ABC News 1/5 Republican Debate Analysis

It’s about 8:30pm now and it will be over shortly. Here’s my initial reaction and analysis.

I would describe it as an absolute slug fest between every candidate. They all took turns jumping on Ron Paul over foreign policy. Romney and McCain have sparred heavily over immigration and other issues. Thompson and Giuliani have mixed it up over immigration as well.

I will have more updates with clips and continued analysis once it ends in a few minutes.

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Update @ 8:40pm

It’s over and it was a whopper of a Republican debate.

A story on it from ABC News:

With only two full days left before the first-in-the-nation New Hampshire primary, Republican candidates faced off as former Gov. Mitt Romney accusing Sen. John McCain of supporting “amnesty” for illegal immigrants, and sparring with former Gov. Mike Huckabee over support for the Bush administration’s foreign policy.

Sparks flew quickly in the debate, hosted by ABC News, Facebook and WMUR, the local ABC affiliate station. Touching off a heated exchange between Huckabee and Romney, moderator Charlie Gibson asking the Republican rivals, sitting in a semi-circle on a stage at St. Anslem’s College in Manchester, if they agreed with President Bush’s foreign policy.

Defending his previous criticism that the Bush administration’s foreign policy is “arrogant” and a “bunker-mentality,” Huckabee attacked his Republican rival, suggesting he had better foreign policy bona fides.

“When I made those statements, there were times that we gave the world the impression that we were going to do whatever we wanted to do,” Huckabee defended.

Romney shot back: “I don’t agree that the administration suffers from an arrogant bunker mentality,” referring to a claim Huckabee made in a recent article in Foreign Affairs.

“Did you read the article?” Huckabee interjected.

“I did read the article. I read the entire article,” Romney responded.

It got very heated at times. Romney’s face was absolutely angry at certain glances, he looked very befuddled and almost desperate at times when he was receiving attacks by McCain, Thompson, and Huckabee.

I’ll have some clips up in a few minutes, stay tuned.

Update @ 9:28pm

Here are some video highlights:

In my opinion, Romney lost some ground tonight. He looked uneasy taking a lot of hits on his previous record. McCain also took some hits from Romney and Thompson over supporting amnesty.

All-in-all, I think McCain faired fairly well. Ron Paul faired about the same since he always is on his message and usually gets attacked similarly, I wouldn’t have expected anything different.

The winners in my opinion are McCain, Thompson, and Huckabee. I say Huckabee mainly because he skated by a lot of the criticism, sitting and letting the others go at it.

Republicans have another chance tomorrow night (1/6/08) at 8pm on Fox News.

The full video of this debate will be up later tonight so check back if you want to watch it in full.

Update

Here is the entire video of the debate:

Video: ABC News Republican Debate From New Hampshire – 1/5/07