Posted by Rojas @ 7:02 pm on September 12th 2011

Oh, look, another Republican debate liveblog

There are too many of these. And I say that as a Republican debate coach.


  1. The national anthem? Surely a bit much? On the other hand, ONLY ROMNEY SINGS ALONG!!! A POINT FOR ROMNEY!!!

    I really despise people who make a public performance out of their interpretation of the anthem, btw. It’s not a song which a singer should make one’s own. It belongs equally to the people you’re singing it to. It shouldn’t be treated as an American Idol performance.

    Comment by Rojas — 9/12/2011 @ 7:09 pm

  2. Man. This is stagey. Just…mechanical and stilted as all hell. Baaaaad format so far.

    Comment by Rojas — 9/12/2011 @ 7:16 pm

  3. Romney tries to pin Perry down on Social Security. Perry squirms and fails completely to address the question of whether Social Security is constitutional or should be returned to the states. The audience overwhelmingly applauds Perry for his non-answer. But let’s be frank: with regard to the Republican electorate as a whole, this is a smart line of attack for Romney. They want, above all else, to win the election. Romney’s best shot is to convince them that Perry isn’t electable in a two-way race.

    Comment by Rojas — 9/12/2011 @ 7:22 pm

  4. Huntsman amusingly botches a Nirvana reference.

    Comment by Rojas — 9/12/2011 @ 7:23 pm

  5. This is just a horrible crowd. They care nothing for policy detail; every political slam on an appropriate target gets extended applause and whooping; every nuanced response gets crickets. It’s a Jerry Springer audience.

    Comment by Rojas — 9/12/2011 @ 7:25 pm

  6. #5: in total agreement and totally unsurprised

    Comment by tessellated — 9/12/2011 @ 7:27 pm

  7. “Modernizing the government will save $500 billion a year.” Newt Gingrich, ladies and gentlemen, taking the old reliable “waste, fraud, and abuse” claim to a whole new level.

    Comment by Rojas — 9/12/2011 @ 7:28 pm

  8. Rick Perry has been given two questions and hasn’t made the slightest attempt to answer either. He really appears to be entirely a creation of his handlers, reciting talking points and utterly uncomfortable thinking on his feet. I will not vote for this man for President.

    Oh, Jesus Christ. Eight candidates unanimously agree that, despite everything they would cut, they would protect Bush’s prescription drug program. Yes, INCLUDING RON PAUL. WTF, RON???

    Comment by Rojas — 9/12/2011 @ 7:33 pm

  9. Has CNN managed to make the most revolting debate thus far? I loathe Wolf Blitzer.

    Comment by tessellated — 9/12/2011 @ 7:38 pm

  10. Perry is…incapable…of answering a direct question. Purely incapable of it! He’s like Ron Burgandy, reading whatever’s on the teleprompter his handlers have placed in front of him.

    Comment by Rojas — 9/12/2011 @ 7:41 pm

  11. And the crowd is eating it up. CAN YOU SMELL WHAT THE PERRY IS COOKING!?

    Comment by tessellated — 9/12/2011 @ 7:43 pm

  12. Mitt Romney keeps making the mistake of thinking he’s involved in a debate as opposed to a doctrine-spouting contest.

    Comment by Rojas — 9/12/2011 @ 7:44 pm

  13. I don’t know. I wonder how these moments will reverberate beyond this crowd beyond just tonight.

    Comment by tessellated — 9/12/2011 @ 7:47 pm

  14. I swear to God: Romney destroys Perry on the merits in every single exchange, and the audience just can’t stop applauding Perry for his folksy lines.

    For me, Romney is killing it in this debate. Just killing it. Is it possible that I’ve grown this distant from the rest of the Republican party?

    Comment by Rojas — 9/12/2011 @ 7:48 pm

  15. I find your comment especially ironic in that this is a tea party sponsored debate with a tea party friendly audience.

