Republican Debate – Reagan Library
Simi Valley California at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. Despite the best efforts of MSNBC to infuse the debate with divisive questions and trap games each candidate did an excellent job of responding and sticking to the main issues of their respective agendas.
It was clear that the Republicans nominees have done their homework since the last debate.
Newt Gingrich – refusing to fight among the other candidates and chiding the moderator and liberal media for trying to incite division between the Republican party. Gingrich is the one person I can guarantee that Obama does not want to face in a debate. He drew applause on most of his talking points and introduced (as usual) several new ideas.
Herman Cain – once again a businessman with a solutions oriented focus and great ideas. Not as polished as he needs to be but he is throwing it all on the line and has nothing to lose. A very logical sounding candidate with proposals that would represent major shifts in current processes and markets.
Mitt Romney – very presidential and smooth once again. Answered the tough questions handily and always seems to be a step or two ahead of the game. Clearly a front runner for good reason.
Rick Perry – pretty smooth on most of the questions and probably the one person that faced more fire than any of the other candidates. He seemed to get thrown into the deep end of the pool with this debate but overall he handled it well with very few hangups.
Jon Huntsman – much more impressive going after the top two with comparisons to his record vs. their record. Still many of his talking points sounded scripted and a bit cheesy.
Rick Santorum – good things to say but still blending into the background. He comes across as complaining instead of what he intends to portray as passion.
Michele Bachmann – came across as folksy and too reliant on her statistics. She had a few good points at the end of the debate – especially when she demonstrated her knowledge of foreign policy with regard to whether America is safer today than 10 years ago at 9/11.
Ron Paul – good ideas and a different perspective as usual but just comes across as the crazy old guy in the room. He rants and rambles too much for most people other than his ardent supporters to take him seriously. He has some good ideas but the packaging is a mess.
Mitt Romney – another excellent showing. He did not falter and continued to drive home his main points and focus on job creation.
Newt Gingrich – not much talk time in this debate but he always makes use of his time and is an amazing debater. His responses drew the biggest applause of the night.
Rick Santorum – just not enough originality to move him beyond another voice in the crowd.
Michele Bachmann – not a very special performance by any means. She probably didn’t hurt herself but she is clearly not in the same class as the frontrunners.