Via Gateway Pundit, the exchange of the night thus far and the answer to the key question before the debate. Namely, would Perry retreat from his book and call for saving Social Security or would he double down on the idea of radical change? The answer: Er, yes. He says outright here that he won’t take the program away; earlier he declared, “The people who are on Social Security today need to understand something, slam-dunk guaranteed: That program is gonna be in place.” But as you’ll see, he also reaffirms his interest in giving the states a bigger role. Where does that leave seniors who might have been jittery after the first debate about what he’d do with a free hand on entitlements?
Granting that “politics ain’t beanbag,” Romney’s starting to grate when attacking on this issue. By the time we get to the Florida debates, he’ll be fanning himself onstage whenever Perry says “Ponzi scheme” to keep from being overcome by the vapors. I hope he’s convincing centrists because he’s surely alienating some base voters.