At Monday’s CNN/Tea Party debate, Wolf Blitzer said in his opening remarks that the candidates would get equal time to answer questions. For the first half hour or so, he appeared to have kept his word. After that, the debate turned into the Romney/Perry debate with Bachmann thrown into the mix to boost her failing poll numbers.
Ron Paul was shut out on two key issues, the Federal Reserve and immigration. Blitzer did not ask the only candidate who has made abolishing the Fed a signature issue of his campaign his views on the Federal Reserve’s impact on the economy. Nevertheless, all the candidates who were asked about the Fed (almost) sounded like Ron Paul, who has been warning the American people about the Fed’s destructive policies for decades. The media would never have brought up the Fed in the debates if it were not for Ron Paul’s relentless criticism of the country’s legal counterfeiter, nor would the other candidates dare have criticized the Fed if Ron Paul were not a presidential candidate. In fact, the seven clones never expressed any criticism of the Fed before Ron Paul ran for president in 2008.
However, on issue after issue I was watching the candidates at the debate read from the script that sounds like Ron Paul as much as possible, because that is what is resonating with voters. Even on foreign policy, Huntsman and Perry called for removing troops from Afghanistan. Only Gringrich and Santorum continued to voice support for the Wilsonian policy of making the world safe for democracy. These two warmongers are going nowhere fast; they should just say good night, and go back to writing their pro war screeds. Santorum always brings up his immigrant father and grandfather in the debates. Maybe he should get a job with the immigration service.
Ron Paul gave sensible and common sense answers to the (few) questions he was asked. On healthcare, he hit the home run of the night; charity will take care of the uninsured. Charity is the only humane way to deal with individuals and families who did not have health insurance. Rep. Paul should make this a signature issue of the campaign—real compassion to replace the “phony philanthropy” of the welfare state.
The debates remind me of the question I was asked when I was the Libertarian Party nominee for governor in 1997. A student at Rutgers asked me, “Dr. Sabrin, you say you are for limited government, free enterprise and personal responsibility, what makes you different than a Republican.” I answered immediately: “I mean it!”