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 on September 12. However, each of them possesses 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 after her comments on “The Today Show,” where she claimed that a young woman who had received the HPV injection 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 is no link between getting the vaccine and mental retardation.

Furthermore, Bachmann took a shot at Rick Perry for using the HPV mandate for purely political reasons. Bachmann claimed that Merck made millions of dollars from this executive order, drawing attention to the fact that Perry’s former chief of staff had become a Merck lobbyist. But, as CNN pointed out, this claim was false. 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 gold.

Rick Perry is not the perfect conservative candidate either. For one thing, Perry referred to Social Security as a “Ponzi scheme.” Other GOP hopefuls, including Mitt Romney, have pounced upon this comment. But, in the September 12th debate, Perry vowed that he would protect the program. This contradicts the stance he takes in his book “Fed Up!” where he wrote 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 fence along the U.S. and Mexico border, which earned him a lot of hits from the other candidates. In 2001, he passed the Texas DREAM Act, which gave in-state college tuition to the children of illegal immigrants. That won’t sit well with hard-lined conservatives. To this voting bloc, 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, keeps repeating the same talking points.

Who won the debate? The Tea Party movement. They have made strides in this country in the last couple years, and this debate is what came out of the movement. That’s America for you.


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