GOP candidates offer a few new lines on policy, but mostly old stump staples

Michele Bachmann speaking during the presidential candidate debate in Ames.
REUTERS/Charlie Neibergall
Michele Bachmann speaking during the presidential candidate debate in Ames.
Tim Pawlenty
REUTERS/Charlie Neibergall
Tim Pawlenty

“Where is Barack Obama on these issues? You can’t find his plans on some of the most pressing financial issues of our country,” he said. “I’ll offer a prize tonight to anybody in this auditorium or anyone watching on television, if you can find Barack Obama’s specific plan on any of those items, I will come to your house and cook you dinner. Or if you prefer I’ll come to your house and mow your lawn. But in case Mitt wins, I’m limiting it to one acre. One acre.”

But for every new line, there were old stump staples.

Pawlenty, for weeks, has been trying to position himself as an experienced candidate with a record of results. On talk shows, before crowds of voters and (twice) in Thursday’s debate, he’s outlined his accomplishments as Minnesota governor thusly: “You will see government spending went from historic highs to historic lows. We appointed conservative justices, transformed the court in a conservative direction. We did health care reform the right way — no individual mandates, no government takeovers and more, and that is the record we will need to beat Barack Obama.”

Bachmann did the same thing, hitting Congress for raising the debt ceiling over her objections and pledging to the audience, “I will not rest until we repeal Obamacare.”

They were campaign-tested lines, and they were ready to go at a moment’s notice.

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Comments (4)

  1. Submitted by Dennis Tester on 08/12/2011 - 11:10 am.

    The best parts of the debate were the disagreements on the role of the 10th Amendment with regard to Obamacare and the disagreements regarding the national debt and debt ceiling debacle. As usual, Newt was the smartest man in the room.

    1. Gingrich
    2. Santorum
    3. Cain
    4. Bachmann

    The rest can fold their tents because Saturday, Perry makes them all irrelevant.

  2. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 08/12/2011 - 02:18 pm.

    Policies? The only Republican policy is to have no policy. Policies require government action, none of these guys think the government should do anything so all they have are non-policies- do less or do nothing.

  3. Submitted by Tom Christensen on 08/12/2011 - 03:22 pm.

    There isn’t a single leader in the bunch. Everyone of them is a follower. If they were leaders they would have lead the debt negotiations away from gridlock to a solution for all of America not just the fringe. Everyone of them is doing their level best (Pawlenty might be the exception as he can’t figure out who he is) and it turns out following is the thing they all do the best. None of them are fit for office.

  4. Submitted by Dennis Tester on 08/13/2011 - 06:58 am.

    “Romney defended his law, saying it was different than Obama’s because the Constitution gives states the rights to establish government services the federal government isn’t able to provide.”

    That’s not what he said. He said that the Massachusetts constitution allowed mandatory purchase of health insurance because state constitutions generally allow states to mandate a lot of things, like sending your kids to school or having car insurance. And that their law was right for their citizens given their state budget situation (people getting the government to pay for health care when they could afford it themselves) citing the principle of personal responsibility.

    But that was not applicable to the federal government and that mandating a one-size fits all health care system that required purchase of insurance was wrong and violated the 10th Amendment.

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