On the first question, Thompson seemed like he was winging it, especially in contrast to Romney’s answer immediately afterwards. Romney has obviously done the homework on Michigan-specific issues that Thompson hasn’t. This is pretty much exactly what we’ve come to expect. Thompson doesn’t need to do a lot to exceed expectations about his mastery of detail, but so far he hasn’t done it.
Ron Paul, interestingly, talks about monetary policy without directly mentioning gold. I suspect this is deliberate, an effort to talk about his pet obsession without sounding like a crank. Plus, he brings the issue around to foreign policy, making an effort to shore up his status as the niche candidate for the anti-war sliver of the Republican electorate. His fundraising success has apparently inspired him to at least attempt to develop the sort of message discipline that fringe candidates don’t usually bother with.
Romney and Giuliani are going for each other’s throats on their economic records. Team Thompson can’t be upset about that.
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