The Other McCain

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ABC Iowa Debate Reaction Roundup UPDATE: Jennifer Rubin, WTF?

Posted on | December 10, 2011 | 82 Comments

UPDATE 12:45 a.m.: Several people — including Melissa Clouthier, Dan Riehl, Ace of Spades and William Jacobson — were expressing outrage on Twitter at the way the Washington Post‘s Jennifer Rubin scored the debate:

Winners: Bachmann, Santorum, Perry — and because they can take steam out of Gingrich and he demonstrated a superior temperament, Romney too was a winner
Losers: Gingrich (who did himself no good and some harm) and Diane Sawyer (who sounded as if she were addressing a kindergarten class).

Rubin stands accused of being in the tank for Romney. Maybe he promised her the coveted ambassadorship to Vanuatu.

UPDATE 1:40 a.m. ET: Just checking around, trying to find anyone besides Rubin who scored this debate a loss for Gingrich and a win for Romney. No luck so far.

The Romney people are trying to spin Mitt’s $10,000 bet as something other than a gaffe. Good luck with that. And while I was looking for Santorum’s reaction to the $10,000 bet, I came across the snarky liberal Charles Pierce at Esquire:

Iowa Debate: Newt Knocks
Mitt’s Glass Jaw to the Floor

Now, I ask you: Does a liberal have any reason to overrate Newt’s performance? I don’t think so. And therefore I think it’s safe to say that, in terms of Saturday’s front-runner showdown, Newt beat Mitt. But something else Pierce wrote caught my eye:

Hell, who knows what impact Rick Santorum’s actually made out in the hinterlands where he’s been spending his time? All bets are off, I’m thinking.

Which is exactly right: If old-fashioned retail politics means anything at all in Iowa — and informed people insist it does — Santorum should out-perform his poll numbers.

* * * PREVIOUSLY (11:02 p.m. ET) * * *

ABC News is scoring this as a victory for Newt Gingrich.

UPDATE: During the debate, Michele Bachmann’s campaign issued a series of press releases with these headlines:

K-Street Gingrich: Washington Insider,
Crony Capitalist, Unreliable Conservative

— 9:35 p.m. ET

“Newt Romney” on the Individual Heath Insurance Mandate
— 9:55 p.m. ET

“Newt Romney” on Global Warming and Cap-and-Trade
— 10:05 p.m. ET

“Newt Romney” Supported the TARP Bailout
for Big Wall Street Banks

— 10:20 p.m. ET

UPDATE II: Des Moines Register:

Former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum promised Saturday night to “zero out” taxes on manufacturing firms, reduce burdensome regulations and to encourage the availability of affordable energy to help create more factory jobs in small towns and rural America.
“We want ‘Made in the USA’ to be the moniker for my administration,” the Pennsylvania Republican told an audience at the ABC News/Des Moines Register GOP presidential candidate debate at Drake University. . . .
Santorum also said he stands out among the candidates as a “consistent conservative” who has a proven record of success in Congress.
“I fought and won,” he said, referring to his work on welfare reform and pro-life and pro-family issues in the Senate, as well as national security issues such as sanctions on Iran.
Santorum told how he was part of the “Gang of Seven” and succeeded in implementing legislative reforms while serving in the minority in the House.
“We figured out a way to win, even though we were in the minority,” Santorum said.

UPDATE III: McClatchy Syndicate:

DES MOINES, Iowa — Republicans threw everything they could at Newt Gingrich in a fiery debate Saturday night, increasingly desperate to stop his momentum toward the 2012 presidential nomination in the final weeks before voting starts in less than 4 weeks.
The former speaker of the House of Representatives responded with a combination of laughs and a steely determination not to let the charges go unanswered, particularly from chief rival Mitt Romney.
The spirited, two-hour debate was the first since Gingrich shot to the lead in polls in Iowa, prompting a round of challenges to his record as a Washington insider, his well-paid consulting work for the semi-federal mortgage agency Freddie Mac, his marital infidelities, and his recent statement that the Palestinians are an “invented” people.

UPDATE IV: Press release from the Santorum campaign:


Des Moines, IA – Tonight, Republican Presidential Candidate Rick Santorum showed he was above the fray, the adult in the room, and the one candidate ready to lead the United States from day-one.
Hogan Gidley, National Communications Director, said: “Rick Santorum was the one candidate who stayed above the fray – answering the questions asked by outlining conservative solutions to the issues facing average Americans. Rick’s momentum is undeniable and he’s proving every day that he’s a man you can trust to be the Commander in Chief. His record matches his rhetoric – Rick has consistently fought for conservatism and Rick has consistently won for conservatism. Rick’s the real deal and the country got to see that tonight.”


