Tag Archives: Mitt Romney

Florida Debate II:While Romney and Gingrich duke it out, Santorum and Paul shine

Once again the GOP version of clash of the Titans was the debate focus, with Romney and Gingrich clashing on everything from deporting grandmas to who made more off Fannie and Freddie.

Romney gets the edge for looking less perfect, and a little disheveled (hairs out of place) all while standing his ground.

Gingrich looked like he was working hard, trying to be nice. I want more “Angry Newt.”  He’s going to have to unleash a little of his fury to get back some of that  mo’ he gained in S.C. “Civil but assertive Newt” isn’t working for me.  Could it be that his “not nice” side is his more likeable side.

All the tit-for-tat seemed to help Santorum, who had his big moment when he seemed to scold the two, as he urged everyone to get off the personal attacks and talk about the real issues. Like health care, on which Santorum got the best of Romney.  I’ve been feeling a Santorum surge in the offing. I think others in the media saw what he could do tonight.

I thought Ron Paul was very thoughtful and folksy. He was the best on the religious question, putting it in its place. Meanwhile, Romney dodged his Mormonism, Gingrich his un-charitable ways toward dying wives, and Santorum his pro-life views.

Paul  often was used nicely by moderator Blizter as an antidote to the “Romrich” clash. How did he feel about Gingrich’s lunar colony idea? He’d send a few politicians to the moon.

Overall, I’d say the best candidate tonight was Santorum, but he’s so far behind in Florida, it really means Romney is the likely winner on Tuesday. Gingrich did not score much tonight to make much of a difference.  

And Paul? He’s  ready for a 25-mile bike ride through Texas.

It was good to see more color in the room. Puerto Ricans, Palestinians, Cubans, Republican Americans all. The GOP showing a little more diversity is a good thing

Romney’s taxes, Gingrich’s lobbying, and Santorum’s above it all talking about us

I don’t care about Romney’s taxes. If H&R Block didn’t do them for him he made too much money, and he likely paid less tax  proportionately than any of us.

Indeed, to make $43 million  over two years, paying $6.2 million in taxes, with $7 million to charities, puts Romney at an effective rate of 14%.

Right in there with the school teacher and fire-fighter.

They don’t have a lot in common. And that’s all you need to know about tax fairness.

When Obama takes on the issue of tax equality in his State of the Union address tonight, the contrast between the Democrats and the Republicans should be pretty stark.

It’s the reason why Romney and Gingrich going after each other makes great entertainment, but exposes their candidacies as vanity matters and ego affairs.

It’s about them. Not about us.

Last night’s debate

There’s something to be said when the audience is taken out of the debate. In South Carolina, they were like the 12th man on a football field.  And that’s what fueled Gingrich last week. It was much different In Florida Debate I, where it was like a tennis audience, so quiet you can hear the grunting.

Gingrich seemed flat as he tried to generate some anger and dictate what he would and wouldn’t talk about. Hey, he doesn’t feel like “chasing Romney’s misinformation.”  Without the crowd roar, it was just a dodge.

Romney was actually good in exposing Gingrich’s ethical gaffes from his departure from Congress, to the million dollar contract with Freddie Mac and all his other lobbying activity.

Gingrich continues to insist he was an historian, non-lobbyist citizen advocate. Or something like that.

But Romney got him, especially on Gingrich’s Medicare advocacy:  “If you’re getting paid by health companies, if your entities are getting paid by health companies that could benefit from a piece of legislation, and you then meet with Republican congressman and encourage them to support that legislation, you can call it whatever you like. I call it influence-peddling. It is not right. You have a conflict.”

Bag’em.

Of course, Romney blew it on immigration. Trying to match Gingrich, by saying he was for the Dream Act—if it focused on military service, not college. Though last week in South Carolina, there was no doubt, Romney was 100 percent against the Dream Act, without reservations.

Said Romney in the S.Carolina Jan. 17 debate: “And I have indicated I would veto the DREAM Act if provisions included in that act to say that people who are here illegally, if they go to school here long enough, get a degree here that they can become permanent residents. I think that’s a mistake. I think we  have to follow the law and  insist those who come here illegally, ultimately return home, apply, and get in line with everyone else.”

Romney can’t seem to help himself. It’s in his DNA.

And then there was the issue of “self-deportation.”

As pointed out, we sort of have that already. People can go back to their country of origin any time they want. Some do, some won’t.

But to rely on self-deportation as a policy?  Why not get rid of the Border Patrol too and all the laws and go on some open border honor system!  Self-deportation?  He must have been self-medicating when he thought of that one.

The reality show battle between Gingrich and Romney could take its toll on both the candidates and the audience.  The Situation does not run for president.

So who’s left on the Right?  Ron Paul doesn’t seem to have the energy or the suits to be president, though as a fiscal conservative he does stand out.

That leaves Santorum to try to remain above it all and get the alienated Republican vote tired of the bickering front-runners.

Last night, Santorum, the social conservative, was mostly quiet compared to  Newtney.  Santorum did flex his  fiscal conservative muscle when he exposed both Romney and Gingrich for their support of corporate welfare through the bank bailouts.  Neither could come back at Santorum when he suggested a better course would have been to let capitalism work by allowing the weak companies to fail, or letting stronger ones buy them out.  But the stronger companies sit back and watch the carnage if they all know the government will step in.

And then he suggested that those underwater in their mortgages should get to deduct the losses. The guy is not a bank guy, he’s a people guy.

I’m no conservative, but those are the kind of ideas that resonate among the unemployed and underwater in Florida, Nevada, Arizona, and California. 

If voters tune out of the Romney Gingrich fight, the relatable people-oriented Santorum could surprise everyone.