Meet the Press was replaced with David Gregory monitoring the New Hampshire Republican debate. The debate started out with Gregory giving all the candidates a chance to attack Mitt Romney. Ron Paul called it superficial and suggested they talk about the issues.
All the candidates, except Paul, are hawkish on the mideast, especially Iran. Santorum said that Iran is a theocracy and this makes them different, because they want to go to the next life with Allah rather than remain in this worldly mess. I wonder why they haven't already gone. The top leadership is pretty damned old -- it seems like they would have checked out a long time ago if this world is so terrible and the next world is so great. They could have martyred themselves long ago.
Santorum and other hawks who take this line of reasoning regarding Iran are either rationalizing their desire to bomb Iran, or they are so simple-minded on this subject all they can do is present a cartoon version of radical Islamists dreaming of virgins in heaven, going out in a blaze of nuclear glory. Ron Paul is the only candidate with a reasonable position on the mideast and defense spending.
All the candidates said the right things when it came to economic issues, but most of their records in office tell another story. I didn't hear the word "limited" throughout the debate, and, aside from Paul, I didn't hear anyone call to deal with the Fed and create a true free market. I heard of lot of talk about statist tweaks from the right, but none are willing to take the radical measures needed for systemic change.
Gingrich appeared angry and bitter as he brought up the Super Pacs again. Santorum looked dangerous when he talked about Islam and Iran. Perry appeared reasonable, but he's fading. Huntsman, I don't know about. Huntsman looks uncomfortable, and I don't think he has conviction when it comes to limited government and a free market. When Romney criticized Huntsman for helping Obama spread his ideas when Huntsman served as ambassador to China, Huntsman said that America is in trouble if we can't trust one another. Huntsman also said that Romney's rhetoric which dissed Huntsman for supporting Obama's policies and leadership is what's tearing the country apart, and this is what Huntsman's use of "trust" related to.
I don't think any candidate who believes in limited government and a free market should trust Obama's policies and leadership. Huntsman has to deal with this problem is he wants to go anywhere, but it's probably too late. If Huntsman can't stand up and distinguish himself, he's toast.