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November 28, 2007



woo hoo! Elliott and Jane you have your very own digs tonite, thanks to Mr. Maguire!

I look forward to reading your entries throughout the debate.


Thanks in advance Jane and Elliot. You guys Rock!


I am on Calif. time and will be in transit for the first 20 minutes or so of the debate, so I am really counting on a lot of color and snark from Elliot and Jane until I can tune in.


I live for Jane's snark!

Rick Ballard

We should poll the "most obnoxious question" afterwards. We may see some fireworks this evening. I think the boys have picked up a blood scent.


Wow! what an honor! Thanks TM!


I hope we don't have those 30-second videos from the campaigns we had during the Democratic one, but I expect we will.

A couple minutes to go still. I hope others besides Jane will contribute snark. Lone snarking just isn't as much fun.


The suspense is building: Will the snowman make an appearance? Will the debate be rigged? Will we spend the nite ignoring the winning war in Iraq? Will Ron Paul make a fool of himself? Will Anderson Cooper reveal his bias, or his sexual preference. Stay tuned!


Lou Dobbs is finally finished and Anderson Cooper goes over the ground rules. It looks like the candidates will march in again like last time. Probably analysis from CNN pundits before the debate begins too. centralcal might be home before it starts. Gov. Charlie Crist is speaking now, introducing candidates.


Anderson Cooper shows us some of the questions submitted. Shot of Chuck Norris. AC says candidates won't be allowed to deviate.

Q1. Introduction of candidates, by guitar playing singer. "The Dems have just one candidate, Republicans have eight." It's surprisingly good. "Huckabee's compassionate and lost a lot of weight...McCain is loved by most of us and hated by the rest."

Rick Ballard

Man, this is a stupid start. Sing along with CNN dolts.


So is the Governor's tan real? Or does he use Jergens? And what's with the Huckabee surge?

Silence in the room. Clearly CNN is not prepared. Gloria Borgia will recap, before we begin. The candidates are instructed to wave so they look silly. Someone else arrives for a photo shot.

Now we highlight You tube. If you missed the interview with the You tube organizer at Hugh Hewitt's, you should watch it.

Great now we have the first song - please don't waste my time. Okay, it was cute.

Rudy has a red tie, Mitt's is blue, like his state. Fred and Duncan are in red, Huckabee in black, and Mc Cain's is a bit off red.

Rudy, will you continue to aid and abet illegals?

Rudy must have sworn because his mike bugged out. He clarifies his illegal policy. Bad idea. He should have just said "no".

(I hope Elliott has arrived to be serious about this)

Rick Ballard

Oops - I'll retract and shut up, although "good" needs a comparative.


Q2: NYC was sanctuary city under Giuliani. Will you continue that as President, Giuliani?

Giuliani: Not sanctuary city, we deported criminals. We let children go to school. Emergency care and crime reporting allowed. Federal policies weren't working. Federal problem and I can do something as President. Virtual fence, ID card.

Romney: It was a sanctuary city. Sued to remain sanctuary city. Didn't report all illegals. Welcome people legally, but Giuliani welcomes illegals.

Giuliani: Romney criticizes people when he has worse record. Sanctuary cities in Massachusetts, illegal immigrants working for him.

Romney: Mayor, you know better than that.

Giuliani: You had illegals working at your mansions.

Romney: Am I supposed to ask for papers from someone with a funny accent.

Giuliani: Holier than thou attitude, while employed illegals.

Romney: Should I as homeowner check people's papers. No breaks on tuition for illegals.

Giuliani: Gets booed away from making point about employer sanctions.


Q3. Will you veto amnesty.

Thompson: Yes. Should protect sovereignty. Lots of people want to come legally, and many great Americans have been immigrants. Secure border, employer sanctions, no sanctuary cities. Romney supported Bush immigration plan. I'm surprised the Mayor says we're responsible for the people we hire. We all make mistakes in the people we hire. I outlawed sanctuary cities, the mayor sued. If that wasn't a sanctuary city, I'd call that a frivolous lawsuit.

Giuliani: Not a sanctuary city. Educated children, provided healthcare, let report crimes. Reported other illegals to Feds.

McCain: I'd veto and we never proposed amnesty (a couple boos). Tough issue. Tried to do something about it. American people didn't believe we were serious about enforcing border. Lost trust for many reasons. Need to secure border first. Illegals? are God's children and need our compassion.

