Republican Debate Discussion – 9/7/11

So, how do you think each of them did?

How could they have done better?

Did you change your mind concerning any of the candidates?

Who did best?  Who did worst?

What was the biggest gaffe of the evening?


I’ll add my comments soon, as the discussion kicks in.

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About rameumptom

Gerald (Rameumptom) Smith is a student of the gospel. Joining the Church of Jesus Christ when he was 16, he served a mission in Santa Cruz Bolivia (1978=1980). He is married to Ramona, has 3 stepchildren and 7 grandchildren. Retired Air Force (Aim High!). He has been on the Internet since 1986 when only colleges and military were online. Gerald has defended the gospel since the 1980s, and was on the first Latter-Day Saint email lists, including the late Bill Hamblin's Morm-Ant. Gerald has worked with FairMormon, More Good Foundation, LDS.Net and other pro-LDS online groups. He has blogged on the scriptures for over a decade at his site: Joel's Monastery ( He has the following degrees: AAS Computer Management, BS Resource Mgmt, MA Teaching/History. Gerald was the leader for the Tuskegee Alabama group, prior to it becoming a branch. He opened the door for missionary work to African Americans in Montgomery Alabama in the 1980s. He's served in two bishoprics, stake clerk, high council, HP group leader and several other callings over the years. While on his mission, he served as a counselor in a branch Relief Society presidency.

19 thoughts on “Republican Debate Discussion – 9/7/11

  1. Why is Newt Gingrich still part of the debate pool? I’m not one for ruling out candidates who aren’t likely to win, but I’d make an exception in his case.

    Losers: Perry came across as ignorant and a bit shifty. Bachmann struck me as nearly manic in the clinical sense, although very disciplined in her messaging. Ron Paul came across like the crazy uncle of the group, although there is some merit in some of what he says.

    Winners: Romney and Huntsman seemed the most presidential. Of the two, I liked Huntsman’s answers better and thought he was more poised overall.

  2. I don’t really care who “seems” presidential. Ron Paul is the only candidate in the running that has consistently stood for both liberty and against aggressive warfare. Romney instituted government-run health care in Massachusetts… I don’t understand why Republicans, especially those who aren’t a fan of big government, even consider him an option.

  3. Based simply on the exchange of ideas, Ron Paul won that debate. The public is just uncomfortable with someone who is so upfront and honest. They prefer smooth-talkers, so they dismiss him.

  4. I agree with ldsp that Ron Paul is the best candidate. I will be voting for him in the Colorado caucuses. I think Perry has pretty much sewn up the Republican nomination, barring some revelation that he has an illegitimate daughter living in a tenement in Jakarta or something.

  5. I agree with the last part of Geoff B. about Perry pretty much sewing up the Republican nomination, but won’t be surprised if Romney does a surprise win from behind. No matter what those who like Huntsman say, he is toast and a non-issue. The fact that so many Democrats and mainstream media types think he is the best candidate makes him anathema to most Republicans. He isn’t even considered a RINO by those who matter, He is a Democrat and many in the primaries wish he would switch his party already and leave them alone.

  6. “….Perry pretty much sewing up the Republican nomination……”? You heard it here first. Perry will not be around past November. He will self destruct.

  7. I saw about half the debate.

    I think Bachmann has a strong, convincing presence and an air of rational authority far superior to Palin in the debates. It’s too bad she has sold her soul to the Tea Party, because she could have been a contender. If she had decided to play to a more establishment crowd, I think she would start to be seen for who she really is: a strong, effective politician, and would be running closer to Romney and Perry. (Her hairstyle is atrocious. She could be sexy.)

    Gingrich plays terrifically in these debates, a true career politician, perfectly poised, ever a gentleman. A bit too old, and of course way too much baggage to ever get anywhere beyond the debate.

    Both Cain and Santorum came across as desperate and irrelevant. They don’t have anything particularly unique to add to the pool of candidates, and certainly no hope of pulling ahead.

