Arizona debate: Romney rights the ship, stays on course for nomination

February 23, 2012
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And then there were four

The cast was smaller but the stakes couldn’t have been bigger as the four remaining candidates for the Republican nomination for President met in Mesa, Arizona last night for yet another debate along the road to the convention.

Hosted by CNN’s John King , the setting was more relaxed than past debates with candidates being seated rather than standing and King allowing longer answers and more free-flow of conversation between the candidates.

So far your humble correspondent has either watched live or reviewed dvr’d highlights of each of the previous verbal jousts and though some were better than others, each filled in a few more blanks and all have been a service to anyone truly interested in wanting to know who could best do battle against the Obama machine that is already showing it intends to make the 2012 election the most corrosive and divisive in American history.

If you think the attacks against Hillary and John McCain were bad in ’08, you need to brace yourself for this summer and fall. The entire far left agenda is in jeopardy of being sent to the political wasteland for the foreseeable future and the minion media stands ready to defend their lover and his policies at every turn. In terms of both credibility and influence a one term Obama would be the last nail in the coffin for the so called “major” media.

But I digress.

I went in respecting Santorum for holding his ground against a media onslaught these past two weeks but having serious doubts as to whether he could rise to the occasion that his recent victories and poll surges had given him. My doubts were confirmed.

While he (Santorum) had his moments, none of them were that good and others were just plain bad. The one thing that always grated me about Santorum in past debates was his pettiness. More school yard twerp (hat tip Anson Burlingame) than national leader.

And last night was no exception. Santorum spent far too much time in the minutia of the past and let his tone and anger overshadow what little positive he had for the future. His printed economic plans are quite doable and have merit but in two hours he barely touched on them.

Instead he opined about not really supporting “No Child Left Behind” but voted for it anyway because it was Bush’s signature legislative goal and he was a “team player”. WTF? It’s “team playing” that’s gotten this country into the mess that it is. Just look at how our own Cacklin Claire McCaskill through Missouri under the bus time and time again to play on Obama’s “team”.

Santorum’s entire evening was more “who said what, he said that, that’s not true, you’re a liar, liar pants on fire” than the “I’m ready, I’m prepared, and I’ll make a great President” appearance that he needed.

Romney on the other hand had one of his best performances yet. His detail on the issues, grasp of the facts and overall demeanor had me envisioning him on stage in October going against Obama.

And if the Mitt Romney of last night shows up for that debate, Dear Leader’s in big trouble. Romney stayed on point and ticked off the failures of Obama one by one as each moment called for it and he did it in a confident, Presidential tone and manner.

He also got in one of the best zingers of the night: Romney nailed Santorum on the fact that he had not only supported turn-coat Arlen Specter over conservative Pat Toomey (who won Specter’s Senate seat in ’10) but reminded him that without Specter’s vote Obamacare wouldn’t have passed.

Santorum should have let it go, but being the petulant child that he was last night, he took the bait and espoused as to why he had supported Specter.

Earth to Rick: no one cares WHY you supported him, it’s that you DID. You might as well be running for President immediately after the Revolutionary War stating how proud you were to have had Benedict Arnold dine at your table because he was once a loyal to you.

The Corner officially predicts Romney not only secured Michigan and Arizona with his performance last night, he’s back on solid ground as the front runner and will go against Obama and his minions fully battle tested, well financed, and with a unified party in strong support.

And for the Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich supporters, save your hate mail for someone who cares. They weren’t discussed here because they weren’t relevant. Not that either of the two don’t have some good ideas that should be considered, but because you’d have to be as blind to the facts as a drunken dwainbwain to think either of the two has a viable path to the nomination.

 

POSTSCRIPT:

This past Tuesday, fellow conservative Anson Burlingame and I were having a quite lively discussion on his “anti-life” post

and the issue of Romney vs Santorum came up. Below is an excerpt of one of my comments during our mini-debate in where I outline what I see as the main reasons that it matters not what the minion media national polls show as to Obama’s level of “approval”.

So in the end whether it be Romney or Santorum I think either one quite capable of defeating Obama in November.
Because when it’s all said and done:
1. Gas is higher at this time than at any other time in history and it is Obama, not Romney or Santorum that killed Keystone, shut of millions of acres of public land from delivering our own energy and ran off who knows how many deep water rigs.
2. Inflation is real no matter what the government says and every trip to the grocery store is reminding every voter just how bad it is.
3. No matter how the White House tries to spin it, there is no denying the fact that REAL unemployment is in the mid teens and will only get worse as energy prices continue to climb
4. For the first time in modern politics more Americans than ever are engaged in the debate over the danger of out of control spending and bloated debt.
5. Small business hiring has still not picked up, is predicted not to pick up and is being crushed by the myriad of new regulations spewing forth from this administration.
6. Except for the far, far left, Americans are becoming more and more fed up with the fact that every time they turn around there’s another government this or government that mandating what they can and cannot do.

Whether it is inspecting lunch boxes in North Carolina or a TSA perv sending an attractive woman through the scanner three times Obama cannot run from the fact that it is HIS administration that has brought government into far more aspects of our lives than anything Santorum or Romney would do.

So yes, I have frustration as well, but I also remember at this time four years ago Hillary and Barack were bashing it out and end the end Barack was just fine. I also remember how at this time in 1980 the elites were laughing at the idea of a Reagan Presidency.

So sir, with all do respect, I must ask you: Keep the faith.

We may have had our schizophrenic moment in ’08 but sanity has returned and at least for now there’s still enough of us left that haven’t yet been dumbed down to see to it that come this November this country is pulled back from the cliff and still safe for future generations.

Even if by some chance Santorum pulls it out, or Gingrich rises from the ashes, real people have been really hurt by this President and more speeches and a “one percenter” convention aren’t going to change that reality no matter who the Republican nominee is.

 

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2 Responses to Arizona debate: Romney rights the ship, stays on course for nomination

  1. anson burlingame on February 23, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    My only addition to the above critique of the debate last night was the Gingrich clearly came across as the best stateman of lot. He has big, bold nad correct, in my view, views on foreign affairs, war and peace, defense spending and economic ideas domestically.

    I agree he is now history in terms of receiving the nomination. But he needs to stay very close to Romney both during the campaign and after the election. He must do so out of the public eye but his ideas are too good to not be given very careful consideration for future policies.

    Anson

    • Geoff Caldwell on February 23, 2012 at 6:10 pm

      Couldn’t agree more. He has the ideas, just doesn’t have the discipline and with his baggage his chance of sitting behind the desk in the Oval Office is slim, none, and absolutely never.

      But in the end the only thing that really matters is Obama not get another four years to finish the destruction he’s started.

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