Videos: Mitt and Mike go a couple of rounds Update: Fred’s speech on immigration added

posted at 8:57 pm on January 6, 2008 by Bryan

Romney’s interest tonight is in pushing back the Huckabee surge; Huck wants to knock off Romney now, take over as many of his supporters as he can and move on to the bigger states that Giuliani is counting on. So it’s natural that Romney and Huckabee would duke it out tonight, and they have.

So far they’ve gone two rounds against each other directly. Round one was over whether Huckabee raised Arkansas taxes by half a billion dollars during his ten years in office. Huckabee has to be asked the question four times before he finally answers. The smarter move would have been to give his final answer first and defuse the attack. As it played out, Huckabee made himself look shifty and unwilling to answer a straightforward question. And Mark Levin says that Huck didn’t answer honestly once he finally answered.

Round two was over class warfare, and I’m including it because Romney ends it making a point that’s getting lost in all the current populism, namely, that class warfare is counterproductive to creating and maintaining a healthy economy. You can’t have wage earners without wage payers. That used to be basic Republican doctrine, but once again it’s Huckabee whose rhetoric cuts against it in a way that would be more at home on the other side of the political aisle.

I’d score both rounds for Romney, with a solid knock down in the second one. Conservatives just shouldn’t engage in class warfare.

Update: Fred knocks this speech in illegal immigration out of the park. He treats his colleagues well but gets to the heart of one of the reasons open borders policies are bad for everyone, on both sides of the border. He works in support of free trade and turns Mexico’s criticism of the US back on Mexico for its own failed policies. Well done.

Update: My final take is that this was Romney’s best night as a debater. He won the same way the Patriots win, by taking the fight to his opponents and staying on offense from start to stop. But unlike McCain, Romney can go on offense without coming across like a snarling jerk. Fred and Rudy also had good nights, though Rudy left an opening when he said he learns from his mistakes and doesn’t repeat them. Fred was particularly solid on immigration as in the clip above. As for Rudy’s line about not repeating his mistakes, wives one and two might argue with that. The boss sums it up best:

Wallace to Rudy: “Do you have too much baggage to lead the Republican party?” Rudy laughs nervously.

The answer is: Yes, he has too much baggage.

Huck was weak and evasive but he edges McCain by being less irritating.

What say you?


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What the democrats would really fear is a Romney/Thompson ticket. Romney brings the executive experience and Thompson brings the ideology that conservatives support.

PrettyD_Vicious on January 7, 2008 at 1:20 PM

On the professional you suggested – you hadn’t guessed it, and I never explained the rest, for the same reasons you gave, above. It’s something challenging and noble, though.

Entelechy on January 7, 2008 at 1:11 PM

Yeah, it was merely a preface at the time to tease you:) As to the reality – I would expect nothing less then challenging and noble from you.

She is a grand lady, indeed!

Yes. I love her very much.

Spirit of 1776 on January 7, 2008 at 1:40 PM

What the democrats would really fear is a Romney/Thompson ticket. PrettyD_Vicious on January 7, 2008 at 1:20 PM

Romney/Thompson…I like it! They both have great ideas but Fred seems to have a problem expressing them. Though I did love the way Fred schooled Huck last night about the g>Bay/Levinworth remark…I thought Fred was going to slap him!!!

kcd on January 7, 2008 at 1:47 PM

I like Fred, he just doesn’t campaign very well at all. He doesn’t get campaigning on a national level.

ThackerAgency on January 7, 2008 at 1:37 AM

You see this as a bug. I see it as a feature.

VekTor on January 7, 2008 at 1:48 PM

You see this as a bug. I see it as a feature.

VekTor on January 7, 2008 at 1:48 PM

Unfortunately it obvious that most people(coservatives)are looking at the candidates who are the most popular, not the most coservative or Fred would be blowing them away in the polls! There again, I seem to recall a certain potus that lost both Iowa & NH, went on to sweep the nation and win in a landslide….

kcd on January 7, 2008 at 1:52 PM

By the way, don’t get me wrong. I’m as guilty as any other of trying to figure out who will beat the @#%%# out of Hillary in the general and letting that sway my conservative thinking. I think most people are guilty of that at some time in theier lives:)

kcd on January 7, 2008 at 1:56 PM

Listen there Romney, those who would deny state benefits to illegal immigrants are un-Christian…

Really? I’ll be waiting for the biblical citations for this false claim.

surx on January 7, 2008 at 2:04 PM

Spirit of 1776 on January 7, 2008 at 1:40 PM

Spirit, you’re always so encouraging, polite and fair. Wherever you are, you’re a wonderful person and I’m glad to know you, even if just from the e-world. Thankfully,

Entelechy on January 7, 2008 at 2:14 PM

Fred! on Bill-O’s show tonight.. 8pm, 7cst…

stlpatriot on January 7, 2008 at 2:15 PM

Is it at ALL possible for folks to bash Huckabum, without bashing Christians?? There are faaaaaaaaarrrrrr more valid reasons to bash him because he’s not a conservative. Leave the “bible thumping” nonsense for your more idiotic, knee-jerkin’ friends.

