Huntsman Gingrich debate wrap.

posted at 6:30 pm on December 12, 2011 by Jazz Shaw

If you missed the live web feed of the two person debate in New Hampshire, you missed a good one. (Fortunately for you they will be replaying it on C-SPAN at 8 PM eastern.) We had a very lively discussion going on during the debate here at Hot Air, but I assure you it will be worth your time to watch the replay.

The format was, as promised, a rather casual, two person discussion on weighty topics of the day. The moderator simply provided general topics – almost entirely on foreign policy – and gave both Speaker Gingrich and Governor Huntsman ample time to explore each one in depth. There was no sniping and no “gotcha moments,” as Newt noted in his closing. The discussion points were important and both men demonstrated a remarkable depth of knowledge on matters from Afghanistan / Pakistan to Israel / Iran to China. (I’ll have a few highlights below.)

While the topics were important and handled in a scholarly way, that’s not to say that there wasn’t some subtle politicking going on, some of which became decidedly less subtle during the post-debate glad handing. I did a hit on the Jeff Kropf show in Oregon this morning and told him that this was almost a win-win for Gingrich. It was a two person event with a candidate who is essentially off the radar, but is also frequently viewed as an “establishment GOP” kind of guy who has been effectively living in New Hampshire for months. If Newt could succeed in making Huntsman look really attractive, he might bump his numbers up a bit, hopefully undercutting Romney in the only state where he’s still clinging to a lead.

To put it mildly, that portion was a success. They stayed pretty much entirely in Huntsman’s wheelhouse for the entire affair, and aside from his well formed opinions on getting out of Afghanistan sooner than the rest of the candidates, the former Utah Governor came off looking like one of the most intelligent, experienced people running for office. Whether that works to Newt’s favor in whittling away at Romney’s lead remains to be seen in the next few weeks.

Newt also put on a professorial show, demonstrating the knowledge he’s picked up and retained over decades of foreign policy work. He picked apart the various issues in great depth. The only somewhat controversial position he took was on the subject of Iran. He said that the next president would likely be put in a position to choose between assisting Israel in a ground war against Iran or standing by as nukes were unleashed from one side or the other (if not both) which could result in a “second holocaust” for the Jewish people. That one will probably be getting some play in the media in coming days.

A few other choice tidbits of note…

On the subject of China, Newt said, “If we’re to be domestically stupid, it’s impractical to ask the Chinese to be just as stupid.” That one got a lively response.

During his closing remarks, Gingrich was pointing out how important it was for the public to see meaningful, in-depth discussions of the policy matters which will shape the future. “This is not a reality show. This is reality.” Some of us were wondering if that was a subtle dig at Donald Trump, but that wouldn’t make much sense since he’ll be doing Trump’s debate this month. Either way, it was a great line.

As they were wrapping up, the moderator was joking with both of the candidates and the subject of doing a two person format with Mitt Romney came up. He said, “I’ll bet you ten thousand dollars he doesn’t show up.”

New responded with. “You just showed who the real loser of this debate was.”

All in all, I very highly recommend you catch the replay of this on C-SPAN tonight. It was informative, productive and provided valuable information to everyone considering their choices in the coming election. I wish we could have more meetings like this pairing up the various candidates still in contention.

Additional Note: By the time it was over, Huntsman had challenged Romney to a similar format debate in New Hampshire. Let’s see if he accepts.

Of course, it also gave Newt a chance to once again point out that, if nominated, he would challenge Barack Obama to a series of seven of these types of meetings, three hours in length each.

For a moment, Newt Gingrich succeeded in making me feel sorry for President Obama.

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Comment pages: 1 2 3

TheRightMan on December 13, 2011 at 12:13 AM

I could tell right off that it was a newbie, because of the “if” before the “you are delusional.”

notropis on December 13, 2011 at 12:29 AM

Strike that: reverse it: “if” after the “you are delusional.”

Channeling my inner Gene Wilder….

notropis on December 13, 2011 at 12:30 AM

Oh, yes … that would be swell having another effete liberal Secretary of State pushing the White House and congress on Cap and Tax and Green Initiatives.

