Florida Debate Highlights: plus Final Score

posted at 10:21 pm on January 24, 2008 by Bryan

To be honest, this debate has been a snore. But here are a couple of semi-interesting moments. In the first, Mike Huckabee makes some sense on the economic stimulus. He says, essentially, if we’re going to borrow $150 billion from China to finance the stimulus package, why not use it to do something useful instead of just handing it over to be spent on goods imported from China?

That’s not crazy. Chances are, people will spend their rebates on TVs and other consumables that’s imported. That’ll help American retailers and importers but not manufacturers. While it would be better just to cut taxes and cut spending and the government as far from all our wallets and lives as possible, if you’re going to borrow and spend, let’s at least widen I-95, put Americans to work on it and get some long-term benefits from the project. The residents of the eastern seaboard would probably concur. The problem with the idea, though, is that it’s regional. It would only buy votes on one coast, and Washington has its eye on buying votes in all 50 states.

In the second, Mitt Romney is asked whether the war in Iraq was worth the sacrifice and effort. He delivers the best answer of the bunch and punches the hippies in the Democrat party to boot.

Update: Here’s the Chuck Norris, “Is McCain too old to be president?” question.

Update: Here’s Rudy Giuliani reacting to the NYT’s endorsement of McCain. It’s obvious from the angle that Brian Williams took in asking the question that it’s a lefty hit. Conservative Republicans don’t give a rip what the NYT thinks. Its endorsement of McCain will not help him win a single conservative vote. That endorsement makes Rudy look more conservative than McCain.

And for one more video, head over to Gateway Pundit to see Mitt Romney criticize “General Hillary Clinton.” Heh.

Last Update: Here’s Mitt Romney wondering aloud about the wisdom of sending Bill Clinton to the White House with nothing to do.

My Final Score: Ron Paul aside, this was a substantive debate. Very civil, more low key than I expected of the direct question round. With so much on the line on Tuesday and this debate serving as the candidates’ introduction to the people of Florida, they all acquitted themselves well. I can’t say the same for the moderators, who tried to play gotcha all night.

McCain, Giuliani and Huckabee all had their moments, but overall, the winner was Mitt Romney. His answers on Iraq, the economy, using his personal wealth to run for the presidency and how he’ll fix Washington were all substantive, authoritative and right. He is positioning himself as the lone conservative in the race, and given the competition he is the most conservative candidate now.

All of that said, I’m sure I’m not the only one who missed Fred.


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Bill Kristol raised the possibility of a McCain/Romney ticket this morning to meld the war hawk with the economic hawk.

Buy Danish on January 25, 2008 at 10:44 AM

The whisper must have been one of the commentators. My guess is that one commentator asked the question, and the other thought the question was supposed to include ” – he raised taxes” at the end.

There could not possibly anyone behind Mitt whispering to him – a million people on the side would have seen it.

Jeez people.

oh, and ‘go Mitt.’

Ludwig on January 25, 2008 at 10:50 AM

Sadly it would appear you are talking about a battle when you say “war” and fail to understand the actual war. We did not start this war, we did start the battle for Iraq. A battle which we won. We then began a second battle against the terrorists (MSM’s ‘insurgents’) inside the theater of that battle while trying to secure said theater.

We fought the second battle in Iraq poorly for a while, but have since changed our tactics and will win it soon enough. Ron Paul wants to quit and lose the battle, and then continue on to lose the actual war.

If you believe the battle in Iraq is a separate “war” from all the other battles we are fighting in the actual war, you would be mistaken. It was framed that way by the MSM because they were unable to attack Bush on the Afghanistan ‘war’ (itself just one battle theater in the larger war), but with 50K+ deaths expected to happen when we went into Iraq the MSM wanted to make it seem unnecessary/wrong/etc. In order to do that they had to make Iraq a separate “war” in the minds of the American populace. And they succeeded with most people.

If we attacked Iran with military power it would still be the same War, just a new battle theater. In fact we are fighting them now in this war, just without using the Armed Forces yet.

