The CNBC Republican Presidential debate tonight on the economy really separated the “men” from the “boys”!
The big losers were Rick Perry, who could not remember the Department of Energy as one of the government departments he wants to abolish, coming across as totally inept; and Herman Cain, who gave a poor performance regarding his ethics, and kept on referring to his ridiculous 9-9-9 plan constantly!
The big winners were Newt Gingrich, who came across as what he was: thoughtful in ideas, intelligent, knowledgeable, but also very demagogic in many of his statements; and Jon Huntsman, who appeared to be stronger than he has been, and has a shot at becoming a serious candidate.
Mitt Romney did not do anything disastrous in his performance in the debate, but did not strengthen his case either, so Gingrich and Huntsman now appear to be his chief competitors.
Ron Paul was. . . . . well, Ron Paul, a curmudgeon with ideas totally impractical, but strong as usual in his assertiveness.
And Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum are not worthy of spending time discussing, as neither improved their position in the race.
So the main story of this debate is the collapse of the Perry and Cain campaigns, and the strengthening of Gingrich and Huntsman.
We shall see in a few days whether the author’s judgments show up reflected in the polls, but we have learned that polls do not necessarily relate to reality, and the audience at this debate acted just as insensitive and outrageous as at earlier debates.
The performance of the debaters does not bode well for the GOP, on top of their weak performance in yesterday’s key issues decided by the voters in Ohio, Mississippi, Maine, and Arizona.