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Republican Debate: Perry Disappoints – Romney Rises

There was one really good line in last night’s debate. Former New Mexico Governor and presidential candidate Gary Johnson quipped “My next-door neighbor’s two dogs have created more shovel-ready jobs than this current administration“.

This was a debate jointly sponsored by Fox News and Google which is almost as odd as the TEA Party teaming up with CNN in the last debate.

Hopefully, this will be Google’s first, last and only foray into the world of political debates. It gave an overall sophomoric tone to the debate and was not really an enhancement, despite the online gimmicks and polls that happened in real time. It appeared that Google was more interested in showing off new “bells and whistles” (literally) and considered the debate simply a distraction from their infomercial.

There is no doubt that former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney bested Texas Governor Rick Perry in last nights debate. Romney was more relaxed than in previous debates and Perry looked like Johnny Cash in a neck brace. Those who had high hopes and aspirations for Perry should be really disappointed.

At one point, Perry attacked Romney as a flip-flopper, which is absolutely true, but his punches fell flat as he stumbled over the words and elicited a Déjà vu of another former Texas Governor George W. Bush.

It is clear that Perry was coached to go on the offensive against Romney, but he failed to execute, verbally flailing all over the stage.

And whoever it is that is advising Perry to never back down from his in state tuition program for illegal aliens has torpedoed Perry’s bid for president. There is no way to defend allowing a tuition discount of $22,000 per year to illegal aliens while charging legal US citizens from the other 49 states full price. This is nothing more than a subsidy for illegal activity and is a pill any true conservative will never be able to swallow. This is a deal breaker for conservatives and Perry should begin sinking like a rock in the polls. And that is a pity.

Romney came across as actually likable, something that he has failed to do thus far.

Romney continues to hit Perry for his characterization of Social Security as both a failure and Ponzi scheme.

We all know that Social Security takes money from current workers and pays retirees without investing the money and paying dividends. Those who paid into Social Security, or invested in the program while they were working are receiving payments, not from their investment in the program, but from younger, new investors paying into the program.

According to the Securities and Exchange Commission:

A Ponzi scheme is an investment fraud that involves the payment of purported returns to existing investors from funds contributed by new investors.

Social Security fits that definition perfectly. The fact that the program is popular, or has existed for 70 years and is essential to the elderly today is absolutely true, but that does not make it any less a Ponzi Scheme. Romney knows this and is pandering to the elderly and the left whose “hands off Social Security” mantra will be the impetus behind the eventual failure of the program.

It is good that Social Security is now open for discussion, but Romney is failing to lead on needed reform by playing politics with a failing program.

And while Romney by no means hit a home run, he has effectively made use of the old Muhammad Ali Rope-a-Dope technique and will, in all likelihood, coast to a primary victory, barring any implosive gaffs.

As to the other seven pretenders contenders, they are mildly entertaining, but none of them stand a chance.

We have already mentioned Gary Johnson’s lone contribution to the discussion. There is really not much to say about him.

Michele Bachmann is a really great Congressman, and might even make a great US Senator. But nothing she has said gives any reason to believe that she is qualified to be President, or even Vice President. Her contribution to the discussion has become repetitive and she is falling in the polls, as would be expected.

Newt Gingrich would make a great adviser if a President could get past his narcissism and massive ego. Gingrich is a very smart guy with a wealth of knowledge and experience. He is polling low, and has absolutely no chance to win the nomination, but his participation in these debates has actually helped shape the discussion and his calling out the moderators has had a positive impact on the discussions. He should remain a fixture in the debates all the way through. His role of Candidate/Referee is needed to counter the out of control media. He should wear a black and white striped shirt at the next debate and carry a yellow flag.

Ron Paul. Can you really say anything about Paul? His followers are undaunted by reality. They are loyal, loud and Libertarian. He is by far the easiest candidate for the moderators looking to draw out a bizarre and  controversial comment. Ron Paul will never pull punches, sugar coat, or try to be politically correct in explaining his beliefs. From a long time politician this is a refreshing quality. And while Paul’s statements about allowing a hypothetical uninsured coma patient to die in the ultimate act of personal responsibility or his willingness to allow Iran to have nuclear weapons will never cause a single follower to waiver or rethink their support, it does make anyone who is not a Libertarian gasp in horror and call Paul names like crazy and nut-job. The idea of personal responsibility is a splendid concept, but impossible for most Americans to swallow. The press has had their fun with Ron Paul, accomplished their goal of “exposing” him as loony and, at the same time, made him even more of a hero to his supporters for having the intestinal fortitude to say what he means. He will always have his rabidly loyal niche following, but his views will never persuade centrists or most Republicans (let alone those on the left) that he would be a good president. Despite the straw polls, Ron Paul will never win the nomination. And his only shot at the VP ticket is if Johnson wins the nomination. Neither of which will happen.

