So who won the GOP debate Monday night from Tampa, Florida? Naturally, I am going to say Rick Perry won, given that he had to defend himself from multiple candidates and the moderator, Wolf Blitzer. Sure, he drew a few boos from the audience over a program to provide education to children of illegal immigrants, but what state doesn′t do that? Perry, however, also drew the loudest applause when he stood by his criticism of Federal Reserve Chairman, Ben Bernanke. Overall, Newt Gingrich and Herman Cain delivered the best performances at the Republican live presidential debate. The biggest loser simply had to be Jon Huntsman. Advice to the next debate panel, ditch Huntsman and replace him with Thaddeus McCotter!
Michele Bachmann and Mitt Romney played like a wrestling tag-team in their efforts to take down Rick Perry. During the introductions, Romney received a minimal of applause from the audience, comprising of Tea Party members. Romney and Perry sparred, much as they did last debate. This time, Michele Bachmann was more aggressive and CNN gave her more face-time. But there is little doubt that her campaign is in serious trouble. Two new polls this week show her fading fast into the single digits while Perry holds a double-digit lead over Romney.
Much time was sent on the Social Security issue. Perry adjusted his rhetoric, defending his previous comments but still calling for the entitlement program to be fixed. Herman Cain finally had a chance to raise the issue of the Galveston alternative to Social Security, where those participating are receiving over 50% more money from their retirement plan. Huntsman, who needs to dent Romney in New Hampshire, pointed out that Mitt has also referred to Social Security as a fraud and being criminal.
The GOP debate was hosted by CNN and the Tea Party Express, along with some 100-plus other Tea Party groups nationwide. The audience did appear to favor Rick Perry, as well as Herman Cain and even Newt Gingrich at times. Perhaps most surprising of all was when Ron Paul was booed as he described why al Qaeda declared war against us. It was somewhat unfair, since Paul was not endorsing their position, just stating it to counter the Neo-Con view of Rick Santorum. So as far as who won the Republican live debate last night, I will say Rick Perry for effort and Newt Gingrich for his take-the-high-ground approach. Once again, Newt refused to be dragged into a dogfight and kept his focus on slamming Barack Obama.