Baxter: Tea Party Debate was not Spectacular

Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann seem to be the forerunners for GOP candidacy, as was made clear in CNN’s Tea Party debate, which was held on September 12. However, each of them have their own flaws that I don’t want in a conservative Republican candidate.

  

For Michele Bachmann, the Gardasil/HPV drug debate has turned into a big mess because of her comments on “The Today Show, where she claimed that a young woman had received the HPV injection and was left with mental retardation. This, along with a slam at Rick Perry about mandating the drug in 2007 for school girls in Texas, left Bachmann making a claim she had no right to make. The Food and Drug Administration said that there was no link to what Bachmann was claiming.

Also, Bachmann took a shot at Rick Perry for using this HPV mandate for purely political  reasons. Bachmann claimed that Merck made millions of dollars from this mandate. She pointed out that Perry’s former chief of staff had become a Merck lobbyist. But, her claim was false, as CNN points out. The mandate didn’t last long enough for Merck to earn millions of dollars. And as for the lobbyist, yes, that was true. For Bachmann and her waning campaign, that was striking for gold.

Now, Rick Perry is not the perfect conservative candidate either. Perry referred to Social Security as a “Ponzi scheme” in which the other GOP hopefuls pounced upon, including Mitt Romney. However, in this debate, Perry vowed that he would protect the program, while in his book “Fed Up!”, he said that the program is unconstitutional. A flip-flopper? It looks like it. And if a candidate flip-flops, that candidate can’t be trusted.

Perry also has a problem with illegal immigration. In the debate, he affirmed his opposition to a border-fence along the U.S. and Mexico border, which earned a lot of hits from the other candidates. In 2001, he passed the Texas DREAM Act, which gave in-state college tuition to–children of illegal immigrants. That won’t sit well with hard-lined conservatives. To a hard-lined conservative, illegal immigration should be dealt with by transporting them back to where they came from.

In conclusion, I didn’t get much out of the CNN/Tea Party debate. Ron Paul was loony as usual, and Herman Cain, while good, still keeps repeating the same talking points. Who won the debate? The Tea Party movement. They have made more strides in this country in the last couple years, and this debate is what came out of this movement. That’s America for you.

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