Herman Cain and Mitt Romney Survive Blitzes in Latest GOP Debate
1 year ago
Rick Perry scored no knockouts, but don't count him out, yet
Tuesday's GOP debate was about “apples and oranges,” not pizza; “illegals” “anchor babies” and “moms,” not Godfather’s; and about 9% unemployment not “999” tax plans. To put it plainly, Herman Cain was not the star of the show.
In CNN's Las Vegas debate, the first 20 minutes were all about pouncing on Cain.
Texas governor Rick Perry, the candidate with the most to prove tonight after dismal debate showings, told Cain “I’ll bump plans with you any day, brother” while pointing out that the 9% sales tax from Cain’s plan would raise taxes in states like New Hampshire where there is no sales tax.
Cain’s retort was a simple “that is not true” – a chorus he sang most of the evening – as well as saying that comparing his federal tax plan to state taxes was mixing apples and oranges.
“A state tax is an apple,” said Cain. “We are replacing the current federal tax code with oranges.”
Mitt Romney didn’t like those apples, and explained to Cain that he “was going to get a barrel with both apples and oranges in it because people don’t want to pay” both state and federal taxes.
always the salesman got so defensive that he demanded that every American go to his website and read his 999 analysis and “do the arithmetic on your own” – a directive that officially shut down his campaign site for a good 10 minutes.
But Perry brought it home, in one of the few bright moments that he scored all campaign season by replying “It’s not about 999, or 59, it’s about the 9% unemployment in America.”
Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and Ron Paul also attacked Cain on his plan, but Cain seemed to emerge unscarred mostly by simply saying his colleagues were “wrong,” even though almost every economist, and even the architect of his own 999 plan have been saying that actually the critics of the plan are right that it would raise taxes on most people.
As the debate shifted to healthcare, the attacks shifted to the other frontrunner in the GOP race, Romney. Santorum drew first blood saying Romney had “no credibility” on this case because “Obamacare was crafted after” Romney’s healthcare plan put in place when he was governor of Massachusetts.
But Romney simply deflected this by saying he would repeal Obamacare if he became president.
Gingrich cited news reports from Boston newspapers about Massachusetts citizens being left with huge healthcare costs because of his policies, and this seemed to wobble Romney for a moment. But Romney swung back when he pointed back at Gingrich saying he got the “individual mandate idea” – the center piece of Romney’s Massachusetts universal healthcare policy – from Gingrich, and the conservative thinktank Heritage Foundation.