David Brody interviews former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum
After watching last night’s GOP Presidential debate, I am wondering how and where the GOP got to this place with the top two candidates being Rick Perry and Mitt Romney with an assorted supporting cast. The field could use another candidate or two – calling Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels or Representative Paul Ryan – PLEASE RUN.
The current GOP Presidential field is very weak, each candidate has a track record that can be exploited in the primary elections and by the Democrats in the general election. But, with that said, Sarah Palin has said it is a time for choosing and choose we must.
Winner: Mitt Romney
Mitt Romney appeared Presidential, looked good in his skin and his suit was impeccable. Romney shows that he is a cool, calculated character who is not easily rattled. His experience in running for the Presidency these past 6-8 years shows. RomneyCare looms in the background and is very exploitable by the Obama team – they can hardly wait as a matter of fact. But, it might not help Obama and Axelrod with this very poor American economy.
Romney was able to attack Rick Perry with a smile on his face and the nasty direct mail in his back pocket. The attack television ads, especially in Nevada and Florida are just a few months away. Everyone knows they are coming. The issue will be Social Security and Romney will drive Perry into the ground with the term Ponzi Scheme.
Biggest Loser: Rick Perry
Rick Santorum’s quote in the video above is the most telling, “The more I find out about Rick Perry the more concern I have.” This was my feeling and that of the Twitterverse last night. This morning the MSM is piling on Perry.
The Texas Governor continued his folksy way, but did not answer the Social Security Ponzi Scheme questions. Perry has put forward no entitlement reform plan. Romney attacked the issues and the others piled on.
The Gardisil, “government injection” flap was devastating to Perry. We all knew it was coming and exploitable, but Michele Bachmann thrust in the knife and Rick Santorum twisted it. Perry made a poor policy decision, and certainly not a one that will endear him to conservatives – or anyone for that matter. Bachmann’s framing of the issue as “crony capitalism” and a pay off from lobbyists will be replayed time and again.
Next, was the illegal immigration issue and the Texas Dream Act. Perry signed the bill giving the children of illegal aliens an entitlement paid by American citizen taxpayers and was booed by the Tea Party crowd. Immigration is not a primary issue because the GOP controls the House, but conservatives and the Tea Party have to be wondering if this former Al Gore supporter will not be another Bush and/or McCain pushing comprehensive immigration reform. Being booed by the Tea Party is NOT a good thing for Rick Perry.
None of these single issues are fatal to the Perry campaign, but voters have to be wondering, why is Rick Perry considered the front-runner?
Losers: All of the rest
Michele Bachmann did OK and I can see her doing well in Iowa. But, her vision is narrow, has no executive experience and her voice grates on me after a few minutes.
Jon Huntsman – made wise-ass jokes about Nirvana and immigration (to Perry) and has revealed him as the rich, arrogant ass that he is. Huntsman is through with his Presidential run for this year and all time. Done – put a fork in him.
All of the rest have NO chance and debate organizers should limit the number of participants to 3 or 4, plus any newcomers.
The GOP Establishment must be scrambling this morning after Rick Perry’s implosion. There are better GOP candidates out there and they should be asked to run. Mitch Daniels, Chris Christie, Rudy Giuliani, Paul Ryan are all better candidates, than any in the field. Sarah Palin probably won’t run, but she could beat these characters.
If this is the best field, then you go with Romney, run the Senate races hard and keep your fingers crossed that Obama is so weak that Romney can manage a small win. The GOP will hedge its bets by winning the U.S. Senate and effectively blocking the lame duck Obama.
I was very disappointed in this debate and am certainly not as optimistic that Obama will be a one term President as I was prior.