Clark theme this week! It brings back memories of listening to her music with my mother in the morning waiting on the school bus. NICE!

Interesting. I missed the first 20 minutes, but I found Romney surprisingly good and I think he will be very appealing to independents. The base knows too much about his record to be interested. I didn’t know what to expect from Perry and I think lackluster covers it. I found his entire global warming “science” defense a bit thin and wish he had pulled a Newt and turned it on the moderator “how can you accept as fact unproven theory and expect principled leaders to demolish our economic engine over calculations and assumptions?”

The audience response to the question about executions in Texas certainly took Brian Williams aback and demonstrated how out of touch media figures are with average Americans.

Michelle Bachman is very good in a debate and I would prefer to see her use her skills in the senate rather than as president. She makes good points and draws good parallels in an educational fashion. She has a lot to offer, just not from the Oval Office.

Herman Cain is terrific, but I wish he had told us what his 9,9,9 plan is. Doesn’t help the casual viewer.