At the Republican Presidential Debate held on September 12, Michelle Bachman advanced her cause. She answered questions well, made her points, and kept a calm yet serious demeanor. She did enter into the sniping once but later made up for it when she told the moderator to ask the other candidate when pressed about his position on an issue.
Several candidates showed some weakness. This was especially true of the front runners, Rick Perry and Mitt Romney. After starting with a carryover of the sniping from the previous debate, they managed to get by this and onto the issues. This is where the weakness started to appear.
Romney once again defended RomneyCare in Massachusetts. His argument is that it is a states' rights issue and therefore acceptable if done at the state level. This is different than ObamaCare, which he is against, which is a federal program. So.....it is OK for the state to mandate that I spend my money in a certain way but not the federal government. This is a distinction without a difference. There should be no way that any governmental agency can force me to buy something just for the privilege of living. This concept is continuing to be troubling.
Rick Perry trotted out the same state rights' excuse when addressing the issue of Texas allowing illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition. Whether the state can do it is not the point. The point is, it is the wrong policy. If we continue to reward people for entering our country illegally, why should they stop. Also, once these people have a college education, they can not legally hold a job as they are still illegally in this country. This point seems to never be considered.
Perry also was forced to defend his position on requiring (with opt-out) young girls to have an HPV vaccination. Romney attacked him for using an executive order to implement this rather than going through the legislative process. Perry admitted he should have done it differently but defended having the requirement. Bachman and Santorum then attacked Perry on the issue of the government requiring anyone to have a vaccination for something that doesn't affect others. Perry's actions seem to indicate that he feels that government knows better than we do. I do not agree with this premise.
Ron Paul gained some ground with his libertarian views on domestic issues but lost all of that and more on the issue of international security. His isolationism and allowing Iran, and anyone else, to obtain nuclear weapons is simply inviting another attack on US soil. This is especially disconcerting on the day after 9/11.
Newt Gingrich was his usual glib self and very entertaining. However, he did not really advance his cause in any way.
Herman Cain stuck with his 9-9-9 plan but didn't really do much else.
Rick Santorum had good answers and comments but his delivery was questionable. He came across as either passionate, frustrated, or panicked depending on your view. I was just not comfortable for some reason with this.
I have wondered previously why John Huntsman was in attendance. I am still wondering.