November 28th, 2007
11:20 PM ET
15 years ago

The spin begins

Mike Huckabee chatted with the press in the spin room after Wednesday's debate.

ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA (CNN) - The debate's over, but the-post game action is just beginning. The media and the bloggers are flocking to the “spin room”, where surrogates from the campaigns tell anyone who will listen why their candidate won the debate.

The spin room here at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg is packed right now, like a crowded dance floor. Off to the left, Rep. Peter King, R-New York, is boasting of Rudy Giuliani's performance. A few yards away, former Virginia senator (and one-time presidential hopeful) George Allen is describing how Fred Thompson came out on top tonight.

You rarely see the top tier candidates in the spin room, although the B-listers often make appearances. But right now former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee bucking that tradition by holding court. He says it’s a good sign for his campaign that the other candidates felt the need to go after him.

Off to the side, a smaller scrum of reporters and bloggers is talking to Rep. Duncan Hunter, who says he performed well tonight.

And so it goes in the spin room.

–CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser

Filed under: Uncategorized
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. bill, East Ridge Tennessee

    What a bunch of bufoons!

    November 28, 2007 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  2. Dan Chisholm, Northville, MI

    Mitt was the winner of the debate! His only weak spot was when the gay general that works for Hillary's campaign intentionally tripped him up. Besides that, Mitt glowed and won the debate!

    November 28, 2007 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  3. Satan

    Really just more pandering to the base. Only Ron Paul really stuck to his convictions... crazy ones... but convictions nonetheless.

    Abolish the Dept of Ed? Ha!

    November 28, 2007 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  4. bojo

    Huckabee did win the debate, but what happened in the spin room? Did someone try to attack huckabee, what was the commotion?

    November 29, 2007 12:46 am at 12:46 am |
  5. John, Newport RI

    I thought the format was well controlled this evening, much more so than the last Democratic debate I watched. There is nothing I enjoy more than watching the moderator pin a candidate to the wal as he tries to duck a question, and make him give a simple yes/no answer. Inability to make that moral stand tells me a lot about a candidate. I am adult enough that I can agree to disagree with a person when our views on a single issue diverge; what I can't stomach is someone who waits to see which way the political winds are blowing before they answer. (Are you listening, Candidate Romney?) Just tell me the truth how you really feel, and with conviction. That's a lot more likely to get my suppport ducking the hard questions.

    November 29, 2007 12:54 am at 12:54 am |
  6. Travis

    Ron Paul won when he got the chance to speak. Romney was good at dodging questions – waterboardign was a bad topic for him. McCain had a bad night, especially when he debated with Dr. Paul on WWII, but I liked what he had to say about waterboarding. Huckabee had a good night.

    November 29, 2007 01:19 am at 1:19 am |
  7. winchell, new haven ct.

    I don't care who spins or how they spin it. Debates get me scared. the talk of open borders and social security going broke makes me want to hit Hillary and Obama over the head for even thinking of proposing all that new spending. Aren't we already complaining about Congress's out of control pork barrel spending?

    November 29, 2007 01:39 am at 1:39 am |
  8. Paul Hamby Maysville Missouri

    Ron Paul only got a few minutes of air time. but his message was very clear. His message of Freedom and limited government is a very popular message.

    Rudy has already been voted as the worst performance of the debate and his answer on GUN CONTROL clearly indicates that he does NOT support the second amendment. You can not win the republican nomination without the NRA and the social christian conservatives of the Republican Party. Sorry Rudy – YOUTUBED You Lose

    November 29, 2007 01:52 am at 1:52 am |
  9. Real patriot

    Are you serious??? Mitt won?!?!

    Mitt said the bible is what he reads,, did you, my ignorant friend ever hear of the book of morman? The book which all mormans have to take at the same level as the bible.

    Mitt didn't mention it because it would have lost him votes.

    Wow, how easy it is to blame all hard questions on Hllary But i guess thats the republicans only defence.

    Have fun living out your senile years.

    Ron Paul won but there are other options in both parties.

