CNN Presidential Debate

The GOP Presidential candidates invaded Las Vegas Tuesday to participate in the CNN Western Republican Presidential Debate.  Anderson Cooper was the moderator.

Headlines today range from “Candidates come out Swinging” to “Sparks fly at GOP event” to “GOP Front-Runners Catch Heat” to “Republican rivals get rough in Las Vegas debate.”  They are all true.

It was nasty.  It was contentious.  Some observers are wondering if the GOP will be able to unite after the primary is over.  Let’s take a look at it!

Although he was attacked by others during the first 10 minutes, Herman Cain remained strong in the debate. Perry and Romney attacked each other. Gingrich stayed in the mix as a voice of reason.

Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, and Ron Paul were little more than distractions – Jon Huntsman did not participate.  Some of the distractions were downright funny.

Libya Is In Africa:

Bachmann was able to get Twitter fired up when she had this to say about Obama, “First he put us in Libya, now he’s put us in Africa.”  For those of you who failed geography, Libya is in northern Africa.  A few minutes later “Libya Is In Africa” was trending worldwide on Twitter.

Santorum may be hanging around for a Vice President slot and Ron Paul (although he won’t be President) is still the only candidate with which I would like to have dinner.

This was the fifth debate in six weeks – and I think the ninth debate overall.  The candidates were tired of each other and it showed in their responses.  It was heated; especially between Perry and Romney.

Romney and Perry:

Romney and Perry fought over immigration with Perry saying Romney hired illegal immigrants to work in his home (Romney actually hired a landscaping company that employed them).  Many times the arguments harmed both of them with the insults becoming personnel.  Often Perry and Romney were booed during their exchanges.  Democrats will want to see more of these knock-down drag-out debates between two people near the top.

The Winners:

Perry and Romney don’t like each other and it showed.  Cain comes out the winner of this debate for remaining calm during the nasty exchanges.  Romney will probably still be the leader in the polls, and Perry showed he still has a pulse.  Gingrich held his own during the debate and he may move up in some people’s minds as a calming voice of reason – an elder statesman.

But, the biggest winner of this GOP debate was Barack Obama.

Up Next:

They do have some time off from debating – the next debate is scheduled for November 9 – and some candidates may (should) drop out before then.  According to this schedule, there are about 13 debates left – Whoa, Nellie!

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