The debate is on.  I came in about 8 minutes late, just in time to hear Romney, Giuliani, McCain and Thompson take each other down.  It got nasty for a little while.  Mostly, I’m interested in Rudy, Mitt and Huckabee at this point, so my comments will focus on them.
Huck’s first question:  How does faith relate to politics?  He doesn’t answer the question directly, but he waxes eloquent on the sanctity of human life after joking that he’s going to stand up there, let all the other candidates beat up on each other, and then run for president.  He points out that Republican candidates should focus on Democrats, not on kicking each other.
He sounds great doing it, and people recognize it. There is big applause at the end, so big that it actually runs over into the next question.  This could be a great night for Huckabee.

It switches to health care, where they discuss Romney’s plan. He has a great response to him defending his plan on health care.  At which point, Huckabee jumps in and advocates…….personal responsibility and power to the consumer???  He advocates changing the health of the nation, rather than the health care system, as 80% of money spent on health care goes to chronic diseases–work on changing some of those things.  Again, huge applause.

Giuliani gets a question about education, as teachers hated him.  His solution?  More choice, because he cares about the children and because parents–not the government–should be ultimately responsible for their childrens’ education. met your match with the schools.

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Posted by Matthew Lee Anderson

Matthew Lee Anderson is the Founder and Lead Writer of Mere Orthodoxy. He is the author of Earthen Vessels: Why Our Bodies Matter to our Faith and The End of Our Exploring: A Book about Questioning and the Confidence of Faith. Follow him on Twitter or on Facebook.

One Comment

  1. […] Despite a very strong debate performance, Mike Huckabee faces several significant challenges that he will have to overcome in the next ten weeks.  I’ve been overwhelmingly positive about Huckabee, and right now, I don’t see much reason to stop being so.  But for those just getting to know the guy, here are some of the downsides.1) Sadly, Huckabee is a big-government proponent, which isn’t going to play well at all with the fiscal conservatives. In addition to Erick’s article, consider Rob Port’s case against Huckabee (Ht: Instapundit). I don’t know that I agree that conservatism and federalism are the same, but I am concerned that Huckabee wants to build a nanny-state. He is in a bind, too, since he clearly can’t afford to change his mind on this issue (nor would he, I imagine, just to win the nomination).  But it may not be all that bad–his answers tonight on health care and social security were both sufficiently personal to appease me. 2) Taxes. Club for Growth called him a “mixed bag” on tax and economic issues. That is, however, better than the doomsday language I’ve heard some fiscal conservatives use. Also, one person told me that Arkansas has actually prospered during Huckabee’s tenure as governor. […]

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