Voidseeker on January 25, 2008 at 1:45 AM

This is easily identifiable as spin, and is not persuasive. Pretty soon you will say that we can attack Russia since she is near Iran and trades with Iran, thus making it part of the same war. Then you’ll say, well, China is communist, and Russia USED TO BE communist, so…

fossten on January 25, 2008 at 11:19 AM

Ron Paul would be much more at home on the Dem stage. He’s really an embarassment.

Big Orange on January 24, 2008 at 11:52 PM

Your ignorance is what’s embarrassing. The only area where Paul and the Dems agree is on the war. His fiscal and social positions are far more conservative than any of the Republicans.

Get a clue.

fossten on January 25, 2008 at 11:24 AM

How many times do you warn your neighbor that your going to punch him in the nose, if he dosen’t comply to the community rules, before you actually punch him in the nose!?

kcd on January 25, 2008 at 9:16 AM

According to the “Christian Leader” Jesus candidate, HuckaGibot, you must forgive him 70 times 7. Another reason why HuckaSmuck will be dispatched from the primary very soon.

csdeven on January 25, 2008 at 11:35 AM

Romney is outspending Rudy in media buys 3::1. Mitt’s and McCain’s support is weak. Rudy has the best ground game in FL and that has payed off in the early voting that started on January 14th.

After reviewing all the tabs in the most recent polling and then dialing in the early voting, I’m predicting Rudy Wins Florida by 4%

georgealbert on January 25, 2008 at 11:51 AM

Your ignorance is what’s embarrassing. The only area where Paul and the Dems agree is on the war. His fiscal and social positions are far more conservative than any of the Republicans.

Get a clue.

fossten on January 25, 2008 at 11:24 AM

First, Paul’s positions aren’t conservative, they’re libertarian. Second, Ron Paul’s fiscal positions involve in slashing any program he doesn’t like, oblivious to the fact that the Senate can refuse to pass his budget.

Ron Paul is also so idiotic he cannot keep track of what is being penned under his name in his newsletters.

I also thought of an even better way to snark Russert than Mitt did. When Russert said “what does that mean” I would have retorted “An idle mind is the devil’s workshop. Ask Juannita Broaddrick.”

BKennedy on January 25, 2008 at 12:46 PM

Except this time around they are allied with the George Soros/Moveon.org crowd and Lying, smearing and bordering into Treason terroritory with their ‘blame america’ rhetoric and outright lies in many cases.

jp on January 25, 2008 at 9:27 AM

nonsense…as usual…

Fed Up on January 25, 2008 at 1:11 PM

jp on January 25, 2008 at 10:35 AM

This whole discussion is even more interesting if you remember the book by the VA Tech prof that was posted about yesterday. According to him, the MSM distorted what Bush was saying about Iraq to such a degree that it’s hard to know what he actually said without going to the original speeches. I think that all of his other reasoning got lost in the media din, and all we remember is WMD. I’m going to have to get that book.

TX Mom on January 25, 2008 at 1:24 PM

Buy Danish on January 25, 2008 at 10:44 AM

Bill Kristol is just desperate to get McCain elected. He pushed him in 2000, too. Whatever combination it takes to get the base behind his man.

TX Mom on January 25, 2008 at 1:31 PM

I also thought of an even better way to snark Russert than Mitt did. When Russert said “what does that mean” I would have retorted “An idle mind is the devil’s workshop. Ask Juannita Broaddrick.”

BKennedy on January 25, 2008 at 12:46 PM

That would have been BEAUTIFUL….

kcd on January 25, 2008 at 1:33 PM

Taking jabs at hippies sure is fun.

JeffB. on January 25, 2008 at 2:16 PM

According to the “Christian Leader” Jesus candidate, HuckaGibot, you must forgive him 70 times 7. Another reason why HuckaSmuck will be dispatched from the primary very soon.

csdeven on January 25, 2008 at 11:35 AM

Do you dislike Huckabee just because he identified unabashedly with Jesus? Or because you don’t like his political positions?

