Republicrat Musings

Friends blogging their way through the 2012 election

Posts tagged debate

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Jake's Report: Tonight's GOP Debate, Crucial?


By: Jake W Kazmierczak

With the Florida Primary just five days away, tonight’s debate could arguably be the most important yet.  Not only is it the last before the Florida primary, but the space between today’s debate and the next in February is a massive 28 days.

This is crucial for the every candidate because one slip up could completely derail their campaign and leave them without a good chance of recovery for nearly a month! Nonetheless, the two candidates feeling the majority of the pressure are Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich. 

Ever since Gingrich took South Carolina by storm, he and Mitt have been clawing at one another for the ever desired front runner status. The polls reflect just that. According to The Quinnipiac University Poll Romney and Gingrich are “essentially tied” pulling 36%/34% respectably with a 2% margin of error.

This means, quite frankly, that literally every decided and undecided Floridian voter will have their eyes glued to the TV tonight providing the candidates with one last shot to win their vote.

Don’t miss it, I know I won’t.

The debate starts at 8PM Eastern on CNN.

(Source: themelancholyofexistence)

Filed under GOP Debate Florida Crucial 2012 election Primary vote GO! tonight CNN

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And Then There Were Four: A Commentary on the CNN South Carolina Debate, 19 January 2012

In honor of the palmetto state primary today I thought I would do a recap of Thursday nights debate.  This debate was likely the most exciting of the season so far.  With only four remaining candidates I felt like each one received adequate time (meaning candidates were not buzzed to stop talking) to fully answer questions and respond to objections from their opponents directly. However, Ron Paul did not get equal air time. Before each paragraph I will be stating the question or topic that was discussed.

Personal History and the Presidency

The debate began with controversy.  Speaker Gingrich was ask about an interview with one of his ex-wives and him wanting an “open marriage.”. He responded with a pointed attack at CNN calling discussing this at a presidential debate “despicable.”  Each of the other candidates chimed in with their thoughts, Santorum: all people are fallen and sinful, Romney: move on, and Paul: I have been married for fifty year, low blow.

Federal programs to put people back work

Each candidate responded with their plan to put people back to work.  Paul wants a sound currency (gold standard), reduce income taxes and in force the law in the areas of bankruptcy and current economic regulations. Gingrich as president would repeal the Dodd-Frank bill and institute a more efficient work force by focusing less of studies and research and more on implementing what we know. Romney feels the tax code needs refines, remove over regulation, crack down on china and crony capitalism, and prevent situations like GM and Solendra from happening. Finally, Santorum would remove the creation of economic squalor by pulling for the working people of this country, a national right to work amendment and returning manufacturing to the states.

A disappointing response:

In the previous dialogue the issue of Romney and Bain Capital surfaced.  When ask to respond Romney avoided the question initially by attacking the President and then giving the same numbers and information he has in the past.  There is nothing wrong with profit and sometimes companies fail.

Should the Government help subsidies young veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan?

Paul the only veteran on the stage says he would focus on making the economy beneficial for everyone by cutting taxes getting rid of debt and getting everyone on in this country back to work. Santorum focused his answer on the cutting of the military budget.  He believes this country should be aggressive in caring for its veterans especially for mental illness from war.  With this treatment he thinks more people would be equipped to return to the workforce.  Romney made it a states rights issue, as president he would turn veterans affairs to the states (still funded by federal dollars) because in his opinion they would better handle it then the federal government.  Finally, Gingrich would institute another GI Bill, tax cuts and focus on the transition process for soldiers.

Affordable Care Act:

Romney would begin by issuing an executive order to allow for a state opt out program, then urge congress for a complete repeal, replace it and allow people to buy their own insurance regardless of preexisting conditions. Gingrich thinks its a total mess, distrusts congress.  When ask about 22-26 year olds getting to stay on their parents insurance his response was they can get their own insurance and a job (this is difficult though when many people this age are still in college getting a high level degree and cannot hold jobs that will provide insurance or enough money to buy insurance).  Santorum feels Obamacare is an abject failure, would institute health savings accounts and turn health care provision completely to the private sector.

