ABC News/Yahoo Debate GOP New Hampshire post-debate analysis

I stayed up until 02:00hrs (UK Time) tonight to watch with anticipation the expected slug feast that was meant to be the GOP ABC News /Yahoo debate. Sadly, the standard of debate questions were the poorest of any to date, and I actually felt more sorry for the moderators asking the questions, then for the candidates, who had to stand through this whole debacle which was capped off with the most amateurish of finishes.

Ron Paul was put on the spot early by moderator George Stephanopoulos, over his accusation of corruption against Senator Rick Santorum in his campaign ads.

“It was a quote,” explained Paul. “Somebody did make a survey and he came up as one of the top corrupt individuals because he took so much from lobbyists.”

There was a good composed opening by Romney and Santorum on the issue of the latest jobs report although Santorum was reluctant to repeat his criticism of Romney when urged by the moderator.

At that moment, there was a loud noise and the microphone had some feedback, Santorum seized the moment saying, “They caught you not telling the truth, Ron.”

Mr. Paul quickly went after Mr. Santorum as well, faulting him for his “big government” votes while in Congress, controversy regarding his residency, and money he has taken since leaving office.

“I wish I had 20 minutes to answer this,” Mr. Santorum said. “It’s a ridiculous charge, and you should know better.” He defended his earmarks on behalf of Pennsylvania and the work he has done in the private sector.

“You’re a big spender,” Mr. Paul insisted. “You’re a big-government conservative, and somebody has to say it.”

Governor Perry did well citing his record and Washington outsider status in his quest for the presidential role and accused Ron Paul of taking earmarks for his district and then voting against the Bill saying it hinted of hypocrisy. Ouch! Perry also did well on the military question highlighting the $1 Billion in cuts under the Obama administration in three years, not just the recent cuts.

The next heated exchange came between Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich in a fiery heated exchange following a remark earlier in the week by Paul that Gingrich was a “Chicken Hawk” for supporting the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan even though he himself has never served in the military.

Asked whether he stands by the remark, Paul responds:

“Yeah. I think people who don’t serve when they could and they get three or four or even five deferments, they have no right to send our kids off to war. … I’m trying to stop the wars. At least I went when they called me up.”

Newt clearly annoyed but disciplined not to appear snarly coolly responds, “Dr. Paul makes a lot of comments. It’s part of his style,” he says. He adds: “Dr. Paul has a long history of saying things that are inaccurate and false. The fact is, I never asked for a deferment.”

Paul responds, ““I have a pet peeve that annoys me to a great deal, because when I see these young men coming back, my heart weeps for them.”

Gingrich then notes his father’s years in the military and chides Paul: “I think I have a pretty good idea of what it’s like as a family to worry about your father getting killed, and I personally resent the kinds of comments and aspersions he routinely makes without accurate information, and then just slurs people.”

The debate then turned to a social values question on Contraception which Romney, Huntsman and Santorum all did their level best at ducking the question and trying not to sound too controversial.

Step up Newt Gingrich! “I just want to raise a point about the news media bias,” he says. He goes on to say that there is more “anti-Christian bias” than bias against other religious groups under this current administration and attacks the administration for their treatment of the Christian faith and receives rapturous applause from the audience.

The debate continued with some further questions and probing on the Patriot Act and privacy, with Ron Paul delivering a good response on the right to privacy under the constitution.

The next controversial issues was the right to Gay Marriage which Romney ducked again, and clearly did his level best to view it as a states rights issue with Santorum effectively agreeing with his assessment and Jon Huntsman distinguishing between traditional religious rights and legal rights. Newt stepped up again with a good answer on gay rights and designation and contrasted his position well to the right of marriage.

On the issue of Iraq, a huge talking point will be no doubt Rick Perry’s tearing up of the textbook by saying he’d send U.S. troops back into Iraq. Nobody expected that response and no doubt his team will try and walk back his response.

There was some discussion over tax and economic plans but to be fair to the candidates, the questions were of such a poor standard that we learnt nothing new and the questions didn’t enable us to learn anything factually new.

