Wonder what you would find if you frisked the last GOP gubernatorial debate that occurred last night at Oakland University in Auburn Hills, Michigan?
Answer: Republican candidates explaining their stance on issues ranging from immigration and jobs to right-to-work.
Well Michiganders… We have 2 weeks and 6 days left until we are able to vote for which Republican candidate (or Democrat) we want to lead our state into prosperity. The Detroit Free Press reports:
On stage were Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard, Attorney General Mike Cox, U.S. Rep. Pete Hoekstra and state Sen. Tom George. None threw a knockout punch at Oakland University in Auburn Hills; each hit familiar themes.
Bouchard emphasized an economic recovery that keeps Michigan’s children in the state.
Cox reminded TV viewers of his endorsements (Right to Life and Michigan Chamber of Commerce) and that he was a Marine and prosecutor.
Hoekstra offered his experience with a west Michigan furniture maker to tout his understanding of the issues.
George said the others aren’t realistic in suggesting deep tax cuts as revenues have shrunk.
I agree with the Detroit Free Press’ assessment that there wasn’t any knockout punches thrown in last night’s debate, but we were reminded of which candidate exceeds the rest: Mike Bouchard.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know some of you will comment on this post just to point out my bias, but there is a reason why I have endorsed him to be Michigan’s next governor. Last night, Mike Bouchard seemed like the only candidate that is ready to lead our great state of Michigan into prosperity. He was absolutely flawless during the debate as he stayed poised, articulate, and laid out his plan that will fix Lansing and get Michigan back to work. On top of all that, he has been a small business owner, leader in the state legislature under Governor Engler during Michigan’s roaring 90′s, and now manages the largest sheriff’s office in the state. Like he said during the debate last night: There’s A LOT of new-comers entering the state legislature after the November election due to term-limits, and our state cannot handle another governor who needs on-the-job training. Mike Bouchard is clearly the only candidate who has the experience and backbone needed to fix our great state!
As for the other candidates in last night’s debate:
State Senator Tom George was back to his typical “we must have a constitutional convention” the entire time, which I don’t entirely disagree with. Unfortunately, it will cause special interests groups to flood into the process and cost our state $40-50 million dollars. In other words, that’s crucial money the state of Michigan doesn’t have. Overall, he was energetic and made some good points on a few of the key-issues, but he will just get ignored.
Mike Cox basically repeated himself the entire time. At the beginning of every question he would thank the debate moderator, remind the crowd that he was endorsed by the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, and then plugged his website at the end of each question. In my opinion, it seemed like he lacked the knowledge and substance to answer the tough questions thrown his way. Not to mention, Tom George just went to town and picked apart the many flaws found in Cox’s Putting Michigan Back to Work plan. In the end, Mike Cox showed his true colors when he didn’t know the difference between a “tax-cut” and a “tax-credit”. Looking around at the crowd after he said it, I was clearly not the only one who was absolutely shocked and astonished by his remarks. Overall, he has been a good Attorney General, but he’s definitely not fit for governor. Sorry.
Personally, I kind of like Pete Hoekstra but once again he came off like he was a deer stuck in the headlights and displayed NO enthusiasm at all while answering the questions. Not to mention, he did jump off subject time-to-time and addressed some federal government issues which left me scratching my head. In the end, Hoekstra is definitely the “establishment” candidate and if he received the Republican nomination I would be worried about whether or not he could keep the Republican momentum going into November. After all, Michigan’s last two GOP candidates that ran against Governor Granholm were dry and unenthusiastic and we do not want to make the same mistake.
As for Rick Snyder… Well, he decided not to show up and instead held town hall meetings in Grand Rapids and Grand Ledge. It’s a strategy that his campaign chose to go with after participating in the Detroit Regional Chamber debate on Mackinac Island in early June. Personally, I find it odd that he could not take one day off during his two-month long town hall tour to show Michigan that he can stand his ground with the rest of the field. If a candidate cannot support his plan during a simple debate, how can he expect to know how to wrangle with state government in order to put a struggling state on the path towards prosperity and economic growth? …And please don’t give me the quick one-liner “sound bite” that he was once a CEO. Remember, he disagrees with “sound bites and fireworks”.
Overall, it was a good debate and I had a great time attending.
*UPDATE* July 14, 2010 – 12:50 pm.
Click here to watch last night’s debate.
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