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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Oct. 18, GOP Debate Transcript Link: Perry Rattles Romney

By Susan Duclos

The CNN WRLC Western Republican Presidential Debate – Las Vegas October 18, 2011 transcript can be found here and as usual I recommend voters interested should read the answers for themselves to determine what candidate's responses they agree or disagree with instead of letting the media and/or bloggers or political pundits interpret the answers.

With that said there were some fireworks in last night's debate that are being discussed in the news and around the web today.

The Politico headlines with "Rick Perry revives by rattling Mitt Romney in Las Vegas debate."

Rick Perry went into Tuesday night’s debate looking to rattle Mitt Romney — and it worked.

Perry’s been under fire for his own immigration record, and resurrecting the 2007 report that Romney had hired illegal workers helped him blunt the advantage Romney had been able to get on the issue as Perry looks to recover from his collapse in the polls.

Plus, according to a Perry source, there was an added bonus: by going after Romney personally — the accusation has to do with Romney’s own house — they saw the potential to make Romney react the hardest.

Since it will be conservatives that determine the GOP nominee because all these debates are leading to the Republican primaries to decide who will be the Republican candidate to go up against Obama in 2012, I will focus on conservative and/or moderate reactions.

Hot Air:

If last night’s debate wasn’t the most edifying of the series this year, it may have been the most entertaining. The Republican presidential candidates went from last week’s relatively serene discussion of economic policies to last night’s cage match on … well, mainly economic policies. The evening started off with Herman Cain getting blasted on all sides over his 9-9-9 plan and offering only a repeated complaint of “apples and oranges” in response. But Cain turned out to be just the undercard, as Rick Perry came alive and slugged it out with Mitt Romney over immigration.

CNN asked me to participate in their media forum after the debate to provide analysis, along with my Salem colleague Bill Bennett and others:

Last week, we expected a full assault on Herman Cain and his economic plan in his first debate as a front-runner in the Republican presidential primary. We got it tonight, apparently after the other candidates took a week to peruse the plan. Cain ended up on the defensive much of the night, mainly on his 9-9-9 plan and the national sales tax proposed in it. Almost every candidate made substantive attacks on Cain, who fell back to characterizing their arguments as “apples and oranges” over and over again. …

As for Mitt Romney, for once he spent most of the night on defense. Rick Perry and Rick Santorum went after Romney hard, and Perry’s attack on Romney for employing illegal immigrants had the former Massachusetts governor rattled for the first time in this year’s debates. Perry didn’t have a great night, but for the first time he didn’t have a bad night, and he remained energetic and on the attack all through the debate.

Eric Erickson over at Redstate asks "Where Has This Perry Been?"

1. Where has this Rick Perry been? Finally, the guy showed up with unscripted, from the gut answers. The few scripted answers fell flat (see e.g. Jeffres). The rest were good. He’s not the best debater. But he certainly did not lose that debate.

Erickson concludes:

I suspect Perry saved himself tonight. Gingrich will go up a bit, probably drawn from some Cain votes. Romney will stagnate. Santorum and Bachmann will go down. Paul will hold steady.

Basically I agree with that analysis more than any other but I didn't think to begin with that Perry was out of the running because of bad debate performances previously.

America voted for a smooth talker and great debater in 2008 and look what they got... Barack Obama, so I have not been among those that thought Perry's debate performances would knock him out of the running.

Unemployment and job growth is going to be one the most important issues in 2012 and Perry's record there speaks for itself. He is a money machine when it comes to campaign fundraising and has won 10 straight elections.

No matter who the GOP nominee ends up being and no matter what their particular weaknesses, they will be going up against Barack Obama in 2012, and will have Obama's own record working in their favor.

Obama will have to defend his own statement that after 3 years he will own the economy and if it is not better he would be a one term president. (Youtube video of Obama saying it)

Obama will have to defend passing the trillion dollar Obamacare with no Republican support and against the majority of Americans who were opposed to the bill as a whole.

Obama will have to defend the 20 tax increases associated with Obamacare, many of which do not go into effect until after the 2012 election.

Obama will have to defend a $787 plus billion stimulus package that resulted in unemployment being 9 percent or higher during most of his term if not all of it. (The US Unemployment Rate - 1948 to 2010)

Obama will have to defend committing troops to Libya and now Uganda without congressional authority.

Obama will have to defend his massive bailouts. Obama will have to defend his historically high 2011 deficit.

Obama will have to defend the Fast and Furious scandal and the Solyndra scandal.

That is just a portion of Obama's own record and any GOP nominee will be able to exploit each of those weaknesses.

Personally I have a preference for Rick Perry because of his state's job growth policies over the last decade where he has been governor, although I disagree with some of his immigration stances.

I, like many other conservative supporters, would support any GOP nominee against Obama because of Obama's far left liberal record during his presidency.