Sen. Jim DeMint’s Presidential Forum gave each GOP candidate the opportunity to respond to questions on issues ranging from the Federal Reserve to Immigration. I watched as much as possible, but between the breakaways for commercials and other interruptions, I ended up just watching as much as possible rather than taking the notes I usually take.
So I have some gut reactions to the candidates I actually got to see and I regret that I didn't get to see them all.
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich was on his toes, especially on security for the Southern border. Pointing out that much of the actual border is a river, he suggested there is no reason the border can’t be secured.
Rep. Ron Paul (Texas) made much sense when he spoke about the Federal Reserve and the size of government. Paul is often dismissed by core conservatives, but his ideas on the monetary system, halting the printing of money to enable debt and downsizing government are all sound. I’ve often said Paul’s supporters are his biggest problem and I believe that to be true now because they tend to attack anyone who disagrees with them.
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney did well, with his greatest moment perhaps describing the differences between the federal healthcare act and the act he signed as governor of his state. Romney said he would permit states to opt out of the federal act, and he stressed that in Massachusetts his bill was aimed at 8 percent of the population rather than at the whole population. He views the mandate in the federal bill as unconstitutional—of course anyone of sound mind would view it that way because that is an indisputable fact.
Comically, as soon as the forum was over, the Democrat strategist who responded first on the CNN panel insulted the Tea Party, implying that the Tea Party is in charge of the Republican Party. This is understandable because Democrats march in lock step. The progressive party’s platform is top down—a de facto totalitarian approach requiring any member to agree with the agenda set by the political elite.
John King, however, did put it in perspective and said there were stark differences between the candidates.
Unfortunately I did not get to hear a word of what Rep. Michele Bachman said or businessman Herman Cain said. The holiday, unexpected calls about business and some personal matters played havoc with my attention span.
One thing I did note was the format of the forum delivered more substance than many of the presidential debates I’ve watched. The candidates were sequestered, so they didn’t get to hear others’ responses to the questions. The forum was very well managed and I’d like to see that format used more to give us a solid look at candidates in any race.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry was unable to participate in the forum because of Texas wildfires that have burned more than two million acres. The federal government appears unaware of the disaster in Texas, with Obama campaigning again today rather than visiting the state.
GOP candidates audition... (The Daily Caller)
Bachmann swipes at Romney… (Fox News)
The benefit of being in charge (Red State)
(Commentary by Kay B. Day/Sept. 5, 2011)