Most Read
Image 01 Image 02 Image 03

Republican South Carolina Debate

Republican South Carolina Debate

Endgame Analysis:  I don’t think Romney was mortally wounded, but he did stammer through some key issues such as the release of his tax returns.  Clearly Newt had almost all of and the biggest moments.  Probably Rick Perry’s best debate, Santorum was uneven.  Probably Ron Paul’s worst debate.

If Newt’s goal was to knock Romney down, it probably didn’t work.  If Newt’s goal was to establish himself as the leader of the Newt-Santorum-Perry grouping, it probably worked.  To the extent a debate can make a difference, this should help separate Newt from Santorum, the question is if it was enough.

At the third break:  Clearly Newt’s night so far.  I’ll post some tweets later from more neutral observers on Twitter.  Rick Perry was strong.  Santorum a non-entity until the end when he attacked Newt — Santorum hasn’t figured out that he needs to keep Romney down.

At the second break:  Newt had all the applause lines (unemployment with job training, children working in schools).  Juan Williams tried to claim Newt was belittling minorites, crowd booed loudly, and Newt got to take command.  Romney was pressed on tax returns, gave a rambling answer which suggested that he “probably” would do so in Apri (which conveniently is after Super Tuesday when the nomination likely will be all  but done).

At the first break: A fairly strange segment, disjointed, started out with Bret Baier going after Newt on Bain attacks then devolved into such things as felon voting rights.  The whole segment was just strange.

Bret Baier went after Newt very hard on the Bain attacks, quoting people who criticized Newt.  Didn’t challenge Romney at all.  Someone from WSJ asked Romney a question on Ampad, but no follow up.  Basically, Romney floated through it, Fox went after Newt.

Juan Williams also framed a question to Santorum in a way favorable to Romney, making it sound like Santorum’s response to Romney’s attacks was the problem.


I’ll give commentary at the breaks.

Here’s what I expect.  Santorum is angry at Romney’s attack ads (sound familiar?), and Santorum does angry even better than Newt.  Newt will focus on Romney.  Perry will try to contrast himself with Newt and Santorum, which would be unfortunate, because it helps Romney.  Ron Paul will go after everyone, but mostly present himself as the only real alternative to Romney.

Get this — Santorum up by 80 votes in Iowa.


Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.


[…] believe they’re having another debate” fistfight is on tonight at 9:00 ET. The Republican South Carolina debate is at Myrtle Beach, televised by Fox […]

That statue of MLK is really awful.

Solid answer by Newt.

Low blows by Perry?

Good answer from Perry on Dodd-Frank. Why does Romney get to push Bret Baier around “I need more than 30 seconds”?
He’s already going to get the bulk of the time in the first place.

Agreed. Why aren’t there rules in place? If there are does he not have to follow them?

Stupid question by the WSJ reporterette. Who cares about negative ads?

Santorum really did vote against National Right to Work.
He’s trying to have his cake and eat it too.

Oh,oh, fisticuffs, and snark alert, angry Santorum and flustered Romney alert.

Funny how flustered Romney gets when challanged.

Go Perry, states rights rule.

Crap, missed the first segment.

Don’t worry punfundit, you just missed Perry break-up a little snark fest between Santorum and Romney. Crazy uncle Ron got just 1 question so far, and Newt had a shot taken at him by Bret baier on Bain. I think that’s about it.

God is our country in trouble.

Romney tripped over his words a few times there, like he was in a hurry to get past that statement.

Good for Perry, don’t back down. NLRB, justice department smackdown, yeah !

Perry borrowing from Gingrich.

Has anyone noticed that although it’s early Newt has been very ,very quiet.

“Ninety-nine weeks is an Associate degree!”

Pre-1998 Gingrich on stage. Lay it down.

Good, they actually gave Newt a question. I don’t like one part of his answer, I don’t want to pay for job -training, but I do think the unemployment should be cut and the rest of his answer is strong.

Romney’s answers are evidence of Bain pressure.

