The Washington Post

Perry scares and Gingrich gets dodgy

Not much from last night’s debate but some minor confirmations.

First, Rick Perry scares me as a potential president. I don’t want to question his intellect, because there are all kinds of intelligence, but let’s say his version eludes me. I am referring to his comment on cutting all foreign aid to Pakistan in last night’s debate. Rep. Michele Bachmann schooled him on the complexities of that region and why, given the Pakistanis’ nuclear capacity and intelligence capability — admittedly unreliable — cutting them loose isn’t as attractive as it sounds.

I am beginning to think Perry has a George W. Bush complex. The Aggie watched the Yalie for eight years and seethed. “I’ll show them a real Texan.”

On the spectrum’s opposite end stood the party’s new poll leader. Newt Gingrich was the professor last night to Perry’s gunslinger, while Rep. Ron Paul presented his coherent Libertarian philosophy, and the “good friends,” Jon Huntsman and Mitt Romney, fought.

With the notable exception of immigration — where he took the sensible, if radical by Republican standards, position that we shouldn’t destroy families that have been here for years by deporting the parents and grandparents who came here illegally — Gingrich delivered a policy options seminar, not a position, on some issues, like he did on Iran. Perhaps, unconsciously, Newt is struggling with the reality that his movie and book tour might end in the White House, a sentiment he shares with Democrats.


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