Mitt Romney completely outshone the other candidates during the debate. McCain only came across as vindictive and disingenuous. McCain kept saying that Romney supported a set withdrawal date for getting out of Iraq. Romney never said that. McCain kept going after Romney and in so doing kept shooting himself in the foot. McCain, I thought, did the most poorly of any of the candidates in the debate. Ron Paul was his normal self. He makes a lot of good points but just doesn’t have the support to get the candidacy. Huckabee kept up his quips and sounded good but he again showed his platform shallowness (he also kept saying, “Look at me! I need some attention.”).
McCain kept attacking Romney for changing positions – which he did on abortion (and he recognizes that and apologized for it) – but he has not changed on other positions. Romney is by and large the most representative of Republican Party ideals. Romney is the most like Reagan (except Romney would cut back government and Reagan did not). I used to like McCain a lot more than I do now; I’m originally from Arizona and always respected him. However, I get really sick of his, “I’ve been in Washington for 25 years. I’m a war hero. I know foreign policy. I’m a straight talker. [I’m not a politician]. I’m entitled to the Presidency.” He not only is part of the Establishment, he is part of the Entitlement. McCain tries to portray himself as someone who is above petty politics when that is what he does. He’s the one who attacked Romney’s character when Romney only attacked McCain’s policies. Mitt Romney has his faults but none of them are what McCain has been attacking him over. The only two really honest people on that stage were Romney and Paul. Huckabee is likable but he, like McCain, tries to say that he is above politicking when that is what he’s very good at.
Overall, I think Romney earned an A- for his performance tonight. Ron Paul earned a B. Mike Huckabee earned a B-. John McCain earned a C+.