Ad Hominem comments like this only serve to steel the resolve of Huckabee voters. I’m not a Kuchabee voter, but I almost want to vote for him now just to spite you.

Lawrence on January 25, 2008 at 3:03 PM

Ad Hominem comments like this only serve to steel the resolve of Huckabee voters. I’m not a Kuchabee voter, but I almost want to vote for him now just to spite you.

Lawrence on January 25, 2008 at 3:03 PM

Well, I hope both of you do just that.

omnipotent on January 25, 2008 at 3:49 PM

From the very beginning, Mitt Romney has been my choice so go Mitt!

txstar on January 25, 2008 at 4:10 PM

I am jumping on the Mitt bandwagon. I should have known Fred was too good to be true. Screw freddy go lately.

Go Mitt Go!

HotAirExpert on January 25, 2008 at 4:18 PM

Do you dislike Huckabee just because he identified unabashedly with Jesus? Or because you don’t like his political positions?

Ad Hominem comments like this only serve to steel the resolve of Huckabee voters. I’m not a Kuchabee voter, but I almost want to vote for him now just to spite you.

Lawrence on January 25, 2008 at 3:03 PM

Huck and Jesus don’t even share the same religion, nevermind anything else. Huck is a lying, duplicitous shyster who is running his entire campaign machine out of evangelical churches. He shouts “Lord, Lord! Have I not done great things for you? Did I not prophesy in your name?” and when the time comes God will say “I never knew you, depart from me, you evildoer!”

You cannot trust the man in small things, therefore it would be unwise to trust him in large ones.

BKennedy on January 25, 2008 at 5:08 PM

I did notice one of Rue Pauls fake eyebrows came half off and was all askew on his forehead. It looked like a wayward catapillar. I’m all about aesthetics, that’s why I miss Fred.

Buttercup on January 25, 2008 at 5:18 PM

did notice one of Rue Pauls fake eyebrows came half off and was all askew on his forehead.

OMG!! HAAAA!!!! HAAAAA!!!

kcd on January 25, 2008 at 5:23 PM

I am jumping on the Mitt bandwagon. I should have known Fred was too good to be true. Screw freddy go lately.

Go Mitt Go!

HotAirExpert

Like me, another former FredHead becomes a MittMan!

pseudonominus on January 25, 2008 at 5:54 PM

Coulter supported Mitt on Sean Hannity today. Good Thing or Bad thing?

As a Fredhead, I have also shifted my support to Mitt.
Aint it amazing how the the Blogs and MSM can sense the pulse of the conservative electorate and promote it for their own purposes.(profit!) lol

Nelsa on January 25, 2008 at 6:37 PM

Coulter endorsed Mitt while The Fred! was still in it. Personally I no longer think she’s all that.

Buttercup on January 25, 2008 at 8:37 PM

How nice it would be to have a president who can articulate what he stands for, and defend the defensible, in the White House, instead of squandering 7 years in mock-Texanisms and mind-muddle and the “It’s a Religion of Peace” crapzalooza.

Bye George.

Go Mitt!

ROMNEY-RUDY 2008.

profitsbeard on January 25, 2008 at 9:19 PM

Do you dislike Huckabee just because he identified unabashedly with Jesus? Or because you don’t like his political positions?

Ad Hominem comments like this only serve to steel the resolve of Huckabee voters. I’m not a Kuchabee voter, but I almost want to vote for him now just to spite you.

Lawrence on January 25, 2008 at 3:03 PM

No. I dislike HuckaGibot because he is an unabashed vile gibot. And I don’t like his political positions either.

As far as steeling the resolve of gibots goes, I really don’t care. The thing with gibots is that if you agree with them they spew more gibotry. If you disagree with them they spew more gibotry.

Yeah, great reason to vote for a gibot. Go for it.

csdeven on January 26, 2008 at 2:31 AM

WAAAAHHHH!!! No Fred. WAAAAHHHHHH!! You bunch of whining babies.

RWLA on January 26, 2008 at 10:12 AM

It’s fear dude.

Buttercup on January 26, 2008 at 6:47 PM

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