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Thoughts on 3rd Republican Debate


Guest CrimsonCane
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Guest CrimsonCane

Anybody watching the debate last night, what were your thoughts?

 

Here's what I took from it:

 

- Sam Brownback: Pretty forgettable. The only thing he said that I think will get air time is his comment that one of the party's main principles is Pro-Life. Therefore, it should not and will not nominate a Pro-Choice candidate. I think this is the biggest direct shot I've seen taken at Giuliani thus far. Brownback even danced around the issue when asked if he'd suport Giuliani if he was the nominee. More than anything, this is a move to redirect the focus of the debate on social issues (which Brownback polls well on among GOP voters) and take some wind out of the sails of Rudy McRomney (Who don't). And, his three state plan is a terrible idea.

 

- Jim Gilmore: More forgettable than Sam Brownback. The man spends all of his time speaking about his conservative credentials as a former Governor when he should be talking about the issues. The man was a broken record up there simultaneously trying to hit every one of his talking points when any question was asked. This seemed to be his formula for answering any question posed to him: 1) Make a brief remark about the actual question. 2) Spend alot of time talking about all the things he did as Virginia's governor (Not related to the question) 3) Find some incredibly flimsy way of connecting the issue posed in the question to either National Security or Immigration. 4) Struggle to continue talking after Wolf Blitzer tried to cut him off.

 

- Duncan Hunter: His chances of being the next Secretary of Defense are a lot higher than his chances of being the next President. I'm more amazed by his uncanny likeness to Cy Tolliver (Powers Boothe) from Deadwood than anything he has to say. Look for yourself. Hunter: http://newsinitiative.org/media/2/image/du..._hunter_web.jpg / Boothe: http://eur.i1.yimg.com/eur.yimg.com/xp/pre.../3786870988.jpg

 

- Mike Huckabee: Gave some sincere responses when asked about his faith. I thought his comment about Pro-Life being about more than just life before birth (caring about the welfare of children living under a bridge or the elderly in abusive nursing homes) was his best moment on the night.

 

- Ron Paul: He is such an odd candidate for me because he makes comments that have me say "Thankfully someone isn't afraid to address this issue" and then he has comments that make me absolutely cringe. I thought his strongest point on the night was when he was talking about the Don't Ask, Don't Tell Policy and said that we, as a society, need to move away from perceiving our rights as derived from our belonging to groups, as opposed to our status as individuals within society. Classic Libertarian comment, but I thought he tackled that question better than any of the other candidates who didn't want to provide a direct answer to it. Other than that though, his vision of what US foreign policy ought to be is way too 19th Century for me. I think he understands that the War on Terror issue isn't as black and white as some of other candidate believe, but I just think his solution only sets us back even further.

 

- Tommy Thompson: Nice hair.... He really wanted to shift the focus onto healthcare (as I would expect a former Secretary of Health and Human Services to do). Surprisingly, his plan for Iraq (Iraqi government vote on whether we stay or not plus the division of oil revenues and 18 territory federal system.) is probably the most comprehensive plan among the second-tier candidates. Besides that, he'll never break out from where he currently stands, in large part, because his attempts to appear charming and witty just fail miserably.

 

- Tom Tancredo: The man should be committed. He's a disgrace to his profession and to this party. His comments were nothing more than blatant populism that's trying to appeal to the lowest possible denominator. The sooner he exits this race, the better.

 

On to the Big Three:

 

- Mitt Romney: Struggled to answer the first question about Iraq (Knowing what we know now, would you still go in there). The man never seems sincere in anything he says. Additionally, he never really says anything in his answers. He speaks in really vague terms and tries to drop in meaningless references to the future, hope, and a new frontier. To me, he's the GOP John Kerry. Long winded, from Massachusetts, tons of personal money to use right before the primaries, has the potential to win the party nomination but will get beat in a general election.

