I don’t know if the candidates, CNN, or simply not having Jon Huntsman on stage contributed to the overall improved quality of the debate or maybe a mixture of the three. Whatever it was, this was the most intellectually stimulating debate of the year so far. Every time I leaned over to talk to someone watching the debate, I had to stop because the candidates were talking about another interesting issue. There a too many memorable moments in the debate to point all of them out, but I would like to highlight the ways in which Herman Cain defended his 9-9-9 plan and the way Gov. Romney defended his record as Governor of Massachusetts. Both candidates were hit several times, but Gov. Romney clearly persuaded the majority of the crowd by the end of the debate while Herman Cain seemed to lose a little momentum. I can’t wait to see how the polls look after this debate.
Also, just like last time Perry went on the attack, I can’t wait for the fact-checkers to expose the lies Perry keeps trying to shove down our throats.
Who do you think won the debate?
Having one less candidate on stage was interesting. Any chance we won’t see Jon Huntsman in any more debates or do you think his little boycott ploy will actually help him?
Update by Jayde – The Corner (National Review Online)
By Seth Leibsohn
Oct 18, 2011
To use his own colloquialism, there is no question but that Mitt Romney won this debate. And he showed something new as well — serious chops in quick sparring and debating skill one on one. He was quick and effective against Herman Cain on the state-tax issue, Rick Perry on several issues (most effectively, at the end, judging someone on their past), and Newt Gingrich on the issue of the health-care mandate’s origins. It was a stellar performance. I am yet to be convinced he’s the inevitable nominee but one cannot gainsay his debating skills, especially compared with the others.
Rick Perry did not overcome his debating-skills deficit. He came out of the box in his opening statement with a negative jab that seemed wrong for the moment and went downhill from there. One simply cannot look uninterested at best and throw jabs that don’t land at worst, especially when it is clear the strategy is to debate (and campaign) negatively.
Press Release – Former New Hampshire Governor and U.S. Senator Judd Gregg on tonight’s debate in Las Vegas:
“Mitt Romney showed again tonight why he is Republicans’ best candidate to defeat President Obama and turn around our failing economy. Whether it is his economic know-how or plan to create jobs, Mitt Romney stands head-and-shoulders above the rest of the field. In November 2012, Republicans will need a candidate with the record, vision, and capability to go up against President Obama – Mitt Romney displayed that once again tonight.”
Press Release – Pinal County (Ariz.) Sheriff Paul Babeu on tonight’s debate:
Romney Will Secure The Border
“Mitt Romney was the clear winner of tonight’s debate because he again showed that he is the only candidate committed to implementing policies that will secure our border. While some candidates support the magnets that draw illegal immigrants into our country, Mitt Romney will put a stop to incentives for illegal immigrants to cross our border. Governor Romney stands with all of us who believe that we can and must secure our border — that’s why I’m proud to stand with him and support him as our next president.”
UPDATE: GOP12 gives Mitt the highest grade of the night as well!