There was another live Republican debate from South Carolina last night on the Fox News Channel. Some 3,000 people gathered in Myrtle Beach to hear what the five remaining 2012 GOP presidential candidates had to say. With another GOP presidential debate on Thursday, followed by the South Carolina primary on Saturday, all eyes are on the Palmetto State. Front runner Mitt Romney got hammered by his opponents, putting him well off his game of cool last night. Newt Gingrich, a close second in most SC polls, received a standing ovation at one point and showed once again that he is the best debater. The two Ricks, Santorum and Perry, gave much improved performances. The two big losers were candidate Ron Paul, booed by the crowd for his stand on the War on Terror, and moderator Juan Williams, booed by the audience for his attempts to frame Gingrich as being a racist.
Some of the highlights from last night′s Republican debate were as follows. Rick Santorum went after Mitt Romney and his Super-PAC attack ads. Mitt′s standard response about not being able to tell them what they can or cannot do is wearing out. Gingrich posed the question that I, myself, have been pointing out for months, how can the guy who lost to the guy who lost to Obama suddenly become the only one who can beat Obama? During his exchange with Juan Williams, who questioned Newt about statements like ″Obama being the food stamp president″ and having poor school children work as janitors, Gingrich mentioned how his own daughter worked as a janitor for their church at the age of 13. Newt then blasted the Obama administration over failing to help an area in South Carolina plagued by 20-plus percent unemployment that is mostly African-American. The Obama job-creation formula simply is not working, pardon the pun.
Romney was generally awkward in many of his answers as the other contenders were unleashed on him. A couple of times he sounded remarkably like George H. W. Bush in his lack of a first-person. Rick Perry scored some points clarifying his position concerning the four U.S. Marines being charged in an incident in Afghanistan where they allegedly urinated on the body of a dead Taliban rebel. The crowd cheered when Perry said the Taliban beheading Americans was far more worse. Last night simply was not a good one for Ron Paul. He scored some points when talking economics and shrinking government, especially in having a 0% income tax rate. But most of the questions aimed at him were on foreign policy and military issues, where voters are less supportive.
The Fox News Channel 2012 live Republican presidential debate last night certainly had winners and losers. Newt Gingrich shined before the 3,000 person audience at the Myrtle Beach, South Carolina debate. Both Rick Santorum and Rick Perry turned in good performances, getting more talk-time and being more feisty. Mitt Romney stumbled a couple of times and was generally off his game. Ron Paul is still having trouble with many people on issues beyond his popular rants against the Federal Reserve. With the South Carolina primary this Saturday, we will see who can stay alive in what is now a five-man foot race to become the 2012 GOP presidential nominee?