    Comment by tessellated — 9/12/2011 @ 7:50 pm

  16. You know who’s actually kind of good at rearing back and just taking a straight kick at another candidate’s balls? Ron Paul. We see so little of it from him that when he goes after someone like Perry directly, it seems to have additional resonance.

    Comment by Rojas — 9/12/2011 @ 7:50 pm

  17. Herman Cain confuses dollars with hours.

    Comment by Rojas — 9/12/2011 @ 7:58 pm

  18. “Ben Bernanke should be prosecuted for treason” is now an applause line.

    Comment by Rojas — 9/12/2011 @ 7:59 pm

  19. My gracious. Rick Perry is given the opportunity to back way from the treason line and chooses not to do so. I guess we can’t treat it as hyperbole anymore…

    Comment by Rojas — 9/12/2011 @ 8:03 pm

  20. Gingrich in pretty impressive form with this audience. Gets off a line which is both an applause line AND true: green tax credits are BY DEFINITION tax loopholes.

    Comment by Rojas — 9/12/2011 @ 8:04 pm

  21. Hey! A question about executive orders! Paul: “executive orders should never be used to legislate.” Doesn’t quite make up for Medicare Part D, but it’s nice to see someone in the Republican party who doesn’t care for unlimited executive authority.

    Perry disagrees. He will unapologetically use an XO to kill Obamacare. He has no idea how. And instead of that debate being discussed, we segue directly to fucking Gardasil.

    Comment by Rojas — 9/12/2011 @ 8:10 pm

  22. Bachmann sounding a bit like Jenny McCarthy on the notion of the danger of a vaccination.

    Comment by tessellated — 9/12/2011 @ 8:10 pm

  23. Perry will “always err on the side of life.” Except, it seems, when it comes to providing people with health insurance.

    Bachmann claims, more or less directly, that Rick Perry enacted the Gardasil vaccination program in exchange for a $5000 pharmaceutical donation. Unfathomably, I have been placed in the position of feeling sorry for Rick Perry on this issue. He enacted a vaccination program with a parental opt-out and he is being openly accused of selling little girls for medical experimentation. Good freaking God.

    Comment by Rojas — 9/12/2011 @ 8:14 pm

  24. That was horrifying. One of the lowest things I’ve ever seen in a nationally televised political presentation.

    Comment by Rojas — 9/12/2011 @ 8:15 pm

  25. I find it terribly funny that this THIS is the one issue for which Perry is diminished in the eyes of this crowd. What a bunch of fucking mouth-breathing simps.

    Comment by tessellated — 9/12/2011 @ 8:15 pm

  26. Okay, at this point I’m convinced that Mitt Romney is deliberately and consciously ignoring the studio audience in order to try to win over sensible Republicans who want more than slogans. His strategy just makes no sense otherwise. He’s owning every question on the merits. I guess he expects that to be enough.

    Ron Paul comes within inches of giving a magnificently eloquent answer on the question of whether we should care for those who choose, as a conscious choice, to be uninsured. Then, alas, he wanders off into the weeds.

    Comment by Rojas — 9/12/2011 @ 8:22 pm

  27. Rojas #26: finish his thought for him. I’m genuinely curious.

    Comment by tessellated — 9/12/2011 @ 8:23 pm

  28. Michelle Bachmann waxes wildly conspiratorial on Obamacare, declaring those who choose to allow the policy at the state level to be socialists in more or less those exact words. I suppose that’s the only possible way for her to up her game–she can’t go smarter, so she HAS to go more radical.

    Comment by Rojas — 9/12/2011 @ 8:24 pm

  29. Tess #27: “…when a person chooses not to take the precautions that would protect them from their own poor choices, they throw themselves on the mercy of the public. I happen to think the mercy of the American people is very great, and I think that the prevalence of charity care is evidence of that. But a person who makes bad choices is NOT entitled to a blank check financed with money seized by force from taxpayers; a civilized society recognizes that that kind of mercy is no mercy at all.”

