February 23, 2012


More Debate Reaction

Miss the GOP presidential debate? I thought it was easily one of the worst of the campaign.

The Daily Beast has video clips of the seven best moments.

Paul Begala: "Santorum was clearly thrilled to be in the spotlight. But he spent way too much time splitting hairs and explaining the protocol and procedures of Washington in defense of earmarks and defending his support for Specter. As he has done in the past, he couldn't resist picking a gratuitous fight with Ron Paul. That's called punching down, and it rarely works. He played too much defense and too little offense. His job should have been to use every opportunity to define Romney as a feckless liberal and himself as a principled conservative. He didn't accomplish that."

Roger Simon: "This was the first debate in which Santorum sat atop the national polls. And he was nervous. Very nervous. So nervous that he looked like a graduate of the Bob Dole School of Debating, in which you are allowed to speak only in the impenetrable language of Capitol Hill."

Howard Kurtz: "In the end, the debate did little to shake up the race, perhaps because the candidates--seated this time, close to one another--muted their criticism in what was the last such face-off before Super Tuesday. Even moderator John King, famously roughed up by Gingrich in their last encounter, emerged unscathed."

Andrew Sullivan: "Maybe I've lost my mind after all these debates, or maybe I secretly want him to win (because he would finally expose all the insanity that has been building in this party and needs venting). But I thought Santorum was on form tonight. My sense is that he will not lose his current momentum after tonight. I didn't feel Newt tonight. Romney doesn't wear well. Paul was great and funny and human."

David Brody: "There were no game changers tonight in the presidential debate in Arizona but I will say this: Someone must have given Rick Santorum smile lessons before the debate. I have NEVER seen him so relaxed and happy in a debate setting. You may discount this as no big deal but remember that voters don't typically elect mean, angry, whiny people to be President of the United States."

Will Wilkinson: "The race has come down to Santorum and Romney, and they both failed to distinguish themselves tonight. Both repeatedly offered convoluted answers in the attempt to establish trivial points. As everyone's noted, Romney's success at hall-packing made him look like a winner even though he's losing to Rick Freaking Santorum. ... I am ashamed of and afraid for my country."










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