Tag Archives: 2012 GOP Presidential debate

Fox News GOP Debate Recap: Are You More Conservative Than a 5th Grader?

Fox News hosted yet another GOP Primary debate on Thursday night and the entire field was there…well, besides Gary Johnson, but is he in “the field” these days, really?  From the top the thing that interested me the most was that this debate seemed to be set up as the “are you conservative enough” debate.  I liked that.  I like to think the tea party has played a big role in making this election about conservatism more than any other in recent years.

Every question asked seemed to be tinged with the inquiry “Are you conservative enough?”  It was obvious Gingrich and Romney were the two candidates under the most pressure to answer that question with authority.  Gingrich spent a large amount of his time invoking Reagan and defending himself against the “lobbyist” label.  Not surprisingly, Gingrich did his best to remind voters that he basically forced Clinton to sign welfare reform in the nineties…and also he is the smartest candidate ever in the history of Presidential primaries.  In case you didn’t know.  But in all seriousness, Newt is the smartest guy in the room and it always shows.  Newt’s issue on Thursday wasn’t could he convince voters he’s smart, but could he convince voters he is a true conservative.  The jury is still out on whether he did that or not, but now that he has attained “front-runner” status, Gingrich is seeing an increase in attacks on his conservative credentials.  I think he maintained in this debate.  He did not do anything to worry his supporters but I don’t think he made many new fans either.  As with the debate last Saturday night, Americans will need to decide if they are satisfied with a Debater-in-Chief, or do they want more when it comes to a Gingrich candidacy.

Ron Paul started out very strong.   As always, he is masterful in his understanding of domestic economics.  It’s the spending, stupid!  Ron Paul was on fire Thursday night until it came to the foreign policy segment.  Then Ron Paul said something about warfare vs. welfare in Washington and how Iran would be totally willing to play nice if we weren’t so bossy and suddenly you could hear crickets chirping.  Even Paulbots seemed slightly subdued by his answers.  Perhaps they knew that even with so much support for his ideas behind him, Paul always manages to sound like a kook to the general audience when he starts talking foreign policy.  I’m sure he lost no support at all.  Paul supporters are nothing if not loyal (read rabid).  However, with surging Iowa numbers in recent days, Thursday’s debate was a great opportunity for him to seize the lead.  This performance was not his best, and will most likely not contribute to an Iowa lead.  If anything, Paul proved that all Obama would have to do in a general election is bring up Iran and foreign policy and that would be the end of a viable Paul candidacy.

Santorum and Bachmann were definitely the most solid in terms of conservative principals on the debate stage.  Santorum gets Iran.  It’s a shame the MSM (and many on our side of the media spectrum as well) has labeled him as the “social conservative”. I believe that label keeps people from really hearing his valid and dire warnings about the dangers of a nuclear Iran.  Rick Santorum gets Iran.  Whether we vote for this man for President or not, that is something that more Americans need to be paying attention to.

Bachmann was also very solid.  In her home state of Iowa she seemed comfortable, relaxed and she looked fantastic.  Did you know that Bachmann is 55?!  I’ll have what she’s having!  Bachmann doesn’t garner much mainstream favor with her Midwest accent and her Evangelical brand of Christianity, but the woman knows her facts and she is smart.  If voters are looking for a true conservative, she’s one to look at.

Even Perry did well Thursday, looking much more comfortable and even applying a little good natured self-deprecation.  Perry has many other qualities to recommend him to the position of POTUS besides his debating skills.  In our desperation to find a formidable debate opponent to Obama I hope we don’t overlook other important qualities for a good GOP candidate.

Should I mention Huntsman? Ok, fine.  Jon Huntsman was there. He talked.  He said stuff. He talked some more.  I wish he would stop doing that.

As the debate season rolls on and Republican voters duke it out for their favorite candidates, the process becomes more and more frustrating.  People are beginning to express election fatigue already, and are frankly nervous about selecting the right opponent to Obama.  That’s understandable. I share those nerves.  However, Thursday’s debate should be heartening to conservatives.  Oh, the battle still rages, but when the underlying question of a national primary debate is “Who can prove they are the most conservative candidate?”, that is a win for conservatism in general.

 

December 15th Fox News Republican Presidential Debate

Fox News and the Republican party of Iowa will be hosting Thursday night’s GOP Presidential candidate debate in Sioux City, Iowa at 9pm Eastern.

Attending the debate will be Michelle Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman, Ron Paul, Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and Rick Perry.

With former Newt Gingrich still holding the top spot in Iowa polls, albeit by a slim margin over Rep. Paul, he is likely to be the target in another game show style debate.

