Last night’s GOP debate was a smashing success for Mitt Romney. For once, he had been properly coached on answers to rebut Newt Gingrich. He turned the tables on the former speaker, using the same confrontational tone that Gingrich had in past debates to great success.
Given Romney’s rising poll numbers after Gingrich’s ineffectual debate performance on Monday, last night’s spectacle should be enough to cement Romney as the favorite for Tuesday’s primary in Florida. The former Massachusetts governor didn’t coast through entirely unscathed, though. Rick Santorum unleashed an aggressive attack on the topic that’s expected to cause the most trouble for Romney among primary voters: health-care reform in Massachusetts. This was the expected albatross around Romney’s campaign—not his experience at Bain.
Santorum minced no words yesterday, accusing Romney of being Obama in a richer suit. “What Governor Romney just said is that government-run, top-down medicine is working pretty well in Massachusetts and he supports it,” he said.