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Thursday, November 29, 2007


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 fouse, gary c

The CNN Republican Debate-Talk About Ringers!

Well, CNN, the "most trusted name in news", has done it again. In the aftermath of last night's Republican debate, hosted by CNN, it has now come to light that many of the "undecided" voter-questioners, as CNN called them, were actually Democratic operatives, or as we say in sports, "ringers". From my impression of the debate, many of these questioners came into the debate with their hidden agendas-to try to make the candidates look bad, or flood them with questions that were not hot-button issues for Republican voters.

The most egregious example was retired Brigadier General, Keith Kerr, who upon his retirement, came out of the closet as a gay. His question to all the candidates was why they would object to a gay serving in the military-not exactly a prime issue among Republican voters. In addition to the YouTube-posed question, CNN went to the expense of flying the gentleman to the debate and inviting him to make what was, in effect, a speech. Now it turns out that he is a former campaign worker for the Clinton campaign! CNN now says, they never knew that Kerr was associated with the Clinton campaign. The Clinton campaign also denied any knowledge. Yeah, right. A simple Google search could have prevented that gaffe.

In addition, there was an "undecided" young lady who asked a question, As it turns out, she is an Edwards supporter. Then there was the gentleman who implied that he was a Log Cabin (Gay) Republican, who asked about whether the candidates would accept the support of the aforementioned group. (I thought Huckabee gave the best answer to this one.) This guy is an Obama supporter.

Look, I have no objection to all the candidates being subjected to hard questions if they want to be president. However, CNN misrepresented the profiles of the questioners (whom they selected). What if Fox News held a debate for the Democrats (which the Dems refused to participate in) and had Rush Limbaugh's brother asking hard questions? Oh, the outrage!

As for the performances of the candidates: In my opinion, Romney looked a little uncomfortable in his heated exchanges with McCain (over torture) and Giuliani (over illegal alien workers). McCain made his argument against torture in a most effective manner, putting Romney on the defensive, even though I agree more with Romney's position. While McCain was forceful at times, he apparently put off some other observers who think he is too contemptuous of opposing views. I would tend to agree.

While I admire Giuliani in many ways, I do think he is making that mistake New Yorkers often make. (If you can make it in New York, you can make it anywhere.) He talks incessantly about his days in New York. I think it is starting to wear.

Huckabee, I think, once again did well, and continued to rise to the top tier of candidates. I am troubled, however, by his eagerness to give in-state tuition to the children of illegal aliens, while not committing to give the same break to children of vets who come to Arkansas to go to college.

The best answers of the night in my view, came first, from Tancredo, in response to a question about funding to go to Mars. He basically dismissed it as a luxury we cannot afford. Then, there was Hunter, responding to a question from a young Muslim woman who wanted to know what the candidates would do to improve the image of the US in the Muslim world. After listening to a couple of other tortured responses, Hunter reminded the questioner that whenever another region in the world (including Islamic regions)was in crisis or faced with disaster(i.e. tsunami in SE Asia), the US was first to respond. Hunter then declared that he would never apologize for America. Bravo! (Side note: Maybe the young lady should ask what the Muslim world can do to improve its own image around the world in light of the on-going terror.)

Ron Paul, while playing the role of the Republican version of Dennis Kucinich, did in fact, perhaps unwittingly, make a significant statement on the question of abortion. He stated (I am paraphrasing) that in 30 years as an OB-GYN, he had never seen a case of abortion as a result of a medical emergency. Interesting indeed-and worthy of follow-up.

As for Thompson, he did fine, but I still question how much he wants to be president. He just seems to be content to stand there and not go all out to win a debate.

Not being a professional political pundit, I don't know who really won this debate. I suspect that Huckabee will continue to rise based on his overall performance. Loser? Why CNN of course. Tom Delay commented tonight on Hannity and Colmes that this performance just proves that the mainstream media is working in concert with the Democratic Party. I find it hard to disagree.

gary fouse

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