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In order to keep up with the nature of free, spirited debate, I wanted to place the chat feature at the top of the homepage. This ensures people can come here and share their views on anything they wish and not have it be related to any specific discussion. Here, people can share ideas, links, and views "unmoderated" and an their own pace. To me, this makes The Elephant in the Room blog truly a place for debate.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Jon Huntsman Drops Out - Fox News South Carolina Republican Debate January 16th, 2012

And then there were five. News reports are out this morning claiming former Utah governor Jon Huntsman will drop his bid for the GOP presidential nomination.

Fox News:


Huntsman, the third-place finisher in the New Hampshire primary who claimed his finish was a "ticket to ride" to South Carolina, is going to be endorsing Mitt Romney. A Huntsman aide is quoted in the Fox News article as saying, "Governor Huntsman was encouraged in New Hampshire, but does not want to stand in the way of the best candidate to beat Barack Obama and will endorse Romney." Though Huntsman didn't have a large support, who benefits from this? Who picks up Huntsman's votes?

Best of luck to you, Mr. Huntsman. 

Moving on...

The 459,234,395th GOP debate is tonight at 9:00pm EST. Okay, obviously there is a little sarcasm in that number, but yes, there has been many. And even though it seems like I'm mocking the number of debates, I actually think, in this case, more is better. Why? Well, this, as with any presidential election, is extremely important. There is no higher office in the U.S. We are going to be electing our leader in 10 months. We need to know as much about each candidate as we can. Debates give us a chance to build an understanding of them before we cast each crucial vote. 

Before the debate:

Who do you think will win?
Was the Huntsman move a surprise?
Will Newt come out swinging?
Is the debate and the South Carolina primary Romney's to lose?
Who will have the biggest gaffe? The biggest surprise?

After the debate:

Who won the Fox News South Carolina debate?
Does anyone drop out before the primary?
What was the best part or the best answer?
Who had the biggest gaffe?
Does this debate cause you to change your pick?

Thank you.


  1. Huntsman was a great orator, but that's about it. He was a polite Michele Bachmann. He never really offered solutions. His whole platform seemed to be this warm and fuzzy view for America, but he never really said how he was going to do anything. His 3 supporters will pick Romney.

    As far as the debate, I think Newt will have the best performance, but, in the end, it won't matter. Recent polls show that Newt is now running the most negative campaign! Isn't that funny coming from a guy who wanted to keep it positive? I think Paul does the worse. With only 5 candidates, he will speak more, and that can only hurt him.

    1. Huntsman never offered solutions??? Did you ever read his polices? Economic plan endorsed by Wall Street Journal. Only candidate willing to take on banks that are "too big to fail." Complete overhaul of foreign policy......why go on.... you obviously did not pay any attention.

  2. You know who this helps out? Jon Huntsman. He never had a chance. He talked a lot about "value added" and cost v. benefit. This cost must have been too big. He provided no benefit. Mitt had it locked up the second this process started.

    And LOLOL to the previous poster about Ron Paul. So true. He should drop out next.

  3. After this debate and primary, it's Paul vs. Romney and Paul wins the nomination. With more air time, everyone will realize just how much they love freedom and will vote Paul in.

  4. This is VERY surprising! My guess is that Romney approached Huntsman and offered him a position in his administration should Romney be elected President. The timing is curious since it occurred a day after Huntsman was endorsed by SC's largest newspaper. What's even more surprising to me is the endorsement of Romney (could this be a favor, one Mormon to another?). Huntsman has been increasingly critical of Romney of late (and rightly so, in my opinion) about not putting country first after Romney criticized Huntsman for being the US Ambassador to China for Obama - a divisive statement if ever there was one!

    So, with the other developments coming out of Virginia over the weekend, this is now, more or less, a 2 horse race between Paul and Romney (I assume if Santorum has an excellent showing in SC he could decide to stay in). It'll also be interesting to see how SC lets the VA news affect the way they vote. If/when Santorum bows out, will the evangelicals sit this election out?

  5. Whatsamattausa - good morning!

    You know, that's a really good point. I totally forgot about Huntsman's HUGE SC newspaper endorsement. Are the going to give an endorsement 2.0?

