Last night's debate was very contentious and it was amazing how everyone kept piling on Newt Gingrich, even on issues in which they agreed with him. Take the discussion about Newt's comments on the "Palestinians". For example, Newt had previously said that the "Palestinians" were an "invented people" (not that individual "Palestinians" were invented but that there has never in history been a distinct culture or group known as "Palestinians"). The big criticism there was that he was telling the truth but maybe he shouldn't have. So now even Republican candidates have to be politically correct? They can't say something that is completely true because it could ruffle some feathers? I think non-establishment Republicans will be more behind Newt than ever after this exchange on this issue. They want someone who will stand up and tell the truth about the world, about our economic situation and our fiscal future and not let political correctness guide our narrative:
Anyway, here is my take of how individual candidates did:
Gingrich - Definitely the winner despite constant attacks by everyone else. He really defused Romney's career politician schpeel by pointing out that Romney would be in his 17th year as Senator right now if he had defeated Ted Kennedy in 1994 (i.e. Romney wanted to be a career politician but just couldn't do it). Also, Gingrich probably cemented a lot of the pro-Israel vote with his performance last night, standing up for his very true comments despite a barrage of attacks.
Romney - Wanna bet $10,000 that he doesn't win? Who the heck bets $10,000 over anything? Either you bet $10 or you bet $10 billion (if you're really sure). Also, he came across as very wishy washy in the Israel discussion with the only definite difference between Obama and Romney being that he would criticize Israel is private instead of in public. Once again, I get the feeling that Romney is a pretend hawk.
Perry - Had a good debate. For Perry. I think people have become used to his senility because I haven't seen anyone mentioning his confusion of whether Obama had 2 or 3 choices of what to do about the drone that was captured by the Iranians (it was just as painful as when he forgot about the Department of Energy and got lost listing Romney's flip-flops in previous debates). But the substance of what he said still was pretty good and he was honest enough to defend Newt when he agreed with him in the "Palestinian" segment. If only his IQ was about 20 points higher he would be running away with this thing.
Bachmann - Did a very good job with her "Newt Romney" speech saying how neither are true constitutional conservatives. Unfortunately, I felt any momentum she was gaining was shot down by Santorum's comment that she never actually achieved anything in the house, losing all of her battles. In other words, she is as ideological and consistent as Ron Paul but with a similar record of legislative achievements: zero.
Santorum - Did a pretty good job but never really shined. Also, I didn't think it was wise to take Mitt's side on the Israel issue. We know he completely agrees with Newt but chose Mitt's side due to political expediency.
Paul - He really is seeming senile recently. He always seems to need things to be repeated. Also, he doesn't seem as sharp as usual. I remember at the Huckabee Forum when he couldn't name a constitutional amendment he doesn't like (not even the one allowing a federal income tax???).
Update: You can watch the entire debate below: