Thoughts on Thursday’s Republican Debate

(Post by LB)

In the aftermath of the vicious fighting between Hillary/Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, I expected the Republicans to capitalize by refraining from attacking each other in last Thursday’s Florida debate. The Republicans could present themselves as more unified and focused on the future than the Democrats for the first time in the campaign.

From the outset, it was clear that the candidates had agreed not to get into the name-calling and attacks that had characterized their earlier debates. The moderators, Tim Russert and Brian Williams, did everything in their power to get the candidates to turn on each other, including a series of early questions reminding candidates what they had said about one another. There was an entire section of the debate that consisted of the candidates asking each other questions. Notably, Romney and McCain did not ask each other questions, instead lobbing softball questions about China and the economy to Guiliani and Paul.   Russert still would not relent, and asked Romney if he trusted McCain to lower taxes. Romney almost took the bait, and said McCain should have voted for the Bush tax cuts, then quickly relented and noted that McCain does now support them, and that he respects McCain but sometimes has differences of opinion with him.

Overall, the Republicans seemed more confident, especially on Iraq. Romney attacked Clinton for her answer in the Democratic debate to the question “What is more important to you- winning in Iraq or ending the war?” to which she replied “Bringing the troops home”. If she overcomes Bill Clinton’s recent harmful statements (such as today’s observation that Jesse Jackson also won South Carolina) and becomes the nominee, that answer will hurt her in the general election.

4 Responses to Thoughts on Thursday’s Republican Debate

  1. [...] Augean Stables wrote an interesting post today on Thoughts on Thursdayâs Republican DebateHere’s a quick excerpt (Post by LB) In the aftermath of the vicious fighting between Hillary/Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, I expected the Republicans to capitalize by refraining from attacking each other in last Thursday’s Florida debate. The Republicans could present themselves as more unified and focused on the future than the Democrats for the first time in the campaign. From the outset, it was clear that the candidates had agreed not to get into the name-calling and attacks that had characterized their earlier [...]

  2. [...] Augean Stables wrote an interesting post today on Thoughts on Thursdayâs Republican DebateHere’s a quick excerpt (Post by LB) In the aftermath of the vicious fighting between Hillary/Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, I expected the Republicans to capitalize by refraining from attacking each other in last Thursday’s Florida debate. The Republicans could present themselves as more unified and focused on the future than the Democrats for the first time in the campaign. From the outset, it was clear that the candidates had agreed not to get into the name-calling and attacks that had characterized their earlier [...]

  3. [...] Augean Stables wrote an interesting post today on Thoughts on Thursdayâs Republican DebateHere’s a quick excerpt (Post by LB) In the aftermath of the vicious fighting between Hillary/Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, I expected the Republicans to capitalize by refraining from attacking each other in last Thursday’s Florida debate. The Republicans could present themselves as more unified and focused on the future than the Democrats for the first time in the campaign. From the outset, it was clear that the candidates had agreed not to get into the name-calling and attacks that had characterized their earlier [...]

  4. [...] Augean Stables wrote an interesting post today on Thoughts on Thursdayâs Republican DebateHere’s a quick excerpt (Post by LB) In the aftermath of the vicious fighting between Hillary/Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, I expected the Republicans to capitalize by refraining from attacking each other in last Thursday’s Florida debate. The Republicans could present themselves as more unified and focused on the future than the Democrats for the first time in the campaign. From the outset, it was clear that the candidates had agreed not to get into the name-calling and attacks that had characterized their earlier [...]

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