Replay: Debate rerun on FOX News Channel from midnight until 1:30 a.m. for those who missed it or want to check it out again.
I was interested in tonight's Republican Presidential debate. Maybe it was because I hadn't paid a lot of attention before now.
Here are some observations about the debate from New Hampshire that was carried on Fox News Channel. These are notes I took during the evening so they are by no means exact quotes but, rather, paraphrases of what was said.
Because national security is my number one issue, the discussion about the War on Terrorism was the most interesting to me.
Ron Paul: That guy is a Republican? In Texas? He talks and thinks like a dem. He's anti-war to the extreme and I applauded Mike Huckabee for challenging him over the war. Paul made some zinger comments that were way out there ... such as his comment that the U.S. invited 9/11 because our troops were in Saudi Arabia and the Muslims didn't want us there. He said we should "mind our own business" and stay out of there.
Chris Wallace, who seemed incredulous, followed up by demanding, "Are you suggesting we should take our marching orders from al-Qaida?"
Ron Paul responded, "If they want us out, we should stay out!" which received a chorus of boos from the audience.
Huckabee's response to Paul: "We [the U.S.] should not lose our honor [in this war]; it is more important than the Republican Party." I concur.
Duncan Hunter said we can win in Iraq ... "It's called Victory," he said. "If you think we're going to be there a long time you don't understand the determination of the United States Marines and the United States Army."
Hunter also cited how much safer the Anbar Province by saying a year ago there were 1,350 attacks there but now violence is down 80%, and civilian casualties are down 74%.
Tom Tancredo said, "This war is with radical Islam. Iraq is a battlefield in that war. He continued, "Political correctness is going to get us killed." He said he would not send troops into war with their hands tied behind their backs. I agree with that ... our military in Iraq has too many restrictions making it difficult for them to operate in a war zone.
I liked Rudy's observation of the three dem frontrunners in the presidential race, stating none of them had run a city, a state, or a business ... and emphasizing that we don't need on-the-job training for President.
John McCain impressed me a little more tonight ... he appeared to be almost the senior statesman when responding to questions about the war.
There were some good-natured jabs at Fred Thompson's absense at the very beginning when Britt Hume asked the candidates how they felt about Thompson skipping the New Hampshire debate and announcing on Jay Leno's show tonight. Some of the quips were pretty funny.
No one jumped off the screen at me ... and I still don't have a favorite. I've been too busy with local politics and not paying a lot of attention ... I'm listening but not bowled over by anyone yet.
The next debate is October 21, 2007, in Florida.