Tony Katz

He's not the only one in need of a debate. Santorum lost Ohio, and, truth be told, badly. Three weeks before the primary, Santorum was ahead of Romney 42% to 24%. On primary night, Santorum lost by 1%. He went from +18 to -1; a 19 point swing in three weeks. With Wisconsin, New York and Pennsylvania fast approaching, Santorum needs to restate his case as well. "I'm Rick Santorum, I'm more than just the Heartland candidate and let me show you how I can beat Barack Obama!"

Only a debate can set one of these men free. Erick Erickson thinks a debate is a very good idea, especially for Romney:

The Romney camp signaled it was tired of the debates. But in the Florida debates the Romney camp largely destroyed Gingrich before winning Florida. In the Mesa, AZ debate on CNN the Romney camp ruined Rick Santorum before winning Arizona and barely Michigan.

Both times the Romney campaign used good debate performances to rebound lagging poll numbers into real momentum. Then he decided to stop debating. Out of sight and out of mind, conservatives forgot why they thought he was the guy who could beat Obama.

Both of the those debates also highlighted horrible performances. In Arizona, Santorum showed himself as a Senator, not a President. In Jacksonville, Gingrich showed himself unwilling to fight back; rare for him, and deadly for his campaign.

Gingrich sits at a multi-pronged cross roads. He didn't win in the deep South like he should have, but he beat Romney in both states. He has 1/3rd the delegates of Romney, but the talk of a Gingrich/Perry ticket could revitalize Tea Party supporters (of course, predicated on him lasting to the convention and getting past the first ballot, which is his entire plan!) To have a chance at his plan, regardless of the probability of success, Gingrich needs a debate.

We, The People, need one more debate. So, let's have one! The Debate To End All Debates! Hosted and moderated by conservatives. Get the candidates up there and lets not waste time with gotcha questions about contraceptives, the candidates’ private lives or their religions (which, of course, means Charles Blow won't be watching,) but about concrete plans for increasing domestically-produced energy and lowering gas prices. Let's get in a few questions in about Operation Fast and Furious, and a full segment dedicated to Constitutional government - what it means, where we fall short, and how we get back to it.

One more debate. Winner takes all.


Tony Katz

Tony Katz is a radio talk show host, writer, public speaker and cigar enthusiast. His show can be heard on 93.1FM WIBC in Indianapolis, and at TonyKatz.com.