All the candidates struggled on the issues of Afghanistan, Iraq and foreign policy in general with the exception of Newt Gingrich who gave a master class in the level of thinking and vision a president needs. “If you want to stop Wahabbism, get an American energy policy so no American president ever again bows to a Saudi king and rattled of a number of ideas and solutions with so much ease frankly, it made the other candidates look poor. Romney was again exposed showing he is great at saying what President Obama isn’t doing but can’t tell us what he’d do as President.

Santorum did well when talking about being a president who would bring every American together not be a divider like President Obama saying, “If you want someone that’s a clear contrast, that has a strong record, has a vision for this country that’s going to get this country going – an appeal to blue-collar workers in Pennsylvania, and Ohio, and Michigan and Indiana, and deliver that message that we care about you too, not just about Wall Street and bailing them out, then I’m the guy that you want to put in the nomination.”

Gingrich came out with a very humourous but well driven home point about President Obama’s attempt to develop a radical European socialist system in the United States which went down very well with the audience.

All the candidates did relatively well with the possible exception of Jon Huntsman who despite an encouraging start got completely slammed on the issue of trade with China by Mitt Romney and desperately resorted to speaking Mandarin to try and save the point, he didn’t.

Overall, the debate was the most disappointing so far, largely because of the lame questions being asked & it made of mockery of it, supposing to be a presidential standard debate being put on by the network. It left the viewers and candidates short changed. I couldn’t believe that throughout the entire debate there was no question on Obamacare, debt or entitlement reform.

Newt & Romney are in a league of their own compared to the rest of the field; I just wish we could narrow down the field and have some real substantive debates.

All candidates generally had a good night, Newt was the quality class responder however, Romney was the winner purely due to the fact that, nobody laid a glove on him and he hammered Huntsman on China.

P.S. I’d like to thanks Tina Revers for her input & contribution in producing this analysis.

6 Responses

  1. If you are going to quote the conversation between Gingrich and Paul, just maybe you should quote the full content. It is sad to see how spins are put on everything on this site.

    • Terry, I can never pass up the opportunity to respond to Ron Paul supporters. I think they are the most arrogant and useless loud mouths in politics and so I look for every opportunity I can to return to them the attitude which they give to others. So let me start by thanking you for your advice.
      Now I would like to offer you some advice.

      Your own attempt to spin an opinion that you disagree with and suggest that it is not an accurate opinion, is quite hypocritical and quite typical of Ron Paul supporters. I suggest that you get your own facts straight and instead of trying to deny others the right to their opinions, try defending your own with some truthful statements.

      So far, in the 2012 election cycl, the two biggest spinners and liars have been President Obama and liberal-tarian Ron Paul, a career politician who has successfully passed only one of his own legislative initiatives in nearly two decades in Congress.

      Ron Paul is an accomplished liar, and unaccomplished leader and for all his holier than thou preaching, he has yet to have done one single thing to reduce taxes, cut spending, or reduce the size of government. The man has accomplished absolutely nothing, nada, zip, zilch. But he talks a good game. He lies about others and denies the truths about himself, yet this is the man whom you defend and claim that any criticism of, is nothing more than spin.

      Sorry, Terry, but the Ron Paul charade is over. Most Americans realize that Ron Paul is an insignificant little man, who fails to live up to the most primary constitutional responsibilities of the U.S. federal government. And if you think that is spin, I suggest you read the constitution.

      In the meantime, as the creator and editor of White House 2012, I firmly stand behind the opinions and analysis of each and every contributor to the site. What you call spin, I call facts that are supported by the authors who present them. Just because the contributors of White House 2012 are not drinking the kool aid that Ron Paul is pouring you and following him to our death like Jim Jones did to his mindless worshippers, does not mean that their criticism of the little hypocrite is not deserved or justified. Your ignorant remarks just prove that in addition to being obnoxious and foolish, most Pauliacs are like you, intolerant of differing views and unwilling to accept the fact that their idol is less than perfect.

