Mitt Romney must turn the tide. Newt has the momentum.
Here we go.
Newt gets to go first. Why?
Reagan as Newt. Washington establishment is uncomfortable.
Newt is not going to respond because he is above it.
Mitt got under Newt’s skin. “You are a bad historian . . .” That is a lame response.
Santorum says he has the right plan. It strikes me as irrelevant in the discussion.
Paul just confirmed that Newt made a mess of the House and that he left because forced.
Santorum talked about allowing banks to go under. This is a good point. He is very sharp.
Gingrich is now explaining how he got paid to lobby, but he is not a lobbyist. “It is sad that it gets personal and nasty. . . ”
“I have never, ever done any lobbying . . . ”
Mitt and Newt are going at it. Newt is denying he was a lobbyist. He was probably technically not a lobbyist, but he got paid to lobby.
I cannot see how Gingrich escapes this mess. Folks: don’t blame Romney you are going to hear this again and again and again. Obama is going to go at it.
Newt is now trying to claim that he has never lobbied . . . and relying on Clinton-esque definitions to avoid the charge. He cannot escape this because he made his money in this “consulting” with no real business knowledge.
Forty-percent of homeowners are underwater in Florida. Santorum is attacking the Democrats for holding back reform.
Santorum: Banks must fail. Deductions must be given for the sale of a home.
Ron Paul is pointing out the government made the mess. The whole bubble was easily seen. The government made it with politicians. Prices will have to come down. Ron Paul says, “Let the puppies die.”
Romney gives three points in his plan. Unemployment is a problem.
Newt “repeal Dodd-Frank.” I at least have no idea what he is talking about.
Newt: the financial system is over-regulated.
Mitt Romney is awesome on this banking issue. He points out that we are not over-regulated, just badly regulated. Regulation is necessary.
Cuba . . . Romney gets a good response on his talk about Fidel Castro.
Newt sounds lame. He tries to one up Mitt. Fails.
I think Romney rocked him.
Paul suggests talking to Cuba. Somebody is going to get to smack Paul down. It is not 1962 anymore says Paul. He gets applause.
Cuba is close and China is far away . . .says Santorum. This was based on the most idiotic question of the debate that if we had many “Chinese” in a key state would we embargo China. . .
Why don’t they just let these people talk? Why does the newspaper guy interrupt? Let them fight.
Romney: keep the sea lanes open. We need more ships.
This is just true, I think, it is the one area of the military where we must dominate.
Gingrich and Romney agree.
Gingrich says, “Dictatorships respond to strength.”
Should we talk to Taliban? Romney: we must beat the Taliban, transition over to Afghan army. The President has made it hard to win.
Paul: no hot war in Iran.
Paul is a good guy to have around in some ways. He gives the other guys a foil. Otherwise there would be too much agreement.
Evaluation at the break:
Gingrich is on his heals. He looks boring and for some reason has developed Weird Hair.
Newt tried to demagogue the whole lobbying thing, but Romney actually silenced him. Gingrich looked bad, I think.
Santorum is winning by being able to avoid the fray and give his point of view. Rick Santorum is a good candidate. I don’t always agree with him (or anyone else), but he knows his stuff.
Santorum schools the college journalism major that asks a question about off shore drilling.
The college journalism major asks why English. Gingrich is right. He points out that is not just Spanish . . .
Romney points out that he helped bring English immersion. Learning English is a great thing.
Gingrich and Romney were a good team here. Gingrich is the problem. His oversized personality and problems drown out his message.
It all ends up being about Gingrich and not the issue. He big foots his message.
Romney: give them transition period and then if you don’t have the documents, you can self-deport.
Santorum on self-deportation. “It is happening now.”
Romney/Santorum? Is that a ticket?
I hear Matt Anderson saying to me, “Santorum/Romney.”
Sugar subsidy. Should it go?
Gingrich: admits total failure on agriculture.
Romney: we should get rid of subsidies. What is really going on? People hurting, homes under water. Everything Obama has done has made it harder.
This President has failed the people of Florida. Romney lists how Obama has failed.
We come to another break. Is Gingrich playing not to lose now? Does he think he has it won?
If so, I think he has misread things. Gingrich on “sugar” was not so hot. Obvious point: Gingrich is in trouble without a “red hot” crowd. He is an actor and not a statesman so feeds off the energy of the audience. The audience is quiet and so there is no energy.
