Presidential candidates Rick Perry and Mitt Romney spent too much time fighting with each other during the debate Thursday in Orlando, Fla., and stumbled through their answers, author and columnist S. E. Cupp told Newsmax.
“I thought that even though Mitt Romney and Rick Perry will still be the front runners…I thought the other second-tier and third-tier candidates had better lines, more passion, spoke to all of the issues with a little more feeling,” Cupp said.
Michelle Bachmann’s hopes of winning the nomination are not lost, she told Newsmax.
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“I would not count her out yet,” she said. “If Perry or Romney make a big mistake, there’s room for Michelle Bachmann to surge. I’m not done with her yet,”
Cupp said Bachmann has a following for a reason. “She speaks to certain issues in a way that no one else on that stage can,” she said. “People still want passion in politics. She’s got it.”
Cupp, speaking from the site of the GOP’s three-day Presidency 5 conference, said Florida Republicans are eyeballing candidates closely to see which ones will address Social Security, one of the larger political issues in the Sunshine State.
“Social Security is a huge issue right now,” she said. “Florida Republicans are looking very closely at Romney and Perry and Bachmann and Herman Cain, who I know they love, and they’re looking for leadership. Frankly, I think they are wishing someone like [Sen. Marco] Rubio, or even [Rep.] Alan West, would get in.”
Newt Gingrich probably won’t win the nomination because the former House speaker’s long and vast experience will work against him, Cupp told Newsmax.
“After every debate, a lot of people say, ‘Well, he won the night. Smartest guy in the room,’ ” Cupp said. “You hear that all the time around Newt. The problem is it’s very hard right now to run against his long record of service as the new guy. When we’re so sick of Washington and politics as usual, it’s hard to look new when you’ve got such a long record.”
Cupp, who co-wrote the book “Why You’re Wrong About the Right,” said one of the debate’s highlights came when Cain said he was a stage-four cancer survivor and applause erupted.
“The message is, it’s really hard to paint conservatives either way,” she said, commenting on the cheering that followed Perry’s statement on Sept. 7 about the number of death-row inmates the state has executed. “People are people.”
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