Jaibones on December 13, 2011 at 12:11 AM

The SoS is generally more concerned with international relations, free trade agreements, dealing with the nonsense coming out of the United Nations and the like than er….domestic energy policy. Unless you’re concerned about Huntsman single handedly goading a Republican administration and a (probably) Republican Senate into signing on to something like Kyoto II (you’re nuts if you do), then Huntsman’s position on global warming has no more to do with his ability to perform the duties of SoS than, say, Tom Ridge’s pro-choice position on abortion had to do with his ability to perform the duties of Homeland Security Director.

The bottom line is that Huntsman clearly knows his stuff on the foreign policy front, and to his credit hasn’t buckled to trendy populist/protectionist rhetoric as Romney and (I think) others have vis a vis China. I didn’t hear a single thing tonight that puts Huntsman outside of the GOP mainstream on foreign policy. On the contrary, he was reasonable, thoughtful, and wholly committed to his stances on some pretty complex issues. That’s the type of person we need running the State Department, not some big name who’s otherwise unqualified (Clinton).

LukeinNE on December 13, 2011 at 1:15 AM

But think about it this way, they do not trust you to begin with to do what is best for yourself, it is why they mandate it to be done, and we all know the government is going to have to fund all the debt that is going to build up between now and when Ryan’s plan finally balances the budget sometime around 2050, so I think I know where that money is going to go, and I can imagine we all know that you will not be getting half the interest that the S&P 500 increases per year.

astonerii on December 12, 2011 at 8:34 PM

Oh, we ain’t seen nothing yet.

But, we Conservatives will continue to sit around railing against the usual boogeymen, while our “friends” accrue more power and wealth for themselves and generally screw us over while we dream of returning to 1955 prosperity, Patriotic virtues, Christian values and fiscal sanity. In the meantime our Liberty and our personal opportunities will evaporate and be replaced by Socialism and UN mandates.

The witch hunts and Inquisitions against Libertarians, moderates and other heretics will, however, continue along with the ever meaningful attacks against elementary school teachers, SEIU waiters, illegal fruit pickers and gardeners, pensioned lifeguards, overpaid transit workers and other obvious threats to our way of life.

No wonder Bill Ayers always has that little smirk on his face…he knows they’re winning.

Dr. ZhivBlago on December 13, 2011 at 2:51 AM

astonerii on December 12, 2011 at 8:44 PM

This is utterly maddening to see excuses for Newt like what you’re making.

The Fairness Doctrine is 3 strikes he’s out. Newt supported a constitutional violation of free speech.

Newt supported federal mandates – before he was against them, so he’s got nothing on Romney. Same with Newt on Global warming mandates.

Newt accepted money from Freddie Mac quite recently, they one of the causes of the Great Recession we’re in right now.

Newt is a total disaster.

scotash on December 13, 2011 at 2:58 AM

If we choose Newt, we are handing the election to Obama. Sorry to say it, but if you doubt my analysis, go watch the new “Think Progress” ad against Newt.

If we choose Newt, Obama can bludgeon him to death with Newt’s own record and words! What is that you say? Oh, Newt can get Obama on his record… yeah right! Did you forget the MSM eats out of Obama’s pocket? Anything Newt can swing at Obama, that he is not guilty of himself, will NEVER hit the airwaves!

The dems are praying for a Newt fight!
Oh, what is that you say again? Oh, Newt can debate? So could Obama, and he had the help of the media spin, and he will have it again.

Please, Please, Please vote your Principles and do not fall for the meme that “only Newt/Romney can beat Obama”, it isn’t true. My dog could beat Obama because his record is clean!!

And for everyone that questions who and what I stand for, I will be voting with the conviction of my morals and for the candidate that most closely mirrors my values; Santorum. Each one of you will have to decide for yourself who mirrors your beliefs.. but PLEASE do examine yourself and your stances before you vote.

Am4Constitution on December 13, 2011 at 4:52 AM

Am4 its time for your Paul to drop. Easy to see through you. Pushing Santorum BS to slide votes away from the top. I guess the write in votes for Cain was overuled.

Gedge on December 13, 2011 at 5:10 AM

I’m curious what this does to the Mormon favorability vote. Where is the the Luntz Morman room?

Gedge on December 13, 2011 at 5:13 AM

LukeinNE on December 13, 2011 at 1:15 AM

Huntsman’s foreign policy experience is completely limited to Asia, and maybe even to China. That’s valuable experience and knowledge, I agree, but on Europe he’s a parochial Utah Mormon.

