Video: Where Herman Cain won the debate

posted at 9:25 am on September 23, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Both Mitt Romney and Rick Perry had poor debate performances last night, as I wrote in my earlier post. The rest of the field did reasonably well, even apart from comparing them to the two frontrunners who seemed more interested in attacking each other than giving answers to the questions. Michele Bachmann improved but lost any gains when she attempted to say that she hadn’t claimed that HPV causes mental retardation, but that she just regurgitated the claim repeatedly on national television because someone told her it did. Er … okay.  Newt Gingrich dialed down the media hate but also faded into the scenery a bit.  Gary Johnson had one good line in his first debate, which he apparently cribbed from Rush Limbaugh.

The only two to gain real notice, however, were Rick Santorum and Herman Cain.  Santorum mixed it up well with Rick Perry on border and later on foreign policy.  On the former, Santorum came across a bit weak; visiting a California border station once several years ago is not the same thing as governing a state for eleven years with a border of 1200 miles, and Santorum made it a bit worse by trying to continually interrupt Perry’s rebuttal, to the point where Chris Wallace had to tell him in effect to pipe down and wait for a question.

Santorum did much better on the question of Pakistan and rogue nukes if the Taliban scored a coup there, but he offered essentially the same answer as Perry, only coherently.  No responsible candidate would say what Fox apparently wanted to hear, which is that we’d invade Pakistan to grab the nukes if the Islamists took over the country, so both talked about avoiding that consequence in the first place by building relationships.  Perry talked about building relationships with India, however, which is at best a non-sequitur for the hypothetical given; a friendship with India won’t help in the case of a coup, and our relationship-building with India has to be handled subtly so as not to encourage the Islamists in Pakistan.  Santorum got this right by emphasizing that the relationships that matter in the hypothetical are with Pakistanis, not the Indians.

Cain, however, delivered the answer of the night on an issue about which voters care more, and the answer was devastating mainly because of its personal nature:

This is the best argument against ObamaCare and government encroachment in health care.  The more government becomes part of the process, the more control bureaucrats gain and patients lose.  If anyone doubts that, just look across the border to Canada and see how much personal choice patients have in treatments and access.  More than that, Cain’s answer applies to overregulation in general, and it serves as a pretty good explanation for the economic stagnation we are currently enduring.  The more capital and control we assign to government rather than letting stakeholders use their own capital, the less economic innovation and flexibility we have, which means less growth and fewer jobs.

It didn’t hurt that this answer came late in the debate, either.  People might give Santorum the edge in the debate outcome, but this is the moment people will be discussing around the water cooler.

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Instead of a spotlight, a flashlight would be more appropriate.

Buy Danish

Or a fleshlight, for her more hardcore cult members.

Not to insult the wonderful you or anything but that is petty…


It’s also true. Pretending otherwise won’t make her voice more appealing. Just because you don’t like these criticisms doesn’t mean they aren’t an issue.

xblade on September 23, 2011 at 4:38 PM

Obama will come up with a story about how he too is a survivor of having an object removed from his colon. Unfortunately for him, it will turn out to be Chris Matthews.

sgtstogie on September 23, 2011 at 5:33 PM


Red State State of Mind on September 23, 2011 at 8:17 PM

In presidential match-ups with Obama, Herman is only down 3 percent in latest Zogby and 7 percent in his latest Rasmussen match-up. That is not bad at all considering he only has a 50 percent name I.D. at this point. Cain can win this. He just needs people to support him instead of buying into the media’s hype. And both of those polls were before his great debate performance last night! Go Herman!!


squeek71 on September 23, 2011 at 2:09 PM

This is very good. Thanks for posting it.

Elisa on September 23, 2011 at 9:11 PM

I support Perry because Cain was going no where in the polls and with money (which is necessary).

But I agree with so many of the comments here that I can’t even quote them all.

I have always loved Cain. Cain has been my first choice all summer. Would make the best President, the best candidate and is the most electable.

If Cain started rising in the polls, I would switch in a heartbeat from Perry. (Who did very poorly last night, but one debate is not fatal and can be overcome.)

Besides all the many reasons to respect and love Herman Cain, I would want him running just so I could hear him say “Chilean” over and over. lol
Seriously though, I while I still have respect for Santorum, I don’t think he will come off well in a general. A bit whiny. But a man of great integrity who would make a great President.

Bachmann is off my radar now. Can’t see her as a good candidate.

Palin has lost some of my respect and she has lost my trust. If she was the nominee I would support her, but not with my heart and I still have serious doubts that she can overcome her negatives enough to win in enough states. States which in 2012 could easily go to Cain or Perry.

So maybe a miracle will happen and Cain will rise in the polls. Because he is a Godsend to the Republican party and this country.

He would mop up the floor with Obama.

Elisa on September 23, 2011 at 1:14 PM

The only way that will happen is if people who like him support him now, not later. If people hold off on support, his numbers will remain static. He has a lot of fans out there. Folks just need to go ahead and support him and believe in him… and donate.

He is by far the best candidate IMO.

squeek71 on September 23, 2011 at 2:19 PM

He is by far the best candidate and you are correct in saying we should be supporting him early.

Elisa on September 23, 2011 at 9:13 PM

Thanks, Hawk.

Got this in an email today and thought you and others might like it:

My wife and I were in slow-moving traffic the other day and we were stopped behind a car that had an unusual Obama bumper sticker on it.

It read: “Pray for Obama. Psalm 109:8″.

When we got home my wife got out the Bible and opened it up to the scripture.

She started laughing & laughing. Then she read it to me.
I couldn’t believe what it said. I had a good laugh, too.

King James Version
Psalm 109:8 ~ “Let his days be few; and let another take his office.”

Elisa on September 23, 2011 at 9:27 PM

Sorry, wrong thread.

Elisa on September 23, 2011 at 9:27 PM

I am definitely behind Cain. I have seen this guy several times on the debates….seen lots of his interviews. Checked out his website. He has something that Romney lacks… authenticity.

I do not believe for a SECOND that this is a two-man race between Romney and Perry. This is only the media at work again. Apparently, in Orlando, Cain had some pretty large numbers at his gatherings prior to the debate.


MikeM on September 23, 2011 at 10:38 PM

Cain/Anyone but that warbly voiced
rollthedice on September 23, 2011 at
9:31 AM

your drug addict hooker daughter is running

how grand for you

Sonosam on September 24, 2011 at 2:45 AM

Instead of a spotlight, a flashlight would be more appropriate.

Buy Danish

Or a fleshlight, for her more hardcore cult members.

Not to insult the wonderful you or anything but that is petty…


It’s also true. Pretending otherwise won’t make her voice more appealing. Just because you don’t like these criticisms doesn’t mean they aren’t an issue.

xblade on September 23, 2011 at 4:38 PM

The usual hollow nastiness of the typical anti-Palin ‘bot. You’re not convincing anyone.

ddrintn on September 24, 2011 at 1:00 PM

I love Cain; I hope he plays a strong role with the nominee

RedSoxNation on September 24, 2011 at 7:58 PM


amend2 on September 24, 2011 at 11:55 PM

That’s it? We should elect him because fought through cancer?

As much as I admire his determination and courage and his business experience in Godfather’s Pizza and the Federal Reserve, He even has experience in speaking to the public and writing weekly columns, like Reagan, but I’m not persuaded he’s ready to be President. Vice-President, maybe, but he’s has very little political experience. That’s why I have a rule of thumb about voting only for former governors. He’d certainly make a fine Secretary of the Treasury, too.

flataffect on September 25, 2011 at 3:38 AM

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