He has not been able to attack the questioner and so he is left paddling about saying innocuous things or looking like a lobbyist.
I think Santorum benefits by Romney becoming the “pit bull,” but I wonder at this point if most don’t find him a distraction.
This is Ron Paul at his best. He presents a foreign policy alternative. It is not my point of view, but foreign policy is one where good people can disagree easily. Is he most prudent?
I don’t think so, but unlike corruption or demagoguery is not disqualifying. I disagree with Paul so I will not vote for him.
The Florida Council of 100 sounds like a weird Masonic group sponsoring this debate.
Terry Schiavo question? Really?
Santorum argues for “respect for human life.”
Looks for judicial oversight . . .
Santorum does a good job here.
Newt does a good job with a “bias in favor of life” as opposed to a criminal on death row. You have a right to a “living will.”
Ron Paul points out that we should all have “living wills.” It is better to have a “living will.”
The decision should have been made at a state level.
Romney is asked about NASA and gets to miss the Schaivo question. He is happy about that I bet.
Romney: president has no mission or vision for NASA.
NASA needs a mission. President should draw people together and get the private sector involved. Mission to excite young people about space.
This is a good answer. NASA is something that government can do and do well.
In that way, it is like the army.
Should there be more money in the space race?
More money in prizes would stimulate development. Really?
The college journalism major says, “Why didn’t the Bush tax cuts work?”
Gingrich: they stopped a deeper slump. Romney gets no response?
Thanks for the questioners. They were a waste of time. “All Gee-Whiz!”
It is hard not to think that Romney pasted Gingrich so badly in the first round that Gingrich has shrunken in his suit to become Good and Sensible Gingrich.
Note to those who think Gingrich is the great debater: as a rhetorician he has one trick- anger. This anger can be bemusement or scorn, but without a target he has nothing to say. He ends up nattering.
Romney can talk all on the details of any issue and in a calm room is doing best. He is winning the debate.
I often forget that Paul is here, except when he is lovable like a Care Bear in a debate with sharp objects.
Santorum? Rick Santorum should be getting his third of the vote, but I do not know why he is not.
Isn’t the take away so far the smack down on Newt?
That is all they have done that is new. Newt got flummoxed. Can Newt recover in the close?
I don’t know.
Romney (what have you done for conservatism):
1. Romney had a family
2. He was business leader
3. He took a blue state and made it better.
The entire twentieth century is the result of Newt.
Newt made Reagan president.
Newt talks, but cannot do.
Obama will spend one billion dollars. I can beat Obama in a debate.
Obamacare is Romneycare.
Gingrich rejects conservatism when it is hard to stand.
Santorum has won this round.
Santorum takes a Tea Party route.
Ron Paul: smaller government, more liberty.
Rhetoric is good, but we need the Constitution. We should be protect liberty, not be a welfare state, and foreign aid. More wars.
The government should be out of our personal lives. Follow the Constitution.
Romney: return the states to craft their own programs.
Gingrich is asked “what scares you.” We will face big problems. He gives a shout out to Santorum and Paul, but none to Romney.
I will never vote for Newt Gingrich. It is humbling and sobering to get America on the right track despite our elites.
Is Gingrich going to do this?
Romney points out seven things we should do. Perry could not name three. One has to laugh.
Romney won the close.
That debate was more like those early on. Congressmen point out that Gingrich lobbied in all but name, he knows it.
Look, I appreciate the good that Newt has done and his good words . . . but he was a disaster as leader. Go look at newspapers. He went toe to toe with Clinton and reelected Clinton.
Let’s face it: Gingrich will not be the nominee, because he can get harmed by Romney, who agrees with me, on this kind issue and he cannot respond.
It is true he was paid to “consult” the government agencies that brought on the housing crisis. It is also true that the only thing Newt has or knows that is worth that kind of money is influence.
We all know it. Denying it is loser talk. He cannot admit it, however, because it is toxic.
Ask yourself: will Obama let it go or one billion dollars force it down our throats.
Romney is very rich because he earned it.
Gingrich is rich because he joined government.
Is that good?
Santorum wins by not being in the fray, if he seems relevant. I am not sure.
Paul is Paul. I send him hugs and wish him well. His son has a future in this party.