More to the point, on the primary responsibility of Secretary of State he would be dealing with social Democracies with which he agrees completely on idiot global warming issues … in total conflict with his party. No, he can’t make the Senate vote his opinion, but they also can’t control what he tells the EU. Why invite disaster?

Jaibones on December 13, 2011 at 6:34 AM

Newt is a great debater, but let’s be serious: Fannie/Freddie, Amnesty II, Health Mandates, Fairness Doctrine, Adultery….this guy would run to the left of Bill Clinton, and below his gutter as well.

Kakalak Pundit on December 13, 2011 at 7:07 AM

Big thinking Frugal Socialist……..meets Obama with puffy white hair and a Georgetown accent.

No thanks.

PappyD61 on December 13, 2011 at 7:32 AM

On the subject of China, Newt said, “If we’re to be domestically stupid, it’s impractical to ask the Chinese to be just as stupid.”

That reminds me of a great quote from C. S. Lewis on “Democratic Education” (in Present Concerns) where he berates the movement to abolish compulsory subjects in schools because some students aren’t good at them. His conclusion:

The improbability that a nation thus educated could survive need not be laboured. Obviously it can escape destruction only if its rivals and enemies are so obliging as to adopt the same system. A nation of dunces can be safe only in a world of dunces.

JS on December 13, 2011 at 7:46 AM

There is a big difference between capitalism and influence peddling.

RasThavas on December 12, 2011 at 6:57 PM

Got that, Mr. Immelt?

Barnestormer on December 13, 2011 at 7:58 AM

Perhaps the ‘reality show’ comment by the former speaker was just a commentary on our ‘culture’?

avgjo on December 13, 2011 at 8:20 AM

Is so-called influence peddling or consulting not capitalism? Should they be made illegal? If your advice has value then why not sell it to someone who is willing to buy it? Please explain.

Pragmatic on December 13, 2011 at 8:43 AM

If Newt gets the nomination, I predict Obama will refuse to debate him.

The Rogue Tomato on December 13, 2011 at 9:08 AM

Newt is amusing and oftentimes brilliant—but he’s a moderate liberal in conservative clothing. His intellectual ego must, indeed, be enormous, if he cannot control his pandering of the elitist left.

Oracleforhire on December 13, 2011 at 9:12 AM

For all the people saying that a Newt nomination will hand the election to Little o, are you backing Romney? This has been done to death. Such and such isn’t electable. They are a and they will hand the election to Little o. Just a few posts later we find out that Romney is the only obvious choice if we want to take the presidency. He only gets around 30% of conservative Republican support for a reason. Quit trying to make him more palatable by offering justifications for issuing a healthcare mandate in his state.

JAGonzo on December 13, 2011 at 9:34 AM

I hate the first week or so after open registration….

notropis on December 12, 2011 at 7:02 PM

me too.

wi farmgirl on December 13, 2011 at 9:44 AM

For all you antiNewts: I seem to recall that Ronald Reagan was fairly liberal on some issues, and he had been married TWICE! (sacralige). He was widely painted as unelectable by establishment Republicans. What he had was a clear vision of where this country needed to go and how to get there, and the will to get there. We need to get back to being a nation of hard work and ideas, and Newt can certainly take us there.

I also have to say that of what I could understand, Jim Huntsman sounded knowledgeable. But my gut tells me he is phony. That’s the same gut that was ralfing all over my computer screen when he was talking. Difference between Romney and Huntsman? Both are used car salesmen. I would buy a used car from Romney, but no way would I buy one from Huntsman.

NOMOBO on December 13, 2011 at 10:32 AM

NOMOBO on December 13, 2011 at 10:32 AM

I agree with you about Romney and Huntsman. And even about Newt. Yes, he would make a good President, but he would disappoint Conservatives sometimes.

Reagan never disappointed us. Remember,he lived in a different time with different issues and a different type of Congress. Reagan was a trailblazer. Newt followed up in the 1990′s and deserves respect for that.

But today in 2012? I don’t know if Newt is the answer and I don’t trust him to even pull off a win in the general election.

I think Perry and even Santorum would be better candidates and better Presidents.

