Bachmann Makes
a Strong Debut

June 13th, 2011 at 10:57 pm | 38 Comments |

| Print

So how did the substance of the Republican candidates debate relate to what we were on the lookout for?

No one attacked Romney. Surprisingly, Mitt Romney’s position as putative GOP front runner was not directly attacked or challenged by anyone. CNN’s moderator John King tried to goad Pawlenty into explaining why he characterized the Obama healthcare law as “Obamaneycare” and Pawlenty was not eager to take the bait. There were also no direct attacks on Romney’s abortion record. Perhaps the candidates think its too early to go negative.

Ron Paul Was the Biggest Sideshow. More than any other candidate, Ron Paul’s answers were characterized by meandering rambles. This was facilitated by a New Hampshire political reporter who kept asking him questions which elicited predictable answers. Why would you ask Ron Paul: “Do you support eminent domain?” Of course Ron Paul does not, and his answer about eminent domain turned into a digression on the housing bubble.

A Hint of Pawlenty’s Medicare Plan. We did not get any firm details from Tim Pawlenty, but we did get a small peak at his Medicare proposal. It sounds like it will keep the Ryan-budget model of having different care options for people 55 and younger. It might be different by keeping Medicare as an option for those 55 and under while also introducing some sort of competition with a private insurance scheme. It’s still not clear how this would work in practice.

Unexpected Standout: Michele Bachmann. Bachmann was well prepped for this debate. She used the forum to announce she was formally running for President — a blatant attempt to get more media attention, but it worked.

Most importantly, she gave answers that were clear and — in some instances — even memorable.Perhaps her best line was her description of the President’s handling of Libya: “All we need to know is that the President deferred leadership on Libya to France”. It managed to touch on both Obama’s apparent lack of engagement on the issue while still getting a jab in at France. A very crafty response.

Recent Posts by Noah Kristula-Green



38 Comments so far ↓

  • Bunker555

    Winners:
    Bachman
    Romney

    Rest are finished.

    Pawlenty earned himself the VP slot by not pissing off Romney or Bachman. He showed why he’s a lying loser.

  • SteveT

    Ron Paul looks old. I could see him shaking at times and leaning on the podium. I felt sorry for the guy.

  • Deep South Populist

    Bachmann had some nice lines. I loved her attack on the EPA — we ought to rename it the Job Killing Agency.

    • medinnus

      It was a good line – for a purely partisan attack on an agency whose only crime is that they don’t totally give into Big Business and their attempts to pollute to improve their bottom lines. The Banking crisis is the result of what happens when the government doesn’t protect its citizens from unbridled unethical unrestrained greed.

      • Arms Merchant

        “unbridled unethical unrestrained greed”

        No cliches there. Who protects us from unbridled unethical unrestrained lust for government power? The more you empower government, the less you empower people.

        • sweatyb

          The more you empower government, the less you empower people.

          Man, you have a really dumb way of looking at the world.

        • wileedog

          “No cliches there. Who protects us from unbridled unethical unrestrained lust for government power?”

          Not wanting companies to dump toxic waste into rivers is a “lust for power?”

        • forkboy1965

          But don’t we the people empower our government by voting for representation?

          Last time I checked I didn’t vote to empower business to pollute and otherwise foul the air I must breathe. The water I must drink. And the soil from which I must grow food and live upon.

          Government is the last thing standing between you and business running you over. And of late our government has been doing a pretty shitty fucking job of protecting us.

  • Fastball

    Bachmann’s attack on EPA was political correctness gone mad. Apparently, she would prefer to turn the clock back to the days of killer smogs and rivers catching fire.

    • Arms Merchant

      No, the EPA regulating CO2 as a “pollutant” is government power gone mad. By their rights, 300 million breathing Americans need to be “regulated” as polluters.

      • sweatyb

        Ah yes, the infamous “No Breathing” regulation from the EPA. I remember when they introduced that regulation. Wait, no, they didn’t do that because breathing CO2 is not the problem.

