GOP Presidential Debate

I did watch the GOP Presidential Debate last night.  After the debate, it's practically a two-man race now between Mitt Romney and Rick Perry.
Romney and Perry - GOP Debate Sept 7, 2011.
Okay, I'm not going to comment on the rest of the candidates, but only on the two heavyweights who will battle it out to the end in defeating Obama next year in November. The rest of the GOP field will eventually melt into the "also ran" conduit.

Mitt Romney
This was the first debate that included Rick Perry; he joined the race only a few weeks ago and so he missed the previous debate. Perry jumped right to the front in the polls bypassing Romney who has been the frontrunner. So everyone was anticipating a clash between Romney and Perry. The post debate consensus among the pundits, however, is that Romney won this one handily. Stromberg of the Washington Post said:

"Winner of the Debate: Romney, hands down. He got a lot of face time, made no big mistakes and was more self-assured behind the lectern even than the uber-confident Perry."
The duel is promoted by the media and MSNBC and Politico, the sponsors of the debate, played along by placing Romney and Perry next to each other and dead center (fourth and fifth) on stage. The other six candidates flanked the leading duo.

The host/moderator - Brian Williams of NBC Nightly News - started with a question directed to - you guessed it - Romney and Perry on their gubernatorial records (Romney, a former governor of Massachusetts and Perry the present governor of Texas). The ensuing exchange which took up about the first ten minutes was witty and funny. Romney came out on top in that brief but compendious exchange.  Here:

Perry: We created more jobs in the last three months in Texas than [Romney] created in four years in Massachusetts.
ROMNEY: States are different. Texas is a great state. Texas has zero income tax. Texas has a right to work state, a Republican legislature, a Republican Supreme Court. Texas has a lot of oil and gas in the ground. Those are wonderful things, but Governor Perry [shouldn't] believe that he created those things. If he tried to say that, well, it would be like Al Gore saying he invented the Internet.
PERRY: I know back and forth -- Michael Dukakis (governor of Mass. before Romney) created jobs three times faster than you did, Mitt.
ROMNEY: Well, as a matter of fact, George Bush and his predecessor created jobs at a faster rate than you did, Governor.
PERRY: That's not correct.
ROMNEY: Yes, that is correct.
Fact checks reveal that Romney was indeed correct about that last retort.

During the debate Perry reiterated his belief/position that Social Security is a big lie and a Ponzi Scheme.

Amazingly some Republicans are supporting Perry in using such "provocative" language and even agreeing with him about Social Security.
Now here's a warning to the Republicans - and Tea Party supporters of Perry:  Perry may be able to get away with that provocative language in the Primary Election, but in the General Election, if he's the GOP nominee, Obama will have a field day with him and all his extreme right positions, and as a result, the Republicans will lose AGAIN!

Rick Perry
In his defense of the criticism of the executive order he signed as a mandate to have all teenage girls be given the drug/vaccine (Gardasil) to prevent cervical cancer (HPV), Perry said he would always "err on the side of saving lives" ... Really? (Perry's link to the company (Merck) the makes the drug (here) has now surfaced. Cronyism, aye?)

As for "erring on the side of saving lives", Perry again, in defending his record for the most death penalty executions, and when asked if he is bothered by them, he said he does not lose any sleep over any decision to execute an inmate.

So much for "saving lives" especially when there's new evidence that supports the fact that Perry may have executed an innocent man in 2004. 

The two-man race is getting more interesting by the day.  Anyway, may the better, smarter, more qualified and more experienced man (Ahem!) win the GOP nomination.

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