The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler


Posted on | September 23, 2011 | 53 Comments

Three headlines after last night’s debate:

Perry is blowing it
Philip Klein, Washington Examiner

Orlando GOP debate: A strong
night for Santorum as Perry fades

Jennifer Rubin, Washington Post

Rick Perry Blindsided Again In Debate On
Immigration, Rick Santorum Has Big Night

Sam Stein and Jon Ward, Huffington Post

Now, those are different writers with different perspectives. Klein really hates Romney, because he fears Romney won’t repeal ObamaCare and Klein hates ObamaCare like God hates sin. Rubin’s OK with Romney. Stein and Ward are reporters rather than pundits.

My point is that there is universal agreement among them that Perry stunk up the place in Orland0 last night, and there is a majority view that Santorum did well. Let’s quote Stein and Ward:

What was clear is that Santorum gained enormously from another strong performance. He has gathered momentum with every debate — speaking with authority and expertise on policy and with obvious passion on issues in a way that resonates with the conservative grassroots. With Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) fading as voters question her electability, Santorum may be putting himself in a position to make some real noise in Iowa, which goes first in the primary process. Depending on how Perry does over the next few months, that could elevate the Pennsylvanian significantly.

Now, let’s go back to something I wrote Wednesday:

I also feel that more attention is due for Rick Santorum, whose fourth-place finish in the Ames Straw Poll would have been heralded as a newsworthy miracle, but was overshadowed by Perry’s entrance into the 2012 field and Tim Pawlenty’s exit the next day.

See? Santorum’s got a hard core of support in Iowa, and he seems to be picking up steam in the debates. Meanwhile, Bachmann’s campaign is reportedly experiencing financial difficulties.

Perry looked like a loser last night: “Cringeworthy.” We’ll get the results Saturday of a Republican straw poll in Florida, and if Perry doesn’t win that, the “Anybody But Romney” vote may start looking around for another horse to ride. Santorum might get a second look, and also I noticed that Michelle Malkin had warm praise for Herman Cain last night.

Nearly all of this is cited in my American Spectator column today:

Rick Perry may have forfeited his lead in the Republican presidential field during Thursday night’s debate in Orlando when he declared that those who oppose subsidizing college education for illegal immigrants are heartless.
“If you say that we should not educate children who have come into our state for no other reason than they have been brought there by no fault of their own, I don’t think you have a heart,” Perry said, after being criticized by former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney for a Texas policy providing in-state tuition for illegals.
Romney, who vetoed a similar tuition bill in Massachusetts, pointed out that this amounts to a $22,000-a-year discount for illegal aliens, as compared to the tuition that would be paid by U.S. students from the other 49 states attending universities in Texas. “That doesn’t make sense to me,” Romney said.
It didn’t make sense to former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum either. “You’re sort of making this leap that unless… the taxpayers subsidize it, [immigrants] won’t be able to go [to college].… The point is, why are we subsidizing it?… And why should they be given preferential treatment as an illegal in this country?” . . .

Read the whole thing. It’s still a long way to the Iowa caucuses on Feb. 6.


53 Responses to “RICK PERRY IN FREEFALL?”

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