        Do you know how much a ton of CO2 is? It takes roughly three years for you to breathe out one ton of CO2. Meanwhile, worldwide emissions of CO2 from cars and power plants and such are more than 27 billion tons per year.

        In the world of science and reality, there are dangerous things that are harmless in small amounts. CO2 isn’t even that dangerous in relatively large amounts (say the breathing of all animals on the planet). It’s the ridiculously large amounts that scientists say are a pollutant.

        But, no, you’re right. It’s a slippery slope from the EPA regulating the emissions of power plants to jackbooted thugs kicking down my door.

  • SFTor1

    These things would be a lot more fun if the moderators called these guys on their outright misrepresentations. Obama is anti-jobs? Say what?

    Also loved Romney for suggesting that the auto bailout was the wrong idea. He would have preferred bankruptcy—period. Great job-saving move there, you in the sacred underwear.

  • Bunker555

    fivethirtyeightNate Silver
    Santorum is forked.
    Most Twitter followers gained in past 24 hours: @THEHermanCain +1274; @MittRomney +838; @MicheleBachmann +534. Worst: @RickSantorum -1.

  • elizajane

    Nobody attacked Romney because they don’t want him to rule them out as his VP candidate. Cowards.

    Arms Merchant’s comment about CO2 exemplifies the willful Republican stupidity that threatens to drag the party into the dark ages. It makes me want to weep.

  • politicalfan

    Romney and Bachmann. She had a good night!

  • SJReidhead

    Bachmann reminded me of a high school cheerleader, out of her depth.

  • valkayec

    I wish the moderator had asked: “What would you do in the event of a sovereign debt default such as Greece in which all financial companies are even more interlinked and interconnected than in 2008?”

    I’d love to see that response.

  • josebrwn

    According to Likester, Bachmann took 2nd after Romney: http://mashable.com/2011/06/14/republican-debate-facebook/

  • CentristNYer

    What does it say about the “Party of Lincoln” that its future may be in the hands of Michele Bachmann?

  • ottovbvs

    I didn’t watch it but welcome Bachmann’s entry into the race and wish her success in her quest for the nomination.

  • The Two Republican Debates - NYTimes.com

    [...] Romney was the winner in the important debate, and Michelle Bachmann, by general acclamation, was the winner of the interesting one. The other winners? War-weary conservatives, who [...]

  • TerryF98

    As Palin is not yet in my primary vote will go to Bachmann.

  • sweatyb

    So why didn’t CNN do it’s Lame-stream thing and actually ask the candidates difficult questions?

    Perhaps her best line was her description of the President’s handling of Libya: “All we need to know is that the President deferred leadership on Libya to France”. It managed to touch on both Obama’s apparent lack of engagement on the issue while still getting a jab in at France. A very crafty response.

    Sigh. Crafty? So this debate was just an opportunity for the Republican contenders to sharpen their one-liners?

    Did we learn if Michelle Bachman supports the use of military force against Qadaffi? Would she have preferred unilateral action like the ongoing wars in Afghanistan & Iraq? Does she think that it’s the role of the US to be the world’s policeman? Does she think it’s appropriate for the President of the US to belittle and antagonize our major allies?

    I’m glad Bachman didn’t embarrass herself and came through this kid-gloves debate clean. It’s about time the Republicans fielded a competent woman politician (even if I think her policies are ridiculous).

    Next debate the moderators need to draw blood from these guys. There’s so many unanswered questions about all the Republican candidates. Since the Republican party’s built a reputation for obfuscation and just making stuff up out of whole cloth no serious journalist should allow them to stand up there making campaign speeches and reeling off one-liners prepared by their staff.

  • rubbernecker

    Wow, stickin’ it to France is thought to be a score for Bachmann.

    Freedom Fries, anyone.

  • armstp

    “Bachmann Makes a Strong Debut”

    Like Palin I guess the bar is very very low for her. As long as she does not say anything wacky then she has a good debate. Did she give us her vision for the future? A vision that we can believe in that will help solve the issues for this country? Did she give us a better vision than Obama’s vision?

  • sinz54

    armstp:

    What is Obama’s vision???
    And how well has it stood the test of time?