Tax Returns:

Paul: not released at all, does not think it is needed because he does not consort with lobbyists
Romney: “Maybe” in April, but will not release multiple years until they are gone though
Gingrich: an hour ago (during the debate)
Santorum: does his own taxes, when he gets home he will release them

Apple computers and foreign manufacturing

Santorum has a specific plan to cut corporate taxes, specifically in manufacturing.  Government gets in they way of energy policy and regulation cuts.  He thinks there should be a national  right to work amendment. Paul feels the right conditions need to be created to perpetuate consumerism again focusing on the importance of right to work. The other candidates focused on attacks and did not contribute anything substantial.


Gingrich thinks SOPA is censorship, he favors freedom and not the interests of corporations.  Romney thinks SOPA got it right just not in the way it was being implemented. Paul thinks republicans are on the wrong side of a bipartisan movement to protect American intellectual property. Finally, Santorum said the Internet is not a free zone to do anything, there should be laws but SOPA is not the way to accomplish the regulation.

What would you change about your campaign:

Newt:  not a traditional candidate focus, more on the Internet
Romney:  25 more votes in Iowa, more time about Obama
Santorum: would change nothing, good ideas and hard work still pay off in the US
Paul: deliver message better

Illegal immigration:

Gingrich wants to control the border by deploying up to half of the DHS along the border, supports English as the official language, make it easier to deport people and institute a guest worker program and sanction employers of illegals.  Romney is hesitant
At first to answer the states he would make a private worker company where employers would have to check the card.  If people came here illegally they would have a grace period to order affairs but then have to go home and “get in line.” Paul sees an economic incentive to immigration and we should institute and reform immigration so it is more generous.  Finally, Santorum thinks immigration in the best option but people that come here illegally disrespect our laws do not deserve to stay.  America is worth the wait.

Closing arguments:

Paul: protection of liberty, reduce debt
Newt: principal victory, overcome billon dollar campaign, wants Lincoln-Douglas debates
Romney: entitlement society, return to the principals that made American great
Santorum: conviction conservative and a clear contrast, reduce government, record defeated a democratic incumbent, won a swing state

 - Braedon Taylor 

Filed under south carolina debate GOP primary republican romney gingrich paul santorum

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Perry Drops, Santorum Actually Won Iowa and Romney Gets Evangelicals?

Watching CNN this morning was weird. Those guys were all over the place they had so much to talk about. 

First: Perry withdraws his Presidential bid (finally.) It is still unknown if he will endorse another candidate. If I had to guess who he would pick, it would be between Paul and Santorum. The former because Ron Paul is also from the great state of Texas and the latter because Santorum because he seems the most socially conservative. 

Second: New and apparently more accurate numbers are coming in from Iowa on the Caucus results from January 3rd. They show that Santorum actually beat Romney by a very narrow margin. While the few votes that separated them don’t mean a lot now, he is officially “the winner.” 

Third: There were some polls taken on South Carolina Evangelical voters that placed Romney above Gingrich and Santorum. Will this trend continue through the Southern states? I doubt it. Even though the winner of South Carolina has gone on to receive the nomination of their party for over 30 years, if Romney wins it’s possible that the decision will be tougher and drag on through the Southern states. 

Oh, and: Palin endorses Gingrich. Not surprising. The numbers for Newt are getting closer and closer to Romney as the South Carolina Primary approaches and we will definitely see the remaining candidates closing in on Romney in the debate tonight much like they did earlier in the week. 

"Politics is the gentle art of getting votes from the poor and campaign funds from the rich, by promising to protect each from the other." - Oscar Ameringer 1870-1943

Filed under election campaign iowa palin perry 2012 south carolina romney santorum gingrich debate vote

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South Carolina Debate Highlights

South Carolina GOP Debate Highlights

(Candidates are in the order that they first spoke)

Gingrich: When asked about his attacks on Romney, he said that he raised harsh questions because that Romney’s record would not stand up to Obama in the fall. When asked how long unemployment benefits should go on, he said that there should be required job training while on those benefits. He cited that 90 weeks is the equivalent of an Associates degree and a government should help people who help themselves. Supports a 15% tax rate. When asked about his statement about poor adolescents being “lazy” and proposed that impoverished students should work as janitors in their schools. He cited that if students work, they will learn an ethic and show up for school, which will eventually improve their economic situation. Wants to offer a private retirement savings account that is voluntary. He pointed to the model in Chile, where the private accounts have a much higher return. Wants to consolidate programs that are used to help the poor into a single one and then use what’s left to balance the budget. Called No Child Left Behind a failure, says to get rid of regulation, the department of education and return that power to the states and the individual school districts.

