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Jacksonville Republican Debate

Jacksonville Republican Debate

Endgame assessment: It’s almost like there were two debates. Early on Romney scored points against Newt on Freddie Mac and the “wealth issue,” and Santorum scored major points against Romney on Romneycare.  The first half of the debate was not strong for Newt, although I think the talk of the space program probably helped him in Florida even if it hurt him with the pundits.

The second half of the debate was much more sedate.  I’m not sure there were any highlights, except for Romney deferring to Newt on Reagan and Newt getting to solidify his Reagan narrative.  Given how quickly Romney folded on the issue, this has to help Newt as Romney’s campaign and supporters continue their attacks on Newt’s Reagan connection.  Newt was able to drive this home in his closing — a big election with big choices, paycheck over foodstamps, etc.

If Newt needed a big moment, he didn’t get it.  Romney was strong in the start, weaker as the night went on.  Ron Paul was good throughout.  I’d declare Santorum the winner, but I don’t think he’ll take votes from Newt or Romney.

At the third break:

On Reagan, Newt mentioned the video I ran of Nancy Reagan praising him! (but didn’t mention me).  Lashed out at Romney coordinated attack.  Newt gave a good history of his involvment, and Romney didn’t push it.  Best part of night for Newt.  Some on twitter say he should have gone after Romney harder on Reagan, but I’m not sure that would have helped rather than make him seem mean.

Rest of segment was ho hum.

At the second break:

Some back and forth between Newt and Blitzer over taxes, then Romney got involved on tax issue, giving another one of his speeches about hard work etc.  On surface Romney got the better of it, just not sure how it ultimately plays out.   Particularly when Newt suggested truce on personal attacks and Romney basically said no, in a round about way.

Discussion of space program pretty good for Newt in Florida, Romney basically threw cold water on it.  Santorum was supportive of exploring space, but against new programs and big ideas.  Basically all three then went after Newt on the issue.

Santorum went after Romney on Romneycare and Newt on mandate pretty hard, but mostly Romney, “we can’t give this issue away.”  Romney came across very poorly, said to Santorum (who was animated) “it’s not worth getting angry about” – crowd booed.  Up until this point Romney was doing well.  Santorum went after him harder “your mandate is no different than Barack Obama’s mandate.”

Strong segment for Santorum and, yes, Paul.

At the first break:

A lot of discussion of immigration, back and forth between Newt and Romney, they each hit some singles, no extra bases.

Romney denied knowledge of running an ad saying Gingrich referred to Spanish as the language of the ghetto.  Here’s the ad, right on his campaign website.  Blitzer then hammered Romney by pointing out it’s his ad and at end he says he approved it.  Good moment for Newt.

On Freddie, Romney got the better of the exchange.  Freddie is a topic which just never works well for Newt.

Santorum had a pretty good presence, scored probably moment of night so far saying nothing wrong with what Newt did or Mitt did, and they should stop with “petty personal attacks.”  Coming right after Romney scoring points on Newt about Freddie, it actuallly was a good save of Newt.


Before the start

First, listen to Mark Levin about the attacks on Newt.  He says just about everything I wanted to say, but better.  We are living in terrible times when a pretender to the conservativve throne is being crowned.  “If this is what the conservative movement has become, then count me out.”  Amen.

And then another voice of sanity:

Sarah Palin attacked Newt Gingrich’s detractors in an interview set to air tonight. “Look at Newt Gingrich, what’s going on with him, via the establishment’s attacks,” she told Fox Business Network. “They’re trying to crucify this man and rewrite history, and rewrite what it is that he has stood for all these years.”


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StrangernFiction | January 26, 2012 at 7:54 pm

Yep, if this is what it means to be a Republican and vote Republican. Forget about it!

[…] The debate will take place in Jacksonville. It’s on CNN. Share HillaryIs44: […]

I second that Amen!

holmes tuttle | January 26, 2012 at 8:03 pm

Levin needs to endorse Newt. If Romney wins FL that’s it. I know Mark like Santorum but he has to be honest and see that Rick has no chance in FL. None. Newt is the only one who can beat Romney in FL. The only one.

He needs all the help he can get. Only Newt can defeat the establishment right now. Standing by is and doing nothing is helping Romney.

Endorsements for Newt by Levin and Limbaugh and Hannity would be huge. Sean is a good friend of Newt’s. He knows him from back in his days in Atlanta before he was a big star. Newt was a big help to Sean’s early career. Rush has talked about Newt was the only one defending Reagan on CSPAN in the 80s and how those speeches were inspring to him and taught him conservatism.

Those 3 endorsing Newt would be huge. There’s still time for them to make a difference. If not now, when? Time is running out. We need all the help we can get. Everything.

Levin clearly doesn’t like Romney. Santorum is done. Mark has to see that. The best thing he can do to stop Romney is endorse Newt. He needs to be convinced of that.

A great line for Newt to use at the debate “In this present crisis, putting the same GOP establishment that got us into this mess back in power is not the solution to the problem we face, the GOP establishment IS the problem. The establishment MUST be defeated.”

