Skip to comments.Economics Dominate Florida Debate
Posted on 01/24/2008 10:40:03 PM PST by americanophile
Thursdays Republican debate in Florida, which was calm, respectful and thoughtful, contrasted sharply with the rancorous and largely shallow Democratic debate in South Carolina held days earlier. In what was a largely, low-key, policy-heavy debate, domestic issues and economics took center stage, while foreign policy concerns such as Iraq were little mentioned.
The emphasis on domestic matters deprived Senator McCain of his strongest issue - his clear leadership on Iraq and the War on Terror, and forced McCain to play on slightly foreign economic turf. Senator McCain was particularly weakened by a sharp question from moderator Tim Russert in which Russert quoted McCains admission that he needed to be educated on the economy. McCain, was also treated to needling questions about his age and reputation for a mercurial temper, though McCain diffused those questions effectively and with good humor, and was later aided by Governor Huckabee who rose in defense of Senator McCains vigor.
Economics also proved to be a less suitable match for Governor Huckabee, who is seen as lacking authority on economic matters and has been vigorously criticized by pro-growth economic groups such as the Club for Growth. Nevertheless, Huckabees strongest debate moment was indeed on an economic issue - a softball question from Senator McCain involving Huckabees Fair Tax proposal, in which he delivered a vision for a simpler, consumer-based taxed plan along with a crowd-pleasing indictment of the IRS.
For political observers reading between the lines, it was apparent that McCain and Huckabee shared a mutual desire to be non-aggressive with one another, and signaled the possibility of a McCain/Huckabee ticket.
Tonights undoubted winner however was Governor Romney, who demonstrated once again a smooth, presidential style, and a considerable proficiency in fiscal and economic matters. Despite several tough questions, including another question about his faith, Romney delivered what MSNBC anchor Chris Matthews described as commanding answers. This sentiment was shared by viewers who participated in the unscientific text-message poll which followed the debate, and named Romney the decisive debate winner - overshadowing Senator McCain by more than 20 points. Romneys performance also included hard-hitting jabs at Senator Hillary Clinton and a memorable, crowd-pleasing line about Americans not wanting former President Bill Clinton back in the White House with nothing to do. Romney also appeared to be the recepient of more questions than any other candidate, and therefore shared a concomitant plurality of valuable air-time.
Coming in last according to respondents was the normally sharp Mayor Giuliani, who delivered a less memorable and more distracted performance than usual. Though it should be noted that Giuliani was the recipient of the evenings most overtly negative question - a call to respond to an ugly, ad homonym attack by the New York Times.
For Florida voters only now making their decisions, tonights debate will no doubt inure to the benefit of Governor Romney who looked and sounded every bit the chief executive. With polls already trending his way, this Boca Raton debate could prove to be the decisive moment that could catapult Romney to victory in Florida, and the unchallenged status as national GOP frontrunner.
“Tonights undoubted winner however was Governor Romney”
Romney was pretty good though he sounded like a Keynesian at the beginning when he said about the rebate: “What’s effective is that he’s giving money back to consumers”
The rebate won’t be effective at all.
Wait, you mean that instead of complaining what each other did as trial lawyers decades ago, like being on Wal-Mart’s BoD or the Rose Law Firm, that the GOP candidates actually discussed economic measures like tax rebates that will help our economy?!
No wonder the news media despises the GOP; adults are less fun than teenagers with the car keys and a bottle of booze.
I'll reduce it to this simple level: When he gets up on stage against either Hillary or Obama, ALL of their major arguments--about healthcare, "insiders" and "change," economics--will be demolished. He can tell them about DOING something about healthcare--even if I don't like what he did, the majority of Americans WANT something done; he can laugh at their poses as Senators pretending to be "outsiders"; and he can ask them "When have either of you worked in, let alone managed, a 7-11?"
All of this is no-brainer stuff. Romney doesn't even have to SAY any of this. The average stupid American, who will decide this election, will be able to figure it out for him or herself.
Then Hillary will cry and women will vote against mean old Romney...
But I can't see a situation where Huckabee, McCain or Giuliani beats either Hillary or Obama.
senators rarely win the presidency. I should’ve seen that coming with fred.
Yech, what a choice...
romney is the “steve forbes” that actually held elected office. I think he has a better chance this time
Just because he’s a nice guy, it doesn’t mean he’s weak. It will be a sight to see when the Klintoons realize that. When the time comes, he will have the Klintoons pounding sand and liberals having apoplectic fits.
I see a bright future ahead with President Romney at the helm!! GO MITT GO!
not to mention....
‘IT’S THE ECONOMY STUPID’
Romney exceeded my expectations tonight.
That rebate money will be better spent by tax payers than the bloated government.
Except Romney is 10 times better looking than Forbes and has 5 times better speaking ability. Intellect wise they are on par.
true but it won’t really help the economy. Remember Say’s law. There can be no demand without supply. Romney understood this as he continued to speak.
It’s just that this rebate is a lot of money that could be used to deliver a much better tax cut.
yes Forbes did give that impression he was a super nerd :)
and on that point I concurr. I am looking at this rebate like Reagan did with deficit spending. Reagan figured out correctly that it was better to spend money on tax cuts than socialistic spending by the government. If there is a silver lining in deficit spending is that the cost to service the debt keeps a lid on how big the national debt can get.
well a big tax cut that doesn’t grow the economy will make it hard, if Hillary does win, to spend more money on new govt programs as she’ll face a big deficit.
Romney did an outstanding job.
I didn’t think anybody won. It was a real yawner. They must have had some kind of agreement to not take the gloves off.
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