Politico has put together a list of six points learned from the GOP debate in Orlando, Fla.,
Thursday night, ranging from Rick Perry’s troubles to the status of Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum. Here’s the list.
- “Rick Perry is not ready.” Debating, at least, isn’t a strong suit for the Texas governor. He has a few weeks to get it right before the mid-October discussions in New Hampshire and Las Vegas. The big worry for Perry after three sluggish debate showings is that Republican voters may determine that he’s not a candidate who can beat President Barack Obama next year.
- “Mitt Romney found an answer to the flip-flopper questions. It’s called Rick Perry.” Romney turned the issue onto Perry, suggesting he may be the real flip-flopper. The former Massachusetts governor outdid Perry in their exchanges. Twice, Romney responded to Perry’s points with “Nice try,” before gaining the offensive.
- “Rick Santorum has eclipsed Michele Bachmann.” Of the fighters on the undercard, Santorum was last night’s winner.” The former Pennsylvania senator took center stage in the debate when Romney didn’t. Santorum took Perry to task on the border fence issue. He fared better than Bachmann, whom he’s fighting for conservative support. She was “something of a non-factor in the debate.”
- “Jon Huntsman’s lost opportunity.” Huntsman improved from the previous debate, but he stumbled at times. Santorum got the better of him on foreign policy. Just as in the last debate, Huntsman’s jokes didn’t work out so well.
- “Everyone loves a good joke.” Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson may have topped the field there. He said his neighbor’s two dogs create “more shovel-ready” jobs than Obama. Johnson received steady applause when he answered questions.
- “Ron Paul is trying to be more serious.” He dropped the attack Perry mode that he had adopted in the last two debates. The new style may get voters to take him more seriously, but it also pushed him to the background of the debate.
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