on December 10th ABC broadcast a GOP debate from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. It was the first major debate with Gingrich as the front runner. Here are some key takeaways:
Mitt Romney defended himself on “Romneycare” when Rick Perry again claimed that Romney’s book said that he wanted the Massachusetts healthcare plan to be a model for the nation (implying at the federal level). Romney responded sternly (and awkwardly) by offering Rick Perry a $10,000 bet that he had in fact misquoted him. Romney then clarified the quote from his book which actually says that each state should consider such a plan, because they are the laboratories of Democracy. Mitt could not have made his opinion or past comments more clear, but he’ll probably continue to be asked about them, and the weird $10,000 bet offer may irk some Iowans come caucus time.
Shameless Plug for My Father: On the topic of Mitt Romney and healthcare, Dr. Keith Kantor, is working with the Romney campaign in a limited context to provide information about how to lower healthcare costs by promoting all natural food with a Blue Ribbon Advisory Panel. Details here, be sure to check it out.
Newt Gingrich got an opportunity to reexplain his position on illegal immigration, clearly stating that he is not for amnesty, but rather a realistic plan in which people who have been living in the country for years upon years can receive residency (not citizenship). Decisions would be made on a local level with his plan. He refuses to support a plan where families who have been living in America, paying taxes, have children and grandchildren who live here, and are part of communities, and churches will be hunted down and deported. Good for Newt for saying something that may not be politically savvy in terms of gaining numbers in the polls, but is honest. Of course, he’d quickly admit that it’ll all moot until the border is secured.
The real high point of the debate came when Newt Gingrich stood by his past comments regarding the Palestinians. Previously he stated,
“We’ve had an invented Palestinian people, who are in fact Arabs, and were historically part of the Arab community, and they had a chance to go many places. And for a variety of political reasons we have sustained this war against Israel now since the 1940s, and I think it’s tragic.”
He explained that the Palestinian argument for land is based on historical falsehood, and that the term “Palestinian” is a relatively new word that began being used after the creation of Israel. Romney argued that Gingrich should be more careful of what he says as his comments could cause “tumult,” and further claimed that he would exercise “sobriety” in his comments if he was to become President. Newt didn’t back off his comments, explaining that Palestinian textbooks teach hate towards the Jews. Michele Bachmann waffled on standing fully behind Gingrich, but did spend some time talking how her experience seeing the hatred written in their elementary school textbook, quoting one textbook that used murdering Jews as an example in a children’s arithmetic problem.
Did anything else really stand out to you? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.
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