    The part about being in his administration... also possibly true.

    My prediction: after the SC Primary showing, it's down to Romney and Paul. Santorum's NH performance was a slap back to reality, and I think evangelicals go to Romney. He made it clear in the Huckabee forum that he believes in the US being a nation founded on its religious principles. Newt isn't gaining traction, and to me is now a "flip-flopper" for going negative (new Fox News poll says he is running the most negative campaign). Perry is toast plain and simple. That same Fox News poll shows Romney's support among GOP voters is at a record high, and his ability to beat Obama is their key reason for liking him. I think everyone else drops out and Paul and Romney battle it out the rest of the way.

    What do you think? Thank you.

  6. With the evangelical endorsement going to Santorum, I see him sticking around to at least see what happens in SC and FL. I think the field, excluding Santorum and Paul, all leave the race after SC with Santorum still being a possible if he finishes out of the top 3. I have to disagree with you, LME, on the evangelical vote. I just don't see them embracing Romney. I think they see right through him and understand that his words are political in nature and not necessarily based in principle. As I've said before, my feeling is that Romney wants to be President simply for the prestige and would sell his soul to get there. That is not a point I can back but is rather personal sentiment. In my opinion, there is nobody more dangerous than a person who doesn't know what he stands for and I believe that that is the case with Romney. He's become obsessed with becoming President and I'm not sure he even truly knows what he stands for (it's easy to say the words but not so easy to feel them in your heart).

    btw - LME, off topic but since I was on the page I happened to notice it. Go to the link below and look at the Presidents approval/disapproval #'s... Notice anything?

    1. Interesting take on Santorum. I honestly don't think he will get that many votes in SC. I think Romney will come in huge, and Santorum will have another disappointment similar to NH.

      I respectfully disagree. I can't see Romney being all that self serving. Neither of us can really prove our points on it, it's truly personal opinion. I think he is running because he does genuinely care (of course, there is some prestige factor in there, but I think it's very small).

      HAHAHA oh boy... Look at that math? Sheesh. Who edited that? Pathetic. Ugh... the MSM. :-)

  7. Rick Perry wins tonight. SC loves its Christians. He has won us over.

  8. Paul will come of whiney and ill suited to be President and his followers will swoon.
    Mitt will be cool and prepared
    Newt will try to get his karma back but he id done and its his choice to be a republican and help beat Obama or be an asshole and just crap in the sink
    Rick will wave his banner, go for the rightwing religion voters in a last gasp for respectability
    Perry may get a question, hope he remembers his lines. 12th biggest economy, Texas, yada yada.

    People we have to beat Obama. That is the only goal line we have.

  9. Tough questions tonight!!! Gingrich is done!!! Romney's first answer was great (reason Gingrich is done) but he's weak since. I thought Santorum came out on the + side of that first exchange. Perry still looks clueless and I thought Paul's answer to his first question was great!

  10. My first opinion: "Hi, I'm Rick Santorum. I do not employ attack campaign ads....... just attack campaign debates."

    To me, this didn't work for Bachmann, why would it work for him?

    1. Romney came across poorly on tax return issue.

    2. Yah, not great. In my opinion, this is nobody's business. But unfortunately, no one else sees it that way.

    3. I'm on the fence about it. It is a way for people to be informed of any conflicts of interest that may arise in the Presidency. I lean towards making it public because it in the country's best interest and, if one chooses to run for President than that's just the cost of business.

    4. Gingrich came across strong at the end... Paul looks like a rock star so far (his last answer was, ehh). Perry: 'duhhhhhh'. Romney has been so-so at best. Santorum has been ok.

      Foreign Policy up next... Paul should own this (but I guess on whether or not you believe in the overmilitarization (how do you like that word LME?) of the United States military in the world)!

    5. To the tax issue, though I do disagree, I do say "fair enough" (especially to the cost of business comment... touché)

      Yah, Gingrich has been strong. Paul, to me, did eh (lots of rambling in his first major answer). Romney has been attacked a LOT making him look bleh... Santorum is the new attack dog since Bachmann is out.