Would be a great way to pay tribute to Reagan’s inaugural and every true Reaganite would instantly get it.

    Sherlock in reply to holmes tuttle. | January 26, 2012 at 8:13 pm

    You are 100% right. I have been very frustrated with the fact that these guys have not gotten into the game especially now when it is obvious that this is a Mitt/Newt primary. AND Sarah too, time to get off the sidelines and make a difference.

    Don’t you realize that none of these guys will endorse anyone? Their broadcast partners, stations and commercial sponsors will not allow it.

    They can — and they do — lean on the scale for one candidate or another. But that is it.

    “Levin needs to endorse Newt.”

    So does Sarah. Time to make it clear.

Thank you for your continuing series on this topic. I have no problem with factual political criticism of any candidate’s character, actions, judgment, or policies. That’s not what’s been happening, to Republican candidate after candidate. American politicians have a long history of crossing the line from criticism to slander, and the American public has, from time to time, rejected politicians’ excesses.

I think the experience of Grover Cleveland is quite instructive. Mr. Cleveland was a reformer who was an admitted adulterer. He won the popular vote for President three times.

As a life-long Indie, and from the Carter malaise on Right of the GOP, I’ve sworn pretty much from 110 days in to Dear Leader’s regime that I will not support the party of Rove & Co.

Token opposition to Progressivism.

Thank you all(except Issa) who have endorsed Romney and perfect the politics of personal destruction.

You have made my case for me.

Then there’s Byron York’s tweet today:

“Romney hits Gingrich even harder on 90’s ethics case. On the other hand, have they read this?”!/ByronYork/statuses/162596193812234240

The problem is not the Romney camp (or the Gingrich camp, though Gingrich has pulled his bad ads because of push back). The problem is the conservative media and pundits who are either spreading or not reporting on how false these charges are and how destructive allowing them to stand is.

They are blowing up conservatism and any claim to ethics they had. Being for a candidate is one thing. Asking questions is another. But allowing a huge false issue to stand when you have evidence it is false is appalling.

Cowboy Curtis | January 26, 2012 at 8:10 pm

I’ll vote for anyone who’s name isn’t Obama, but….well, that these four are our only options makes me want to beat my head against a rock.

I just made a small contribution to Newt. Romney sickens me. Romney is a complete phoney. I have many problems with Newt. But if elected, I believe Newt would address the problems of the federal government in ways that Romney never would consider.

Here’s my bottom line: I would rather go down fighting for Newt than have Romney as the nominee. If Romney is the nominee, I’m going to tune out, turn on and drop out! Yes, I’ll hold my nose and vote for him over Obama, but that is it.

    Aitch748 in reply to Malonth. | January 26, 2012 at 9:53 pm

    “If Romney is the nominee, I’m going to tune out, turn on and drop out! Yes, I’ll hold my nose and vote for him over Obama, but that is it.”

    I can’t even promise that I’ll even do that much. Why should I go pull the lever for a “lite” version of the guy we’re trying to get rid of?

    (My prediction remains: Romney gets the nomination. Romney loses to Obama.)

Romney: I’ll fix immigration by keeping the same system we have now!

Cowboy Curtis | January 26, 2012 at 8:16 pm

For everyone that wrote off Perry for his stance on illegal immigration- how are you liking the debate so far?

    Henry Hawkins in reply to Cowboy Curtis. | January 26, 2012 at 10:33 pm

    I appreciate the sentiment, but I didn’t write Perry off for just his stance on illegal immigration. There were three solid reasons:

    1. Perry’s lack of debate abilities
    2. Perry’s failure to present his solid resume well
    3. Um, uh… lemmesee.. uh…..

New boy here.

Just remember this: The country is in big trouble. The people responsible for this come from the ruling class on both sides of the aisle.

The country’s problems will not be cured by simply getting rid of Obama. They are far bigger than that.

There needs to be a regime change. We are on the cusp of a major political cataclyism. In major upheavals, sometimes babies get thrown out with the bathwater but this cannot deter us from our goal of getting rid of the those who profit from the status quo. We must return to the founder’s ideals.

At this point I will not say who is the best of the “not Romneys”. None of them is perfect, to say the least, but you go to war with what you have.

Romney, however nice a guy he may or may not be, cannot be allowed to win. He represents a class of people who fancy themselves to be aristocrats. You know who I mean: the blue bloods who consider themselves to be American royalty: who consider themselves to be our betters: who consider themselves to be higher purpose persons, if you will.

Their values are the antithesis of America’s original principles and are analogous to those of the British rulers that colonists rebelled against over two hundred years ago.

You have to make up your mind. Are you a loyalist or are you a patriot?

Mitt just said that English was the official language of the United States. When did that law pass, Mitt, hmmm?

Why does Newt keep getting caught in Romney’s bs? Address the question that was posted. Who care about Romney’s investments? This is Gingrich throwing it away.

Cowboy Curtis | January 26, 2012 at 8:38 pm

Santorum is the only one even kinda sounding good. God help us all.

I thought Santorum looked like the only adult on stage in that first segment.

Just my thought, but I think Santorum won it at the end with his comment about taking the personal attacks out and just focusing on the issues.

