As a registered independent who tends to vote democratic, I wanted to tune in to last night's republican presidential candidate debate to get a better feel for all of the candidates. Right off the bat, I have to admit the two moderators were AWFUL. Most of the question choices were pretty poor and I felt they went out of their way to have the candidates attack and criticize each other, which Romney and Perry did early on about the other's job creation record as governor. Newt Gingrich hasn't changed my mind one bit that he is the smartest and best idea man in the field. He just can't stay out of his own way when it comes to non-political matters and his campaign has been a debacle from the beginning. Herman Cain says some amusing things and I appreciate his business background but he has no chance of winning the nomination. Rick Santorum has no amusing things to say and I can't figure out why he even merited an invitation. I find myself liking what Jon Huntsman has to say and he easily has the best voice among the candidates. He's also served in several administrations, been a governor and worked in the private sector. He just doesn't know how to run a campaign and has found no traction nationally or in any of the early voting state polls. Michelle Bachmann apparently can't answer any question without bringing up Obamacare. I really disliked how all the candidates brought it up as if that's the only thing contributing to a stagnant economy and low job hiring numbers since most of its major provisions don't kick in until 2014. She also touts leadership and accomplishments from her time in the House of Representatives, which just flat out isn't true. Ron Paul lost me a few times but I agree with his stances on having the federal government butt out of several issues and also the money that could be saved by eliminating air conditioning in the green zones in Iraq and Afghanistan and just getting the U.S. out of those two countries completely. He'd never win the nomination but he comes across well since he's been running for president forever. Ricky Perry showed better than I expected, especially since later in the debate the moderators and other candidates ganged up on him pretty good. He gave a terrible answer regarding Social Security and while statements of it being a ponzi scheme may play well in Texas, Iowa and South Carolina, in a national campaign, not so much. He also responded much better to the border security question than Romeny and Bachmann, who apparently don't know Texas and Mexico are separated by a river, which makes it hard to build a wall. My main gripe about his candidacy is how much he wants the federal government to butt out while continuing to ask for and accept any money he can get from the federal government. I also don't understand why he keeps saying the science on human contributions to climate change aren't settled. Mitt Romney had to be on his toes early when Perry went after his record as governor over job creation and his jab at Perry stating George Bush created more jobs than Perry has was strong and accurate, despite Perry saying it wasn't true. His lines are well crafted and his experience in these types of debates was obvious to those watching. I don't know what he's saying regarding immigration but everything about him last night looked presidential to me. Overall the format was disappointing, with candidates getting one minutes responses to questions and sometimes 30 seconds to rebut the answer of another candidate. Time was not spread equally among the candidates nor did they field the same amount of questions. In my view Romney and Huntsman scored the highest in my book, followed by Perry, Gingrich, Paul, Cain, Bachmann and Santorum. Many of the candidates touted their job creation abilities and I agree on some points regarding a reduction in the corporate tax rate and perhaps loosening some environmental restrictions on domestic drilling. I don't believe the oil lobby's claims that opening up all drilling will result in 1.5 million jobs, $800 billion in tax revenues, etc. Anyone else tune in have any thoughts?