With only 3 weeks to go before Iowans choose their nominee, the race in that state has tightened. According to a PPP poll, Gingrich is holding the top spot at 22%, Paul at 21%, Romney at 16%, 11% for Bachmann and the rest of the field ending in the single digits with Gary Johnson in last place with only 1% of the survey.

Where to Watch

The debate video below is the entire debate, plus pre-debate commentary from FoxNews.

Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich- Diametrically Opposing or Assonant?

I’m not a huge fan of Mitt Romney’s, I’m really not. Early in the campaign, I like a lot of the rest of GOP voters was beating my head against the wall to the tune of “Anyone but Mitt Romney,” because in my eyes, Romney is not a small government conservative. I’ll admit he has his charm, but when it comes to his positions, I have a hard time standing with him. Yet, these past couple weeks I have found myself championing Romney as Gingrich rose in the polls. And here’s why…

Gingrich is not the anti-Romney. He is compelling, I know that. I was drawn into it at first. No one can give impassioned speeches about the history of this country like Gingrich can. And while he clearly demonstrates a deep understanding of history when he speaks, his record just doesn’t match up. Take Saturday night’s GOP debate for instance. As Romney and Gingrich battled over their health care records, Gingrich stated that when Hillarycare was being debated an individual mandate to make health insurance affordable for Americans was necessary, but now he thinks the mandate in Obamacare is unconstitutional. Now, the core of the Constitution has not changed since Clinton was president, so why was an individual mandate Constitutional then but not now? This is clearly a flip flop in a position, which is one of the things that people criticize Romney for.

Many conservatives, myself included, do not like Romney because of the Massachusetts health insurance plan, Romneycare. Yet, Romney has stated in past debates that there is a difference between a program like that on a state level and a similar plan on a federal level. Romney recognizes the unconstitutionality of socialized health care on a federal level. Gingrich does not. He has supported a federal individual mandate on multiple occasions. So how is Gingrich more conservative on this issue?
Romney has been criticized, and rightly so, for flip flopping on issues like abortion- he’s spoken both for and against Roe v. Wade. He’s flip flopped on gun control- he’s supported legislation banning types of assault weapons and he’s spoken out against bans on assault weapons.

Gingrich may not have quite the record on flip flopping that Romney does, although the case for his flip flopping in immigration could be made, but he does have a mixed voting record. (See votesmart.org for Newt’s complete voting record) He has voted consistently conservative on issues like a partial birth abortion ban, term limit legislation and welfare reform bills. However, Gingrich has also consistently voted for campaign finance laws that restrict the amount of money private corporations can give to candidates- a limit many conservatives consider to be a restriction of the free market. Also, Newt Gingrich was a co-sponsor of the Fairness Doctrine- a law that many consider to be a violation of freedom of speech. And, of course, there is the now infamous “We Can Solve It” ad where Gingrich sat down on a couch with Nancy Pelosi and ominously advocate taking control of climate change. Gingrich has since lamented the ad, but still, one has to wonder what he was thinking in the first place. Then there is the contribution Fannie Mae made to Gingrich’s bank account. Gingrich claims he was consulting, others claim he was a lobbyist. Either way, should Gingrich as a conservative really be accepting money from a tax payer subsidized organization? The answer is ambiguous. Gingrich has also admitted his admiration for Theodore Roosevelt- the founder of the progressive party. Teddy Roosevelt managed to expand the federal government through regulations in the name of public safety. Many conservatives will tell you that the role of the federal government is not to protect the citizen from himself. So should someone who advocated such policy really be the political role model for a so called Constitutional conservative?

In my eyes, because Romney shows an understanding of the difference between broad government programs on a federal and state level, he is the better choice of the two. Yet, both Gingrich and Romney have a history of switching their positions on important conservative issues, so the question remains, can we trust either of them?

Iowa GOP Debate Recap… Kinda

It has been awhile since I recapped a debate. Mostly because of that pesky drinking rule that came with “9-9-9″, but since it was only invoked two or three times tonight, I am still sober enough to present to my twelve loyal readers a recap of the debate @GaltsGirl style! If you are interested in what people other than myself think about the debate, (unlikely, I know) you can search the twitter timeline for the finally settled on hashtag #IowaDebate or check out @VodkaPundit’s ever entertaining live drunk blog of the whole mess here.

Without further delay, some of my favs from the night:

No Johnson. No Huntsman. #GOP2012

Sawyer says “Jobs in America” like it’s a mythical unicorn… wait…

Paul on Jobs: Know why we have a recession, and yanno…correct and don’t repeat. Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble!

Santorum on jobs: I campaigned EVERYWHERE in Iowa. There are no jobs… I double checked

Romney: See Newt’s big gov’t record. Gingrich and I disagree: like Moon Rocks! Children as slaves! Eat the rich!

