Earlier this evening Newt Gingrich and Herman Cain took part in a Lincoln-Douglas debate that was aired by C-Span. Surprisingly there was not much coverage anywhere else. The next time the media complains that GOP debate are just popularity contests filled with one-liners and sound bytes, remind them of what took place tonight.
Herman Cain took a huge risk in participating in this debate. He is the front-runner and Newt is at best in fourth (maybe third) place. He doesn’t have to do this. It hasn’t (in recent history) been done this early in the campaign. Everyone knows Newt is highly intelligent and a skilled debater. One-on-one with Newt? That should scare anyone! But, Cain had the courage to go through with it. In the midst of a huge scandal, Cain put himself out in public where he could have lost big. That is leadership. You have got to give the guy credit for that.
Who was the winner tonight? The Republican Party. Debates like this make both candidates look good. There were not a ton of sound bytes tonight because actual ideas were discussed and discussed in detail. There were no great one-liners and no petty arguments because grandstanding was not necessary. There was no competing for attention. This debate built up two candidates.
But, having said that, clearly Herman Cain was no match for the wit, wisdom and depth of Newt Gingrich. Very few people are…
I wish more candidates would agree to one-on-one debates like this. In fact, we could set a tournament of debates that would narrow the field down to the Final Four. Now, that’s a bracket I could be competitive with! The few winners go ahead and face off in the primaries.
So, below are my live tweets posted throughout the debate. They are in descending order (what I mean is the opposite of chronological order):
@THEHermanCain just asked @newtgingrich what he would do if he were to be VP. Answer: Take the advice of Dick Chaney and not go hunting.
@THEHermanCain is surprised at the behavior of the media in this race, welcome to the big leagues, my friend.
Means-testing makes sense to me…
@THEHermanCain just compared government spending to crack addiction. Sounds about right.
I have to admit, @THEHermanCain is not sounding all that bad tonight. I really think @newtgingrich raises the level of debate though.
If @newtgingrich were to debate every GOP candidate like this, he would be the nominee hands down.
@newtgingrich compares @THEHermanCain with the Green Bay Packers (what leadership is) and @BarackObama to Bernie Madoff!
I think each GOP candidate should be forced to debate @newtgingrich one-on-one like this. Although @TeamRickPerry might have to drop out…
Ok, so can anyone else confirm that earlier in this debate @THEHermanCain said “There’s nothing I don’t disagree with” in the Ryan plan?
@newtgingrich is obviously and shamelessly trying to get my vote by comparing health care reform to ordering quarterpounders at McDonalds.
Cain favors for a loser pays system to curb malpractice claims abuse – I understand his point but just can’t go there.
@DavidLimbaugh Cain is clearly outwitted by Newt (as most people are) but Cain excels in actually connecting with people and this audience.
1 hour ago
You can’t really call it a “Lincoln-Douglas” debate when you suspend the time restraints and throw out the rules less than 20 minutes in.
@newtgingrich’s plan to improve healthcare – “Stop paying the crooks” i.e. the government…
Lots of mic problems at tonight’s debate.
I should start counting the times @RepPaulRyan is mentioned.
You know, come to think of it, Steve King would make a great VP candidate…