MANCHESTER, New Hampshire (CNN) - Besides differences on immigration, the 10 candidates seeking the Republican presidential nomination did little to distinguish themselves in what shaped up to be a largely collegial affair.
They might have opened the door for former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson's entry into the race, according to two Granite State journalists.
"If these guys continue to keep this tone in the Republican primary, it may take the candidacy of Fred Thompson to shake things up," said Scott Spradling, the political reporter for WMUR-TV. "For a party that is looking for a leader, it was hard for voters to distinguish major differences."
Spradling and Tom Fahey, a political reporter for the New Hampshire Union Leader, questioned the 10 candidates in the first half of the Republican debate sponsored by CNN, WMUR and the Union Leader. CNN's Wolf Blitzer moderated the two-hour debate.
"It was interesting to hear what they think on the issues ... they all think the same thing," Fahey said. "Unfortunately, they are not running for president of a mutual admiration society."
– CNN Political Editor Mark Preston
Hmm... I think Ron Paul, not Fred Thompson, might actually be the different person the people are looking for, a true conservative.
Without a doubt, YES! It's apparent the Republicans need an act...I mean actor!
Ron Paul did He at least said he wasn't going to nuke before diplomecy
The only one so I think you need to watch the debate and stop thinking about taking over the world who are we to say Iran cannot have nuke's We have them and some day they will to its inevitiable
Mr. Spradling and Mr. Fahey must not have been listening to Ron Paul's answers because he clearly has a different stand on almost all of the issues discussed. He is the only candidate up there who is against the "war in Iraq" (like 70% of Americans). He is the only candidate who truly supports the constitution and the rights of individuals. It's too bad that media moguls won't let his message reach the American public because it clearly resonates as every online poll has shown. CNN didn't even have the courage to have an online poll of this debate because they knew who would win – Ron Paul. MSNBC's poll shows Ron Paul was clearly the winner. These online polls show that people who are watching the debate like Ron Paul's message. Offline polls show Ron Paul with a low percentage because the main stream media will not present his message to the viewing public. If they did, his results would mirror his online results. How sad, the media has become America's greatest shame.
Yeah, Fred Thompson is another Neo-Con hack. He is supported by "insiders from the past three Republican administrations." What that means is more, "Oh I will lower your taxes, but continue to give Americans Guns and Butter, but then behind the curtains I will inflate your currency, and add to our 9 trillion dollar debt so your children and grandchildren can live in one of the worst economies in United States History."
Fred Thompson sounds gggggggreat. Another Actor/President who needs a speechwriter to say Good Morning.
Does anybody remember some of the weaker points of Saint Ronald Reagan?
Also, is there any way to shut those Ron Paul nutjobs up?
Can we say Council of Foreign Relations?
Oh wait that doesn't exist does it!
Fred Thompson is in a perfect position right now, as was pointed out by one of the CNN reporters last night. Fred has the freedom to make political statements without facing the hard questions the actual candidates are being asked.
Aside from the fall back position Thompson is taking I find his platform refreshing. One quote had Thompson saying "I was a conservative when being a conservative wasn't cool." Thompson speaks his mind and sticks to his guns. He has not said anything that he does not truly believe in for the sake of pandering voters. Someone might want to explain that to Romney and Giuliani.
Who is Ron Paul again?
CNN posted a message blog on this site asking the public “who won” the debate. Of 189 comments, 185 were in favor of Ron Paul! CNN immediately removed the message blog. Why is this? Right now he is winning in their own poll at 56% http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2008/debates/scorecard/gop.debate/ , and rising, but they refuse to talk about him. Please email CNN and demand the winner of their own debate, Ron Paul, be giving equal air time, if not more.