    November 29, 2007 02:00 am at 2:00 am |
  10. Marion, South Dakota

    I would say that my wife and I felt let down by the debate tonight. It was Romney, Guiliani, Romney, Guiliani....Ron Paul did stick to his convictions and had a good response to McCain's cheap shots.....but with only a little over 3 minutes to talk during the whole 2 hours of debate, I would hardly call that fair. CNN knew this was the last debate before the NH, and Iowa they shut down Ron Paul as much as they could. But people will find out this Friday with a mini-money bomb...and December 16th with the Tea Party ( that Ron Paul is not out for the count. He has way more grassroots supporters than the measely 6.6% of likely Republican voters that were polled indicate. I think many are in for a big surprise in regards to Ron Paul. Time will tell.

    November 29, 2007 02:02 am at 2:02 am |
  11. Michael Reis, Logan UT

    Paul's ideas are more viable and realistic than anyone's. I like he and Huckabee both, but I prefer Ron Paul because he NEVER spouts b.s. (Something Huckabee can't seem to STOP doing).

    I thought it interesting nobody seemed to be aware of WHY certain areas of Iraq are running better besides Paul, and nobody else bothered to even talk about that.

    November 29, 2007 02:11 am at 2:11 am |
  12. Scott B, Springfiedl, MO

    Mitt stood tall and for the most part held his own. I feel that Fred 'won'. However, I'm in support of Ron Paul and find my own convictions aligned with his for the most part.

    November 29, 2007 02:34 am at 2:34 am |
  13. jw, canadian,ok

    Are we supposed to take this fruitcake serious?

    November 29, 2007 05:26 am at 5:26 am |
  14. harry,Iowa

    I don't even believe this guy. He can not convince me he didn't know that debate was a set up and he didn't know what to say. Romney was targeted and the intention, to kill his campaign like they tried to with obama. I wonder where this guys Christianity was last night that he can not say the truth here. I am not a Romney supporter and I am sorry I am embarrassed to be an American with those debates. The media can not spin things for people to see some candidates bad and very weak. They are working hard and should not be asked questions they are weak on and support others with their strong points. A clear picture yesterday night. Wake up America and stop ignoring this swiftboating, that might kill candidates who might be good for America.

    November 29, 2007 08:02 am at 8:02 am |
  15. Christi

    I would give Mike Huckabee the win for this debate. Mitt Romney never actually answered any question that was put to him through the entire debate. I also thought that Rudy had a bad night-wonder if it is because of the new allegations concerning his use of taxpayer money to visit his mistress? I believe he was asked a question pertaining to that subject and, of course, he never answered either. Why can't the candidates answer a question? Huckabee came the closest. I give the win to him.

    November 29, 2007 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  16. Chris, Pensacola FL

    Yes, Abolish it. Why do we need the Dept of Ed?

    I think many people might think the Dept of Ed is ALL schools. It is not. Each state has their respective departments. The local cities have theirs. Why do we need a Federal level dept? Waste of money. The same can be said for ALL the departments.

    I know Education is a tough word, but don't forget we lived in peaceful and prosperous times before all these departments and agencies were created.

    November 29, 2007 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  17. Heather, Chicago IL

    "You rarely see the top tier candidates in the spin room, although the B-listers often make appearances. But right now former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee bucking that tradition by holding court."

    CNN... your Huckabee love-fest is sickening, just as your Hillary love-fest is. The man has BARELY scratched a million dollars for all this year's fundraising. "Tax-Hike Mike" has a following in Iowa...but...and you already know this – THATS IT. Ron Paul has raised going on $20 million for the year...set all time fundraising records... has crowds of THOUSANDS of people following him wherever he goes...and yet look at which one gets more time to answer questsions? Your blatant and pitiful attempts at forcing public opinion in this matter are reprehensible. You might as well stop pretending and at least be honest about it.

    November 29, 2007 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  18. Chet, Murrieta, CA

    How are you going to spin the CNN planted questions? You have been exposed for what you are.....

    November 29, 2007 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |