Last night’s GOP debate sponsored by CNN & The Western Republican leadership conference was full of tension, emotion, contempt. Anderson Cooper was the moderator. The candidates present were . Herman Cain, Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, Michelle Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul and Rick Santorum.
Mitt Romney and Rick Perry traded accusations and slammed each others accomplishments. Rick Santorum also clashed with the heavyweights Romney and Perry. The contempt between these three candidates was clearly evident from the onset.
The evening started with all six competitors attacking Cain’s 9-9-9 plan. Newt called it a value added tax. Cain’s rebuttal was to call his 9% sales tax apples and the state sales taxes as oranges. Saying you can’t compare them. Here is a brief analysis of where each candidate stands on issues presented:
Cain His “9,9,9” plan is not value added. He wants to repeal Obama care. He had nothing specific to say on illegal immigration. He stood by his inflammatory statements versus the Occupy Wall street movement. He would not negotiate with terrorists. He quoted Reagan’s “Peace through strength” ideal. Cain said we should stop funding our enemies. He closed by saying his experience is with Main street, not Wall street.
Perry Opened by saying New Hampshire residents were not interested in the 9-9-9 program. They are worried about the 9% unemployment rate. Rick Perry pushed the idea of domestic jobs in gas, oil and coal. Perry then went toe to toe with Romney. He accused Romney of hiring illegal workers. He agreed with Ron Paul on the Yucca mountain issue and disposal of nuclear waste. He wants to stop funding the United Nations. He closed by saying he has created 20 times more jobs than Romney.
Romney started by pinning Cain down forcing him to admit the 9% sales tax does not eliminate state sales taxes. Next he made broad statements including the repeal of Obama care. He wants to cut federal employment and lower federal salaries He mentioned the fact that Perry was a leader in the Al Gore campaign.
Bachmann began by calling 9,9,9, plan a value added tax. Said “Everyone should pay taxes in this country.” Also said she would build a fence along the entire southern border. Then she ducked the question of cutting the military budget. She is against cutting any aide to Israel. She also said Iraq should reimburse us. She and Santorum were rushed off without the chance for a real closing statement.
Gingrich was clearly the most entertaining candidate. His tongue in cheek one liners had all the candidates chuckling. He said Romney was for big government. He asked all to look at his 21st century plan for America. He said both parties were bankrupt in defense ideas.
Paul opened by saying 9,9,9 is a regressive program. Paul touted his program of slashing 1 trillion dollars from the budget. He attacked the federal reserve and tarp. He spoke out against the Yucca Mountain plan . Paul said our military is spread to thin. He wants to close bases. He wants to cut foreign aid across the board including Israel.
Santorum began by stating 84% of Americans will pay more tax with the 9,9,9 plan. He stressed bringing back manufacturing jobs. He said we should repeal the excise tax. He promised no cuts in defense. He said voters should look at the values of a candidate instead of their religion.He closed by saying he has beaten a democratic foe three times already. He is confident he would win despite the polls.
Anderson Cooper looked totally lost as the moderator. Actually, he might have been better off wearing a striped shirt and a whistle. After tonight’s prelim one can see very clearly that campaign 2012 will be a nasty one.