Now that the primary election is close enough to start paying attention, I turned on CNN last night to watch the republican debate. Well, I watched most of the debate anyway. Since when did televised debates have commercial breaks? I ask because during the commercials, I discovered the Maryland Terps and Illinois Fighting Illini were marred in their own close battle on the basketball court. I elected to watch the rest of the game. Thus, I only caught just over 1/2 of the debate. Like a basketball team vying for seeding in the NCAA tournament, the republican candidates attempted to make their case by going at the front runners.
From what I saw, illegal immigration and fiscal responsibility seemed to dominate the first part of the debate. With regards to illegal immigration, Rudy Guiliani seemed to face an all on blitz on several fronts. The best drama occurred when Mitt Romney accused former Mayor Guiliani of operating a sanctuary city for illegals in New York. Guiliani fought right back by asking Romney about allowing illegals to work on the grounds of the governor's mansion in Massachusetts. I honestly view Romney as one of the best debaters I've seen in presidential politics in some time. That said, his response to the Guiliani claim sounded more like what a liberal mind would conjure up. Asking Guiliani if he assumes all people with accents are illegal seemed lame on it's face. In turn, Romney's attempt to use plausible deniability when it came to illegals working on his grounds is unacceptable defense if I ever heard one.
Fred Thompson, while I think he brings quite a bit to the table, looked worn last night. Each candidate also had the opportunity to make their own You Tube video advertising their campaign. Thompson used his video to attack Romney and Huckabee. I acknowledge he trails in the polls, but I expected to see more pro-Fred stuff at the onset of this campaign. Perhaps his message just isn't catching on like myself and others thought it would.
Ron Paul remains the token nut case. It's well known he has a lot of behind the scenes support. Certainly, he has some good ideas such as the abolishment of the Department of Homeland Security and the IRS, but the guy appears to have a serious screw loose. I am also suspicious of the loud applause he gets no matter what he says. I think his henchmen penetrate the crowds like they do internet forums.
Hopefully next time I'll see the entire debate. At last check, they average one about every 8 hours. That said, since I didn't see everything, I cannot accurately gage the winners and losers.