Grading the Nevada GOP Debate – Who Passed the Test?

The following is a guest contribution by Adam Ebberts of Oklahoma:

It’s no secret that I am firmly in Romney’s camp. That being said, I am open to the strengths of other candidates as well as the weaknesses of Romney. A good idea is a good idea. That being said, I have attempted to be as impartial as I can be in grading the individual candidates’ performances last night.
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Mitt Romney

Grade: A
The Pros: Mitt appeared to have been anticipating an onslaught by the other fledgling campaigns. When you’ve been the obvious frontrunner for months you can expect everyone to try and tear you down as they clamor for some recognition.
The Cons: The reason I did not give Mitt an A+ was because he looked to Anderson Cooper to intervene when he was being interrupted. This is a CNN debate; they want to see the bickering and fighting among republicans. I would have liked to have seen a little more masterful command of the stage without having to appeal to the would-be moderator.
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Herman Cain

Grade: B-
The Pros: I gave Herman Cain a B- mostly for effort. He is not backing off his 9-9-9 plan and for the most part (at least the first two 9’s) it is resonating with voters. Even Newt gave Herman some props for opening people up to finally talking about substantive
issues.
The Cons: “Apples to Oranges” As Mitt attempted to point out; Herman’s 9-9-9 plan would impose an additional, federal sales tax on top of the sales taxes all ready leveled by the individual states. Herman tried to make the case that Mitt was comparing two different things and the two somewhere were not related. A more appropriate comparison would be, “do you prefer granny smith or red delicious?”
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Michelle Bachmann

Grade: B
The Pros: Michelle articulated very clearly her rational for calling Herman’s 9-9-9 plan a Value Added Tax. She sounded very competent on the issue and was able to effectively draw on her experience as a tax attorney.
The Cons: I felt the appeal to women voters towards the end of the debate was a bit odd and seemed like a new strategy for Bachmann. It sounded a little desperate to connect with a very specific demographic and felt a little more emotional then substantive.
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Newt Gingrich

Grade: B+
The Pros: Who doesn’t love Newt really? He is very articulate, very concise and works very hard at actually answering the questions posed to him. His analogy concerning the so-called “super-committee” was very relevant and made the issue easy to understand.
His praise for the other candidates when he feels they’re on to something, despite their other differences is commendable.
The Cons: Newt lost his cool a little bit when Romney fired back the challenge that Newt supported the individual mandate. To Newt’s credit he did not lie about where he stood on the issue, but he revealed a side of himself we don’t get to see very often.
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Rick Perry

Grade: D+
The Pros: Rick Perry made energy independence his primary selling point. He is right that America is an energy dependant nation and could do much better about taking care of ourselves in that regard.
The Cons: Perry’s distaste for Romney was loud and clear. His attacks seemed petty and half-cocked. After more than one failed assault on Romney, Perry began skirting the questions and going back to his poll-tested policy stance on energy independence. Perry did not help himself in this debate.
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Ron Paul

Grade: C
The Pros: Consistency. Ron Paul is nothing if not consistent. You can almost guess where he is going to fall on an issue.
The Cons: Consistency. Ron Paul has been saying the same thing for years. He has done little to sway public opinion towards libertarianism. This time around however he made some comments concerning Israel that wont sit well with many republican voters.
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Rick Santorum

Grade: C-
The Pros: True to form, Rick Santorum came out with both fists-a-swinging. Rick absolutely made the case that the family is the most fundamental and important unit of society, and is under attack. Santorum has been true to his faith and his family and that
shines through in battles he chooses.
The Cons: Not unlike Perry this time around, Santorum leveled a charge against Romney and then denied him the opportunity to respond. He seemed a little over the top given the issue of discussion (repealing Obamacare). We’ve seen Rick go after Perry and Paul, but this seemed even more personal than Guardisil.
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Jon Huntsman

Grade: W for withdrawal
The Pros: I’m sure his New Hampshire town hall event was spectacular.
The Cons: For a guy that has barely moved beyond the margin of error on national polls, missing a chance to share your vision in front of the entire nation could prove detrimental.
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Agree or disagree? Give us your grades in the comment section below.