Newt Rebuttal to Romney: You lost to Kennedy in ’94. So you had to get a real job. #FACT.

Paul on Newt: Single Payer, TARP support. Freddie Mac (hiiiissssssss) , and how’s that taxpayer dividend working for ya?

Newt to Paul: Heck yeah, I wanna audit the Fed. And yeah… I advised Freddie. It was a J O B. .. now let’s break em up!

Bachmann: Im 55 and a Constitutional Conservative ( nevermind me getting into your bedroom and marriage! )

Bachmann: Newt wanted Obamacare before Obama did. Romney did Obamacare! Newt / Romney are our problem **Kudos here to Bachmann for creating the fastest meme in history

( there was some #debatepillowtalk in my timeline here… also, I think I poured drink #4 about then)

Romney: I’m not Newt! But I play him on the campaign trail!

Romney to Perry: You’re kinda right, except where you aren’t. Obamacare is FAR worse than Romneycare! So there!

Santorum: I’m a leader… just dont check the polls!

Ron Paul: I take my oath(s) very seriously. Seriously enough that I sometimes end up voting by myself. Jerks

Gingrich: Yep, Ive made mistakes, and I go to God for forgiveness. So there. **This was on the fidelity question. Smart play by Newt, because … who is gonna argue with God?

Dear Ron Paul: Mitt Romney just expressed your FP in 30 seconds… please, tell me you took notes! ** To recap here.. I agree’d with Mitt!!! The stance on standing by our allies but not speaking for them was pretty gutsy by Mitt.. even if Paul has been saying it since the wheel was invented.

Romney: I didnt grow up poor, but my Daddy was. So, I am not a witch, I am you!

Romney: “States can do whatever the heck that they want to do.” *** Yes, that is an actual quote. Which rocked.. then he started talking about RomneyCare and I kinda zoned out a little.

And then, somehow, ABC decided that a debate should be a love-fest and tried to make each of the candidates say something nice about the other candidates. Ron Paul got lots of love.. and then Bachmann trotted out the 9-9-9 one final time. It was all really kinda of gross and not informative. I also may have gotten my last drink at some point here.

ABC commentators called Newt as the winner almost immediately. I’m not 100% sure I agree. Santorum did pretty well here ( it is, after all, time for his 15 minutes and I am doing my part) and Romney scored some points with me on his foreign policy statements. Ron Paul got the most applause, as usual. His people where there. Of course!

So that’s it, folks. Only 343,994 more debates to go… or something.

Friday Media Dump

Good News on Monday; bad news on Friday. Here’s a little of everything that got dumped on us today:

Trump trumped?

All but two candidates have declined Trump’s invitation to the Newsmax/ION debate that he is to host:

Trump considering alternatives:

Bachmann and Perry Join Group of "No" for Trump Debate

Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann have decided that two days after Christmas they have better things to do than show up for a debate moderated by Donald Trump and produced by disgraced CNN chief Eason Jordan.

Bachmann and Perry join a growing list of candidates that don’t see Trump as a serious political figure and have doubts over his ability to deliver a presidential debate.

Mitt Romney, Jon Huntsman and Ron Paul had previously declined the invitation to the December 27th event and only Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum have accepted.

Remaining to respond to the request is Gary Johnson. So the tens of Americans that will try to find the debate on the fledgling ION network will either be treated to a 90 minute 3-way between Newt, Huntsman and Trump or Gary Johnson will jump into the fray to make it.. a four way?

 

Romney Says No to Trump's Debate

In an interview with Fox News’ Neil Cavuto on Tuesday, Presidential candidate Mitt Romney said that he would not be attending the ION/Newsmax GOP debate being hosted by Donald Trump.

The former governor of Massachusetts has not yet commented on his reason for declining to attend.

Considering the size of IONs viewership and the holiday scheduling of the debate, viewership of the event is expected to be light. Newsmax’s choice to use a reality television star to host the debate has caused Jon Huntsman and Ron Paul to decline the invitation and choosing disgraced former CNN news chief Eason Jordan as a producer has also soured the appeal of the event.

Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum  are the only candidates to so far accept an invite to the December 27th GOP debate, but  with Mitt dropping out even more may decide that that the event is not for them.

Trump isn't the only thing stinking at the ION/Newsmax debate

On December 27th, some of the remaining GOP Presidential candidates will be debating on the ION network co-sponsored by Newsmax.

Much of the recent bluster has been about the moderator – Donald Trump, but he’s not the only poor choice Newsmax and ION have made. Former CNN News Division Chief Eason Jordan will be one of the producers of the event.

