Rivals Fail To Knock Out Romney In Debate

January 8, 2012 by staff 

Rivals Fail To Knock Out Romney In DebateRivals Fail To Knock Out Romney In Debate, Once more, the great media consensus was confounded. Saturday night’s debate at St. Anselm’s College in Manchester, N.H., produced another battle among half a dozen presidential contenders, much like a dozen before it. Front-runner Mitt Romney was neither knocked out nor even knocked down. He was scarcely even knocked around.

Once again, the evening ended with the bruises pretty equally distributed among the contestants. And with the New Hampshire primary bearing down on Tuesday, virtually no time remains for Romney’s rivals to bring him down.

It was not supposed to be like this. Not this time. Since the Iowa caucuses earlier in the week, every reporter, commentator and kibitzer paying attention to the Republican presidential decathlon predicted Romney’s five remaining rivals would gang tackle him at St. Anselm’s. Myself included.

But it didn’t happen.

The debate was over before any of Romney’s rivals had landed the big haymaker. Far from catching him in a crossfire, they took just as many shots at each other.

So what was it that stayed the hands of these supposed co-conspirators? Was it the format? Or were the moderators too intent on distributing the confrontations among various pairings?

Within the first half hour, the liveliest interchange was between Rick Santorum, the former senator, and Ron Paul, the current congressman. They feuded over federal spending and size of government and true conservatism. Later they went at it again over who was more truthful about the other. When given a chance to repeat his own denigration of Romney as a manager rather than a leader, Santorum hemmed and hawed.

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