In case you missed it, last night's GOP Presidential Debate, moderated by Anderson Cooper, was full of fireworks.
How did it go?
Last night was Huntsman's best debate performance....he wasn't there!
Rick Perry awoke and arrived at the debate, after missing the last four. He must have had a couple of Red Bulls before coming on stage because he had some fire to him. Sure, he had moments of hesitation, but he held his ground and sounded more sure of himself.
Herman Cain took some hard punches from the moderator and the other candidates on his 9-9-9 economic plan, but was still standing after those questions. His one misstep was a question on releasing terrorists at Gitmo in exchange for a kidnapped American soldier. Though better on foreign policy than Ron Paul or Huntsman, Cain needs to do some homework on foreign policy and defense, and I say this as someone who is supporting him.
Rick Santorum had his moments, Newt (despite his baggage) looked more statesman-like, Bachmann has lost her mojo, Ron Paul was....his usual kooky self.
If anything else, this debate marked the first time Mitt Romney was challenged on his record. He didn't like it at all, because it took him off his slick, rehearsed lines he uses at every debate. I've seen online a list on how Romney and Obama are similar on issue. I found myself thinking, while watching his responses, that Romney showed even more how he's similar to Obama...he's thin-skinned when he's challenged on the facts and then he comes out slashing at his opponents. He acted that way to Santorum, Perry, and Gingrich in particular.
Calling for Anderson Cooper to rescue him? That made Romney look weak.
Romney even made the Rick Lazio debating mistake of invading Perry's space when they were in the middle of a squabble.
But Romney showed, to anyone interested, how he plays games with the truth, which made him testy when challenged on it. He showed just why some over the last few years have called him "Flip Romney."
When challenged by Perry that he hired illegal aliens, Romney evaded then gave a meek explanation. But this issue came up in 2007, after it was found he did keep working with the landscapers one year after it was first reported.
Romney did suggest in his book that what he did in Massachusetts " we can accomplish the same thing for everyone in the country." That line was taken out of the paperback version. In 2006, he told AP: "I actually ran with (health care reform) as something that I wanted to do. If there are national implications and applicability, that would be wonderful." In a sense, Romney is exactly the type of politician he bemoaned in one of his final comments last night.
Cain hit Romney by equating him to Wall Street. Certainly, this photo found by the American Thinker doesn't help.
When the topic of the Occupy Wall Street fleabaggers came up, Romney evaded the question of the anarchists, after he'd expressed a bit of sympathy with the squatters last week.
Romney challenged Perry on his support for Al Gore in 1988, never mind he called himself an "independent" during the Reagan years, as he said in 1994.
Romney also accused the Texas Governor of pressing for passage of TARP, when Perry did no such thing.
Yet Flip Romney is who the Republican establishment wants as their nominee, and they think he has the best chance of beating Obama? Not with that record.
So last night's best showing came from Huntsman, Newt and Rick Perry. Cain had a misstep, and Romney had his worst showing. All the others fit somewhere in between.