 

- Rudy Giuliani: Many people criticize the GOP for appealing to fear in order to get people to vote for them. If anyone fits that label, it's Giuliani. With everything he says, he tries to make reference to Fort Dix, the JFK plot, or 9/11. I know that it's what helps him stay at the top of the polls and the threat is real, but I think that his answers are more about reminding people the danger exists rather than providing any indication of how he intends to stop it. I mean people assume he's got the experience to do it based on his post 9/11 response, but, as a voter, I want to hear what his plans are. I really liked his response on accountability. The lightning moment was very entertaining. I think he's articulated his stance on abortion as eloquently as he's going to be able to do it in the short time frame of a debate, and I still think it's his major liability that won't go away.

 

- John McCain: (In the interest of candor, I'm a big McCain fan) To me, this debate proved that John McCain's campaign needs more town hall style debates. He looked far better in that setting than anytime I've seen him in the previous debates. I think his remarks about the War in Iraq were the best on the topic, especially his response to the woman whose brother was killed in combat. I think he was able to hold his own on the immigration issue. He's alone out there with this issue, but I think he effectively responded to the critiques. It really gets me upset that Republican candidates are talking like they're the majority party in Congress. We're in the minority, we have to make compromises to get our issues on the table, especially because Dubya's veto threat is nonexistent. McCain seems to be the only one that realizes that you can't make demands from a position of political weakness and what's better for the party and the country is to get something done that works. Like it or not, the next President in 2008, whether Republican or Democrat, will go in with a Democratic congress. McCain, to me, is the only candidate that is capable of actually working together with them rather than just creating gridlock. Lastly, his remarks on spending are the same as we've heard before, but I feel that he's the one candidate who has really given the issue as much importance as it deserves.

 

(Sorry for the long post. I tend to get carried away when talking about politics)

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The lightning moment was hysterical. Seemed to relax Rudy a bit.

 

Agreed on the McCain fitting the town hall style debate a hell of a lot better.

 

Romney annoys me

 

And I'm not sure who it was but the guy who answered the question of what was President Bush's biggest mistake as "we need to stop cancer deaths, and it can be done in 10 years" was almost as good as the carrot and stick plan of John Edwards and "who the hell we going to nuke" as best moment of all the debates so far.

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I think that was Sam Brownback who said that. Sort of an odd comment.

 

 

I thought Jim Gilmore did fine actually, and I wonder why he isn't more popular with the conservative base. Maybe not all that charismatic, I suppose that's where Fred Thompson thinks he can jump in.

 

Romney's kind of all over the place. I actually applaud him for a couple of times when he defended himself against most of the other candidates, but I agree with Crimson, he was pretty vague about Iraq and some other issues.

 

Rudy and McCain both did fine. The timing of that lightning strike was pretty funny though.

 

Huckabee was okay but his spiritual side masks an otherwise pretty weak platform.

 

Duncan Hunter and Tommy Tancredo are awful. Tommy Thompson isn't bad but I don't think he excites anyone and he has zero charisma.

 

Ron Paul's great but we all know he has zero chance. Still refreshing to hear something other than the same speech from the other ten candidates.

 

Pretty bland overall.

 

Once they get into social issues it reminds me why I rarely vote Republican anymore.

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Fred Thompson has to be the 800 pound gorilla in the room, if I used that phrase correctly.

 

 

In terms of conservative republicans, unlike Guiliani or Bush. The best candidates (overall not just declared) to win the nomination would be Thompson or Gingrich. Of course, to win the national election a guy like Guiliani is probably a better pick.

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What did the candidates say vis-a-vis Jailhouse Scooter?

They were saying that it was a miscarriage of justice, and all that BS. Most said that they would pardon him after looking things over carefully.

 

It made me laugh to hear the answers given to the candidates when asked whether or not the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy should be kept or not. Blitzer specifically used the example of all of those translators who can speak and understand languages like Urdu, Arabic, etc. who were kicked out of the military because they were gay. Not once did a candidate say that national security should trump sexual orientation, especially in a 'time of war', even though the GOP claims to be strong on national security (and frequently fear-mongering).

 

It's good to know that politicians will make the right decisions when they matter most. :mischief

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Guest Night Phantom

I've been struggling lately with the question of why one party even watches the other's debates. I haven't caught a second of any Democrat function.....why bother? I'm not going to get to choose anything regarding them until November 08 anyways, so why look at a whole stock of candidates you a) won't see and b) don't like off the bat anyways.