Just a thought. That is all.

tickleddragon on January 7, 2008 at 2:47 PM

Entelechy on January 7, 2008 at 2:14 PM

I am flattered. You are too kind.

Spirit of 1776 on January 7, 2008 at 2:53 PM

I am flattered. You are too kind.

Spirit of 1776 on January 7, 2008 at 2:53 PM

Isn’t she just? She’s just adorable! :)

tickleddragon on January 7, 2008 at 2:56 PM

Just a thought. That is all.

tickleddragon on January 7, 2008 at 2:47 PM

Excellent thought/suggestion.

Spirit of 1776 on January 7, 2008 at 2:53 PM
tickleddragon on January 7, 2008 at 2:56 PM

So are the two of you.

/keeping the HA nucleus family close to bosom (in a clean way :)

Entelechy on January 7, 2008 at 3:40 PM

As usual:
FRED wins on substance
Mitt wins on style

edgehead on January 7, 2008 at 3:54 PM

Can anyone here plausibly argue that Mitt would be a stronger candidate in the South, where the Republican base of power currently resides, than Fred would? Mitt is a compromised candidate, because his credibility is in serious question. There is no way that the red states in the South are going to come out strong for a Northeast Governor whose conversion to conservatism basically occurred within the past two years. Like the old saying goes- if you didn’t grqo it, you can’t sell it. If he ran in 2016 after two terms of a Fred Thompson administration, he would have been able to soothe over concerns that his conversion to conservatism was authentic one, not an opportunistic one.

yankeegator on January 7, 2008 at 4:29 PM

Hucka-Mania and Political Speech is an oxy moron.

gr8inferno on January 7, 2008 at 5:21 PM

Can anyone here plausibly argue that Mitt would be a stronger candidate in the South, where the Republican base of power currently resides, than Fred would?

Mitt has been consistently polling higher than Fred in South Carolina and Florida. I love Fred, I think he’s one of the true conservatives in this race along with Tancredo and Hunter. But, at some point you have to be able to raise money and Fred hasn’t done that. I don’t know if he doesn’t have the connections, doesn’t know how, or simply hasn’t been able to generate enough support.

But, at this point in the race and especially in New Hampshire a vote for Fred! may as well be a vote for the McCain-Huckabee ticket, which is going to happen judging by the love fest that went on between the two of them last night.

I think Romney will do fine in the south, he’s got the best family in the race and he speaks about the life issue with the zeal of a convert. All he needs is VEEP who talks like them and the South will be on board. Maybe, Romney-Watts 2008?

joncoltonis on January 7, 2008 at 5:57 PM

Yakima?

MB4 on January 7, 2008 at 2:37 AM

Born there, left there in 67 haven’t been back since…

doriangrey on January 7, 2008 at 7:23 PM

Johnc-

I was referring who would be a stronger general election candidate, not who is currently ahead in state polls. Mitt Romney will not beat Fred Thompson in South Carolina, you can take that to the bank. In the dynamics of a general election Mitt would have very limited appeal in the south- limited regional appeal, as well as credibility issues.

I would say to you- a vote for Mitt is a vote for a McCain-Huckabee showdown. Mitt is compromised as a candidate because his credibility is compromised, probably beyond repair, in this election cycle. There are too many conservatives that would not vote for the man, and his appeal to moderates and independents is severly limited- not to mention that he has the highest negatives in the Republican field.

yankeegator on January 7, 2008 at 7:49 PM

I’m on another board with some other conservative Christians who have been big Huckabee supporters, up until the point I pointed out his liberal flaws or idiosyncrasies or whatever the Hell you wanna call them.

They say I’m obsessed, I just know a fraud when I see one. If both Huck or McCain get the nod, I’m voting for the Constitutional party candidate.

Pcoop on January 7, 2008 at 7:51 PM

Romney most definitely rocked it

Drunk Report on January 7, 2008 at 7:56 PM

Fred’s speech added?

There was nothing good about Fred last night. Romney was at his best.

CABE on January 7, 2008 at 8:22 PM

Anyone for conspiracy theories?

