The Corner

Late Reactions

1. Romney’s opening answer on the economy was weak, I thought. It’s not just that I don’t think it made tons of sense, although it didn’t, but it also wasn’t presented in a way that Republican audiences are predisposed to get. Giuliani did a much better job with that question.

2. Huckabee’s complaint that if people get rebates, they’ll just spend it on Chinese imports: not so good. Is he against giving people raises for the same reason?

3. I wasn’t as taken with Huckabee’s highway answer as Jonah was. We may very well need to improve our infrastructure. But we’re better off doing it without Davis-Bacon pay scales, privatizing those portions of highways that can be privatized, letting states rather than the federal government take responsibility for maintenance. In general, that is, the focus should be on getting value for the money, not on spending as much as possible to give highway-construction jobs to people and to patronize American companies. (If contracting the job out to foreign companies gets us better infrastructure at less cost, we should do that.)

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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