I’m back for another installment of the Real Right Republican. Today I want to go over August 11th’s Fox News Channel’s Presidential debate, as well as today’s Iowa Straw Poll from the campus of Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa.
Thursday night’s debate was undoubtedly the most important for every candidate. Some candidates were trying to rebound from a poor performance in the CNN New Hampshire debate, while some were trying to make one last plea to GOP voters to head to Ames to vote for them in the crucial Iowa Straw Poll. With so much on the line, emotions were high and there were plenty of sparks. As for my analysis, I’m going to break it down into 4 sections: my candidate Herman Cain‘s performance; some valid points made by other candidates; some of the night’s best battles between candidates and finally the winners and losers of the night.
I’d like to begin with my observations on the performance put forth by my personal favourite in the field; Herman Cain. In his usual role as the non-politician, he was one of the only candidates to directly answer the questions asked of him and give some real policy solutions. When asked about his controversial remarks on Islam, Mr. Cain plainly re-stated that he vehemently supports the First Amendment and everyone’s right to practice their religion, but he will not tolerate the effort by some to have sharia law used in American Courts. He was also asked about what he would do about illegal immigration. His response was a precise 4 step solution that he has been advocating for quite some time, along with some light-hearted humour; joking that America needs to learn how to take a joke. When asked about his economic plan he proceeded to talk about lowering personal and corporate tax rates, lowering the capital gains tax and stop taxing repatriated profits in order to bring jobs back to America from overseas and then make these tax cuts permanent. To this response, Cain was pressed with a follow up question questioning whether eliminating taxes on repatriated profits would work seeing as this policy didn’t work in the past. Mr. Cain was able to explain that it hadn’t worked before, because it wasn’t coupled with the other cuts he is proposing and it wasn’t made permanent. The final topic Mr. Cain was asked to address was the battle over the debt ceiling and what he would have done differently. His response outlined his opposition to the raising of the debt ceiling and the fact that he would have cut spending on a program by program basis, using performance matrices as his guide. All in all for Mr. Cain, it was a great night when it comes to clarifying some of his controversial remarks, as well as getting his message out in the limited time he had to speak.
The rest of the 2 hour debate also provided some great moments though. In my opinion, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum both made a few great points. Santorum touched on the fact that the American middle class jobs are now being done in Indonesia, Malaysia and China and the President of the United States needs to lead the charge in bringing those jobs back to America. This point couldn’t be more true. Unfortunately for Santorum, the best policy to address this issue belongs to….Herman Cain (see the permanent elimination of taxes on repatriated profits). Santorum also touched on the fact that though States Rights are important in America, there are some things that the federal government must protect, especially when it comes to the moral fiber of the country. Another great point made by another one of the candidates at the debate came from none other than Mitt Romney. He touted his private sector experience, as well as his adversary Herman Cain’s private sector experience, saying that if you want someone who knows how to create jobs, you must vote for one of those two candidates. As someone who strongly believes in the private sector, I could not agree more with Governor Romney, but giving a shout out to my man Herman Cain is really what I liked about this comment. When it comes to the former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich, he made many great points on a variety of topics. Whether it was about the bureaucratic mess within the Department of Homeland Security, or his proposal to make English the official language of the American government, Gingrich hit home with a lot of Americans. He also railed against the super committee sideshow which is in charge of finding approximately 1.2 trillion dollars of spending cuts over the next 10 years. There were also many points put forward in the midst of heated exchanges, which provided some great entertainment for parts of the 2 hour debate.
Throughout the 2 hour long spectacle, viewers were able to see a few heated exchanges, involving 5 of the candidates on the stage. The first sparring match of the night was between Michele Bachmann and Tim Pawlenty, after Tim Pawlenty tried to make a stand and go after Michele Bachmann’s track record of failure. You can see that standoff here. Next up to get a little heated under the collar was Newt Gingrich, when he went after the moderator Chris Wallace for asking what he considered a “gotcha question”. Gingrich later explained that this question irked him more than usual, simply because the moderators asked the candidates to put away the talking points, and he simply wanted them to do the same with their “gotcha questions”. You can see that exchange here. Finally, a little later on in the night, candidates Ron Paul and Rick Santorum went after each other over foreign policy (no real shocker here, Paul was bound to get blasted by someone on the stage for his against the grain views on foreign policy). This one was probably the best feud of the night, and you can enjoy that confrontation here.
In the end, it was a great debate, covering a wide variety of topics and promoting a great dialogue, which brought forward many great points from more than one candidate. However, as is the case with any debate, there must be winners and losers. When it comes to Thursday night, I believe there were a few winners and a few losers. When it comes to those who did not have a great night, it’s no surprise that former Governor Jon Huntsman failed to drum up any more support, and that Tim Pawlenty’s aggressive strategy backfired. However, in my opinion, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann should also be placed in the category of losers in this debate. This is because, though she managed to paint Governor Pawlenty as a big government Republican, she failed, once again, to put forward any substantive policy proposals. For the last month and a half or so, she has been campaigning on a few big points. First is her vote against raising the debt ceiling, which is funny considering just a few years ago, she voted for Obama’s infamous stimulus package, which gave nothing in return to the Republicans at all. Then there’s the fact she was born in Waterloo, Iowa. If you’re a Republican and you did not know that Bachmann was born in Iowa, I urge you to remove your head from the sand and join us here in the real world. Finally, there are plenty of platitudes she is using to campaign on (I am pro-life, I am pro-gun, let’s make Obama a one term President, etc.). This woman seriously needs to start proposing some concrete policy, before more people realize just how shallow her campaign is. The winners Thursday night were those who talked policy and answered the questions they were asked. These 3 people were all from the “lower tier” of candidates and were Herman Cain, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich. The rest of the candidates all did a solid job and avoided a disaster, but also did not stand out or make an impression like the aformentioned candidates did.
That wraps up my debate analysis. As usual, please comment with you think about the debate, I always like to talk Presidential politics. Also, please don’t forget to share this on facebook, twitter and by email with the links at the bottom of the screen, and like the facebook page titled realrightrepublican. It’s imperative that we spread the message to defeat Barack Obama and about the man who is best qualified to do it, Herman Cain.
The Real Right Republican