Crazy uncle Ron is dancing again.

Uncle Ron, how are you going to build more bases for troops who aren’t deployed when you’re cutting $700B?

    valleyforge in reply to punfundit. | January 16, 2012 at 9:49 pm

    Cuts in projected increases. Apparently baseline spending increases are only bad for domestic spending among certain conservatives.

      punfundit in reply to valleyforge. | January 16, 2012 at 11:05 pm

      No. Ron Paul has every intention of cutting troops (firing them). Under his philosophy, the military has no business running around foreign countries. So why leave all these troops barracked back home?

      Ron Paul will cut troops.

Perry knocked it out of the park with his answer about voter I.D., and the fact the this administration is at war with South Carolina. It is also suing Texas over voter I.D., the Sonigram law (which the DoJ just lost in the 5th Circuit Court of appeals), and any state law that enforces federal immigration law.

Gingrich’s line about “99 weeks” brings home a point. We keep paying UE benefits when those people could be getting an associate degree.

I’ll take your 20% flat tax and raise you by 5% (Romney 25%)

GOP presidential economic platforms, timid and bold

Romney just crapped his pants!

Romney dodging on his tax records. He doesn’t want people to know he still reaps dividends from Bain and pays the 15% as all his income is capital gains money.

“Stay the course,” Mitt? What’s next, “no new taxes?”

Newt wants 15% flat, crazy Uncle Ron wants zero. No mention of how he will fund the military with zero income taxation.

Romney says we are all “immigrants” or descendents of immigrants.

Hey Mitt, ever hear of the Cherokee?

    WarEagle82 in reply to retire05. | January 16, 2012 at 9:53 pm

    I could explain why Romney said what he said but someone would claim it was nasty and someone else would claim it was bigoted and someone else would claim it was irrelevant…

Santorum just quoted Thomas Sowell except he left out the part about not shoving chemicals in your body.

Ron Paul, how about OJ Simpson, he wasn’t a rich, white person who got away with murder?

Uncle Ron is reading Obama’s teleprompter.

Pandering old coot.

Uncle Ron has been smokin his own stuff before this debate. Martin Luther King is probably turning over in his grave.


Newt, hits it out of the park. How can Juan Williams asked something so stupid?

Go Newt, smack down Whine williams and his race-baiting.

Juan Williams playing the race card. Obama is the food stamp president. Good damn answer.

Did you see the look on Juan’s face?

OUT OF THE PARK. Heck yea!

Newt, career politician, is going to teach poor people how to “own the job”.

Newt owns this segment.

Learn how to get a job, learn how to get a better job, and learn how to someday own the job.

Thanks Newt for slapping Juan Williams. It is long overdue.

Gingrich: Entrepreneurship Learned Young in New Hampshire

(The donut kid.)

keep dancing Uncle Ron, faster, faster!

Notice how Uncle Ron squeezes into his answers little phrases which succor the tinfoil hat crowd without going openly Truther?

Ron Paul rambling on and on about ObL. Get this man a Rx for Aracept.


Newt takes it to the coot.

Maybe Newt should be the moderator and Bret Baier should just take the night off?

Newt kicks ass once again. Way to stick it to Paul and props for the historical reference to Andrew Jackson.

Trigger-happy Newt gets the easy applause line.


Romney borrows from Gingrich.

Debate audience proves foreign policy can’t be debated in public. Only one winning argument: Kill ’em.

Ron Paul is Dr.Looney McNutter. Who can take him seriously? We’re supposed to spoon and cuddle with those who have vowed our distruction? UGH

    valleyforge in reply to caambers. | January 16, 2012 at 10:12 pm

    Of course not. We should continue the war with Eastasia. We have always been at war with Eastasia, regardless of what you may remember.

Santorum and Perry need to interject, or Willard is going to have a free stage all night to talk from.

    Karen Sacandy in reply to damocles. | January 16, 2012 at 10:23 pm

    So true. I don’t get it. Has he paid for the microphones?

