January 8, 2012

WHEN YOUR VULNERABILITIES ARE YOUR PARTY'S STRENGTHS:

Romney's Night (STEPHEN F. HAYES, 1/08/12, Weekly Standard)

Romney also won because his answers were the best and he set the tone early.

The debate opened with the ABC moderators doing what they could to instigate some attacks on Romney - offering opportunities for attack to Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, and Jon Huntsman. The only one who took the opening was Santorum, and he engaged rather tentatively, explaining that the country doesn't need a "manager" like Romney at this time of crisis. It's a good line of criticism, one that implies caution in this time of national urgency. But Romney turned it around deftly.

"People who spend their life in Washington think that people who start businesses are just managers," Romney said in response. "The people in the private sector, who are, every day, making this country a stronger nation and hiring people, they're not successful because they're managers, they're successful primarily because they are leaders. I wish people in Washington had the experience of going out and working in the real economy first, before they went there, and they'd understand some of the real lessons of leadership."

When his turn came, Gingrich partially defended an ad/mini-film by a pro-Gingrich PAC attacking Romney for job losses when he was at Bain Capital. Gingrich, who apologized once before for attacking Romney on Bain, said he hadn't seen the film or the ad derived from it. But the man who has attacked the mainstream media in virtually every debate thus far, noted several times that the film was consistent with recent reporting in the New York Times.

Romney adroitly turned the argument back on Gingrich. "I'm not surprised to have the New York Times try and put free enterprise on trial. I'm not surprised to have the Obama administration do that, either. It's a little surprising from my colleagues on this stage."

Hardly surprising.  They're just attacking for attack-sake.  None of them has a coherent case to make for himself. 

Posted by at January 8, 2012 8:06 AM
  

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