by John Hawkins | September 8, 2011 12:54 am
It’s intriguing that MSNBC actually asked less hostile, unfair and divisive questions than Fox did in the last debate — which is kind of funny if you think about it(although the one where they asked Perry how he could “sleep at night” was over-the-top, it was unintentionally hilarious). Additionally, its clear that the dynamic has now changed. This debate was all about Rick Perry and to a less extent, Mitt Romney, while everyone else was desperately trying to get traction. More to the point, everyone was taking shots at the hot new thing, Rick Perry. All in all, he handled it very well
Winner: Rick Perry. To be perfectly fair, Newt Gingrich performed a little better than Perry. On the other hand, Perry was good, he came across as authentic and charismatic, and he had a lot of strong attacks aimed at him that drew very little blood. Since this was Perry’s debut, it was an important debate for him and he came through with flying colors.
Newt Gingrich: Newt was consistently strong through the whole debate and if the nominee were going to be decided by who the best debater is, Newt would probably be the guy.
Herman Cain: He didn’t get enough time to talk and focused a lot on his 9 point plan, but he sounded good when he did get to speak. He had some charisma, came across as a business leader — it reminded people of why they liked Cain in the first place.
Michele Bachmann: Bachmann was a little flat tonight and this was not one of her better debate performances.
Mitt Romney: This debate was all about Mitt and Perry and of the two, Mitt was clearly the loser. He was off his game tonight, seemed a little nervous, and came across as small and inauthentic compared to Perry.
Jon Huntsman: Huntsman started off strong and if the debate had stopped halfway through, it would have been a great night for him. But at the end, when he characterized being skeptical of manmade global warming, which is the mainstream position in the Republican Party, as “anti-science,” he killed any and all progress that he made earlier.
Rick Santorum: Santorum comes across as likable and sincere, but he’s just not much of a debater. On his best day, he’s just not going to win a debate.
Ron Paul: This was an awful performance for Paul. He came across as disjointed, cranky, and unnecessarily nasty. The debate moderators fed him questions about the more extreme Libertarian aspects of his beliefs and he was happy to run with them every time. At one point, he seemed to be coming pretty close to saying that he was opposed to the federal government regulating ANYTHING.
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