Candidate grades from the CNN Arizona Republican Presidential Debate

By Scott A. Robinson

Rick Santorum: He stated very little of his actual positions during the debate. Rather, he was put on the defensive by attacks from Mitt Romney and Ron Paul. In his disastrous performance, he admitted to voting against his principles, which goes contrary to much of what his Tea Party base stands for. Grade: D

Mitt Romney: He was often on the defensive, much like Santorum. He came across as somewhat frustrated by attacks coming from his right and his left, but did build his positions into counter strikes more often than the front-runner Santorum. Romney was especially strong and clear in stating his position on illegal immigration. Grade: C

Newt Gingrich: As he typically does in debates, Gingrich lived in the realm of hyperbole, attacking Romney when possible. He offered few positions of any kind, rather running on “bold ideas” without explaining those ideas, much like how President Barack Obama ran in 2008 on the slogans of “hope” and “change.” Grade: F

Ron Paul: He was on the attack more than he usually is in debates. However, he spent what time he was given largely on policy. Where the other candidates had long-winded answers without absolute positions, Paul’s made his views clear. Grade: B
Scott A. Robinson grew up on a farm in Idaho and now resides in Charleston, South Carolina with his wife and four children. He is an Editor at

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