Friday, January 20, 2012
iReporters on South Carolina GOP debate: Plenty of fireworks, but little substance

Last night, the four remaining GOP primary contenders squared off for a debate in South Carolina, for the second time this week. The story of the night was Newt Gingrich, who charged out of the gate by brusquely criticizing moderator John King for opening the debate with a question about Gringrich's ex-wife, who recently conducted a supposedly incriminating tell-all interview about the former Speaker of the House.

 

iReporters who tuned in pretty much agreed with each other: There were lots of fiery moments, but the candidates didn't offer clear or direct answers on the issues.

 

 

Independent voter David Kronmiller of Burbank, CA, thinks that Gingrich walked away as the clear winner of the debate, with Rick Santorum a close second. "If you listen to that crowd [reaction], Gingrich helped himself with his answer to John King," he said. "It was one of the more memorable moments from this election so far."

 

 

Atlanta, GA, resident Adriana Maxwell believes that the debaters were more interested in delivering soundbites than substantive discussion. "The candidates do what the moderator allows them. But it has become clear these debates are about supplying red meat to the base," she said. "It will give the Democratic Party plenty of soundbites in the general election."

 

 

Cliff Olney of Watertown, NY, said that Gingrich was hypocritical to slam moderator John King's question about his ex-wife when the former Speaker was one of the lead voices denouncing Bill Clinton for his affair with Monica Lewinski. "Not a snowball's chance in hell will this stuff play well," he said. "I'm glad CNN gave these guys the opportunity to talk so voters can see what they would do as President."

 

 

But Omekongo Dibinga of Washington, D.C., found himself as an unlikely defender of Gingrich. He doesn't support Gingrich's positions on the issues, but said questions about the Speaker's past marriages and infidelities are largely irrelevant and distracting to presidential campaigns. "People in America are generally forgiving of people who admit their shortcomings," said. "That was the problem with Herman Cain. He took no responsibility for the sexual allegations and let the story go. Newt took it head on."

 


And Kingwood, TX, resident Egberto Willies believes that many of the candidates' statements were factually inaccurate or contradicted previously-held positions, yet went unchallenged by the moderator, which he sees as a disservice to our political discourse. Rather than engaging in debate, "[The candidates] were playing to the sensibilities of the audience and state, which put them in direct opposition with many of their past statements," he said.

 

What's your take on last night's debate, and the continuing GOP race for the party's nomination? If you've ever wanted to play pundit, now's your chance: Share your thoughts with iReport.

5 Comments
January 20, 2012
Click to view rkhatal's profile

Newt went after media but what is ironic is that media has made him what he is.  Debates and news stories that run in media have given Newt attention that he could not get early on.  With one wrongly worded question John King has given GOP nomination to Newt.  Imagine if the question was asked later and had used Perry's line as well, it would have been a very different ball game.  "Gov Perry has said that how can we trust someone who cheats on his spouse and now with revelation that your ex-wife has made about you, a time, when you were impeaching Clinton - how can US public believe you on what you are saying now"

January 20, 2012
Click to view Virgen's profile

I have had the opportunity of watching TV all republicans that are desperate of being president of USA.

Their mission is to attack without any respect our actual president.  They are arguing as mayor problem 

is the absence of jobs for the American people, and how the  government is managing the taxes for  big corporations. But how in the world, people do not recognized that must American Companies have their source of employment overseas, even Customer services for Financial services,and Aero lines are located in other countries.  The problem is not illegal immigration,  is the greed of the corporates for having more profit, but they are not caring about American people.

 

January 20, 2012
Click to view Virgen's profile

I have had the opportunity of watching TV all republicans that are desperate of being president of USA.

Their mayor mission is to attack without any respect our actual president.  They are arguing as mayor problem 

Is the absence of jobs for the American people, and how the government is managing the taxes for big corporations? But how in the world people do not recognized that must American Companies, have their source of employment overseas? Even Customer services for Financial and Aero lines are located in other countries.  The problem is not illegal immigration; it is the greed of the corporates for having more profit, but not caring about American people

 

January 20, 2012
Click to view llazlo's profile

I really wish that Mr. Obama was asked questions like these by the media before the last election. I find it frustrating that Charles Wrangle, and admitted tax cheat was recently recognized by the president, yet Mitt Romney is castigated in the news for stating that he paid 15% in taxes. I would like to see an even playing field with real live investigative, objective, non biased, journalism.

Mr. Obama's past is still pretty much a mystery and I would like to see many of those questions asked, investigated, and the answers verified.

January 21, 2012
Click to view azradar's profile

All the Republican debates that has been aired for me has been  fun to see,  such a$$ holes as they are.  People did you ever stop to think, it's all about COLOR of the mans skin Obama's skin nothng more.  Yes this country especially the south are still down on BLACKS some in the north as well.  I hear it a lot that Oboma is a socilist an the country is going down an Obama has did noting to emprove it, sad to say Obama isn't tooting his own horn if he did you would see that he is a good President an has started this country in the right direction.  The Rep's say other wise PUT THERE WRONG.

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