MaggotAtBroadAndWall | January 26, 2012 at 8:43 pm

Just as Hillary supporters created the PUMA movement to oppose Barack becoming the nominee, Newt supporters need to come up with something sinilar to PUMA. Quickly.

Ugh, Romney and Newt are at it again.

Blitzer asked if we could move on, and then brings it all back up again. STOP ALREADY!

theduchessofkitty | January 26, 2012 at 8:50 pm

“Romney denied knowledge of running an ad saying Gingrich referred to Spanish as the language of the ghetto. Here’s the ad, right on his campaign website.”

Projecting much, Mitt?

Romney gives that Manchurian Candidate like feel to the debate

The problem with endorsing either Romney or Gingrich is that whatever you want to believe about them, there is an abundance of actual footage of them that proves it.

That’s the problem with these polymorphic chameleon candidates. Whatever evidence you need to prove your point, you can find it because they’ve been on every side of every issue at one time or another. Both are more concerned with winning battles than winning wars. They’ll say anything to win. Not worth the emotional investment. There is no “there” there.

    StrangernFiction in reply to Pasadena Phil. | January 26, 2012 at 8:55 pm

    But only one of the two has actually DONE anything. That’s the difference.

    “There is no “there” there.”

    Resoundingly false in Newt’s case. On the contrary, the problem could be stated as an abundance of “there.”

    This constant equivalence is a drag.

Wow..I’m finally on a thread where someone types “polymorphic.” A first for me.

I hate to say it but Paul has had a couple of good zingers tonight..

delicountessa | January 26, 2012 at 8:57 pm

Hey! Did you know that Paul was a physician? And he was a physician in the Air Force in 1962? Wow.. who knew? (Make you think of anyone else?).

Re: Grandiose ideas, remember what everyone said about Reagan’s Star Wars

StrangernFiction | January 26, 2012 at 8:59 pm

Romney NEVER promises things people want to hear. Unreal.

Re: Moon colony.
Mitt trashes Newt. Hey, Mitt: what’s your VISION? You know, about space and stuff.

P.S. Newt said 90% private sector. There’s probably a way to do it. Romney doesn’t even want to look at it. Some businessman–some patriot.

Romney is dissing the idea that corporate America “wants a colony on the moon.” This colony on the moon business is a stand-in for space exploration generally, and he’s dead wrong. Newt should have come right back with specific reference to companies like Space-X, Virgin Galactic, XCOR, ULA, and so on. The idea that shrinking government means shrinking our horizons is false and electoral poison for conservatism.

    1. The idea that shrinking government means shrinking our horizons is false and electoral poison for conservatism.


    2. I view conservative principles as tools you pack in the wagon on the way to the frontier, i.e. the future.

    3. A fledgling nation with uncertain viability once sent Lewis and Clark to survey the continent. Silly, huh?

    I don’t close my eyes to the current crisis, but it is appropriate to bring up long-range issues like space though they may seem hypothetical to some people. Unless civilization self-destructs, they will not be hypothetical by the time Kathleen is a grandmother, and perhaps well before that.

    4. By the way, it’s been some time since Kathleen posted.

something dawned on me…

You know how we hear so much of this “inevitable”, “only serious”, “a real threat”, etc coming from the Democrats with regard to Romney.

They also give this “crazy”, “unelectable”, “self-destructive” narrative when talking about Newt.

When listening to their words, one would get the sense that they really want to run against Newt and are fearful of Romney

…so, why aren’t they helping bury Mitt for good? Instead, they seem to be trying to do it to Newt!

Right now, when his polling is down an a competitor is in a position to cut the legs out of his campaign, the Democrats could be moving full force against Mitt and line themselves up perfectly for what they claim they want; a Newt v. Obama election. So where are they?

They aren’t stupid when it comes to this kind of stuff – in fact, they are extremely cunning in attacks against competitors. So where are they?

I wonder if all these Establishment types and doomsayers will take notice of the Democrats seemingly enjoying watching (the “unelectable”) Newt get pounded while the candidate they supposedly fear, Romney, is oddly being left nearly alone by the left at this, his weakest point (so far)

Santorum hit Romneycare-FINALLY! Also hit Newt but Romney will take the biggest hit.

Santorum is really a very nasty little man. His campaign has no hope, and here he is, still attacking Newt. What a jerk.

Romney: Ma healthcare–came together with “citizens of the nation”….MA is a nation???

    Darkstar58 in reply to Sherlock. | January 26, 2012 at 9:16 pm

    I’m not surprised; makes perfect sense.

    Liberals always claim their ideas are the ideas of each and everyone in the country – the people aren’t supposed to be able to think for themselves, least the make what you are certain is the wrong choice. Case in point, “the 99%”; which somehow represents me and you and our families and anyone we know that isn’t a multimillionaire.

    But that too makes sense – After-all, how is Communism ever going to work if people can make up their own minds? Duh…

Santorum is eating Romney’s lunch on his healthcare. Good

StrangernFiction | January 26, 2012 at 9:12 pm

“It’s not worth getting angry about.”

You heard the man.