Rick Santorum is an angry man. At least that is how he comes off. Like Ron Paul, Santorum is an easy target for the media who want to brand the former Pennsylvania US Senator an extremist. All it takes is one buff gay soldier in a war zone to immediately give the left occasion to use words like homophobia and intolerant. And while the reason behind Santorum’s beliefs are his Christian views, the hypocrisy easily escapes those who would call him intolerant. Santorum, like Paul, stands firm in his beliefs. Admirable, but the center will never accept a candidate who has been branded an intolerant, homophobic, far right wing Christian by the Mainstream Media. His contribution to the debates has become both monotonous and irrelevant. And the anger is somewhat detracting.

John Huntsman is getting better at debates, and he is one that the Mainstream Media is sure they could easily lead around like a dog on a leash if he were elected President. His constant bragging about Utah is getting old. Most people realize that the entire state is smaller than either Boston or Dallas-Fort Worth and the Mormon population is a strong, conservative driving force in his state. A Governor in Utah need only concern himself about the Mormon ideology to be a popular governor. Other states are far more challenging. Romney has a lot of Liberals to make happy in the North East, so his pandering to the left with RomneyCare is, perhaps, a necessary evil for a Republican in a blue state. And Huntsman need not worry about a large Hispanic population like Perry has in Texas which leads to things like in state tuition breaks for illegal aliens. Huntsman has been an avid Obama supporter and that alone will eliminate him as a potential  Republican nominee.

Herman Cain is a likable person and has a great sense of humor. His business background is a plus, something all of the other candidates lack (even Romney). But Cain is a political babe in the woods and like it or not, the job of President of the United States is a political job for an astute politician. The current president is no master politician, but those behind Obama pulling the strings are extremely savvy, politically. And ruthless. Herman Cain is his own man and is not equipped to run the country. He would be a great adviser, though. And if we really look closely at Cain’s 9-9-9 plan, which sounds more like some type of pizza promotion than a tax plan, it seems that this would be far more anti-business than the current tax system. In this system, it seems that pass-through corporations – like S-Corporations – who presently pay no tax on earnings, rather passing the profits through to the owners, who then pay income tax on the earnings, would be eliminated. Cain says all corporations would pay 9%. Any money passed through to the owners would then be taxed at 9%, and anything you purchase would be taxed at 9%. That adds up to 27% tax on every dollar, which would be far worse for many small business owners. The larger corporations would make out better, it would seem. Cain has very little specific information on this, but it really sounds like a bad idea for small business owners.

Future Debates

Future debates would do well to trim down the field. Of course, Mitt Romney and Rick Perry would be mandatory. Most of the others have become irrelevant at this point. Gary Johnson should be eliminated without a doubt. CNN and the TEA Party made the right decision. John Huntsman and Rick Santorum should also be scratched. And while Newt Gingrich has been a great referee, he should also be out of any future debates. This would trim the debates to a more manageable number of 5.

Herman Cain and Michele Bachmann are on the bubble. And Ron Paul will continue to see his followers travel in droves to any straw poll. Paul has a finite group of supporters and will not grow his base beyond what it is. And there are simply not enough registered voters to propel Paul in any of the polls that count. The ones where they check ID’s to make sure you are a resident. The moderators will continue to play Paul and the controversial responses are easy to draw out of him. He has a lot of popular ideas, but when you consider the whole package, Ron Paul is simply out of the running for most Republican voters. But the threat of Paul running as a third party is enough to force the Republicans to placate Paul and allow him to remain in the debates until he decides to go home.

We all know that Ron Paul running as a third party would guarantee Obama’s reelection. Even Ron Paul knows that. And the country will not survive 4 more years of Barack Obama.

About Tom White

Tom is a US Navy Veteran, owns an Insurance Agency and is currently an IT Manager for a Virginia Distributor. He has been published in American Thinker, currently writes for the Richmond Examiner as well as Virginia Right! Blog. Tom lives in Hanover County, Va and is involved in politics at every level and is a Recovering Republican who has finally had enough of the War on Conservatives in progress with the Leadership of the GOP on a National Level.

One Response to “Republican Debate: Perry Disappoints – Romney Rises”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Can you exactly blame Perry? It's simply that providing for education reduces crime rates and adds to Texas's economy (providing in-state rates ensures people go to Texas schools, and most people that graduate schools in Texas end up working in Texas). If there is an illegal immigration problem fine, deal with it. But to the extent that we have a segment of people interested in producing for the American economy, then it would just make sense to give them that opportunity to provide and add to rather than be a drain on state resources. It is inherently a Conservative position. You are utilizing the maxim of the Free Market supply of educated (or willing to be educated) capital and eliminating most restrictions to gaining it. (I guess the arg. of why to not extend in-state tuition to out of staters is a separate issue). The border problem is a federal issue, and states should not be economically crippled to be forced to either have illegal immigrants and their children be a drag on their public sector, or to spend a large deal of resources to specifically remove them from the state/system. Secure the border. I don't doubt that a President Perry would secure the border. After that, there is no reason to try and deny employment and productivity opportunities.

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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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