#20 – The CNN Arizona Michigan Republican Debate

Update: It was a tough night for Santorum. Maybe he should have taken our advice and shown up with ashes on his forehead to at least distract from the disaster.

Santorum sounded like John Kerry of “I voted for it before I voted against it.” For Santorum it was an “I was against it before I voted for it” moment:

“ROMNEY: Just a — just a brief comment. Senator, I just saw a YouTube clip of you being interviewed where you said that you personally opposed contraceptives but that you — you said that you voted for Title X. You…

(CROSSTALK)

ROMNEY: But you used that as an argument, saying this is something I did proactively. You didn’t say this is something I was opposed to; it wasn’t something I would have done. You said this — you said this in a positive light, “I voted for Title X.”

(LAUGHTER)

SANTORUM: I think it’s — I think I was making it clear that, while I have a personal more objection to it; even though I don’t support it, that I voted for bills that included it. And I made it very clear in subsequent interviews that I don’t — I don’t support that...

(BOOING)

… I’ve never supported it, and — and have — and on an individual basis have voted against it.”

Ron Paul pounced like a hungry monkey on a ripe banana as he punched Santorum for being “a fake”.



On the Arlen Specter endorsement and support for No Child Left Behind it was a tough night for Santorum without respite.

Newt Gingrich did well tonight and should certainly be “cheerful”. Romney must be smiling too.

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It would be nice to be a member of the Roman Catholic Church today. We could then give up Republican debates for Lent. But no such luck.

Diligently, we will watch tonight’s Republican debate at 8:00 p.m. on CNN. Tonight’s debate is presumed to be important to next week’s voting in Arizona and Michigan. If Romney loses Michigan much of the rationale for his candidacy will disappear. So watch we will.

Last August in one of the first debates we declared that none of those on stage would be the Republican nominee. The stage that night was populated with Santorum, Gingrich and Romney. Maybe we were wrong, but maybe we are right. Who knows? There is a poll in which a Republican plurality prefers Christie to Palin or Jeb Bush as the dark horse nominee. Again, who knows?

So watch we will tonight. Maybe Santorum will wear ashes on his forehead this Ash Wednesday. Or maybe recent Catholic convert Newt Gingrich will outwit Rick and appeal to the evangelical vote with such a sly move. Ashes on the forehead would be an elbow in Mormon Mitt Romney’s ribs too.