    Midwest Rhino in reply to StrangernFiction. | January 26, 2012 at 9:20 pm

    yes it is Mitt … you’re bragging about Romneycare, while Rick points out it is basically Obamacare. A LOT of people are very ANGRY about that. You can’t just laugh us off (I hope)

What the heck is going on here? It appears that Newt has tranferred his ‘fire in the belly’ to Rick.

Did Newt just suggest Rubio as his VP? Brilliant move!

Oh boy, I’m really excited about the next question (NOT)

Rick is acting in effect as Newt’s surrogate here. Attacking Romney in a way that Newt can’t because Newt has been for a mandate, but he never crafted a huge plan to implement it. Thank you, Rick!

If Santorum had started fighting this well for conservative principles early on, he might have had a chance. But, he left it to Newt. Unfortunately for Santorum, this is a death gasp for his campaign.

Is it me or does Wolf Blitzer look like a funeral director?

Who would ” fire him ” ?? Mitt or his blind trust ?

DDsModernLife | January 26, 2012 at 9:31 pm

Did you hear that? Wolf B. sez, “Why would your wife make the best First Lady?…When we come back…”

Taxpayer $$ being flung down the Green Energy Toilet, deficit spending that can never be repaid, our military slashed to the bone, an “Arab Spring” which surrounds our single ally in the Mideast with violent militant governments, the U.S. housing market flat on it’s back, a President who divides us into pliable voting blocs and promotes dependence, and CNN’s moderator wants to talk about prospective First Ladies?

Romney: ” I became more conservative as a Gov” Oh really?? Prove it!

“I’ve never voted for a Democrat if there wasn’t a Republican on the ballot.” Um, yeah. Whatevs. Real man or principle.

Newt frames the Palestinian/Israeli fight in real terms. He knows what he is talking about.

Proof that the longer campaign is making Romney a better candidate. His defense of his taxes and his wealth were his best yet.

    On that issue he was better, but utterly flummoxed on Romneycare. The no need to get angry comment was an especially stunning stumble.

    Still, Palin was right that the longer the contest goes on the better for the candidates. It’s the reverse for the Democrats because they are never attacked in the MSM. But, Republicans will have the kitchen sink thrown at them. Better that it is thrown early and in the smaller venue of the Republican primary than later as an October surprise to stun voters.

      Jaydee77 in reply to T D. | January 26, 2012 at 10:13 pm

      Agreed on Romneycare. Interesting that to me he was much better on that way back in the first few debates last May and in the summer. He had something like a 5 point difference on how Romneycare differed from Obamacare. He has it in him to better defend the issue.

        Henry Hawkins in reply to Jaydee77. | January 26, 2012 at 10:24 pm

        With Obamacare looming like the sword of
        Damocles over our collective throats, a solid defense of Romneycare serves exactly one American, Mitt Romney, and no one else. Well, except Obama.

        A defense of Romneycare is a defense of Obamacare.

Midwest Rhino | January 26, 2012 at 9:48 pm

On FOX’s Special Report tonight, the panel all agreed that if the argument is over who is more Reaganesque, Newt wins that argument hands down.

Santorum skewered Romenycare pretty good … and Mitt just shrugged it off and said don’t get mad, (at me cramming Obamaneycare down everyone’s throat after the election).

Sorry Mitt … we’re mad as hell. Mitt can’t even get through the primaries without adMITTing he’ll flip back to government health care.

Newt gives a great answer on faith. Romney…well, Romney talks a lot and his claque cheers wildly. (Must have bussed ’em in by the gross.)

Has anyone else noticed: a Mitt Romney ad has been running over the masthead through the whole debate.

huskers-for-palin | January 26, 2012 at 9:55 pm

Hey Sarah, I got a cue-card for ya….please say it in your next interview.

“If I were a voter in Florida, I’d vote for Newt to keep the process/vetting going!”


    I hope she calls out Romney’s Blind Trust for Being a Phony:

    “Last week, Romney’s campaign pulled out the same explanation when ABC News sought details about the candidate’s holdings in the Cayman Islands, a notorious offshore tax haven.

    “We remind you that Gov. Romney does not choose anything; these are BLIND TRUSTS,” a campaign official wrote in an email.

    But government ethics experts and election lawyers told ABC News that Romney’s trust might not be quite as blind as he has long maintained. That’s because Romney placed his quarter-billion dollar family fortune in the hands of his personal lawyer and longtime associate Bradford Malt.

    When he ran against Sen. Edward Kennedy in 1994, Romney spoke critically of Kennedy’s claim that he had no control over his investments. “The blind trust is an age-old ruse,” Romney told the Boston Globe at the time.”

    In addition to serving as the trustee for Romney’s charitable foundation, Malt’s law firm has represented Romney’s interests in legal disputes, and Malt served as the primary outside counsel to Romney’s company, Bain Capital. A sign of those ties surfaced in August, when Romney filed his financial disclosure report and revealed that Malt had invested over $1 million of the candidate’s money in the Solamere Founders Fund. Solamere is managed by Tagg Romney, Mitt’s son.

