Posted by: Nick Poma | November 29, 2007

Analysis of the YouTube Republican Debate Hosted by CNN

            The much anticipated Republican debate featuring questions posed to the candidates via a YouTube video. The concept is interesting and could have been a very interesting format. The questions were ripe with their own controversy and in their own right are not easy to answer within the allotted amount of time.

            The debate was aired on CNN and hosted by Anderson Cooper, who host his own show on CNN called “Anderson Cooper 360o.” Now, on a personal note, I do like Mr. Cooper and enjoy his show. I found Mr. Cooper to be fair and very likeable and if he has any particular political affiliation it was not readily apparent in his duties as host.

            Fireworks started rather early in the debate and was initiated by Mitt Romney when he accused Rudy Giuliani of running a sanctuary city, in regard to illegal aliens. Rudy countered by accusing Romney of hiring illegal aliens to work in his mansion. At the end of the exchange it was clear that Romney had hired a contractor to work on his mansion and indeed, the contractor may have hired illegal aliens to do the work.

            It was a feeble attempt by Giuliani to toss a little dirty water on Romney, by accusing him of hiring the illegal aliens and it was not enough to deflect from the fact that Giuliani filed a lawsuit against the Federal government when they tried to enforce immigration laws.

            Another highlight of the evening came when John McCain attacked Ron Paul. It was a pretty lame attempt to misrepresent Ron Paul’s stand on foreign policy. McCain tried to label the Texas Congressman as an isolationist, which is not an accurate portrayal of Ron Paul at all. Ron Paul is a non-interventionist, which means that he believes in trading and dealing with other countries, but not to force our way of life on them through the use of force.

            McCain went so far as to say that he was speaking on behalf of the men and women serving in the armed forces. The funny thing is that apparently John has not been keeping up on current information because if he had, he would have known that Ron Paul has the largest amount of military donations than any other candidate running.

I think in this case we should let the money do the talking. It was humorous to see Ron Paul react to McCain as he was still speaking. Ron Paul knew that this was an unsubstantial attack and he just shook his head no and smiled big in McCain’s face.

            “Water boarding” was another issue which came up and some of the candidates are still trying to dodge the issue of whether it is torture or not. I defy anyone to have the act of “Water boarding” performed on them and then come back and say that it is not torture.

            It was clear that Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney considered each other the only threat to each of their respective campaigns because there was very little in the way of attacks which were aimed at any of the other candidates. The only other real substantial attacks were between McCain and Paul, but it seemed that McCain was the aggressor. However, Ron Paul took what McCain had to offer and McCain found no ground that he could claim.

            By the end of the debate there was no candidate who really stuck out among the crowd and it is likely that the poll numbers will remain the same. Of course the analysts in the media will make a lot of the attacks traded by the candidates, but in reality they are really quite irrelevant. These attacks are cheap shots at best and really nothing that would make any sort of headlines in and of themselves.

The debate did veer off course when the issue of gays in the military came up. A retired Brigadier General decided to take the opportunity to make his own personal agenda known by taking over the debate for what seemed to be forever. The retired General asked his question and the candidates answered it, except for Romney who was flopping around like a fish freshly taken from the water.

Because the General did not like the answer he was given, he decided that he would philabuster the event; thank God it came to an end. Personally, I was in the military and I was very aware of who was gay, but I did not care. The way I see it is that if you are gay that is your business and as long as it does not affect me what does it matter. Besides, when war comes and the bullets start flying, I am sure you will be doing what I am doing and that is ducking.

Unfortunately, there are many people that do have a problem with people that are gay and they are not tolerant. The problem with being openly gay is that you do open yourself up to the very real possibility of being discriminated against, but more than that, you allow yourself to be defined by your sexual preference and not by your character.

            Regardless of how this debate went, Ron Paul will win because it is an Internet technology based debate and everyone knows that Ron Paul supporters are the only ones that know how to effectively use the Internet, just kidding, or am I? 


CNN YouTube Republican Debate which aired on November 28, 2007



  1. Governor Mike Huckabee returned every blow effectively in last night’s debate. Being knighted with front runner status at this stage in the election gives him even more room for mobility as the other contenders stand at his heels. Huckabee has become likable in Iowa and that is what Romney’s camp fear the most.

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