Wednesday the GOP presidential contenders debated in Mesa, Arizona. CNN's John King was the moderator. As with the other debates led by the liberal side of the media, the majority of the debate centered around utter nonsense. The social issues of no importance whatsoever were droned on about and the important issues - foreign policy, energy independence, border security,job creation and deficit spending were dipped into briefly and then left unfinished.
When liberals run a debate for GOP candidates, the audience is subjected to questions like: Do you support using birth control? Describe yourself in one word. What is the government's role in birth control? Do you agree with Governor Perry's position on border security? Should everyone get free birth control?
Newt Gingrich had a good night. He was low key during the first half of the debate but rallied during the second half. He had some good opportunities to take a question and instead of bashing the other candidates, he took the fight to President Obama. This is something the other candidates have failed to accomplish. The scrabbling between the front runners is disgraceful and accomplishes nothing. The issues are not argued, the personal attacks prevail. The candidates allow the Obama campaign to use this nonsense against them and will continue to do so through the election in November. Why make Barack Obama's job any easier?
Ron Paul was Ron Paul. Strong on domestic issues, out of sync on foreign policy, except with the young voters who like his anti-war stance.
Rick Santorum did poorly. He was nasty and aggressively hostile to the other candidates. This happens when he knows he will most likely lose the next primary. He is capable of giving strong and knowledgeable answers on foreign policy and on most domestic issues but that quality is overshadowed by his sanctimonious and snarling attitude.
Mitt Romney was confident and looked prepared to go up against Santorum. The audience was clearly supporting him. Santorum, in contrast, was loudly booed several times by the audience. Romney forced Santorum to admit that he voted for the earmark requested by Romney for the Olympics in Salt Lake City. Santorum sounded really weak when he claimed that he didn't really want to but did it. And, then later Santorum claimed that though he wasn't particularly supportive of the price of the No Child Left Behind bill, he voted for it. He said he took one for the team. And that "politics is a team sport." Voters are looking for a principled leader, not a yes man in the Oval Office.
That was not the first time I heard Rick Santorum whine about supporting President Bush as a team player even though he knew the government spending was not the right route. I heard him say something similar last July in New Orleans during a conference and since that time I have not thought favorably of him. Man up and take responsibility for the votes without blaming the former president now that he is running for that office himself is what I say.
The debate was a mess. John King frequently lost control and allowed the ugly back and forth between the candidates to continue. But, why wouldn't he? That sort of performance is good for Barack Obama.
It is time to re-think these debates as Republicans. If so many are to be put on by the liberal outlets, it is time to make some demands. The most important demand is that of using conservative leaning people from that network to moderate the debates and ask the questions. CNN, for example, has conservative leaning talent. There was no need to use John King and certainly after the last debate he hosted which is famous for his dressing down by Newt Gingrich. Democrats boycott Fox News Channel all the time. Turnabout is fair play.
The final winner of Wednesday night's debate in Arizona? Barack Obama.