Thursday, September 22, 2011
We're about a half an hour away. Are you going to watch?
8:00: And here we go. Introducing the candidates. How long before Huntsman drops out? And why is Gary Johnson here? I mean....
Wow. That spread graphic on where the questions came from is interesting. Heavy to the east.
The first question is about small businesses. I don't think I like the video question thing. But, we'll see. Rick Perry takes the first answer and it's boilerplate. Jobs in Texas. Personal injury trial lawyers - "don't come to Texas...". Same thing we've heard. He's touting Texas to the hilt. Perry seems a little nervous out of the box.
Romney says the way to "lift America" isn't to take from one person or group and give to another.
To Bachmann, a question from the last debate about "Out of every dollar I earn, how much do I deserve to keep?" Bachmann says all of it. She says private solutions that are permanent is the way to go. What the heck does that mean?
To Santorum, a question about right to work states. Santorum looks weird waiting for the video question to cue up.
To Newt: A question about unemployment benefits. He says it's "fundamentally wrong" to give unemployment benefits for 99 weeks for doing nothing.
Huntsman (who doesn't look orange this debate) blathers about his energy plan. And gets dinged for time.
Herman Cain gets a question about his 9-9-9 plan and the audience applauds and cheers. They like it? I guess. Cain, bless his heart, is personable and relaxed. He needs a job in the Republican nominee's cabinet! He knows business. "It treats all businesses the same!" of the 9-9-9 plan, he says.
8:20: Governor Johnson says something about promising a balanced budget. He's for the Fair Tax and a Consumption Tax.
Ramesh Ponnuru (at NRO) says the Fair Tax won't work.
A question to Perry about Social Security and how it will work if fifty states run it. Perry says "We ought to have as one of the options" that we have options for state retirees and state employees. (As a teacher, I don't pay into SS in Louisiana. I pay an equal amount into the Louisiana Teacher's Retirement System).
Perry and Romney go head to head on this a bit. Romney says Social Security is the responsibility of the federal government, not the states.
Why does Romney say, "Thank you" at the end of all his repsonses?
Perry drags out "RomneyCare" and quotes Romney's book back at him. He's prepared: he notes that Romney changed his paperback from his hardback on the subject of RomneyCare. Romney goes on the defensive.
Romney says Obama is a "big spending liberal" who takes his ideas from Europe and that won't work here. "I believe in free enterprise and capitalism. I believe government is too big." WTF: "I didn't inhale." Yes - he said that. He said that he did not spend his whole life in government but in the private sector. Dig at Perry.
Seems Romney isn't willing to call Obama a socialist.
Herman Cain says he'd cut the EPA "It's outta control...the EPA has gone wild." Mentions their regulation "of dust." Laughter and applause. He offers a solution for Social Security: the Chilean Model, he says. I'm reminded of a tweet from Mary Katharine Ham after the last debate: "DON'T Google Chilean Model at work!!!!!" Heh!
Here's a good question about massive overreach of the government into the classroom. Gov. Johnson says he'll abolish the Dept. of Education. Applause. Santorum says education is the parents responsibility and not the feds. Newt says you need profound reform at the state level and that most states should adopt Pell grants for K-12 so parents could choose what school their kids go to. Ron Paul says get the feds out of the business of educating our kids. He says don't enforce NCLB and advocates tax credits for those who want to opt out of a federal education system. Rick Perry advocates school choice, vouchers, and the charter system. Perry jabs at Romney for his support of the Race to the Top. Perry got some Boo's on that.
Romney blows that dig off and says the feds ought to be out of education. "We need great teachers," he says. Romney says Arne Duncan "is doing a good thing" by evaluating teachers.
Bachmann says local control with parents is the way to go. She plugs her mom credentials and her foster mom credentials yet again because there might be life on Mars that doesn't know that by now.
Herman Cain is on board with all of the above.