Watching Jacksonville

The final “debate” (which wasn’t) before next Tuesday’s Florida primary was an argument for why these circuses should be totally restructured and Republican candidates no longer do them in their current format. The big media care only about diminishing Republicans and anything that would prevent President Obama from being reelected. Wolf Blitzer’s questions were largely embarrassing. Rick Santorum may have received the biggest response of the evening when he rejected the ridiculous line of questioning by Blitzer about how much Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich earn and pay in taxes while egging the two on to continue their internecine warfare. Santorum asked why they can’t address serious issues. Blitzer didn’t answer that one. One question Blitzer asked that Santorum swung at and missed had to do with taxes. Blitzer wondered how the government would balance the budget if taxes were cut, Santorum should have said that isn’t the problem. Spending is the problem and no one can name a time when taxes were raised and government spent less. He might even have invoked Ronald Reagan, as others have done by noting that Reagan said we have a deficit not because the American people are taxed too little, but because their government spends too much.

Romney won the evening in his head-to-head with Gingrich, but no one in the audience received much information on what these men would do — other than Ron Paul who would do nothing — to counter Iran and China and reduce the size and cost of government. That’s what people wanted to hear and they got little of it in Thursday’s misnamed “debate.”

— Cal Thomas is a syndicated and USAToday columnist and Fox News contributor.


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