The mainstream pundits can spin this one ’til the cows come home but it will not change the fact that Rick Perry was seriously wounded tonight in the CNN/Tea Party Express debate in Florida.
Michele Bachmann seemed to know she had a job to do if she is going to scratch her way back up into the top tier and I think she gave it a fantastic, brave try tonight. She hit Perry hard by bringing up a little bit about the special interest money and campaign contributions to Perry’s campaign in connection with the mandatory HPV vaccination order and drug company Merck. Bachmann went where many of us have been writing about for weeks. She decided to expose more of Rick Perry’s dirt and did it right during the debate. It was a brilliant shot and seemed to surprise Perry that Michele Bachmann would have the guts to really go after him tonight. Rick Santorum also got in a strong shot on Perry regarding the forced inoculation issue as well.
Rick Perry even got booed tonight when trying to somehow explain how he supported taxpayer-funded tuition for illegal alien children in Texas. Again, my predictions of an almost certain Perry meltdown fairly quickly is on the horizon unless the media just keeps propping him up beyond all reason like John McCain the last time. Otherwise, Perry will continue to self-destruct as voters get to know him. Even just a little bit of exposure and research into his past will cause supporters to run to another campaign.
With the emphasis and media buildup still focusing largely on only Rick Perry and Mitt Romney, the other candidates are still having difficulty getting enough time to make their points and get their messages across. Since Perry had a rough night and Mitt Romney still had a lot of time to speak, it was a fairly strong night for Romney except for continuing to stay on the wrong side of the Social Security argument.
Ron Paul was sharp and came across more focused tonight by giving more direct and polished answers. Although, he was still not afforded much time to respond or enough questions to answer. Same problem for Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich, the rest of the field continues to be fighting for minutes spared from the Perry/Romney bias and media-induced conflict.
Rick Perry was the definite loser tonight, the rest of the candidates were quite strong in their own right. Michele Bachmann was probably the winner because she needed to hurt Perry tonight and she had the guts to do just that so I will give this one to her. She just proved that she is willing to fight this out over the long haul and knew she had to come out swinging if her campaign is going to survive. For tonight, she seems to be back in the game at least until another new horse enters the race.