What are the odds that McCain and Giuliani would be the bookends at BOTH the ABC debate on Saturday AND the Fox News Debate on Sunday with Willard being placed right in the Center BOTH TIMES…?

I used to be longtime freeper before the Rudy purge last year,
i can spot bias… and Chris Wallace is starting to remind me of Dan Rather.

Chakra Hammer on January 7, 2008 at 8:28 PM

Get behind Romney if you like your 401K. Get behind Romney if you think Huckabee is a risky plan. Romeny in the caption was leaning back giving space and Huckabee was aggressive. This guy is grits and gravy Richard Milhouse without the charm.

pc on January 7, 2008 at 8:41 PM

It boggles my mind that Romney isn’t the front runner/running away with the nomination. It’s not like he’s facing Ronald Reagan reincarnated…His competition is an over the hill RINO, a guy who can’t get any juice going in his campaign, and a guy with more skeletons in the closet than Hillary Clinton. And oh yeah, the not so smart preacher guy….Oh well.

therightwinger on January 7, 2008 at 8:51 PM

Get behind Romney if you like your 401K. Get behind Romney if you think Huckabee is a risky plan. Romeny in the caption was leaning back giving space and Huckabee was aggressive. This guy is grits and gravy Richard Milhouse without the charm.

pc on January 7, 2008 at 8:41 PM

I don’t support Mitt or Huck, Rudy all the way especially on the economy and the War on Terror AND THE BORDERS!! He’s the only one that has shown that he can get real things accomplished, he did similar things like cutting the murder rate and busting up organized crime rings under very difficult circumstances he can do it again this time on the border!

Mitt basically wants a type of socialized medicine that you are forced into.. I personally don’t like the federal government forcing me to do anything!

Mitt can take a hike with his Willard-Care.

Chakra Hammer on January 7, 2008 at 9:14 PM

You do realize Tom Tancredo endorsed Mitt Romney..right?

therightwinger on January 7, 2008 at 10:38 PM

How can we correctly label Kerry as a flip flopper and then endorse Romney? I just find something too slick and fake about him. Don’t run for Gov. as a liberal and president as a conservative. Personally I lean towards Rudy, but you have to respect Huckabee for being honest to his beliefs.

arizonateacher on January 7, 2008 at 11:25 PM

arizonateacher on January 7, 2008 at 11:25 PM

Because Kerry went from liberal to conservative and then back to liberal. Mitt has moved toward more conservative positions.

csdeven on January 7, 2008 at 11:44 PM

How can we correctly label Kerry as a flip flopper and then endorse Romney? I just find something too slick and fake about him. Don’t run for Gov. as a liberal and president as a conservative. Personally I lean towards Rudy, but you have to respect Huckabee for being honest to his beliefs.

arizonateacher on January 7, 2008 at 11:25 PM

Exactly!
I don’t wanna he a hypocrite.

John f’n Kerry’s story that Christmas in Cambodia was “seared, seared” into his memory

is the same as

Mitt Romney, “I saw my daddy marching with Martin Luther King, it brought a tear to my eye.. ”

Both stories are flat out false, and both stories are self-serving to make themselves look better.

BTW, I’ve been a hunter pretty much ALL my life.. (varmints once or twice you know.. )

LOL sheesh.. OMG..

Chakra Hammer on January 8, 2008 at 3:54 AM

John Kerry, “I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it.”

Mitt Romney, “I actually was for John McCain’s Immigration plan and thought that it was reasonable and quite different from Amnesty, before I was against it.”

http://i9.tinypic.com/8alzj1y.jpg

Chakra Hammer on January 8, 2008 at 4:00 AM

If Romney didnt rub me the wrong way, I might go for him.

Nihaody on January 6, 2008 at 9:02 PM

Donate $100,000 to Mitt’s campaign and word has it he’ll rub you any way you like.

Patrick S on January 8, 2008 at 9:32 AM

Mitt got Huckabee really good, twice.

first: he asks the tax question 4 times before getting an answer. Huckabee finally defended it, but so what? you should have just made the defense follow a “yes” after the first question. dope.

second: the “im not talking to you, im talking to chris” idiocy. everyone was talking to each other in that debate including Huck, so wtf is he getting uppity for? Huckabee even, obnoxiously I think, interrupted Rudy’s religion question in that one debate by saying “do you want me to help you out with this one?” to which Rudy who wasn’t paying attention or didnt hear him at first was like huh?

Huck needs to leave this race asap before he becomes more damaged and should just run for AK senate where he would probably do fine.

Richard Bushnell on January 8, 2008 at 5:15 PM

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