On Tonight’s Debate…

…it generally stunk.

Three debates in two weeks means they’re talking about the exact same stuff in the third that they talked about in the first, and some of the back-and-forth is just old.

Perry was worse than he’s been thus far, though he did, I think, put the Gardasil thing to bed. He hasn’t put the immigration thing to bed, though, and he’s got a lot of work to do there – particularly in not telling people who don’t agree on the in-state tuition thing they don’t have heart.

Don’t do that. Don’t ever do that. Not in a GOP primary. Conservatives are tired of hearing lefties throw that charge around; when a Republican who’s generally in the mix says it, all it’ll do is turn people off.

But the one thing which is really amazing about all this – and maybe Perry can fix it if he could get more articulate on it and stopped trying to shill for sympathy – is that he’s governed a state for a decade which contains 60 percent of our border with Mexico and he knows more about what will work and what won’t than the rest of the gang combined. So if Perry says building a 2,000-mile wall along that border won’t work – he’s said that you can build the wall around populated areas and it might help but to do it out in the sticks is a waste and instead you need boots on the ground and eyes in the air to effectively police that border, why is it people like Rick Santorum and Michele Bachmann are all of a sudden experts and Perry doesn’t know what he’s talking about? Bachmann saw a Mexican at a Taco Bell once; I’m sure she knows exactly what to do with border policy. And Romney runs around talking about border fences as though he knows anything about the issue – any fence they might build in Massachusetts would be intended to keep taxpayers leaving.

He also was the first candidate to mention the importance of India in foreign policy, which is frankly amazing considering the size and location of that crucial American ally (who incidentally the current president has totally ignored).

If Perry hurt himself on immigration, Romney hurt himself on Social Security. He bombed it again. They say Romney won the debate, but I don’t know how he was any different than he’s always been. Trying to make hay out of Perry’s interest in expanding the Galveston Plan’s availability might not sound like a loser of an idea now, but as the discussion evolves Romney is going to look like a fool. As it is now, he just looks like he’ll say anything to get elected.

Gingrich was good, but he barely said anything. He seems to be rising in the polls a little, so maybe they should have given him more opportunities. Giving Megyn Kelly lip is a lot more problematic than giving Brian Williams lip, though. You don’t smart off to Megyn Kelly if you know what’s good for you.

Paul barely said anything either, which helps him – he never had a chance to run for the fringe like he normally does.

Cain was best. Relaxed, funny, wants to dump the EPA. And he answered every question he was given directly.

Santorum had good points on foreign policy, but he’s just too whiny to be president.

Bachmann gets more irritating every time she does one of these. She needs to drop out and go back to Congress. The latest Gardasil attack got her a well-deserved slapdown from Perry when he mentioned that he got lobbied by a victim of cervical cancer.

Gary Johnson finally got on the stage, and he had the best line of the whole campaign when he said his next-door neighbors’ two dogs have created more shovel-ready jobs than Obama has. He needs to be on the stage at every debate from now on. But what he ought to be doing, rather than paying homage to Ron Paul

Who else? Oh, yeah, Huntsman. Whatever. How much longer is HE gonna be around?

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