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Five Questions for Tonight’s Debate

12:04 PM, Dec 15, 2011 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
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1. Will “New Newt” reappear, thereby showing that even in the face of increasingly frequent and effective attacks, the Newt Gingrich of 2012 can convey the maturation, the positive message, and the commitment to fighting President Obama, that has marked his unexpected rise to date?

GOP debate

2. If asked (as he was at the recent presidential forum in New York City) what he would say in a general election debate if Obama says “that his health care law was based on your Massachusetts model,” will Mitt Romney again begin his answer by saying (as he did then), “Mr. President, thank you for the compliment”?

3. Will Romney’s fellow candidates call him out if he again says that his individual mandate, requiring 100 percent of Massachusetts residents to buy government-approved health insurance under penalty of law, somehow applies to only 8 percent of the Bay State’s population? 

4. Will the GOP candidates (especially those who might realistically be expecting to debate Obama next fall) finally convey that they know the 2,700-page monstrosity that is Obamacare isn’t merely — or even mostly — objectionable because of its individual mandate, but rather because it would spawn a massive expansion of Medicaid (where about half of the newly insured would go) at a time when we’re already $15 trillion in debt, because it would establish heavily subsidized insurance “exchanges” into which many employers would dump their employees at colossal taxpayer expense, because it would provide taxpayer funding for abortion, because it would establish the grisly Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) to order cuts to Medicare spending, and because Americans’ liberty would drown in its regulations?

5. Will Paul Ryan be watching with an eye toward whether he’s really content to let any one of these seven candidates be all that stands in the way of four more years of Obama and the entrenchment of Obamacare?

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