Top republican 2012 presidential hopefuls gathered in Tampa, FL Monday, September 12, to debate key issues. The debate was on CNN and moderated by Wolf Blitzer, host of The Situation Room on CNN. With the election still more than one year away, we are seeing many different people coming into the race trying to fight for the early vote of the American people. Many are not in favor of Barack Obama currently with 41 percent strongly disapproving of the direction in which he is taking this country. Leaving 22 percent of American voters strongly agreeing with Obama and 19 percent to be swayed either way.
Topics such as immigration, healthcare and the economy were all covered by eight potential hopefuls: Representative Ron Paul, former Senator Rick Santorum, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, Representative Michele Bachmann, former governor of Utah Jon Huntsman, Governor Rick Perry, Herman Cain, and former Massachusetts governor, Mitt Romney.
“Obamacare,” a term used quite frequently in the news and political landscape was talked about in depth during the debate. All of the candidates declaring that it is time to revoke it while they still can. The term refers to the reform laws passed including the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act along with the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010. Everyone is potentially covered under these plans as a way to not leave a patient to die or their condition to worsen. At the debate Blitzer gave Rep. Ron Paul a hypothetical situation. Paul was asked if a 30-year-old healthy man with a good job did not feel like paying the $200 to $300 per month for health insurance, and then suddenly needed help because something happened, what should happen. Paul responded that Americans need to, “assume responsibility.” One of the key moments of the debate was when Blitzer came back and asked if that man should be left to die. The audience applauded and shouted; an audience that clearly does not think everyone should be covered if they chose not to or cannot afford to be covered. You could almost sense Paul was agreeing, but said we need to go back to our old ways. Paul says the churches never turned anyone down and taking responsibility for your actions is what freedom is all about.
On the topic of the economy, Newt Gingrich pointed out that we need to cut “green” loopholes and all other loopholes. He does not understand the reason for General Electric not having to pay taxes. Most of the candidates pointed out that it is people that create jobs not the government, and that America needs to focus on building up manufacturing jobs for those looking for employment that can simply not find it.
According to many analysts, Bachmann was on target and on a roll throughout the debate. She had a clear direction and a strong personality that made people almost want to agree with her. Many candidates were beating around the bush – while Bachmann stuck to her gut as she explained how she did not believe Obama should have been handed a 2.4 trillion dollars blank check with the debt ceiling. Bachmann pointed out that we need to eliminate frivolous spending and stick to our bottom line.
Perry was probably most targeted by his opponent’s yesterday evening as he took on a lot of heat about the government mandated Gardasil shots for female teenagers in his state. Bachmann, mother of three, got her digs in and raised hell about how Merck got a lot of business out of the deal – and Perry got thousands of dollars in donations in return. Perry also took the hit for not agreeing with social security – a staple in American households and life plans. Social security he denotes as “unconstitutional.” Analysts say that he still has a legitimate chance but his time as a front runner may be coming to an end.
We did not hear much of Herman Cain. Cain is a businessman and is involved in the National Restaurant Association. He said during the debate, “I would bring humor to the white house because America is too uptight.” Is that what we need? I guess Americans will have to decide next November at the polls. This first debate was a great insight on what many of the politicians stand for, but we will surely see more as the elections come closer. Stay updated with 2012 election coverage on bunow.org.