    Ron Paul will never win, and he knows that, but I think he feels morally responsible to stay, in order to provide a lone voice of honesty and consistency that is missing from politics, (indeed, it is completely useless in politics.) Perhaps he feels that one day his idealistic political world will somehow prevail.

    Huntsman’s my favorite, but this is not his moment. Maybe in another four years. A wonderful speaker, always with a twinkle in his eye, a touch of humor in his voice, oozing good nature and cool temperament, but with a cunning intelligence to match. Handsome, even sexy. But if he my some miracle does pull ahead, I think his smoothness, his dark tan and piercing good looks are going to be something he has to actually tone down. It’s not presidential enough.

    Perry is going to regret the political miscalculation of using the word “Ponzi scheme” to describe social security. It only plays well to people who hate social security, and not enough of the electorate does. It makes Perry seem like an extremist, which I don’t think he is. I think Perry’s problem is that he is a bit too cavalier. He’s trying to play “texas style” politics on the national stage, and I don’t know if that is going to work for him. It worked for Bush, because Bush was easy going, and gentle mannered. But Perry comes across as too aggressive, overly self-confident, and sometimes mean. I thought perhaps Perry was “the one” until tonight. Now I really think Romney could clinch it.

    Romney was great in this debate, unlike so many in his past. He is the most Reaganesque of any of the candidates. Like Reagan, his voice is mellifluous and pure, rolling in perfect cadences. He seems to have truly internalized his rhetoric, to really believe it, and nothing seemed strained or deceptive. Even his deflected responses sounded convincing.

    I think Romney was the winner. Both he and Huntsman made me proud to be a Mormon.

  8. For me, Ron Paul was the biggest loser. Until now, I actually considered voting for the guy. This debate revealed just how extreme and unreasonable he is—almost a “cut off the nose to spite the face” approach. Yes, he stands for many needful things, but I think he would be a true disaster of a president.

    Perry was also a loser. I didn’t know much about him and used this debate to introduce him to me. What I met was a man who will not answer questions! Drove me crazy. You ask Romney about his “sticky points”—MA health mandate, 47th in job creation, etc.—and he answers your question. Perry wouldn’t even acknowledge that Texas has terrible schools, low wages, poor health care, etc. Loser.

    El Viejo asked, “Why is Newt Gingrich still part of the debate pool?”

    Because he wants a significant cabinet post (or other important party position). That’s why he played nice to everyone. His support will be worth a few percentage points to the candidate who gets it; they know that and he’s banking on it.

    “Bachmann struck me as nearly manic in the clinical sense, although very disciplined in her messaging.”

    True. She’s totally wrong in many ways, but at least she can intelligently present and describe her ideas. (Unlike you-know-who.)

    ldsphilosopher said, “Ron Paul won that debate. The public is just uncomfortable with someone who is so upfront and honest. They prefer smooth-talkers, so they dismiss him.”

    Or they prefer someone who does not come across as an ideologue. Jus’ sayin’.

    Jettboy said: “No matter what those who like Huntsman say, he is toast and a non-issue.”

    He’s running for Secretary of State.

  9. Frankly I don’t watch debates and hardly ever watch news. My feeling is that it just stresses me out, and my stress doesn’t make any difference to the outcome, so why suffer?

    But going by the little I have seen of Perry and Romney, Perry strikes me as phony and Romney strikes me as very smart and competent. I haven’t made up my mind yet, but I’m going to start paying more attention to Romney.

    As far as the Mass. healthcare thing, I’m guessing that in a liberal state like that, he probably had to do it, and the best he could do was make it as harmless as possible under the circumstances.

    In that regard, I’m reminded of Schwarzenegger in California: He may not have been the best possible governor, but at least he was a little bit of a bulwark against total all-out liberal nuttiness. Which is better than no bulwark at all.

