Santorum Real Debate Winner

While all the talk is about how Newt Gingrich schooled CNN moderator John King in last night’s debate, some interesting reasoning on how Rick Santorum was the real winner of the debate.

, U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania.

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If I were a conservative Republican in South Carolina and Thursday night’s debate was the first I’d watched during this primary season, the choice would be easy. Rick Santorum. I know: It surprised me, too.

While he might have fewer overall followers than the other three candidates, Santorum nonetheless (or because of this) debated flawlessly. It was the single most impressive debate performance in this long series from any of the candidates.

Newt Gingrich also had his moments, pulling out whatever “go-to” trick in his arsenal the moment required. But on the issues, and for conservative Republican South Carolina voters, Santorum was the one running on all cylinders.

So why, despite trailing in the polls, did Rick Santorum win?

First, nobody was attacking him. He had a free roll. So in this case, it paid for Santorum to be last in the polls. He attacked Mitt Romney and Gingrich and was never put on his heels by his opponents. With no predators in sight, Santorum dominated the environment like an Asian carp.

Second, his criticisms were focused and covered important conservative issues. He hammered away on health care at both Romney. (At one point Romney actually made the error of calling his own plan “Romneycare.” Next thing you know he will accidentally call it “Obamneycare.”) And then Santorum laid into Gingrich on individual mandates, which the former House speaker supported for 10 years.

More than once, Santorum drove home the notion that Gingrich is a loose cannon and Republicans can’t afford that in a nominee. He flatly stated that Gingrich has “no discipline.” Gingrich had suggested earlier that Santorum should drop out of the race. “These are not cogent thoughts,” Santorum responded in the debate, reminding the audience that he is “2 and 0” against Gingrich in both Iowa and New Hampshire, and with much less money.

Finally, Santorum did a good job presenting his own ideas — zero taxes for manufacturing corporations, his anti-abortion stance — and his closing remarks were right on the mark. In them, he talked about his electability over President Barack Obama. He went point by point describing his differences with Obama on health care and bailouts — reminding the audience not so subtly that Romney and Gingrich supported the bailouts. Santorum concluded by saying he was the only Republican on stage ever to beat an incumbent Democrat.

So will it translate to votes for Rick Santorum?

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Gingrich wins Fox South Carolina Debate


Newt Gingrich needed to make an impact in last night’s debate.  It appears he did:

English: Newt Gingrich at a political conferen...

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Gingrich received a raucous standing ovation for his back and forth with liberal moderator Juan Williams. Williams asked Gingrich if he could see how his comments about how “black Americans should demand jobs, not food stamps” were viewed, “at a minimum, as insulting to all Americans, but particularly to black Americans.”

“No,” Gingrich curtly said, using Williams as a perfect liberal foil. “I don’t see that.”

Gingrich said his daughter’s first job was doing janitorial work and “she liked earning the money” and “liked learning that if you worked, you got paid.” He said only elites “despise” giving people opportunities to earn money.

When Williams pressed Gingrich further, Gingrich said, “the fact is that more people have been put on food stamps by Barack Obama than any president in American history.”

Gingrich noted Obama’s failures in creating jobs, which has has left many communities even more desolate, and said he believed “every American of every background has been endowed by their creator with the right to pursue happiness.”

“And if that makes liberals unhappy, I’m going to continue to find ways to help poor people learn how to get a job, learn how to get a better job and learn some day to own the job,” Gingrich said.

After schooling Juan Williams, Newt turned his attention to terrorism.

When discussing terrorism, Gingrich eviscerated Ron Paul when Paul equated Osama Bin Laden to a Chinese dissident, calling that analogy “utterly irrational”

“A Chinese dissident who comes in here — a Chinese dissident who comes here seeking freedom is not the same as a terrorist who goes to Pakistan seeking asylum,” Gingrich said, noting that a 13-year-old named Andrew Jackson was sabred by a British officer during the Revolutionary War in South Carolina and wore that scare his whole life.

“Andrew Jackson had a pretty clear-cut idea about America’s enemies: Kill them,” Gingrich said to another round of raucous applause.

Newt also pointed out why “No Child Left Behind” is an utter and total failure.

And when asked about No Child Left Behind, the Bush Administration law loathed by conservatives, Gingrich emphatically said it was “clearly a failure” because “ it has led teachers to be forced into a bureaucratic system of teaching to the test. I find virtually no teacher who likes it.”

Gingrich said that “first generation immigrants who don’t speak very good English are being tested against a national standard. And a perfectly good school looks bad even though it’s doing a great job because there’s no measurement that’s reasonable.”

Gingrich said he would say to the states that it would be good for them to “shrink their Departments of Education and return the power back to the local county boards, and then let parents and teachers and students get back to learning.”

