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Romney, Gingrich square off in second Florida debate

By CAPITOL HILL BLUE Staff
January 27, 2012

Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney in debate (Reuters/Scott Audette)

GOP Presidential frontrunners Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich sparred with each other in the second pre-Florida primary debate Thursday night with disputes over immigration, housing and their personal finances.

Romney showed his anger openly when he chastised Gingrich for a Spanish language radio ad that called the former Massachusetts governor anti-immigrant.

“The idea that I am anti-immigrant is repulsive. You should apologize,” Romney told Gingrich. The former speaker of the house, under fire from within GOP circles for the tone of the ad, pulled it.

Romney went after Gingrich for his fat-cat consulting deal with housing giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, saying he should have blown the whistle on the agencies’ problems rather than taking the cash and promoting them.

Gingrich responded by criticizing Romney for owning stock in both plus Goldman Sachs.

Romney shot back: “Have you checked your own investments? You have investments in mutual funds that hold the same stocks.”

The focus on Romney and Gingrich got under the skin of the two other candidates in the race: former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum and Texas Congressman Ron Paul.

“These two gentlemen are distracting from the most important issues we have,” Santorum said while Paul responded to a question from moderator Wolf Blitzer about the connections that Gingrich and Romney have with the housing industry with “the subject really doesn’t interest me a whole lot.”

A panel of debate watchers formed by Capitol Hill Blue felt Romney scored better in the debate than Gingrich.

The panel noted that Gingrich was far from the powerful debater who dominated the South Carolina confabs.  He was at time listless and let several opportunities to seize an issue pass by.

Gingrich’s lackluster so confounded his surrogates that they had no explanation when questioned by reporters following the debate.

“I don’t know,” former Senator and presidential candidate Fred Thompson — who endorsed Gingrich earlier in the week — said when asked why Gingrich seemed to be off his game.

Romney scored another establishment Republican endorsement before the debate, getting the nod from former Senator and Presidential candidate Bob Dole, who noted that most of those who worked with Gingrich in Congress are not supporting his run for President.

Having Gingrich at the top of the Republican ballot in November would hurt other GOP candidates and would not be “in the best interests of the party or the country,” Dole said.

8 Responses to Romney, Gingrich square off in second Florida debate

  1. Hal Brown

    January 27, 2012 at 8:53 am

    Anyone who could prompt Rachel Maddow to do an entire show in a fake NASA space suit has my vote. Think of it, the moon as the 51st state, she marveled.

    Forget Neil Armstrong’s “that’s one small step for ( with or without the article “a”) man, one giant leap for mankind.” My motto has always been America first, mankind second.

    Newt is my main man now. I want to go. Just think, no pesky foreigners running the 14,645,750 square miles* of the State of Moon. No Russians, no French, no Chinese or Germans and none of those stuck-up Brits. We’ll have a pure American run moon. We just know how to do it better.

    * (For comparison the current United States is a mere 3,794,101 sq mi.)

    I had my doubts about Newt. But now I think I can put them aside because this demonstrates that he’s a man of vision, a man ahead of his time.

    Of course the 18,000 direct NASA employees (no doubt many living in Florida) will support him enthusiastically. The hundreds of thousand who work for space related industries will go for Newt.

    Of course there will be a space race and the Chinese will no doubt be our main rival. The European Space Agency (ESA) could partner with Japan and jump into the race too.

    We will win of course because we always do.

    There is the nasty little possibility that China or the ESA would both set up colonies on the moon and claim they own the entire hunk of rock.

    Just think, a war on the moon. Where’s my phaser?

    • Jon

      January 27, 2012 at 11:19 pm

      You wouldn’t suppose that because Hawaii is the 50th state we could get Rachel Maddow to do an entire show in a grass skirt and a pair of coconut shells, could we?

      J.

  2. Sandy Price

    January 27, 2012 at 10:55 am

    Bravo Hal. I’ll go with you.

  3. DaveM

    January 27, 2012 at 11:29 am

    Gingrich will put a man (or woman) back on the Moon or on Mars when he balances the budget (a second time).

    • woody188

      January 27, 2012 at 2:53 pm

      I’ll have what your smoking please!

  4. Carl Nemo **==

    January 27, 2012 at 9:24 pm

    Thanks Hal Brown for the humorous spin on Gingrich’s case of ‘moon madness’. / : |

    No doubt others, as myself, are finding this same ol same ol campaign trail b.s. very trying; I.E., “a chicken in every pot, a Ford in every garage”, and so too a “colony on the moon” as so much indigestible pap.

    Why, oh why did we have to get stuck with this mattoid Gingrich as being a ‘viable’ candidate? He represents the worst in family and American values, if any are left to be detected within this once great Republic. Thanks for nothing S.C.

    Are Floridians going to be sucked in by his empty, passe’ rhetoric? Is this simply a process of two guys, he and Romney having degenerated to name calling, personal accusations about their business practicies etc., while the serious issues facing this nation continually discussed by Ron Paul et al. are put on ignore.

    I’m providing a link to Ron Paul’s “Plan to Restore America”. Yes, Virginia… there is a “plan” as opposed to broad generalizations on the part of the seemingly ‘annointed’ one’s in this race to the bottom for our once great nation.

    http://www.ronpaul2012.com/the-issues/ron-paul-plan-to-restore-america/

    We’re flat, dead broke as a nation and are now spending in excess of one trillion more annually than we take in via tax revenues and this guy is selling constituents on the idea of a useless colony on the moon.

    Gingrich has bragged that he’ll tell us what to think and we’ll willingly do so. Talk about a bad case of egomania mixed with hubris or what? He’s a scary, troll of a man, yet people are gravitating towards his line of blarney. Yikes…!

    Even if the Chinese make it to the moon and so too colonize it, they’ve wasted their national monetary resources on simply technological parlor tricks with little to no return on the investment other than pumping their national stature among the nation’s of earth. It’s too bad their leadership hasn’t learned anything from our failures and simply make a committment to not emulate the U.S. or the West in any way, shape or form relative to destructive patterns of national behavior. They’ve got a chance to get things right the first time around while the West specifically the U.S. self destructs due to their refusal to change their ways militarily, economically and societally for the better.

    There’s simply too many problems to be addressed on earth in terms of post peak oil energy needs, providing adequate food for the planet’s citizens, diminishing freshwater supplies, pollution, housing, worldwide employment opportunities etc. in lieu of colonizing an airless moon.

    It’s not going to happen at least not under the current financial and environmental conditions we now face on earth. At the rate things are devolving we’ll see WWIII before a colony on the moon.

    We’re in the sweephand mode to the midnight of our destruction as a race of beings, but no one seems to countenance the dangers facing us. Instead we’re saddled with these “I’ve got mine screw you types” such as Gingrich and company spewing, empty campaign trail rhetoric to a seemingly less than discerning, possibly ‘braindead’ electorate.

    Wake up America…! : |

    Carl Nemo **==

  5. Keith

    January 28, 2012 at 8:28 am

    I think Ron Paul’s suggestion (made during the debate about all this Moon foolishness) made a great deal of sense.

    He suggested that we start sending windbag politicians there…post haste!

  6. Hal Brown

    January 28, 2012 at 9:30 am

    Keith,

    I don’t know if Ron Paul planned that remark or it was an ad lib. If the later I was impressed since he so often comes across as humorless and that was a good retort.