 

As far as the debate last night, if it was anything.....it was boring. Paul continues to be the best candidate to me there, and he continues to have no shot. He did a large amount of genuine applause though, which leads me to hold out a sliver of hope that he'll have a chance come the early primaries. However, with all of the big states moving up, it may be all for naught. McCain again is the only big candidate that seems worthy of attention to me, with Giuliani being laughable at the amount he attempts to raise fear mongering and Romney being the perfect replica of Mr. Kerry. The periphery candidates said nothing to move themselves up, though the sooner Tancredo disappears the better.

 

It was a very status quo night over all, except that the Big 3 weren't as warmly welcomed as they were last time. Not all of the "OMG 9/11" comments got thunderous applause; in fact, the response was largely limited compared to last time. And, frankly, I think that's a very good thing for the party's chances in 08.

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I've been struggling lately with the question of why one party even watches the other's debates. I haven't caught a second of any Democrat function.....why bother? I'm not going to get to choose anything regarding them until November 08 anyways, so why look at a whole stock of candidates you a) won't see and b) don't like off the bat anyways.

 

As far as the debate last night, if it was anything.....it was boring. Paul continues to be the best candidate to me there, and he continues to have no shot. He did a large amount of genuine applause though, which leads me to hold out a sliver of hope that he'll have a chance come the early primaries. However, with all of the big states moving up, it may be all for naught. McCain again is the only big candidate that seems worthy of attention to me, with Giuliani being laughable at the amount he attempts to raise fear mongering and Romney being the perfect replica of Mr. Kerry. The periphery candidates said nothing to move themselves up, though the sooner Tancredo disappears the better.

 

It was a very status quo night over all, except that the Big 3 weren't as warmly welcomed as they were last time. Not all of the "OMG 9/11" comments got thunderous applause; in fact, the response was largely limited compared to last time. And, frankly, I think that's a very good thing for the party's chances in 08.

 

I watch both debates, I'm just interested. (I hate the formats unfortunately which make them faily boring). I'd never gotten to see Ron Paul for example, who is pretty interesting. (He even got a guest spot on the Daily Show, lol) Plus if you're a moderate in either party, there's always the possibility someone might get your vote. I was strongly considering voting for McCain had he won the nomination in 2000.

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I've been struggling lately with the question of why one party even watches the other's debates. I haven't caught a second of any Democrat function.....why bother? I'm not going to get to choose anything regarding them until November 08 anyways, so why look at a whole stock of candidates you a) won't see and b) don't like off the bat anyways.

 

As far as the debate last night, if it was anything.....it was boring. Paul continues to be the best candidate to me there, and he continues to have no shot. He did a large amount of genuine applause though, which leads me to hold out a sliver of hope that he'll have a chance come the early primaries. However, with all of the big states moving up, it may be all for naught. McCain again is the only big candidate that seems worthy of attention to me, with Giuliani being laughable at the amount he attempts to raise fear mongering and Romney being the perfect replica of Mr. Kerry. The periphery candidates said nothing to move themselves up, though the sooner Tancredo disappears the better.

 

It was a very status quo night over all, except that the Big 3 weren't as warmly welcomed as they were last time. Not all of the "OMG 9/11" comments got thunderous applause; in fact, the response was largely limited compared to last time. And, frankly, I think that's a very good thing for the party's chances in 08.

 

I watch both debates, I'm just interested. (I hate the formats unfortunately which make them faily boring). I'd never gotten to see Ron Paul for example, who is pretty interesting. (He even got a guest spot on the Daily Show, lol) Plus if you're a moderate in either party, there's always the possibility someone might get your vote. I was strongly considering voting for McCain had he won the nomination in 2000.

I have no problem with people like you and F_M who look at it objectively and bring something worthwhile to the table.

 

The people who post things like "I lol'd when..." are useless and thats why I posed the question.

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First things first: Tommy Tom Thompson is the library cop:

 

 

 

 

Second, being that it is so early in the process, I'm not a big fan of writing off what the media tells us are "second tier" candidates in favor of those chosen to get much more air time. Debates used to guarentee equal time...that apparently has been thrown out the window:

 

Gee, I didn't know Blitzer was running...