    “The blind trust does NOT meet the exacting ‘federal blind trust’ standard,” a campaign official wrote in response to questions from ABC News. “We have never called it a federal blind trust. If Governor Romney is elected president, that will change.”

    Mitt Romney’s Blind Trust Not So Blind
    By MATTHEW MOSK | Dec. 19, 2011 |

      CalMark in reply to JonB. | January 27, 2012 at 12:37 pm

      Yeah, and Mitt doesn’t know what’s in there, has no control. Even though he sees every year on his tax returns what his holdings are and what’s making him money. So it’s OK for him to lend money to Fannie and Freddie?

      Or does he not pay attention to those? Just like the ads he “approved?”

      P.S The shot at Newt, “you own mutual funds with Fannie and Freddie” is dishonest. Romney knows there’s lots of turnover in mutual funds. Virtually impossible to avoid government instruments. Romney is an unscrupulous liar.

In this eagle’s humble opinion Santorum won this debate.

Yep, as much as it pains me, I think this one goes into Santorum’s column.

Santorum was fantastic! Good for him.
He ruled the debate.

Jonathan Tobin over at Commentary Magazine says:

“The debate ends. Winners: Santorum and Romney. Loser: Gingrich. Paul: barely there.”

Of course, Tobin also made a snarky remark about Santorum attacking Romney and Gingrich for supporting the global warming “hoax” (his quotes not mine). I therefore conclude that Jonathan is a warmist, which doesn’t help him convince me.

    CalMark in reply to gad-fly. | January 26, 2012 at 10:55 pm

    Tobin’s opinion seems like more pro-Romney propaganda.

    True, no home runs for the Newtster. Got bruised some (Freddie, balanced budget), but had some good lines (taxes, Israel, religion). Not a loser. Subjects seemed chosen to showcase Romney and keep Newt from catching fire.

    Romney NOT a winner. Media says so partly because hall stacked with Romney folks. Good lines about wealth. BUT: Nailed HARD and stumbled badly on Romneycare and anti-Reagan, Tsongas-voting past. Looked petty and shallow ridiculing Newt’s ideas about space exploration.

Like I have said, I like Santorum and would vote for him over Romney if Newt weren’t in the hunt. I will not vote for Ron Paul, Mitt Romney or Obmama. Did I just write Obmama? Wow that was a Freudian slip. Anyway…

Wow, what happened to Newt tonight? No fire : (. The tit for tats between him and Mitt were unproductive and distracting.

Debate questions…..I’m still waiting for substance. Fast and Furious, Solyndra, deficit, debt, obamacare, illegal immigration. While I realize some of those were addressed tonight, no new ground was covered within the context of the subject.

Really? A question on the wife being First Lady? What a slam at Newt–an obvious, biased slam.

If Romney wins in FL he’ll be the nominee. I like Santorum too, but at this point his presence in FL only helps Romney.

Him staying in in FL makes it more likely Romney wins. No doubt.

Romney winning in FL ends Santorum’s campaign, regardless of where he finishes. Ends it. Rick has to realize that. His supporters have to realize that.

Now, if Newt wins in FL, Santorum’s campaign goes on. It continues. He still has an opening as the anti-Newt an the alternative to him. But if Romney wins the process is over and all the other contests become irrelevant.

Santorum doesn’t even need to drop oput. All he has to do is pull out of FL and focus on campaigning in upcoming states like NV, CO, MN. Stay in the race but not in FL, just like Paul is doing. Makes more sense as he can focus on delegates and those states are less expensive and he’ll have them to himself.

Someone, anyone out there give me a scenario in which Romney wins FL and isn’t the nominee. Give me a scenario in which he wins FL and doesn’t win big in the states over the next week like NV, CO, MN, ME. And then in MI and AZ(heavy LDS population) at the end of the month.

So, anyone who wants this to continue, regardless of who you support should hope Newt wins because he’s the only one who can keep it going. I hope Rick feels ok on tuesday night if Romney wins and this ends, I hope he’s ok with that and knowing he helped it to happen, didn’t do anything to stop it.

That’s the bottom line, really. Same as SC. If Romney wins, it’s over and he’s the nominee. If Newt wins, it continues and Romney is even more weakened and either Newt or Santorum can still be the nominee. Those are really the choices.

    delicountessa in reply to holmes tuttle. | January 26, 2012 at 11:20 pm

    Sorry, I don’t buy that Romney is automatically the nominee if he wins Florida. If that is the case, why bother with allowing the rest of us vote at all? We are unnecessary if 4 contests determine the whole thing. However, even if they had ALL their delegates, and they don’t, it’s nowhere near what is needed to actually win the nomination.

      Good point. Tired of the doom and gloom. Why echo Establishment talking points?

      However, you have to admit, it could give Romney momentum.

      What a horrible, horrible time we live in. Clearly, we have a tyrannical oligarchy that will stop at NOTHING to win.

      To go a little mystical: in this dark time, despite the prayers of lots of decent people, evil is running roughshod over everything.

      StrangernFiction in reply to delicountessa. | January 26, 2012 at 11:27 pm

      It really is something. If Mitt wins Florida that is two primary victories. TWO!!!! And we are all supposed to just bow are heads to our masters and go away.

