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Romney Won Debate And The Spin

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The spin releases are excellent guides to who really won the carnival debate.  (CNN’s reputation lost.  Again.) Mike Huckabee won on Ruffini’s card.  Rudy Giuliani won on Kate O’Beirne’s and Ana Marie Cox’s cards.

Romney won everyone else.

From Team Romney:



National Review’s Kate O’Beirne: “Romney’s performance is his strongest in the series.” (National Review‘s “The Corner,”, Accessed 11/28/07)

Michelle Malkin: “So, who won? Quick and dirty reaction: Romney looked strong and energetic …” (Michelle Malkin, “Liveblogging The CNN/Youtube,”, Posted 11/28/07)

Townhall’s Mary Katherine Ham: “[Romney] came across serious and conservative.” (Mary Katharine Ham, “Who Won?,”, 11/28/07)

The American Spectator’s Philip Klein: “… I thought Romney got the better of that [immigration] exchange. It’s one thing to use Romney’s illegal immigrant lawn care workers in a joke, but it’s another thing to try and base a serious criticism on that.” (Philip Klein, “Sanctuary Mansion,” The American Spectator Online, 11/28/07)

CBS’ Vaughn Ververs: “In the opening minutes, Romney and Rudy Giuliani sparred over illegal immigration… Romney appeared to get the upper hand in the exchange, challenging Giuliani on his charge and the sometimes vocal audience sounded a note of apparent disapproval at the mayor’s line of attack.” (Vaughn Ververs, “Romney Battles, Huckabee Shines In GOP Debate,” CBS’S Horserace ’08 Blog,, Posted 11/28/07)

Captain’s Quarters’ Ed Morrissey: “Romney gets the edge here, especially for beating Rudy Giuliani like a bongo drum on immigration.” (Ed Morrissey, “CNN/YouTube Debate-CNN Wins,” Captain’s Quarters Blog,, Posted 11/28/07)

Morrissey: “Romney has this issue [of interrogations] exactly correct. We should not start defining these techniques on national debates for the reasons Romney said.” (“Heading Right,”, Accessed 11/28/07)

Power Line’s Scott Johnson: “Best performance: Mitt Romney.” (Scott Johnson, “Best And Worst Of The Debate,” Power Line,, Posted 11/28/07)

Johnson: “Best line of the night: Mitt Romney, on abortion (‘I was wrong’).” (Scott Johnson, “Best And Worst Of The Debate,” Power Line Blog,, Posted 11/28/07)

National Review’s Kathryn Jean Lopez: “Romney played it straight and didn’t over explain the abortion change. Seemed a wise and effective approach, especially in this format.” (National Review’s “The Corner,”, Accessed 11/28/07)

Heading Right’s Macranger: “Good answer [on life]. People do change.” (“Heading Right,”, Accessed11/28/07)

The American Spectator’s Philip Klein: “[Gov. Romney] showed more humility by saying several times he was wrong, that he isn’t perfect, that he hasn’t always made the right decisions. It worked a lot better for him.” (Philip Klein, “Romney’s Abortion Flip-Flop Answer,” The American Spectator Online, 11/28/07)

Townhall’s Hugh Hewitt: “I agree with most of the posters at The Corner that Mitt is doing very, very well.” (Townhall, Accessed 11/28/07)

Former Secretary Of Education Bill Bennett: “Mitt Romney talked about education as the next civil right…Liberals have failed inner city blacks overwhelmingly in the last 30 years.  That’s why the question from the father and son was so pertinent and I thought Romney did a good job on it.” (CNN’s, “Post Debate Coverage,” 11/28/07)

Townhall’s Mary Katharine Ham: “… I grew up in the inner city, in public schools. The plight of those who live there is real, sad, and cannot often be solved by the Nanny State.  Romney focuses on families, empowerment, police protection in solving black-on-black crime, and invokes Bill Cosby. Well done. It addressed the question directly and treated the questioners’ concerns with respect. It was a serious answer with real application, not a flippant appeal to the family values crowd that would have made him look disconnected, which it easily could have been.” (Mary Katharine Ham, “Romney’s Winner Answer on Black-on-Black Crime,”,, 11/28/07)

