As I watch the GOP debate online, it becomes very clear who is and who isn’t a top tier candidate.

If you ever want to figure that out, all you have to do is listen to their answers to the opening question. The moderator asked about national debt, the front-runners answered the question while promoting their policies. The lower level candidates used the question as a platform to talk about their issue: no taxes, trade with China, illegal immigration, being a crazy conspiracy loon, etc.

UPDATE: Clearly this lady is at the wrong debate. She asked as a follow-up to the debt question, “What kind of sacrifices would you ask of the American people to lower the debt?” Not: “How much government spending would you cut?”

Did I just hear Mitt Romney say “I don’t stay up a lot at night worrying about how much taxes the rich pay?” Three things: 1. Isn’t this a Republican debate? 2. I thought Huckabee was the one who “hated” rich people. 3. Isn’t Romney the wealthiest of all the candidates?

Fred just followed that up with: “I want to get in Mitt’s position where I don’t have to worry about taxes.” heh.

McCain and Rudy yapping on “climate change” reminds me why I don’t like them. Now, Mitt and Huckabee jump on board to help me not like them.

Will someone please get Alan Keyes off my computer screen and shut him up? Why is he there? I already think they should have gotten rid of Ron Paul, Tancredo and Hunter. Despite any positives they may bring, they have no chance of winning the nominatino or any state primary. We don’t need to hear from them. That is 500 times more true of Alan Keyes. He can’t win anything and won’t win anything.

I find it curious that the Des Moines paper have eliminated two Democratic candidates for not polling high enough and not having an actual campaign in Iowa. Are you telling me that Alan Keyes is polling anything and has any campaign in Iowa. We need less candidates not more and not Alan Keyes.

The more I hear from these guys, the worse I feel about voting.

Fred rips the NEA: Good. The New Hampshire NEA endorsed Clinton and Huckabee: Bad.

I wonder how many times Duncan Hunter can say “Communist China.” He gets it into every answer.
UPDATE: I took out a reference that could be misunderstood and I didn’t want to go through that again.

I don’t want to hear Huckabee talking about “bringing our nation together.” He’s just about to talk me out of any chance of voting for him. He sounds too much like the last governor from Arkansas who grew up in Hope – and that’s not a good thing for a Republican.

Huckabee comes off much better as the plucky underdog, not as the favored front-runner.

“The correct answers are out there” on the internet says Ron Paul, does that include all the kook conspiracy theories that he seems to nuzzle up to?

It’s laughable that Rudy said he is the most transparent of any candidate.

Thompson continues to go after the moderator. Good for him. She asked about the NIE and he said, “That’s probably the best question asked all day.”

I don’t want to hear Huckabee quoting Scripture about how much money the government should spend. Did I just write that as a evangelical Christian. Yeah, I did.

If you want to read some Romney cheerleaders – go to NRO’s Corner. Good night. Everything Mitt says is just great and everything Huckabee says is somehow an attack on Romney. Ugh. They should team up with Hugh Hewitt for objective coverage of the debate.

The moderator is horrible. She wants to be with her own and conservatives are not her own. She keeps interupting stupid answers to her own stupid questions. If I hear her say “Thank you. Thank you.” one more time…

Huckabee did give a somewhat apology for some of his recent comments. That was good. (He gave the real thing after the debate to Huckabee personally – even better.)

All in all, a fantastically horrible debate which was hijacked by candidates how didn’t need to be in there. It took away too much time from those who are trying to move up like Fred and McCain, as well as those who are the top like Huckabee, Mitt and Rudy.

Great round-up here. Summation: Debate was horrible in every fashion. Fred won, but too little, too late? Mitt helped himself because it was a dry, boring format. Huckabee didn’t hurt himself too bad (just with me), but the folksy schtick is got to go. McCain and Rudy were lost. Paul, Tancredo and Hunter were basically non-existent. Keyes was annoying beyond belief and had no business on the stage, which is exactly why they put him up there, while leaving Kucinich and Gravel off the Democratic side.