In case you missed it, here is complete video of last night’s CNN GOP Presidential Debate held in Mesa, Arizona. This was the 20th Debate of the 2012 GOP Presidential Nomination race.
Here is video from last night’s GOP Debate of Mitt Romney starting to answer CNN John King’s final question on what the “greatest misconception is” about him. When Romney did not seem to be directly answering the question, King interrupted him and repeated the question. Romney then said to King: “You know, you get to ask the questions you want, I get to give the answers I want.”
Here is video of Newt Gingrich during tonight’s GOP Presidential Debate on CNN calling President Barack Obama, “the most dangeous president on national security grounds in American history.”
VERY well said.
Here is video from tonight’s GOP Debate in Arizona of Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum sparring over earmarks.
Here is video of one of the key exchanges in last night’s GOP Presidential Debate in Jacksonville, Florida. Rick Santorum went on the offensive against Mitt Romney where Romney is most vulnerable – on RomneyCare.
Santorum attacked Romney at length for the RomneyCare Plan put in place in Massachusetts while Romney was Governor there. Santorum attacked the Massachusetts Plan in detail, saying it will undercut Romney’s ability to go after Obama for ObamaCare if he is the nominee. After a prolonged attacked by Santorum, Romney began a rebuttal by saying, “First of all, it’s not worth getting angry about” – referring to Santorum’s penchant for appearing angry as he makes points he feels strongly about. Romney’s words are being trumpeted today by some as saying he said “ObamaCare” is not worth getting angry about. That’s not what he said. He was referring to Santorum’s tone in describing the details of the RomneyCare plan in Massachusetts.
Santorum did an outstanding job of making the case why Romney will be a weaker nominee because of his support of an individual mandate to buy health care in Massachusetts. But Romney has repeatedly said his first act as President would be to move on repealing ObamaCare. It is not right to say that he said “ObamaCare” is not worth getting angry about.
The final GOP Presidential Debate in Florida just ended, and it was a very strong night for Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum.
Romney was aggressive once again, and really went after Newt Gingrich early in the debate. Gingrich again did not really seem ready for the hits and did not return fire in equal proportion to the attacks he received. Gingrich needed to land a knockout blow on Romney in this debate, and he just did not do it. He had some good moments, particularly on the need to support Israel, but he did not have a moment to help him recapture his momentum.
I thought Rick Santorum did very well, and actually put Romney on the defensive for awhile on RomneyCare. But Romney handled those attacks as well as he possibly can, and it was probably enough to keep it from doing him any serious harm in Florida. Santorum spoke very eloquently on a number of questions, and gave a great answer summing up the truth that our rights come from the “Creator” as it says in the Declaration of Independence. He further explained that Government does not exist under our Constitution to give rights to Americans, but rather to protect those God-given rights that it has no power or authority to take away.
Ron Paul had some very good moments too. He provided a good contrast to the back-and-forth between Gingrich and Romney, as did Rick Santorum.
Mitt Romney had a lot of momentum coming into this debate, and I suspect he will maintain it coming out of the debate. Gingrich did nothing to derail him, and Santorum is so far back in the polls, I doubt his strong performance here will boost him enough to give him a chance to actually win Florida. In fact, Santorum is not going to be in Florida on Election night, Tuesday, and he is not going to spend money running ads in Florida (he just said that on CNN after the debate). That does not convey that he believes he has any real chance in Florida.
If I had to give grades, I would say: Romney – A-; Santorum – A-; Paul – B; Gingrich – C. Romney and Santorum were “Winners,” Paul held his own, and Gingrich lost by not doing what he needed to do to turn the momentum in Florida.
The four remaining GOP Presidential Candidates will meet in the 19th debate of this campaign tonight on CNN. The debate will begin at 8 PM ET at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville.
This debate comes as Mitt Romney has once again seized the lead in Florida, following a strong debate performance this past Monday in which he came out very aggressive against Newt Gingrich. The contrast was even starker because Gingrich was far more subdued and passive in the debate, allowing Romney’s attack on him to go unanswered for a long period of time. This debate will be the last one for several weeks, making the impressions made tonight very important.
Gingrich must regain the momentum by being more aggressive and refusing to let Romney put him on the defense. Romney simply needs to do again tonight what he did Monday night, so expect him to go after Gingrich and perhaps President Obama very strongly.
