There was lightning in the skies of New Hampshire last night, and a crackle in the hall where ten Republican contenders for the White House lined up to debate for the nation on CNN.
Unanimity was not the theme here. McCain, Giuliani, Romney, Huckabee and more threw their lines and punches in a lot directions on the Iraq war, on immigration, on abortion — on the sitting Republican president.
George Bush took a licking from his own would-be successors. So did Hillary Clinton and the Democrats.
This hour On Point: we roll the tape, and hear top analysts and you, on Republicans in debate.
Quotes from the Show:
"It's a strange field. You've basically got 4 people at this point who could argue that they are the likely nominee. Three people that you could argue are the frontrunners. Senator [Fred] Thompson when does make these races — I don't think that he's a frontrunner — but his supporters are very bullish on his chances." Mark Halperin
"What I saw was basically quite a lot of dissonance among the candidates, in particular immigration. I think it's very sad John McCain is the only one standing up for a reasonable immigration policy. ... We need to see that we need to do something about immigration and there was less consensus on that than I would have liked to see." Diana Furchtgott-Roth"I think when President Bush, as many people anticipate, changes course in some way in September ... you will hear a lot of relief on the part of Senator McCain for sure and probably Giulianni and Romney. Their strategists believe that the brand of the party has taken a lot of hits because of the Iraq war and that new direction, if President Bush embarks on one, is gonna involve not just the Bush administration but Republicans in Congress and in a presidential trail looking for an answer of what people propose." Mark Halperin
Mark Halperin, political analyst for Time magazine and ABC.;
Diana Furchtgott-Roth, columnist for the New York Sun and a Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute. She has served under President Bush, first as Chief Economist in the Labor Department (2003 to 2005);
Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst.
This program aired on June 6, 2007.