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Friday, November 11, 2011

The Debate

Rick Perry is still dealing with the fallout from his performance in Wednesday night's debate, when he said he would eliminate three federal agencies but could only remember two. KSAT in San Antonio reports:
Watching the re-run of Texas Gov. Rick Perry's latest gaffe, Dr. David Crockett, a political science professor at Trinity University, could only shake his head and laugh.

"I feel his pain in the sense that we all have our lists and we forgot one," Crockett said.


He said Republicans are looking for a candidate who can hold his own against President Obama's renowned speaking skills.

"That may be the problem with Rick Perry, he's failed the audition," Crockett said.

He said although debates rarely are the deciding factor in the general election, voters use them to gauge whether a candidate is worth their time.

Crockett said he thought Perry tried to handle his brain freeze with humor, but the awkward moment only reinforces his prior reputation of not doing well in debates.

He also said it was a missed opportunity for Perry to redefine himself.

Crockett said, "It put the nail in that coffin."
Meanwhile, other candidates did better. Jonathan Oosting writes at MLive about reaction at Oakland University, the site of the debate:
"Romney tops the list," said Dave Dulio, associate professor and chair of the political science department. "He had some really good reactions from the crowd in the debate hall, and I think his answers would really resonate with the Republican electorate."

As expected, moderators asked Romney about the federal bailout that ultimately saved General Motors and Chrysler. While the Detroit native's continued opposition may not be popular with many in Michigan, observers praised his consistency even as critics questioned his accuracy.

"I thought his answer was very well stated," said Terri Towner, assistant professor of political science. "He had a different solution for the auto industry, one that may resonate with some Michiganders. He proposed a different solution, which he said was a better solution. It wasn't a bailout, it was structured bankruptcy, and he said the industry would have come out stronger."
Professor Dulio discussed Cain's response to a question about sexual harassment:
"I thought it was going to be the first one," he said. "I think Cain handled it about as well as he could. He handled it better than the first time he was asked about it, that's for sure. He had a good night, in part, because he dealt with it and it was over."