Tuesday, January 17, 2012

2012 South Carolina Debate: Obamacare = Romneycare

Barack Obama was made out to be a villain, a devil and someone to immediately get rid of during the debate Thursday in South Carolina. Heated words did little if anything to help current presidential hopefuls, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and Ron Paul.

All four wannabe presidents slated blows against Obama and his current
administration, which could easily be detoured with common sense.  The debate started off with a bang, when Gingrich responded to a question by John King about his ex wife.

Gingrich said to King, "To take an ex-wife and make it two days before the primary a significant question in a presidential campaign is as close to despicable as anything I can imagine.” This self-pronounced hate for the media is not necessarily a good thing being that most of our country bases their perception through the media. What would this heated anger to do for our country? Gingrich might have merited respect of voters in South Carolina, but do we want an easily irritated president; a president that can’t manage to maintain his composure? It seems that Gingrich has consistently shown this irritability throughout the primaries thus far. His inability to control himself will inevitably hurt him down the road.

Gingrich spoke out against Obamacare and spoke of his experience in that aspect leading the charge against “Hilarycare” in the house.  Then made a jab at Obama by saying, “I'd love to do a three-hour Lincoln-Douglas debate with Obama,” “He can use the teleprompter. I'll just rely on my knowledge." Even though reading a teleprompter speech versus a memorized speech has little to do with anything.

Much of Rick Santorum’s attacks focused on a person from his own party, Mitt Romney. Santorum grilled Romney about his Massachusetts health care legislation bill, calling it “Romneycare.” “When he was governor of Massachusetts, he put forth "Romneycare," which was not a bottom-up, free-market system. It was a government-run health care system that was the basis of "Obamacare." And it has been an abject failure, and he has stood by it,” said Santorum. This nit picky fighting between parties will inevitably divide Republicans and the rest of our nation when it comes to a Republican nomination. It is easy to see that Santorum is just trying to claw back into the race with low blows. This constant fighting between candidates leaves an easy weakness, their lack of loyalty to their party.

Mitt Romney repeatedly used his all too familiar go-to strategy of focusing everything back on Obama. Romney said things like “I know we're going to hit it hard from President Obama, but we're going to stuff it down his throat and point out it is capitalism and freedom that makes America strong.” When asked if there was anything he would have done differently in his campaign he said,  "I wish I took all the time I spent talking about one of these guys on stage and spent it talking about Obama." Romney looked a bit off when trying to relate to American people, he said, "I've lived in the real streets of America." This statement is a bit off-putting because Romney is a multi-millionaire, multi-millionaires don’t live on the real streets of America.

Ron Paul barely had a voice during this debate. At one point the crowd started screaming when John King skipped him on an abortion question. Paul was allowed little say in this debate but when he was given a chance, he shouted out to his military donors.

Overall, the winner of this debate was definitely Newt Gingrich led solely on Gingrich’s ability to react very hostilely toward John King at the very beginning thus creating momentum throughout the debate. Romney was overshadowed by Gingrich’s aggressive behavior and attacks at his own expense regarding similarities between Romney’s “Romneycare” bill and Obama’s “Obamacare” bill.

Bryan Calabro
Communication Studies/Integrated Media
Wilkes 2013

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