Mitt Romney says the one thing that you should never say to a Republican audience, and four other reasons to be glad you didn’t watch the Fox Iowa GOP debate.
1). Mitt Romney Plays With Fire By Claiming Some Democrats Love America – Mitt Romney seems to think that he has already won the Republican nomination. At tonight’s debate he pulled out another questionable line to use in front of a Republican caucus audience when he was discussing leadership and he claimed that, “there are Democrats that love America.” Romney’s whole let’s run a General Election campaign before I have won the nomination strategy is flirting with disaster.
2). Rick Perry Compares Himself To The Golden Tebow Child – While talking about his previous debate performances, Rick Perry shamelessly pandered to evangelical Iowa caucus voters by invoking Tim Tebow. Perry has a fondness for bringing up Tebow,Perry said, “You know, there are a lot of people out there — I understand it. There are a lot of folks that said Tim Tebow wasn’t going to be a very good NFL quarterback. There are people that stood up and said well, he doesn’t have the right throwing mechanisms, or he doesn’t — you know, he is not playing the game right. You know, he won two national championships, and that looked pretty good. We’re the national champions in job creation back in Texas. But am i ready for the next level? Let me tell you — I hope I am the Tim Tebow of the Iowa caucuses.”
3). Rick Perry Wants The Congress To Work 70 Days A Year - Perry’s plan to reform Washington is weaken the Congress by making sure that they are never in session. Neil Cavuto pointed out to Perry that Congress was in session for only 151 days last year, and asked how much do you want to cut? Perry answered that he wanted Congress in session for 140 days every two years, which would average 70 days a year. (Someone needs to ask Perry how giving Congress even fewer days to gridlock will allow anything to ever get passed).
4). Mitt Romney Outsourced And Killed Jobs, But He Wants To Bring Manufacturing Back – Mitt Romney claimed that he was going to lead a new American century by bringing back manufacturing, but at his company Bain Capital the standard operating procedure according to the New York Times was to buy companies and lay off workers to slash costs in order to sell the company and its assets for quick profit. Mitt Romney knows about killing jobs, not creating them.
5). When Confronted With His Flip Flops Mitt Cracked – Chris Wallace pointed out some of Romney’s flip flops on guns, abortion, and gay rights and Candidate Mitt went into full talking point mode. When Wallace followed up by going deeper, Romney’s voice got tense. Rick Santorum then leveled Romney and questioned his conservative cred on gay rights. Romney followed up by essentially saying, “Not my fault.” If Romney couldn’t handle Chris Wallace and Rick Santorum, how would he deal with Obama?
Winners and Losers:
1). Newt Gingrich – Newt can do something that Mitt Romney can’t. He delivers a steady diet of red meat for GOP primary voters. Gingrich knows how to push all the buttons on social issues that the ultra-conservative Iowa caucus goers care most about. Gingrich’s unconstitutional plan and his attack on the judicial branch especially went over well. His attack on the UN was almost orgasmic for the non-Paul members of the audience. He will be tough to knock off as long as he continues to mouth the buzz words that get their blood pumping.
2). Ron Paul - Paul was his usual consistent self. Paul is a contender in Iowa because he has simplified his message. There is less ranting about the Fed, and more plain talk about the limits of government and foreign policy. Ron Paul won’t win the Republican nomination, but the maturity of his organization and campaign could pay dividends in Iowa among Republicans who aren’t sold on Gingrich and Romney.
3). Rick Perry – His reform Washington message was very effective with debate audience. Perry seems to have found his comfort zone in these debates. He invoked the Tenth Amendment, pounded the message of reforming Washington, and generally speaking got out of his own way. Perry’s made way too many gaffes. He is damaged goods, but among the also rans, he did better than the rest.
1). Mitt Romney – Romney’s whole American century talking point was designed to invoke memories of Reagan, but it seemed hollow and insincere. Romney is still trying to win a primary by running a general election campaign. Mitt Romney’s problem remains the same. He isn’t believable as a conservative. No matter how tough he tries to sound, sometimes Mitt can’t help himself and says things like Democrats love America too. Rational statements have no place in the Republican primary, and the disconnect between Romney and base has never been more clear.
2). Rick Santorum - I hope the dozens of Rick Santorum fans out there savored every second of their candidate’s screen time, because this is probably the last time Santorum will be in a debate. Santorum launched a pointless candidacy that no one cared about, and he has aimlessly taken up space on the debate stage from the beginning. The ride is over, Ricky. It’s time to head back to Fox News.
3). Jon Huntsman - At least, they let him in the debate this time. Huntsman really doesn’t belong in these debates or in this party.
4). Michele Bachmann - How far has Bachmann fallen? She had to pick a fight with Ron Paul over Iran to get attention. After she flames out in Iowa, she’ll have plenty of time to focus on her House reelection campaign.
Final Verdict: Mitt Romney is still in denial, and thinks he has the nomination locked up. Newt Gingrich may have stopped the bleeding, and these candidates spent two hours not discussing a single idea. It is amazing that a group of candidates can’t come up with a single jobs plan. None of these candidates excelled. The GOP race is still a muddled mess, and these debates have become completely intolerable.