About Luke Gunderson:

Real Estate Enthusiast, Unapologetic Mitt Romney Fan, Sandwich Guru, DMB Lover, Hulu Junkie, Smart Cookie
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9 Responses to Grading the Nevada GOP Debate – Who Passed the Test?

  1. ccr says:

    Thanks for the thoughts, Adam!

    Agree…..and Mitt probably does, too, but in the “heat”…….that the “appeal” to Anderson waswould not be repeated.

    The immaturity of Santorum in their exchange was embarrassing. Perry’s bringing up the OLD illegal yard workers was extremely shallow and “ignorant”. His attack on Mitt was ridiculous…….especially when Ricky totally changed the subject from health care to immigration JUST to throw out his prepared attack.

    I loved it when Mitt, correctly, informed all that Newt HAS supported an individual mandate!

    I do appreciate Santorum’s strong family values and statements and Newt’s humor, but w/out a doubt……….Mitt is the ONLY one on the stage w/ the intellect AND the preparation to be POTUS and turn this country around.

  2. Tyler M says:

    Perry looked like an over-compensating little bully with his attacks on Romney in the debate tonight.

    Perry was trying to attack Romney for supposedly being a hypocrite on illegal immigration. Perry suggested that Romney is somehow responsible for the fact that a landscaping company he hired had employed illegal aliens to mow his grass & clean up his yard.

    What was Romney supposed to do – racially profile & demand employment documents from any darker looking landscaper that showed up or any worker with an accent? I’m sure the media would have loved that. If Romney’s personally responsible for the illegal laborers of companies he hires to do yard work, then anybody who eats at a restaurant with an illegal alien dishwasher or cook, sleeps at a hotel with illegal alien housekeepers, or even eats food picked by illegal alien laborers is directly responsible for hiring illegal aliens.

  3. karlie j says:

    Perry is desperate….has no “class” or intelligence. Paul makes things up that most of the time don’t make any sense and he’s very negative. Romney has intelligence and class and tries ( inspite of negative things thrown out at him) to be positive. Hats off to Romney for trying…. The others just repeat themselves and copy the others!

  4. David says:

    The next time Romney is getting shouted down by Perry or Santorum all he needs to say is: “A mature adult respectfully and patiently allows others to respond to questions and issues. I’m sure the voters will determine whether those on this stage that want to shout responses down posses the maturity to be President. A great leader does more listening and thinking than talking.”

  5. Tina says:

    @David
    Well said, David! Your suggestion is GOLD.

  6. Crystalf says:

    Yes, David!! That is exactly what my thought was too & you last sentence is almost word for word what I would’ve suggested Mitt to say(!!) I agree with everyone’s assessment of the two Ricks’ obnoxious performance — Michael Medved said that the two of them “should just hang it up” and get out of the race .. acting like this does nothing but make Obama look better.

  7. Rebel Ross says:

    Is Wayne Newton switching from Perry to Mitt?

  8. Ginny says:

    Perry is out of line to go at candidates the way he does. The American public is sooooo tired of that kind of politics! How dare someone who GAVE college breaks to illegals go after someone who employed a company to do lawn work with multiple employees. This kind of logic is pretty scary! That really shook me that he brought that up. I remember that situation in the last election.
    I am concerned about the Republican party. These candidates should sit down together and develop an ethics pact. That kind of defamation should absolutely not be tolerated in this party. Unity in the party is an important aspect of winning the election.
    Santorum was rude and he too should have been moderated. The fact that Mitt had to act as moderator and responder at the same time shows his level of leadership.

  9. robert basinger says:

    Mitt needs to show that he is compassionate by citing somethings he has done while in the private sector i.e. volunteering to save the Olympics free of charge. I know he helped try and find an employees family member. I’m sure there are many deeds he has done that will show the care he has for others. His business acumen is unquestioned, but a bit of the gentle side I believe would help his image.