Last night, Republican presidential candidates once again met up to debate this issues. This time, the contest was backed by the Tea Party, broadcast on CNN, and the candidates, as usual, tried to one up each other.
The attention was, again, focused on the two supposed front runners, Mitt Romney and Rick Perry, but Congresswoman Michelle Bachman was set on making her presence known and perhaps chipping away at Perry’s supporters, many of whom were once apart of Bachman’s Tea Party base.
Throughout the debate, the GOP candidates took shots at President Obama’s handling of the economy, the wars in Iraq and Afganistan, and the health care bill. But one of the most astounding moments of the night came when CNN’s Wolf Blitzer asked Texas Congressman Ron Paul about his views on health care.
Blitzer asked Paul a hypothetical question about an uninsured 30-year-old who needed life-saving treatment. Paul, who is a libertarian, said that the man would be responsible for his own choices and subsequent treatment. Blitzer went onto press Paul, asking him, “Are you saying that society should just let him die?” Paul didn’t give a definite answer, but an audience member shouted out and enthusiastic “Yeah,” while a few others broke out in applause.
This scene reminded me of the uncomfortable moment in the last Republican debate when Rick Perry received a raucous applause over the mention that he had presided over 234 executions, more than any other governor in history. The apparent bloodlust some GOP voters have (but who will, ironically, tout their pro-life stance) is troubling.
The election is over 14-months away, and it’s clear the candidates have already come out swinging. Although we may want to ignore the coming debates, it’s imporant to pay attention to the issues in order to make an informed vote next fall.