Santorum was strong on the Romneycare and mandate. But the race still seems to be between Newt and Mitt. I thought Newt was solid, though without fireworks. That might just make him look stable.

Newt firmed up the Reagan thing, which makes Romney look disingenuous with all the phoney attacks. The moon thing even seemed fine, especially for Florida. He sorta made the crazy Martian attacks on him look a little silly. And he rebuked Mitt’s complaint that Newt was just making promises for each state.

Newt was clear on Cuba and Israel … to me he comes off as having the gravitas, while Mitt is trying hard to say his lines correctly. Mitt got nailed on another false attack on the ghetto language thing … did he really not know he had approved that message? That kind of crap should be the stuff that loses elections, not wins them.

So Mitt won’t repeal Obamaneycare, he likes it. He made a false claim that Newt called Spanish the ghetto language, then denied knowledge of it. He says we can’t go to the moon.

After trashing a Newt for not being as close to Reagan as Mitt’s daddy, he had to take it back, along with all the baloney his hitmen had been spewing out the last few days.

There is still not much genuine about Mitt … but the cocktail party is still all in for him, since they have doubts about Newt. I think Gingrich came across as the stable one tonight. He seemed like the adult looking at childish Romney, who had been caught spreading a lot of lies in a very important race.

[…] at Legal Insurrection noted something else that’s bound to hurt Mitt: A lot of discussion of immigration, back and forth between Newt […]

[…] Legal Insurrection Share this:FacebookEmailStumbleUponLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. By dailynewshub, on January 26, 2012 at 9:13 pm, under Election, U.S. Politics. Tags: Candidate, debate, Election, florida, Politics, President, Voting. No Comments Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL. « Is Anybody Serious? […]

I’m just amazed that after everything about Obamacare that has happned the past few years. After it was one of the driving forces behind the Tea Party. After not one Republican in the house or Senate voted for it, not even one. After all of that…we could very well have the GOP nominee for President be the man who by any objective and non-partisan analysis laid the foundation and provided the legislative model for Obamacare. Who established and was the first Governor in any state to make use of the individual mandate.

After everything, the nomineee of the Republican Party could well be the one guy in the country who can’t make an issue of Obamacare and has no ground to stand on attacking it.

I can’t wait for every GOP Congressman and Senator, every GOP candidate this fall to be asked about that in each of their elections. As they’re going after Obama and their opponent they’ll all be asked “well, your nominee for President invented the individual mandate. He signed the same plan in MA. It’s the same thing. same govt involvement. same framework.” And all of them will hem and haw and they’ll come off looking totally dumb.

Some might say “well, it’s different on the state level”. And their opponent will say “so if Gov Romney said he was fine with abortion being legal in MA or signed a law for gay marriage in MA you’d be ok with that, right? After all, it’s on the state level, doesn’t mean anything.”

Does anyone here doubt for a minute that if Romney was President in 2006 he wouldn’t have signed Romneycare on the natl level? Anyone? Bueller?

Two candidates on the stage in the fall. Both support increased govt involvement in health care. Both support the use of the individual mandate. Both support increased subsidies and use of tax dollars. Both support encroachments on individual liberty and freedom.

Perhaps the only consolation is that with the economy adding 200-300000 jobs a month since nov and economic trends seeming to only get better there will be 2,000,000 or more new jobs added between now and the election. Obama will beat Romney comfortably and hopefully the recriminations on the establishment will be severe.

Excellent assessment by the professor.

I don’t understand Newt right now. I expected a stronger amd smarter attack on Romney. He’s been working his whole life for this moment and he’s prepared to allow that plastic mountebank to carry the day?

I knew Romney would fold. But his team will go right back to the attacks tomorrow. This is his MO, always has been. Can’t back up anything in person, scared of even trying anymore.

I agree that Santorum’s attacks helped Newt, marginally.

Newt needs a hand, a big endorsement. Sarah?

    From your link: The Morning Call does not quote Santorum making comments supportive of an individual mandate, or quote any other candidates in the piece, which attempts to summarize several candidates’ positions on health care.

I tried watching the debate, but Santorum’s too long-winded and I had to turn it off because it was making me irritable.

    CalMark in reply to Dynamism. | January 26, 2012 at 11:46 pm

    Santorum is almost as long-winded as Romney. Except for the Individual Mandate dust-up, Santorum is a snoozer. Romney is just slick and dishonest; I think HE talks so much to prevent other people from talking.

      JackRussellTerrierist in reply to CalMark. | January 27, 2012 at 1:33 am

      Yep. Just like obastard. Keep talking blah blah saying nothing to run out the clock so nobody else can say anything. It’s a defensive shield.

So Romney lied, twice. Shouldn’t that be the narrative tomorrow?

