YouTube Debate Roundup - Rolling Stone
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YouTube Debate Roundup

All I can say is I hope the general election features one of these YouTube debates.

With gay brigadier generals and heavily armed desert rats asking the questions, I could almost stomach watching Duncan Hunter and Tom Tancredo’s responses. And bravo to the kid who pressed Ron Paul on the trilateral commission and the North American Union. It’s nice to see someone actually reads the candidate’s platforms.

To the substance:

The nasty, anti-immigrant underbelly of the GOP was proudly on display tonight’s early moments — a real boon to Democratic prospects among the Univision vote in Florida where the debate was held.

I loved the Giuliani/Romney dogfight — so much for Reagan’s commandment about thou shalt not speak ill of a fellow Republican. I almost snorged my beer out my nose when Romney earnestly pressed Rudy about whether he would be so “UnAmerican” as to randomly stop Spanish speaking gardeners and ask them for their IDs. Shit man, random stops and unAmerican searches are Rudy’s signature civil rights violation. Just ask any black man in Brooklyn.

Romney had his worst night of the season. He’s just not a very nimble political talent. Mitt seemed to get knocked on his heels by Rudy’s goofy “sanctuary Mansion” attack. Getting tongue lashed by the former POW McCain about water boarding — about which Mitt said he’d turn to Blackwater exec Cofer Black for guidance — was one of the few must-see moments of the debate. And he really got weird in his response about whether the bible were literally true. Color me ignorant, but can the New Testament and the Book of Mormon both be 100 percent true?

Rudy took his lumps as ever on immigration and abortion but did nothing to hurt himself. And his King Kong campaign video was the best of the bunch. Today’s allegations that he misused city funds to finance his affair with Judy, however, could really sting.

Huckabee was on tonight. Love him or hate him, he’s comfortable in his own skin, he doesn’t have Romney’s deer-in-headlights moments where he’s trying to hone in on the least-offensive answer. He knows where he stands and speaks with confidence about positions he knows some people hate — like his scholarships for undocumented students.

Thompson and Huckabee have flipped roles in this race. Huckabee used to be the comic relief, and Thompson was the great Godly hope. No longer. Thompson seems to have relegated himself to throwing darts from the sidelines. And the debates are more fun for it. What can I say, he’s a better supporting actor than leading man.

Listening to Huckabee talk in truly non-cartoonish ways about the golden rule and Jesus’ avoidance of politics, you understand why he’s now the evangelical heartthrob. It really wouldn’t surprise me if this morphs into a two-man Huckabee/Rudy race in the next few weeks.

McCain demonstrated his mettle in taking on Mitt about torture, but also his unmitigated dickishness attacking Ron Paul out of the blue as some sort of Nazi-appeasing-isolationist pussy. Paul’s comeback about taking in more money from soldiers and their families than any other candidate was his best moment in an otherwise weak debate.

The less said about Tancredo and Hunter the better.

What was your favorite moment from the debate?


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