Conservative Republicans came together in Simi Valley California for a debate on the most liberal news network in the country–MSNBC. Brian Williams hit the Republicans with some very tough questions and in general they responded beautifully. While it may seem like a cop-out, I felt that Romney and Perry were the winners. Ron Paul also had some great comments, however I suspect they were over the most people’s heads (such as why we should nix FEMA). Below are some of the key take-aways, and great lines from tonights debate.
- Mitt Romney lampooned Obama and his lack of private sector work experience: “The President doesn’t understand the economy, I do because I lived in it.”
- Brian Williams often tried to pit Romney squared against fellow front runner Rick Perry, and they often squared off, but they both come out looking good.
- In response to the moderators trying to get Republicans to nit pick each other’s stances on healthcare, Gingrich called out the MSNBC crew by saying “I’m frankly not interested in your effort to get Republicans fighting each other.” He followed this up by strongly asserting that all candidates oppose Obamacare and that’s the bottom line. Great response by Gingrich that earned him some points.
- Herman Cain on his 9% tax system: “if 10% is good enough for God, 9% should be good enough for the Federal Government.”
- Romney made some great comments on energy. I really don’t see any possible reason anyone can disagree unless it’s environmental fears like global warming (which we’ll get to next). Here’s what he said: “This president blocking offshore drilling, stopping the capacity to build new coal plants, this president having held up nuclear plants, and not developing the Marcellus shale gas and other shale oil. He’s just strangling America’s economy. It’s keeping Americans from working. He keeps talking about ‘green jobs.’ Where are they? Let’s have real jobs. we can have energy jobs. Let’s get that done, and if I’m president I’m making that happen on day one!
- Huntsman called other Republicans anti-science. He said they were not mainstream because none believe in global warming and some don’t belive in evolution. Aside from evolution being irrelvant to this election, attacking his competitors faith…poor taste. Since global warming is something that the general conservative electorate does not really believe in (or at least doesn’t care to injure the economy to fix) this seemed strange. Huntsman does have Al Gore in his corner though. Gore would even say his competitors are as bad as racists for denying global warming.
- Ron Paul mentioned that nixing minimum wage would create jobs.
- Peter Jennings hit Rick Perry with a questions asking how we would address the fact that the median income of Afircan-American families is 20x lower than that of white families. He did a great job answering the awkward question by referring to the previous question about creating jobs, and then talking about how creating jobs will help people of all races.
- Ron Paul nailed Rick Perry about his letter that supporting hillary care, after Perry had been smashing Romney his Massachusetts state healthcare plan. He also admitted that Ronal Reagan wasn’t perfect, which was new.
- Rick Perry, in his book, called social security is a Ponzi scheme. He stood by his initial assertion. Mitt Romney strongly disagreed, and said our nominee has to be someone who is committed to fixing, not abolishing social security. It’s worth noting that it was LBJ who took us off personal accounts and turned social security into what Rick Perry (and I) call a Ponzi scheme.
- Ron Paul made some interesting economic commentary about FEMA explaining that it conditioned people to build where they shouldn’t be building and essentially killed the market effects that would keep people from building in these unsafe regions.
- Huntsman did make a thoughtful comment on immigration when he said that Vancouver has the fastest growing real estate market in the world, and it’s largely due to their laws allowing legal immigration, thus we should allow legal immigration. Unfortunately for him, I don’t think the general conservative electorate probably doesn’t agree with him. Huntsman definitely came across as the most liberal Republican in the debate.
- The best policy statement of the night came from Mitt Romney when he said he expects to create 4% annual economic growth by removing all capital gain taxes, taxes on interest, and taxes on dividends.
- The best statement of the night came at the very end from Ron Paul. Paul was presented with a sad story about the malnourished children in Texas that inspired a young LBJ to eventually create the “Great Society,” and subsequently questioned about his lack of support for welfare. his response…
A welfare state is not authorized in the consititution. Under the US constitution states have the right if they feel obligated to create a welfare system. Don’t say we who believe in liberty lack compassion. The idea that there’s something wrong with those who don’t want to lavish free stuff is wrong!