It was the last debate. Newt Gingrich won it.
He was the only candidate who repeatedly steered the questions toward Barack Obama. He was the only candidate who dared point out that the media barely touched Obama’s infanticide support as an Illinois State Senator. He returned to the role of elder statesman.
The crowd leaned to Mitt Romney. It was probably inevitable. Mesa, AZ is the second largest concentration of Mormons in America and the State Republican Party handled getting the seats filled. It threw Rick Santorum off his game. The crowd booed Santorum taking on Romneycare’s individual mandate.
Santorum did not shine. He came in, it seemed, prepared to be beaten up. He was off his game. In the second half of the debate he did better. But the beginning was stumbling, bumbling, angry, and in the weeds. One thing he did very, very well is steer the contraception issue to families.
If Santorum can consistently steer this issue back to stable families, he has an issue that will win over independent voters. Note to the Santorum campaign: you will actually win the debate even in the general election if you focus your social values critique on the integrity of the American nuclear family.
Romney out performed Santorum, but he had two flaws. First, Romney claimed to be a long time proponent of school choice, but he opposed school vouchers as Governor of Massachusetts and the Boston Hereald noted Romney refused to ever meet with the head of the Massachusetts Charter School Association while in the Governor’s Mansion.
The big problem for Romney was his concluding moment in the debate. John King asked him what was the biggest misconception about him. It was a legitimate question and a chance for Romney to help himself. Instead, he got bossy and arrogant and told John King he wouldn’t answer the question. That question of all questions was the one he chose to get arrogant about?!
Newt Gingrich won. He kept the focus on Obama. He sounded like the adult in the room. He was both diplomat and scholar.
I would caution the media on one thing — the Rick Perry Factor.
Back during the first debate, Rick Perry came under withering assault from Romney on social security as a ponzi scheme.
After the debate, the media consensus was that Rick Perry had been badly wounded, performed badly, and would be hurt by the social security issue.
His polling actually went up. Conservative voters actually embraced Perry doubling down on social security as a ponzi scheme. Conservative voters rejected Romney’s attacks. The conventional wisdom was wrong.
I think the conventional wisdom is wrong about Santorum. While I think he did not perform as well as he should have and, in fact, hurt himself, on the social values issues I think Santorum helped himself more than the media would believe.
Congressman Jim Moran is an old white Democrat from Virginia who thinks he can judge whether we minority conservatives are acting sufficiently non-white enough. Moran’s an inveterate bully, a brawler, a crook and a bigot. And not one of his civility-preaching liberal colleagues has the courage to call him out.
Responding on cable news to GOP Rep. Allen West’s blunt criticisms of President Obama this week, Moran derided the retired U.S. Army colonel, who is black, as “not representative of the African-American community.” Moran then launched into the kind of tired race-traitor tirade I’ve heard from progressives of pallor for more than 20 years.
How dare we “people of color” stray from the left’s ideological plantation? If we choose personal responsibility over entitlement, capitalism over statism or self-determination over identity politics, presumptuous white liberals appoint themselves spokespeople for our forefathers and deciders of our true destinies.
To wit: Lt. Col. West “just seems clueless now that he has climbed aboard ship,” Moran fumed. “He’s climbed this ladder of opportunity that was constructed by so many of his ancestors’ sweat, sacrifice, blood, you know, they did everything they could for his generation to be successful. But now that he’s climbed on board ship, instead of reaching down and steadying the ladder, he wants to push it off.”
West, his father, his mother and his brother all dedicated their lives to military service; four consecutive generations of his family served in the U.S. armed forces. As a freshman congressman, West’s message has been a compelling agenda of self-empowerment. For this, he is savaged by a House colleague as a racial saboteur?
But Moran was just warming up. Next, he contrasted conservative West with big-government savior Barack Obama, who he said acted in proper accordance with his ancestors “by reducing college tuition and training our workers, trying to get a decent job for everybody” and leaving a “constructive legacy.”
Er, how’s the savior’s near double-digit unemployment, record food stamp enrollment, re-inflation of the housing and higher-education bubbles, and massive redistribution of wealth from the working class to the Wall Street bundler class working out for you?
Moran hailed Obama as “our Lion King” and compared his Republican detractors to the “hyenas in the background trying to cause trouble” for the White House. This bumbling chief of political correctness apparently is unaware that those hyenas in the Disney movie have been criticized for perpetuating negative stereotypes about blacks and Hispanics. Dog-whistle politics, anyone?
Do Moran’s constituents in Virginia’s 8th district support his incessant race-baiting? Last year, he accused Tea Party activists of racism for sweeping out entrenched Democrats in the November 2010 midterm elections. It “happened for the same reason the Civil War happened in the United States. It happened because the Southern states, the slaveholding states, didn’t want to see a president who was opposed to slavery,” he ranted to Arabic-language television network Alhurra. “(A) lot of people in the United States don’t want to be governed by an African-American, particularly one who is liberal, who wants to spend money and who wants to reach out to include everyone in our society.”
Yet, only two short years before, this hopelessly racist nation put Obama in the Oval Office with a landslide victory. Logic never was the demagogue’s strong suit.
The aptly named Moran, an 11-term incumbent, continues to be rewarded by voters for his extravagant spending habits, self-dealing and diarrhea of the mouth. As I’ve reported previously:
— While on the Alexandria (Va.) City Council, he was charged with casting a vote that helped a developer friend win a bid for a lucrative plot of public land. A special prosecutor concluded that Moran had violated the state’s conflict-of-interest law. He sobbed as he pleaded no contest to a felony charge of vote-peddling. He received a year’s probation for a reduced conflict-of-interest misdemeanor charge and was forced to resign.
— In 1995, he had to be subdued by Capitol Hill police when he threw a punch at California Republican Rep. Randy Cunningham on the House floor. After the incident, Moran blamed “talk radio” for creating a hostile environment in Washington. That same year, he screamed “I’ll break your nose” at Indiana Republican Rep. Dan Burton during a hearing.
— In 2002, Moran revealed in financial disclosure statements that he accepted a $50,000 loan in January 2001 from an “old friend,” billionaire America Online co-founder James Kimsey. The congressman claims to have paid the business mogul back at 15 percent interest over three months, and his spokesman emphasized the loan came with no accompanying quid pro quo.
— Kimsey’s gift came on the heels of Moran’s disclosure that he had received another Big Business-tied loan: $25,000 from “old friend” Terry Lierman, a drug industry lobbyist representing Schering-Plough. After getting that unsecured loan at a lower-than-market interest rate, Moran co-sponsored a bill that would extend the patent on Schering-Plough’s allergy medicine Claritin — and prevent generic drug manufacturers from offering inexpensive alternatives.
Liberal busybodies are an annoyance. Liberal race-card abusers who lambaste patriotic minority conservatives to cover their own dirty deeds make my brown skin crawl.
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