Rick Perry effectively ended his presidential campaign tonight with one of the worst brain cramps in debate history.This and four other reasons to be glad you didn’t watch the CNBC Debate.
1). Herman Cain Claims Thousands Of People Haven’t Seen Him Sexually Harass Women – The debate did get around to asking Herman Cain about the sexual assault allegations against him, and he came up with a novel twist on his old answer that all of these claims are baseless. Cain claimed that for every one person who claims that he sexually harassed, there are thousands of people who never saw him harass anyone. (The Republican audience is so desperate for a non-Romney nominee that they ate it up).
2). Republicans Support The Collapse Of The World Banking System – When asked if the US should get involved if the European banking system is on the verge of collapse, Mitt Romney answered, “We do not need to step and bail out banks in Europe or in the U.S. who might have Italian debt.” Every candidate asked would let the world banking system fail. Jim Cramer asked Ron Paul, but what about the people with 401ks? Paul answered that, “We must liquidate the debt.” (Translation: You’re screwed, but I am sure Wal-Mart could always use some more greeters).
3). “Tax Codes Do Not Raise Taxes, Politicians Do”- When Herman Cain was asked how he knows that his flat tax won’t be raised when the government needs revenue, he said that the rate won’t go up because “tax codes don’t raise taxes, but politicians do.” (Yes, Herman, but who writes the tax codes?) Herb said that the American people won’t allow the rate to be raised.
4). Romney Wants To Let The Housing Market Collapse - See if this sounds familiar, when asked about the housing market crisis, Mitt Romney suggested that the economy be allowed to “reboot” because “markets work.” Romney suggested that it was wrong to try to help underwater homeowners. The Republicans want to let all the in trouble homeowners be foreclosed on. In short, the GOP candidates told America’s struggling homeowners that they are going to do nothing for them. Oh, and government caused the housing crisis not sub-prime mortgages and Wall Street greed.
5). Rick Perry Can’t Name The Third Agency He Would Cut – The question was about how the candidates would get the parties to work together, and Rick Perry spun off into touting his tax plan. Perry then turned to Ron Paul and said these three agencies (departments) will be gone, Education, Commerce, and then…silence. The hall got quiet. Perry tried again, Education, Commerce, and then nothing. At one point Ron Paul tried to help him out and suggested EPA. Perry grabbed on to it. When John Harwood asked if that was the agency, Perry said no, tried again, and then said oops. In that second, Rick Perry’s presidential campaign was officially pronounced dead.
CNBC video of Perry’s slow, painful, political death:
1). Mitt Romney – He just keeps running against Obama, and none of his fellow Republicans will go after him. Even though a sizable number of Republican primary voters have serious doubts about him, and would prefer a different nominee. If you watch the candidates in these debates, it looks like they are handing the nomination to Romney.
2). Herman Cain – The debate didn’t lead off with the words sexual harassment, so that is a win for Cain. The crowd loved him because he isn’t Mitt Romney, and now he can play the victim. Republicans think they are sticking it to the media by standing by Cain, but they may be screwing over their own chances in 2012 by letting Cain stick around. Cain gave his usual non-answers and no ideas. He would be a disaster as the GOP nominee.
3). Newt Gingrich – With Herman Cain due to crash and burn any second now, Gingrich keeps playing to the crowd by attacking the media, the Democrats, the moderators, and hitting on every GOP sound bite applause line out there. It seems like every member of the GOP field except for Huntsman, Santorum, and Paul is going to get a turn in the anti-Romney slot. Gingrich is up next.
4). Ron Paul – He isn’t going to win the nomination, but Paul always delivers a consistent performance in these debates. Rep. Paul keeps advocating for his brand of libertarianism, and he always does better in debates where his foreign policy differences with his party aren’t highlighted. Tonight’s debate on the economy allowed Paul to play to his strengths and appeal to GOP primary voters.
1). Michele Bachmann – She has not come up with a single new line since her first debate appearance. She is a dead candidate walking. I’ll bet she is planning her House reelection campaign as we speak.
2). Rick Perry – Gov. Perry is in over his head here. He had a chance to step up and attack Mitt Romney for his flip-flops, which has been a running daily theme of his campaign, but when opportunity knocked he stood there frozen like a deer in headlights and said nothing. Republicans want a strong conservative challenger to Romney, and Rick Perry seems to lack the guts to carry their banner. He closed his night by not being able to name the third agency that he would eliminate if he was elected president, and that in a nutshell was Rick Perry’s presidential campaign.
3). Rick Santorum - Santorum isn’t going to win any states. He will probably be gone after Iowa. We have had enough of these debates to know who belongs on the stage and who doesn’t, and Santorum should just go home.
4). Jon Huntsman – He has good ideas. He sounds reasonable. He was the only candidate to at least show some basic sympathy for America’s struggling homeowners, but he is so low in the polls, it really is time to ask how does he keep qualifying for these debates? Huntsman is so different from the rest of the field that he looks like a conservative Democrat who accidentally found himself on the wrong stage.
Verdict: These debates are getting worse. Everyone on stage refuses to distinguish themselves from the competition, and even worse they are all offering the same answers to the questions. This debate had me looking at the clock and wondering why it was still going on. CNBC did a great job with the questions, but these candidates have no answers.