Romney: Defending his work in the private sector, Romney said that in his experience, there was some success and some loss. He quickly moved from his record in the private sector to his record as Governor and the successes he had there. When asked if he believed that felons who have served their time should be given the right to vote, he said that people who have committed violent crimes should not be able to vote.  When asked about keeping the financial system going, he said that importance would come in getting government out of business, reforming the tax system, opening up new markets across the world and getting people back to work.  Supported lower tax rates of about 25%. Anticipates releasing his income tax records around April. When asked about his position on immigration and the Dream Act, he said that people who come to the U.S. illegally should not be given extra help over people who come the “correct” way and said that he would veto the Dream Act if he has the chance as President. When asked about the War on Terror and negotiations he said absolutely not and that America needs to recognize that we are under attack and to have a military so strong and pursue interests around the world so that no other force would consider the challenge. Said that he supports the National Defense Authorization Act. On retirement, he said that he would balance social security by offering higher benefits for lower income people and lowering it for higher income reciepients. and offer a premium medicare plan where people could buy extra care and letting competition exist. Does not support new gun laws.

Perry: He is still leaning on his efforts as Governor and the very strong Texas economy. He then stated that his tax records have been public for several years, Gingrich will soon release his and then he called on Romney to release his. He said that he plans on repealing business regulations that “strangle” the economy. Supported a flat tax rate. When asked if Turkey still belongs in NATO due to the current situation there, he responded with “no” as well as not giving foreign aid to countries that are a threat. On help to the housing market, he cited his proposed flat tax, which he says would give people peace of mind on their investment. He cited the “healthy and growing” Texas housing market and moved on to his proposal of a balanced budget amendment and making congress a part time position so they “could live under the laws they pass” Wants to secure the border within a year of his presidency. 

Ron Paul: When asked about some of the adds his campaign ran being too harsh towards the other candidates, he said that he pointed to Santorum’s voting record. When asked about proposed in military cuts, he said he wants to cut defense spending that is outside of the country and bringing more of those troops back to the U.S. He cited that he receives more than twice the funding from the military than all of the other candidates. 0% tax rate? Asked how he would fix disparities in arrest rates in minorities, he cited discrimination in sentencing as well as the drug war that unfairly hits the minority. When asked about the War on Terror, he said he wants to end the war, and that we should not do to other countries things that we do not want done to us.

Santorum: Responding to Ron Paul’s comments on his voting record, he said that he is “not perfect” and there are things that he would repeal in office that he previously voted for like NCLB. When asked about extending jobless benefits, he said he did not support benefits that extended over 90 weeks. He said that he would give decisions like unemployment programs back to the states to meet their individual needs. Has two tax rates similar to Reagan Era. When asked about the situation on poverty, he said cited a study that said the ways to avoid poverty are to work, finish high school and get married before having children. Does not support a military mission in Syria. About the National Defense Authorization Act, said that the standard of due process and habeaus corpus should be upheld. Supports a flat tax rate for big and small companies that would level the playing field here. He strongly supports savings plans as well as balancing the budget. Supported trigger locks and background checks on gun purchases. He also voted with the NRA.

Filed under south carolina debate GOP republican election 2012 gingrich romney perry paul Santorum debate

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South Carolina Debate!

I am currently keeping track of the South Carolina Debate. I will be summing up what the candidates are supporting and like last time, I’m typing as I watch so it jumps around as the debate does. 

Debates are a good way to see how candidates defend their positions on important issues and when what they would plan to do if elected to office. 


Filed under south carolina GOP debate Romney Perry Gingrich Santorum Ron Paul election 2012 vote Primary

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New Hampshire Debate

GOP New Hampshire Debate:
We typed things while watching the debate, so we changed topics with the debate. Below are the highlights that are either summed up or quoted from the candidates.
Across the board, the candidates call Obama’s Presidency “a failed” one. While the current GOP candidates may not be particularly fond of each other, they do agree that there needs to be serious changes in Washington. Romney even said that he “would endorse the GOP candidate” in order to get Obama out of office.

