The Most Important Debate of the Campaign?

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Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich went at in what Nate Silver called “probably the most important GOP debate” of the campaign. The focus was mainly on the charges the two frontrunners have made against each other but when it came to foreign policy, the audience cheered Romney’s defense of Israel and Rick Santorum’s denunciation of the Obama administration towards “militant socialists” in Latin America.

The polls out of Florida have fluctuated wildly over the past week. In the days after Gingrich’s South Carolina victory, polls had him ahead by 8 or 9 points. Now, Romney has an average lead of 5 points, with several polls having him winning by 7 or 8 points. The two frontrunners swapped positions in just four days. The primary will be held on Tuesday, January 31.

On foreign policy, Mitt Romney had the most applause when he was asked about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He ridiculed the Obama administration for “disrespecting” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, calling for peace negotiations to be based on the 1967 borders and for criticizing Israel’s settlements in the West Bank while remaining silent as terrorist rockets fell on Israeli cities. He gave a passionate defense of Israel, saying that it is the Palestinians who are uninterested in a two-state solution. He argued that both Hamas and Fatah seek the destruction of Israel and that Palestinian children are taught with textbooks advocating the killing of Jews.

Newt Gingrich’s best moment on foreign policy was also about Israel. He defended his earlier statement that the Palestinians are an “invented” people, saying that before the 1970s, the Palestinians were just referred to as Arabs with Syrian, Jordanian, Egyptian or Lebanese nationalities. He said the Palestinian leadership is more interested in conflict than in improving the lives of the Palestinian people and uses the process as “war by another form.” The crowd loved it when he said that on his first day in office, he’d sign an executive order moving the embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Rick Santorum was enthusiastically applauded when spoke about the intercontinental alliance between Islamic extremists like Iran and the “militant socialists” in Latin America, specifically in Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua and Bolivia that are “spreading like a cancer.” The source of that cancer, Santorum said, is the Castro regime. He said that President Obama had “sided with the leftists, sided with the Marxists” in Latin America against U.S. allies like Colombia and those in Honduras who tried to stop Manuel Zelaya, a Chavez ally, from forming a dictatorship.

Ron Paul repeatedly advocated using diplomacy and free trade as the best way of promoting security. He said that his rivals’ policies towards Cuba and Latin America would backfire and cause anti-Americanism because of their “bully attitude.” His most well-received foreign policy-related line was when he said that most of the American people “don’t see a jihadist under the bed every night.”

There were several clashes between the candidates in this debate. The biggest were between Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich. Romney put him on the defensive over an ad that called him an “anti-immigrant,” which Florida Senator Marco Rubio defended him against. Romney said it was “repulsive,” that disagreements should be allowed to happen without “highly-charged epithets” and demanded an apology. Gingrich said that Romney would deport “grandmothers” who came to the U.S. illegally, which he denied.

The two frontrunners also battled over an ad accusing Gingrich of describing Spanish as the “language of the ghetto.” Wolf Blitzer asked Romney about it, who said he hadn’t seen the ad and was unsure if his campaign was behind it. He then asked Gingrich if that quote was accurate, to which he replied, “it’s taken totally out of context.” Romney responded, “Oh, well then he said it.” Later in the debate, Blitzer informed Romney that CNN confirmed that his campaign was running the ad, generating boos from the audience.

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  • Bigbird

    Willard Romney will rape this country like Bari Shabazz Oyongo Hussein Obama is doing. He reeks of crony capitalism. He will blow up the fed and the Rethugs will get rich rich rich. Why the attacks on Newt? Newt loves this country, has a huge ego and wants to go down in history as a victor for the people like Washington, Lincoln and Reagan. If Romney gets in I am moving to the mountains of Panama

    • BS77

      When are you leaving? Soon as possible I hope. When you get malaria or a good old fashioned scorpion sting, maybe Gov. Romney will start looking a lot better.

  • ObamaYoMoma

    Newt was eviscerated last night by Romney. I don't think I've ever witnessed another candidate so thoroughly destroyed and totally humiliated in my life.

    • jacob

      Judging from his position and statements, I'm affraid of, if ROMNEY becomes
      the Republican Presidential candidate, his debates with OBAMA will smack of
      those by McCain, praising him instead of swepping the floor with him….

      But certainly and although he has my simpathy, NEWT has too much dirty laundry

      • ObamaYoMoma

        Judging from his position and statements, I'm affraid of, if ROMNEY becomes
        the Republican Presidential candidate, his debates with OBAMA will smack of
        those by McCain, praising him instead of swepping the floor with him….

        But certainly and although he has my simpathy, NEWT has too much dirty laundry

        Excuse me, but Romney is no McCain. McCain is a liberal, while Romney is a true conservative. As a matter of fact, Romney was the conservative candidate that the conservatives rallied around in 2008 in an effort to stop McCain. However, massive media manipulation gave us McCain anyway.

