Monday, January 7, 2008

Did Romney Win Immunity Sunday Night?

In my blog yesterday I compared the primary election process to the reality TV show Survivor. I mentioned how Romney really needed to "win immunity" to ward off the attack from the Rudy/McCain/Huckabee alliance "voting him off." Romney's best chance to do this was in the debate Sunday night.

Did he do it? According to the Fox focus group, he very well may have done just that. Take a look...

Focus Group: Romney Wins Debate
Sunday, Jan 06, 2008 09:43 PM EDT

Luntz: Romney Hit A Home Run Tonight
Sunday, Jan 06, 2008 10:14 PM EDT

Focus Group: Romney Can Beat Obama
Sunday, Jan 06, 2008 09:54 PM EDT

Other comments about the debate:

Fox News' Chris Wallace: "As far as Mitt Romney, I thought it was the best he has done in any of the debates I have seen. Not only the performance and the demeanor which was quite commanding." (Fox News' "Live," 1/6/08)

ABC News' Rick Klein: "I do think, for late-breaking voters, Romney comes across well because he's in command of his facts and looks very, very presidential." (Rick Klein, "Live Blogging During GOP Forum," ABC News' Political Radar Blog,, Posted 1/6/08)

Power Line's Paul Mirengoff: "Mitt Romney, in my view, was the winner. His answers were crisp, knowledgeable, and poised. He was solid on each substantive issue and effective in defending his so-called attack ads. My guess is that he's cemented himself as the choice of Republicans in New Hampshire...." (Paul Mirengoff, "My Impressions Of Tonight's Debate," Power Line Blog,, Posted 1/6/08)

Time Magazine's Joe Klein: "Mitt Romney – even though under assault constantly in Saturday night's debate – has had two of his best debate performances yet." (Joe Klein, " McCain's Lost Weekend," Time's The Swampland Blog,, Posted 1/6/08)

RedState's Erick Erickson: "As for the actual candidates. I think Fred Thompson and Mitt Romney did the best tonight. Mitt seemed even paced all night." (Erick Erickson, "Winners And Losers Tonight," RedState Blog,, Posted 1/6/08)

National Review's Rich Lowry: "[Romney] spoke forcefully and put the case for himself as the reformist businessman in the best possible light. I think he basically dominated the first hour, and fell off a tab after that, but otherwise was truly excellent. His best performance yet, in very high pressure circumstances. His answers on taxes, job creation, and immigration were top notch." (Rich Lowry, "Romney & McCain In Fine Form," National Review's The Corner Blog,, Posted 1/6/08)

The American Spectator's Quin Hillyer: "Romney does a great job explaining the characteristics needed in a president (and why executive leadership trumps Senate leadership and why executive leadership is more important than specific foreign policy expertise)." (Quin Hillyer, "After Commercial," The American Spectator's Blog,, Posted 1/6/08)

National Review's Kathryn Jean Lopez: "Romney was gracious on-point tonight. Good for him. This nomination fight isn't close to over. Thankfully." (Kathryn Jean Lopez, "A Good Night," National Review's The Corner Blog,, Posted 1/6/08)

Conservative Blogger's William Smith: "Mitt Romney had the performance of the night. He was prepared. He was solid. He defended his record and drew specific contrast between himself and his opponents. Romney pulled off the kind of performance that should only add to his lead." (William Smith, "Thoughts On Tonight's FOX News Republican Forum..." Conservative Blogger,, Posted 1/6/08)

The American Spectator's Jennifer Rubin: "Romney was very solid and effective on defending Bush tax cuts." (Jennifer Rubin, "Taxes," The American Spectator's Blog,, Posted 1/6/08)

The New York Times' Michael Cooper: "It was the Republican Debate, Episode II: Mitt Romney Strikes Back." (Michael Cooper, "G.O.P. Rematch: Romney Fires First Round," The New York Times The Caucus,, Posted 1/6/08)

- Cooper: "...Mr. Romney came out swinging Sunday night during the opening minutes of a Republican presidential forum that was broadcast on Fox News." (Michael Cooper, "G.O.P. Rematch: Romney Fires First Round," The New York Times The Caucus,, Posted 1/6/08)

National Review's Jim Geraghty: "Romney, responding to Huckabee after one of his populist riffs: 'You're not going to help the wage earner in America by attacking the wage payer.' Boom. One of his best lines of the night. Is that an old Reagan line?" (Jim Geraghty, "Are We Watching Romney Get Up Off the Mat?" National Review's The Campaign Spot,, Posted 1/6/08)

Hot Air Blog's Bryan Preston: "So far they've gone two rounds against each other directly. ... I'd score both rounds for Romney, with a solid knock down in the second one." (Bryan, "Videos: Mitt And Mike Go A Couple Of Rounds," Hot Air Blog,, Posted 1/6/07)

Politico's Jonathan Martin: "A prepared Mitt is out of the gates strong on his message, dinging McCain and Huck on taxes. And he even showed that he, too, knows how to wield the knife. 'You make up facts faster than you talk,' Mitt jabbed. Then, after the Arkansan responded to a question about whether he'd raised taxes by saying he had 'raised jobs,' Mitt nailed him again: 'That's political-speak.'" (Jonathan Martin, "A Prepared Mitt Is Out Of The Gates Strong," Politico,, Posted 1/6/08)

American Spectator's Quin Hillyer: "Romney does a great job responding saying the old truth that you don't help the wage earner by attacking the wage payer. Explains his point well." (Quin Hillyer, "Next Round," American Spectator Blog,, Posted 1/6/08)

National Review's Mark Hemingway: "...Luntz's focus group on Fox. They loved him [Romney]." (Mark Hemingway, "Romney Just Blew The Roof Off," National Review's The Corner,, Posted 1/6/08)

National Review's Mark Levin: "I agree with the Fox focus group in that Romney was great." (Mark Levin, "I Will Second That," National Review's The Corner,, Posted 1/6/08)

So, DID Romney win "immunity?"

We'll have to wait until Tuesday night to find out, but he certainly has given it his best shot.


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