Not all talking time is equal. Moderated by CNN's John King, I have to say that this was overall a fairly well moderated debate even if perhaps a bit on the Thunder Dome style. Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich each tied for the most turns talking at 22, while Ron Paul spoke only 14 times. However, I think the tale of the tape is in the number of questions aimed at each candidate, and each candidate largely received the same amount at about 12 each. That means all of those extra turns were spent in defense of their record, rebutting each other.
Ron Paul only had two rebuttals, one dealing with the abortion issue. This was astounding. Rick Santorum actually implied that Ron Paul is anything but Pro Life. It should be pointed out that Doctor Paul is an OBGYN and has delivered over 4,000 babies and never performed an abortion. Perhaps next Rick Santorum will say he loves Carol Paul more than Ron does.
Dr Paul believes in the state's right to decide issues of violence as provided in the Constitution whereas Senator Santorum believes in the Constitution unless he doesn't like its restrictions. This would include war powers, privacy, marriage and due process -- which his two-sided arguments are indefinite detentions of US citizens are wrong even if you're accused of terrorism, but killing US citizens if you're accused of being a terrorist is fine, how he reconciles this paradox is beyond the scope of my ability to rationalize.
Now that the GOP Presidential race is down to four we can see a great overall rise in the amount of time distributed to each candidate. On Monday's Fox News debate the top talker, Mitt Romney, received 22 minutes of time speaking -- about the same here -- while all the other candidates had less than 15 minutes, so coupled with a more deliberate attempt at pinging each nominee equally (even with the wild west rebuttals) along with one less body on stage we can see a far more balanced approach to divvying up speaking time. I tip my hat to John King.
Hit me on Facebook, here's the debate statistics for CNN's GOP Debate:
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