Thoughts On The Republican Debate

Filed in National by on June 14, 2011

I know quite a few of you watched last night’s GOP debate in New Hampshire. I thought it was notable for its lack of bloodletting, especially against frontrunner Mitt Romney. The villian of the night was President Obama. I suppose the plan was for each candidate to show how much they were going to go after the president. The big loser IMO (and many others as well) was Tim Pawlenty. Here’s the exchange of the night, the one that will make all the headlines – it’s Pawlenty about his “Obamneycare” line that he’s been using recently:

“I just cited President Obama’s own words that he looked to Massachusetts as a blueprint or a guide when he designed ObamaCare,” Pawlenty said. “Using the term ObamneyCare was a reflection of the President’s comments that he designed ObamaCare on the Massachusetts health care plan.”

After Pawlenty initially passed on a chance to go to-to-toe with Romney, King pressed Pawlenty to reiterate and explain his use of the term “ObamneyCare.” Again, Pawlenty demurred.

Unbelievably it looks even worse on video because Pawlenty looks so uncomfortable. Watch Mitt Romney’s face during the exchange. I think even Mitt was surprised.

Most of the debate was a real snoozer. The candidates sought to show how hard they were going to cut taxes and proclaim their love of free markets and private enterprise. They all declared their contempt for the other villian of the night, the government. They even seemed a little sudued in the gay bashing.

The other interesting part of the evening was Newt Gingrich. I expected to see him more fired up since his campaign is on life support. The only times I noticed him was in his quite detailed discussion of NASA and his discussion of the Ryan plan. If I understood him correctly, he said he doesn’t support the Ryan plan because the American people don’t support it. All the other candidates loved the Ryan plan, apparently. Cain and Santorum want to privatize Social Security as well while they’re at it.

I thought the audience members asked pretty good questions. They were trying to get some specifics from the candidates about employment, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and Medicare. I don’t think those questioners got the answers they were looking for, and the applause from the audience seemed really tepid to me.

Here’s TPM’s list of the top debate moments.

Daily Kos‘s Mark Sumner on his takeaway from the debate:

The take away: Mitt Romney declared that Americans should turn their back on their fellow Americans in times of disaster, that we should allow our debts to default in order to prove we are creditworthy, and that we should stay until the Taliban says we can go.

And remember, Mitt was the most sane guy on stage.

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Opinionated chemist, troublemaker, blogger on national and Delaware politics.

Comments (4)

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  1. pandora says:

    I will never get that two hours back. Seriously, that had to be the most boring, uninformative debate ever.

    The only interesting part was when T-Paw shot himself in the foot during the love-fest. Also, given all the Ryan gushing, one wonders if everyone on stage (other than Newt) would drop out of the race if Ryan threw his hat in the ring.

  2. Crazy Marine says:

    I past up the debate fearing it would wreak havoc on my otherwise perfect blood pressure, in our present economic climate electing any republican is a bad idea, their solutions always involve more hardship for the shrinking middle class but they purposely bite their tongues when campaigning, knowing full well it will cost them votes, but when they speak solely to their base, than the real truth comes out, in other words what they say on fox is totally different than what they say if independent voters are listening, that was so apparent last night.

  3. Aoine says:

    I’d have a thought

    if any of them had a brain

    como dicen en espanol – “no tienen dos dedos de frente”……..