The fiasco CNN and YouTube hosted — they called it a Republican debate — was uninspired from beginning to end. The questioning was incredibly hostile and unenlightening in turns and basically followed the same line: Do you hate gays? Do you hate children? Do you hate women? Do you hate Jesus? Do you hate astronauts? Do you hate African-Americans? It underscores the undying bias the Communist News Network has against Republicans.
It bothers me that Republicans feel they must subject themselves to their thinly veiled attacks. Most Republican voters avoid CNN anyway. What is to be gained in a Republican primary?
Despite the drollness, there were definite winners and losers.
5th — Mitt Romney: Romney was by far the biggest loser in the debate.
Did he look phoney to anyone else besides me? His slick answers and mannerisms remind me of someone we sent packing last election: John Kerry. He avoided questions, twisted candidate’s answers and throughout the debate, took cheap shots at whomever he could. Overall he came across as an arrogant prick.
When it came to whether waterboarding is torture, Romney copped out and refused to answer the question — a fact that McCain rightly called him to task for:
Cooper: Our next question — our next question comes from Seattle, Washington.
Andrew Jones: Hello, gentlemen. I’m Andrew, and I’m a college student from Seattle, Washington.
Recently, Senator McCain has come out strongly against using waterboarding as an instrument of interrogation.
My question for the rest of you is, considering that Mr. McCain is the only one with any firsthand knowledge on the subject, how can those of you sharing the stage with him disagree with his position?
Cooper: Governor Romney?
Romney: Well, he certainly is an expert and I certainly would want to get his counsel on a matter of this nature, but I do not believe that as a presidential candidate, it is wise for us to describe precisely what techniques we will use in interrogating people.
I oppose torture. I would not be in favor of torture in any way, shape or form.
Cooper: Is waterboarding torture?
Romney: And as I just said, as a presidential candidate, I don’t think it’s wise for us to describe specifically which measures we would and would not use.
And that is something which I would want to receive the counsel not only of Senator McCain, but of a lot of other people.
And there are people who, for many, many years get the information we need to make sure that we protect our country.
And, by the way, I want to make sure these folks are kept at Guantanamo. I don’t want the people that are carrying out attacks on this country to be brought into our jail system and be given legal representation in this country. I want to make sure that what happened …
… to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed happens to other people who are terrorists. He was captured. He was the so-called mastermind of the 9/11 tragedy. And he turned to his captors and he said, “I’ll see you in New York with my lawyers.” I presume ACLU lawyers.
Well, that’s not what happened. He went to Guantanamo and he met G.I.s and CIA interrogators. And that’s just exactly how it ought to be.
Cooper: Senator McCain?
(Unknown): There were reports Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded.
McCain: Well, governor, I’m astonished that you haven’t found out what waterboarding is.
Romney: I know what waterboarding is, Senator.
McCain: Then I am astonished that you would think such a — such a torture would be inflicted on anyone in our — who we are held captive and anyone could believe that that’s not torture. It’s in violation of the Geneva Convention. It’s in violation of existing law…
And, governor, let me tell you, if we’re going to get the high ground in this world and we’re going to be the America that we have cherished and loved for more than 200 years. We’re not going to torture people.
We’re not going to do what Pol Pot did. We’re not going to do what’s being done to Burmese monks as we speak. I suggest that you talk to retired military officers and active duty military officers like Colin Powell and others, and how in the world anybody could think that that kind of thing could be inflicted by Americans on people who are held in our custody is absolutely beyond me.
Cooper: Governor Romney, 30 seconds to respond.
Romney: Senator McCain, I appreciate your strong response, and you have the credentials upon which to make that response. I did not say and I do not say that I’m in favor of torture.
I am not. I’m not going to specify the specific means of what is and what is not torture so that the people that we capture will know what things we’re able to do and what things we’re not able to do. And I get that advice from Cofer Black, who is a person who was responsible for counterterrorism in the CIA for some 35 years.
I get that advice by talking to former generals in our military…
Romney: … and I don’t believe it’s appropriate for me, as a presidential candidate, to lay out all the issues one by one…
Romney: … get questioned one by one: Is this torture, is that torture?
