Mike Huckabee hosted the latest debate for the Republican Presidential Primary race, which included only six of the last eight Republicans that showed up on the previous debate. Herman Cain having dropped out of the race earlier today, and Jon Huntsman chose instead to campaign on the ground in North Carolina.
Admirably, the vast majority of the debate was spent discussing Federal power versus state's rights, however, most did not seem capable of grasping any consistent philosophy for how they demarcate where Federal power begins and State's rights begin. For instance, Michele Bachmann thinks it necessary to enact a nationwide tort reform law rather than respect the 10th Amendment, yet, hates President Obama's healthcare law for trampling state's rights.
Perhaps the greatest moment of flip-flopping and lying arrived in the first segment with Newt Gingrich, saying, without any hint of self-awareness, "If you ask me, 'Would I trust a jury or a Washington bureaucrat?', I would rather have my fate decided by a jury of my peers than have my fate decided by a Washington bureaucrat." This is the same Newt Gingrich who has no problems allowing the Obama administration's secret panel to label and kill an American citizen as a terrorist without any judicial oversight whatsoever. Amazing. Apparently, the "conservatism" of Newt is whatever he shall deem it to be upon his whim and audience.
On Executive Power, Rick Perry finds it perfectly acceptable for the President to use his power to nullify legislation passed by Congress, yet maintains that he is against the abuse of the Obama administration. Oh irony, know ye no boundaries?
As for speaking time this was an unqualified success. Each candidate getting nearly the same amount of speaking time, where someone like Michele Bachmann spoke for about a minute less due to shorter response times and allowing her a greater number of topics and turns talking. Likewise, Santorum and Ron Paul received the fewest turns talking which is attributed to their lengthier answers and overall having more total time talking.
Not surprising, in the immediate post debate follow up on Fox News the conversation was slanted towards certain candidates as indicated by the number of times their names were spoken. Newt Gingrich was mentioned by name 12 times and Mitt Romney's name was said nine times. According to polling this seems like an accurate reflection, until you consider that "Ron Paul" was only said twice in which he was ostracized by Mike Huckabee as someone Herman Cain's followers would not jump ship to, which is an amazing bit of omniscience on his part. Especially since he seemed to think it perfectly reasonable that these same supporters would consider *all* of the other candidates, including Mitt Romney, as viable options.
Here are the debate stats:
|Avg Response Time|
|Post Debate Mentions|
Bonus Video: Are there any differences between the establishment parties?