  10. As far as the Mass. healthcare thing, I’m guessing that in a liberal state like that, he probably had to do it, and the best he could do was make it as harmless as possible under the circumstances.

    Don’t guess. Don’t assume. A little research will reveal that he was the instigator and the mastermind behind it. He defended it for years. He believes government is the solution.

  11. Let’s avoid the “I like him, so anything he did wrong must not have been his fault” mindset. Romney really did craft and then defend the health care overhaul of Massachusetts.

  12. Ahem. Let’s be nice.

    First, I didn’t say “I like him”. I said he seems competent and I’m going to start paying more attention to him. You know, find out more and try to form a more substantive opinion of him? That kind of thing.

    Second, I did do a “a little research”, and it appears that Romney announced his healthcare proposal at a time when various other persons and entities were militating for a universal healthcare plan for MA. It appears he didn’t just come up with the idea out of the blue, but introduced his plan as an alternative to other proposed plans that were being introduced at or around the same time. This would fit in with my theory that one plan or another was going to be implemented anyway, so he may have been trying to enact one that would do less damage.

    But hey, I never claimed to be an expert on the subject. Where I am factually wrong I welcome specific correction.

  13. Jeff:

    Having done a little more reading on it, I see where you’re coming from. He seems proud of it. He doesn’t talk as if he was forced into it as the lesser of two evils. And he seemed to think the individual mandate was a super idea.

    Ah, well…

  14. While I prefer more of a Libertarian like Rand Paul (who isn’t running), I think Romney did very well. He did explain his actions in Massachusetts. Remember, folks, a state is run very differently than a nation, or should be.

    From what Ron Paul was saying, for the people of Massachusetts, they had a right to establish a health care program if they so chose to do so. Romney was working with a Democratic legislature and judiciary. Had he been governor of Utah, the program would have been more akin to Huntsman’s, I have no doubt. That he was focused on 8% of people is an important issue that needs to be addressed, where many who could afford insurance were instead taking advantage of a federal law that hospitals could not turn people away for money issues. This cost tens of millions in Massachusetts, and needed a solution that worked in line with federal regulations. Had there been no federal regulation, they could have told those that could afford insurance, “you don’t need to get it, but you will pay for what you get, or get nothing.”

    That Romney explained well the difference between Massachusetts and the nation satisfied me. As it is, the Constitution leaves most things to states, even if we do not like what that state implements.

    He did look and sound presidential. He handled the attacks from Perry very well.

    Perry, OTOH, sounded angry. I was astonished with his answers to the death penalty, Social Security, science, etc. There was no real answer or solution given, just attacks on everything. If he continues acting like a Texas candidate, rather than a US candidate, I can see him imploding eventually. And that is good for me. Of all the candidates that spoke, I was more concerned with him than pretty much any other (excepting Rick Santorum).

    Most of the questions were aimed at Romney and Perry, with a decent amount toward Huntsman, who also did a decent job. I would like to have heard more from some of the others.

    I agree that Newt remains in, not because he hopes to win, but he hopes to be able to have a good cabinet position and help direct the path. Ron Paul stays in because he is promoting liberty, even though he sometimes seems frustrated or agitated in some of his answers. I also think he’s helping keep the door open for Rand to run in 4-8 years.

    Bachmann seems to continue to disappear. Her answers were good, etc., but she did not enter into the fray, and so was not noticed.

    I think we have several decent candidates to choose from. I am concerned with Rick Perry as being a second GW Bush.

  15. In my opinion, Bachmann’s out, Cain’s out, Santorum’s out, Gingrich is out, and Paul is out.

    Perry seems all over the place, Huntsman is too sane for the base and Romney actually seemed human. Unless Perry tones things down I think Romney is going to get it. I wish Palin would have got in the race, a little extra crazy would sure make things more interesting.

  16. Christie can’t get the base now that they know he supports Sharia Law taking over the United States.

    It would add a little excitement to the mix, it’s a little boring that they could be down to two or three real candidates by the end of the year.

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