WASHINGTON – Rick Perry failed über Reaganite Peggy Noonan’s basic GOP nomination test: Can you think about watching Perry “for 4 years and it would not make me throw up in my mouth”?
“The issue in the book ‘Fed Up,’ governor, is you say that by any measure, Social Security is a failure,” Romney said. “Our nominee has to be someone who isn’t committed to abolishing Social Security, but who is committed to saving Social Security … I will make sure that we keep the program and we make it financially secure, and under no circumstances would I ever say by any measure it’s a failure.” – Fireworks between Perry and Romney erupt early in debate
You simply cannot tell Americans, Perry speaking mostly to young people, that Social Security is a ponzi scheme over and over again without comforting middle class voters and seniors, who vote in droves, that the program won’t be threatened in their lifetime.
That Romney made Perry look small, mean and cranky was another problem.
Somehow I just kept wondering if we were watching Mitt Romney’s alter ego in Rick Perry, the Fonzerelli of his soul. A man who has every attribute Mitt doesn’t, but in the long rough road times ahead, his snarling, muscular machismo sets off alarms and urges you to unleash the dogs… on him.
At one point, after Rick “ponzi” Perry doubled down on Social Security stupid, he was asked a question, turning to the camera for his close up, which fell flatly on the subsequent silence. It revealed nervousness unbecoming a national presidential candidate.
But Mr. Perry’s preening sadism over a state slogan that basically screams WE EXECUTE PEOPLE should surely shock anyone over at GOP central who wants to beat Pres. Obama.
Say goodnight, Rick.
I had little doubt he’d implode, but tonight’s debate was a bonanza of kaboom. From ponzi politics to salivating over throwing the switch, to some weirdness about climate change, Perry proved unready for primetime.
Karl Rove can breathe a little easier.
…and those fat cat GOP donor hold-outs can finally rev up their anti-Perry PACS, because now it’s clear Perry’s a goner in a general election.
Meanwhile, Mitt Romney was sharp, direct and pushed the visionary envelope, through the economics he believes will work (it won’t – see Bush, whose people wrote Romney’s plan).
Romney was also presidential.
Perry’s curled-lip sourness didn’t match up next to Mitt Romney who exuded certain belief, knowledge that he is the president already. That Romney was also almost relaxed while revealing passion and expertise was a first for him since he started running for president six years ago.
Gov. Perry is out of a time Republicans cannot afford to revisit if they want to win the White House, which is closer to being possible than they ever dreamed.
Mitt Romney commanded the stage, was gracious when asked for criticism, sounded like he at least understood the U.S. economy, even if his answers haven’t worked for workers, as much as the stockholders.
The United States, all of us, are going up against an economic whirlwind that will leave the unprepared behind. This means eduction, innovation and investment. It also means at some point our juvenile but brilliant country has to choose to pull together on some things. There are just some issues where we all have to agree to the floor, like science and evolution, yes, and climate change, but also that we’re going to care for the most vulnerable and aged.
We’re doomed as a people if we don’t.
Surely Republicans understand this or at least understand that marketing anything less to voters won’t cut it in challenging economic times.
Taylor Marsh is a Washington based political analyst, writer and commentator on national politics, foreign policy, and women in power. A veteran national politics writer, Taylor’s been writing on the web since 1996. She has reported from the White House, been profiled in the Washington Post, The New Republic, and has been seen on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal, CNN, MSNBC, Al Jazeera English and Al Jazeera Arabic, as well as on radio across the dial and on satellite, including the BBC. Marsh lives in the Washington, D.C. area. This column is cross posted from her blog.