    Comment by Rojas — 9/12/2011 @ 8:27 pm

  30. Here is Rick Perry defending the process of educating the children of illegal immigrants. Against Bachmann, against Romney, against Huntsman. Here he is painstakingly explaining that teh alternative to such measures is the creation of illegal ghettos and the expansion of welfare benefits. Here is the audience raining boos down on him for it.

    I will say this for Rick Perry: when he takes a stand on basic principles of honor and respect for human dignity, he earns my respect. He has shown himself to be reasonably courageous in refusing to pander on issues of this sort. I just wish the man were not so evidently stupid.

    Jon Huntsman jokingly accuses Rick Perry of “treason” for failing to secure the border. It’s a reference to the Bernanke comment. The audience, possessing as they do the attention span of a goldfish, have forgotten that said comment ever happened, and boo him lustily.

    Comment by Rojas — 9/12/2011 @ 8:37 pm

  31. Huntsman is right about H1B visas

    Comment by tessellated — 9/12/2011 @ 8:38 pm

  32. Yes he is. That was a chance for him to stand apart from the rest of the party as the “adult in the room” which he more or less whiffed on. He seems to have been doing a lot less of that tonight. It’s a shame; he did it well last time out.

    Comment by Rojas — 9/12/2011 @ 8:39 pm

  33. Agreed. He’s been pretty disappointing thus far.

    Comment by tessellated — 9/12/2011 @ 8:41 pm

  34. Oh, here’s Rick Santorum accusing Ron Paul of–in his own damned words–“parroting Osama bin Laden”. Facing down a hostile audience, Paul doesn’t back down a bit on his claims about blowback. On the contrary: he doubles down, earning the withering scorn of the entire room. And he makes his point.

    Comment by Rojas — 9/12/2011 @ 8:45 pm

  35. Huntsman’s call for an Afghan pullout is by far his best moment of an otherwise weak night.

    Comment by Rojas — 9/12/2011 @ 8:46 pm

  36. Perry calls for a simultaneous pullout and recommitment to our presence in Afghanistan. He’s on both sides of the issue, but at least he’s STRONGLY on both sides.

    Comment by Rojas — 9/12/2011 @ 8:47 pm

  37. Last commercial break. Tess, as someone who hates all of these people, who do you think is winning?

    Comment by Rojas — 9/12/2011 @ 8:48 pm

  38. Perry is winning with the crowd though he’s managed to piss away quite a bit of his lead. I think, though, that Romney is absolutely executing on his overall strategy. Does that mean he wins the primary? I have no idea.

    Bachmann is over.

    Comment by tessellated — 9/12/2011 @ 8:50 pm

  39. The candidates are offered a pure amusement question on what amusing item they would bring to the White House for entertainment purposes. Santorum, Cain, and Huntsman handle it well. The rest show themselves to be political androids.

    Comment by Rojas — 9/12/2011 @ 8:54 pm

  40. Tomorrow’s headlines will indicate that Perry was bloodied tonight. That’s absolutely true; I just wish it was true for the right reasons.

    I have a pretty good amount of confidence awarding the debate to Romney in spite of the overall tone of the room. He benefits from Perry’s discomfiture. More to my taste is the fact that he was clearly dominant in terms of policy detail and line-by-line argumentation. Decent night for Cain and Gingrich too, if that matters anymore.

    Comment by Rojas — 9/12/2011 @ 8:57 pm

  41. I started to list out all the night’s big losers aside from Bachmann and realized that was everyone but Romney and Perry. It really is just down to them all the rest is a sideshow. I’m not sure how much longer the other campaigns can labor on in denial.

    Comment by tessellated — 9/12/2011 @ 9:01 pm

  42. Just getting in from the airport. At least I have this set of comments to give me the short strokes.

    Comment by Jack — 9/12/2011 @ 9:11 pm

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