The challenge for Rick Santorum and Ron Paul is to not seem marginalized and out of the running in the nomination race. Santorum’s poll numbers have really dropped, and he needs to make it clear he still viable as a candidate. I would expect him to go after both Romney and Gingrich – but especially Gingrich so that he can become the conservative alternative to Romney.
CNN: Newt Gingrich lashed out at Mitt Romney Thursday, accusing his Republican presidential opponent of engaging in sleazy negative politics and being part of a fragile establishment desperate to stop the former House speaker from winning the GOP nomination.
Gingrich’s attack came hours before the final Florida GOP primary debate, to be held at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville. The debate is being hosted by CNN, the Republican Party of Florida and the Hispanic Leadership Network, a center-right advocacy group.
“Many of you have probably noticed a number of attack ads and all sorts of junk, and that’s what it is,” Gingrich told a crowd in Mount Dora. “This is the desperate last stand of the old order throwing the kitchen sink, hoping something sticks.”
They’re trying to “drown us in enough mud, raised with money from companies and people who foreclosed on Floridians,” Gingrich claimed. “Remember the Republican establishment is just as much as an establishment as the Democratic establishment, and they are just as determined to stop us. … This is a campaign for the very nature of the Republican Party and the very opportunity for a citizen conservatism to defeat the power of money and to prove that people matter more than Wall Street.”
Romney told a group in Jacksonville he will focus Thursday night on President Barack Obama, though he acknowledged that Gingrich’s history might be a subject as well. . . . Read More
Here is video from last night’s debate in Florida where Mitt Romney threw a laundry list of attacks at Newt Gingrich. He attacked Gingrich for his time as Speaker of the House. He called Gingrich a “disgrace,” and said he sees no way Republicans can retake the White House with Gingrich as the nominee. Gingrich countered by setting the record straight on his accomplishments as Speaker of the House in building a long-lasting Republican majority as compared to Romney’s tenure as Governor of Massachusetts, where he said the Republican Party did not advance in the state during his time in office.
Too early to tell how Romney’s more aggressive style in attacking Gingrich will come off to voters in Florida? Will they be impressed that he is a strong fighter, or will he just come off as desperate? We’ll see as more polls come out over the next several days.
WATCH COMPLETE VIDEO of the Debate.
The NBC GOP Presidential Debate in Florida just concluded, and it was the worst of the 18 debates held so far in this campaign cycle.
It was clear that moderator Brian Williams had one objective – Don’t ask any question that would lead the GOP Candidates to say a word about Barack Obama. It was so obvious. If a Republican President was sitting in the White House and it was a Democratic Candidate Debate, virtually every question would consist of nerf balls served up to tee off on the Republican President. But with Obama in the White House – not a single question about his policies, his actions. Only a few times did any of the candidates ignore the question to attack President Obama, which was a mistake. I thought Newt Gingrich would repeatedly make a direct line for Obama – and he did a few times – but not like I thought he would.
Mitt Romney came out attacking. In fact, it was like he wanted to dump all of his attacks in the first five minutes of the debate. He was trying to rattle Gingrich and get under his skin. Gingrich was much more subdued. I think he let Romney go on too long without interrupting him, but he never lost his temper. In fact, he was perhaps too subdued. It appeared Gingrich came into the night determined to show he could control himself under fire. Romney attacked Gingrich’s record as Speaker of the House and his work for Freddie Mac as a consultant – which Romney would rather call “influence-peddling.” His line of attack did lead Gingrich to an opportunity to say he was proud of his work in support of Medicare Part D – which could help him among the many Senior voters who live in Florida.
Rick Santorum had a good night, clearly working hard to show himself as the anti-Romney/anti-Newt candidate. Again and again he contrasted himself to both Romney and Gingrich. He had some strong answers, but not really any single moment that would really become the focus of discussion in the days ahead. Ron Paul was very much the same, setting himself apart from the other three candidates and saying pretty much what he says in every debate.
Overall, the real story out of this debate is how awful the questions were. It made for a rather boring debate that I don’t really think will have much impact on the race in Florida. Romney may have helped himself slightly, as did Santorum. But I don’t think Gingrich will really lose ground because of what happened tonight. I think Gingrich will continue to lead in Florida in the days ahead, though it may tighten slightly. Santorum could move up some, but he is a long way back. Ron Paul does not look to be playing hard in Florida, but will probably still get around 10% of the vote.
Thursday night’s debate on CNN is set up to be even more significant. It can’t be worse than the debate tonight.
