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Thursday, February 23, 2012

CNN Republican Debate in Arizona Transcript and Analysis Links

By Susan Duclos

As always, readers should read the debate and determine what answers they liked and more importantly believed, and decide for themselves which candidate provided what readers are looking for in the Republican nominee and choose accordingly.

The Weekly Standard provides the debate transcript in full.

My favorite part of the debate was when an online debate viewer asks the GOP candidates to describe themselves in one word. (46 second video below)

Paul said "consistent," Romney said "resolute," Santorum said "courage" and Gingrich said "cheerful."

Analysis links

Philip Klein over at Campaign 2012, headlines with "Santorum stumbles in Arizona debate."

I agree. He did stumble. Santorum was stronger in the Florida debates, had good moments but as front runner, with Romney leveling everything he had at him, he showed he isn't up to fighting when directly attacked and in November, whoever the candidate that is nominated by the GOP is, he must be able to sustain attacks and fight back without excuses, justifications and constantly explaining and apologizing.

Ed Morrissey over at Hot Air declares in his headline "Downer debate denouement winner: Newt."

I agree. Newt Gingrich did a good job. Stayed focused, provided good answers that are consistent with his positions throughout the campaign season and focused his fired where it belongs, on Barack Obama.

Robert Stacy McCain at The Other McCain actually nodded off for a few minutes, so that pretty much tells us that there has been too many debates with too many of the same questions, but he did live blog it.... um.... when he wasn't snoozing.

Rich Lowry over at NRO declares Santorum the loser and says Newt "looked at ease and jaunty even."

Tony Campbell over at The Moderate Voice calls Ron Paul a fake.

I disagree. I wouldn't go as far as to call Paul a fake. Ron Paul is.... Ron Paul. His supporters adore him, are loyal and nothing in this performance will change any minds about him one way or another. Paul's stances are the same as they have always been and reasonable people can reasonably agree or disagree with said stances, but he truly believes his rhetoric, so in my mind it makes him very real even though I disagree with many of his positions.

In my mind, Guy Benson at Townhall pretty much nails the night for each candidate.

Newt Gingrich won the debate, vindicating his team's "let Newt be Newt" strategy.

Mitt Romney was, as ever, steady and serious throughout the evening; he didn't piece together his finest debate of the cycle, but he did just fine.

Rick Santorum was tonight's clear loser.

Ron Paul was a devastatingly effective Romney surrogate tonight, pummeling Santorum on his go-along big-government conservatism during the Bush years.

This is probably the last Republican debate of the cycle and now it is up to them in campaign stops, stump speeches and interviews to win over any voters that have not decided on a candidate of their choice as of yet.