On Distinguishing Job Creation Plan:
“I was just visiting Fremont County where they just lost hundreds of jobs from a ConAgra plant. Instances like that are why Governor Branstad and Lt. Governor Reynolds held a manufacturing forum in Pella, because the heartland of America is suffering. During my lifetime we’ve gone from 21% of people employed in manufacturing down to 9% today. Small town America is hurting. We need a plan to revitalize manufacturing, which is why I have called for the elimination of the corporate tax on manufacturers, repealing the bevy of regulations of the Obama Administration, and lower energy costs… I will not give you a jobs number, because government doesn’t create jobs. I don’t believe you can have a top down mentality. You create the petri dish and I don’t need a government bean counter to tell me how many jobs we’re going to create.”

On Being A Consistent Conservative and Winning:
“This is not about what you say at the debate. In 1994, I was not supporting an individual mandate. I authored Medical Savings Accounts because I believe in a bottom up approach and I have never strayed. The record is important and what the question is was who is a consistent conservative. I would agree with Michele, but she’s been fighting and losing. I have been fighting and won. I won and passed Welfare Reform. I was the leader on pro-life and pro-family issues. I went out and fought on national security, and imposed sanctions on Iran. I was there in good times and in bad. I was there, I led, and I won… I was in the minority and along with Jim Nussle we formed the Gang of Seven, and we won. We exposed the House Banking scandal and sent the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee to jail. We figured out how to win, even though we were in the minority.”

On Fidelity:
“Character counts, all of your record – personal and political. I would not say it is a disqualifier, people make mistakes, and people should hold you accountable. You are electing a leader, trust is everything, particularly in this election. I hear this all the time in Iowa, who can we trust? I have been married for 21 years, I have seven children. I have been consistent and I talk about my past.”

On Israel/Palestine Dispute:
“You must speak the truth, but do so with prudence. We are in a real life situation, not an academic exercise. We need to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our ally. We need to be working with the Israeli’s, because they have the right to determine what they do with their land – and the West Bank is their land.”

On His Upbringing and Family:
“I grew up in a modest home, and I was blessed with a mom and a dad who made the little things feel like luxuries. Today we see the family breaking down. Single parent households have poverty approaching 40%. Single moms are doing heroic work, but it’s tough. We need to elevate the institution of marriage and the family. The most important luxury is a mom and a dad.”

One Bringing People Together and An Opponent:
“I listened to Newt’s (GOPAC) tapes as a young man and he laid out a vision for conservative governance. I ran in a tough environment. In 1990, I ran and won, and when I won, the Wall Street Journal called the RNC and the RNC didn’t even know my name. In 2000, I won re-election in Pennsylvania in the same year that President Bush lost by 5%, I won by 6%. I’ve run as a conservative and won, I stuck by conservative principles.”

UPDATE V: The real winner tonight? Bill Quick, who supports syphilitic camel Newt Gingrich.

UPDATE VI: Katie Obradovich of the Des Moines Register:

Paul had a particularly good debate, although he probably won’t get much credit for it from the national media. It’s hard to fathom why he’s not more of a target – -he’s running second in the polls of Iowa caucusgoers. He’s running an attack ad against Gingrich and repeated his claims the former speaker is a hypocrite. Yet, both Perry and Romney praised Paul when asked what they’ve learned from other candidates during this race.


82 Responses to “ABC Iowa Debate Reaction Roundup UPDATE: Jennifer Rubin, WTF?”

  1. Adjoran
    December 11th, 2011 @ 7:18 am

    Now would be the time to disclose your close personal, familial, professional, or sexual relationship with Newt, by the way.

  2. ThePaganTemple
    December 11th, 2011 @ 7:54 am

    Newt made both Romney and Santorum look like fools. How dare they criticize his opinion of the Pseudostinian swine in the Middle East? I liked Newt’s response, which eviscerated their criticisms, which was to paraphrase-

    “Israel is being attacked with rockets on a daily basis”.

    And he’s right, but was actually quite restrained in how he deflated the ego filled balloons of their criticism, if you want to call those noxious fumes ego. Santorum’s and Romney’s position is the old way of approaching the Middle East, a way that has “worked” dreadfully.

    Newt’s right. The time for tenderness and political correctness is past. It’s time to try a little honesty and call these scum out for the murderous dirt bags they are, as a people and a “culture”.

    Fact-there is no such thing as a Palestinian ethnicity. They are all Arabs, of either Egyptian or Jordanian extraction, and the Palestinian identity is a fraud, actually a leftist, possibly even communist construct.

    It’s time for people like Santorum and Mitt to stop channeling Jack Nicholson. Yes, by God, we can handle the truth. All you have to do is speak it. This shit has got to change, otherwise there will never be any change, certainly not the kind of change I want to leave to my descendants.