The American Spectator’s John Tabin: “Romney’s answer is pretty good; family’s important, of course it is” (James G. Poulos, “Black On Black Crime,” The American Spectator Online, 11/28/07)




The Atlantic’s Marc Ambinder: “Romney had a strong night, seemed raring to go, seemed to be willing to take on everybody, anybody, all comers, seemed to want to pick every fight possible.” (Marc Ambinder, “The Debate In Review,” The Atlantic Online Blog,, 11/28/07)

National Review’s Seth Leibsohn: “This Is Mitt’s Night.” (Seth Leibsohn, “This Is Mitt’s Night,” National Review’s The Corner,, Posted 11/28/07)

Bill Bennett: “I think that Romney stood out tonight.  I think he was loud and clear.  Conservative.  He was ‘all-in’ as you’d say in Texas Hold ‘Em.” (CNN’s Post-Debate Coverage, 11/28/07)

Bill Bennett: “I thought he came across very strong.  I think you guys are absolutely right.  That opening debate between Romney and Giuliani was, I think, the pivotal point of the evening.  And I think points to Romney.  Giuliani came across badly.” (CNN’s Post-Debate Coverage, 11/28/07)

 ABC News Live Blog: “Romney is engaging very, very directly — and dare I say he’s getting the better of Giuliani in this exchange, funny accents and all.” (“Live-Blogging During GOP Debate,” ABC News’ Political Radar,, Posted 11/28/07)

ABC News Live Blog: “And Romney gets the first applause by noting that illegal immigrants already broke the law.” (“Live-Blogging During GOP Debate,” ABC News’ Political Radar,, Posted 11/28/07)

National Review’s Kathryn Jean Lopez: “[T]his is Romney’s best debate performance yet. He reminds us he has experience and outside of Washington, he’s tackled difficult issues, and does not let his temper get the best of him with a New York bully (something that will come in handy).” (Kathryn Jean Lopez, “So Far,” National Review’s The Corner,, Posted 11/28/07)

CNN’s Bill Schneider: “A clever answer from former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney on farming. He says we need food independence like we need energy independence -keep the farmers on the farm. His reasoning: We need to be able to compete with other countries that support their farmers.” (Bill Schneider, “Schneider: Romney Scores Points On Farming Answer,” CNN’s Political Ticker,, Posted 11/28/07)

MSNBC’s Domenico Montanaro: “While the sanctuary mansion line got good laughs, Romney’s explanation and questions left Giuliani without an answer.” (Domenico Montanaro, “Giuliani Flustered?” MSNBC’s First Read,, Posted 11/28/07)

National Review’s Rich Lowry: “Rudy let his temper get the best of him-clear winner of the exchange: Romney.” (Rich Lowry, “Mitt V. Rudy,” National Review’s The Corner,, Posted 11/28/07)

National Review’s Seth Leibsohn: “I’d be surprised after this debate if Mitt doesn’t see national numbers looking more like his Iowa or NH numbers after tonight’s performance.  Brilliant response to the black on black crime questions.” (Seth Leibsohn, “Changing Times,” National Review’s The Corner,, Posted 11/28/07)

The New York Times‘ Katharine Q. Seelye: “But finally, a father-son team, from Atlanta, want the candidates to talk about black-on-black crime, and while Mr. Romney gets in a nice line about mothers and fathers and family values, none of the candidates really address the issue that the young son raised.” (Katharine Q. Seelye, “Live-Blogging the YouTube Debate,” The New York Times‘ The Caucus Blog,, Posted 11/28/07)

National Review’s Ramesh Ponnuru: “So Romney did pretty well in the debate, and won the immigration exchange.” (Ramesh Ponnuru, “A Good Day for Giuliani,” The Corner Blog,, Posted 11/28/07)