Mr. Jordan was pressured to resign from CNN in 2005 after making statements that our troops in Iraq were deliberately targeting and killing journalists. At the World Economic Forum, Mr. Jordan said “he knew of about 12 journalists who had not only been killed by American troops, but had been targeted as a matter of policy,” said Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass) who was on the “Will Democracy Survive the Media?” panel with Mr. Jordan.

CNN then furiously spun the comments as having been misconstrued and “taken out of context” by a few bloggers. In the end, Mr. Jordan’s tenure at CNN came to an end.

That’s only the most recent of Eason’s mis-steps. His time in CNN’s Baghdad bureau was tarnished by his cover-up of Saddam’s violent and murderous acts against Iraqis and his own bureau’s staff – all so that he wouldn’t lose his position at the bureau.

Eason is no great model of integrity. Add on Trump and you have a debate more fit to be a circus side-show than a Presidential event.

I don’t blame Jon Huntsman and Ron Paul one bit for passing on this debate. I won’t be watching either – and I haven’t missed one yet.

GOP Candidates Finally Say The Word "Muslim"

For me, this by far has been the best debate. It’s about time the candidates had the courage to say words like “Muslim”, “Islam” , and *GASP* “Jihadist”.

Gingrich and Santorum win as the the most informed regarding the threat of Islam against United States.  Romney gave his usual slick answers, however I’m not convinced that he will do everything he says given his flip flop record. Bachmann, never scared to mix things up, told it like it is. PLUS, she gets major cool points for being willing to say “Jihadist” first. Herman Cain, has a bold plan… And then there is Ron Paul.

I’m not really sure exactly where he stands. Initially, I thought he was a Muslim sympathizer and completely ignorant of the Jihad threat. However, after speaking with a rational Paul supporter, whose opinion I respect, I may possibly take a different stance. I don’t consider myself a Libertarian, but do share their Constitutionalists views. It IS a slippery slope when it comes to singling out a specific ethnic group. Unfortunately, history is not on Muslims side when it comes to the benefit of a doubt. So they get none from me.

I am going to contact Congressman Paul’s office myself and see if I can determine his stance on hardcore and stealth Jihad.

November 22nd Republican Debate on National Defense [Full Video]

On Tuesday, November 22nd at 8pm EST, the Heritage Foundation, the American Enterprise Institute and CNN will present a GOP presidential candidate debate on national security and foreign policy. The twitter hashtag for the debate will be #CNNDebate

Moderators/Panel

To be announced.

Debate Prep

AEI scholars discussions

Who Will Be There

Complete Debate Video:

Left Turns, Fireballs and GOP Debates

Why do people watch races? Of course it’s to see their favorite driver take the checkered flag, but also.. the crashes. Is that also why we watch political debates?

In the early debates, we might have been watching traded-barb after traded barb to mentally score the good answers and the bad. Race fans watch the constant stream of left turns, on the same track, lap-after-lap judging passes and tactics in much the same way.

We get a feel for the strengths and weaknesses of drivers and politicians both as they work through the otherwise unexciting event. But what really impacts us as we watch these otherwise disconnected contests?

It’s the wrecks – the fireballs – the strewn wreckage after someone makes a mistake.

In the case of both the politician and the driver, everyone wants to see them walk away with no physical or permanent injury – but the actual event is what shows up in the highlight reals on ESPN or CNN depending upon the event.

Bachmann tried to push Perry into the wall with the Gaurdasil thing and lost control. Rick Santorum has been bumping into everyone and is ending the race with a very banged-up campaign. Cain shot to the front of the pack while everyone else was blowing tires and then forgot he was in the race – foreign policy is part of the event Mr. Cain. Perry has managed to hit the wall in almost all of the turns, but he’s explained to us that staying on the track really isn’t that important because President Obama can’t do it either.

Ron Paul and Jon Huntsman  have driven similarly. Neither has made a tremendous mistake, they’ve both been consistent, but in the end their race plans still has them .. at the end.

The ones still racing at the front of the pack are the ones who have developed a winning plan, executed that plan, and shown experienced steadiness in the face of car wrecks all about them. While I haven’t picked a candidate as of yet, I admire the deftness with which both Gingrich and Romney handle the terrible questions from biased moderators. Mitt finds a way to not answer their question without the moderator or panelist even realizing it. Newt lets them know their question is childish and stupid while answering whatever important point he does find in the question – or that he decides should have been in the question.

Front runners, also-rans, banged up cars and blown engines abound. Just like NASCAR and IndyCAR, we don’t really watch the debates to see the track – we watch to the see who’s got it and who does not – oh, and the epic, tire-screeching, fiberglass-spewing, spark-generating crashes.

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