Thursday, December 15, 2011
Live-Blogging the Sioux City Debate UPDATED
two excellent posts (and like me, seems to still be pulling for a Rick Perry resurgence). Also check out Professor Jacobson who is also blogging the debate tonight and has some excellent debate prep.
Meanwhile, I better go eat some dark chocolate covered espresso beans if I'm going to stay awake for this thing.
8:10: Wow. No fluffy introductions or battle music. Straight to the questions. Brett Baier asks Newt if he's electable. Newt's response? Merry Christmas! Oh, wait. Now Newt is saying he should get the nod because he can debate Obama. Yeah, well, that might make for interesting TV but ...
Newt is trying to convince us he's conservative. I'm not convinced. So far he's rattling off credentials that show he's been in Washington a long freaking time. Not a plus for me.
Megyn Kelley points out to Ron Paul that lots of folks don't think he can get elected. Ron Paul says anybody up there can beat Obama and the crowd loves that.
Mitt smirks. Irritating.
Mitt touts himself as a private sector dude.
Bachmann has an up-do tonight. Are you too conservative, she's asked. Seriously?
To Perry: Why aren't you a great debator? How can you possibly run for president against Obama because of your lousy debating skills? Perry: I'm gettin' better at this and I hope Obama and I get to debate a lot!
He actually is getting better at debates, but that's not saying much. He pulls the Tebow card. "I hope I'm the Tim Tebow of the Iowa caucuses." WTF?
Huntsman is orange.
"We're getting SCREWED as Americans!" says Huntsman as he notes that we're "on the cusp of a third government shut-down."
8:20: A gridlock in Washington question with a 30 second response time down the line.
Newt: We have "a Saul Alinsky radical" as commander in chief....
Perry: Obama is the biggest example of "on the job training" we've ever seen and we need someone with executive experience that knows how to lead.
Romney doesn't like the 30 second limit.
Chris Wallace gets a Fannie Mae question and is asked how that is not hypocritical to his current stance. "I was a private citizen engaged in business!" "I worked for years for Habitat for Humanity!"
To Ron Paul, a question about his negative Newt ads. Chris Wallace is inviting a throw-down between candidates here and I guess Newt will jump all over him for that before long.
Mitt looks confused as Ron Paul babbles.
Newt: I did no lobbying of any kind for any organization.
Bachmann: He cashed checks from Freddie Mac! He's defending the continuing practice of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae! I'm SHOCKED!
Newt: That's not true! "Sometimes people ought to have FACTS before they make wild accusations."
8:50: I'll update more often since my computer is acting funky.
8:55: Much discussion on Newt's lame-brain plan to have Congress oversee justices. Panel question: Favorite Supreme Court justice?
What was up with that favorite justice question anyway? Did they think anyone would say Ginsberg? Lame.
9:05: Hour number two. Here we go. Foreign policy. And of course to Ron Paul first.
Why no Fast and Furious questions, by the way?
Ron Paul doesn't believe Iran has nukes. No UN evidence! It's all war propaganda!
He scares the hell out of me.
9:15: Another computer freeze.
Ron Paul babbled for several minutes about Iran not having nukes and Bachmann stared at him like he's an alien. Ron Paul is just dangerous. Period.
Romney had a good answer on American strength through the military. A strong military keeps other nations from testing us, he said.
Ron Paul is about to stroke out about a drone flying over Iran and seems convinced that we just want to go bomb Iran for the hell of it.
9:16: Bachmann says Ron Paul is dangerous. She points out the IAEA report and Ron Paul says "There's no UN report!" He falls back to Cuba and the Bay of Pigs. No real correlation there but he's stickin' to it.
From that crazy train we go back to Newt. A UN question. Newt wants to dramatically reduce our reliance on it. Amen to that.
9:17: Huntsman says fix problems at home before we fix problems overseas. He gets double dinged with the timer.
To Perry, a question on Syria. At what point should the United States consider military action there? Perry restates his previous no-fly position and says Obama has the "most muddled" foreign policy he's ever seen in his lifetime.
Cavuto moves on to energy issues and has a Keystone pipeline question. To Newt: How should Republicans force the issue? Newt: I'm trying not to appear "zany!" Heh!