Questioner: I think he says he's indicating Thompson's answer was best.

Tancredo: Best debate so far. People are trying to out-Tancredo Tancredo.


Romney piles on. (Sheesh I could tell you stories about illegals in MA under Romney - I once asked a state judge if he saw a lot of illegals, he told me he wasn't allowed to inquire.)

Rudy strikes back. Mitt had a sanctuary mansion - he employed illegals.

Romney gets pissed. His landscaping company employed the illegals, not him. Good answer, and effective.

Rudy says don't get holier than thou. You had a "special immigration problem".

The crowd boos Rudy because he won't let go.

Next question - there are thousands of people who want to come here legally. will you pledge no amnesty.

Fred takes the pledge and puts it in context. Strenthen the border, and stop federal funding of sanctuary cities. Fred bops Romney and Rudy. He refers to bad employees (Kerik, but not by name) the audience gets it. Rudy goes back to distinguishing his policy. Anderson Cooper annoys.

McCain would veto amnesty, the audience acts appalled and disbelieving. He's gonna do the hard things. He justifies his former support for Bush's immigration policy. Talks about government failures and ignores Cooper's annoying calling of "Time". He talks about compassion.

Tancredo - is very very happy because everyone is trying to out-Tancredo, Tancredo.

Question - we need guest workers - what will you do? Tancredo - I'm not going to aid any more illegal immigration and he rejects the idea that there are no jobs americans will take. He doesn't feel sorry if companies have to raise wages.

Hunter: I built the border fence in San Diego and it works. He's wearing a bad suit.

Huckabee: You gave illegal aliens a discount in college. Soldiers kids have to pay 3 times the amount. Would you give them the same rate? Huckabee says a bunch of things I don't believe. I'm biased for some reason.



Q4: We need guest workers for our business. What will you do to keep us in business?

Tancredo: Shouldn't be letting more people in. I reject the idea there are jobs Americans won't take. Am I going to feel sorry if a business has to increase its wages to employ Americans? No.

Hunter: I built a fence and it works. Reduced smuggling by 90%. Crime in San Diego went down. The fence is not being built. I'd build it in 6 months.


Q5. (For Huckabee) You let illegals pay in state tuition. Would you let children of service members who move to Arkansas pay in state tuition?

Huckabee: Questioner misinformed. Supported bill to let illegals who had been in school in Arkansas since age 5 and were applying for citizenship earn scholarships. Won't punish child for crimes of parents. Tax payers not tax takers. Need to treat veterans better and I've proposed veterans bill of rights.

Romney: Huckabee wanted to give scholarships to give illegals. He had his reasons, just like liberals. But, it's not his money, it's the taxpayers money.

Huckabee: They had to earn. I worked my way through college, I'm here because of that education, otherwise I might be picking lettuce and dependent on government. We're a better country than to punish children for parents' transgressions.

Romney: The question is are we giving taxpayer money to illegals?


Q6: (For Ron Paul) Do you, like your supporters believe North American Union stuff?

Paul: I believe in national sovereignty. There's a trilateral commission, Nafta, a highway. Not a conspiracy, but a contest of ideology. Do we believe in our sovereignty or will be more like EU. We go to war under UN resolutions. I don't like that. Sovereignty under threat.


Q7. What will you do about national debt?

McCain: We (Republican congress) let spending get out of control. Spent money on studying bear DNA. Financing child healthcare by hoping people smoke. Held Abramoff hearings, sent Duke to jail. Veto pork.

Romney: Need to change the way Washington works. Reform entitlements. Can't rely on beltway politics. Cap on non-military discretionary spending.

Giuliani: Spending cuts. Shouldn't replace all retiring federal employees. End programs that don't work.


Q8: Republicans used to champion less spending? What 3 federal programs would you cut?

Thompson: Target rich environment. It's not about small amounts of money spent that generate headlines, it's about entitlements. I have report from 2001 that shows the way to save billions. Re-indexing benefits would make social security sound.

Paul: Washington hasn't changed me. Get rid of Departments of Education, Energy, Homeland Security. Bring troops home would save a bunch of money.

Huckabee: I'd get rid of IRS. Fair tax. Revamp homeland security. Most people are more afraid of an audit than a mugging.


