Republican presidential debate: Who won?
The general consensus among pundits is that Mitt Romney did well, while Rick Perry might have a problem with his insistence that Social Security is a 'Ponzi scheme.'
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, ex-Speaker Newt Gingrich of Georgia, and former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania were also there, and had their moments, but seemed less central to the action, given that organizers NBC and Politico placed them on the wings of the crowd.
We’ll get right to the important horse race question: Who won?
Well, everyone had their moments, and often with stuff like this it isn’t apparent until weeks later what is resonating in voter minds. But the early read is that Mr. Romney did well for himself. Chris Cillizza at The Washington Post said Romney started slowly, but by the end was sounding “reasonable, and, dare we say it, presidential.” Erick Erickson at the conservative blog, RedState, said Romney made no major mistakes and was “the strongest of anybody on stage”.
Romney planted some obviously planned zingers on Governor Perry, such as the fact that job growth in Texas was greater when George W. Bush was governor than it has been under Perry. But as Mr. Erickson, pointed out, Romney has been running for president since 2007 – he ought to be good at debates by now.
What about Perry? At the beginning he sounded strong, sidestepping questions as to the quality of Texas jobs and the low percentage of Texas residents with health care to emphasize the state’s strong job growth and overall economic health.