Press "Enter" to skip to content

Rounds Loses Debate by Attacking Howie’s Fiscal Conservatism

Independent candidate for U.S. Senate Gordon Howie, Dakotafest, Mitchell, SD 2014.08020
Gordon Howie—mostly harmless, right?

It's hard to tell who won yesterday's Senate debate at Dakotafest. But Mike Rounds lost. You know how you can tell? The Republican frontrunner took time to attack Tea Party conservative Gordon Howie, the candidate who places fourth in every poll that bothers to mention him, the man with the least chance of beating him in November.

This telling exchange came in Question #4 of the Dakotafest debate, on the Affordable Care Act. Rounds said repeal and replace. Independent Larry Pressler said more fuss over ACA repeal wastes time better spent getting things done in Washington. Weiland said the Affordable Care Act, while good, didn't make health care affordable enough and pitched his Medicare-as-public-option plan. He also said Rounds was lying in an earlier response when he said that the ACA was robbing Medicare. Howie said nuke the ACA and complained that Rounds killed his bill to nullify the ACA in 2010.

Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Mike Rounds, Dakotafest debate, Mitchell, SD, 2014.08.20
Oooh, that Gordy! Oooh, that Gordy! He makes me so mad! I'll fix him—I'm gonna write him a mean letter....

While Howie spoke, Rounds leaned over and whispered something to moderator Jerry Oster from WNAX. When Howie finished, instead of moving on to the next question, Oster announced that Rounds would get a chance to respond. No such rebuttal had taken place in either debate Wednesday, but evidently and happily, the rules allowed such responses. Rounds opened his rebuttal by attacking Howie. He said, quite reasonably, that Gordon (Rounds said Gordon) can't change federal law with state law.

But then Rounds took another swing at Howie. He said that as a legislator, Gordy (Rounds said Gordy) voted on four budget bills to spend $66 million more than the Rounds Administration had requested. Rounds went on to say Medicare means government controls your health care and mentioned Sarah Palin's death panels.

The other candidates got to rebut as well and did so ably. But the kicker here is that Mike Rounds bothered to attack Gordon Howie as a bigger spender than he. (Seriously, anybody who believes Mike Rounds is a bigger fiscal conservative than Gordon Howie probably also believes that Benjamin Sisko was a better captain that James T. Kirk.)

We bloggers can spend our time razzing Gordon Howie, because Gordon is all sorts of fun. But Mike Rounds is not a blogger. (Heck, he's not even a Tweeter, or an e-mailer.) He's the Republican front-runner, the sure thing, the guy who by his vaunted polling data ought to be able to coast to coronation in November without dirtying his hands with so much as a faint dismissive wave toward Gordy, Larry, or Ricky.

But there Mikey went, letting Howie get under his skin and draw an absurd attack that makes Rounds look small (excuse me, smaller) and Howie look serious.

We will continue to debate who won Wednesday at Dakotafest (and I have full analysis of the Senate debate coming up). But Mike Rounds's thin-skinnedness shows that he lost.


  1. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.08.21

    Of course we all know Captain Janeway was the best of all!

    Just sayin'.

  2. Rorschach 2014.08.21

    Gordy must have run at least 1 "structural deficit," as evidenced by his failure to pay taxes. We know for sure that Marion ran 7 structural deficits in 8 years as governor. Besides that, Marion's biggest accomplishments as governor were building himself a new governor's mansion and buying himself a new plane to fly his family and friends around in (till he got caught and had to reimburse the taxpayers). His legacy will be that of a caretaker governor who managed to get by for 8 years without any vision for SD and without any real accomplishments besides taking a huge federal stimulus from Barack Obama at the end of his governorship to backfill his last "structural deficits."

    Besides feathering his personal nest with a new mansion and plane, Marion also got the law changed so his brothers could run a vodka distillery, but I haven't heard how they're doing with that venture. And he employed a lot of family members in government. But here's what I would like some more information about. How much bailout money did Rounds get when his mansion on the river flooded? How much settlement money did Rounds' family members get from the state when they sued after a family member was tragically killed west of Pierre in a car accident on highway 34? How much stimulus money was used to "enhance" the value of Marion's property just north of Ft. Pierre to dig canals and/or manage drainage? I don't know the answer to these questions, but I'd like the press to look into them. I also wonder who ended up with all of the millions the foreign EB-5 investors put into the Aberdeen beef plant. SD workers got stiffed. SD contractors got stiffed. The foreign investors got stiffed. Who ended up with the cash? Tens of millions of dollars cash people ponied up because they felt it was safe because South Dakota State government was backing the project. And what was in the government records that went missing?

  3. bearcreekbat 2014.08.21

    I agree that Janeway smoked the rest!

  4. owen reitzel 2014.08.21

    "But there Mikey went, letting Howie get under his skin and draw an absurd attack that makes Rounds look small (excuse me, smaller) and Howie look serious."

    Maybe that's why after Rounds talked to the press after the debate his handlers ran him out of the tent. I was hoping to have a civil conversation with Rounds and explain to him my experience with the ACA.
    I'll give Howie credit for sticking around and I did talk to him and we had a good conversation free from yelling. He didn't change my mind and I didn't change his but talking is always a good thing.
    Apparently Rounds doesn't believe in that-well at least not with liberals .