        Massive media manipulation happened last week in South Carolina as the media joined with Gingrich to piggy back on his Alinsky like bogus anti-capitalist attacks on a fellow Republican and the free enterprise system by attacking Romney for not fulfilling Gingrich's demand that he release his income tax return in the middle of January no less.

        Therefore, the media launched a surprise class warfare attack in coordination with Gingrich's Alinsky like bogus anti-capitalist attacks and demonized Romney relentlessly as being an evil mega rich predatory capitalist and corporate raider who maintained Swiss bank accounts and had Cayman Island investments until his poll numbers inevitably plummeted and he ended up losing the so-called bell weather state of South Carolina, and never mind the fact that the media and no one cared if Rick Santorum and Ron Paul released their income tax returns or the fact that it was the middle of January and like the vast overwhelming majority Americans, Romney still hadn't received all his forms back to even file his taxes.

        Of course, these massive and coordinated class warfare attacks caught Romney by surprise because he couldn't imagine the press turning what was a non-issue into such a massive issue out of smoke and mirrors and on the demand of Gingrich who was his opponent. However, Romney regrouped, released last year's tax returns and an estimate of this year's tax return and in one fell swoop neutralized the issue.

        In addition, Fox News included Juan Williams in its debate to give Gingrich an easy opportunity to knock it out of the park and to appeal to the emotions of voters so they could claim that Gingrich won the debates. Then CNN did the same thing in the second debate when John King asked Gingrich about his wife's allegations, and Gingrich again knocked it out of the park.

        Thus, on the basis of beating up the media in the two South Carolina debates, Gingrich was declared the winner of the debates by the same media that coordinated it, at the same time the media was relentlessly attacking and demonizing Romney as an evil capitalist and corporate raider with Swiss bank accounts and Cayman Island investments, and never mind the fact that Romney's money had been in a blind trust for the past 10 years to avoid the appearance of conflicts of interests, which was something the media already had known about since the 2008 presidential race. Not to mention also that after the election was already over, Gingrich was forced to admit that he had lied to CNN's John King in the second debate. It didn't matter though because by that time he had already won the South Carolina primary.

        Anyway, this week in the first Florida debate, Romney came back and easily defeated Gingrich in the first debate after he neutralized the media. Then in the second debate, he literally destroyed Gingrich, who according to the media was supposed to be invincible in debating, and Romney has now regained the momentum, and if he wins Florida he will be unstoppable.

        –continued below

      • ObamaYoMoma

        In any event, you are concerned that Romney who just utterly destroyed Gingrich, who according to the media is invincible because he is the all time greatest debater in the world, will lose in debates to Obama? Give me a break and please stop listening to the media's propaganda and to Romney's opponent's propaganda.

        Actions speak louder than words, especially when those words are obvious propaganda. Up until the two South Carolina debates, Romney had won every debate, while Gingrich had did well only by attacking and beating up on the media, which anyone can do, and the only reason Romney didn't win the South Carolina debates is because he was caught by surprise by the ferocity of the coordinated media blitz against him in cooperation with the Gingrich campaign. However, once Romney neutralized the media, he immediately went back to winning and dominating the debates.

        Thus, if Romney can easily destroy Gingrich in the debates, who is alleged to be the invincible and all time greatest debater ever, how do you figure he will lose in the debates to Obama? He won't; he will literally destroy Obama as well and it will be far easier. As a matter of fact, former Chairman of the Dhimmicrat Party in 2008, Howard Dean, admitted after Obama had won the election that the candidate the Dhimmicrats had feared the most was Mitt Romney, and again in 2012 the candidate the Dhimmicrats fear the most is Mitt Romney.

        In any event, Gingrich couldn't win even if he won the nomination no matter what because in every critical state he is way too far behind Obama. Hell, Santorum would have a much better shot of defeating Obama than Gingrich. Which is also why the media tried to manipulate the race in Gingrich's favor like it successfully manipulated the 2008 race in favor of McCain.

    • BS77

      I thought Mr. Romney handled himself very well. Some of Newt's strategies are backfiring on him…I think Mr. Romney has the best chance of winning in November.

  • DrRJP

    Santorum had some good things to say and won the debate- but lucky for him, nobody was attacking him – so he could have kept quiet and win by default. Romney will never repeal ObamaCare. Gingrich was ambushed by the Rubio issue which Wolf made the lead-off question to Gingrich on purpose. Rubio gave Gingrich his campaign manager, Jose Mellea, so who's idea was it to run the Spanish-language ad in the first place? If it was a bad idea, then why did Mellea and Rubio keep quiet about it and let it run?

    I would not be surprised if Romney loses Florida.

  • ObamaYoMoma

    Romney will never repeal ObamaCare.

    If you believe that, then apparently you must believe that Bill Clinton never inhaled. You also apparently aren't astute enough to understand the healthcare solution in Massachusetts that is deliberately called Romneycare to dupe gullible people like you into believing that it was the model for Obamacare. Nevertheless, the Massachusetts healthcare solution is in no way similar to Obamacare, nor was it the model for Obamacare, as it was modeled off of the Heritage Foundation's proposed healthcare solution. By the way, the Heritage Foundation is the leading conservative think thank in the USA.

