With the Iowa primaries over and Mitt Romney crowned the winner by an apparent technicality, the expectation was that his fellow competitors would use whatever avenue they had available to show why they are more deserving of the Republican nomination. That perfect avenue presented itself last night in yet another Republican debate, but the other five Iowa primary losers on stage were more satisfied with fighting each other, instead of distinguishing themselves from Willard.
The former Massachusetts governor was subject to the first attack of the night but that early fire was quickly overshadowed by testy exchanges between Ron Paul, Rick Santorum, and Newt Gingrich.
It’s been more than three weeks since the Republican presidential candidates have been on stage together. The last time they gathered,
Gingrich led in the polls and Michele Bachmann was still in the race.
It was a different scenario at Saturday night’s debate, sponsored by ABC News and Yahoo News.
Romney, who virtually tied Santorum in the Iowa caucuses and holds a double-digit lead in the New Hampshire polls, was expected to be a target.
There was one early attack.
Meanwhile, Romney stood idle by with a smile on his face.
How dumb was this strategy to attack each other instead of the leader? After the debate, one of ABC’s political analysis observed that Ron Paul was on the attack – going after Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich – but did not lay one finger on the leader Mitt Willard Romney. This insight led to the conclusion that Paul was like a puppet on a string. “I’m sure if you rip open Paul’s shirt,” he said, “you’ll see one of Mitt’s sons at the control.”
If you are trying to win your party’s nomination, but are too scared to use a debate to point out Romney’s non-existent record, then you have no business running for the most powerful office in the nation.