Last night was the last debate in Iowa before the caucus on January 3rd. It was sponsored by FOX News and the Republican Party of Iowa, and it included all seven GOP candidates. My review this time won’t be nearly as long as usual; I’m just going to give you my order, from winner to loser (yes, last night we had losers).
#1: Rick Perry. Last night Governor Perry came out very strong and was able to stay very energetic throughout the debate. His last two debates in particular have been very good. His thoughts on the Tenth Amendment last night were spot on, and he delivered the very best line of the night: “I hope I am the Tim Tebow of the Iowa caucus.”
#2: Rick Santorum. The former Senator came across as much calmer last night than he has in previous debates. Based on the actual content of his words, I believe he came in second place. He showed off his conservative credentials and proved that he has a consistent record, unlike some of the others on the stage.
#3: Mitt Romney. Mitt didn’t say or do anything special last night. To me, it just sounded like every other performance. However, he did hold his own when he was attacked and for the most part, was able to keep his composure.
#4: Michele Bachmann. I loved hearing the Congresswoman’s arguments last night. She did not let up on Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich; Paul on foreign policy, and Newt on the money he took from Freddie Mac. Personally, I felt she did better than Newt in last night’s debate. Unfortunately, the people of Iowa do not usually respond well to negativity.
#5: Newt Gingrich. Many will probably disagree with my putting the former Speaker in fifth place. Last night, he just came across as mundane and ordinary to me– excluding the fact that he is undoubtedly the smartest man on the stage. Even that has become normal now! Newt’s poll numbers are beginning to dip just slightly, so maybe his record is starting to catch up with him? We’ll have to wait and see.
#6: Jon Huntsman. Most of the time I wonder why this former governor bothers to show up. However, last night he made a few good points and I was able to really understand where he was coming from, something I’ve never been able to do before. I am still not a fan, but he did better last night than in previous debates.
#7: Ron Paul. Congressman Paul’s thoughts on Iran are what will bring him down. He believes that there’s no “proof” that they’re developing a nuclear weapon, so why should we be worried? He’s also worried that we would “overreact” if an attack were to happen on America.
My final thought from last night: Perry/Santorum 2012!