    As a matter of fact, on the same day that Romney is sworn into office, he will issue an executive order to every state who will accept it exempting them from Obamacare and then will work to repeal it. Santorum's hypocritical attack on so-called Romneycare, which came almost immediately after he had just scolded Gingrich and Romney for gutter politics, was not only enormously hypocritical, but it was bogus because it was based on false propaganda, as the citizens of Massachusetts prefer that healthcare solution by a margin of 3 to 1. Not to mention that Santorum's position and Romney's position on federal healthcare are virtually identical, which makes Santorum's attack against Romney that much more hypocritical.

    Now Santorum's hypocritical attack on the fact that for almost 20 years Gingrich supported a federal individual mandate were truthful, since Gingrich has supported an individual healthcare mandate since 1993. Meanwhile, Gingrich's denunciation of Massachusetts' healthcare solution passed while Romney was governor is also hypocritical because Gingrich wrote an op-ed piece published in the Wall Street Journal in 2006 endorsing it 100 percent.

    One of the things you need to understand is the leading conservative think thank in the country, the Heritage Foundation, used to also endorse an individual healthcare mandate in its proposed healthcare solution, and Romney's healthcare solution in Massachusetts was modeled off of the Heritage Foundations proposal. In fact, the leading Heritage Foundation scholar for healthcare was present at the bill signing ceremony in Massachusetts the day Romney signed the bill.

    In any event, unlike Gingrich and the Heritage Foundation, Romney never ever supported an individual healthcare mandate on a federal level.

    Gingrich was ambushed by the Rubio issue which Wolf made the lead-off question to Gingrich on purpose.

    Because he is a Spanish speaker, Rubio could understand the ad, which was incredibly dishonest. Hence, Rubio appalled did the correct thing, scolded Newt for lying and called for him to pull the dishonest ad.

    As a matter of fact, Newt is also running an incredibly dishonest ad featuring former Arkansas governor and 2008 presidential candidate Gov. Mike Huckabee taken completely out of context to make it look like Huckabee was saying that Romney was a very dishonest campaigner. Anyway, Huckabee has come forward on Fox News to claim that he wasn't even talking about Romney in that copyright ad, that Gingrich usurped the ad out of context without his permission, and that he was demanding that Gingrich pull the ad immediately, which so for Gingrich has refused to do.

    In addition, in the Alinsky like anti-capitalist attack ad Gingrich is also running against Romney, the people appearing in the bogus ad have come forward to announce that they were also taken out of context without their knowledge or permission or that they were paid to say what they said.

    Rubio gave Gingrich his campaign manager, Jose Mellea, so who's idea was it to run the Spanish-language ad in the first place?

    Come on you expect us to believe that Senator Rubio owns Mr. Mellea? The reality is Gingrich hired Mr. Mellea, who no longer works for Mr. Rubio and Mr. Mellea did what he was ordered to do, create and run bogus dishonest ads.

    If it was a bad idea, then why did Mellea and Rubio keep quiet about it and let it run?

    Yeah right…give me a break. What a nut case.

    I hate to rain your parade, but even if Gingrich could defeat Romney and he can't, he couldn't beat Obama because in every critical state, Obama is way too far ahead of Gingrich in the polls for Gingrich to ever have a prayer of ever catching up. In fact, Rick Santorum has a hell of a lot better shot at beating Obama than Gingrich, but nevertheless Romney has the best shot of all, as he is already beating Obama or within striking distance in everyone of those critical states. Not only that but Romney is far more conservative than Gingrich and also thank God opposes amnesty for illegal immigrants.

    –continued below

    • DrRJP

      Nucking futz

      • ObamaYoMoma

        Man…I'm hearing that your man is losing today in major landslide. Oh well.

  • ObamaYoMoma

    By the way, how many illegal immigrants are grandmothers, and should we also let females serving time in prison for crimes out of prison once they become grandmothers?

    And how is Gingrich going to pay for that moon colony, dredge the Charleston Harbor, build that interstate hwy in South Carolina, that VA hospital in New Hampshire, etc., etc., etc. ad nauseum and balance the budget all at the same time the USA is already on the fast track to becoming the next Greece? Give me a break!

    I'm sorry, but Gingrich is not only a sleazy dishonest career professional politician and longtime Washington insider willing to do and say anything to get elected, but he is also more than a little grandiose and unhinged at the same time, which is why 88 percent of conservatives in congress voted against him when he was forced to resign from the speakership in disgrace. It's also why those same conservatives still denounce him to this day.

    • DrRJP

      and wirthout question nucking futz*

      You are the poster child for why we need to replace government education

      • ObamaYoMoma

        Can you say crybaby?

  • crypticguise

    Romney really ticks me off with his lies about Newt. But whoever is the Republican Nominee is in November I will support and vote for him.

    Obama must be defeated in November