What else is there to do when you get beat like that, besides start calling names and politicizing Big Bird? It is time for SOMEONE to pull up and his big boy pants and get ready for round two.
Cross-Posted: TobyToons.com (Conservative Political Cartoons)
Ouch. I don’t know how there can still be undecideds out there, but after debate #1, I think there are less of you.
Cross-Posted: TobyToons.com (Conservative Political Cartoons)
Frank Luntz: “I’ve never seen it in a debate and I’ve been doing these debates now for 16 years – a standing ovation in the middle of a debate!”
Dick Morris said, “Newt, Newt, Newt. He was absolutely terrific tonight…he might win on Saturday!”
Kathryn Lopez of National Review said, “This will get watched and re-watched.”
Even the Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza said, “This was the former House Speaker’s best debate of the entire race…Gingrich let ‘er rip tonight and had the exuberant crowd…eating out of his hand.”
On Saturday, the Florida Family Policy Council and the Central Florida Tea Party hosted a debate between Florida Republican Senate candidates Adam Hasner, George LeMieux, Mike McCalister, and Craig Miller.
I’ll share my thoughts about the debate in general later, but wanted to post this about what happened after the debate first.
Those who are following Florida political news may have noticed a bit of a kerfuffle this week between McCalister and a veterans’ group called the Stolen Valor Task Force, who have questioned some of the claims made by McCalister during the campaign.
After the debate, reporters were chatting with different candidates, and Marc Caputo with the Miami Herald approached McCalister. The second Caputo mentioned the issue with the veterans’ group, things got interesting.
McCalister claimed, “I did not say testify in front of Congress,” became very agitated, and he and his handler hastily headed for the exit.
Here’s a link to Caputo’s post and video:
For a few days now, U.S. Senate candidate Mike McCalister has been ducking questions about how he represents his military record on the campaign trail. We caught up with him Saturday.
And yes, I am the one in the appropriately-Sunshine-yellow shirt in the background. Here’s my video:
The excitement starts at the 2:30 mark, when Caputo asks his question and then the wild chase to the exits begins. You may also recognize Shark Tank blogger Javier Manjarres with his “SharkCam” following the action.
McCalister had a disorganized stack of notes with him on stage during the debate, seemed to almost contradict himself a few times, sent out hysterical emails last week trying to blame everyone on the planet instead of just answering the darn questions from the veterans’ group, and now today’s debacle. It’s a shame to waste that all that energy in a highly visible and mismanaged race.
Run as the underdog and lose, fine. Do it repeatedly and it gets harder to convince people to take you seriously…especially when the moment you finally get press attention, it’s for a hot mess like this…yikes.
Here’s Manjarres’ video and post from yesterday:
The beginning of the video shows McCalister interrupting one of the panelists as he asked a question about McCalister’s statements about abortion in his book, “I know what the book says, I wrote it.” Personally, I thought this was a bit rude, and from talking to others who attended the debate, I wasn’t the only one with this opinion.
The audio on Manjarres’ video is better than mine but it shows the same events that mine did, with McCalister calmly answering questions for a few minutes and then he and Sager immediately shutting down the interview as soon as Caputo asked his question.
And here’s a longer article by Caputo about the inconsistencies in McCalister’s messaging and the increasing questions he is facing:
For a U.S. Senate candidate campaigning against truth-stretching politicians, Republican Mike McCalister is facing questions about whether he padded his resume and misrepresented his military service.
The retired U.S. Army Reserves colonel has fashioned himself on the campaign trail as an “in the trenches” candidate who participated in “black ops” and even testified before Congress on national security.
But McCalister now admits he never spoke before Congress. He denies ever saying “I testified.” However, he did say the phrase on at least two occasions at campaign events, according to witnesses and videos posted on YouTube.com that stretch back to his 2010 unsuccessful bid for governor.
“If there was any misrepresentation, I accept responsibility,” McCalister, a 59-year-old from Plant City, said Saturday in his first public statements about the issue.
Also, McCalister’s website used to describe him as “retired Special Operations Colonel.” It was changed after retired military officers with a group called “Stolen Valor” began contacting the campaign and the press with complaints about the way McCalister represented his service.
…McCalister’s campaign accused Winn and Stolen Valor of being a “front group” for fellow Republican Senate candidate Adam Hasner. Both Hasner and Winn deny the charges; McCalister has furnished no evidence to show there’s a link between the two.
Get real. McCalister had a terrible weekend because of his own words and actions. Unless you’re suggesting that other candidates have mind control powers over McCalister, he and his advisers are the only ones to blame here.
YouTube is matching up members of Congress for debates on hot issues in a new channel launching Wednesday.The channel, dubbed YouTube Town Hall, is filled with debates surrounding the budget, economy, energy, Afghanistan, education and health care. Initially topics were chosen by popularity on Google News and Google web search over the past year, but YouTube plans to accept questions from viewers in the future.
Each debate features two members of Congress who explain their points of view on the given topic in videos made especially for the Town Hall channel.
Sides are not necessarily drawn along party lines, and viewers only find out what party each debater belongs to (unless they recognize him or her, of course) after they choose which person’s perspective they support. Those votes will be tallied and displayed on a leader board to show who is “winning” the debate.
The first scheduled debate of the 2012 Republican presidential nominating race has been postponed from May to September because of a lack of candidates.
The May 2 debate at the Ronald Reagan presidential library will be moved to September 14 to allow time for Republicans to enter the race for the right to challenge President Barack Obama in 2012.
I think they should have stuck to their guns and ran the debate with those who’ve announced and not worried about those sitting on the fence!