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CNN’s Western Republican Debate Slugfest Gets Heated

| On 19, Oct 2011

Mitt Romney and Rick Perry looked like they would go to blows at any moment in Tuesday night's debate. (Photo by CNN)

The Western Republican Presidential Debate ended Tuesday night on CNN probably with massive burn marks on the stage. Flames had to be licking from the candidates’ podiums after this show.

In case you missed it, this was by far and wide the most heated and interesting debate of all the previous ones combined. The candidates stopped just shy of ripping each other’s ponytails off and rolling around on the floor like a death match. The “We Are the World” mentality of the seven candidates was thrown out the back window in favor of a Jerry Springer-like environment. I loved it!

FYI – Former Utah governor Jon Huntsman opted out of this debate so he could hold onto fleeting hopes of victory in New Hampshire. I’ll let him and God work on that one.

Tonight’s debate was more of the standard format of several general issues instead of one specific topic like last time.

Let’s cut right to the details of what happened and the issues the candidates discussed:

  • Michele Bachmann paid homage to The Village People tonight with her “In the Navy” blouse.
  • Rick Perry came to yet another debate UNPREPARED to share his plan on a topic. He says look for it in a few days. RICARDO?!
  • The candidates immediately jumped on the elephant in the room (i.e., Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 economic plan). He took some tough jabs, but for the most part held his own. He uses way too many damn food metaphors, though, that make me hungry and nauseous.
  • Michele Bachmann continued her post-mortem obsession with any and all things Ronald Reagan.
  • Mitt Romney was like a prize fighter in the ring tonight. His tongue was sharp, his retorts were timely, and he defended himself well.
  • The death match of the evening was between Rick Perry and Mitt Romney. It was Wild, Wild West vs. Polished East Coast. Helen Keller could see from the grave that these two just don’t like each other. Their tussle about illegal immigration will go down in the history books!
  • Mitt to Rick: “You have a problem allowing me to finish speaking…” This was one of the greatest reads of the evening. It got very testy by this point.
  • If he never wins another political office, Rick Perry needs a Medal of Honor for his amazing side-eyes that he throws at Mitt Romney. Perry looked PISSED OFF!
  • The candidates called for English as the official language of the U.S. But, few of them seem to have a real command of it. Perry said “the HEIGH-TH (height) of hypocrisy…” and “NEW-Q-LUR (nuclear).” Bachmann said “HEENY-US (heinous).” What in all phonics hell? This is such a pointless debate.
  • Geography doesn’t seem to be a strong point of some candidates either. Regarding foreign conflicts, Bachmann mentioned ‘getting out of Libya only to go into Africa.’ Ma’am. At my last check, Libya was squarely in North Africa. Jesus be a Google Map.
  • Rick Santorum was the one candidate that tried to pick fights where possible, but at other times he got steamrolled. He has no balls in these debates.
  • The audience was another hypocrite-filled gathering tonight. They spoke against the Occupy Wall Street protests, but of course, they probably supported the Tea Party back in 2009.
  • Double standards graced the stage as usual tonight. Mitt Romey said that President Obama should be governing instead of doing a bus tour right now. Umm … shouldn’t Rick Perry also be doing that as the sitting governor of Texas? Please add Michele Bachmann and Ron Paul to that list. Both should be legislating in the Congress where they currently serve.
  • There is a big disconnect between Perry’s brain and his mouth. He talks and all of a sudden he just blanks out and gives us pregnant pauses. Totally sucks the life out of his “message.”
  • Some candidates spoke strongly against foreign aid tonight. That was interesting considering how they support such a robust military going into every freaking country. Hmmm…
  • Republicans are even more out of touch than I thought they were with Latino voters. They pushed for a border fence, an official English language, no amnesty … yet they want to wrestle the 60+ percent of the Latino vote away from President Obama. Best of luck with that one!
  • Ron Paul still offers “cut the (insert federal department)” as a response to every answer that is posed to him.
  • The candidates finally discussed the Occupy Wall Street movement. Ron Paul was the only one who made sense on this issue. He said we shouldn’t blame the people for how they were treated by big businesses. We need to go after the government. Finally .. some sense!
  • “Obamacare” is still a catchphrase that gets the candidates (especially Bachmann) going. They are mostly pushing for a private insurer based system that will keep prices high as a kite and not insure all people. Yep, that’s fair.

FINAL THOUGHTS ON THE PARTICIPANTS:

  • Rick Perry looks even more like an asshole after tonight’s debate.
  • Mitt Romney is not afraid of anyone on that stage.
  • Herman Cain remained steady … but he didn’t “own” this debate tonight. He needs to get tough on something other than the 9-9-9 plan.
  • Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum … how did they even get past security?
  • No one missed Jon Huntsman at all. He might as well give it up.
  • Anderson Cooper was not forceful as a moderator, which is odd. Don’t think this was his lane. He’s much more of an attack dog on his AC-360 show.
  • Michele Bachmann made no traction tonight. She’s like the doll with the string in the back of it. Pull her string and you’ll hear “Obamacare … job-killing .. Dodd-Frank … children … repeal.” Girl, find another song to sing! 🙁

Sidenote: We will post the entire debate footage in a separate post once it becomes available on CNN.com. Stay tuned!

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