    How does Obama’s “vision” include the bombing of Libya, copying the Romneycare health care plan and hoping it scales up to an entire nation, and 2+ years of happy talk on the economy following the enactment of the $800 billion economic stimulus package?

    In 2008, the news media let Obama get away with meaningless slogans like “Hope and change.” (Hope for what? Change what into what?)

    And yet Obama won. Why? Because the public had become disgusted with the Bush Administration–and since 1876, no unpopular President has been succeeded to the White House by someone from his own party.

    The 2012 election is a referendum on Obama. All the challenger (Romney?) has to do is sound competent and act “Presidential” and not stumble badly. Then the voters will decide if they want Obama to win a second term.

    • sweatyb

      How does Obama’s “vision” include the bombing of Libya, copying the Romneycare health care plan and hoping it scales up to an entire nation, and 2+ years of happy talk on the economy following the enactment of the $800 billion economic stimulus package?

      Let’s see: foreign wars of liberation, insurance-company friendly health care legislation, optimism, and a too-small economic stimulus.

      The new slime on Obama. He’s practically a Republican!

      Which might work if he wasn’t the sitting President of the United States. Or if he wasn’t one of the more intelligent and persuasive elected official of our time. But when Romney stands on a stage next to Obama, it’s going to be painfully obvious who should be president. And it will have nothing to do with politics and everything to do with gravitas.

  • Erik

    I really am at odds with Mrs. Bachman on most issues , but it is good to see a women represented that actually has a brain and knows her issues, someone qualified to be in the discussion for president being covered, as apposed to the media focusing on the side show which is Sarah Palin>

  • LFC

    Arms Merchant said… No, the EPA regulating CO2 as a “pollutant” is government power gone mad.

    AM, since you obviously don’t (can’t?) grasp the difference between CO2 that existed for a long time in the atmosphere and CO2 that had been sequestered in the ground but is now being added to the atmosphere through the burning of fossil fuels, it’s probably best that you don’t comment on this topic at all.

    • Arms Merchant

      LFC

      Feces are hazardous in large quantities, too, but somehow local utilities across the country managed overcome the problem and to build the necessary facilities without the creation of a useless central bureaucracy issuing decrees like the Politburo.

      Why is it liberals think that every problem requires the almighty federal government to use its monopoly of violence to bend us to its will?

      BTW, the jury is still out on AGW but it’s looking more and more like a scam and a crock. Get some discernment, instead of parroting back what your leftist professors taught you.
      http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/12/20/a-dalton-minimum-repeat-is-shaping-up/

  • Lonewolf

    Bachmann was a “standout”? Bachmann was “well-prepped”? She can’t even speak a single declarative sentence without contradicting herself:
    “John, I do support a constitutional amendment on marriage between a man and a woman, but I would not be going into the states to overturn their state law.”
    So that means she’s against overturning existing gay marriage laws, but proposes to … overturn gay marriage laws?
    The ONLY reason she gets the nod is because she actually gave a whoop and jumped into the swimming hole from the high tree branch, while the other wussies continue dipping toes and shivering. In doing so, she displayed more testicular prominences than all the other yakkers combined.
    Nonetheless, she will remain unelectable until she takes off her tinfoil hat and gets serious about policy.

  • think4yourself

    So the GOP is fielding candidates that consist of woman, a black American (not African-American mind you) and half dozen white guys. It’s progress I tell you.

    Now if they just could have one idea outside of lowering taxes…

  • Rob_654

    Bachmann did do much better than I think most people would have thought but another part was that the others were just so pathetic.

    As for Romney – just wait until the ads start running talking about all of the people that Romney’s company canned after taking over their companies, how many of those companies eventually failed after being stripped and sold off and the resulting massive amounts of money that Romney and his folks made in their fees.

  • Lindsey Graham and AEI attack Mitt Romney over Afghanistan comments «ScrollPost.com

    [...] Most of the Village thought Romney had a pretty easy time at the CNN debate because none of the other candidates would attack Mittens for his years of flip flopping positions. [...]