Liveblog: CNN Republican Debate, Constitution Hall, Washington, DC, 8pm ET

This is your Last Chance Saloon for a GOP debate for a while, as the next one won’t be until December 10, boohoo. It’s sponsored by CNN, the Heritage Foundation, and the American Enterprise Institute, tonight’s topic is national security and foreign policy, and it’s moderated by the aptly named Wolf Blitzer, so there’ll probably be enough wingnutty nuggets to last me, you, and the pundits till then.

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It’s been billed as a slugout between new co-frontrunners Newt and Mitt, but expect a degree of unanimity around the talking point that absentee President Obama’s gotten it all wrong wrong wrongitty wrong, only [insert candidate name here] can safeguard America’s precious bodily fluids, full-blooded high-kicking choruses of “Bomb, bomb, bomb Iran,” Michele outbatshitting the lot of them and declaring war on Idaho for the win, interspersed with gobbets of vitriol spat at China (*hack* *putt* *tanggg*), a rerun of that perennial favorite The Border Wall/Alligator-Filled Moat/Electrified Cattlegrid/Exploding Piñata Kerfuffle, all the while watching for the old setpieces you can use as the basis for a drinking game if you like, such as “Whose will be Gaffe Of The Night?” (evens between Michele, Herman, and Rick), “Can Herman pivot in his responses to include the obligatory 9-9-9 while brazenly trumpeting his continued infatuation with that Chiléan model despite the tittle-tattle?”, and “How many times will Ron get booed tonight?” All bets are off on slogan of the day “Obama’s leading from behind,” but treble measures if you successfully predict the Obligatory Shocking Crowd Response Incident Dissing Some Portion of Society that will totally overshadow the post mortems of tonight’s proceedings in days to come.

DRINK!

Posted by YAFB on 11/22/11 at 06:12 PM • Permalink

Categories: PoliticsElection '12NuttersTeabaggeryOur Stupid MediaSkull Hampers

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Getting so tired of these morons preempting TV shows. No, I don’t have cable, but it means my stuff won’t be on Hulu next week.

*grumbles*

If you choose “friend of Israel” or any variation thereof as your drinking word you’ll be hammered by 8:30.

They’re not preëmpting anything.  I was shocked to hear that CNN was still on the air.  After they went to an “all reading tweets all the time format” I assumed they saved money by turning off the xmtr.

MikeJ, I just assumed it would be broadcast on the other stations as well. Nice to know they all got tired of it too.

Not that I’ll be watching. We’ll have dinner and watch us some Castle and Terra Nova. Hubs is sooooo not into politics. He’s of the “it doesn’t matter what we do” variety. :/

It’s just on CNN, domynoe. The sponsoring network’s always the only one that carries each debate in this series.

I’m live-blogging and drinking.  Every time a candidate out-and-out lies, I drink.  I’m allergic to alky-hol, but ABL turned me on to PEPCID AC as a blocker.  Wish me luck!

Er, good luck!

Ten minutes or so to go, and I hear that Cain arrived in his swanky new “keep the press away from me” security cavalcade, and Santorum arrived in a pickup truck. An unlikely bid for the Scott Brown vote, but only two more debates before the first primary proper, so I guess it’s all stops out.

And we’re off ...

On the outrageous audience reaction line, I’ll take booing a nuclear treaty for $5.

Sort of a muted reception there for frontrunner Newt—sounded like mooing, could have been booing or sheepish whoops.

What sadist set the key for the National Anthem there?

First drink for asiangrrl. Mitt’s first name is actually Willard.

Mitt: “American approval rating in Pakistan is 12%.”

Beats the heck out of Congress’s.

Phew. A break. Anybody else watching this thing?

Well, apart from Santorum saying “I agree with Ron Paul” then flat-out disagreeing with him,” that was all boilerplate. Given the provenance and tone of the questions so far, not really surprising. Wonder when they’ll get to these questions submitted by social media they were banging on about.

Uh-oh. We’re back, and cue Israel ...

Bachmann: Keystone pipeline = energy independence for US.

DRINK!

On foreign aid, Cain says it’s a question of setting priorities, and programs should be evaluated to see whether they’re effective. Now why has no government ever thought of that before?

Paul: Foreign aid is worthless. Takes money from poor people in one country and gives it to the rich in another.

Romney thinks spending money on Obamacare rather than the military is a very bad thing.

Paul becoming exercised here. I guess this subject is his home turf as much as any of them.

Overiding theme: Obama’s been doing it all wrong.

Paul: Foreign aid is worthless. Takes money from poor people in one country and gives it to the rich in another.
I thought the republicans liked to believe that 92% of all americans pay zero in taxes and we should all be nicer to the Kochs. If poor americans are such deadbeats how is their money being taken?

Back to domestic issues for a minute. Blitzer trying to nail the candidates on whether they’d agree with any tax increases at all to balance the budget.

This provokes a bunch of waffle from Perry and Santorum, who claim to have managed as governors to balance the budgets working with their states’ legislators. Mind you, they weren’t negotiating with the Republican House.

Blitzer asks what Bachmann would cut. She swerves into a side alley citing, among other things astronomic debt figures (I just think she likes the word “trillion”), then says nobody’s addressing the debt issue. Having totally avoided answering the question.

Another break. Not before time.

So far, all the “audience” questioners have been from RW thinktanks and lobby groups, including Paul Wolfowitz, who I’d assumed was pushing up daisies. There’s going to be a lot of disappointed Tweeters.

Perry says “we know” that Hizbullah and Hamas are operating in Mexico. Huh? Gaffe or revelation?