And the takeaway line from the evening? “It’s not worth getting angry about.” Something classicly Romney about this line: smug, inept (i.e., trying to deflect attention but actually attracting it) downright peculiar and laced with hidden fear.

    gabilange in reply to raven. | January 27, 2012 at 1:19 am

    “Not worth getting angry about”
    The takeaway also for a piece on Ricochet. This is a huge put down, snotty and patronizing. E.g.”You’re out of control, you’re hysterical, you’re emotional,” etc. This is to show Romney’s control and authority, the big exec. The guy who is the real leader, ya know. It is also something you say to a kid.

      raven in reply to gabilange. | January 27, 2012 at 1:37 am

      Yes. From Peter Robinson on Ricochet:

      “Liberty–liberty–“not worth getting angry about.” That would have come as news to certain residents of Massachusetts, including John Hancock, John Adams, and, come to think of it, all those who participated in the very first tea party.”

      JackRussellTerrierist in reply to gabilange. | January 27, 2012 at 3:02 am

      Very Kerryesque. This is also along the lines of one or the other Bushes not knowing the grocery store price of eggs or bread or something or other. It was not a good thing and resounded rather heavily…….with a big thud.

Look, I know it’s tough under the klieg lights, but come on!

Immigration? How about fixing our economy so we’re once again a country to which people want to immigrate?

Obamneycare “is nothing to get angry about”? Seriously? Sorry, but Fred McMurray doesn’t get my vote even if he was the Valium dad of “My Three Sons.”

Romney’s investments are in a blind trust? Gee, I guess his attack ads are in a blind trust, too. Recall he claimed not to have seen his own “ghetto” Newt ad.

Please. Newt dropped so many softballs, I’ve lost count.

Santorum mopped the floor tonight, which means Newt lost votes, putting Romney irrevocably ahead. Mr. Cardboard will be the nominee and if Rubio isn’t his VP, we’re totally dead. We’re probably dead already. Talk about the “lost decade.”

    Raven had the quote right. Romney said Obamneycare was “not worth getting angry about.” But Newt nonetheless sat there like a tree stump. Unbelievable, and unbelievably disappointing.

      JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Lawyer Mom. | January 27, 2012 at 3:10 am

      But Santorum took Mittens down on Romneycare. That he was taken down on it is what matters. i think a lot of Santorum’s success will actually accrue to newt in terms of vote-getting.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Lawyer Mom. | January 27, 2012 at 3:08 am

    Uhmmmmmm………….I wouldn’t be too sure of that yet. Even though Rick did well, he still has his other problems. He polls poorly nationally and people find him lacking in substance and charisma. the debates aren’t the be-all end-all for most Americans. They may very well say to themselves, “Self, that Santorum feller did real good in that debate, but I just don’t think he can go the distance. Better vote for that Gingrich guy who knows a lot of stuff and can think at the drop of a feather since that other guy, the stuffed shirt, ain’t gonna win against obammy, either.”

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Lawyer Mom. | January 27, 2012 at 3:13 am

    It’s Romney who is on the ropes, and he deterirated rapidly as the night wore on. Newt held his own while Rick swang haymakers. Romney eventually lost the night.

Tell me again which one was going to mop the floor with Obama? Was he there tonight?

Enough with the despair, already. Reagan had off-nights, too.

It’s unprecedented in U.S. history, possibly the history of representative government: the man who led his party out of a 35-year congressional wilderness is being destroyed by those whom he delivered.

He’s holding up remarkably well, considering.

Who knows how this will shake out. What we do know is that a whole bunch of people and institutions are busily destroying themselves along with Gingrich, from the self-important twits at National Review to Rush Limbaugh.

If Gingrich doesn’t win, we start over. It will be hard, but we will have to try. At least we will know who our friends–and enemies–truly are.

And pray, people. Evil is rampant.

The Paulbots are obviously night owls as he has a substantial lead on the Drudge Report poll.

    Snorkdoodle Whizbang in reply to ClinkinKy. | January 27, 2012 at 8:05 am

    “The Paulbots are obviously night owls as he has a substantial lead on the Drudge Report poll.”

    I believe it… most conservatives I know won’t even go to Drudge anymore. I know I don’t.

It’s amazing to me that people will allow negative advertising and debates to form their decision. That being said, Gingrich is pulling in thousands at his rallies while Santorum and Romney pull in a few hundred. I don’t see how Romney can possibly be winning unless alot of old folks sent in their ballots a little too early.

    Snorkdoodle Whizbang in reply to wodiej. | January 27, 2012 at 8:11 am

    Yeah… I had the same thought. I also question some of the polling coming out of FL over the last day or so. Don’t see how Romney suddenly goes from 9 down to a double digit lead. Hasn’t really been anything game changing down there. Negative ads and the Wall Of Hate from the D.C. elites, sure… but enough to change the dynamics of the race that dramatically? Reminds me of the polling before Reagan’s first election that showed him down by double digits just before he cleaned the Peanut Farmer’s clock. Besides… Romney isn’t running in FL like someone up by double digits and Newt isn’t running like someone down in the polls. I really have to wonder what their internal polling is saying.

      Exactly. Well said.

      Bottom line: I think the polls are rigged. Just like the pile-on conspiracies (yes, I said conspiracies: MSM, “conservative” media, “conservative” pundits, etc.).