      That stated, next time you want to discuss “spin” take it up with Ron Paul and hold him accountable for all the spinning he does in his attempts to lie about his opponents as he runs the most negative campaign of all the candidates running for President. And while you’re at it, you might want to ask Ron Paul why he is so consumed by the personal lives of his opponents? I would suggest that it is because when it comes to the issues, Ron Paul can’t compete and his record is one of total failure.

      • Sorry, I am not a Ron Paul supporter I am Canadian. Finishing the whole conversation to me would be proper. Just my two cents. And by the way it was very clear by your reply it was left out intentionally.

        • Oh I see, as a Canadian you have no opinion of Ron Paul, you just want to defend him and deny the accuracy of the opinions offered by others. That makes sense…………….NOT.

  2. Dear Mr. Kempite,

    As far as I see it, reporting the whole story seems to an accurate way to report. Maybe you do not. The way I see it being reported are half stories which does not give the reader a clear picture. You are entitled to the way you report a story, however I am entitled to say how I see it being done. If you want to slam someone for their opinion in the way you seem fit to do, so be it.
    I did not say I do not have an opinion of Ron Paul. What has brought many people into the forefront of Ron Paul’s campaign is precisely how your column and many others for that matter leaves out important information. People do research when there are different points of view. It makes them aware of what is going on.

    All the best to your column.

    • As far as I see it, I might respect your opinion if it was based on some truth. However, as Rick Santorum pointed out during the debate and as he was quoted in this post, “I wish I had 20 minutes to answer this,”. In other words, in a post like this time does not permit for every word or every sentence, in every sentence be reprinted in one account that was designed to give an overall impression. This post was not a transcript of the debate, as such it did not present, word by word transcript of everything that was stated in this debate because that was not the intention of this post. However, the quotes used in it were not taken out of context, they were not misleading, nor were they twisted to deceive readers. Yet you try to charge the author with a lack of journalistic integrity because he did not repeat Ron Paul verbatum. It’s funny how you did not complain about the lack of complete statements presented here from all the other candidates, just Ron Paul.

      My first problem here is with Ron Paul supporters. They are usually obnoxious and so sensitive to criticism of Ron Paul that they lash out at those who dare to be behind the criticisim of their messiah. So I like to treat Ron paul defenders the same way. Like them, I deny Ron Paul fanatics proper respect and belittle any and all credibility that they might have. It is a mattewr of treating them the same way they treat others.

      My second problem here is your charge which inferred that the author manipulated statements to conform to his opinion.

      The author simply stated the facts and his opinion of those facts. Furthermore, White House 2012 proudly promotes itself as a pro-Republican site. That means it has a conservative Republican bias . It states so so on the About WH12 page where I explain that WH12 offers everything from links regarding the candidates and the election, to news, information, analysis, and opinion.

      Now you may not undersatand the difference between news, information, and opinions, but that would be your problem. However unlike most of the media outlets that you seek to lump WH12 with, White House 2012 does not hide its biases, we are quite upfront about it. And yet at the same time, when we do offer such things as transcripts or video of debates, videos of the candidate’s speeches, commercials, or various interviews, or such things as their voting records, campaign finances, and comparisons of their positions, these undeniable facts are presented and made available for readers in the only way that is appropriate………… honestly and without bias. And when an opinion of those facts is held by contributors to White House 2012, those opinions are also made available to readers in the only way that is appropriate……….sincerely. Ron Paul supporters may not like opinions which do not conform to their cult-like worshipping at the feet of Ron Paul, but that is their problem, not mine. Meanwhile, when one tries to claim that an opinion on White House 2012 is an attempt to manipulate voters and misinform them, I am forced to remind them that I started this site to promote my opinions and political ideology, an ideology that I believe strengthens my nation. That mission allows me and the contributors to the site, to present both the facts and the opinions based upon those facts. This not only accurately makes people aware of what is going on, it also offers them a viewpoint that they may not have considered or the chance to see things from a perspoective that they may have not seen things in before. Those with their own biases, may be offended by a different viewpoint, and to those who are, I suggest that they start their own site and then I challenge them to make just half of the unbiased, factual, information that White House 2012 has made available to its readers, available to their readers of their site.

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