GRADES: Romney – B+, Santorum – B+, Gingrich – B, Paul – B, Debate Moderators – F.
UPDATE: WATCH LIVE VIDEO of the NBC GOP Presidential Debate. It will begin at 9 PM ET.
NOTE: The GOP Debate tonight will be on NBC at 9 PM ET. It does not show up on the DirecTV listing. But if you go to the website of your local NBC station, you should see it listed in the programming schedule. It will last for 2 hours from what I can tell.
The remaining four GOP Presidential Candidates will face-off tonight in a Presidential Debate on NBC. The debate will begin at 9:00 PM ET, and will be moderated by NBC News anchor Brian Williams, along with help from National Journal, and the Tampa Bay Times.
This debate comes just two days after Newt Gingrich’s shocking victory in South Carolina by more than 12 points over Mitt Romney. The debate will be held in Florida, where the candidates are now battling eight days ahead of the Florida Primary.
Newt Gingrich had better be ready for some heavy fire from all sides – from the questioners, from Mitt Romney who is desperate to turn his fortunes around, and from Rick Santorum who needs a game-changer to replace Gingrich as the anti-Romney conservative alternative. But as he did twice last week, Gingrich can take the attacks and turn them into positives by attacking the media or the Left. I would look for Gingrich to try and sound like the settled conservative choice to take on Barack Obama. Look for him to launch direct sound-bite attacks on Barack Obama and the Left, the way he has done against the media in past debates.
Romney will go after Gingrich on Freddie Mac, on his ethics while in Congress, and on Gingrich’s stability. Romney will portray Gingrich as too volatile and unstable for Republicans to take a chance on him.
Santorum will attack both Romney and Gingrich as “not true conservatives,” and will continue to tout his victory in Iowa (by 34 votes) and say that only he can win in blue states like Pennsylvania.
Ron Paul will hammer on his themes of cutting the budget by $1 Trillion in his first year as President. He may face some tough questions about his newsletters and questions on whether his candidacy is really about winning or just a protest movement.
It will be fascinating to see if Gingrich can withstand all the fire that will come his way and keep his momentum going.
In case you missed it, here is complete video of last night’s CNN GOP Presidential Debate in Charleston, South Carolina.
Rick Santorum went into last night’s GOP Debate with a clear goal: Take down Newt Gingrich. He went after him, and from a political standpoint, he had no choice.
Despite Santorum’s better finish in Iowa and by a hair in New Hampshire, Gingrich is the one who has emerged in South Carolina as the viable alternative to defeat Mitt Romney. Right now, Gingrich is polling 20 points better in South Carolina that Rick Santorum, but you would not have known that from the attacks Santorum leveled against Gingrich again and again last night. He tried to paint Gingrich as essentially unstable and without the courage to do what is needed to defeat Barack Obama. Here is one of his attacks on Gingrich:
What we don’t know is whether Santorum’s offensive against Gingrich was enough to bring down Gingrich’s vote totals in South Carolina to prevent him from winning. It’s possible Santorum could get a huge surge going into the voting tomorrow based on his performance last night – but it would have to be a really huge surge for him to win. The more likely outcome if his attacks worked with voters is that Gingrich will lose enough steam for Mitt Romney to eek out a victory. If so, depending on how close Gingrich and Santorum wind up to each other, the battle for the “anti-Romney” slot moves to Florida. But if Gingrich goes on to win in South Carolina, despite Santorum’s best efforts to bring him down, and Santorum finishes a distant third or fourth, then he will have little claim that he – and not Newt Gingrich – is the guy who can defeat Mitt Romney for the GOP Nomination. If we get any polls later today or in the morning done AFTER this debate, we’ll see if it shows downward movement with Gingrich and upward movement for Santorum.
Tonight’s GOP Presidential Debate on CNN just ended, and it was a shootout for two hours.
The most significant moment of the night came right at the beginning, when CNN’s John King began by asking Newt Gingrich about an interview his ex-wife, Marianne, has given to ABC News. Newt Gingrich was outraged, and just blasted John King for beginning a Presidential Debate with such a question. He took the opportunity to blast the liberal media and their constant attempts to protect Barack Obama by attacking Republican candidates. Gingrich got two standing ovations from the audience!
Everything else was pretty anti-climactic after that. On points, I thought all four candidates actually did very well. They each got some good points in and some strong hits on the other candidates. Rick Santorum clearly was trying to tear down Newt Gingrich tonight – as well as Mitt Romney. He tried to paint Gingrich as unstable and not trustworthy as the nominee. But Gingrich responded effectively by reminding everyone that he was the architect of the Republican Revolution in 1994 and Santorum was an understudy.
