Some excellent responses in here. Obviously Giuliani fumbles the abortion question. I liked Romney's comment that he wouldn't tell Catholic Bishops what to do (see updated below). Ron Paul seems every bit the kook that he is; he trusts the internet more than the mainstream media? That's buffoonish. If you want to say that you trust conservative bloggers more than the New York Times, okay, but if you want to say that you trust the internet, you're a crackpot.
Every campaign needs a narrative, a storyline for why a candidate is in the arena. A while ago Rich noted, in this very helpful post, that the narrative for Giuliani was that he was going to be "a tough S.O.B. — for you." In other words he was gonna go medieval on al Qaeda the way he had on the squeegee men and turnstile-jumpers. This remains the chief source of Giuliani's appeal within the base of the GOP (if not necessarily with average Americans). The McCain camp seems to have understood this better than Giuliani going into last night's debate. His feisty, at times awkward, junkyard dog routine was intended to send the signal that if you want someone to fight the war on terror the Chicago Way, he's your man.
Mr McCain, who according to new polls has bounced back from a lackluster start and now leads his major rivals in the key early primary states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, appeared more sure footed than the current frontrunner, Rudy Giuliani. The former New York mayor particularly struggled on the issue of abortion, a crucial issue for conservative voters who hold the key to choosing the party’s presidential nominee.
John McCain was his old self at Thursday night's Republican presidential debate: feisty, pointed and a straight-talker who wasn't afraid to tell Republican activists things they didn't want to hear.
It made him the big winner of the night.
The senator's campaign has been lagging a bit lately. Despite a slow start in Thursday's gabfest, he turned in an increasingly forceful performance that is sure to re-caffeinate his campaign.
Update: Well, I should have known that Romney's comment about how the Catholic Church was private and could do whatever it wanted to was a flip-flop from a previous position.
This answer represents a significant shift in Gov. Romney’s position. As governor of Massachusetts, Romney ordered Catholic hospitals to administer emergency contraception to women who claim they had been raped.