Some quick thoughts about the GOP Tea Party/CNN debate Monday night:
Rick Perry clearly has everyone unnerved as he was the man with the target on his back.
Mitt Romney held his own and enjoyed the rewards of the attacks on Perry by the others on the stage. He wasn't the clear winner but he definitely tied with Perry for that spot.
Newt is still the smartest guy on the stage. He continues to focus on attacking President Obama versus attacking other Republicans and that is always a crowd pleaser. Newt got in some well-deserved criticisms about GE and corporate taxes and Immelt's relationship with Obama. He also said he isn't concerned with Perry or Romney scaring voters over subjects like social security when Obama scares everyone every day.
Herman Cain cannot get over speaking in short, clipped sound bites. He sounds like a CEO giving marching orders to his team instead of fleshing out his ideas on any given subject.
Michele Bachmann is way down in the polls so she is determined to look tough on Governor Perry, her strongest competition for Tea Party votes. She obnoxiously pats herself on the back for taking the Tea Party movement as her own and it doesn't sit well with anyone but the most strident of Tea Partiers. If I were a member of the Tea Party I would be aggrevated that a politician was inserting herself proclaiming herself a leader in that movement. Plus she continues to point to legislation she co-sponsored yet has not been passed. It's repetitive and tiresome.
Jon Huntsman is a clear loser in this event. He made some really tasteless "jokes" at the expense of the others and he began to show a crack in the highly tanned emotionless face he normally presents.
Ron Paul is beginning to devolve into no man's land. It is clear he will hang in there until the bitter end yet he sounds excessively snarky and out of touch with what voters are looking for in a candidate. It would be hard to win a GOP primary bashing the country's "militarism" and proclaiming that the government has no role in anything at all. Extremism is not appealing from any side of the political landscape.
Rick Santorum comes off as swarmy. He won't last much longer and doesn't deserve to, as he hasn't risen to the challenge of his competition. He fails to explain how a candidate who lost his last statewide race so soundly could win at a national level.
Rick Perry was pounced on for his views on illegal immigrants and education in Texas. He was pummeled for his mistakes made during the HPV vaccine debachle with pre-teen girls.
Romney was taken to task over Romneycare again and some quotes from his book, especially after Romney went after Perry's quotes in his book.
The next GOP primary debate is scheduled for September 22.