Blogs » Politcs Plus » My analysis of last night's GOP presidential debate



Last night's GOP presidential debate hosted by NBC and moderated by Brian Williams started with Mitt Romney hurling charges at Newt Gingrich. Mitt accused Newt of being a lobbyist for Freddie Mac, being run out of the speaker-ship position in disgrace, and “potentially wrongful activity” without really detailing what that meant. It's wasn't surprising to me when Newt decided not to respond to the charges. For one, unlike Juan Williams and John King, Brian Williams instructed the crowd to hold their applause. At one point, early in the and debate Newt Gingrich was fixing to unload, looked at Brian Williams and decided against it. That's Newt Gingrich in a nutshell; he gets lost in a serious situation if he can't take advantage of the applause of the crowd. He also knows that the front runner can't be seen as talk-radio host.

I think Ron Paul enjoyed the debate, laughing and correcting Newt's misguided view of history. He reminded Newt that he left the speaker-ship because he didn't have the votes to get reelected, so he didn't do it unselfishly. Ron Paul is also loose with the truth such as saying ""I had the privilege of practicing medicine in the early '60s before we had any government" involvement in health care," in the last debate on CNN. PolitiFact stated that 264,687 Americans were covered by Federal legislation (Kerr-Mills) which provided federal funding to states to cover medical costs for the indigent elderly. The rest of the article made a case for Medicare and Medicaid: "pre-1965 health care usage, which we will provide here for the benefit of readers who may be interested in learning more. In a 1963 survey, patients from the general population were given a list of symptoms and asked whether they had been able to see a physician about them. Among those who reported, "pains in the heart," 25 percent said they did not see a physician; for "unexpected bleeding," it was 34 percent; for "shortness of breath," it was 35 percent; for "abdominal pains," it was 31 percent; for "repeated vomiting," it was 40 percent; for "diarrhea for four or five days," it was 38 percent.

After the exchanges between Mitt and Newt, the rest of the debate became quite boring they even resorted to talk about sugar beets and sugar prices. When they went to economics, it was the same-old Supply Side and Ron Paul's Austrian economics. A Tampa Bay reporter asked Mitt Romney if he supported funding for NASA. True to form, Mr. Romney called President Obama a miserable failure without vision, for his failure to fund NASA. President Obama has spoken about investing in the space program but Mr. Romney if elected, will find out, that vision is one thing, getting it through Congress is another. Mr. Romney said the private sector should invest in NASA, but that's his standard answer for everything.

The only highlight was Mitt Romney's immigration plan, which would include " self-deportation," as if that is going to happen or as Rick Santorum said," that's what's happening today." Rick Santorum has a cold war mindset. I remember those days when there was a commie behind every tree; for Rick, he sees a Islamic jihadist behind every tree. Rick Santorum is a conservative hawk who can't wait to go to war. Like Newt and Mitt, he thinks it's a sign of weakness for America to pull back our fleet back in order for Iran to reassess their options. I think that we all know what a cornered dog will do, so it's best to let cooler heads prevail.

I always find it amusing how the "English Only" candidates justify their stance by advertising in Spanish. It's OK to get a few votes.

It's been said that the back and forth exchanges between Newt, and Mitt will make the eventual winner stronger when they go against President Obama. I guess that could be true, but the Obama team is looking at Mitt and Newt's reactions when they get the hard questions. I had the pleasure of watching most of the 2008 presidential debates, and for a first -timer, Barack Obama kept getting better and better until he mastered the art of debating. His opponent for the last debates was Hillary Clinton. I don't see where Newt or Mitt could ever match her skills for knowledge or presentation. John McCain was not a good debater, and it showed but he was a good man. Yesterday, I saw a clip of a woman telling Rick Santorum that President Obama was a Muslim, and he did not belong in the White House. Rick wasn’t the man John McCain was when he was confronted with that situation. I remember John McCain telling a lady who said similar things " "No, ma'am. He's a decent family man [and] citizen that I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues, and that's what this campaign's all about. He's not [an Arab]." Well, leadership comes instinctively and Santorum will never have a sister Souljah answer because he's afraid it might hurt him politically. He said it was not his job to correct the comments of his supporters, even if he disagreed with him. I imagine if he would have, we would still be seeing that clip on the evening news. The debates are over for now until the one in Arizona, February 22, 2012.

The funniest line I heard this week end, came from GOP consultant Mike Murphy as they were discussing the results of the South Carolina primary On" Meet the Press" when he said "But the reason that liquor sales in the last 24 hours have quadrupled in Washington is truckloads of champagne are going over to the Pelosi office and hard whiskey's going to the Republican office because Newt Gingrich cannot carry in a general election a swing state if it was made of feathers.”

Tonight's the State of the union where the president will present his laundry list of proposals of which hardly any will see the light of day. Congress and the president are in full campaign mode, so except for another debt ceiling and budget battle; very little will get passed. I can only wish and hope for the president to say that he will present Bowles-Simpson but I'm not counting on it.