There were two Republican presidential debates over the weekend in New Hampshire leading up to Tuesday’s crucial primary, an ABC News/Yahoo debate on Saturday evening and an NBC News/Facebook debate Sunday morning. Both featured liberal moderators asking sometimes accusatory questions of the GOP candidates.
David Gregory, who hosted the NBC debate, was especially rude, often cutting off the candidates with a curt “All right…” It was totally unprofessional and an example of what we can expect in the coming election year from the mainstream Media Left.
The NBC debate, however, was more substantive but with Gregory asking at one point not “What will you do about the budget?” as he would ask a Democrat but rather he asked, “Name three areas (of budget cuts) where Americans will feel real pain”. This is the type of negative phrasing aimed at Republicans that we will see until election day.
The candidates all showed spine in their responses except Utah governor Jon Huntsman who kicked the budget-cut question down the road, only talking about “means testing” Social Security, i.e., only upper-income people will see cuts. This is pure political cowardice in light of the massive funding crises in SS. Huntsman then went on to say in a statement about energy that we must “disrupt the one-product (oil) monopoly”. This is anti-petroleum liberalism unmasked. Huntsman should be ignored.
Governor Romney accused Huntsman of being a product of Barack Obama, who appointed Huntsman ambassador to China. Romney said, “You were, the last two years, implementing the policies of this administration in China. The rest of us on this stage were doing our best to get Republicans elected across the country and stop the policies of this president from being put forward.”
According to the polls there is not likely to be a big surprise in Tuesday’s primary. Mitt Romney seems to be holding an insurmountable lead and for good reason. He was governor of next-door Massachusetts for 4 years; he has a vacation home in New Hampshire; and he has been politically organizing New Hampshire for five years – since his first presidential run which in effect began in January 2007 when he left the Massachusetts governor’s office.
And this weekend’s debates before the crucial primary showed a surprisingly strong conservative bent in Romney who said he supports a federal Constitutional amendment to define marriage as being between one man and one woman – something that would be extremely difficult to implement - and that he believed that the Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v Wade decision was flawed and that he supports overturning it.
“Frankly it made me more conservative as time has gone on,” Romney said about his evolution from some liberal views. Many conservatives do not believe him, but the fact is that people do indeed change. Because these are two genuinely conservative stands that Romney will not be able to walk back in the general election. And they are no real surprise. Mormons are generally socially conservative people. The Mormon Church was a strong backer of California’s traditional-marriage Proposition 8.
The Saturday night ABC debate did not even get around to asking about job creation until 75 minutes in. And then the tenor of the question was that somehow infrastructure repair of roads and bridges was going to be a key to economic growth. This is the Obama template. Romney wisely explained that fixing the infrastructure does not create economic growth, that private investment does.
This question proves how biased these Media Left debate commentators are. For instance the very first audience question to be plastered on the big screen inside the debate hall on Saturday night was a taunt of those opposed to homosexual marriage. That more than 10 minutes of this debate centered on homosexual marriage and contraception is a travesty when terrorism and illegal immigration were not even discussed and when the economy is the central issue on most voters’ minds.
Texas governor Rick Perry shocked many on Saturday evening when he called for sending US troops back to Iraq, which was immediately maligned by many commentators and internet commenters. Yet Perry is technically correct – Obama’s withdrawal appears to be throwing Iraq to the lions, negating all of America’s hard-fought victories in blood and treasure. Perry also spoke out strongly in favor of a balanced budget amendment and a part-time US Congress which is part of the evolving discussion among Americans about further limiting government. A few years ago this idea never would have been spoken aloud. That Perry is saying it is a true sign of the times and a good sign too.
Romney stood up well in the debates. There were some tough challenges to Romney as the front runner, but the mass attacks never really materialized showing that perhaps Romney’s nomination is becoming more and more an expected outcome – or at least that a win in New Hampshire certainly is.
Romney was confident and suffered no gaffes. Once again he explained his role at his firm Bain Capital. And for the tens of millions of voters who still believe in our free enterprise system Romney clearly explains how free markets work to provide the most liberty and prosperity.
He explained that our capitalist system is risk-based and that some companies need to be downsized to be saved, which is what Bain sometimes does. But when he explained that companies that Bain had invested in had created a net plus 100,000 jobs, some fact checkers immediately jumped on the figure because they do not want Romney to have any positive media.
