Well, its no surprise – hands down the winner was Newt Gingrich. Not even close for anyone else. There was a lot of hype leading up to this debate predicting an old fashioned showdown between Newt and Mitt. And, it showdown it was. Actually, it was more like a shoot-out. Everyone was attacking Newt. However, Newt was the last man standing. He withstood each attack and gave it as good as he took it. I was a little nervous for Newt when the debate turned toward faith and marital fidelity, but he was honest and told us all he had made mistakes and was in need of forgiveness and reconciliation. Newt also had THE line of the night saying the only reason why Mitt Romney was not a career politician was that he lost to Ted Kennedy back in 1994.
As for the other candidates, I can’t understand why Jon Huntsman was not there. I understand Huntsman’s strategy is to skip Iowa in favor of New Hampshire. But, when you are polling at about 2% and all the rest of your competitors are onstage together with out you – it just doesn’t look good. Michelle Bachmann felt the need to invoke the name of Herman Cain and then copy his 9-9-9 plan. Following after a failed candidate is not the path to victory. Ron Paul was as solid as ever. Rick Santorum, in my opinion, was completely forgettable other than his answer to the marital fidelity/character question. Mitt Romney was ok. He hung in there. He stood his ground, but did not gain any ground either. But, a word of advice, rich people trying to get middle class votes shouldn’t be wagering $10,000 bets on national tv. Rick Perry gave his best debate performance thus far. If he had performed this well in the past he still might have been in the top tier.
However, before I wrap this up, I should talk about the moderators of this debate. George Stephanopoulos and Diane Sawyer should never be allowed to host another debate again! This debate was not about thought-provoking questions concerning important issues. No, George and Diane spent the whole night trying to pick a fight. Asking questions like, which one of you is the most conservative and able to beat Obama. Really? You have all the major candidates in one place, one person here could be the next leader of the free world and that is the question you want to know the answer to? Really? At one point they both ask different candidates who is winning this part of the debate so far. That’s just a poor attempt to stir up some strife. These two people were not seeking answers but ratings. What a shame.
Well, with that having been said, here are my live thoughts throughout the debate via twitter. As always, start from the bottom for chronological order…
@TeamBachmann – win/win/win wasn’t a good line the first time, and it still wasn’t the second time. Copying a candidate who had to drop out?
@TeamRickPerry and @MittRomney showing @RonPaul the love! #IowaDebate
As my body grows more tired, my tweets start slowing down… #IowaDebate
@RonPaul – I love you, but you don’t to pivot to abolish the fed and the gold standard EVERY time you get a question. #IowaDebate
“I didn’t grow up poor” says the man making $10,000 bets… #IowaDebate
@TeamRickPerry is sounding good tonight – perhaps his best debate performance to date. #IowaDebate
Now Diane Sawyer asks the same question – what kind of debate is this? Maybe we should ask @realDonaldTrump to step in! #IowaDebate
Did George just ask @TeamBachmann who was winning this part of the debate? Really? George S. has got to go as moderator! #IowaDebate
“I’ve known BeBe” – this now a litmus test for GOP candidates? #IowaDebate
Fellow TwitterGeeks, you should be following NBC’s @KellyO – she is giving some good insights on tonight’s debate. #IowaDebate
Some of my conservative friends may not like this, but when conservatives take a hard-line on immigration, they come off looking heartless.
@Newt2012HQ sounds reasonable to me on immigration, but the law must still be enforced or changed #IowaDebate
@Newt2012HQ gives a good answer – he’s made mistakes and needed to seek forgiveness and reconciliation. Good enough for me. #IowaDebate
For the record – @TeamBachmann said she doesn’t mind answering questions about her husband. #IowaDebate
@RonPaul – character is important but you shouldn’t have to talk about it. It should be seen in how they live their lives. #IowaDebate
@RickSantorum – character is important and leads to trust. #IowaDebate
@TeamRickPerry – marriage vows are to God and those who cheat on their wives will cheat on their business partners. #IowaDebate
Side by side comparisons of two versions of Romney book: scr.bi/r9t5Jn #IowaDebate
Didn’t @RickSantorum lose his senate seat? He just called @TeamBachmann a loser. Bachmann doesn’t deny it but says its all about the fight
@RickSantorum said he was a conservative who didn’t support an individual mandate because of listening to Newt gopack tapes. #IowaDebate
@MittRomney offers @TeamRickPerry a $10,000 bet. I thought Mormons didn’t do that… #IowaDebate
@TeamRickPerry is looking good tonight – but we’re rehashing some old material here. Is this a rerun? #IowaDebate
RomneyCare – the reason why @MittRomney will not be the GOP nominee. #IowaDebate
Great line by @TeamRickPerry – @MittRomney should have had a talk with the people of MA before he had a conversation with Obama #IowaDebate
I know Newt Gingrich, Newt Gingrich is a friend of mine…” @MittRomney – you’re no @Newt2012HQ ! #IowaDebate
“Newt/Romney” – just what was @TeamBachmann trying to do here? Does she really think attacking both at once would really work? #IowaDebate
It’s everybody against @Newt2012HQ right now and no one is able to shake the man. This just makes Newt look even stronger! #IowaDebate
Losing to Ted Kennedy was the best thing he could have done? Really, @MittRomney? Losing to @RonPaul would be even better! #IowaDebate
@Newt2012HQ is da man! The gloves are off and @MittRomney is licking his wounds while in the fetal position crying… #IowaDebate
Ouch, @Newt2012HQ goes on the offensive! Basically says the only reason @MittRomney is not a career politician is because he is a loser!
Which one of you is most conservative/best chance at beating Obama? Really, George, could you be more obvious at trying to pick a fight?
Its great to see all my fellow twitter geeks out tonight tweeting tonight’s debate. #IowaDebate
@GovGaryJohnson and @BuddyRoemer would have made this debate more interesting and perhaps more meaningful/memorable. #IowaDebate
Some1 should create a drinking game that makes people take a shot every time @TeamBachmann mentions being a tax lawyer or her foster kids.
@TeamBachmann is first to go after the @THEHermanCain supporters. #IowaDebate
@reformedcast – a candidate polling around 2% should not pass up a shot at national tv, especially when all your competitors will be there!
Does @MittRomney feel free to attack China with @Jon2012HQ not present? #IowaDebate
@MittRomney gets it right – the government doesn’t create jobs, but then lists 7 ways government can… #IowaDebate
I thought conservatives didn’t believe government created jobs, @Newt2012HQ ?
Where is @Jon2012HQ Huntsman? #IowaDebate
WARNING – Debate begins in a few minutes and then the tweets/status updates will start flying. You have been warned… #IowaDebate
A very busy night ahead of me – Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and a GOP debate. Add in some chicken wings and a Coke and u make it perfect
After all this build-up, it will be disappointing if @Newt2012HQ and @MittRomney don’t gouge each other’s eyes out… #iowadebate