By Gary P Jackson
Sitting down to watch Thursday night’s debate, I expected a few fireworks, as CNN has figured out if you just let the fur fly, more people will watch. Debates as entertainment fascinates me but also saddens me a bit too.
Debates like this are more raw, if you will, but a lot of time is spent on just a few issues. Many of the things Americans wanted to see discussed, like the economy, jobs, and all of Obama’s corruption, were never heard from.
One thing was evident early on. Mitt Romney came loaded for bear and Wolf Blitzer wasn’t going to be like John King and serve up softballs to Newt so he could pander to the crowd.
The first questions were on immigration and then Cuban and South American policy. Romney really hammered Newt. Mitt has the best policy of any candidate when it comes to dealing with illegal immigrants. He has a pretty good record on this from his time as governor.
Newt is a typical establishment type who wants amnesty. He uses a lot of weasel words to try and mask it all, but in the end, amnesty is where he’s at.
Rick Santorum was very good when talking Cuba and South America. He noted the dangers of allowing the status quo in Cuba. He also took on Obama’s South American policies, mentioning our allies in Columbia specifically, and how Obama hung them out to dry, protecting the unions here at home.
The part where Romney really shined though, and Newt’s world came crashing down around him, was when the discussion got more personal and Blitzer started talking about Romney’s personal wealth and Newt’s attacks against Mitt.
Newt again sounded more like the closet socialist he is than the Conservative he pretends to be. It’s more than apparent Newt loves playing the class warfare game just as much as his fellow travelers in the democrat party.
Romney’s unapologetic defense of capitalism, and his own personal wealth, was one of the highlights of the debate.
Conservatives celebrate success. We truly believe anyone can and should be successful. We don’t think there should be any limits on success.
Then the debate turned to ObamaCare and by extension RomneyCare. Mitt has gotten nominally better at making his case for the state run system, but it still rings hollow. There are so many better solutions than mandated health care insurance. Newt is no prize though, as NewtCare is essentially RomneyCare for the entire nation.
This is where Rick Santorum really shined. He correctly pointed out both Romney and Newt support mandates. In fact Newt has supported mandates much longer than Mitt has. Long after Romney has said his plan was OK [in his mind] for a state to put in place, but not right for the nation, Newt has continued to push his own plan that includes mandated insurance coverage or a personal cash bond of up to $150,000.
Santorum shredded both Mitt and Newt and never stopped for the rest of the debate.
As I watched the debate, I also had an eye on my Twitter feed. As Santorum was ripping into Mitt and Newt the hardest, a story came across that Rick himself had once supported individual mandates. It claimed that in 1994 Santorum was in favor of mandates. Problem is, it was quoting another source that had no direct quotes from Santorum, or video.
I did a bit of research and found video of a 1994 debate when Santorum was challenging the incumbent democrat Senator, Harris Wofford. Watching the video, one thing is clear, Santorum has been pretty darned consistent over the years, on health care and other issues. Watch and decide for yourself where Rick was on mandates in 1994.
One note, a lot of people lost their minds during the health care portion of the debate when Romney told Santorum “it isn’t worth getting mad about.” A lot of people took that to mean Romney didn’t think that health care was worth getting mad about. The real loons extrapolated that to mean Liberty and Freedom wasn’t worth getting mad over. [in Mitt’s mind] That’s simply insane. I watched the entire debate twice, and Mitt was talking to Rick on a personal level.
If you saw the debate, you know Santorum was quite passionate as he ripped into both Mitt and Newt over their love for mandates. Mitt was really hit hard. He seemed to have taken it personally. Sadly, a lot of people used his remark to Santorum to try and score cheap [and dishonest] political points. Lots of that going around these days.
When it’s all said and done, my take-aways from the debate are:
Mitt is most certainly capable of hitting opponents hard when needed. He may not be combative and bombastic, but he knows how to win.
Newt struggles when he’s not teed up for one of his patented long rants at the media. If he can’t find away to attack the debate moderator, his performance isn’t nearly as entertaining.
Something else I noted about the two men. When Mitt is talking to someone at these debates, he looks them straight in the eye. Newt tends not to.
Newt struggles when actually confronted on his record and ideas.