And remember, Reagan married a second time a few years AFTER his divorce. He didn’t cheat on his first wife with his second wife. Big difference.

Elisa on December 13, 2011 at 10:42 AM

Ruiner,

You posted 15 times on this thread and not one of your posts were favorable to the Newt.

Am I to assume that you don’t like Newt?

If so, couldn’t you just declare yourself a Newt hater in one post instead of having the forum read through 15 of your posts filled with Newt vitriol and forcing us to try to decide if you were for or against Newt.

As a newbie myself, I wish there was an “IGNORE” button that I can skip over the riff-raff and read only the constructive posts, be they for or against Newt. But constantly bombarding this site with the same negative crap just demeans you in the eyes of the rest of us who have to read your innocuous babble.

timberline on December 13, 2011 at 11:53 AM

Elisa on December 13, 2011 at 10:42 AM

Reagan never disappointed us. Remember,he lived in a different time with different issues and a different type of Congress. Reagan was a trailblazer. Newt followed up in the 1990′s and deserves respect for that.

Reagan was an honest man with ideas and the will to empower them. Issues and Congresses are transcendental. The ability to develop, articulate, defend, and put into place good ideas is what we should be looking for. Newt possesses these qualities. Is he flawed? Of course, who isn’t? Is he Reagan? Of course not, Reagan was once in a lifetime. But Newt knows well enough what worked for Reagan and seems to be emulating it now in its essence. Good enough for me.

NOMOBO on December 13, 2011 at 12:12 PM

I hate the first week or so after open registration….

notropis on December 12, 2011 at 7:02 PM

me too.

wi farmgirl on December 13, 2011 at 9:44 AM

Hey, I’m a noobie. Open registration saved me the tsouris of arguing with all those liberal progressives at the Washington Post, and getting nowhere with them. This place is much friendlier.

NOMOBO on December 13, 2011 at 12:33 PM

Am4 its time for your Paul to drop. Easy to see through you. Pushing Santorum BS to slide votes away from the top. I guess the write in votes for Cain was overuled.

Gedge on December 13, 2011 at 5:10 AM

I do not support Paul, most of his stuff is okay, but his foreign policy is wack! I could never vote for someone that would not defend America and Israel or has said all of those crazy things.

Sometimes us posters ARE who we say we are! I really will vote for Santorum, because he shares my morals and values. You sir, sit on here and call people out, but exactly who made YOU the end-all-be-all judge of each commenters motives on this site?

Of coarse, I will support the repub nominee in the General(but if it is Newt, he will loose, watch and see), but I would like to vote for who I like first.

Am4Constitution on December 13, 2011 at 1:02 PM

Of coarse, I will support the repub nominee in the General(but if it is Newt, he will loose, watch and see),

Am4Constitution on December 13, 2011 at 1:02 PM

Am4, guys like you said the same thing about Reagan, and look what happened. We will watch Newt run in the General, and we will see him win. He will be running against someone who he will accurately paint as unelectable.

Santorum would make a very good President, but unfortunately he IS unelectable. The general populace is not ultra religious conservative, and that’s what Santorum wants to shove down their throats. I would not mind that, but they will.

NOMOBO on December 13, 2011 at 1:32 PM

Am4, guys like you said the same thing about Reagan, and look what happened. We will watch Newt run in the General, and we will see him win. He will be running against someone who he will accurately paint as unelectable.

Santorum would make a very good President, but unfortunately he IS unelectable. The general populace is not ultra religious conservative, and that’s what Santorum wants to shove down their throats. I would not mind that, but they will.

Guys like me VOTED for Reagan.. try again! Newt will lose because he does not have clean hands and Obama and the MSM will use that to win. Simple.

Santorum is unelectable why? He doesn’t care what your religion is, nor is he proposing imposing his beliefs on you, or me. He just believes and he isn’t ashamed of it. (He is for family values, and just think about how far our country has degenerated over the last century, a little bit of values couldn’t hurt, but he still would never legislate it!!) Santorum will allow each person to make that decision for themselves, cohersed religion is not the path to salvation.. Santorum KNOWS this! Don’t fall for the “unelectable meme” it simply isn’t the truth!

Am4Constitution on December 13, 2011 at 3:56 PM

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