Q9: (For McCain) Do you support fair tax?

McCain: No. We should look carefully at it and it's provisions. Need simpler, fairer tax code. Commission needed (didn't we just have one). Paul says bring troops home. That kind of isolationism caused World War II. (Paulians boo). We allowed Hitler to come to power. The message of the troops to you is "Let us win."

Cooper: Stay on topic. You're wasting the YouTubers time.

Paul: I get most money from active duty military. McCain doesn't understand difference between non-intervention and isolationism.

Q10. Grover Norquist: Will you veto and oppose any effort to raise taxes?

Tancredo: Yes.

Huckabee: Yes. Pledge.

Romney: Yes. Pledge.

Giuliani: Yes.

Thompson: Yes, I have tax bill, but I don't make pledges to anyone but American people.

McCain: I have record cutting taxes.

Paul: Never voted for tax increase, have to cut spending.

Hunter: I cut taxes, but won't make pledge (could have emergency).


Q11: Will you eliminate farm subsidies?

Romney: (I missed most of the answer because of captcha) Need to change our system together with other countries. Shouldn't have no subsidies while others retain them.

Giuliani: Romney correct. Have to reduce subsidies in concert with trade agreements.

Cooper: Asks Giuliani about accounting.

Giuliani: I had a security detail 24/7. There were threats. I didn't have anything to do with the accounting, but it was done properly.

Tancredo video going. He's "debating" Hillary's video clips.


Romney makes a great point: IT'S THE TAXPAYER'S MONEY! Huckabee worked his way thru college and apparently sees no value in that. Yikes!

Ron Paul: Do you believe there is a conspiracy to unite the US and Mexico? I may have gotten that wrong because I steadfastly ignore Ron Paul. And I will continue to do so. Oh Ron, your tinfoil hat is showing! "our national sovereignty is at threat"

"At threat" what does that mean?

Oh dear, the debt. This college student is very concerned.

McCain - republicans have forgotten how to control spending. He makes 2 good jokes, one about bears, I forgot it. Then he goes into his stump speech.

Romney: mentions pork and earmarks, (good) and seeks fundamental change - go after entitlements.

Rudy: wants to get rid of 21% of the national workforce on retirement.

Name top three federal programs you would cut: Thompson - he talks about social security not cutting it - he wants to get rid of 100 programs.

Rom paul - washington didn't change him - he's always had a tin foil hat. He would change education, homeland security and something else oh and end the war.

Huckabee would get rid of the IRS - big cheer. Homeland Security, and now time is up.

McCain: Do you support the fair tax? No. It would increase tax rate into the 30'%.
He yells at Ron Paul - that kind of isolationism caused WW2 - boos - I'm applauding. The troops have a message for Paul: Let us WIn! Huge applause.

Anderson Cooper yells at the crowd. Ron Paul says he gets the most money from military officers. Boy now that's clearly a lie. He gets boo-ed. Good.

Grover Norquist - boy he is weird looking. Will you veto any tax increases. Tancredo - yeah, Huckabee, yeah, Rudy, yeah, Thompson, yeah, but I only pledge to the American people - Mccain - my pledge is up to the American people not any organization, Ron Paul says you have to cut spending, Hunter, except in a national emergency.

Corn subsidies - Will you eliminate farm subsidies - Romney - no, farms are creating new technology? They are? Open markets.

Rudy: He agrees with Mitt.

Rudy's latest scandal - did you expense your security. I had 24 hour security and they followed me everywhere.

Now the candidates have videos.


Q12. I have adopted child from China, didn't expect she'd have to worry about lead here. What will you do?

Tancredo: Illegal to import stuff with those levels. I voted against normalization of trade with China. Need to change arrangements with countries that cheat on their agreements.

Hunter: China cheating and using our dollars to militarize. Buy American this holiday season

Fred's 30 seconder: Romney's pro-abortion statements. Huckabee's acceptance of tax-raising.

Thompson: I wanted to give my buddies here a little extra air time. What do you mean what's up with that. These are their words.

Romney: I was wrong, alright. I was a effectively pro-choice when I ran for Senate. If people are looking for someone who's never been wrong, find another candidate. As Governor, I was pro-life and I won't apologize for having been right in the end.

Huckabee: I cut taxes 90 time. I have a great record on fiscal conservatism. As my old pastor used to say, "When they're kicking you in the rear, it just shows you that you're still in front."

