If you were a presidential candidate who walked away without a scratch on you after last night’s debate, you can be pretty sure that means that you aren’t a real contender.
Last night became the most aggressive, most argumentative debate in the 2012 cycle. Texas Governor Rick Perry versus former Governor Mitt Romney, former Senator Rick Santorum against Rick Perry, Mitt Romney against former Speaker Newt Gingrich. And absolutely everyone against Herman Cain and his “9-9-9″ tax plan.
The Fix declares Cain one of the big losers of the night, from being unable to defend his tax plan against the new study that declares it will raise taxes for anyone who makes less than $200,000 a year, and will cut taxes by the hundreds of thousands for millionaires, to a garbled attempt at proving he knows something about foreign policy.
But considering a vast majority of the articles discussing the debate instead focused primarily on the Perry/Romney smackdowns, it seems safe to say that Cain may come out of the debate a winner after all, simply by having his dismal performance overshadowed by the governor rivalry.
Perry’s big assault came out over Romney hiring a lawn care business that employed undocumented immigrants, and the Texas governor was not going to let the issue go. The argument became more and more heated between the two, with neither candidate really winning in the end. Watch the clip below to see the show:
Perry’s team says the push is to show a “Mitt vs. Mitt” flip flop machine, with Romney “ready to debate himself” by the time they are done with him. But are the attacks entirely truthful? What does it matter, it’s campaign season, that’s what everyone does, right?
So who was the biggest liar in last night’s debate? The Washington Post fact checker delves into the claims of each candidate and, surprisingly, finds they all told a bunch of whoppers. And some of the biggest involved Obama’s health care plan, and the Mitt Romney proposal the president likes to say he based it on.
With an accelerated primary schedule, a lot of PAC money floating around, volatile poll numbers and the nagging feeling that there’s no one in the candidate pool that will make the majority of Republican voters happy, expect the nomination fight to get uglier as we head into January.
Or, as moderator Anderson Cooper put it, “I thought Republicans followed the rules.”
Photo from IowaPolitics.com via flickr creative commons