In the Sunday debate, when the candidates were asked in another accusatory question if heating oil subsidies should be cut, Romney wisely and bluntly discussed the other side of the issue – that the federal bureaucracy is consuming much of the wealth that could be helping those in need, and that many of these programs must be block-granted to states.
Rick Santorum had a bounce coming out of his almost-win in Iowa but still lags far behind Romney in New Hampshire polls. Santorum is carrying the conservative banner but was criticized as a Washington insider for his votes in favor of Bush’s Medicare prescription drug program, of No Child Left Behind and for his work as a lobbyist.
Santorum took on the gay marriage issue in a highly publicized outing in New Hampshire on Friday. He explained why he believed in traditional marriage and was booed by a handful of college students and it was all over the national news. Yet 70% of Americans are essentially “booing” Obama policies every day according to some polls, a fact that the same media are conveniently ignoring.
Santorum was strong on Sunday morning, saying that “poverty is not a disability” and describing the ways in which liberals believed that federal welfare reform passed in 1995 would be “the end of the world” but that it was not.
Santorum also supports block-granting of federal programs to the states. He also was ambushed with more gay rights questions which he answered with certainty. This ongoing focus on the very minor issue of homosexuality showed more media bias.
In a broadside at Romney, Santorum charged that the nation doesn’t need a CEO, which was a critique of Romney’s private-sector experience, but said that America needs a leader who has vision. Said Santorum: “The commander in chief of this country isn’t a CEO. It’s someone who has to lead. Being the president is not a CEO. You can’t direct… members of Congress and members of the Senate as to how you do things. You’ve got to lead and inspire.”
Santorum is expected to do better in the more conservative South Carolina primary than in New Hampshire.
Newt Gingrich took the marginal issue of homosexual marriage and turned it to his advantage. He called the endless media drumbeat in support of homosexual rights a form of “secular bigotry” and “anti-Christian bigotry”.
And it is about time that a national figure started to expose this fact. Good for Gingrich. We hope to see more of this on the national level as conservatives ascend in the coming years. The gay lobby is doing everything it can to marginalize genuine Christian faith in America, working hand-in-hand with hard-left atheist activists.
Gingrich was strong in every field of questions and toned down the vitriol that he had aimed at Romney after Iowa. He seemed upbeat and positive. He said that Medicare and Medicaid “in theft alone” are wasting $100 billion a year. This is certainly true. Good for Newt. He should become a federal overseer of these wasteful programs in the next presidential administration if he himself is not elected president.
But Gingrich did take a big shot at Romney, saying, “I’m very much for free enterprise. .?.?. I’m not nearly as enamored of a Wall Street model where you can flip companies, you can go in and have leveraged buyouts, you can basically take out all the money, leaving behind the workers”, referring to Bain Capital.
Romney talked about how a nation like America that ends up building on the model of “European welfare states” is going to fail. This type of blunt language is more of what we need and Romney has been bold in making such statements as have several of the candidates. This shows that Republicans are talking much more directly and courageously than in the past, helped by the fact of Europe’s collapse. This kind of honesty will win the White House.
The issue of congressman Ron Paul must be discussed. He looked like the classic rumpled but wise old man with conservative ideas. He said on NBC that government subsidies are “bad economic policy and bad moral policy”. This is good strong language.
But it is important to remember that Ron Paul is no conservative. He is a libertarian who is supported largely by a rabid base of college students who favor Paul’s call for drug legalization. Meanwhile racist statements in Paul’s own newsletter 20 years ago don’t seem to be bothering the media, along with his call for draconian budget cuts.
Because Ron Paul is the pebble in the Republican shoe. He is dividing the electorate and causing turmoil in the primary with some of his ultra-conservative views and incendiary talk of major military withdrawals from all over the world along with other foreign policy stances that Newt Gingrich calls “dangerous”.
Ron Paul is a shill candidate. The media love him just like they loved McCain when McCain was ripping George Bush. But if Paul were ever to become the nominee (he won’t, but hypothetically) the media would chew him up.
Paul even said in the NBC debate that “conservatives are not all that well known for protecting privacy and civil liberties.”
If this does not reveal the real Ron Paul, nothing does. This is an abhorrent slander of conservatism and the opposite of the truth. Conservatism is the ultimate expression of personal and civil liberties and individual freedom.
Indeed Ron Paul is dangerous.
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