Comments of the Day
Read my lips, "No more Texans."–DavenCA
"So a Mormon, a fundamentalist Christian and an airhead walk into a bar"–DoctorMumbai
Texas Gov. Rick Perry was apparently the candidate to beat in Monday night's first-ever CNN/Tea Party debate in Florida. Under attack were his positions on illegal immigration, Social Security, and the vaccination of Texas schoolgirls against human papillomavirus - a program Rep. Michele Bachmann suggested was politically motivated. CNN.com readers commented on the format and suggested their own debate winners.
flyingram said, "Three cheers for Wolf Blitzer! I am not a fan of CNN, but let's give credit where it is due. Wolf Blitzer provided a model of what a professional moderator looks like. He was even-handed, avoided baiting questions and appeared to go out of his way to administer time/candidate response-management in a way that was fair to all of the GOP candidates."
678 said, "I tuned in and thought I was watching Saturday Night Live. Perry is a joke. Only Tea Party extremists could see either him or Bachmann as a potential president. These two see everything in simplistic terms that do not even scratch the surface of the complexities involved. God help us if this is the best our Republican Party has to offer."
But flyingram asked how candidates could deal with complexities when they "have one minute to respond? Would you agree that this format invites simplistic responses, no matter which political party candidates are at the lectern?"
Commenting on Bachman's attack on Perry's vaccination order, RuthinFL said, "I suppose Bachmann thinks the government was out of line forcing polio and smallpox vaccines, too? I've had more than one friend who went through years of pre-cancerous status while being treated because of HPV. I took my daughter the moment it was offered. How dare Bachmann try to throw mud on Perry over this? She's not presidential material and is definitely no medical expert."
But ObamaBinBad disagreed, "Michelle Bachmann was great. She exposed Rick Perry as a liberal on immigration and a crony corporate loser."
greenjeans said, "Believe it or not, I think Santorum and Huntsman gained the most ground in that debate. Bachmann also got some jabs in." realitycanbe said, "Herman Cain or Ron Paul actually make a hell of a lot more sense, but I guess that doesn't count for much any more. We worry about elect-ability instead of just ability." bburgess asked, "Why is it that Ron Paul gives the most consistent and honest answers, but he seemingly gets ignored in both the debate and in the media? I'm not saying I agree with everything he says, but he makes very valid points."
rosiejones said, "I don't vote by party lines. I vote according to the candidate. And let me tell you, if the Republican Party runs any of these uber-conservative candidates, I'll vote for Obama before I'll vote for any one of them."
Of all the jabs at Perry, the sharpest was about Social Security, writes political expert William Howell. Mitt Romney accused Perry of trying to scare senior citizens and ruin the Republican Party by calling Social Security unconstitutional, a Ponzi scheme and a failure, Howell writes. A CNN fact check ruled Perry's 'Ponzi scheme' remark false. Many CNN.com readers agreed.
luckyponytoo said, "Calling it a Ponzi scheme is just a politician's attempt to demonize it by associating it with something evil. There's really no difference between this and a bank. Do you think the bank actually holds on to your money for you? Of course not: They say it's yours and at the same time give it out to other people and businesses as loans. They don't have your money any more than Social Security has your money."
Southerner01 said, "First step to fixing a problem is to admit there is one. There are quite a few changes that could be made to the Social Security system to FIX it without ENDING it."
mikaz said, "So the GOP candidates all want to eliminate Social Security and replace it with private equity retirement accounts? At the same time they want to deregulate the Wall Street Raiders and banks that destroyed our economy in the first place. Yikes! What a recipe for disaster."
MeanOldMan said, "The Republicans have been trying to kill Social Security since it was created, and they will never stop. If every person who advocates privatizing it is voted out in the elections it may slow them down but they will keep coming after it. Social Security is not even, of itself, a factor in the national debt. The problem is that the politicians stole the money out of the trust to balance their general budgets."
Miraflores said, "Social Security and Medicare are not entitlements. My husband and I have paid into Social Security since we were 16. The tax was taken out each paycheck for our lifetime until retirement. Medicare is not an entitlement either: The only true entitlement is Medicaid. Of all the Republicans, Romney seems more like the old GOP, but the rest are far-right religious inspired politicians, best out of government."
dirtybug said, "Social Security is not a Ponzi scheme; it is real, and needed, and should be protected. When your hearing fades, your eyes grow dim, and your legs can't carry you; you will be very proud of your Social Security check. It is yours, you earned it, and how dare Perry or anyone else mess with it! Age is a demon, and it happens to us all."
Top Irish Catholic cleric calls for church to end celibacy for priests
In the wake of sex abuse scandals rocking the Catholic church, retired Irish Bishop Dr. Edward Daly called for an end to the requirement that priests be celibate. While most CNN.com readers supported the idea, they questioned whether doing so would actually reduce pedophilia in the Catholic church.
Linda said, "The problems in the Church are not because a priest is celibate. The problems are because these men are pedophiles and have been allowed to hide their problems within the Church walls. There are many men who are married and are pedophiles." eality agreed, "Ending celibacy for priests will not solve the problem since 50 percent of those men convicted of pedophilia are married."
Carol said, "I find celibacy strange and would like it explained to me why there should be such a thing as celibacy among nuns or priests." YBT said, "It is so they, their spouses and their children will not own or inherit any of the Church's property or real estate."
ThinkForYourself said, "Not that I have a horse in the race, but considering the shortage of priests in many areas and the original reason for not allowing priests to marry - that the Church might lose land to inheritance - I don't see any good reason not to allow priests to marry, other than the Church is just hard-headed."
John Richardson said, "It won't by itself cure the problem, but it could dramatically change the population from which they are recruiting priests. It would be a healthy improvement. Ordaining women would be an even more healthy improvement."
Do you feel your views align with these commenters' thoughts? Post a comment below or sound off on video.
Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.