      HAHA nice word. I'm in the middle between Paul and Romney with foreign policy.

    6. Scratch that... Paul looks BAD right now!

    7. HAHA I KNEW that was coming. We agree on that. He did some of that "rambling." :-)

    8. The booing to Paul's 'Golden Rule' foreign policy comment is disturbing!

  11. Paul is a moonbat. Tonight hurt him a lot, Newt did great because he dropped his yard dog act, and Mitt managed the Bain issue 100%

  12. I thought Gingrich took the night followed by Paul, Romney, Santorum and Perry. People that don't like Paul will never like him but I like his matter of fact style. I disagree with AnybodybutObama... I think he did well tonight.

  13. " Can you judge a the way he speaks or spells...
    Is this more important.....Then the story that he tells"

    This is a quote from a Yardbirds song from 1968 and I always think of it when I listen to Ron Paul speak. He deserves our respect.

    -Snake Plissken

  14. I personally like Ron Paul because he tells it like it is, whether you want to hear it or not.
    I was also amazed how on the Twitter "survey" everyone favored Ron Paul(right or wrong), but they dismissed it as like "so what"!

  15. Does anyone really like Mitt Romney ? If so, are you foolish enough to think he likes you? Rick Perry is a total idiot and I never side with this cartoon character of a retarded hick- BUT....., when it comes to his "Vulture Capitalist statement : He is correct !

    Ron Paul is the only one who isn't either a total scumbag, lying weasel, or 1070's comic-book super-villain.

    Or - Lets all be idiotic and join the moronic "Write in Herman Cain" movement. Oh wait ...that means a vote for Colbert now.

    What a bunch of childish idiots we are

  16. Anonymous? Seriously? Ron Paul is a rambling old fool. Just admit, you only like him because he wants to end the war on drugs. Just admit it! You have no idea what the fed is, you can't even describe what his foreign policy is, but oh boy! He wants to end the war on drugs. News flash, this does NOT mean decriminalization. It just means the end of federal crack downs. Don't you find it funny how the person who wins the "most conservative representative" award year after year attracts the most attention from liberals. Dude, put down the drugs. They're bad for you.

  17. Anonymous - Thank you for your post. Of course, as with the normal MO for this blog, we challenge views. We would like to see how you came up with some things. First, we do not yet endorse any one candidate.

    You claim: "Does anyone really like Mitt Romney ? If so, are you foolish enough to think he likes you?" - Um, how? How do you prove this? Care to back it?

    You claim: "when it comes to his "Vulture Capitalist statement : He is correct !" - Can you explain this? Do you know how venture cap/private equity works? Can you cite why you have this view? Or are you simply going on headlines? Keep in mind, if you're a Ron Paul supporter, he is 100% in support of venture capitalism. There is no proof Romney engaged in Perry's alleged "vulture capitalism" and, in my opinion, it seems these allegations are the last desperate throws of a candidate.

    You said: " lying weasel, or 1070's comic-book super-villain." - What are you referring to?

    We hope to hear back. Thank you.

  18. Anonymous (Jan 18, 2012 03:42 AM) - You seem to be towing the Anti-Ron Paul line which proves nothing. He has a tendency to ramble but, if you listen, it's not hard to understand what he's saying. He doesn't ramble all the time but does, on occassion, like a person who has too many thoughts appearing simultaneously in his head and gets caught up trying to convey them. And why is it about drugs with you (and many others who've posted the same type of comment)? Why isn't it about liberty? Is it not OK for Anonymous (Jan 17, 2012 09:52 PM) to feel it is his/her prerogative to decide what he/she puts in their body? In my mind, if I (or anyone) can't, as reasonable, knowledgeable adults, decide what we do or don't want to put in our bodies then we are not truly a free society. I understand you may have and ideological disagreement with that (LME and I have discussed this though I'm not sure if he (I assume you're a man, does that make me sexist?) agrees with my position that it is America's best interest to set ideologies aside to preserve freedom), but it is your duty, in my opinion, as an American citizen, to allow freedom to reign, even where you might disagree with it - the best example of this is the Westboro Baptist Church folks (I have tremendous contempt for what they do but would rather allow them to do that than to begin limiting the 1st Amendment). Same goes for abortion (another subject I'm sure to be of the minority opinion here). A pregnant person should not be told whether or not she has to deliver that fetus within her. It is her body and her decision. Again, ideological differences aside, a persons body is their property and they can choose what they'd like to do to it. I am a firm believer in these and similar circumstances that, if you're against it, don't do it but don't inhibit my ability to make a choice.

