Sunday, December 11, 2011

I read the Iowa debate coverage news so you don't have to

Newt Romney at the Iowa Debate. Linked to Source at NY Daily News.

Having read nearly all of the Iowa debate coverage news (and having not seen the debate yet myself), I hereby give you the summary without any hidden bias-

Rick Perry attacked Mitt Romney by saying, "I read your first book and it said in there that your mandate in Massachusetts should be the model for the country. And I know it came out of the reprint of the book. But, you know, I'm just sayin', you were for individual mandates, my friend." In return, Romney denied such a thing, and went so far as to bet him $10,000 Perry was wrong. Romney haters (also known as Southern Baptists, Texans, and Democrats) are saying a wager of so much money makes him out of touch with real people. Romney supporters love him all the more for it.

The facts? In the first version of Romney's book, a line referring to a universal health care mandate reads: "We can accomplish the same thing for everyone in the country, and it can be done without letting government take over health care." In the later paperback version, the line was edited to read, "And it was done without the government taking over health care."

Apparently Twitter loved this moment, and Romney stole the Twitter show. Analysts report that out of 43,000 messages about the debate on Twitter, Romney was most popular with 30 percent. The rest: Gingrich at 22 percent, Bachmann at 19 percent, Paul at 13 percent, Santorum at 10 percent, and Perry at 5 percent.

Michele Bachmann's big zinger (and she does love her zingers) of the night was aimed at Newt Gingrich's lobbying past (ahem, present), saying that his office was located on "the Rodeo Drive of Washington, D.C., K Street." (A great way to make sure the deeper pockets of DC don't donate to your campaign. Also, K Street? Not that impressive to us local girls. We prefer to do our shopping on M Street.)

The Washington Post's political blogger, "the Fix," proclaimed his winners of the debate to be Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann, and Rick Perry. And solely put Mitt Romney as the only candidate in the loser column. The Fix feels that Gingrich had a few good moments, wasn't condescending, and was approachable. He commended Bachmann for her ever so popular soundbites and zingers, particularly, "Newt Romney." And for pandering to the former Herman Cain fans. And he lauded Rick Perry for his now popular line, "If you cheat on your wife, you will cheat on your business partner." Oh, and for Perry's attack on Romney about the health care mandates, which we've now learned are incorrect. So strike 1 for The Fix. Interesting to note that the winners and losers (Romney was considered a loser for his wagering), had nothing to do with policy and accuracy.

So how did Gingrich respond to Perry's (and others) attacks on his three marriages? (Let's not forget both Perry and Romney have ads out right now touting their fidelity. And Perry's is an unforgiving pandering to the religious right.) “I think people have to render judgment,” Mr. Gingrich said. “In my case, I said up front openly, I’ve made mistakes at times. I’ve had to go to God for forgiveness. I’ve had to seek reconciliation.” How can all those evangelicals turn their back on a penitent sinner? Well played, Mr. Speaker, well played. Of course, I'd like you more if you hadn't cheated on your wife and married the mistress, but that's not the point now, is it?

Gingrich, who has promised to take the high road and not resort to mean or personal attacks, lobbed one at Romney anyway, "The only reason you didn’t become a career politician is that you lost to Teddy Kennedy in 1994." Oh and Romney started it by calling Gingrich a career politician. (Well, duh.)

Not to be left out of the Gingrich attacks, Ron Paul reminded us that Gingrich received a lot of money from Freddie Mac. (Gingrich was paid up to $1.8 million in consulting fees.) “By the way, Newt, you probably got some of our taxpayer money.” He added, “You were a spokesman for them and you received money from them.” Gingrich again denied being a lobbyist for Freddie Mac, (he claims he was an historian), “I offered strategic advice — I was in the private sector.” To which Romney replied, “K Street is not the private sector!” Wow, K Street was popular last night.

In no-brainer news, all of the candidates attacked President Obama and the economy. And yet, they are split down the middle on who supports extending the Social Security payroll tax cuts (Romney, Gingrich, and Paul), and who are against it (Bachmann, Perry, and Rick Santorum.) (Jon Huntsman was not present.)

CNN didn't really have anything different to say from the other news outlets, but was the only site to explain that Huntsman opted out on his own accord. They also mentioned that Huntsman immediately sent out press release announcing he'd purchased the website, after the Romney-Perry wager. 

With all of the news sources titling their articles with "Newt Attacked!" I was surprised at how few of them actually listed what those attacks were. Here is what I could find amidst the wreckage-

Romney to Gingrich: "We could start with this idea to have a lunar colony that would mine minerals from the moon," referring to a Gingrich proposal to mine for precious minerals on the moon.

Paul on Gingrich, "has taken some positions that are not conservative."

Bachmann's big zinger, "if you look at Newt-Romney, they were for Obamacare principles. If you look at Newt-Romney, they were for cap and trade." Apparently she was going for a 2 for 1 attack.

No quotes on barbs from Santorum. In fact, the only quote I can find from Santorum in any article is where he defended Gingrich's marital woes. Marital character is important, but added, "I would not say it's a disqualifier." Wait, wasn't Santorum running on the pro-family first ticket? Has he dropped his one and only platform idea to run for Gingrich VP?

CNN also brought back their debate analyst, Todd Graham. Graham is a professor of debate at a small, no-name university in Illinois. I bring this up, because I don't get why they keep going back to this guy. He doesn't even have a professional head shot next to his byline which bugs me for some reason. After every debate, Graham has written lengthy diatribes about how he doesn't like Romney's style. Not that he doesn't like Romney's policies (although, I suspect he doesn't), he doesn't like Romney's stage presence. Seriously, that's what he wastes 1,000 words to tell us. This week was no different, so I'm not feeling compelled to repeat him. But let it be known, CNN ran a piece saying Romney lost the debate.

Also, I felt like sharing this little cutout from the front page of CNN. Apparently their editors slept in on Sunday morning.

How many spelling errors is that?

Want to see the whole debate for yourself? ABC News already has it up and running on their site.

ABC News: Iowa Debate: Republican Candidates Clash Amidst Newt Gingrich Surge, Mitt Romney Attacks
Washington Times: Gingrich assailed by rivals, fires back
ABC News: Bet On It: Twitter Loves Romney's Wager
NY Times: In GOP Iowa Debate, Rivals Target Newt Gingrich

No comments:

Post a Comment

Your comments are always welcome here!