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WTF Moments Define the CNN Tea Party Republican Debate

| On 13, Sep 2011

The Republican candidates are poised for verbal war ahead of the CNN Tea Party Republican Debates in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by David S. Holloway / CNN)

This feels like the 88th debate in two weeks between the Republican candidates and it’s only the second. Lord.

The CNN Tea Party Republican Debate rolled into Tampa, Florida on Monday night. The much-hyped contest featured the eight Republican candidates for the presidential nomination: Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman, Herman Cain, Rick Perry, Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, and Ron Paul.

As with all Republican debates, there was enough WTF in the room to go around. But this time they were in front of a Tea Party audience. They added to the fun with local Tea Party groups being asked questions via satellite also.

Here are some takeaways from the debate:

  • The candidates love to debate the whole Social Security/Medicare topic. They took extra time to hammer Rick Perry over his “Ponzi scheme” comment about Social Security in last Wednesday’s MSNBC debate.
  • Herman Cain should not worry about making English a national language. He doesn’t speak it well now with words like “Chuh-lay-un” (Chilean) and “Nine-tuhn aye-tuh won….” (1981).
  • Before the Republican National Convention, Mitt Romney and Rick Perry are going to rip each others ponytails off like school girls. They stay going at each other.
  • Rick Perry has a smart mouth. He needs to tone that down before Wolf Blitzer or one of the candidates pops him in the mouth.
  • Michele Bachmann is clearly at home in front of the Tea Party. Let her talk about “Obamacare” and she’s off running. She even increases her volume on the topic.
  • Mitt Romney is not going to lightly back down to Rick Perry. Call him what you want, but Mitt is in it no matter what the polls say.
  • Rick Perry is NOT America’s next public speaker. He is easily taken off course, angers quickly, and takes several seconds to get back on track. He doesn’t have the ability to retaliate with speed against his opponents. It makes him look sort of dumb.
  • The back-and-forth between the candidates about the mandatory HPV vaccine in Texas was classic. Michele Bachmann, in particular, tore Rick Perry to shreds and ate him A-LIVE on national TV.
  • Ron Paul might remind you of a drunk uncle. But, he was telling the honest to God truth about these long, illegal wars we are in. He also got boo’ed pretty firmly when he said that the American government provoked its attackers prior to 9/11. ::whistles and looks out the window::
  • The candidates don’t know how to attract the Latino vote. Rick Perry holds the most credibility on this issue, strangely, and none of the others are touching him by a longshot on it. His state of Texas is on the U.S./Mexican border. Duh.
  • Candidates are eager to blame the Federal Reserve for our financial problems. But, they acted like these mega-banks (their pimps) don’t exist and overlook their complicity in the problem.
  • The uninsured facing catastrophes might as well die under Ron Paul-Kevorkian. In a straw man argument, he totally killed off a 30-year-old that couldn’t afford insurance and got sick.
  • Nobody has answered for me why Newt Gingrich is still in this race. He was out at the vending machine most of the time. Rick Santorum was slightly better, but not too far ahead of Newt.
  • Overall, the candidates are debating the same issues with the same boring talking points. It’s the delivery, not the substance, that provides the few interesting moments for me.

Winner(s), in my opinion:

  • Michele Bachmann for her tenacity
  • Mitt Romney with his substance and common sense answers

What did YOU think of the debates?

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