Issues, Not Idle Gossip, Ruled GOP Debate

In her Detroit Free Press column, Rochelle Riley writes that no matter how hard she tried, she could not stop thinking of last week's GOP debate as a Saturday Night Live sketch.

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GOP presidential debate (Getty Images)

Rochelle Riley writes in her Detroit Free Press column that while last week's Republican presidential debate started out like a Saturday Night Live comedy sketch, moderators did Americans a favor by refocusing attention on the economy instead of sex.

It took the moderators nearly a half hour to get to what the media -- but not the American people -- wanted to know.

One asked businessman Herman Cain, amid boos, whether America would want to hire someone whose character has been questioned, and Cain nailed his response, to cheers. 

"The American people deserve better than someone being tried in the court of public opinion based on unfounded accusations," he said.

Undeterred, the moderator asked former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney a follow-up -- to boos -- on whether he'd fire someone like Cain.

And Romney went with the audience:

"Herman Cain is the person to respond to these questions. He just did. The people in this room and across the country can make their own assessment."

And just like that, the channel changed from "Saturday Night Live" to CSPAN, from gossip to the kinds of serious issues that serious students like those at Oakland University want addressed.

Read Rochelle Riley's entire column at the Detroit Free Press.

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