    Anyway, I too like Ron Paul. Is it about drugs for me? Would you like to question me on Ron Paul's politics?

    And, by the way, I don't agree with Anonymous (Jan 17, 2012 09:52 PM). I think their points (if you want to call them that) are juvenile. But, I am tired of the same old nonsensical attacks on Ron Paul and his supporters.

    1. Whatsamattausa - Definitely good points. I too disagree with Anonymous (Jan 17 2012 09:52)pm. I hope he answers my challenge questions. You and I do disagree on the drugs part. I do see your side, I do thing drugs is a special case, and I do respectfully disagree. But, I think we've gone over that, and there has been no hurtful words, no loss of respect :-)

      I certainly have not made my mind up on any candidate. Trust me, if Paul wins the nomination, I would absolutely support him over Obama. Did you ever see my post about Ron Paul and his media coverage? I did write that. I think he is an intelligent man, and, though I might not agree with all of his views, he seems to get at the heart of the intent of the founding fathers: letting the Constitution protect the rights of the citizens and having no law go against it. I think you saw it, but here it is again. I do have respect for him, and I'm waiting to see how the nomination shakes out.

  19. Very easy to respond. You didn't challenge me on calling "Rick Perry is a total idiot and I never side with this cartoon character of a retarded hick" because it is obvious. If you can't see what I am talking about on the other topics then I pity you. Santorum is the weasel, Romney the 70s comic book Super Villain, and the rest are scumbags. As far as Ron Paul and drugs....mot even a consideration. I have never used and I couldn't care less about that issue. If Ron Paul doesn't get the nomination I hope he runs as an independent just to piss you all off. I, many other republicans (who aren't brainwashed) and even many Democrats WILL vote for him.
    And stop asking everyone to prove everything to you. We aren't all private investigators and can only rely on things we read in newspapers and things we say on TV. We aren't going to find the damn articles and then type them out for you. I won't be recording my news channels and converting what I saw into clips and uploading them to YouTube just for you either. If want to call everyone a liar that you don't agree with and ask for proof every time you don't like the well accepted claims, then people are going to stop coming here.
    Don't be a jerk.

    1. There are many points that cannot be proven but are simply gut instincts based on any number of things. Case in point for me is my feeling the Romney is out for the prestige to be called President and to later reap all of the benefits that go along with being President. Can't prove it but feel it with conviction. The articles you mention are what, I believe, LME is looking for as "proof". I'm not sure you need to come up with the 'bloody glove' but something that provides some insight and backing to your point (generally, it's all out there, you just need to find it).

      btw - as an Independent, I agree with you on RP (except that I hope, should he run as an Independent, he has more reason for doing so than pissing off haters!)!

