GOP Debate – Were There Any Winners?

The first major Republican debate took place last night in Iowa. Eight candidates attended and exchanges shots at each other and at Obama and Democrats. But were there any clear winners?

When I perused the headlines this morning, it appears that Bachmann, Pawlenty and Romney got most of the press coverage. A distant fourth and fifth were Gingrich and Paul. Rick Santorum, Herman Cain and John Huntsman barely got honorable mention in most media reports.

It seems the highlight of the debate was the verbal battle between Minnesotans Bachmann and Pawlenty. Pawlenty attacked Bachmann’s record of accomplishments in Congress and referred them as non-existent. Bachmann fired back at Pawlenty by comparing his accomplishments as governor to sounding a lot like President Obama.

Pawlenty also went after Romney for the healthcare program he signed into law in Massachusetts and how similar it was to Obamacare. Romney did his best to defend the Massachusetts health care program by pointing out the differences between it and Obamacare.

But perhaps the two winners of the debate were the two Republicans who did not attend and have as yet not declared their official candidacy – Rick Perry and Sarah Palin. The two not-as-yet declared possible candidates received as much attention in the media as the 8 declared candidates who did show.

At this point, even though the polls show Romney still the Republican front runner, I’m not sure that any of them came out strong as a clear winner in the debate. Even though it’s still early in the campaign season, not having a strong Republican front runner at this stage leaves this author a little concerned.