So did Newt show why he could be the candidate that liberals don’t want to win the Republican nomination?

Polls have shown Republican voters in South Carolina care most about defeating President Barack Obama, and Gingrich has always argued that he is the best suited to do so because he can take on Obama in the debates while running a campaign of inclusion that appeals to Americans of all backgrounds.

His exchange with Williams offered a potential preview of how effective Gingrich can be in taking on the liberal establishment, which will immediately bombard the eventual GOP nominee, in a way that can galvanize conservatives while being inclusive of and inspirational to all Americans.

Such moments can swing voter sentiment and turn elections around, and that is why Obama would probably fear Gingrich the most in a general election.

While he won this debate, whether he can win in South Carolina and continue his campaign will be determined Saturday.

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And the survey says …

Mormons are Mormons.

According to a survey by The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life:

Mormons are well-known for avoiding beverages like coffee and tea as well as avoiding R-rated movies. Though a large majority of those surveyed say that these are important elements of being a good Mormon, many see them as less critical than other beliefs and practices. Fully eight-in-ten (80%) say believing that Joseph Smith actually saw God the Father and Jesus Christ is essential for being a good Mormon, and 73% say working to help the poor is essential to be a good Mormon. By contrast, 49% say not drinking coffee and tea is essential for good Mormons, and 32% say avoiding R-rated movies is essential to be a good Mormon.

In addition the survey found that:

There are a number of tenets that are central to the teachings of the LDS Church and widely held by Mormons that are not shared by other Christian traditions. Nine-in-ten Mormons believe that the president of the LDS Church is a prophet of God (94%) and that the Book of Mormon was written by ancient prophets (91%). Similarly large numbers believe that families can be bound together eternally in temple ceremonies (95%) and that God the Father and Jesus Christ are separate, physical beings (94%).

In the end the survey also shows that, as pointed out in this post, Mormonism is not Christian.  As Pastor McCain points out:

the survey demonstrates that Mormonism is not Christianity, not even a form of Christianity. At best, all we can say is that Mormonism is a cult that sprang from distinctly non-Christian heresies.

The key is understanding what Christianity is all about.


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Is Mormonism Christian?

An insightful look at Mormonism by Pastor Reeder.

Though “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints” might wish to omit the latter part of their name[1] for false appearances and to mislead, and do indeed use Christian terminology, speaking of God, Jesus, salvation, etc., they are not Christian, nor are their doctrines and practices Christian in any way, contrary to popularly accepted opinion. Even their abstaining from alcohol and caffeine, as well as their practice of mandatory tithing, are not Christian.  These practices and others might have the appearance of piety and holiness, but no ruling body has the authority to establish practices which are neither forbidden or commanded by God, and then declare that such practices have are from God himself.

It’s a distinction that needs to be pointed out.

The current climate of our day might seem to preclude any such debate whether Mormons are Christians are not, but such climate reveals the negligence of many within the church (i.e. Joel Osteen) to make proper distinctions.  But such distinctions are to be made, even in the public square, and especially within the church.

Such distinctions of doctrine and practice between Mormons (and other groups) and the Christian Church is the distinction of truth from error, Christianity being of the truth and Mormonism (and other groups) being of error.  Proper (godly) distinctions are to be made because such distinctions concern God and His Holy Word.

Writing to Timothy, St. Paul says, “Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you” (1 Timothy 4:16).  The doctrine of which Paul speaks is that which is of God, even the saving doctrine of sins forgiven in Christ, the saving doctrine of Jesus, “true man and true God.”  Get these wrong, and your immediately outside of Christianity and have no salvation.

In addition to failing to adhere to true doctrine, Mormons have their own authorities.

Not only here do the Mormons differ with what is of the true doctrine.  The Mormons have as their authority, not only The Bible (as it is correctly translated and as they understand it), but The Book of Mormon (which has no historical evidence even to substantiate its claims), The Pearl of Great Price, The Doctrine and the Covenants, and the Leader(s) of their fellowship.

Though Jesus says, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.  And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31-32), the Mormons, by their twisting of Holy Scripture and their use of other authorities for their doctrines and practices, they neither do abide in Christ and His Word, nor are they Jesus’ disciples.  Therefore, they also do not know the truth, but according to their Father, they speak lies.  Mormons are not of God (John 8:42-47).

And for these reasons,

This must remain clear, lest the ignorant be deceived and the Church further become complacent instead of increasingly more vigilant.  Mormons have a different God, Jesus, Savior, salvation, doctrine, fellowship, and authority than the Christian Church, and therefore, contrary to beliefnet and religioustolerance (and others, political or not), Mormons should not be affiliated anywhere in proximity to Christianity or Christian denominations.

Like it or not, as Christians we need to point this out even if it isn’t popular to do so.


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