    2. Anonymous – Thank you for coming back.
      First, as far as challenging opinions, yes, that is the purpose of debate. With your first “proof,” you responded with “if you don’t see it, I pity you” – saying “it is because I say it is” is not proof. You can say it all you want, and that’s fine. The difference is, when challenging, you have a better chance of helping someone understand you and your point of view if you had an approach of “he is because during this debate he rambled on and misquoted this when it should have been that” or “he is because when asked to give evidence of something, he misquotes facts” or whatever fact-backed thing. That’s all we are saying. Perry would be my last pick for the GOP nomination, but the assertion that he is a “retarded hick” to me is inaccurate. Again, if you had proof behind it, I might be able to see it. Just as it is your prerogative to believe anything you want, it is mind to hold my opinion of your believe as what I want, and in this case, I tend to side with Whatsamattausa and say it is childish. I’m sorry; I can’t go with “it is because I say it is.” It’s just my personal opinion, nothing against you personally.
      You say this: “Santorum is the weasel, Romney the 70s comic book Super Villain, and the rest are scumbags.” And that’s fine. Again, without backing how or why you believe this, it’s totally in my prerogative to say it’s childish and unfounded. You can refute me, and that’s cool too. I tend to like things that are backed up, even if they disagree with me.
      With Ron Paul on drugs… who said that? I didn’t. I’m not even sure what you’re talking about.
      Stop asking everyone to prove things to me? No one owes me anything. People don’t have to prove anything in the world to me. In all honesty, people should prove things to themselves. What we are tired of here at The Elephant in the Room: people who say things, make claims, have opinions without the proof to go behind it. If someone believes something or has a position on something, I would think it would be easy to back why that person has that opinion. Take the claim “millionaires pay lower tax rates than the middle class.” To me, this is a myth. That’s my opinion. I back it with (in another post) a Congressional Research Service study that says my claim is true. If you said “no, you’re wrong, millionaires DO pay a lower tax rate than the middle class” and cited say a CBO or an IRS study, your position has far more credence than if you had just said “no, you’re wrong.” In the end, we both could be right. What I think you might not be understanding is this blog has NOTHING to do with being right or wrong; it has everything to do with sharing information about why people believe what they do and express their views how they do. In this example, if I had only my view about millionaires tax rates, and I have my CRS study, I might only have one piece of information. If you have a contradicting study, you might have one that I might never have seen. By disagreeing with me AND having the backing to say it, we are sharing ideas. Having a view of “millionaires do/don’t pay lower tax rates” as a chant or a rant or a position without the proof does nothing to help anyone learn anything. I hope this clears up our blog and our beliefs. Please let me know if I’m wrong in this.

      And no, we don’t call people liars. We do, however, have a right to respectfully, yes, we are respectful of all views, agree or not agree with any position we see.
      Thanks again, and I/we sincerely do hope you come back and write more.

    3. And a quick follow-up to Whatsamattausa - yes, there are definitely many things that people feel on a hunch and are not provable. With those, yes, outsiders might have a hard time going along with it. That's all it really is. No big deal... we are all entitled to our own opinions :-)

  20. The problem is that you think everything is a debate. Why would I continue to leave a comment on a blog when the editor/owner is constantly attacking me on every freakin' point?!?!?

    And yes, Rick Perry IS a retarded hick. If you try to defend him it just makes you look stupid too. What proof do you want ? An F'n medical report ? Does he need to walk out into a debate with his pants down ? Let me ask YOU - Prove to me that he ISN'T a retard ! Ahhhh HAAA ! Gotcha !

    1. Anonymous - You're right. Everything is not a debate. But, anything that can be heard is challengeable (is that a word?) I'm not attacking YOU on anything. I'm not even attacking. Have you ever thought that, like I have stated earlier, if you have reasoning behind things it might help me to see why you feel the way you do. It might not only help me understand your position, but you as a person. Isn't sharing information good? Have you ever driven down the road and heard something on the radio or saw something on a billboard? Did you ever think to yourself if what you heard or saw was true or real? We all challenge things. What is so bad about it? It's all about sharing information. Here, we do it respectfully.

      Again, you're welcome to your opinion on Rick Perry. I'm merely asking you "what do you not like about him? What make you think he is a retarded hick?" I don't like him at all, but I'm kind of curious as to why you don't. Perhaps they are the same reasons.

      I'm not sure why you wouldn't like being able to debate opinions and views; isn't that human nature? Ever talk to your friends about what the best movie is? Who is the best quarterback? The thing about opinions are, you can't be right or wrong with opinions. But having correct facts help.

      Also, you do realize you're debating about debating, right? :-)

      I hope to hear more... and if you do like to write and express yourself (you might not like it because obviously being published on here means people might challenge your views, but who knows) have you seen Reader's Posts? Check it out:

      Here is an example of a great Reader's Post. The author took a point of view, defended it, and it lead to tons and tons of information sharing. Look at all the great, respectful comments. In my opinion, many people benefited. What do you think?