Newt Gingrich won the debate Thursday night in Charleston, South Carolina in the first minutes. Incompetent CNN debate moderator began the evening's event with a question to Newt concerning his ex-wife Marianne's ugly interview with a rival network that was all the buzz the last few days. The interview aired after the debate by that other network.
Newt Gingrich made short work of John King.
And, to add some frosting to that cake, Gingrich received two standing ovations from the audience while he was delivering that response. King, by thinking he would put Newt on his heels right out of the chute ended up allowing Newt to do what Newt does best - school the American media on their own pathetic performances.
We are down to four candidates now. Simply put, it remains the truth that any of the Republicans would be an improvement over Barack Obama and his dismal record in office.
Mitt Romney needs a far better answer to the question of when he will release his tax records. While he is no obligated to do so before or until he receives the party's nomination, the others are asking about it and Romney needs a good response. The man has been running for President for many years now and should be better prepared. Newt released his tax return online as the debate was being held - an obvious jab at Mitt. Ron Paul said he really had no plans to release his and said he might be a bit embarrassed anyway as he doesn't have the kind of money that the others do. Rick Santorum hasn't released his returns, either, and vaguely said he'd try to do so though he does his own taxes and his returns are on his personal computer at home. Whatever. The fact is this - everyone knows Romney is a very wealthy man. The investigations into his wealth have proved nothing but that he has lived within the legal guidelines of the tax code.
Rick Santorum transformed into a petulant child on stage. When he clearly couldn't make much headway with Romney or Gingrich he turned snide and insulting to the others.
Ron Paul performed well, especially since absolutely no questions were asked about foreign policy. He reminded John King that he would like to answer the health care and abortion questions as he is the only actual doctor in the race. He spoke on behalf of benefits for veterans, also as the only military veteran in race.
The debate, while raucous at times, was poorly executed by CNN and John King. Instead of the real issues, King chose to go the route of standard Democrat talking points and questions on social issues. It was a waste of time when the audience and America consider the economy and jobs creation, as well as foreign policy, the most important issues in this election year.