November 28, 2011
Any Republican is Better than Obama, but Romney Still Best Bet
Former MA Governor Mitt Romney has been near the top of the GOP polls from the get go. (UPI Photo/Roger L. Wollenberg)
By STEVE MALZBERG
Garden State Journal Columnist
Tuesday night, the Republican field held yet another presidential debate, and I came away more convinced than ever that when the dust settles, and appearances to the contrary, this is not an endless process. Mitt Romney will be at the head of the Republican ticket, and will be elected president of the United States in a little less than a year from now. Romney is a good and decent man, and has the credentials to lead this country back in a direction that the American people crave. And most importantly, he can beat the current occupant of the White House in 2012.
Romney has held his ground in the polls while the others have come and gone from the top spot. Heading into last Tuesday's CNN debate, Newt Gingrich had jumped into the lead; this, after Rick Perry and Herman Cain had their respective stays at the head of the Republican heap. Even Ron Paul is near the top in one of the latest Iowa polls. But only Romney has had the consistency that it takes to win it all. And with good reason. He is grounded, he has gravitas, and he knows economics. On Tuesday night, he showed he is right on immigration, by saying no to amnesty, and said that his first trip as president will be to Israel to show our support for the lone democracy in the Middle East.
When talk of Perry entering the fray first surfaced, I was excited. I had previously met the Governor and had expected him to be a straight shooter and a powerful entry. It didn't take long for my hopes to fade. He did well in his first debate at the Reagan Presidential Library back on September 7th. He stood by his characterization of social security as a Ponzi scheme and expressed regret in having issued an executive order that all teenage girls in Texas receive the vaccine for the HPV virus. He said that if he had to do it again, he would go through the state legislature.
But his next debate performance showcased a different Perry. He had become arrogant. In defiant retreat, he boldly proclaimed that since the HPV vaccine saves lives, he would error on the side of life every time and would do it all over again. So much for the legislature. He also ridiculed Senator Rick Santorum who wanted to know why Perry gives in-state-tuition in Texas to the children of illegals. He turned to demagoguery in an answer that would have made Mr. Obama envious. He suggested that Santorum did not want to give those kids an education. He wondered what kind of person would take that mean spirited position. Of course Santorum had never said any such thing. That's where Perry lost me. This was way before his "brain freeze" moment on November 9th in South Carolina, when he could not remember the names of all of the three federal agencies he would close if he became president.
Herman Cain is simply not all that qualified to be president of the United States. Having said that, he is probably more qualified than Barack Obama was in 2008. But Obama, with the help of the media, could fake it better than Cain. Forget the female accusers, they mean nothing. Cain lost me two days after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took our president to school in the Oval Office in front of the world. It was brilliant. But when Cain was asked on â€œFox News Sundayâ€ about the so-called "right of return" where Palestinian's claim to have a right to "return " to the state of Israel , flooding it and making it in effect a Palestinian state, Cain stared blankly and asked what the right of return was. Over and out for me. Although he nearly won me back when he mistakenly referred to CNN's Wolf Blitzer as "Blitz" at Tuesday's debate.
Newt Gingrich is and always has been the smartest person up on that debate stage. But I don't like his stance on wanting to legalize the millions of illegals who are here, and he has a Nancy Pelosi problem. The pair made a PSA on climate change for Al Gore's climate crazies. I believe that his recent surge is due primarily to his fearless battles with the debate moderators. In September, at the MSNBC debate, he blasted the media for attempting to get Republicans to fight each other to "protect Barack Obama, who deserves to be defeated." A few weeks ago at the CNBC debate, he took on Maria Bartiromo twice, claiming the media was misreporting how the economy works ,and then labeling her question on health care as "absurd." He also went at it in the CBS debate with Scott Pelly on overseas enemy combatants and "the rule of law."
Most recently Newt had a message for the Occupy Wall Street bunch:"Go get a job right after you take a bath." Priceless! But I don't think it will be enough in the long run.
Ron Paul whines, "Why shouldn't Iran have a nuclear bomb, we have a nuclear bomb." On Tuesday night, he claimed that the way to fight terrorism is the way we fought it with Timothy McVeigh. Gingrich countered that McVeigh succeeded in killing people, and we need to stop terrorists before they strike, which pretty much shut Paul up for the moment. What is wrong with this guy?
I love Rick Santorum. At CNNâ€™s Tuesday debate, he talked about the need to profile Muslim men at airports, and the war against radical Islam. Congresswoman Bachmann is as bright and well informed as they come, but the support just isn't there for these two.
So Mitt is the man. Now, if I am wrong and Cain, Perry, Newt or even Ron Paul should win the nomination, count me in. Next November there will be only one candidate who can continue to destroy everything that we hold dear as Americans. His name is Barack Hussein Obama, and he must be beaten.
Steve Malzberg is a national radio talk show host. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and you can follow him at www.malzbergtalk.com .
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