Carol Platt Liebau: Thompson Wins

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Thompson Wins

Finally, Fred Thompson delivers a strong performance, although I fear it's too little, too late. He was funny and showed a real ability to go after Mike Huckabee and others without seeming ugly or negative.

Mitt Romney had a good debate, as well. His responses about the economy and the Republican coalition were strong, as was the thrust at Ron Paul "reading from Ahmadinejad's press release." Nicely done.

John McCain made no campaign-threatening mistakes, although Rudy was right to call him on his inaccurate claim that he was the only one on-stage who had supported the surge, and the contrast between his supposed "straight talk" about surrendering Michigan jobs and Romney's determination and optimism about keeping them was telling. McCain can try to talk up the economy, but the fact is that he just doesn't come across as a sunshiny guy. And one more thing -- too bad, when he gets off on his spending cut credentials that no one asks him about other big spending plans he might have, implied in his adherence to the cause of global warming. In his post-debate interview, he denied that he had changed anything in his approach to illegal immigration -- although his enthusiasm for border security first is a remarkable volte-face, and he seems completely ignorant of the impact of his support for his "z visa" brainchild. Clueless . . .

Rudy was fine, but there were few standout moments.

Mike Huckabee stood up pretty well to many of the attacks against him. His response to the inquiry about wives submitting to their husbands was a strong one, and will endear him to evangelicals, but the facts posed in the questions itself was probably enough to turn off most others. Along with McCain, he's the guy who must most hate any discussion of illegal immigration. And he totally muffed the Chris Wallace question about taxes. Assuring listeners that he spent the taxes he raised well is hardly the way to endear oneself to Republican voters.

Ron Paul? Gotta love him. He's the Republican Dennis Kucinich.


Blogger B said...

Well stated, Carol.

6:32 AM  
Blogger Greg said...

Ron Paul communicates his views very well. They're not winning views, but he does communicate them well.

As I said many weeks ago when I first heard about this Mitt Romney fellow, the more I see him and the closer I scrutinize him, the better I like him. Right now, he's my guy.

But I would gladly vote for any of the other Republicans over any of the Democrats in the general election. They are all light years ahead of the Democrats on the single most important issue of the day - National Security.

... any of the Republicans except for Ron Paul, that is.

Ron Paul winning the Republican nomination is the one scenario where I can see myself actually voting for Hillary Clinton or Barak Obama or even (gulp) John Edwards.

As I've said many times, National Security is the most important issue of the day. The Democrats are all clownish on this issue. Ron Paul is even worse!

But he does a great job of communicating his views. You gotta give him that.

7:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Greg wrote, As I said many weeks ago when I first heard about this Mitt Romney fellow, the more I see him and the closer I scrutinize him, the better I like him. Right now, he's my guy.

If you like Mitt's positions now, you would have hated the ones he held before deciding to run for President. I'll let New Hampshire's right-wing paper speak to this issue. From the New Hampshire Union Leader's editorial, Mitt's Flips, Why They Matter...

In Massachusetts he was pro-choice, then pro-life, then pro-choice, then pro-life again. He was even more pro-gay rights than Ted Kennedy, for strict gun-control laws, for affirmative action, against the Boy Scouts’ policy on homosexual scoutmasters, for what he now calls “amnesty” for illegal immigrants, and against the Bush tax cuts.

How can he have changed his mind on all of those issues and others so soon after deciding to run for the Republican presidential nomination?

In addition to his rightward shift, Gov. Romney's record includes some personal statements that make him appear less than completely candid about who he is and what he believes.

He claimed to have been a lifelong hunter. He wasn't. He claimed to have had the NRA's endorsement. He didn't. He claimed to have marched with Martin Luther King Jr. He didn't. These cannot be explained away as conversions.

Remember, New Hampshire is right next door to Massachusetts, and they have studied Mitt close up far beyond just this election cycle. I'm not really sure why anyone would want to vote for a serial exaggerator who changes political positions like a chameleon changes colors.

9:27 AM  
Blogger Greg said...

I'm aware of the changes Romney has made on some issues. I've seen him questioned on these issues. And I've seen his responses. Unlike John Kerry in the last presidential election, Mitt's changes of mind and his explanations regarding them actually make sense.

There are no, "I was for the war before I was against it" moments for Romney. There are simple, well documented, thoughtful progressions in his stances on these issues.

7:03 AM  

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