So then Newt proceeds to blast Obama's position on Keystone. "Utterly irrational" is what Newt says Obama's position on that is. "It makes no sense to any normal, rational American." Wild applause.
Cavuto: You didn't answer my question.
Newt: Attach it to a middle class tax cut, send it to the president and force him to veto it. Don't back down.
9:23: To Huntsman: Does the need to protect land every trump the need to create jobs? He's babbling something about disrupting the oil monopoly. We have to have natural gas, he says. He isn't answering the environment question.
To Bachmann: What would be an acceptable period for oil drilling to cease (following a similar accident as the BP accident). She says the moratorium hurt the economy more than the original disaster. Keystone is extremely important, she says. "If I was president of the US, I wouldn't have taken the position he did." It was all political to appease the environmentalists, she says. He's put his re-election over jobs.
9:27: Perry: Today is the 220th anniversary of the signing of the Bill of Rights. I like the 10th Amendment a lot.
He's answering a tax policy question and Solyndra. "Government shouldn't be pickin' winners and losers from Washington!"
9:32: A border question for Perry. Finally! A Fast and Furious question! Audience applauds. "Are you and other Republicans politicizing this issue?" Perry says as president, if his Attorney General DIDN'T know about such an operation he would have him resign immediately. Applause.
Perry says despite what the president says, our border is NOT safe. Venezuela has the largest Iranian embassy in the world, he says. (Ron Paul would not see a problem with that.)
Oh! Rick Santorum is still here. He'd fire his Attorney General and not give him a chance to resign.
9:35: To Romney: "Why would illegal immigrants voluntarily leave America" and return to their country of origin in order to apply for legal status when you said you aren't going to round them up?
Because they'll have a plastic card. If they're legal, they'll have a card. If you hire them and they don't have a card, MAJOR sanctions. In other words, they won't be able to work so they'll go home. Back of the line.
9:38: Newt stands by his if-you've-been-here 25 years or more thing. He'd drop all the lawsuits against Arizona, etc.
Huntsman says we don't need to pander; Republicans need to stay true to their values. The president has screwed up the economy so bad, he says, nobody is coming anymore anyway.
9:40: Abortion, gay rights, and guns. Flip-flop question to Romney. Are you a flip-flopper? Romney takes exception to the gay rights issue: I am firmly against people being discriminated against because of their sexual orientation but I am against gay marriage. Hunh?
9:42: I'm pro-gun!, Romney says. Wallace points out he supported a 5 day waiting period and an assault weapons ban.
9:44: Romney: I have been a champion of traditional marriage.
To Bachmann: Wallace now pits her against Newt on the issue of when life begins. Bachmann says Newt opted not to defund Planned Parenthood when he was Speaker. She also throws partial birth abortion at him.
Newt: "Sometimes Congresswoman Bachmann does not get her facts just right." He believes life begins at conception, he says. Says he is against experimentation on embryos. Bachmann insists on defending herself: she says "I'm a serious candidate for president of the United States and my facts are accurate." Good for her.
9:50: Brett Baier: Reagan's 11th commandment: Thou shalt not speak ill of another Republican. You've all broken that. Who is less electable than Obama?
Santorum: Let's find out who has the best record; who can stand up. Who fights for the principles we believe in?
Perry: The Republican chairman said that, not Reagan, he says. Perry gives kudos to the other candidates.
Romney: Obama has a billion dollars to go after me or whoever the nominee is, but it's Obama we have to be talking about - not each other.
Newt: Overall I've tried very hard to talk about big solutions. All these people would be better than Obama.
Paul: Iran doesn't have nukes! No, kidding. The media hasn't asked enough questions and we have to fill in! We have to draw the line and not hit below the belt.
Bachmann: Reagan brought clarity to the opponents in his primaries. "Are we better off today than we were four years ago under Jimmy Carter?" We have to ask ourselves if we are better off.
Huntsman: I worked for Reagan! Debate is good. I'm orange!
Good night for Rick Perry when he got air time. Romney held his own. Slow and steady. Paul is crazy as a run over dog. Bachmann was very strong. Very strong.
So glad this is the last debate of the year.