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GOP Debate: Less Style, Even Less Substance

By aaroncynic in News on Jun 14, 2011 8:40PM

Last night, seven GOP primary candidates took to a stage in New Hampshire to debate who disliked President Obama most and who could spout the most conservative friendly platitudes. The political peanut gallery declared Mitt Romney the front runner of the contest, with Michelle Bachmann coming in a close second after declaring her candidacy a few minutes into the debate.

The potential primary runners took turns decrying “Obamacare,” championed a more isolationist foreign policy and pushed some hot button social issues off to individual states. The general consensus was that the president has been a complete failure and that no matter who grabs the reigns for Republicans in 2012, the GOP will make Obama a “one term president.”

Bachmann promised viewers that she would not rest until Obamacare was repealed, criticized U.S. intervention in Libya and suggested the EPA be rechristened the “Job Killing Organization of America.” Romney told the audience that “Our troops shouldn’t go off and try to fight a war of independence for another nation, a statement which Ron Paul echoed and peppered with the suggestion that “we should think about protecting our borders.”

Meanwhile, Tim Pawlenty and Rick Santorum both turned down chances to sling mud at Mitt Romney over his former seemingly liberalesque views on health care and climate change, among other issues. Newt Gingrich spent some time talking about privatizing NASA and Herman Cain appeared to come off, according to the Tribune, as “incoherent” and uncomfortable.

Overall, the whole thing seemed like an exercise or trial ground to see who might have the best potential delivery on the usual GOP talking points. Will an America that elected its first African American president be able to embrace a thrice-divorced family values man? Will enough of the Tea Party show up to rally around Bachmann to take their country back? Or will evangelicals be able to put aside Mitt Romney's Mormon ways and potential far left (for them) leanings to get a Republican back into the White House?