Friday, January 27, 2012

CNN 2012 GOP Florida Debate Winner – Rick Santorum – Paul Strong - Romney, Gingrich Battle – Romney Reality Check on Health Care

Rick Get's His Groove On - Best Personal Debate Performance of the 2012 GOP Contest - image WSJ Blogs

The last debate before the Florida GOP Primary was held last night on CNN – with applause and crowd reaction allowed, unlike the debates held on the non-cable networks. From the beginning of the debate, when Rick Santorum gave the “short introduction” he proudly pointed to the fact that his 93 year old mother was in the audience and lived in Jacksonville – he was on target the balance of the debate, looking the least flustered, the most informed – on both domestic and foreign policy issues. It was, however, a fluff question poised to all candidates by Wolf Blitzer: “Why they felt their wife would make the best first lady” – which would stand to endear Santorum to the crucial women’s vote in the Sunshine State - (paraphrased) – “She’s my hero” - he went on to speak of his wife, in terms of her intellectual accomplishments, personal sacrifices, and dedication to both family and country. (Ron Paul spoke about his wife in the terms of a man who values his partner, and one could tell he was just as pleased as punch that she authored “The Ron Paul Cookbook”, Gingrich was magnanimous in saying anyone of the women would make an excellent First Lady, followed by his obvious pride in Callistas' many accomplishments, especially in the area of the arts, and literature. Finally, Mitt Romney spoke of his wife’s dedication to family, and the illnesses she is faced with, something which, was heartfelt, however, came off as very “John Edwards”.)

After an extended and contentious back and forth between Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich over the ads running by PACS in their name as well as ads run directly by the campaign, Santorum stepped to the plate and scolded everyone, speaking to the time spent going over personal attacks, rather than allowing time for serious issues, he appeared at once Presidential and authoritative. He was the most effective in the debate attack, specifically when it came to Mitt Romney and the Massachusetts Health Care Model, which is, as Santorum said, a disaster and a mandate. It was from that point forward; one understood that Santorum had risen to the top of the heap, not from any push by any specific group, but by growth in strength in the debate forum. One could see Newt Gingrich, on more than one occasion, looking at Santorum with pride – it was Gingrich’s teachings and personal aid that brought Santorum to the political arena – and, although, at this point, Gingrich, (who obviously had a less than Gingrich night) remains the best in the debate forum, Santorum is closely on his heels, and if there is a win in Florida, and this is quite possible, it will only serve to make Santorum stronger.

Although CNN noted there was no clear winner in the debate, and suggests that Romney even benefited, it is difficult to buy into that line of reasoning, when one reviews the debate tapes.

Gingrich clearly has an off night, on the defense consistently due to an onslaught of attacks, not only by Mitt Romney’s PAC and Romney himself (of which they play fast and loose with the facts), but by former Washington DC foes, and members of the Elite who fear nothing more than a Gingrich nomination. Although Gingrich’s life is a public record, and the majority (personal life aside) that is absolutely defendable, it is to his credit that he continues to stand strong, given the continuous and most often false assertions made against the Speaker. Nancy Reagan, in an address in the mid-1990’s noted (paraphrased) that Goldwater, (who began the conservative movement,) passed the torch to Ronald Reagan, who then passed the torch to Newt Gingrich – Nancy Reagan would never have been so magnanimous to Gingrich had he not been held in high esteem – her reputation for cutting off ties to those who would speak ill of her husband, is legendary. Therefore, the obvious all-out assault on Gingrich by the Washington Elite, in order to further Mitt Romney, or perhaps Jeb Bush should Romney fail to get the nomination, would have made it difficult for a lesser man to withstand.

Romney was the attack dog, and sounded on the one hand petulant and on the other, consistently angry – as if overcompensating to reassert himself as front-runner, after having won the State of New Hampshire only.

Ron Paul’s performance in the debate has also improved, to the point, where is the most approachable of the candidates, and when one stays very clear of foreign policy (in a Republican debate) he does extremely well, last evening was one of his best performances as well.

Notes: Neither Santorum nor Paul invested in advertising in the Sunshine State, however, the two Debates alone, would have given them enough exposure, plus the grassroots work, to compensate for the negative ads run by both Gingrich and Romney – he is in a better position today to pull a surprise victory in Florida than he was in Iowa, where he was polling slightly lower, and came up within days to take the state from Mitt Romney.
Suggested: Watch the entire debate to gain one’s own perspective rather than the “talking points” offered by those who would form an opinion for each individual (and that includes this blog)

Notes on the debate and GOP race in general

As far as the Hispanic vote will go in Florida and the nation, of the two candidates running, Santorum and Gingrich have the most appeal, regardless of the “endorsements” that any one candidate may make, it is the candidate that speaks to the variety of situations and understands there are clear differences between the Cuban’s, the Puerto Rican’s, the Mexican’s, the Costa Rican’s, the Guatemalans, and so on. Without a well-grounded understanding of each group and the problems faced by each homeland – and a strong emphasis of family and faith- one cannot begin to seriously court this very crucial vote in Florida. Both Gingrich and Santorum appear to be the most heartfelt when it comes to immigration, with the most reasonable approach, as well as foreign policy. American’s of Spanish decent are, for the most part, conservative.

Santorum would be the first Italian-American, Catholic, to become the nominee of the GOP, and in winning the White House, would hold that Distinction. The great Geraldine Ferraro, to date, is the only Italian American to rise to the political height as a nominee in the general election (Vice Presidential Candidate).

On the absurdity of Newt Gingrich’s NASA Plan – Gingrich’s plan for NASA is neither as “crazy” nor a “burden on the taxpayer” as portrayed by his detractors. As bizarre as it may sound to build a colony on the moon, it sounded, in retrospect just as crazy in 1960 when one John F. Kennedy suggested that there would be a man on the moon! What is the twofold immediate result of the concept of NASA in conjunction with Private industry working on such a project: first, jobs, not only in Florida, but when one considers the aero-space industry, one must consider New England, given that from the very large, to the very small “mom and pop” machine shop would be hiring, those hundreds of thousands to millions of jobs, created, from the sciences to technology, would translate into taxpayers. At a proposed tax rate of 15% (just for example) and a government investment of 10% (just for example) it would be a win-win for both the United States, in terms of advancing technology and cutting the deficit while reducing the unemployment rolls, and raising the bar for those students who have no goals. In his outline in Florida, Speaker Gingrich was accused of bang off the wall, and many resent spending one red cent on this type of program, without clearly understanding the ramifications: large program, mostly funded by prevented industry, creates millions of jobs, and increases the revenue, thereby cutting down the deficit, and increasing education and technology. That is the realty; therefore, Gingrich remains, despite the attacks, despite the fear of technology and or misunderstanding by some, the most brilliant guy on the stage. Just to clarify one very salient point he mentioned that if he were elected, this would be something instituted in his second term. Therefore, he was not promising immediate results, rather, giving a sound solution for future job creative in an industry that has continued to deliver since the 1960’ (before if one considers the fledgling program under President Eisenhower.

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Part 6

Part 7

Part 8

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