The Most Important Point Made In The January 7Th & 8Th 2012 Republican Debates In New Hampshire

Before considering my choice for the “best” or most important point made in the back-to-back debates in New Hampshire over this weekend, (and there were many, many excellent comments) Republicans should draw a deep breath and give thanks for a strong field of candidates, any one of whom would be leagues better than the current Oval Office Occupier. My guess is that each of those candidates ardently agrees with the statement excerpted below.

In the midst of a discussion about job creation, manufacturing investment and regulatory policy, Mitt Romney spoke the message that many Americans have been waiting to hear expressed in a cogent manner. In part, it was good just because Mitt knows that critics are very quick to affix the “hyperbole” label to comments like this, and advisors advise against risking the appearance of being melodramatic, but in this case, in this election cycle, it rang spot-on true to many, many people.

Governor Romney said:

"…the real issue is the vision for this country. And I -- I think people have to recognize that what’s at stake in this election is jobs, yes; and balancing the budget, yes; and dealing with our -- our extraordinary overhang from our -- our entitlements. We have to make sure they’re preserved, our entitlements, that is, so we don’t kill the future of the country. We’ve got a lot of issues we care about.

But, really, this election is about the soul of America.

The question is, what is America going to be?

And we have in Washington today a President who has put America on a road to decline, militarily, internationally and, domestically, he’s making us into something we wouldn’t recognize. We’re increasingly becoming like Europe. Europe isn’t working in Europe. It will never work here.

The right course for America is to return to the principles that were written down in first words in the Declaration of Independence, '…we were endowed by our creator with certain unalienable rights, among them, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.'

We have the right in this country to pursue happiness as we choose and as people pursue education and work hard and take risks and build enterprises of all kinds, they lift themselves and don’t make us poorer, they make us better off.

The question is, are we going to remain an exceptional nation, a unique nation in the history of the earth?

That’s what’s at stake in this election.

We have a President that does not understand, in his heart, in his bones, the nature of American entrepreneurialism, innovation and work. And -- and that is something which we’re fighting for in this election. I hope the people on the stage share that vision. But we must return America to the principles … upon which it was founded if we’re ever going to have a strong balance sheet, a strong income statement, create jobs,.. a bright future for our kids.”

Governor Rick Perry made a similar point in Sunday’s debate when he said:

“…in fact that we have a president that’s a socialist. I don’t think our founding fathers wanted America to be a socialist country. So I disagree with that premise that somehow or another that President Obama reflects our founding fathers. He doesn’t. He talks about having a more powerful, more centralized, more consuming and costly federal government.

I am a Tenth Amendment believing governor. I truly believe that we need a president that respects the Tenth Amendment, that pushes back to the states. Whether it’s how to deliver education, how to deliver health care, how to do our environmental regulations. The states will considerably do a better job than a one-size-fits-all Washington, D.C. led by this president.” All six remaining Republican candidates have improved throughout this primary process, honed their arguments and strengths, and offered America a better view of the brilliance and breadth of Republican values and the Republican Party.

While we must remain vigilant and diligent and take nothing for granted as the 2012 elections approach, we must also start right now challenging the legacy media mantra that our biggest challenge is “who could possibly beat Obama?” and replace that with “which of our exceptional slate of candidates is the best choice to beat Obama and then serve as our President, to re-find and re-state that soul of America?”

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