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.
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"Mr. Romney’s worst moment came when Rick Perry challenged him in a somewhat non-sequitur attack where he accused Mr. Romney of having employed illegal immigrants at his home. The problem was not with the substance of Mr. Romney’s response but with his demeanor. Demonstrative to the point of appearing angry and somewhat red-faced under the stage lights, Mr. Romney grabbed Mr. Perry on the shoulder and seemed on the verge of losing his temper.Skip to next paragraph
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Controlled anger can sometimes work in a debate — Ronald Reagan’s “I am paying for this microphone” exchange with a reporter in New Hampshire perhaps being the best example of this. But it is a high-risk, high-reward strategy, something that Mr. Romney does not need, and Mr. Romney was responding to a fellow Republican rather than to a moderator."
We noted this in the prior debate when Romney admonished Rick Santorum (“I’m still speaking. I’m still speaking!”) in a way that left Decoder feeling like Romney’s next move was to tell Santorum to go to his room and think about what he’d done.
What does this mean, in practical terms? Perhaps nothing. But was by far Romney’s least “presidential” moment of the campaign so far. Voters might not, to borrow from The Hulk, like Mitt when he’s angry.
And, as always, the best reads from around the web.
POLITICO’s Roger Simon writes: "Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright, the band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light. And somewhere folks are laughing, and somewhere children shout, but there is no joy in Vegas - - the GOP has struck out. Again."
The Christian Science Monitor's Linda Feldmann writes that "red-faced" Romney was "taken down a few notches" and compared the Perry-Romney duel to the post-game dust-up between the NFL coaches of the Detroit Lions and San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.
Slate’s John Dickerson was equally unimpressed, particularly by Herman Cain’s answers to criticism of his 999 Plan: “But this is like turning around Godfather’s Pizza by promising the pies will make themselves…Sure, Cain can continue to push his plan. But if he can’t do a better job explaining and selling it, he might as well just give in to the notion of a fantasy campaign and promise he’ll ride a unicorn in his inaugural parade.”
Like your facts checked and served in digestible format? Read The Washington Post’s Fact Checker breakdown of statements from last night’s debate.
Did he really say that? Read CNN’s transcript of the whole event here.
Like your politics unscrambled - with a side order of humor? Check out DCDecoder.com.