Within moments of the end of last night's debate, Republicans knew instinctively which moment they would try to own.
“Whether the issue was driver’s licenses, Social Security, access to information concerning the Clinton presidency, Iraq, the AMT, or a host of other issues, Hillary Clinton only offered contradicting, conflicted, and confusing answers to serious questions," Danny Diaz, the RNC's communications director, told me.
"She will certainly see and hear this over and over again if she becomes the Democrat nominee.”
Within moments of the debate, Kevin Madden, a spokesman for Mitt Romney, e-mailed a statement to reporters:
"Senator Clinton's troubling answer on providing drivers licenses to illegal immigrants was emblematic of someone who is both dismissive of efforts to enforce our nation's immigration laws and entirely unwilling to offer a straight answer to a very direct question.”
Rudy Giuliani used the venue of the Glenn Beck show:
GLENN BECK: “Did you watch with your mouth opening thinking, ‘I don’t even know what that answer about driver’s licenses even means from Hillary Clinton?’”
MAYOR GIULIANI: “You know, she was being attacked all night for taking different positions in front of different audiences and then by the end of the night, she took different positions in front of the same audience. It was pretty amazing. I mean, in politics I’ve never quite seen that before. I know there are some politicians like Hillary. They say different things to different people. They use different accents in different parts of the country. I’m used to that about her now. I had never seen it happen all in one place, in one minute. And Glenn, this is not a tough issue.”
The RNC sent out a research memo entitled "HILLARY'S DEBATE DODGEBALL: At Last Night's Debate, Hillary Continued "Strategy Of Avoiding Direct Answers To Questions"
And the chairman of the Michigan Republican Party began his daily activist e-mail by writing:
The Democrat’s presidential debate just made it crystal clear why America cannot afford any of them as our next president. Can you imagine Hillary leading our country…the pandering would make Granholm look modest!?! Driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants??? Universal healthcare? Only Democrats see UFO’s!