Politics

01.17.12

Daily Beast Contributors Weigh In on Fox South Carolina Republican Debate

With South Carolina's primary looming, the candidates went hard at Mitt Romney at the Fox debate. Howard Kurtz, Michelle Cottle, and more on whether the frontrunner still came out on top.

Romney Shrugs Off Attacks
by Howard Kurtz

The frontrunner was briefly rattled at the Fox debate but maintained his composure. Howard Kurtz on how his rivals fell short.

There was a moment, when Rick Santorum was pounding him early in the Fox News debate, that Mitt Romney got that deer-in-the-headlights look.

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Rick Perry’s Inner Cowboy
by Michelle Cottle


Finally, the Texas governor got on his horse and rode like a champ in Monday night’s debate. Michelle Cottle on Perry’s sass, Newt’s petulance—and why Ron Paul had the best moment of the night.

As if we needed further sign that these presidential debates have degenerated into some deranged (and deranging) spectator sport, the sponsors of Monday night’s Myrtle Beach smackdown set up a popcorn-and-pretzel stand in the media filing center.

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Republican presidential candidates, from left to right: Texas Gov. Rick Perry; former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum; former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney; former House Speaker Newt Gingrich; and Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, participate in the South Carolina Republican presidential candidate debate in Myrtle Beach, S.C., Monday, Jan. 16, 2012. (Charles Dharapak / AP Photo)

Ron Paul: Attacks Ok, Except Against Me
by David Frum

The Daily Beast has a wonderfully useful compilation of the key moments in last night's Fox News Debate in South Carolina.

Clip #3 has Ron Paul defending his negative ads - and lamenting that he his one-minute ad against Rick Santorum did not allow him room to express all the negative things he wanted to say.

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Picking Mitt Romney Is Picking the Least Scary Republican, Not the Most Inspiring
By Michael Medved

Monday night’s debate proved that Romney wins support among Republicans because he’s the safe choice—and that’s a good thing, since that’s what wins elections, says Michael Medved.

Talking heads on the tube may praise the aggressive, impassioned performance by Newt Gingrich in the latest GOP debate in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, but it’s far from certain that his rhetorical skill will translate into votes on primary day this Saturday.

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Paul J. Richards, AFP / Getty Images

Huntsman Wins South Carolina Debate by Dropping Out
by Paul Begala


From Romney’s stammering about his tax returns to the audience booing the Golden Rule, Monday night marked a new low in a seemingly endless series of demoralizing debates.

Jon Huntsman was the clear winner of the South Carolina debate. I wonder if the reason he dropped out of the GOP race is because—how do I say this delicately?—these people are craaaazy.

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Live-Blogging the Fox SC Debate
by Andrew Sullivan

11.05 pm. Frank Luntz just gave us the quote of the night, as explosions—fireworks?—boom around the convention center. “It sounds like Fort Sumter out there.”

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Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney during an interview after a Republican presidential debate at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center, Myrtle Beach, S.C., Jan. 16, 2012 (Matt Rourke / AP Photo)

Romney Vulnerabilities Laid Bare
by Andrew Romano

The Fox News debate in Myrtle Beach may have been inconsequential for the GOP primary—Mitt’s got it locked up—but it exposed the former governor’s weaknesses against Obama, from Bain to tax returns and falsehoods about the president.

Sorry, Newt. Sorry, Rick. Sorry, other Rick. And sorry, Ron, although you’re probably used to being ignored by now.

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Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich speaks with members of the media after a Republican presidential debate at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center, in Myrtle Beach, S.C., Jan. 16, 2012 (Matt Rourke / AP Photo)

Newt Clueless on Black Americans
by Peter Beinart

At the GOP debate Gingrich stood by his comments about African-Americans needing to demand work, and his description of Obama as the ‘food stamp’ president, showing why he—and his party—can’t appeal to non-whites.

If you want to understand why the GOP is so ill prepared to compete in an increasingly non-white America, just look at the exchange between Fox News questioner Juan Williams and Newt Gingrich halfway through last night’s Republican presidential debate.

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