Winners and Losers from Last Night’s GOP Debate

Our friends at “The Fix” provide the rundown on last night’s Republican Presidential debate. Mitt Romney did well. Michele Bachmann did not. And Rick Perry…well:

WINNERS

* First 45 minutes Rick Perry: With all eyes on him, the Texas governor started out strong – delivering a solid answer on jobs and showing a willingness to mix it up with Romney. He was confident without being brash and seemed well versed – or at least well rehearsed – on the issues of the day. If the debate ended after 45 minutes, we might be talking about how Perry had dispelled all doubts about his readiness for the national glare of a presidential race and all it entails.

LOSERS

* Last Hour Rick Perry: After a strong start, Perry seemed to lose focus – meandering on his answer on Social Security and badly fumbling on climate change. Some of Perry’s struggles in the middle portion of the debate had to do with the fact that he was getting tough questions and having to weather a steady attack from his opponents – he joked at one point that he had become a “pinata” – but that’s what you get when you’re the frontrunner. Perry salvaged the second half of the debate with a very strong answer on the death penalty. But his uneven performance will likely keep the conversation about whether he is a clear frontrunner alive, which is not what the Perry forces wanted.

22 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Libertad 2.0 says:

    That did not happen. But I admire his desire to kill the mentally ill and keep out illegals. He’ll make an excellent foil to Romney’s straight man.

  2. Fidel's dirt nap says:

    Bout sums it up:

    Which GOP candidate do you like best?

    Thanks for being one of the first people to vote. Results will be available soon. Check for results

    Mitt Romney

    16 % Mitt Romney

    23 % Rick Perry

    4 % Michele Bachmann

    14 % Ron Paul

    5 % Other

    38 % None of them

  3. GalapagoLarry says:

    Rachel has rapidly solidified her leadership among the evening hosts (all networks, frankly) and handled the post-debate back and forth very crisply and in a lively manner. The rest of the field evidenced that they were actually listening to the debate and shared what I thought was a pretty wide range of inferences, given the obviously limited (liberal) range of the MSNBC lineup. I especially enjoyed the (mild) dustup between O’donnell and Schultz about Perry’s messaging.

    Another highlight: Santorum stood his ground well against Mathews’ wrongheaded attempt to manufacture a “social issues” headline out of nothing. Sometimes Mathews tries too hard to be the BMON. Santorum came across as affable and smart, something I hadn’t noticed before, since his beliefs are so goofy and uninformed.

    For those who missed it, don’t miss the next one. Republicans are quite entertaining. Sort of like penguins.

  4. GalapagoLarry says:

    Too bad they’re not taking Cain and Huntsman seriously. Huntsman is the most intelligent of the bunch; too bad he’s got integrity. Cain shows real leadership acumen; too bad he’s not white. Oh, well, maybe in 2016 Republicans will pay more attention to what actually makes a good president.

    Actually, it’s too bad Democrats weren’t paying more attention in 2008. I wish Obama were a better leader and showed more integrity. Oh well, I just wished in one hand and (…) in the other, now one hand is empty and I’ve got to go wash the other.

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