Start up in a couple of minutes.
Update 1: You can watch on ABC's site if you've got NFL on your TV!
Mitt comes out swinging on Obama blaming him for the jobless rate. Santorum points to Iran as "the most pressing issue today," but I'd bet all those jobless people think the economy is the most pressing issue.
Newt defends free enterprise.
Stephanopoulos questions Mitt's jobs created numbers.
Huntsman says his record in Utah is better than Perry's in Texas. Why is he going after Perry who is floundering in the polls? Romney says having jobs experience is necessary to creating jobs (something Obama wouldn't know about).
Ron Paul rises to Stephanopoulos's bait and goes after Rick Santorum as a "big government person."
Is Rick Perry here?
Update 2: Ah, here comes Perry. After the Ron Paul/Rick Santorum bickering, Perry cites too much Washington insider experience; Perry says with the exception of Huntsman, he's probably the only outsider in the race.
Ron Paul attacks Santorum for voting to increase the national debt. Santorum is on shaky ground, I think, trying to defend increasing the debt ceiling.
Diane Sawyer jumps in with a national security question. She goes to Huntsman with a question on Iran. "Why would you be better as commander in chief than anyone else on this stage," she asks. Huntsman says his was the best managed state in America and he created jobs. It's all about trust, he says. Americans don't trust their leaders anymore.
Sawyers continues the baiting and offers Huntsman the chance to go after "someone on this stage," but he refuses.
Same question to Romney who says that anyone can do better than Obama. He cites Obama's total lack of experience upon election and he's made one error after another. He's blasting Obama on his Iran policy. "This is a failed presidency."
To Perry: "Do you believe that having worn the uniform of our country better prepares you" to be president? Perry says yep and then pivots back to Iran. You cannot cut one trillion dollars from America's defense budget and believe that we won't be compromised, he says. Obama simply doesn't understand the military. Excellent answer.
Newt cites his father's military service and his experience growing up in a military family. About veterans, Newt says, "I feel for veterans."
Ron Paul comes after Newt for his military deferments and Newt gets rankled. Accuses Paul of being dishonest. "Newt: I wasn't eligible for the draft."
Paul gets asked about the newsletters and he says it has already been explained.
Ron Paul turns this question into some civil rights, Rosa Parks moment and says blacks are disproportionately arrested and sent to death row. The drug laws are "unfairly enforced" he says.
Update 3: Why in the world are they spending so much time on the right to contraceptives?
This debate doesn't seem to be firing well; the candidates are seldom sure what the question is and end up answering about whatever topic they want to answer.
Diane Sawyer tries to lead them into the gay marriage issue. Huntsman is all for civil unions which "add dignity" to a relationship. Romney stands by his position that marriage is between a man and a woman. He says children will be better off if they're raised in a setting with a male and a female.
Newt seems disgusted that they've spent so much time on "these issues," and takes off on media bias and the Catholic church.
Did Romney just say that John Adams wrote the Constitution? Hunh?
Update 4: Santorum gets schooled by Ron Paul for interrupting him. I don't mean to be petty, really, but I could not stand four years of listening to Ron Paul's whiny voice.
Jon Huntsman says the Taliban is no longer in power. For now.
Newt runs through all of the foreign policy pitfalls that lie ahead and paints a scary picture.
Santorum fires back at Obama on foreign policy; the moderators continue to bait the candidates against each other. The candidates need to reject the baiting and stay focused on Obama.
Update 5: Perry says he would sent troops back into Iraq. Ooops. He says "this president just wants to cowtow to his liberal leftist base." He says Iran will move back in and all our efforts will have been done for nothing.
That won't help him in the polls any.
Newt says if you're worried about the Iranians in Iraq then deal with Iran. Good point.
I'm not loving this debate. No questions on Fast 'n Furious; little discussion of the economy. Baiting and pitting the candidates against each other.
Update 6: Mitt Romney hasn't taken any hits at all tonight.
Diane Sawyer is warming up to a jobs question about investing in infrastructure and economic growth. Yawn...Romney is all for it. Like, who wouldn't be? He points out that government doesn't create jobs.
I'm sure Perry is itching to get in on this question. After his send troops back to Iraq bomb, he needs to do some damage control.
Newt says you can't compete with China if you don't have a decent infrastructure. He supports and energy program that breaks us free from foreign oil and would invest some of those proceeds to infrastructure.
Huntsman is off on the tax code tangent and supports Simpson-Bowles.
Romney suggests we are "only inches away from no longer being a free economy." The middle class has been hurt in the Obama economy, he says. Simpson-Bowles becomes Bowles-Simpson under Mitt Romney, who also supports it but does not support raising capital gains taxes.
Rick Perry is being ignored again. Still. Huntsman is getting much more airtime than Perry.
Update 7: Perry finally throws himself into the debate by answering a question when not called upon. He spins off his "get America workin' again" spiel and gets applause.
Huntsman seems to be getting more air time than anyone else.
Romney rejects a question from the moderator and blasts the moderators, gently, about not being focused on the important issues, like the fate of America. He's off on an apparently untimed speech about what America needs and how we don't need to be like Europe. He's hammering Obama pretty eloquently. Score for Mitt.
Mitt gets applause at the end of his speech.
Update 8: Newt tries to land some hits on Romney saying Romney's plan is a little cautious and not as bold as his own.
Santorum seconds that.
Santorum rejects the term "middle-class" and says there are "no classes in America." Hunh? His bigger point is about not waging class warfare but it is awkwardly stated.
Romney blasts Obama for not opening up trade; he's defending his growth plan and insists it is bolder than they give him credit for. Cites his business experience and his knowledge of regulations. He steals Rick Perry's line and says he will "get America workin' again."
Shocker. Back to Huntsman. More air time than anyone so far.
Update 9: Romney interrupts Huntsman and says uh, excuse me, but you were working for Obama, dude. China is hacking into our systems, manipulating their currency, stealing patents from us, and you were right there. Ouch. If I'm president I'm not going to spend my time talking about how great China is.
If you're playing the drinking game you just got the jackpot - Huntsman responded in Chinese. Oh.My.God.
Update 10: Close and wrap up now. What else would you be doing if you were here tonight, is the question. Perry: At the shooting range. Newt: watching football. Same for Santorum. Ron Paul would be reading an economic textbook. Huntsman would be on the phone with his two sons in the US Navy.
Thankfully this horrid debate is over. Too full of non-issues and too full of candidate baiting. Nobody laid a glove on Romney, Perry was ignored, Huntsman got way too much air time for a non-contender nationally. Santorum seemed a bit stiff and off his game. Maybe that's just him, though.
When the highlight of the debate is Huntsman's Chinese, well, hell. It's not good.
Romney came off good when he blasted Huntsman for defending China and for his service for Obama.
I rather missed Herman Cain and Michele Bachmann.
If you care, there's another debate on Meet the Press tomorrow. I think I'll be skipping that one. I've had enough.
Back to the Saints game now.