Break time.


I like Fred's U-Tube video! Got a little rise out of folks!


Tancredo opposes Chinese lead. Hunter opposes Chinese lead. Buy American.

Thompson's video: What's up with that? Romney admits being pro-choice when he ran for office. Huckabee says he made tax cuts.


Elliott, do you get the feeling we are the only people here?


I thought Romney came off much better than Giuliani in the illegal immigration clash and also had a good answer to Thompson's piece. I suppose Huckabee is doing well, but I don't think I'm a good judge since he's my second least favorite up there.


We're here. Don't want to interrupt the flow.


You both are going a great job!

Anderson Cooper's crowd control is annoying, considering there was none at the Dem debate.

Mitt, Fred, and Duncan are great. I agree about Duncan's suit.

Rudy is coming off as mean. IMO


Could be, Jane. Maybe they are watching!

McCain video: Hillary's taxing, pork-barreling, flip-flopping.

Q13. What is you're opinion of gun control?

Hunter: Hunting license at age 10, in military, son in Fallujah. Criticizes gun safety of questioner. The right to keep and bear arms is an important part of America's security.

Q14. (For Giuliani) Why do you think people should pass written exam to own gun?

Giuliani: Need to be aggressive in enforcing gun laws. I enforced all laws aggressively and it reduced crimes. 2nd amendment is individual right with reasonable regulation (boos) like criminal or mental illness background. Supreme court will decide it, decisions will be made on state by state basis.

Thompson: Giuliani supported gun control laws, was at Clinton signing ceremony. 2nd amendment is not a choice, it's in the Constitution. DC took same view Giuliani took in NYC.

Giuliani: What we did made city safer, we didn't do what DC did, unconstitutionally, in banning handguns totally.

Q15: Tell us about gun collection.

Thompson: I own a couple guns but I'm not going to tell you what they are or where they are.

McCain: I know how to use guns. I don't own one now.

Hunter: I have a model that my dad used to have.

Giuliani says he doesn't own a gun.

Romney: Two guns in my house, owned by my son.

Q16: Black on black crime.

Romney: Best thing is to have a mom and a dad. 68% of African-American children born out of wedlock. Thank heavens Bill Cosby said it like it was. I think the civil rights issue of our time is the failure of inner city schools to prepare children for jobs. Improve policing.

Cooper: Is Romney a crime fighter?

Giuliani: Governor has mixed record, murders up, some violent crime down. I had a good record reducing crime, including in poor neighborhoods. Comstat, broken windows, and very good leadership.

Romney: I wasn't a mayor, I didn't have a police commissioner, but we did what we could to reduce abortion.


Great gun video - Hunter mentions his son's service in Fallujah, again.

Uh oh, a Rudy gotcha - an exam for gun ownership. Rudy says gvt can impose reasonable regulations and the crowd boos. He says the SJC will decide, he will comply.

Thompson says Rudy has supported lots of gun control laws and was seen with Clinton's cabinet. He also talks about Parker and Anderson (what kind of name is that?) interrupts.

Tell us about your gun collection.

Thompson - I own a couple of guns but I'm not going to tell you what or where they are. Mccain was in the service and had a gun. (Who knew) Hunter has a family tradition. Romney's son has guns.

Now we have a question about black crime. Oh dear, I could hardly understand the question. Romney wants better black values. He wants to reinculcate those values - how? And education. And police. He was tough on crime. (Well not really)

Rudy says Mitt didn't have a great record on crime, but he did. He made NY safe. Anderson wants to interrupt. Anderson doesn't seem to like Rudy much.

(I think Fred is winning)

Abortion: what crime would you charge a woman who gets and abortion and her doc, if they are illegal.

Ron paul - it's the state's issue. Boy I actually agree with Ron paul on something.

Fred: He talks about overturning Roe, and appointing good judges. He says the penalty should be the same as it is now.

Would you sign a federal ban on all abortions, would you sign it.

Rudy - I'd leave it to the states - (Good)Should not criminialize early abortions.

Romney: we should overturn Roe v wade.

Sheesh this sounds like pandering.

What would jesus do on the death penalty? Huckabee. He carried out the death penalty. But he thinks there is a place for it.

"Jesus was too smart to run for public office".

Tancredo would pray.