    The only candidate who didn’t shame herself in this exchange was Bachmann, who pointed out the Palestinians have spent decades teaching their children to hate Jews.

    It’s time for our politicians to start teaching a little truth to our children and all the rest of us, and piss on this old politically correct way of approaching the world.

  3. Paul Zummo
    December 11th, 2011 @ 8:18 am

    Repeating a lie incessantly does not make it true.  They supported Romney to the extent that they perceived him to be a better candidate than McCain.  It is a positive indication of this often derided field that Romney sticks out like a sore, squishy, thumb.

  4. ThePaganTemple
    December 11th, 2011 @ 8:21 am

    Demick, probably the reason she was “praising” Cain in such “fulsome” fashion is very simple. She’s been endorsed, apparently, by a lot of Cain’s former supporters in South Carolina, as well as by Phyllis Schaffley, and she is probably just expressing appreciation for their support, and hoping to build on it. Viewed in this context her shout-out to Herman was appropriate, and indeed before his fall he added a great deal to the debates and to the campaign process in general. There is no reason to not give him proper respect for his positive contributions.

    You will note that she is the only one out of the whole field of candidates, including Newt, who had enough of a spine to do so.

  5. Paul Zummo
    December 11th, 2011 @ 8:22 am

    I called Trump a circus clown in another thread, and stand by that.  After tonight, it’s apparent the circus clown could do no worse than these idiots.

  6. ThePaganTemple
    December 11th, 2011 @ 8:28 am

    Come on Diana, Rand is one of the major people in his dad’s campaign, though I forgot what his title is, but he’s practically running it. Are you telling me that if the nominee picked Rand as VP that wouldn’t have an impact? The pod people see Rand as the heir apparent to Ron, of course a lot of them would support him, maybe even the vast majority. That could make all the difference in a close election, because frankly, otherwise I don’t think they’ll support the GOP nominee in any great numbers.

  7. Datechguy's Blog » Blog Archive » Yesterday’s Debate my take. A good day for Gingrich » Datechguy's Blog
    December 11th, 2011 @ 9:58 am

    […] McCain says it well: Jennifer Rubin, […]

  8. Anonymous
    December 11th, 2011 @ 10:20 am


    No, I’m not a Romney fan. But neither am I fan of any of the other contestants, nor do I expect that any of them is particularly likely to defeat Obama, nor do I particularly care one way or another whether Obama is defeated.

    If Romney is remembered at all in the history books, it will be noted that his political career came to an abrupt end when Newt Gingrich turned to him and said “the only reason you’re not a career politician is that Ted Kennedy beat you in 1994.”

  9. Anonymous
    December 11th, 2011 @ 10:24 am

    You are right on.  Many are suffering from amnesia on Newt.  But Obama and his minions, will have NO problem refreshing it for us.

  10. Charles
    December 11th, 2011 @ 10:28 am

    Yes, Newt’s statement is grounded in fact but it is too easily dismissed and the least effective way to express the truth of the situation.

    Palestine should not be recognized because it’s got one government in the West Bank and another government in Gaza who are essentially at war with each other. And both are at war with Israel, whose entire territory both Palestinian governments claim. There is nothing invented about that.

  11. Charles
    December 11th, 2011 @ 10:31 am

    Newt Romney lost the debate, end of story.

  12. The Dose of Reality Goes Down Hard | Daily Pundit
    December 11th, 2011 @ 11:03 am

    […] ABC Iowa Debate Reaction Roundup UPDATE: Jennifer Rubin, WTF? : The Other McCain UPDATE V: The real winner tonight? Bill Quick, who supports syphilitic camel Newt Gingrich. […]

  13. Joe
    December 11th, 2011 @ 11:08 am

    That was a great response, although I thought when Romeny offered to bet Perry $10,000 was an unforced error.  Perry was not connecting and then Romeny screwed up by over reacting.  A simple “No, you are mistaken,” would have sufficed. 

  14. Joe
    December 11th, 2011 @ 11:11 am

    Jennifer Rubin is being based for being a complete shill for Romney.  That is Hugh Hewitt’s job! 

  15. Dcmick
    December 11th, 2011 @ 11:11 am

    Well, it’s not unimportant to understand HOW he lost the thing, the manner in which he lost it, and how did he conduct himself in the losing thereof.

    Whose advice did he take in the guidance of his campaign?

    Which political faction within the party did he align himself with at the origins of the political season and throughout?

    Which wing of the party does he represent, and is that a wing that the rest of the party can prevail even if they wholly forfeited such support?

    So yea, he lost.

    You got that right.

  16. Joe
    December 11th, 2011 @ 11:16 am

    Rush has been defending Newt from the GOP establishment, who he says fears the conservative.  Rush says the GOP thinks conservatives lose and the Dems fear conservatives can win. 