  5. Roger Cornelius 2014.08.21

    I don't know the context in which Rounds used the Sarah Palin Death Panel comment, but it does appear that he is appealing to Howie's tea party base.

    Hopefully in their next debate, Rick will have the opportunity to attack Rounds on the specifics of his failures and lies, of his tenure as governor.

  6. mike fro iowa 2014.08.21

    According to PeePee's romp through an alternative universe,none of you were at the debate because Rounds was the master and no one else counted.

  7. 96 Tears 2014.08.21

    Saw the debate again and it's interesting to see Rounds squirm pandering to the right and the center of the Republican Party. It's clear he and Wadhams decided to let the diminishing center of the SDGOP reach their own conclusions, but that letting the extreme wing votes go to Gordon Howie could be fatal.

  8. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.08.21

    Strange, Mike: I didn't see PP there. But notice that PP's coverage of the debate is all jackassery and no substantive reporting or analysis.

  9. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.08.21

    Larry, Janeway for me too.

    The other captains were good enough, except for Kirk. Ugh. What an ass.

  10. bearcreekbat 2014.08.21

    I am a little dismayed to have the closest connection to Picard despite my admiration of Janeway.

  11. Bill Dithmer 2014.08.21

    I still think Ricks chances are small, but maybe its time for a negative add with a little humor to get attention.

    I see a photo show of all the headlines, the different pictures with captions from him, maybe something about The Black Hills Playhouse. Or maybe Vahalla, or maybe somthing to help those Republicans that dont like Mike, get over the hump.

    He does this using the melody from "Thanks For The Memories," with new 30 second lyrics.

    Come on Rick have one of your musician friends sing that song, and I think it would be good for a thousand votes or so.

    But then everybody knows how crazy I am.

    The Blindman

  12. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.08.21

    Bill, I just saw Rick's ad on KSFY making fun of Mike's luxury bus compared to Rick's sensible family van.

  13. Bill Fleming 2014.08.21

    I got the young version of Kirk. Weird test Huh?

    Those little quickie ads of Rick's rock. The new bus one is my fave so far.

  14. jerry 2014.08.21

    Still nothing really from the media other than saying that Marion is still defending his position on the EB-5 saying it was a smart thing to do. You know he would not be saying that unless he is sure that the local media here does not have the balls to challenge him on that. I would like to see him defend that under oath and will still under oath, tell us where the moolah went. Did he use the 9 million to run for the senate? Slippery little devil that Marion is.

  15. mike fro iowa 2014.08.21

    Fiscal conservatism-why buy the cow when you can talk Asian investors into throwing mucho dinero at South Dakota dairies that can be skimmed like cream from milk. How many Capts were there? Captain,I don't believe my ears. Mr Spock,I don't believe your ears,either.

  16. larry kurtz 2014.08.21

    Aw, Deb: James Tiberius Kirk was the best captain because he was a jerk!

  17. grudznick 2014.08.21

    I am not sure I understand the test but it said "Your self-confidence is almost as legendary as your disregard for the rules, but no one is complaining because you always get results. And usually, a hot date, too."

    Seems about right, dinit?

  18. larry kurtz 2014.08.21

    Jim Kirk = Bill Janklow?

  19. larry kurtz 2014.08.21

    Picard allowed himself to be duped by the supernatural: very conservative.

  20. grudznick 2014.08.21

    Lar, who is Kahless? A different test said I am most like Kahless.

  21. mike fro iowa 2014.08.21

    Rick Perry may be facing a third felony charge.

    The judge was upset that Perry said, “I am confident we will ultimately prevail, that this farce of a prosecution will be revealed for what it is, and that those responsible will be held to account.” Of course, the only people responsible are the judge, the special prosecutor, and the grand jurors.

    So, she stood up to the bully.

    Threatening a grand juror is a second degree felony with a 20 year prison sentence.

  22. Roger Cornelius 2014.08.21

    Bob Mercer is planning to file a OIA against Attorney General Marty Jackley on the Benda death investigation.

  23. 90 Schilling 2014.08.21

    I find it interesting Bernie leads the charge to put wheels under an eb5 and Benda investigation with legislative subpoena power and no mention of it at Madville. Old news?

  24. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.08.21

    No, just busy driving all over kingdom come and talking to people! :-)

  25. Roger Cornelius 2014.08.21

    Anyone else notice the eerie silence over at DWC about the senate and governor's debate? Powers can't defend Daugaard and Rounds when it come to EB-5.

  26. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.08.21

    I think Picard is #2 for me.

    Good comments Larry. Clever and snarky - what's not to like?

  27. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.08.21

    I'm looking forward to the new EB5 post about whether 96 Schilling is talking about. I know it'll show up as soon as Cory can get to it.

  28. mike fro iowa 2014.08.22

    How I long for the days when pols kissed babies instead of wanting them deported if they aren't white.

  29. mike fro iowa 2014.08.22

    Makes me wonder why wingnuts are dead set against abortion.

Comments are closed.