The third Republican debate in two weeks in Orlando, Florida, witnessed no surprises, as Rick Perry and Mitt Romney remained the clear front runners, but it seemed to the author that Romney may have made some headway and gained on Perry, as a result of Romney’s strong responses to various Perry challenges, and Perry’s seeming inability to look directly at Romney while speaking!
The race still seems to be primarily between those two men, but again Jon Huntsman gave some strong answers, and his sudden surge in New Hampshire to third place in percentage of poll support behind Romney and Perry makes him someone worth watching. It was clear to the author of this blog that Huntsman is, in many ways, the most interesting candidate in the race, someone to watch!
The only other candidate who came across strongly was Newt Gingrich, who is obviously very smart and knowledgeable. If that were all that could be said about Gingrich, he would be in good stead, but his own shortcomings and ethical and moral lapses weaken him as a candidate, while making one realize that in pure intellect, he is at the top of the list!
Rick Santorum came across as worse just by his stated desire to reverse “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, adding to his “gay” problem which has dogged him all along, and led to his name becoming a synonym for a sex act, all due to his own fault and total obsession with homosexuality.
Michele Bachmann was more on the offensive against Perry, the person who has most weakened her since he entered the race over a month ago, but did not seem to gain at all in her quest to be taken seriously again. And her suggestion that Americans should not have to pay taxes, keep all their money, was totally ridiculous!
Ron Paul came across as what he is, a libertarian, but despite polls, cannot be seen as having a real shot at the nomination of a party which dislikes much of what he believes in.
Herman Cain gained sympathy over the revelation that he had survived for five years since having stage 4 colon and liver cancer, but quite frankly, made one wonder about the wisdom of a person running for President with such a medical past. The miracle of five years survival is wonderful, but makes one worry whether he would survive long enough to serve a full presidential term.
Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, first time in the presidential debate, offered humor with some answers, but his strict libertarianism, competing with Ron Paul, came across as more whacky than even Paul, and is a minor figure in the race, good for libertarians, but enough to convince anyone that libertarianism is not where America should be heading!
So again, in conclusion, Romney gained, Perry may have lost some traction, and Huntsman seemed stronger and someone not to be disregarded.
No one made an impression that would make one want to say goodbye to Barack Obama in the White House!