Many political commentators felt disappointed by last night's <strong>Republican presidential debate</strong> in Florida. Moderator <strong>Brian Williams</strong> seemed to stop the candidates whenever serious policy talk got underway in favor of fluff questions about electability, horse race hoopla and a seemingly random barrage of hypotheticals (<em>what if Fidel Castro died?</em> <em>what would you have done about Terri Schiavo?</em>). But in a state where about 40 percent of the population is 50 or older, and one in six citizens is 65+, the candidates spent surprisingly little time talking about issues of import to <strong>older Americans</strong>.
At a <a href="http://blogs.suntimes.com/sweet/2012/01/south_carolina_gop_cnn_debate_.html">second South Carolina debate last night</a>, all of the Republican presidential candidates (a crowd pared down to four"”Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum"”at this point) said that 'Obamacare' can and should be repealed or reversed.
The Takeaway: Republican Presidential Candidates Get Heated in Vegas; Social Security Increase Coming
<strong><a href="http://aarpblog.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/10-18-gop-debate-zuma-cropped-proto-custom_28.jpg"><img class="alignright size-medium wp-image-13513" style="margin-left:5px;margin-right:5px;" title="10-18-gop-debate-zuma-cropped-proto-custom_28" src="http://aarpblog.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/10-18-gop-debate-zuma-cropped-proto-custom_28.jpg?w=300" alt="" width="300" height="165" /></a>Stakes Up But Jackpot Elusive in GOP Debate: </strong>Maybe it was something about the Vegas air that got Republican presidential candidates so riled up in last night's CNN-sponsored debate (the fifth GOP debate since Labor Day). This debate, at Las Vegas' Venetian/Sands Expo and Convention Center, saw <strong>Herman Cain</strong> vigorously defending his 9-9-9 tax plan, which <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/la-pn-vegas-debate-open-20111018,0,938146.story">was nearly universally panned by the other candidates</a>, and Texas Gov. <strong>Rick Perry</strong>"”after a <a href="http://blog.aarp.org/2011/10/12/the-takeaway-romney-perry-move-on-from-social-security-tussle-at-latest-gop-debate/">subdued showing at last week's debate</a>"”doing his darnedest to tangle with <strong>Mitt Romney</strong> once again (though no more <a href="http://www.aarp.org/politics-society/government-elections/news-09-2011/us–republican-debate.html">Social Security talk</a>; illegal immigration was all the rage this week).
The Takeaway: Romney, Perry Move On From Social Security Tussle At Latest GOP Debate; Activist Frank Kameny Dies
<strong>New Focus At New Hampshire Debate:</strong> If the opposite of love isn't hate, but indifference"”well, <strong>Mitt Romney</strong> really, really opposite-of-loved <strong>Rick Perry</strong> last night. For weeks, the two men have <a href="http://www.aarp.org/politics-society/government-elections/news-09-2011/rick-perry-social-security.html">been very-publicly tangling over Social Security</a>, health care and who's better at adhering to conservative principles. At last night's Republican presidential debate, however, Romney hardly paid Perry any mind, <a href="http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jv0k-QglAwEfXFhVH-JBZP2itqnQ?docId=a4c947c632db47868e4b7cdd266f5a9a">instead focusing on defending </a>the healthcare plan he enacted as governor of Massachusetts and the 2008 bank bailouts.