Presidential debate History was made last night in the CNBC Republican debate from Michigan. As a political junkie I have watched virtually every Presidential Debate since they started on TV with the Nixon/Kennedy Debates in 1960. Last nights memory loss by Texas Governor Rick Perry was the most embarrassing moment in all of those debates both for the general election and the primary debates for the nomination in either party. I found it personally difficult to watch... as I felt for the guy. I have been there many times when the mind just will not spit out the information you know is in your brain. I have the excuse of calling it a "senior moment" or a "brain f...." with people I know.
I watched President Gerald Ford tell a national audience in the Ford/Carter debate in 1976 that Eastern Europe was not under the control of the Soviet Union.
In 1980, I watched the Reagan/Carter debate when Jimmy Carter was asked a question about a treaty to limit nuclear arms. Seemingly out of nowhere, Carter said, "I had a discussion with my daughter, Amy, the other day, before I came here, to ask her what the most important issue was. She said she thought nuclear weaponry –- and the control of nuclear arms."
Last night was much worse because Perry has had other bad debates and this just confirmed what many people believe about him..... ie he is not very bright or interested in policy and is not fast on his feet. He just lost his talking points. Even if you like Rick Perry and rationalize that this happens to all of us, now and then, there is the sick feeling, in the pit of your stomach, that this guy would be in over his head in a debate with President Obama. Perry may go on in the campaign but he lost the race last night.
The clip of Perry in last nights debate will be shown and used as an example of a debate "slip up" for generations to come.
My bet is the non Mitt Romney crowd will now coalesce around former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich. For me, my candidate, Mitt Romney did a very good job last night.
The following Michael Barone comments on the debate echos my thoughts when he writes:
Gingrich had an electrifying interchange with CNBC’s Maria Bartiromo when she asked him to give his solutions on health care in 30 seconds. As an infrequent CNBC viewer, I have to ask, Is Bartiromo always this obnoxious and ineffective at the same time?
She came across as a very unpleasant person.