The Republican Debate on Fox News last night from Myrtle Beach, S.C. went along fine. A very nice touch was the chorale group singing the National Anthem before the debate began. The audience stood and placed their hands on their hearts while singing along. Barack Obama - take note.
From left to right were: Thompson, Romney, McCain, Huckabee, Giuliani, and Paul.
Can we have a Republican debate without saying the name "Reagan" every other answer?
We are Republicans, we look forward. Unlike the Dems supporting Hillary and pining for the good old 1990's, we are happy warriors with optimism about the future. And, unlike Obama, our candidates have actual written out plans for what they think needs to be done, not just feel good Oprah-speak.
On the question of a potential recession, Huckabee made reference to cutting marginal tax rates first and then pushing for the Fair Tax. McCain said he wants to make the tax cuts Bush made, permanent. And, he wants to cut spending. Thompson faltered on his first answer by trying to throw a barb Rudy's way about the similarity of tax plans between the two. Thompson's is a two part plan, Rudy's is a three part plan. Rudy's is considered the best alternative by the financial community, from what I've read. I'm no expert on tax codes.
Thompson was able to speak about entitlement programs and the need to reform them. He spoke to his Social Security reform plan, the only candidate on either side to publish a plan to save it.
Then, Thompson woke up and came on strong. He went up against the Huckster on his lack of knowledge of foreign policy and his liberal social policy records in Arkansas. It was good. Huckabee is fighting McCain for first place in the S.C. polls now so Thompson had to go after him. McCain won S.C. in 2000 so he is formidable there. Thompson admits he has to place 'strong' in S.C. (read first or second place) to stay viable.
Giuliani was able to remind the audience he was Associate Attorney General in the Reagan administration. He needs to remind voters of his entire career, which reaches into the government as well as private sector, as it is rich with applicable experience. He has a risky 50 state strategy to win the nomination, patterning it after Reagan, so Florida will tell his tale.
Why Ron Paul was allowed to debate but not Duncan Hunter is a mystery to me. Paul gets some ranking in polls but never double digit. He is a nasty, ignorant, racist man. He snarls and his voice is whiny. He accused the others of wanting to rush into war with Iran after the dangerously aggressive action of the power boats recently and the other candidates got their shots in. As did Brit Hume.
The focus group after the debate said Thompson was the winner but most felt it is too late for him to catch a wave of support. That was a bit surprising as I was under the impression that the Fred people were making a big push in South Carolina for him.
The focus group named Ron Paul the loser.