Strong Republican debate tonight

By Tom Quiner

Tonight’s debate was strong on substance. All four candidates made the Republican case and exposed the weakness of President Obama’s policies.

I think every single candidate came across well. Rick Santorum was in the crosshairs and had Mitt Romney and Ron Paul ganging up on him. Mr. Santorum kept his cool. He responded with clarity and intelligence. I was impressed. He knows his stuff. He did something else. He admitted he was wrong on “No Child Left Behind.” He explained why he voted the way he did, and it made sense. He explained why the vote was wrong in hindsight, and he made sense.

Newt Gingrich had a strong night, but that was because he wasn’t in the crosshairs. I don’t think Newt held up in the Florida debate when he was on hot seat as well as Rick Santorum did tonight.

Mr. Romney bothered me. He talked about how he supported the Catholic Church on life issues when he was Governor of Massachusetts, and yet when push came to shove back then he caved. Revisit a previous Quiner’s Diner post for details (“Mitt Romney’s less than resounding support for the unborn”).

I like the way Newt Gingrich turned around the question on birth control and asked “why didn’t the elite mainstream media ask Barack Obama why he supported infanticide when he was a state senator in Illinois?”

The media’s double standard is beyond debate. Rick Santorum has proven he can take the heat. He and Mr. Gingrich both made the conservative case well. So did Mitt Romney, you just never know if he really means it.

As for Ron Paul, his cavalier dismissal of Iran’s nuclear program suggests that Barack Obama is a better choice than he is.



  1. Embattled Farmers on February 23, 2012 at 3:20 am

    Mitt just lied about his time as governor and his dealings with the Catholic Church. I was stunned listening to his revisionist history.

    • quinersdiner on February 23, 2012 at 6:39 am

      That’s how he came across to me. Is there anything that bothered you most about his comments?

      • quinersdiner on February 23, 2012 at 7:17 am

        I think you’re right. We need a break from debates among Republicans.

      • Embattled Farmers on February 23, 2012 at 1:13 pm

        He basically wasn’t concerned about their conscience arguments and consistently steamrolled them to pander to the MA liberals.

        • quinersdiner on February 23, 2012 at 1:19 pm

          That is my take on it, too.

          • Embattled Farmers on February 23, 2012 at 1:22 pm

            He has said he tried to get an exemption for the Church on birth control under Romneycare, when MA law already required them to provide it under their insurance. But the record doesn’t show any such efforts on his part, and no one involved can recall these efforts, it seems to be something he’s made up since. It troubles me how dishonest he can be in his determination to get this nomination.

  2. maxine Bechtel on February 23, 2012 at 6:48 am

    HEAR, HEAR! I don’t know about you, but I’m glad the debates are over! All they do is give the Dems more “fuel” to use against the ultimate candidate against Obama. We know that NOBODY’S perfect, (INCLUDING B.O.) and pointing out flaws is counter-productive in the end. NOW they can concentrate on the horrible mess “Hope and Change” has brought to our Country!

  3. Rhonda on February 23, 2012 at 9:10 am

    I disagree with your observation that Obama is better than Paul. My shoe is better than Obama. That aside I think Santorum did well enough. However his facial expressions of sarcasm, annoyance, distain were evidence that he tends to be a hot head. I would look the same were I presented with the spin that Romney, in particular, delt out. But a president isn’t allowed that type behavior given that he will certainly deal with much stupidity during his term.

    • quinersdiner on February 23, 2012 at 9:17 am

      Regarding my Ron Paul comment, the situation in Iran and the Middle East is so volatile that it is emerging as a major campaign issue. I’m concerned that Mr. Paul’s inaction would be worse than the president’s, and the ramifications are too horrible to consider. Regarding Santorum’s expressions: they’re not very presidential, but he’s getting better at controlling them. These debates have battle-tested all candidates.