Cooper: Senator McCain…
Romney: And so, that’s something which I’m going to take your and other people’s counsel on.
Cooper: Senator McCain, 30 seconds to respond.
McCain: Well, then you would have to advocate that we withdraw from the Geneva Conventions, which were for the treatment of people who were held prisoners, whether they be illegal combatants or regular prisoners of war. Because it’s clear the definition of torture. It’s in violation of laws we have passed.
And again, I would hope that we would understand, my friends, that life is not “24″ and Jack Bauer.
Life is interrogation techniques which are humane and yet effective. And I just came back from visiting a prison in Iraq. The Army general there said that techniques under the Army Field Manual are working and working effectively, and he didn’t think they need to do anything else.
My friends, this is what America is all about. This is a defining issue and, clearly, we should be able, if we want to be commander in chief of the U.S. Armed Forces, to take a definite and positive position on, and that is, we will never allow torture to take place in the United States of America.
4th — Fred Thompson: With the exception of his one-liner about what guns he owns, Fred Thompson had a lackluster showing. In his opening comments he stammered and stuttered and really did not say or do anything worth mentioning. He certainly didn’t hurt his cause, but I doubt many walked away from the debate with an overwhelming desire to vote for him.
Each candidate had a chance to make a short commercial and Thompson came out with an appallingly negative ad against Huckabee and Romney that failed to extol Thompson in any manner. It was in terrible taste and a complete waste of a minute. If Thompson were facing off against Huckabee and Romney alone, I would understand attacking them, but with a crowded field and real competition, Thompson only cleared the way for his other competitors like McCain and Giuliani.
You have to question why he would choose to attack Huckabee. I understand that Romney is a threat, but is the Thompson campaign feeling the squeeze from the former Arkansas Governor? Why not attack Giuliani? We all know there is enough ammunition to fill a dozen commercials. Maybe Thompson is vying for vice presidency and hoping that calling off the dogs will give him brownie points with Rudy.
Whatever the reasons, it was odd from every angle.
3rd — Rudy Giuliani: While the other candidate’s questions were mostly mainly innocuous, the mayor was the only one whose questions were almost all hostile. You cannot convince me this was an accident. Even though he had quite a minefield to maneuver, Giuliani survived CNN as well as Romney’s badgering.
Throughout the debate Giuliani was honest, factual and had no desire to deceive. When given a chance to attack Romney and get him back for fighting dirty, Rudy was fair. Anderson Cooper asked, “…on the issue of fighting crime, is he [Romney] a crime fighter?” Rudy had a perfect chance to take the low road like Romney had all night and twist the facts. Instead Rudy showed his character and said, “The Governor has a mixed record in fighting crime. For example, murder went up by 7.5%, burglary went up, one other category of violent crime went up; some categories of violent crime went down. So it would be fair to say it’s a mixed record.”
You cannot fake honest reactions like this. It does much to show who Giuliani really is.
2nd — Mike Huckabee: Huckabee was honest, well spoken and mastered every question posed. He distanced himself from Thompson and Romney very well. The only reason he edged Giuliani out was that there was really only two attacks on him: one from Thompson and another from you-know-who.
His answer on what would Jesus would do about the death penalty (another “fair” question from the Clinton News Network) was absolutely brilliant. Huckabee also satisfactorily answered the seemingly deranged “do you believe the Bible” questioner as well.
1st — John McCain: If I came to the debate fresh with no knowledge of any candidate, McCain would have my undying support. He answered every question very well and challenged Romney and Ron Paul in the fashion of a statesman. You could tell his passion was real and wasn’t drummed up by a campaign consultant. Overall, the Senator did a fantastic job and came out of the debacle as the winner hands down.
As far as Paul, Hunter, and Tancredo goes, Paul made an embarrassment of himself on Iraq (surprise, surprise), his video proudly showed a sign hung in an illegal place, and the other two candidates were lackluster at best. Why are they running?
- Add your comments (0 so far)