Thursday, February 23, 2012

SANTORUM EXPERIENCES FRONT RUNNER ANXIETY

CNN's debate production always offers some progressive and slanted jabs at Republican candidates.  Wednesday's GOP Presidential candidate debate in Arizona brought some of the same and some attention for current front runner, Rick Santorum.

In general, most of the candidates took their normal positions and postured as in many of the previous debates. It could be argued Ron Paul was a winner on his own merits.  He was seated next to Rick Santorum for the debate. Santorum and Paul had verbal tangles in most all previous debates, but seeing them interact just three feet away was a new perspective.  Paul was able to stand on his Libertarian ideals.  He took several verbal jabs at Santorum, and landing some political blows, too.  In a exchange with Santorum and Romney, Paul was able to have Rick sound very much like a Republican establishment man.  Especially when Santorum said he would always produce another bill or law in the Senate, when he had to vote along with the Republican leadership.  Instead of Santorum standing his ground on social and fiscal conservative ideals.  Santorum also seemed perhaps ill prepared as he mumbled his positions on Title Ten votes and his votes supporting No Child Left Behind bills.

In a quick summary, Santorum took some uneasy medicine as the front runner.  Rick's divulging of his past establishment habits was his weak moment.  Ron Paul took a more engaging position and performed well.  He did lose it again on his refusal to accept Iran as a security threat.  Mitt Romney had a solid debate with no real miscues.  Newt Gingrich also performed well.  We saw the return of 'good' Newt with Gingrich not in attack mode.  Newt struck a mellow tone with his 'cheerful' comment to CNN moderator John King.

All eyes now turn to next Tuesday's primaries in Michigan and Arizona.  Super Tuesday is just 10 days away for many states including Virginia (March 6).

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