Four takeaways from the GOP debate in Las Vegas
Rick Perry came out swinging in this debate, notes DCDecoder. Herman Cain's 999 plan took some hits, and Mitt Romney had some red-faced moments.
Didn’t catch last night’s GOP debate in Las Vegas? We’ve got you covered. After our liveblogging and a read through this morning’s papers (the best of which are linked to below), here’s your day-after reader for CNN’s “Western Debate.”Skip to next paragraph
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1. Rick Perry - don’t call it a comeback.
Whether it was more sleep, more red bull or more cowbell (just kidding), this was a far different Rick Perry than we’ve seen in the previous debates. He had a pre-canned attack line on Mitt Romney over some 2007-vintage campaign dirt about illegal immigrants cutting his lawn, he was ready to take on Herman Cain’s “999 Plan” and while he sometimes lost his train of thought, he got his awkward three second pauses down to one second pauses.
And Rick isn’t stopping there. He’s flying through Washington, D.C. this week to meet with politicos and lobbyists and solicit their ideas on his jobs plan and foreign policy. And, as Decoder wrote in our wrapup last night, this next month or so until the next debate swaps Perry’s weakest tool (his debate persona) for his strongest suits (retail politics and bombing the airwaves with his massive campaign warchest.)
Could it be time for Rick to start his roll?
2. Herman Cain is apparently incapable of answering any question about foreign policy without fumbling. Hard.
Cain got a shellacking at the outset over his “999 Plan.” Perhaps you could have seen that coming. But by far his worst debate moment was after the debate, when he said he “misspoke” on something he said only three hours before - that he would be willing to negotiate with a terrorist group holding an American soldier, potentially exchanging an American for many or all the prisoners in Guantanamo Bay.
This is after some less-than-inspiring remarks on Meet the Press last Sunday, among other foreign policy mishaps.
3. The longer Rick Santorum sticks around, the more nervous Romney, Perry and to some extent Cain, are going to be.
Rick Santorum is re-defining what it means to be playing with house money. He got after Cain right off the bat about “999” not doing anything to help the American family, then he piled on Romney on healthcare:
The final point I would make to Governor Romney, you just don’t have credibility, Mitt, when it comes to repealing Obamacare. You are — you are — your plan was the basis for Obamacare. Your consultants helped Obama craft Obamacare. And to say that you’re going to repeal it, you just — you have no track record on that that — that we can trust you that you’re going to do that.
4. Mitt Romney can have pretty thin skin.