COMMENTARY | The main event of the Ames, Iowa, Republican debate featured Tim Pawlenty going after Michele Bachmann. Apparently Pawlenty believes this is the way to save his faltering campaign. It will likely not work.
For one thing, even as Pawlenty accused the Minnesota congresswoman of being ineffective and dishonest, Bachmann gave as good as she got. She also answered the question about being “submissive” to her husband quite well. It appears after all that Mr. Bachmann will not being calling the shots in a hypothetical Bachmann administration.
Pawlenty also went after Romney over health care reform. It turned out to be a weak thrust, which Romney was able to deftly parry. That is rather too bad, as Romney has a lot to answer for in regards to Romneycare. Indeed, Pawlenty should have gone after Romney, with whom he shares some qualities, rather than Bachmann.
As for the rest of the debate, some observations:
Ron Paul was as entertaining as usual, managing to be to the left of Barack Obama on the subject of nuclear terrorism because of his relentless isolationism. Santorum beat him up pretty thoroughly over this. Paul actually said that the stories about Iran trying to get nukes was “war propaganda.” Very sad.
Gingrich gave some good, wonky answers about a variety of subjects. He remains the man the president would do well to have lunch with at least once a week to hear his latest ideas. However, he got rather testy when asked about his imploding campaign, comparing himself to both Ronald Reagan and John McCain in that regard.
Romney, for the most part, managed to remain above the fray, which he needs to be as the presumed frontrunner. He had one of the best lines of the night when he replied to a question about his opposition to the debt ceiling deal. “I don’t want to eat Obama’s dog food.” Very erudite, that.
Cain was as warm and funny as ever. Unfortunately, he still did not make the case as to why he should be president in favor of anyone else.
Huntsman was just there and one suspects he should not have been.
The subject of Rick Perry, who will become a candidate this weekend, came up. The other candidates welcomed him to the race. Of course they did.
Source: Pawlenty and Bachmann slug it out, Allahpundir, Hot Air, August 11, 2011
Fireworks Erupt at GOP Presidential Debate in Iowa, Fox News, August 12, 2011
Rick Perry to Announce GOP Candidacy Saturday, Carl Cameron, Fox News, August 11, 2011