January 30th, 2008
10:00 PM ET
10 years ago

Schneider: The night's big winner: Huckabee

Huckabee, I think, stood out in this debate as the one who made sense, talked as ordinary people do, and rose above politics. They may have scored. He connected. And that’s a problem for Romney, who would like to become the alternative to John McCain among conservatives who oppose the Arizona senator. But he has very tough competition from Huckabee, who’s forcing people to re-think his run at a time when he was supposed to be out of the game.

But this has always been the way he’s worked: Romney uses money to stay competitive. Huckabee has debates.

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- CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider

Filed under: Bill Schneider
soundoff (162 Responses)
  1. irene

    Bill, I totally agreed with your point of view... Huckabee and Ron Paul, were the winners tonight... despite of the lack of time they had... if they were to be given more time to express themself freely, they would have shadowed to darkness the other two ....

    January 30, 2008 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  2. jon ashburn va


    January 30, 2008 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  3. maggieb

    Huckabee and Romney were the best, Mccain can't answer any question outright, he only tap dances around about his war record. His mind was stuck in a Timetable and the war. He was having a Chuck Norris Moments ha

    January 30, 2008 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  4. Jean

    As an Iowan, I was pleased to see the Huckabee we saw shown so clearly (particularly in the small amounts of time the moderators allowed him).

    January 30, 2008 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  5. Lisa Kentala

    Huckabee is always the best in every debate! He is clear, concise and gets to the point. He doesn't speak in pat political phrases as does McCain, Romney, Obama and many others. He appears genuine and human. Wouldn't it be great to have as president an articulate inspiring speaker with innovative ideas?
    Why isn't Huckabee getting more media time? He has been virtually ignored lately. Even Rudy got more coverage before his recent departure!
    When will the media realize Huckabee deserves more coverage??

    January 30, 2008 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  6. MIKE

    From what little I saw of Huckabee in the debate, I like what I saw, just wish I saw more of it then the sparring match between Rommey and McCain

    January 30, 2008 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  7. Andrew Toulalan

    So going by your analysis there were only 3 people on that stage? That is strange, I counted 4.

    January 30, 2008 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  8. Teresa


    January 30, 2008 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  9. deborah holland

    We all know, given a chance Ron Paul would be judged the clear winner. Your network, works very hard to suppress any mention of Ron Paul. You ignore the importance of his comments on the economy, foreign relations, the gold standard, ect....

    January 30, 2008 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  10. Jason Grier

    Completely Agree!!!!!

    Huckabee did AMAZING tonight!!!!! I honestly hope people watched this debate tonight with an open mind, because of if they did... huckabee should have an awesome jump start again!!!

    January 30, 2008 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  11. Denis, NJ

    Ron Paul and Mike Huckabee both made sense tonight and came across accessible and down to earth. McCain was boring and anemic, and Romney was spouting same ol' rhetoric in that annoying, condescending tone.

    I was ticked off that Ron Paul got so little airtime. He made excellent points with the time he was given, but I guess what he has to say isn't popular with the media...

    Why not split airtime equally between all candidates?

    January 30, 2008 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  12. Melanie Brethauer

    Schneider - where are your comments about Ron Paul? wasn't he there too? it makes you look biased.

    January 30, 2008 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  13. Matt

    lol huckabee won? maybe he or paul could have if they let them talk

    January 30, 2008 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  14. V

    Why does Huckabee who is so pro life ignore the Sanctity of Life act introduced by Ron Paul in congress? Better yet why doesn't someone ask him? Oh I forgot, we have to keep Ron Paul silent.

    January 30, 2008 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  15. Brian, San Jose, CA

    Oh geez Bill. The winner was Ron Paul. He got the least amount of speaking time but the most amount of applause. Huckabee might have been better about voicing his displeasure about being excluded in tonight's debate but Paul clearly won.

    Anderson Cooper lost. CNN lost. Horribly managed debate tonight. You really blew it tonight.

    January 30, 2008 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  16. Jim

    I can't understand why McCain is surging in the pols and getting so many endorsements, especially after watching his performance tonight. The thought of him being president makes me very uneasy.

    I give the nod in tonight's performance to Huckabee and Romney. I hope Romney effectively gets his message out there – I think if people listen, he will do well on super Tuesday.

    January 30, 2008 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  17. brian

    How about one of your post-debate questions actually include Ron Paul? After all, once Romney decides he has spent enough of his own money and bows out, and when Huckabee's coffers dry up, only Ron Paul will be left to stand against John McCain. And we all know which of the two is the Taxpayers Best Friend!

    January 30, 2008 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  18. Jeff

    Why do you fail to comment about Ron Paul? He did a great job tonight when given the opportunity to speak and provided great alternative choices. If you are you going to review debates, review the whole debate.

    January 30, 2008 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  19. Melanie Brethauer

    Romney looks robotic.

    January 30, 2008 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  20. Andy

    McCain can't even pronounce Washington correctly. Listen to him. Figure if he's been in DC for nearly three decades he'd learn how to say the city correctly.

    January 30, 2008 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  21. Matt

    While I support Romney, I have to agree with you on Huckabee winning this debate.

    January 30, 2008 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  22. Russell

    Nope! He doesn't have the background to prove it to us. He can talk all he wants, but when it comes down it, it's about how your past has led to reform, not how you think you future will contribute to it.

    January 30, 2008 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  23. Colleen Penzien

    I felt that tonight's Republican debate was one of the best and most telling debates to date. I was glad to see Mike Huckabee demand the opportunity to be heard. My biggest frustration with the CNN debates is that you all but ignore Ron Paul. Mr. Paul may not be the most polished of speakers but he definately has very important things to say. For heavens sake, CNN, give him a fair chance and give the American people a fair opportunity to hear and evaluate his ideas and arguments!

    January 30, 2008 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  24. Katie

    I strongly disagree. Huckabee didn't talk enough; and once he started going off on the highway from Maine to Florida and another down the West coast, I stopped listening.

    If you had on the response tracker as you watched, you'd see that McCain was consistently scoring at 30-40% (or lower), Paul was about 50% consistently, Huckabee was about 60-70%, but Mitt was the clear winner, with about 80%, consistently.

    So, among those GOPs who actually were watching the debate, I think Mitt came away the best of them all.

    January 30, 2008 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  25. Chris

    so is this now a 3-person race? What's your take on the fourth man – Ron Paul? Or are you going to ignore his existence also?

    January 30, 2008 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
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