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The second Florida debate: Santorum's big night


Geee

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article.php?id=49105Human Events:

It’s only natural that the front-running candidates would receive extra attention, especially when they go after each other as vigorously as Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney did during the second Florida debate, hosted by CNN. Somewhere in the melee of accusations about each others’ finances, campaign advertising, hunger to deport elderly illegal aliens, and reverence for Ronald Regan, a winner emerged: Rick Santorum.

The outcome in Florida between Romney and Gingrich wasn’t really in doubt, due to Gingrich’s spectacularly ill-advised radio ad calling Romney “anti-immigrant.” This brought the previously neutral Senator Marco Rubio into the contest, to Romney’s defense. Romney’s anger at Gingrich’s continuing insistence on calling him “the most anti-immigrant of the four candidates” was genuine – one of the most genuine moments a stiff Romney had on the stage that night – and it made Gingrich look scurrilous. Gingrich didn’t help himself with paranoid mutterings that all the stories appearing about his complex relationship with Ronald Reagan were the handiwork of the Romney attack machine. (I think Gingrich has the better of the Reagan debate in general, but he's not going to get anywhere portraying Romney as puppetmaster of the conservative press.)

 

For some reason, Gingrich was convinced that accusing Romney of a desire to deport illegal alien grandmothers and grandfathers was a trump card, and he kept trying to play it. Romney pointed out that his strategy involved, not roundups and deportation, but cracking down on those who employ illegals until the lack of jobs prompts them to “self-deport” – a strategy President Obama has actually proved can be quite effective, although his method of implementing it leaves much to be desired, since it involved destroying everyone's ability to work.

 

 

When Romney said our illegal immigration problem doesn’t involve 11 million grandmothers, Gingrich found himself holding a thoroughly deflated talking point. Judging by the crowd reaction, Gingrich’s odd plan to help those illegal septuagenarians live out their days on American soil with board-issued “residency” permits still isn’t selling very well.

 

It also wasn’t much fun watching Gingrich pretend he doesn’t know what a blind trust is, or watching Romney ignore a belated, but well stated, plea from Gingrich to save the campaign-ad nitpicking for other venues and use debate time for the discussion of important issues. It turns out both Romney and Gingrich, through trusts and mutual funds, own pieces of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The stage grew thick with stagnant pools of disclosure.Scissors-32x32.png

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Romney pointed out that his strategy involved, not roundups and deportation, but cracking down on those who employ illegals until the lack of jobs prompts them to “self-deport” – a strategy President Obama has actually proved can be quite effective, although his method of implementing it leaves much to be desired, since it involved destroying everyone's ability to work.

Ouch....

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