Last night, 7 of the Republican presidential hopefuls participated in the first major 2012 debate in New Hampshire. The predominant reaction was that Mitt Romney’s performance helped cement his status as front runner.
Among Romney’s breakout moments was what many consider his best distinction so-far between the health care plan he enacted as Massachusetts Governor and President Obama’s plan.
He said, “Obamacare spends a trillion dollars...we can't afford more federal spending... it raises $500 billion in taxes. We didn't raise taxes in Massachusetts...Obamacare takes $500 billion out of Medicare and funds Obamacare. We, of course, didn't do that... And ours was a state plan, a state solution, and if people don't like it in our state, they can change it. That's the nature of why states are the right place for this type of responsibility. And that's why I introduced a plan to repeal Obamacare and replace it with a state-centric program.”
Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty also faced questions about his “Obamneycare” comments on made on "Fox News Sunday" in which he lumped Romney in with President Obama for their health care plans.
Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann officially announced her candidacy during the debate last night. Many pundits say she exceeded their expectations. The Washington Post’s E.J. Dionne went as far as declaring her the winner of the whole debate.
Within the last twenty minutes of the debate, the conversation turned to Afghanistan. Mitt Romney and Ron Paul agreed that U.S. troops need to come home but clashed when it came to how they would make the official decision. Mitt Romney said he would make the call based on information he gets from generals on the ground but Ron Paul said “I wouldn't wait for my generals. I'm the commander in chief. I make the decisions. I tell the generals what to do. I'd bring them home as quickly as possible.”