View Full Version : CQ on debate--pretty good for us

Bradley in DC
01-31-2008, 08:21 AM

Republicans Debate in California: CQ Politics’ Bests and Mosts
By Eric Pfeiffer, CQ Staff

With their candidate field newly culled to just four from the 10 who initially entered the race, the remaining Republican presidential contenders participating in a televised debate Wednesday night had more time than ever to elaborate on their own issue positions — and to criticize their opponents, sometimes in harsh terms.

The main combatants at the debate, staged at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in California in advance of the state’s “Super Tuesday” primary next week, were the two front-runners: former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Arizona Sen. John McCain , fresh off his momentum-building primary wins in South Carolina on Jan. 19 and in Florida on Tuesday.

The two engaged in several heated exchanges over who was more strongly committed to U.S. military involvement in Iraq, and who is more worthy of the mantle of conservative icon Reagan, whose widow, Nancy, was present and introduced to the candidates before the debate. The lengthy arguments between McCain and Romney left the longshot candidates, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and Texas Gov.[sic] Ron Paul , pleading for their share of the spotlight...

Huckabee may have been the night’s best performer, and likely benefited from not getting caught up in the McCain-Romney squabble, but he didn’t appear to have such a significant edge as to alter the overall candidate alignment.

Paul — the libertarian iconoclast whose vote totals in primaries so far have not matched the fervor of his core group of activist followers — had one of his strongest debate performances, delivering multiple applause winning lines about the economy and chiding his opponents for having political fights rather than focusing on larger, substantive issues. He also continued to stand his ground as the only Republican presidential contender who opposes the war in Iraq.

The following are CQ Politics’ Mosts and Bests from the debate:

• Biggest Battle: McCain and Romney had a heated and bitter debate over whether Romney had at one point favored a timetable for withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq. McCain stuck by his assertion that Romney previously supported a withdrawal timetable and criticized him for not publicly supporting President Bush’s “troop surge” policy when it was being debated in Congress...

Regardless of who won the timetable argument, it was Paul who later won applause when he called the McCain/Romney debate “silly,” and suggested the candidates instead debate the larger components of foreign policy, rather than “technicalities” over who supported the surge first and most vigorously. Paul used the debate to reiterate his position that going to war in Iraq was wrong and that the intervention should be ended.

• Biggest endorsement: For the last question of the debate, moderator Anderson Cooper asked the candidates whether Ronald Reagan would endorse each of them...

Paul may have offered some of the most concrete evidence of an early connection to Reagan, saying, “I supported Ronald Reagan in 1976” — when Reagan challenged incumbent President Gerald R. Ford for the Republican nomination — “and there were only four of us in Congress that did.” He also said Reagan agreed with him on maintaining the gold standard over the paper dollar, and noted that Reagan campaigned on behalf of Paul’s previous congressional campaigns...

• Better Off With or Without Bush? At separate times during the debate, the four candidates were asked if the country was better off after eight years of George W. Bush as president and whether his Republican Party was better off than eight years ago...

Huckabee said Americans are not better off than they were eight years ago, and said the country needs a president who considers how decisions affect citizens at the “bottom” of the economic spectrum. Paul was most forceful, saying, “We’re not better off, we’re worse off,” because of the war in Iraq and an expansion in federal spending.

01-31-2008, 08:39 AM
Thanks for posting!

01-31-2008, 08:42 AM
See folks, it's not all about being pushy and whining for more time.

Anyone with a brain could see how biased the moderators were.

01-31-2008, 08:50 AM
but the problem is alot of people dont watch these debates....they vote for whos face they see more of in the news and magazines etc

01-31-2008, 08:57 AM
See folks, it's not all about being pushy and whining for more time.

Anyone with a brain could see how biased the moderators were.This is total bullshit. Nobody expected fair treatment or equal time. We only expected common decency and enough simple respect for Dr. Paul and the American people to give people the chance to hear Ron's message and decide for themselves. They are specifically marginalizing Ron Paul and specifically not allowing Ron Paul to respond to issue on which they know his views will resonate with the American people. Asking for and expecting - not even fair and equal treatment, but just a minimum of ordinary human respect is not whining.

Bradley in DC
01-31-2008, 09:12 AM
Asking for and expecting - not even fair and equal treatment, but just a minimum of ordinary human respect is not whining.

Billy, I think the point was that Dr. Paul used his time well talking about substantive issues instead of using his (little) time to whine. ;)

01-31-2008, 09:25 AM
Great article!!! RP did awesome!