Instant post debate react: Besides the fact the SC Fox News GOP presidential primary debate was vastly more interesting and better than MSNBC’s recent debate, one key headline of the debate has to be that Rudy Giuliani recovered somewhat from his first debate — with his forceful answers on terrorism and leaving it vague as to whether he supports rougher interrogation techniques against terrorists, like water-boarding. The debate watchers liked that big time.
Mitt Romney, while laying a great hit on McCain for backing “McCain-Kennedy” and “McCain-Feingold”, took a tough counter from McCain on not changing his positions based on running for different offices in “odd and even years”. Regardless, Romney’s answers were smooth, he looked good, and his general rebuttal style against flip-flop charges were smooth and generally believable. Romney is starting to break through.
Except for Gov. Huckabee, with his great John Edwards line, all the others were non factors.
Jim Gilmore, a winner from the last debate, erred in failing to be more forceful in naming names when he made various allegations — until forced to by Chris Wallace.
Biggest winner: Giuliani.
Secondary winners: Romney and McCain, possibly Huckabee… but it will be interesting to see how the spin unfolds in regard to McCain taking a “weak” position, contrary to Rudy, on manhandling terrorists.
Biggest Loser: None, really, but Gilmore plainly had a gameplan yet didn’t execute properly.