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September 23, 2011

Rick Perry's Debate Performance

Allow me to be charitable...it was awful.

Maet was kind enough to link a piece I wrote at my own little blog last night that laid out my concerns with Perry prior to the debate. Clearly nothing he did last night improved my opinion of Perry.

First let me say...I don't give a damn about how many shots he was able to land on Mitt or wasn't able to land. That's simply the game that these "debates" set up. Being President has nothing to do with scoring "debate" points. It has to do with the ability to layout a vision, build the necessary political coalitions to bring them to fruition and then implement the relevant polices. Candidates sparring over what was in the others book doesn't really tell you much about their ability to do any of that.

What really bothered me about Perry? Two things stood out.

First, immigration. Perry seemed defensive and thin skinned when he was challenged on his support for the Texas DREAM Act. As I've said before, there may well be a valid public policy basis for Texas' program. For some reason Perry chose not to make it but rather he fell back a cheap line of attack that would make Lindsey Graham proud.

ďI supported Arizonaís immigration law by joining in that lawsuit to defend it. Every day I have Texans on that border that are doing their job. But if you say that we should not educate children who have come into our state for no other reason than theyíve been brought there by no fault of their own, I donít think you have a heart. We need to be educating these children, because they will become a drag on our society. I think thatís what Texans wanted to do.Ē

Really? You can't have a good faith difference of opinion with Perry on this, you simply don't have a heart? Got it.

The second major problem with Perry was his answer to a question about what he would do if as President he got a 3am phone call saying terrorists had gotten control of Pakistan's nukes. His response was...baffling.

Well, obviously before you ever get to that point, you have to build a relationship in that region. Thatís one of the things that this administration has not done. Just yesterday, we found out through Admiral Mullen that Haqqani has been involved with, and thatís a terrorist group, directly associated with the Pakistani country. To have a relationship with India, to make sure that India knows that they are an ally of the United States. For instance, when we had the opportunity to sell India the upgraded F-16s, we chose not to do that. We did the same thing with Taiwan. The point is, our allies need to understand clearly that we are their friends, we will be standing by there with them. Today, we donít have those allies in that region that can assist us if that situation that you talked about were to become a reality.

"Haqqani has been involved with, and thatís a terrorist group, directly associated with the Pakistani country". Non-responsive and gibberish.

As for this idea the chose not to sell F-16's to India, that's simply wrong. They rejected our proposal.

FTR- I'm pretty sure the right answer here something along the lines of, "As President I'd make sure the military has contingency plans for just this scenario. In fact, I imagine they already do. In my administration, we will ensure that our military has the proper resources to deal with such a crisis and I will not hesitate to do whatever is necessary to prevent terrorists from getting nuclear weapons and failing that, make sure they do not have the chance to use them on us or our allies".

I've prefaced most everything I've written about Perry to this point by saying something like, I want to like him but have concerns about him. Well, after a month of watching him campaign I have to say I simply don't like him and have no faith that he has sufficient command of the issues or ability to build the necessary coalitions to be an effective candidate.

Maybe that will change. I hope so.

As for Mitt..he's Mitt. All his negatives are known and baked into the cake. I'd vote for either of these guys over Obama but as things stand now, I won't be happy about it.

In other news...please stop with this stuff. It's not happening. This is the field. Deal with it.

Rasmussen has a poll out confirming the Suffolk poll from earlier in the week. Perry is getting smoked in New Hampshire.

In Iowa, Perry still leads in the RCP average of polls.

All of this was before last night. It will be interesting to see if Perry's FNC performance has any impact.

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posted by DrewM. at 10:11 AM

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