    I get what Rush is saying and agree with it (in a general sense), unfortunately Gingrich’s real problem is he is NOT conservative.  He is Gingrich.  Cannoodling with Pelosi, spouting off all kinds of crazy stuff when he thinks it helps him.  hanging with Trump (SNL’s opening was spot on about the dangers of the Donald). 

  17. Joe
    December 11th, 2011 @ 11:18 am

    Santorum gets his SNL time last night.  The barbs were directed more to Trump but ouch! 

  18. ABC Debate Analysis: High Points Low Points – My Thoughts | Maggie's Notebook
    December 11th, 2011 @ 11:18 am

    […] of last night’s ABC debate below, and two sources where you can find more.  Stacy McCain at The Other Cain has summarized the media analysis and asks: Does a liberal have any reason to overrate Newt’s […]

  19. ThePaganTemple
    December 11th, 2011 @ 11:32 am

    So you are saying you agree that Newt Romney lost the debate?

  20. koam
    December 11th, 2011 @ 1:08 pm

    Dick Morris nails it

  21. Anonymous
    December 11th, 2011 @ 1:17 pm

    Not only did he respond calmly and not lose his cool, he went on the offensive when everyone expected him to just try and absorb the punches.

    I don’t like Newt. But he looked like a president up there, and Romney looked like a minor official whom Gingrich had called out to the woodshed for a talking to.

    It was supposed to be the other way around.

  22. richard mcenroe
    December 11th, 2011 @ 1:19 pm

    Isn’t Hewitt Olde English for “Grima”?

  23. richard mcenroe
    December 11th, 2011 @ 1:21 pm

    Well, to give the Avenging Angel his due: Newt quit on TWO marriages AND a Congressional seat he had committed to; that’s a pretty significant tell of character right there (or lack of same), and one at least Romney doesn’t suffer from.

  24. richard mcenroe
    December 11th, 2011 @ 1:29 pm

    Gingrich is near perfect in his imperfections.  Betrayed his families, betrayed his party, betrayed the Congressional consituents who voted for him, hell, he’s probably gonna stiff Tiffany’s while he’s at it.  The only think he hasn’t managed to do yet is get himself linked to Wikileaks or the Walker spy ring.


  25. Dianna Deeley
    December 11th, 2011 @ 1:35 pm

    Of the Paul-bots I have spoken to, not one regards Rand Paul with any trust, and they don’t view him as his father’s heir. They think he’s being a good son, not anything else. You may have spoken to people with different takes on that, of course.

  26. Anonymous
    December 11th, 2011 @ 3:43 pm

    This isn’t a game. We are in a dire situation and Newt has continually shown himself to be a Progressive.

  27. K-Bob
    December 11th, 2011 @ 4:07 pm

    I’d put him between Romney and Perry on the K-Bob Scale of UWWWSNP (up with which we shall not put). By my rankings, from higherest to lowerest that would be

    1) Ron Paul!!
    2) Jo(h)n HuntsForAPlan
    3) Mitt Romnowey
    4) Newt. Just Newt.
    5) Rick “uhh, oops” Perry
    6) Rick “zzzzzzz” Santorum
    7) Michelle “woodenly negative” Bachmann

    On this list, first place is very, very bad.

    (Special, one-time inclusion at position 1.5 would be “The guys no one has ever heard of who are never invited to debates”)

    Sadly, being at the bottom of the list doesn’t mean you’re a good candidate. It just means we can probably survive as a nation if you somehow got elected.

  28. Garym
    December 11th, 2011 @ 6:37 pm

    Isn’t Hewitt Olde English for “Grima”?

    That would mean that Romney is English for Saruman.

  29. ThePaganTemple
    December 11th, 2011 @ 11:17 pm

    I don’t talk to Paultards. I don’t know what would be worst, talking to a group of them before dinner, or afterwards? I just can’t shake the feeling that if you talk to enough of them, sooner or later one of them is going to start eating his boogers.

  30. Bob Belvedere
    December 12th, 2011 @ 10:47 am

    Dcmick, you’ve officially become tiresome.  Are you sure you’re not one of the many ‘people’ who live in Alec Baldwin’s degenerating brain?

  31. Bob Belvedere
    December 12th, 2011 @ 10:48 am

    Newt loves to hear himself think.

  32. Problem Perry’s Campaign Denied in September, Confirmed in December : The Other McCain
    December 12th, 2011 @ 3:59 pm

    […] on Twitter have decided this as an occasion to renew their ax-grinding against Jennifer Rubin who, as I mentioned Saturday, has been accused of being in the tank for Mitt Romney — and not without reason. But why the […]