Arizona Presidential Debate – Joint Post
The below post was written by both Rob Burgess and Josh Gillespie. The opinions voiced herein are the opinions of the authors and not of HoosierAccess or any other blogger on this site.
Or, I could title the post “Recapping a Debate I didn’t even watch” and while technically true, I followed most of it via Twitter. Hey, I’m a social media guy and since I don’t have cable (for the CNN Debate…seriously, they want more people to watch, why not put more of these on regular television. Let’s be honest, it’s not like they could do worse than NBC’s regular week night lineup) I got my information through the series of informative tubes known to everyone as the internet.
Heading into the February 28th primary the GOP field has started to flesh itself out in recent weeks with Rick Santorum not just catching up to Mitt Romney, but leap frogging him in polls, not just nationally, but in key places like Romney’s home state of Michigan. Romney had to come out swinging and Santorum had to come out of this not looking like a misogynistic Satan freak (did I mention he’s leading in the polls…NATIONALLY?!?!). Newt Gingrich had to reduce the amount of crazy (which he apparently did, but his tie did not) and Ron Paul…well…had to not be Ron Paul. So it was looking like it was going to be a tough night for everyone.
Romney didn’t make things any easier for himself when video of him earlier in the day made it appear as if he was sympathetic to the “Occupy Wall Street” movement and apparently showed a willingness to raise taxes, especially on the top 1% in the name of…wait for it…fairness:
There’s another debate tentatively scheduled for March 19 on PBS, but if Romney holds on in Michigan and then does well on Super Tuesday, he’ll have no incentive to participate and PBS will have no incentive to air it without him. So this is, in all likelihood, it…
Of course, as I mentioned, Santorum (barely) leads Romney in Michigan, so we’ll see if PBS ends up holding one or not. But on to the debate recap.
So my recap will be summed in some of my favorite tweets from last night. Only seems fair since that’s all that I was watching anyway.
@JonahNRO: I’m going to water cooler a bottle of tequila when someone asks about birth control for illegal gay immigrants. @philipaklein: Santorum’s experience on entitlements includes voting 4 Medicare Part D, which added ~ $9 trillion 2 long-term debt @CorieWhalen: Santorum & Romney attacking each other for both doing the same fiscally liberal things summarizes the woe of this primary. @DLoesch: Romney did raise $700m in taxes and fees. Record is record. He avoids having to address it head on. @ianessling: So Ron Paul’s argument for why people should vote for him is that he doesn’t vote for anything. Wow. @jimgeraghty: “You can’t be anything other than a fiscal conservative and run a business. Because if you’re not, you go out of business.” Good line. (From Mitt Romney) @alwaysonoffense: i like that mitt is a severe conservative…assuming we both use that term the same way… @pattonoswalt: Mitt should add that he’s “painfully, ball-crushingly, s**t-splattering” conservative. @hollymdavis: Earmarker is to a presidential candidate as stinky pants is to a 2nd grader on the playground. @DLoesch: What about the $700m increase in taxes on Romney’s watch? Slightly more offensive than earmarks. Also #taxpayerfundedabortion @johnhawkinsrwn: Four earmarkers discuss who’s bad for earmarking. This is surreal.
The whole earmark part of the debate was surreal. Even though I didn’t get to watch the debate, the internet has blessed us with YouTube so as to pull up this shining moment in debate history.
Are you still feeling good about these guys? This exchange was the moment of the evening, but this final tweet from Taegan Goddard pretty much summed it up:
@politicalwire: The real winner tonight was Obama. After 20 debates, his rivals have done wonders for his re-election chances.
That’s not something I like to admit. But I’m not the only one seeing it within conservative and Republican circles. Talks of a possible brokered convention have flooded this week’s political gossip and news cycles. It’s something you’ll see me and Democratic colleague debate tonight on Fox 59′s “Face Off” (along with gas prices…Obama’s potential achilles heel?). Tune in around 5:45pm to see how that turns out or watch online.
But if I have to pick a Republican winner of last night’s debate, it had to be Mitt Romney. Earlier, I said he had to come out swinging and he most certainly did and he and Rick Santorum exchanged kidney shots. But Romney needed this kind of performance leading into the February 28th primary and on to Super Tuesday on March 6th.
(This post and more is also available at JoshGillespie.net)
This picture, in my mind, represents last night’s debate. As you saw in the above YouTube video, the debate seemed to be a circus with no real developments appearing throughout the night. We heard the same attacks and claims that we have been listening to for the better part of two weeks.
Senator Santorum came out swinging towards Governor Romney in a fashion that would make lesser candidates falter. During these exchanges, Representative Paul and Speaker Gingrich tried to gain ground…unsuccessfully. The perfect example of this was Representative Paul citing a poll that put him in first place in Iowa.
I think that @chucktodd said it best last night on what the only real news of the debate was:
I found the candidate’s responses on Syria interesting and insightful. It was something that I was interested in hearing from all four men and believe that it has secured my decision for who I am supporting in the 2012 GOP Presidential Primary.
Before I share my personal endorsement, I want to share with you a quick Arizona Debate summary that my friend Chad Reese wrote.
I was extremely impressed with Governor Romney’s performance. He was prepared and it showed. He was able to counter attacks with facts and did not allow John King to push him off subject. Romney’s campaign is consistently making strong moves at full speed even if there is a wall in front of them. It is almost as if there is a Mitt Romney shaped hole in the wall. I am proud to support Governor Mitt Romney in his bid for the Presidency of the United States of America.