Do you believe every word of the bible? (A better question would be if they read it)

Rudy - Huckabee offers to help. Not literally true.

Romney: I believe the bible is the word of God.

Huckabee - the bible is exactly what it is. well duh. He gives a strong answer to a dumb question.


Q17: If abortion illegal, what should punishment for woman who obtains abortion and abortionist be?

Paul: Not a federal issue. Never saw medically necessary abortion. Should be criminal penalty for doctor in late term abortion.

Thompson: Need to overturn Roe v. Wade with good judges, then it would go to states. Laws should be what they are now where the doctor is subject to punishment.

Q18: Would you sign federal ban on abortion after Roe v. Wade overturned?

Giuliani: I wouldn't sign. Problem with Roe was that it took issue away from states. Should go back to states, shouldn't be criminalized. Parental consent, adoption instead of abortion.

Romney: Agrees with Thompson. I would like it if we had consensus that abortion should be outlawed.

Q19: Death penatly, WWJD? (Seriously.)

Huckabee: Executions tough to deal with, irrevocable. There is a place for death penalty because of the heinous nature of the act. (Continues with very eloquent answer). Says considerations in executions far different from abortion.

Cooper: Answer the question.

Huckabee: Jesus was too smart to run for public office.

Tancredo: Would pray for wisdom (missed the rest).

Q20: Do you believe every word of bible?

Huckabee: Do you need me to help you out on this one mayor?

Giuliani: Don't believe it's all literally true. Read frequently and has been helped at times of great crisis.

Romney: I believe in the bible. The bible is the word of God and I try to live by it.

Huckabee: Revelation of God to us, either believe in it or don't. Some is allegorical, but much of it is not open to interpretation. Until we get simple but important things like loving our neighbors right we shouldn't be so worried about quibbling over interpretations.

Romney video; "We need the leader who gets the big stuff done."

Rick Ballard

"Rudy is coming off as mean."

Hmmm - I just see solid counter punching with a sharp edge.


Jane/Elliot: You guys rock! I was able to catch up what I missed during the first commercial! We are here - but, we're multi-tasking! Watching them, reading you, processing our own reactions.

The "after the debate" should really be interesting!


You could be right. At least they are taking tough questions.

I have been screaming at the T.V.:



Ann: There is so much more SUBSTANCE on our side - on EVERY issue that matters.



Huckabee's performance tonight has been phenomenal.


The Guild canceled the dem debate next month.

It's the mob!!!


I've been surfing other live bloggers--Jane and Elliott are the best.


Ron Paul should be DONE tonight!!!!!!

Sorry, I do not agree about the Huckster!


Giuliani video goes for humor. Reduced annual snowfall in NYC.

Q21: Having lived in Middle East I see damage done to American reputation. What would you do to restore it?

Giuliani: Stay on offense. Most Muslims, Arabs good people and we should trade and have dealings with them. Shouldn't blame group of people for a few individual distortion of a great religion. Shouldn't bury head in sand like Democrats who can't say "Islamic terrorism."

McCain: Continue surge, win in Iraq, continue rebuilding. Oppose Democrats trying to set date for withdrawal. I'm the only one who said Rumsfeld's strategy was failing. If we continue this strategy we'll win. If had followed Democrats 6 months ago, Al-Qaeda would be telling the world they defeated America.

Hunter: Talks about great humanitarian projects of U.S. I will never apologize for the United States of America.

Q22. How can you disagree with John McCain (absolute moral authority) on waterboarding?

Romney: I won't discuss specific measures, but I oppose torture. Need to get information to protect country. I want to keep Guantanomo open so they don't get into US Prison system. KSM said he'd talk with his lawyer present.

McCain: Criticizes Romney. To gain moral high-ground, we should do what was done by Pol Pot, what is being done to Burmese monks. Talk to military officers.

Romney: I did not say I support torture. I get advice from Cofer Black. I take counsel.

McCain: You'll have to withdraw from Geneva convention. Life is not 24 and Jack Bauer. Humane but effective interrogation techniques are working. This is a defining issue. We should never allow torture to take place.

Q23. We need permanent military presence in Iraq. Will you do that?

Thompson: We need to be in Iraq until mission is not. Islamic terrorists declared war on our civilization. Progress is being made.

Paul: We should give Iraqis country back. That's working in South and North. Vietnam is a friend of ours now.