Santorum knew this was his chance to make the case that he should be the conservative alternative to Mitt Romney. He worked hard at it, and was effective, but I don’t think he did enough to derail Gingrich. If the opening five minutes had not taken place, he would come out of this debate in a stronger position. But it did happen, and Gingrich will benefit from it.
I actually think this was Ron Paul’s best debate. He did not get to speak as often as the others, but when he did, he made some good points and got some jabs in on the other candidates. He took Rick Santorum to task for questioning his pro-life commitment, which Paul said should be dealt with primarily at the state rather than the Federal level.
I thought Mitt Romney was stronger tonight than he was on Monday night, but not enough to overshadow Gingrich’s opening 5 minutes. He did not hurt himself – except for his unwillingness once again to commit to releasing his taxes. I am mystified by how Romney is dealing with this issue. It’s hurting him, confirming the worst fears of GOP voters about him – that they might not can trust him and that he has something to hide. Romney has unwittingly given his GOP opponents a big club to beat him over the head with – and they have done it.
So, coming out of this debate, I think it is going to be a real horse race to win South Carolina between Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich. I would guess right now that Gingrich will win, unless something really new and devastating emerges about Gingrich from his ex-wife’s “Nightline” interview tonight. I would look for Santorum to gain some strength, but not nearly enough to challenge for the victory in South Carolina. Ron Paul is likely to take third place in South Carolina. I think he only helped himself with this debate. Grades: Gingrich A-, Santorum B+, Paul B+, Romney B.
How would you grade the candidates in this debate?
Here is video of Charles Krauthammer last night on The O’Reilly Factor, where he evaluated the Fox News GOP Presidential Debate that took place Monday night. Krauthammer thought Newt Gingrich came away the big winner. He said Ron Paul “lost really big”; Romney came out “so-so, nicked slightly”; Santorum “did well” but was “overshadowed” and “lost ground.” He felt Rick Perry had his best performance, but too little, too late.
It seems Mitt Romney is not sure he will take part in the two debates next week leading up to the Florida GOP Primary. He’s committed to this Thursday’s CNN Debate in South Carolina, but his campaign is making no commitments to him being a part of the Florida debates:
WASHINGTON EXAMINER: After a debate in which Republican frontrunner Mitt Romney faced attacks from all sides, the Romney campaign says it has not yet accepted invitations to participate in two high-profile debates leading up to the January 31 Florida primary, and a key Romney adviser is expressing fatigue and frustration over what he sees as a never-ending series of GOP debates.
“There are too many of these,” Romney strategist Stuart Stevens said after Monday night’s Fox News debate at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center. “We have to bring some order to it. We haven’t accepted Florida…It’s kind of like a cruise that’s gone on too long.”
Romney will participate in the next South Carolina debate, Thursday night in Charleston. Asked by email about the candidate’s debate schedule after that, Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul said, “I have no announcements to make on debates at this time.”
As part of his complaint against the current debate schedule, Stevens expressed lingering irritation at the January 7 ABC News debate in New Hampshire, in which Romney faced a long a tendentious series of questions about contraception. (“It was such a lousy debate,” Stevens said.) More generally, Stevens suggested that in the long course of the campaign, this year’s key issues have been exhausted. “We’re down to the most obscure questions,” he said. “When more than ten debates mention Chilean models, and it’s not a fashion show, then something’s wrong.”
There’s no doubt the debate schedule has been intense. Seventy hours after the end of Monday night’s session, the second South Carolina debate will begin down the coast in Charleston. Then, 48 hours after the polls close late Saturday in South Carolina, there will be another debate, this one in Tampa. Seventy-two hours after that, there will be yet another debate, this one in Jacksonville. The Charleston, Tampa, and Jacksonville debates will be the 17th, 18th, and 19th of the Republican primary season. Add that to the schedule of actual campaigning, and it’s a routine that is wearing down all the campaigns. . . . Read More
That would be a disaster for Mitt Romney. He is kidding himself if he thinks he can just not show up for the two Florida debates leading up to the primary and it not hurt him big time. These debates are far more important that the debates from long ago, because they will be fresh in the minds of voters. Romney will come off looking like a coward if he just refuses to show up. He may be tired of the debates, but he had better rethink this strategy.