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Fight Night in Vegas: Romney Bloodied

I’m exhausted…and I wasn’t even on stage. All I wanted to do when I came to Las Vegas was go see a show and pay $34.99 for a buffet dinner. Instead I got a ringside seat to fight night in Vegas.

Who were the winners and losers among the Republican candidates on stage at The Venetian hotel? The Brody File provides analysis points below.

1. Herman Cain knew he’d be attacked on the 999 Plan but quite frankly it could have been worse. The candidates got their shots in but Cain was able, for the most part, to deflect and move with a smile.

Most importantly, he didn’t get rattled. The best news for Herman Cain was that Mitt Romney got grilled by many of the other candidates, which took the heat and pressure off Cain. Overall solid. Prediction: His poll numbers will continue to rise.

2. Mitt Romney got knocked around pretty good and for the first time in this debate cycle he looked rattled. He recovered in spots but he had to deal with so much incoming fire that he left with a few chinks in the armor.

He also may have committed a big error when he admitted that when he found out there were illegal workers employed by a lawn company Romney was using. He said that, “went to the company and we said, 'look, you can't have any illegals working on our property. I'm running for office, for Pete's sake, I can't have illegals.'”

So wait a minute? He went to the company because he was running for office? What if he wasn’t running for office, then he wouldn’t have done that? Romney’s critics are gonna have a field day with that.

3. Rick Perry is back. His critics sarcastically said he needed to get a good night’s sleep before the debate. He got a solid eight hours and probably downed a couple five-hour energy drinks as well. He came out firing and focused.

Ever since he got in the race I said that it was his race to lose and, indeed, he’s had a rough stretch. But he was on top of his game tonight. The challenge for Perry is for him to concentrate and articulate his message consistently over the next three months. If he can do that, he can win the nomination.

4. Michele Bachmann had a strong night. Quite frankly, this was her best debate performance since New Hampshire. She rose above all the squabbling and her explanation of tax policy was on point and understandable.

Out of all the candidates on stage, she seemed to be the most optimistic of the bunch. She will need to work on the art of explaining her policy positions in 30 seconds or less so the country can begin to grab a hold of them in an easier fashion. Something catchy would do. Cain's 999 is taken. She wouldn’t use it anyway!

5. Newt Gingrich comes to these debates as the sane professor who is always keeping everyone in place. He did step out tonight and attack Romney on healthcare, which he’s going to need to do more consistently on the trail if he wants to move up. The guy is so smart it’s scary. Could make for a very nice VP pick if the POTUS run doesn’t work out.

6. Rick Santorum really took it to Romney on healthcare. I was expecting this earlier in the debate season from Santorum but it finally happened tonight. We’ll see if he can make some hay out of that. Santorum is always making sure he’s talking about faith and family and that message is helping him gain traction in Iowa.

7. Ron Paul seemed to be pushed to the background tonight. The gentlemanly Dr. Paul is not the type of guy who’s going to go at it in a rough and tumble debate with the other candidates, so this fight night didn’t suit his style. Thus it was hard for him to be heard over all the shouting.

Print     Email to a Friend    posted on Wednesday, October 19, 2011 3:01 AM

Comments on this post

# RE: Fight Night in Vegas: Romney Bloodied

I thought Paul did well by avoiding the conflicts. He spoke clearly and made his positions easily understandable. If we were talking about "winners" of this debate, I'd say that they were Gingrich, Paul, and Santorum. I really liked what Santorum had to say about focusing on the family. Cain didn't go either way, in my eyes (which may be considered a win). Romney came off as condescending several times, Perry came off as a poor public speaker, and Bachmann stayed in the background, only coming out to attack Obama.
Left by BigFan11 on Oct 19, 2011 9:59 AM

# RE: Fight Night in Vegas: Romney Bloodied

I think it's about time we pay more attention to Gingrich. The next president should be all about substance, not style.

Newt has already presented concrete ideas for solving our economic problems. Furthermore by avoiding the bickering with his opponents he showed his real leadership skills. Thus,he demonstrated an ability to bridge gaps across the aisle.

He runs a lean campaign. Imagine if he wins, he will have demonstrated that he can save money if becoming president.

One more point. As a speaker of the house he demonstrated his experience on many issues.
Whereas most candidates tried to appease the people of Nevada by saying that nuclear waste repository should be up to the states to decide, he pointed out that the Yucca mountain has already been selected by experts as the most suitable site. Let's remember that most of the land in Nevada is Govt. owned. People make too much of the issue of transporting waste to a central site.

Go Newt!!!
Left by Mojes on Oct 19, 2011 10:07 AM

# RE: Fight Night in Vegas: Romney Bloodied

I did not see all of the debate. Let's see some real solutions and not just bickering!
Go Herman Cain!
Left by KellieC on Oct 19, 2011 3:21 PM

# RE: Fight Night in Vegas: Romney Bloodied

I was undone to see Santorum acting like a 7th grader yelling at Romney, and at Perry doing the same. Romney keeps his cool, which is necessary for a head of state. Whatever happened to common courtesy? We do need a good understanding of Cain's 999 plan. Newt is the smartest of the bunch, and would be my choice if he could win. If the GOP candidates keep on with their childish behavior they might just give BHO a huge boost. God forbid.
Left by Fritzie on Oct 19, 2011 5:27 PM

# RE: Fight Night in Vegas: Romney Bloodied

I don't know if these constant debates are helping any one of these candidates? what i saw last night was everyone trying to cut each others legs from under them and when not that they were waiting to throw each other under the bus.I'm not sure any of these can beat President Obama,with their rope a dope act.
The White House looks on.It seems that Huntsman had the heads up and did well to stay away.It seems to me that Newt Gingrich is there to keep the order among all participants.He brings sanity to the debate when it gets out of order.For the exception of keeping history straight for the debaters Newt is of no consequence at this particular point.
Cain became a fruit vendor that was not sure of what he was selling.Can't buy from him.Out of all,the one who looked presidential was Romney.
Can't say much about Perry except that he has the cowboy attitude that only responds to his Interest,he does not make much sense 90% of the time.Out of three left,Santorum makes the most sense.
Left by Hector on Oct 19, 2011 8:08 PM

# RE: Fight Night in Vegas: Romney Bloodied

Well one thing can be said for them, and that is they all sound like typical GOP/Tea Party, nothing new,nothing innovative,evading the issues,and attacking the President. But I will get back to you on that later.
Left by josta45 on Oct 19, 2011 8:24 PM

# RE: Fight Night in Vegas: Romney Bloodied

Being a Canadian, the so-called Romney was bloodied comment, let everyone see how Romney can stand up to anything and look very good. Believe me Romney was not bloodied. He looked very strong and showed how he could take alot of cheap and desperate attackes from Rick Santorum and Perry. Both Rick and Perry looked very desperate to attached Romney on such old, old, old issues. Thoes issues about the U.S. Health Care are about five years old. Romney is the only hope the Republicans have to defeat Obama. The other candidates are good people but are inexperienced with debates and they all showed it.
Left by Francine on Oct 26, 2011 2:50 PM