Florida Debate Highlights: plus Final Score

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.