Townhall’s Mary Katharine Ham: “Mitt makes a good point that homeowners should not be required to check papers of workers hired for their and connects it to regular Americans by suggesting that that’s what Rudy wants them to do.” (Townhall,, Accessed, 11/28/07)

The Plank’s Isaac Chotiner: “Romney definitely got the best of Giuliani on their early immigration skirmish (which actually got rather heated). Rudy’s line about Romney’s mansion was cheap and silly. And Romney is more appealing when going negative than any of the other candidates.” (The New Republic’s “The Plank,” Accessed, 11/28/07)

National Review’s Kate O’Beirne: “Romney’s reference point about how MA liberals reason is effective. Reminds us that he gets them and fought them.” (National Review’s “The Corner,”, Accessed 11/28/07)

Captain’s Quarters’ Ed Morrissey: Romney and Huckabee had a good spar over giving better benefits to illegals for school than to citizens. Romney is absolutely 100% right on this issue. I hope Iowans realize that Huckabee may very well be worse than Bush on illegal immigration.” (Heading Right,”, Accessed 11/28/07)

from Team Giuliani:

The American Spectator’s Philip Klein: “[G]iuliani was on strong ground defending his immigration policies in New York City …” (Philip Klein, “Sanctuary Mansion,” The American Spectator’s “AmSpecBlog,”, 11/28/07, Accessed 11/28/07)

  • Klein said Giuliani gave “a great answer that mixes tolerance and toughness” on repairing the American image abroad. (Philip Klein, “Repairing The American Image Abroad,” The American Spectators “AmSpecBlog,” 11/28/07, Accessed 11/28/07)

The American Spectator’s Jennifer Rubin said Giuliani’s answer on cutting crime was “the best of the night.” (Jennifer Rubin, “Crime,” The American Spectator’s “AmSpecBlog,” 11/28/07, Accessed 11/28/07)

  • Rubin said Giuliani gave “three good answers” on controlling government spending. (Jenner Rubin, “Spending,” The American Spectator’s AmSpecBlog,” 11/28/07, Accessed 11/28/07)

The National Review’s Kate O’Beirne said Giuliani’s “sanctuary mansion” comment was a “good line.” (Kate O’Beirne, “Good Line,” The National Review’s The Corner” Blog, 11/28/07, Accessed 11/28/07)

  • O’Beirne: “Giuliani Gains” (Kate O’Beirne, National Review Online’s The Corner Blog, “Giuliani Gains,” 11/28/07, Accessed: 11/28/07)

The National Journal’s Jennifer Skalka said Giuliani’s campaign video was “the funniest.” (Jennifer Skalka, “‘Annual Snowfall Dramatically Reduced’ In NYC, According To Rudy Video,” National Journal’s “The Hotline” Blog, 11/28/07, Accessed 11/28/07)

ABC News’ Rick Klein: “[Giuliani] likes to bowl people over with statistics. A good answer to a tough question.” (Rick Klein, ABC News‘ Political Radar, 11/28/07, Accessed: 11/28/07)

  Klein: “Rudy was ready for this question [on immigration] — it’s a substantive, detailed answer …”( Rick Klein, ABC News‘ Political Radar,, 11/28/07, Accessed: 11/28/07)


  • Klein: Giuliani’s answer on the Bible “seemed like an excellent answer.” (Rick Klein, ABC News‘ Political Radar, 11/28/07, Accessed: 11/28/07)


  • Klein: “Rudy’s got the best video of the night. King Kong! Hillary! Cutting snowfall! That’s the spirit!” (Rick Klein, ABC News‘ Political Radar, 11/28/07, Accessed: 11/28/07)


 Time‘s Ana Marie Cox: “Rudy sort of winning this one. This is Rudy the prosecutor, and part of me sort of loves it.” (Ana Marie Cox, Time‘s Swampland Blog, “Liveblogging: The Shoutfest In St. Pete,” 11/28/07, Accessed: 11/28/07)


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