Around the State
Rick Wilson (GOP strategist, adviser to U.S. Senate candidate Adam Hasner): "Two tiers: Michele Bachmann, Tim Pawlenty, Mitt Romney and Herman Cain. Then everyone else."
Peter Schorsch (SaintPetersblog.com): "Michele Bachmann grabbed at least a share of the trophy tonight by announcing her official entry into the race. But Mitt Romney, positioned literally and physically in the middle of the field, just seems to tower over the rest of his opponents, who can't seem to escape the caricatures of themselves."
Roger Stone (veteran GOP political consultant): "Romney -- solid, steady and previewed a strong response on Romneycare. Tim Pawlenty -- wimped out on taking Romney on over Romneycare -- weak and vague. Bachmann -- dopey, superficial vague. Ron Paul -- same old same old. Santorum -- strong and smooth. Gingrich -- inside player, practiced answers, glib but insincere. Cain -- out of it. I really miss Trump."
Brian Crowley (Crowley Political Report): "Michele Bachmann could be a huge pain for other Republican candidates in Florida's 2012 presidential primary. GOP conservatives and tea party activists will love Bachmann's unyielding stands on economic and social issues. Examples: 'Marriage is between a man and a woman.' 'For children, the best possible way to raise children is to have a mother and father in their life.' 'We need the mother of all repeals of government regulations, including getting rid of the Environmental Protection Agency.' If voter turnout is limited to the kinds of folks who feel as strongly as Bachmann does, there is a very good chance she could do very well -- if not win -- the Florida primary."
John Stemberger (Florida Family Action PAC): "Bachmann won. She captured high ground with the announcement early on and then was clear, strong and persusasive throughout. She is attractive, smart and has an authentic presence, charisma and personal story that resonates with social conservatives, and the tea party. She will inherit oxygen from Huckabee, Palin and Gingrich, and as a result I predict she will win Iowa, the state of her birth."
Damien Filer (Progress Florida): "This debate was a showcase in the politics of fear: the fear of women's choice, the fear of Muslim Americans, the fear of immigrants, the fear of civil rights for gays, the fear of an EPA that protects our air and water. The real winners are the American people who found out tonight just how out of step the entire Republican field is with mainstream values."
Patricia Sullivan (Florida Tea Party Network): "Thomas Sowell said '... political rhetoric is no substitute for competence.' Newt made some smart comments, but someone has to tell him to stop pointing his finger so much. Michele's announcement about running for president at a presidential debate made me wonder who is giving her advice and why is she listening. Romney has some great help. He came out looking ill, but staff fixed him up by the end, and somewhere along the way gave him sports updates. Rick came across a bit whiney, and Tim a bit quiet. Herman has a great way of staying on message and he projects strength. Ron Paul was Ron Paul. Kudos to them all. John King will be so embarrassed when he watches the debate and hears his constant grunting in the background."
Contact Kenric Ward at email@example.com or at (772) 801-5341.