The debate was good; well-put together with interesting information culled from the Google meta-media. The Republican “thrust and Perry” in Tampa, Florida, earlier this month, set a good standard. You know me: I want words—textual red meat to sink my teeth into. I was worried at first that, true to character, Fox News would stick with visuals and stiff the written or pixelated word. (Here’s a slide show of the debaters! Oy!) But—hooray!— Fox came through with a rush transcript. Well-done!
REP. MICHELE BACHMANN, R-MINN had the opportunity to salvage the question Jon Huntsman flubbed in the previous, Tea-Party debate: “Out of every dollar I earn, how much do you think that I deserve to keep?” “It’s all yours,” she replied, but we still have to send something back for the government. A contradiction, of course.
FORMER Utah Governor Jon Huntsman solidified his standing as a committed statist, having “told the New Hampshire Union Leader [that] as president [he] would subsidize the natural gas industry.” Huntsman just can’t keep his sticky fingers out of the meddling business. The industry doesn’t need help; it needs to be left alone. (The industry is currently making its case to the public via tremendous ads that explain the safeguards with respect to fracking.)
However, as in the previous debate, Huntsman managed to distill, better than the rest, a foreign-policy vision: “… as the only one on stage with any hands-on foreign policy experience, having served — having lived overseas four different times, we’re at a critical juncture in our country. We don’t have a foreign policy, and we don’t project the goodness of this country in terms of liberty, democracy, open markets, and human rights, with a weak core. And right now in this country, our core, our economy, is broken. And we don’t shine that light today. We’re 25 percent of the world’s GDP. The world is a better place when the United States is strong [I understood him to mean strong economically]. So guiding anything that we talk about from a foreign policy standpoint needs to be fixing our core. But, second of all, I believe that, you know, after 10 years of fighting the war on terror, people are ready to bring our troops home from Afghanistan, Rick.”
Texas Governor Rick Perry sounds more and more like a slightly less stupid W, which is still plenty stupid and cunning to boot.
Here Perry is losing control over the words, as W used to:
I think Americans just don’t know sometimes which Mitt Romney they’re dealing with. Is it the Mitt Romney that was on the side of against the Second Amendment before he was for the Second Amendment?
Was it — was before he was before the social programs, from the standpoint of he was for standing up for Roe v. Wade before he was against Roe v. Wade? He was for Race to the Top, he’s for Obamacare, and now he’s against it. I mean, we’ll wait until tomorrow and — and — and see which Mitt Romney we’re really talking to tonight.
Now that’s a Bushism. Shudder.
Garry Johnson had a good joke: “My next-door neighbor’s two dogs have created more shovel-ready jobs than this current administration.”
Even better was Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, invoking Ronald Reagan’s lines:
“When your brother-in-law is unemployed, it’s a recession. When you’re unemployed, it’s a depression. When Jimmy Carter’s unemployed, it’s a recovery. Nothing — nothing will turn America around more than Election Night, when Barack Obama loses decisively.”
NOW, SOMEONE PRAY TELL, why do all these candidates say “Sosal Security”? In English it’s pronounced Soshial Security.”
UPDATE (Sept. 23): MITT’S MANNERS. Hours after this site singled out Perry’s pathetic Bushisms, mainstream media is doing the same. Almost a full day after the debate, Perry’s word-salad is being reluctantly reported by Fox News.
However, what other sources see as a dismal lack of command of issues of foreign affairs, Fox News described as Perry’s “show of some chops, flashing knowledge about the Haqqani Network and Indian diplomacy.”
I’m with Alan Schroeder of the HuffPo:
Yet on matters of substance, Perry remains startlingly unprepared. Asked a theoretical question about Pakistan losing control of its nuclear weapons, the governor gave an incoherent response that amounted to a pile of steaming dung. It is remarkable that a man so obviously lacking in foreign policy credentials does not make a greater effort to bone up; in this regard he is more Sarah Palin than Ronald Reagan.
Over to Schroeder again:
Romney the debater is crisp, businesslike, in command of his material, and as bloodlessly efficient as a German luxury sedan. Perry the debater is sloppy, sentimental, uncertain of his facts, and brimming with the sort of down-home folksiness that makes Republican audiences go weak in the knees.