Last night Republican primary presidential hopefuls displayed their ideological differences which reflect a major party seeking a core identity. Sparks flew the most between the anti-establishment and establishment candidates.
Perry, Paul, and Cain came out as the most anti-establishment candidates, heavily advocating against federal power and returning power to the states. These candidates also called for major structural changes to the way the federal government should tax, spend, and regulate the American people.
The most notable quote of last night's debate came from Texas Governor Rick Perry who said, "It is a Ponzi scheme to tell our kids that are 25 or 30 years old today, you're paying into a program that's going to be there. Anybody that's for the status quo with Social Security today is involved with a monstrous lie to our kids, and it's not right."
Herman Cain emphasized his "9-9-9" plan, which calls for a straight 9% corporate tax, 9% personal income tax, and a 9% federal sales tax, claiming, "If 10% is good enough for god, 9% is good enough for the federal government" which drew cheers from the audience.
U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, well known for his long stance against the Federal Reserve, said "We can't bail out banks and dump it on the poor people."
Romney, Santorum, and Huntsman came out as the most establishment candidates.
Jon Huntsman, a former Obama ambassador to China, made statements least accepted by the live audience, such as, "The greatest gift to the American people would be a homeland security that works" ... "I won't sign a pledge" ... and ... "Now is not the time during a recession to enter into a trade war [referring to China]."
Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum sought to distinguish himself from many of the isolationist stances of the other candidates, saying U.S. global intervention should be used "as a source for good around the world."
Orlando Republican Presidential Debate Highlights Part IV