    If I were Santorum, I’d be utterly steaming. And I think he is.

Questions for Paul: negative ads, drug laws, Osama bin Laden

Not asked: economy, spending, debt

Biggest issues to Republican voters: economy, spending, debt

Good answer Perry.

I see Crazy Uncle Ron’s disciples are Tweet-bombing Gingrich in the wake of Gingrich defeating Ron Paul’s silly foreign policy.

Thanks Governor Perry for standing up for our military.

Romney booed. “you have a right to protest…” but apparently not to the 4th, 5th, or 8th amendements.

Love the comments about the recent Marine flap. He’s dead on with that.

uh oh…gramps is up again. Does his brain know what his tongue is flapping about?

Romney says it’s okay if he has unconstitutional power to detain Americans…

I used to say I had at least 50 reasons to never support Romney. Now I have at least 51.

Romney on National Authorization Bill? US citizen detained without the right of habeus corpus? Can be held indefinitely? Romney is just plain wrong on that.

Great…Romney saying Ear Leader is doing a good job with enemy combatants? Did I hear that right?

    raven in reply to caambers. | January 16, 2012 at 10:23 pm

    It’s his new strategy — haven’t you heard? It’s called “be nice.” He’s been talking up the economy lately under Obama.


Ron Paul, standing up for the terrorist vote.

    valleyforge in reply to Ediv710. | January 16, 2012 at 10:26 pm

    He said 260 out of 360-odd alleged al-Qaeda operatives have been convicted and are in prison. His point is that our rights to judicial due process don’t conflict with prosecuting terrorists.

Romney saying Ear Leader hasn’t abused power…really? He’s surrounded himself with people who haven’t abused power? Or was that hypothetical? I need to get back in the LR so I can hear this correctly.

Yes Perry! Keep the government out of housing

Yeah…terrorists should be tried in civilian courts…that’ll work. Dr. Crazyouttathebox.

Romney just teed up the “right-wing social engineering” question.

Mitt now wants income redistribution via Social Security and Medicare.

Tell me again that how Mitt is a conservative, because I ain’t feeling it.

Good answer on soc sec reform. Lefties will be accusing him of supporting Pinochet.

repeal ogabecare?

I like that

Santorum needs to calm down. He looks desperate right now.

Does anyone else think that we are in the process of getting royally screwd by the very people we thought were on our side? Of course, Lindsay Graham would beat the drums for Romney. He is the water boy for McCain and McCain is the ultimate establishment republican (h*ll, they fixed his nomination in 2008)when he’s not acting like a dim. I will never believe that he was the choice of conservatives. I think they did they same thing then they are trying to do now…put in their own candidate.

But, Mitt, you balanced your budget by killing businesses.

Romney: If you’re middle income (less than $200,000) everything is tax free. If you make $200,000 or more you’re scr**ed.

Romney puts the stake through Social security private accounts. The one thing he chooses to break with Bush on and it’s this?

Uh oh.


Perry: “Serious hunter, right.”

It’s the NRA’s fault!

Santorum and Romney: ” I’m for the lesser of two evils on gun control”. “I passed this so they wouldn’t pass a worse bill”.
How about not working with them and saying no deal, hands off my guns!

Good answer by Ron Paul.

Red meat!

Santorum hitting Paul on 2nd amendment. Talk about choosing the wrong target.

Romney is an empty suit.

Here it comes.

Gingrich looks remarkably comfortable.

Romney and Newt:” Your super-PAC ad is worse than my Super-PAC ad!”

Didn’t Romney defend superPACs a few weeks ago?

Romney suddenly makes sense: do away with campaign finance limits. Disses McCain’s premier legislation.

    Karen Sacandy in reply to valleyforge. | January 16, 2012 at 11:09 pm

    These guys and their alliances. Just as soon as they don’t need them anymore, they turn and eat them.

    And nobody more richly deserves it than McCain, who is as self-absorbed as Gingrich.