Last Night there was a Republican Presidential Debate last night. I am sure a lot of political junkies like me watched it, but not much else. Here is my quick run down of what I thought about it.
First Gary Johnson, former two term governor of New Mexico. He has been nicknamed Governor Veto, Johnson has a strong Libertarian streak which is probably why he earned that nickname. Overall I like Johnson, he has a lot of good ideas. His problem during the debate is he had to request a question, he got ignored for quite some time, which I find ridiculous no matter if you have 5 or 20 candidates, the moderators should be able to space the questions out evenly. I think that made him a bit flustered for the evening. He was a bit long on his answers and so that hurt him. For my personal preference he is not Pro-Life, he thinks it is a woman’s choice. However his silver lining is he does not think the Federal Government should be involved, he does not think funding should go for it, he thinks there should be parental notification/consent laws. Johnson of course came down on the side of free markets, entitlement reform, smaller government, states rights, and ending the wars.
Second Rick Santorum, former Representative and Senator from Pennsylvania. He was beaten in his last election in 2006. He struck me as an establisment candidate that wants to keep the Neo-Con status quo. However, I did find myself identifying with his value system, but I fear that he would impose those values through the Federal Government. He had a question framed to him about his book that made it sound like he was not for women working. I think he was taken aback by that some, but explained his position well. His position that as a result of radical feminism only a working woman is affirmed, whereas both a working woman and a stay at home mom should both be affirmed as it is a personal choice based on the families needs.
Third former two term Governor of Minnesota Tim Pawlenty. He again reminded me of the establishment candidate that wants to keep the Neo-Con status quo. He had a hard time defending his past support for Cap and Trade, he can spin it all he wants but it certainly sounded like with the commercial audio that was played that he was in the greenie camp, but he did admit that was a mistake after a study was done in his state. Don’t get me wrong protecting the environment is great, but who should do it a bloated government that does not really have our interests at heart or individuals. I will say that he did handle a question about an education issue in his state regarding creationism or intelligent design. The moderators seemed to try and make him take a position and as we have seen then try and marginalize him one way or the other. He did good on sticking to the facts of why he did what he did, which was to allow it to be taught, not at the state level but let localities decide and it did not have to be taught as science but did allow students to be exposed to an alternative view. After all this is education not brainwashing.
Fourth Herman Cain is a business man and a TEA Party favorite. Cain said just about all the right things to garner the TEA Party vote. However when it came to certain issues like Foreign Policy and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan came off as a bit undecided. Sure he laid out a great plan for figuring out what to do, but I would think any president should have that in place, but he seemed unwilling to commit one way or another. This says to me he has no principles on the subject and is unwilling to recognize anything that has happened in the past 10 years. He of course got most of the TEA Party talking points right, got a big response on his stance on Boeing and the Union issues as the Union is not allowing Boeing to put a plant in South Carolina because it is not a force union state. He supported the Arizona Immigration law, and Paul’s opposition to it was brought up by the moderators but was not allowed to make a rebuttal. Cain is right in supporting the principle of the law, but does not understand there are some very dangerous slippery slopes in it and no I am not talking about profiling….course that at good either.
Fifth Representative Ron Paul and the father of the TEA Party Movement was par excellence as usual. Do I have some bias? Yes, but it’s only because he is always right. End the wars, cut off all foreign aid, phase out welfare /entitlements restore free markets and capitalism, maximize liberty for everyone even if you don’t agree with their values and don’t force yours on others through the Federal Government, support states right’s and follow the constitution. I thought last night Paul particularly handled the questions regarding his personal beliefs with that of his political actions because if we have to believe in liberty for everyone not just my view or your view. He got a great response when he said if we legalized heroine how many in the audience would really go out and do it? He advocated the position well that Gitmo should close because we are better than this, because one day we could find ourselves as citizens in the very same position with no trial and being held for years with no charges. He defended his position of no foreign aid period even though it was prefaced to just Israel. He pointed out that we give the Muslim/Arab countries twice as much money and that we have made Israel too dependent upon us to take their own actions as a country in their own self interest. He answered the question well about the his support for not raising the debts ceiling as we have defaulted before and will again with the devaluation of our dollar it’s just a matter of time. He said that if we just followed the Constitution we would not have this problem.
All and all I would say a good debate, it will be interesting to see how this election season goes as the field expands and probably contracts some before the primary.
At the beginning all the candidates were asked would you release the photo of Osama bin Laden, all answered yes except Cain. I am sure everyone of them had a different reason and I would have liked to of heard it but now we can only speculate.