The real thing that struck me though, and honestly, the reason that prompted me to write this article in the first place, is why aren’t people supporting Rick Santorum as the “Not Romney” candidate instead of Newt. Seriously, Santorum has no problem being strong and forceful.
Now personally, I’ve been cool to Rick for several reasons. It’s important to me that a candidate have Executive Experience. Good business skills are a plus, but I still think holding an Executive position in government is essential. Working with a legislature is a little different than working with a board of directors.
I also disagree with Rick on his approach to social issues. I may agree with his personal stances on the issues, but not his professional ones.
Just as I don’t want government to tell me what I can eat, what I can drive, or what sort of light bulb I must use, I don’t want government in my bedroom. Liberty and Freedom is very important to Americans. Rick comes off as a Statist on social issues. This is troubling, and will hurt him in the general election. And we already have a nanny stater in office.
That said, Santorum has a solid grasp of the issues. He’s not right on all of them, but at least he has an understanding of where we are at and where we need to be.
Also, and this is big, Rick is focused and on point. You won’t see him going off on flights of fancy dreaming up new ways to spend money we don’t have. No moon colonies turned into our 51st state under a President Rick Santorum! I believe Santorum would be pretty good on fiscal issues.
I really don’t understand how Newt Gingrich, one of the least desirable characters in all of politics, has become the Conservative standard bearer in this election. Newt has been a collaborator and enabler for the socialist movement since his earliest days in politics back in the 1970s. He’s morally bankrupt and untrustworthy.
He’s also a Big Government Statist. Never met a problem he couldn’t find a Big Government “solution” for. And when short on problems, he creates them, just so he can create more government. He lives in a fantasy world where he thinks up grandiose projects, and then gets to play puppet master with everyone’s lives. Too much time hanging out with Alvin Toffler.
Readers know if I had my way, we’d all be rooting on Sarah Palin to victory right now. I think this election will go down in history as one of the greatest missed opportunities for real leadership, and restoration, in our nation’s history. Sarah Palin is the only one who meets every requirement needed to actually do what must be done.
That said, we live in the real world.
Mitt Romney has a lot of warts. But I still think, out of this bunch, he has the best chance of becoming our next president. Mitt has run for president before. He knows how to campaign, and has a solid support system in place. His campaign is organized and prepared.
Thing is, Rick Santorum has a real chance too.
He’s had two great debate performances in a row. Personally, I care more about records and abilities, but it seems most Americans give debate performance real weight. So be it.
Rick Santorum doesn’t have the baggage Newt Gingrich has. He’s also been mighty consistent throughout his career. You don’t find any instances of Rick standing with the worst socialists of our time, and helping them advance their cause the way Newt has. As I’ve said before, Newt has done more to advance socialism in America than many democrats.
Santorum is clean cut and has a pretty good record as a Senator. He knows what he believes and is consistent about it. Mitt Romney is a human windsock, and Newt Gingrich has flip flopped all over the place. He’s inconsistent, undisciplined, and at times, quite erratic. Santorum has neither problem.
Unlike Mitt and Newt, Rick Santorum really seems to have the courage of his convictions. He knows what he believes.
I’ve said before, I could vote for Mitt Romney against Obama and sleep well at night. From what I’m seeing, I could vote for Rick Santorum and not just against someone else.
When you really break it down, being able to vote FOR someone, rather than just against the other guy, is ideal. It means a great deal personally. You are more apt to be excited about that vote. More apt to do more than just vote. You’ll get out and help.
Sarah Palin excited everyone because they knew they were voting FOR something. Not just a person, but an idea. A movement. Sarah has that ability to inspire.
It’s not fair to compare Rick Santorun to Sarah Palin. It’s not fair to compare anyone out there to her, so I won’t try.
Rick is his own guy. He seems solid and reliable. Consistent and trustworthy. If Conservatives want a real “Not Mitt Romney” candidate, Rick Santorum is their man. I believe, like Mitt, Rick Santorum can beat Barack Obama.
If somehow Newt Gingrich ends up being the Republican nominee, the democrats would think it was Christmas every single day. That is if they believed in that sort of thing!
I am not endorsing anyone, but if folks are simply looking for someone besides Mitt to throw their support behind, Rick Santorum, in my opinion, is far more worthy of that support than Newt Gingrich. He’s a better candidate, and if elected would make a hell of a lot better president.