I watched about the last thirty minutes of the debate on CNN and came away with the impression that Romney did not do much to help himself on this night (I certainly wasn't impressed by him), as well as experiencing that down-in-your-gut sick feeling that Senator John McCain might actually win the GOP nomination.
My personal opinion is that Huckabee stole the show from both Romney and McCain. McCain seemed to be in ultra-attack mode, while Romney was, as the subject of McCain's attacks, equally in defense mode. All in all it was really just an unpleasant scene to watch, and from which I don't think I came away an ounce more informed about either man.
But like I said, I was pretty impressed with Mike Huckabee's performance on several counts. When was the last time you can recall, for instance, that a Presidential candidate, GOP or otherwise, spoke with such passion and clarity and lucidity on the issue of the tenth amendment and why governors of States should have the qualifications requisite to become President much superior to that possessed of national legislators? I know, I know, Huckabee is an open borders man, and that's a huge issue with me. But I have to hand it to him anyway. He impressed me as the most "together" of the candidates on this panel by far.
Anyway, I've selected a few comments on the debate from the Mike Huckabee for President blog and posted them below.
Kevin Tracy writes:
I got to watch the debate in Arlington at a debate party. We were ALL impressed with Governor Huckabee's performance, especially his last answer when he refused play the game of who would Reagan endorse and instead offered his endorsement of Reagan.
With the final debate before Stupor Tuesday behind us, it's time to begin recognizing the candidates for what they are. As I watched, I found McCain and Romney to be petty -- Was it "milestones and deadlines" or something different that means the same thing? Does it really matter?
Huckabee made sense and seemed to be mature enough to realize there are much bigger things at stake than whether Romney had a gaffe. So we have establishment "frontrunners", one of whom is testy and the other defensive. One an authentic hero and the other not authentic at all. A Ken doll vs. a GI Joe doll.
I'm all for climbing out of the Valley of the Dolls and going for a real life person fully capable of serving as our president. I know the Mediocracy has to declare frontrunners early -- to winnow the field down and reduce the damage the eventual nominee will endure during the primaries. To that end, it may be time for the commentators to recognize that principled conservatives -- especially those who take the social issues seriously will not support either of these guys.
Unless the establishment wants McCain, they need to rethink Huckabee. After tonight, I've come to the conclusion that Romney cannot be trusted and should not be considered by anyone who cares what happens to this country in the years after Bush.
Please consider giving him fair coverage and being honest about the "frontrunners".
John Michaels writes:
I know I said this previously, but Governor Huckabee. Since Anderson Cooper extended you an invitation to the Democratic Debate, I think you should take him up on his offer. It would certainly make it a more entertaining debate, and you would most likely end up taking both Obama and Hillary to the cleaners.
Ken Daugherty writes:
Bill Schneider is right that Mike Huckabee talked as the common person, my mother is a dedicated democrate and she's voting for Mike Huckabee.
Donald Fahrenkrug writes:
Gov Huckabee won the debate hands down. And he didn't sit on his hands and let the CNN staff ignore him.
He came across as intelligent, honest, very knowledgeable, and as the only one other than Ron Paul, that made any sense.
McCain was holier than thou, condescending, stupid, just plain horrible. Romney seemed like he just had the latest political computer chip implant. He was plastic and not believable, at all.
I am switching from Ron Paul, a truly great man, a gentleman and a scholar, but he let himself be ignored and just sat there.
Gov Huckabee has my vote. Good Grief America, wake up. We need a man of principle in the White House, and Gov. Huckabee is that man.
Jared Bridgeman writes:
It's amazing that Mike got shutout as far as the amount of screen time, but had a more clear message than the other two candidates due to their consistent blathering. McCain has two mouths, he speaks about homeland security, yet he has a Hernandez as his chief Hispanic vote-getter....I don't think he's even a United States citizen. From the get go, I have been extremely skeptical of Romney too...he seems too much in the pockets of big business and wishy washy on life. All of these things make it so easy to vote for Mike...the only problem is...convincing others in MO before Feb. 5th.
Sondra Ashmore writes:
Until today I had always considered you a solid candidate, but not necessarily one I would vote for. You refusing to be treated as a 3rd class candidate while also respecting the other candidates impressed me. I came to this site for more information as I rethink who I'm going to support on the 5th. I vote for character and I think you showed a lot of that tonight. Well done!