 

For example, Howard Dean was initially the front runner in 2004...and we all know what happened to him.

 

 

3. Did anyone else notice Rudy stole Paul's "we're friends with Vietnam now" line?

 

4. Lastly, regarding foreign policy, I find it befuddling that so many think that we can turn Iraq into a pro-America democracy like Japan or Germany so easily. People seem to forget we killed millions of Japan's and Germany's civilians, demilitarized them, and totally took over there governments for quite a few years. For decades, we kept large troop presences that remain to this day.

 

Japan or fascist Germany were not exactly filled of people ingrained with the ways of democracy like we are, but we were able to change them. However, it took killing so much of their people and destroying to much of their country, that they were so freaked out that their will to fight was erased. As of now, it is the Iraqi militias doing the real "freaking of people out" in that country. So, if America is serious about turning Iraq into a Japan so there will be a Hard Rock Cafe in Baghdad in 40 years, we are going to have to take on a much more aggressive total war policy. This is something that none of us will accept, because we think the cost in human life is too great (and let's admit, such a policy is genocidal.)

 

Thus, this sort of half-measure policing Iraq policy, all too reminscient of how we fought in Vietnam but even less aggressive, is doomed to fail. So, for this reason, I think Paul's policy is the most realistic. We get out now, or we just wait until it becomes so painfully obvious (by the yeart 2012) or something that we leave like we did in Vietnam, with even more disgrace.

 

Iraq isn't winnable, end of story.

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re: Hunter looking like Powers Boothe, it's even funnier to 24 fans because Boothe played the miserable VP this year who wanted to nuke some random Middle Eastern country. I can't even listen to him talk without cracking up and comparing him to Daniels.

 

Being a libertarian, I'm obviously a Paul supporter, so it was a bit irritating that in some key places where he would give a relevant answer, he didn't get a question--like a health care question, given that he's a doctor, or the question about attracting independents, given that he was a third-party presidential candidate. I think this early in the campaign it's a self-fulfilling prophecy to give the front-runners much more speaking time and coverage. It's nice at least that he's been able to break through and get his message out. He's been on TV about a thousand times more than I expected when I first heard he was running.

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I've been struggling lately with the question of why one party even watches the other's debates. I haven't caught a second of any Democrat function.....why bother? I'm not going to get to choose anything regarding them until November 08 anyways, so why look at a whole stock of candidates you a) won't see and b) don't like off the bat anyways.

 

Unless your a hardcore closed minded party supporter, I think its educational to watch both debates. I didnt see the whole Repub debate but I saw analysis and clips online just to see whats on the other side.

 

I must admit if it were between Hilary and McCain, McCain could possibly get my vote if softens his stance on Iraq, which I think all the Repub candidates will once they get into the general election.

 

I am very much anti-Hilary by the way, I think we need someone who can bring the country together and not have another divider as President.

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Guest CrimsonCane

Paul continues to be the best candidate to me there, and he continues to have no shot. He did a large amount of genuine applause though, which leads me to hold out a sliver of hope that he'll have a chance come the early primaries.

 

I don't think that you ought to hold out much hope. Paul's got a very small but passionate contingent of supporters up in New Hampshire, and I'm certain that most of the applause you were hearing was coming from them. (It always sounded like 5-6 people were applauding what he said). I have first hand experience with his supporters in New Hampshire. I went up to New Hampshire to see McCain make his official announcement to run and there was a group of Paul supporters there, in essence, protesting the event. They had signs that read, "Ron Paul is the REAL Maverick!" and other things like that. They also passed out campaign fliers for Paul to all the people there.

 

The event was really funny because in addition to the Paul supporters, there were also anti-war protesters who tried to interrupt the announcement with anti-war chants. Some of McCain's staff, I think, tried to head over to them and get them to stop and some of the people in the audience were getting a little restless at the interruptions. To respond, McCain stops his speech, looks over to the protesters and says, "Though I may not agree with your stances, I thank you for what you're doing. This is what living in a society with freedom of speech is all about." The protesters stopped and walked away shortly thereafter. McCain is definitely at his best when he's unscripted.

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