I watched the CNN Republican Presidential Debate last night, and I was pleasantly surprised that the candidates focused their criticism on President Obama, not one another

The 2012 election will be a referendum on Obama, no matter how hard the Obama machine attempts to spin it differently.  Obama will have to run on his record of high unemployment, economic stagnation, and foreign policy blunders, regardless who becomes the Republican nominee.

The questioners tried several times to get the candidates to attack one another, but none took the bait.  Instead, it was mostly a two-hour hammering of Obama’s failures as a president—something the typical CNN viewer is not used to seeing.   

I think my favorite moment of the night occurred when John King asked each of the seven candidates whether they would maintain Obama’s policy allowing gays to serve openly in the military or whether they would reinstate Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.   Mitt Romney began his response by saying “Well, we ought to be talking about the economy and jobs . . .”

My thoughts exactly. 

(Note to CNN: John King’s odd throat clearings during the candidate responses were distracting and annoying.  Please find someone else to moderate future debates.  Also, scrap the inane “This or That” feature.)