      Monday morning, Newt leads by 8-12. Wednsday night, he’s suddenly -9: 20 point swing in 3 days. REALLY–how’s that possible?

      More. One poll shows Newt -9 and slipping in FL. But +7 and pulling away nationally. Huh?

      And this. SC polls all over the place. Newt +3 to +6, even “toss-up.” Result: Newt, +12. What?

      Finally. Romney doesn’t act like a man about to win by double digits. Something about his manner. And up big, still pouring huge money into attack ads, with a bunch of states and the general (he’s got it sewn up, right?) still to come.

      Assessment: lots of previously reliable people and institutions have committed suicide to stop Gingrich. They just don’t realize it yet.

Midwest Rhino | January 27, 2012 at 7:44 am

Obama is famous for tasking NASA with reaching out to the Muslim world. And noted NASA astronomer James Hanson made his $1.6 million not from Freddie Mac, but from being a global warming activist, posing as a NASA employee. Gingrich at least recognizes the bureaucracy is the tail wagging the dog.

Gingrich did seem to understand that we need to inspire our youth to American exceptionalism, rather than settle with hitching a ride into space to some shared space station. In contrast, Obama wants to humble us, and make NASA a Muslim outreach program.

I do wish Gingrich wouldn’t make the big promises, like the moon base in eight years. Present it as a possible outcome, because since it’s Newt, any big ideas get mocked in the media.

Behind the “colonize the moon” headline is more substance. Take the money out of the pork laden bureaucracy and thrust it back into the actual science. And quit sharing everything with other countries … make it an AMERICAN project. Incentivize private investment … which might apply to other endeavors like health care.

An American lunar state might be a little far out, but he makes a good point about inspiring kids to strive for American greatness. All the education money to unions just let teachers retire earlier with more, while kids are taught diversification, not inspiration.

But our elite “conservative” leaders have chosen liberal Mitt as the safe bet, and are trashing Gingrich’s achievements to get their way. I’ve lost respect for so many of these all knowing conservatives that have joined in this mob like assault on Newt, as Mark Levin points out.

    Snorkdoodle Whizbang in reply to Midwest Rhino. | January 27, 2012 at 8:18 am

    Give me a president with big dreams any day. That’s a man who understands this country the true American spirit.

    “But our elite “conservative” leaders have chosen liberal Mitt as the safe bet, and are trashing Gingrich’s achievements to get their way. I’ve lost respect for so many of these all knowing conservatives that have joined in this mob like assault on Newt, as Mark Levin points out.”

    Indeed. The GOP leadership and D.C. elites are well and truly on the path to create a deep schism in the Republican party that will set the party back 50 years. Romney as nominee will only drive the wedge between the ‘elites’ and the ‘rank and file’ deeper.

    Party of Stupid, indeed.

I appreciate your debate assessement, Professor. (Much better than the last one, I might add.) I missed the live debate and read your summary before I watched the re-run. Turns out, you were pretty much spot on.

Santorum was in one of those emotional swing moods, but very strong and effective in his arguments. Uncle Ron was, well, you know, his usual jovial self; he never strays from his message. Newt seemed understandably grumpy after a terrible day of piling on. What stood out is the fact that even when the audience is unleashed, Newt cannot be counted on to be the Great Debater. Above all, this debate was pivotal for Romney; he showed himself to be capable of fighting the good fight which is what conservatives are craving. His debate coaching lessons are paying off.

There is one thing both Romney and Gingrich have done that infuriates me and will cost them big if they do it in the general election. They take some relatively unimportant factoid, totally distort it, then make a big deal of it. For example, Romney keeps saying Gingrich resigned as Speaker in disgrace. He did resign, but not in disgrace. He probably would have been challenged as Speaker, and may have lost; maybe that is why he resigned, maybe not. But that is hardly disgrace.

In the general election, that kind of distortion leveled at Obama will backfire big time. You know Obama will jump on this kind of thing and the medial will be their normal echo chamber. Any Republican who levels that kind of accusation will come out much worse for it.

The nitpicking and distortion has to stop. They need to practice and sharpen the skills that will work in the general election. There are plenty of big, valid, issues on which to attack Obama. Nitpicking and distortion are not necessary and are counterproductive.

it seems they have some 2007 video of Newt saying the ghetto word … we need to have everyone learn English “as the language of prosperity, not the language of living in a ghetto”

He apologized for the term later, in Spanish. Of course it is politically incorrect, but probably accurate for the point he was making. Considering non English speaking neighborhoods, they are largely “ghetto” like, and are hard to escape without a command of English.

A ghetto is a section of a city predominantly occupied by a group who live there, especially because of social, economic, or legal issues. The term was originally used in Venice to describe the area where Jews were compelled to live. The term may refer to an overcrowded urban area often associated with specific ethnic or racial populations living below the poverty line. From a statistical perspective, ghettos are typically high crime areas relative to other parts of the city.

Of course this is just Mitt race baiting … it is Newt that wants some safety net for the family that has lived here illegally for 25 years. And it was Mitt that said those grandma’s are not the issue. Mitt’s plan would be the status quo … not deport, but not identify so they could be taxed and incorporated officially. Romney will say anything.