Rick Perry: Claims that he and possibly John Huntsman are the “only ones” who have “not been part of the problem in Washington.” Perry is heavily leaning on his efforts in Texas and the state economy which has the second highest GDP in the nation (coming in just behind California.) Spoke on his military experience and Obama’s cutting of the defense budget, saying that it endangers our freedoms. Still pointing to current administration’s “war on religion.” Said that he would want to send troops back into Iraq, (Something that will make for a tough campaign slogan) says that Iran will soon move back in and our time spent there will be worthless. Wants to get “Washington out of the hair” of business. Says that we could put America back to work on our energy. Said that if New Hampshire were a Right to work state, saying it would create a significant amount of jobs.

Rick Santorum: On the topic of gay marriage, he supports an amendment to the constitution that would illegitimate current marriages that are not between a man and a woman. Claims that our future leader needs a very strong vision for Afghanistan as well as Iran. Has pledged to dump the current tax code and replace it, only offering exemptions based on healthcare, housing, education, children, and charities. He wants to eliminate corporate tax and repeal regulation. Opposed big bail out plans and has made efforts to appeal to blue collar workers. He claims that the Obama administration has used terms like “class warfare” to turn groups against one another and instead he would make efforts to unite our country in order to help the economy recover.

Jon Huntsman: Cites the “trust deficit” in the U.S. that has been created and needs to be bridged in order to fix conflicts. When asked about gay marriage, Huntsman differed from the others in the fact that he supports civil unions and benefits in those unions. Said that as President, he would work to bring troops out of the Middle East by 2013, but also said that there is a threat that can’t be ignored in South East Asia. Predicts that a civil war is around the corner in Afghanistan and rather than allowing more loss, it’s time to recognize our achievements and move out. Claims that he would have “ripped open the tax code” and cited the Simpson Bowles plan and raise revenues. Cites our possible “Manufacturing Renaissance.” Says that if we could fix our tax system, we can rebuild jobs and get our economy moving. Says that our relationship with China is incredibly important in order to serve America’s needs as far as our economy. Says that if we place a tariff on Chinese goods, it would start a trade war that small exporters can’t afford.

Ron Paul:  Made it clear that he is a strict constitutionalists.  Meaning that he believes every power the U.S. Government has is outlined in the founding document.  He especially stresses the importance in his opinion of formally delivered war as opposed to “conflicts” authorised the president.  Concerning the same subject, Dr. Paul feels very strongly about veterans affairs and the importance of military service to the position of Commander-in-Chief, nearly calling Mr. Gingrich a draft dodger.  His libertarian views inform his economic views as well.  In the past 26 years, Dr. Paul has not voted in favor of many appropriations bills in protest of the pork spending he feels is wrong.  Also, along these lines he favors personal privacy over national security particularly concerning the patriot act.

Mitt Romney:  Mr. Romney primarily played defense.  Nothing he said was really controversial, compared to the other candidates.  Honestly, he is biding time for a nearly sure win in New Hampshire on Tuesday.  Romney primarily focused on the economic issues considering his background in business stating that Obama has not helped the economy with his policies and they have made it more difficult for small businesses and entrepreneurs to invest in this country.  He is for changing the corporate tax code to resemble other first world countries in an effort to bring more companies to the US.  On the social front he is non-discriminatory against homosexuals, stating that he nominated bureaucratic and judicial officers that participated in the lifestyle, agrees that homosexual couples should be able to adopt children and include them in the benefits of marriage without marriage.

Newt Gingrich:  Concerning foreign policy, Mr. Gingrich feels that we need a fundamentally new strategy concerning the middle-east and the new Arab spring movement.  His play would be similar to the U.S. strategy during the cold war, this illustrates his tenancy for old foreigner policy rather then a “fundamentally new strategy.”  He also rang in on U.S. infrastructure and the need for improvements to the road system and an energy plan that would remove our dependence on foreign oil.  He also thinks homosexuals should have the right to contractual arrangements to allow for hospital visits and the like but the Catholic Church should not have to place children with homosexual couples.

Filed under new hampshire gop election debate prinary Republican election vote nomination