Apparently Bachmann’s team has sent out a bulk email:

Cain Lacks Foreign Policy Experience and Security Seriousness

#NoFrickinKiddin

Also. Pot, meet kettle.

Oop. Perry and Romney go at it over illegal immigrants again. Perry emphasizes need to secure the Mexico border. He’s been doing it for ten years. So it’s secure, right?

Romney all for greencarding immigrants with higher ed degrees. You don’t have those in the US, huh?

Oh goody. Coming up after the break, the Arab Spring. Wonder if they’ll get on to OWS? That could be fun.

Some discussion of a no fly zone in Syria. Is airborne shenanigans a real problem over there?

A wonky question from a woman from the Heritage Foundation. Ron Paul not falling for that one, checks, “We’re talking about al Qaeda, yeah?”

It’s all irrelevant anyway. His answer, as ever, is: “Why don’t we mind our own business?”

Mitt: “I believe we need an American Century.”

Er, Mitt, Wolfowitz et al. were there before you. It didn’t work out so well.

Anybody else watching this thing?

I’m watching “A Perfect Terrorist” on Frontline. It’s a look into the mind of a crazed fundamentalist bent on seeing civilization burn.

So my answer isn’t “yes,” but “no” is probably a little too strong.

And they’re done. So am I. Time to break out the whisky while the punditry sieve out the bloopers (no real standouts tonight), mispeaks (Romney fudging his own first name—yes, we’re at that level), brave stands (immigration’s a predictable hot button, and Gingrich may pay for suggesting he wouldn’t necessarily want to kick out illegal immigrants after they’ve been in residence for 25 years), obfuscations (pick a candidate), and downright fabrications (I’m looking at you, Michele), and cobble together tomorrow’s headlines.

This was probably as close to a test in terms of the questions posed as we’ve had in any of these debates. Having the questions posed solely by those affiliated to the Heritage Foundation and American Enterprise Institute was a novel turn of events, and probably contributed to the dry tone of much of the debate. There were a couple of occasions when there could have been fireworks between a couple of the candidates (Perry vs. Romney—“Here we are again, standing next to each other,” said Perry when they were revisiting immigration and amnesty), but it feels like they’re getting as tired of these as we are and nobody seemed to have much of an appetite to go at anyone else—quite a bit of “I agree with ....” Doesn’t make for great entertainment, and I’m not convinced it’s a great way to choose a potential leader.

It’s a look into the mind of a crazed fundamentalist bent on seeing civilization burn.

Ah yup. I think CNN covered that too.

Ha, yes. And so it begins:

On CNN now, Michele Bachmann is accusing Newt Gingrich of the A-word – no, not that one, but amnesty. “If you are legalising 11 million workers it sounds like amnesty to me,” says Bachmann.

TPM:

Michele Bachmann jumped on the Gingrich moment within minutes of Gingrich’s answer on stage. “Newt Gingrich’s Open Door to Illegal Immigrant Amnesty,” read a press release from her campaign. In an after-debate pullaside with a CNN reporter she also said, “if you’re legalizing 11 million workers, that sounds like amnesty to me.”

After the debate, Bachmann spokesperson Alice Stewart told TPM that differing with Gingrich on illegal immigrants doesn’t make a Republican a bad person.

“Just because you disagree with the Speaker doesn’t mean you’re on inhumane,” she said. “It’s a policy difference and she’s right on the issue and he’s wrong.”

Here’s a transcript of what Gingrich actually said:

I do not believe that the people of the United States are going to take people who have been here a quarter century, who have children and grandchildren, who are members of the community, who may have done something 25 years ago, separate them from their families and expel them. I do believe if you’ve been here recently and have no ties to the U.S., we should deport you. I do believe we should control the border. I do believe we have various penalties for employers, but I urge you to look at the Krieble Foundation plan. The party that says it’s the party of the family is not going to adopt an immigration policy which destroys families who have been here a quarter century. I’m prepared to take the heat for saying, let’s be humane in enforcing the law without giving them citizenship but by finding a way to create legality so that they are not separated from their families.

Popcorn time. The other candidates will no doubt hammer Gingrich on this. That may not go unnoticed among some of the voting population who aren’t natural Republican voters.

Sounds like I didn’t miss much except the alcohol, and since I don’t drink, we’ll go back to I didn’t miss much. lol

Newt saying that we should be humane towards illegal immigrants will be the comment that ends his front runner status with the hard core base; you can count on it.  And since the hard core base is who votes in the primaries, Newt is toast. 

Too bad, he would have made such a fun election pinata; I know I was looking forward to seeing him whacked with a stick until all his sticky icky past fell out.

I was reviewing a road tour of “Fiddler on the Roof”—so yeah, seeing the Russians kick the Jews out of Anatevka was probably like watching the GOP debate. Only substitute “wetbacks” for “Yids,” of course.

And did Romney really muff his own name? That’s classic! We’re really getting into Splunge territory, aren’t we?

Comment by Oblomova on 11/23/11 at 12:48 AM

I watched via tweets.  There were questions from Wolfowitz, Addington, and Theissen.  Surprised they didn’t trot out Scooter or Darth. 

No questions about Europe, or Egypt, or Iraq, or Libya.  China snuck in at the end.

The whole thing struck me as pathetic.  And smart people gave them high marks when you’d think saying Hamas and Hezbollah are hanging in Mexico would get you laughed off the stage.

Surprised they didn’t trot out Scooter or Darth.

 

They had Ed Meese disinterred. Maybe they were concerned about starting a zombie swarm.

I watched it with my teenager, and I was too busy marveling at what a great job I’ve apparently done as a parent to join you fine folks. That girl has a finely calibrated bullshit detector. So for me, at least, there has been one bright spot in the clown car pile-up.

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