GOP Candidates Answer Not-So-Vital Questions

Tuesday, 14 Jun 2011 10:50 AM

By Martin Gould and Caroline Rawls

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It was supposed to give us insight into the personal side of the Republican candidates, but John King’s “This or That” section during the first New Hampshire debate proved only that even those running for president need to know what’s coming.

King gave each of the seven candidates two options and asked them to choose as a way of going into commercial breaks.

debate, silly, questionsFirst up was Rick Santorum who looked like a deer caught in the headlights when asked “Leno or Conan?” The former Pennsylvania senator replied “Neither,” before apparently realizing that, even if he does have to go to bed early, that really wasn’t the answer America was looking for. “Er, probably Leno, but I don’t watch either, sorry.”

Michele Bachmann was next and, in her only misstep of the evening, couldn’t decide between Johnny Cash and Elvis. “Oh that’s really tough. Both,” she answered, making her appear like any other politician, unwilling to offend fans of either icon.

Those two answers gave the other candidates their cue. It didn’t matter what answer they gave, they just had to be decisive. Newt Gingrich was just that, favoring “American Idol” over “Dancing with the Stars.” Tim Pawlenty was equally positive plumping for Coke over Pepsi.

The biggest laugh came when King asked former pizza chain owner Herman Cain, “Deep dish or thin crust?” The expert’s opinion? Deep dish is best.

The oldest candidate, 75-year-old Ron Paul, gave the impression he had no idea what King was talking about when he was asked “BlackBerry or iPhone?” He responded BlackBerry — maybe if he had a chance to consult his smartphone he would have come up with a different answer.

The final question on barbecue sauce went to Mitt Romney. He was adamant that spicy is better than mild. But no candidate wants to be known as the mild one.

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