Tags: 2012 President Race | | Kristol | GOP | debate | Romney | Bachmann

Kristol Evaluates Debate's Effects on Potential Candidates Who Weren't There

By Dan Weil   |   Tuesday, 14 Jun 2011 04:06 PM

William Kristol, editor of The Weekly Standard, sees Mitt Romney and Michele Bachmann as two of the clear winners in Monday’s GOP presidential debate.

William Kristol, editor, Weekly Standard
William Kristol, editor of The Weekly Standard
“The seven candidates on stage performed creditably last night, with two pretty clearly helping themselves — Mitt Romney and Michele Bachmann,” Kristol wrote in a column Tuesday.

And how did the event affect potential candidates who weren’t present?
  • Texas Gov. Rick Perry: “Hurt a bit by Michele Bachmann's strong performance,” Kristol wrote. “If, in the next two months, she forcefully opposes in the House whatever deal is reached on the debt ceiling [very likely], and wins the Ames straw poll [quite possible], what's Perry's rationale for big-footing her?”
  • Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani: “There's room in the race for a capable tough guy who's more socially moderate than anyone on stage last night, and one can see Rudy getting some votes in various primaries,” Kristol wrote. But “It's hard to see how he ultimately wins the nomination.”
  • Former New York Gov. George Pataki: “A weaker version of Rudy as a candidate — but he wants to go, too,” Kristol said.
  • Former U.S. Ambassador and Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman: “What's his message?” Kristol wrote. “If Romney's acceptable, what's his rationale?”
  • U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan: “As the repeated mentions of him last night reminded everyone, he's at the center of gravity of the national political debate,” Kristol wrote. “And nothing we saw last night would convince his many admirers that he wouldn't be better — substantively and politically — at advancing the core Republican position than those on stage last night.”

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