The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

Something For Everyone to Love and Hate Last Night


A whole smorgasbord of debate reactions in today’s Morning Jolt, the last for a week:

Chuck Todd said the “cheap cliché” will be that “Rick Perry won the debate.” Stephen Hayes retorted, “Sometimes clichés are true.”

Michele Bachmann:

Emily Zanotti: “Tim Pawlenty believes that God has blessed America. Unless you’re Michele Bachmann. Then, He’s totally not into you.”

Mitt Romney:

Andrea Tarantos: “No clear winner tonight but Romney wins in the sense he escapes unscathed, which is goal as frontrunner. Until Sat, that is.”

Political Math: “Romney has retired to his cigar room to stroke his cat and growl, ‘Excellent. As I have planned.’”

Mark Ambinder: “Good night for Gingrich, Romney, Paul and Santorum. Don’t think Ames calculus changes. Pawlenty and Bachmann fought to a draw.”

J. P. Freire: “Mitt says he believes in people who believe in freedom, though I assume he doesn’t mean freedom from the individual mandate.”

Tim Pawlenty:

Pawlenty had this wonderful joke that began with him saying that if anyone could show a serious reform plan for Social Security, or Medicare, or Medicaid from Barack Obama, he would cook them dinner. (laughter) “Or mow their lawn.” (more laughter) “But if Mitt can find it, I have to limit it to one acre.”


Aw, governor.

David Freddoso: “Pawlenty had the debate performance he needed….in the last debate. Probably not enough now.”

Jonah: “If you hit mute, Tim Pawlenty looks like he’s explaining to a 3rd grader why he has to spend a week in detention.”

Melissa Clouthier: “Pawlenty is over…  I really thought Bachmann and Pawlenty hurt each other.”

Ron Paul:

One of the more interesting topics was Iran, its nuclear program, intelligence-gathering and a dangerous world. Ron Paul played a central role.

Moe Lane: “Did Tim Pawlenty just advocate Mossad’s assassination campaign of Iranian nuclear scientists? I mean, YES, of course, but damn.”

Rick Klein of ABC News: “Ron Paul is ready to “tolerate” Iran getting a nuclear weapon. This is why, if he wins the straw poll, the GOP has a little problem.”

NRO’s Dan Foster summarizes Ron Paul’s view, “nuclear theocracy is okay because the CIA was overenthusiastic in 1953.”

There is increasing consensus that Paul is likely to win Saturday’s straw poll.

Rick Santorum:

Alex Burns of Politico: “Santorum: ‘Iran is not Iceland.’ Politifact ruling: mostly true.”

Jon Huntsman:

Greg Gutfeld pays tribute to Jon Huntsman’s younger days in music: “Huntsman is running on his record. Which is, his record.”

Jonah: “Huntsman looks like he’s waging an epic battle with acid reflux.”

Bethany Shondark: “I like the hope vs. solutions line from Huntsman. First thing about these closing statements that I didn’t hate.”

Tags: Debates , Jon Huntsman , Mitt Romney , Ron Paul , Tim Pawlenty


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