Monday, January 16, 2012

Santorum Wins South Carolina Republican Debate

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina -- Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, knowing that South Carolina is his do or die state, found the fire in his belly, and had an outstanding performance in tonight's South Carolina Wall Street Journal  / Fox News Debate.

Whether you agree with Santorum's policies or not, Santorum owned the podium.  He turned his lawyer on and had Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney repeatedly hesitating on questions - especially when it came to whether felons could vote.  

When Romney responded to Santorum's question and came out against the ability for felons to vote, Santorum immediately threw Massachusetts law allowing felons to vote back at Romney.

Had Santorum stuck with debating Romney, he would have hit the ball out of the park tonight.  But Santorum also went after Former U.S. House Speak Newt Gingrich.  Unlike Romney, Ginrich did not pause or become flustered - but that is expected from Gingrich.  Having debated for decades, Gingrich's everyday conversation is a Presidential debate, whether in an election year or a simple interview in an off year on a Sunday morning talk show.

Newt Gingrich came in second in tonight's debate.  Gingrich addressed South Carolina issues repeatedly, spoke to the audience, and garnered the most audience feedback.

Texas Governor Rick Perry continues to do much better in the debates.  If the Rick Perry of now was the Rick Perry six months ago, he would have stayed in the double digits.

Perry's best line, when talking about releasing Romney's tax record was, "We can't fire our Republican nominee in September ... we should know now whether we have a flawed candidate."

All in all, Perry, Romney, and Ron Paul delivered neutral performances in the debate.