McCain: We never lost a battle in Vietnam. It was American public opinion that forced us to lose that conflict. Vietnamese left us alone when we left, but Islamic terrorists want to follow us here using Iraq as a base.

Paul: Wolfowitz admitted Al-Qaeda was motivated by military presence in Arabia. We're occupying their country.

Tancredo: I wish all we had to do was bring our troops home, but radical Islam is a threat to America and would be even if all troops were home.


Oh dear, a berkha clad woman talks about the image of America, sheesh -.

Rudy - we can't blame all the muslims for the acts of a few, but we can't act like the democrats who won't even say "Islamic terrorists".

McCain - CONTINUE THE SURGE, reconstruct the country, fight those idiots in congress who want to surrender and of course he criticized Rumsfeld (really?) If we had don e what the democrats said to do, al Qaida would be saying they beat America.

(Frankly I don't think our image is that bad.)

Hunter will not apologize. GOOD

Waterboarding - well of course. How can you disagree with McCain.

Romney - it's not wise to describe specifically what we would and would not use. And I want Gitmo to go on.

McCain wants the high ground and criticizes Paul Potts (tell that to Simon Cowell)

Romney, I'm not in favor of torture. And my advice comes from Coffer Black and Generals.

McCain: then you have to advocate that we withdraw from the geneva conventions.

BUzz Brockway has a question and a poster. He wants to know who will make a long term committment to Iraq.

Fred wants to accomplish the mission and then draws the larger picture (Brava) He warns us. Too many people are invested in defeat, I'm invested in victory.

Ron Paul - blah blah blah.

McCain gives him hell/

Paul: blah blah blah.


Will you grant your VP as much power as Cheney?

Fred thought the video was him.

A VP should be chosen on his ability to serve as president.

McCain said something too.


Q24: (For Giuliani) Are you exploiting 9/11?

Giuliani: Look at my whole record. Justice department tenure. Helped curb Haitian immigration. Went after the mob. NYC miracle work. Cut taxes, spending, welfare. All before 9/11. I can be present because I've been tested and got remarkable results.

Q25: Animated Cheney asks whether VP will have as much power in next administration?

Thompson: Dual role. VP should be chosen on basis of ability to serve as POTUS. Should be actively involved in administration. National security or domestic expertise. Legal training might be helpful, judges.

McCain: President elected in time of peace, not as experienced as I, had to rely on VP. My VP might have more expertise in areas other than foreign policy. Thompson right about need to select someone for potential presidential ability.

Hunter video. Break.



I have no doubt that when I turn to H&C, Frank Luntz's Republican focus group will proclaim Huckabee the winner by miles. I would be happy to be surprised though.


I am sorry to say, McCain wears very thin after so many debates. He has a couple of catch phrases (ie., "my friend") that really start to grate after only a few minutes.

Jane! Girlfriend! I totally agree about the "burkha" gal!


Commercial break, and the commercial is John Edwards threatening insurers.

A gay general asks why they think the military is not professional enough to serve with gays. Hunter: It would be bad for cohesion - bad answer. Huckabee: It's an issue of conduct - sheesh so the gays will act out? Gimme a break. Romney hedges, and says it is different on war. He supported it before. Bad answer. The general doesn't like the answer. Military people are professional enough to serve with gays and lesbians. Here here! Don't ask don't tell is destructive to our policy.

McCain: I talk to Joint chiefs and Petreus and they are unanimous that this present policy is working.

Do you accept support of log cabin republicans. Huckabee will take any support. He disagrees with same sex marriage but he can agree on other things.

National debt - social security - how will you repay it? He would protect young people from old people. heh!

Romney: We have lots of problems. We need a new course. Follow Reagan.

Space: Anyone who will send someone to mars by 2020. Huckabee - not interested in mars but is interested in space because it improved our lives. If we do send people to mars, let's send Hillary.

Tancredo - contrast this to the debt. This is why we have such problems. we can't afford to go to Mars.

Why don't blacks vote for republicans?

Rudy - we don't point out that you should. Move people off welfare.

Huckabee - sheesh he is getting sooooo much air time. The fix is in. He paid attention to blacks and fixed their health problems.

Confederate flag - Romney isn't going to get involved with it. There are not 2 Americas, there is one america. He wants to throw something at the TV when Edwards is on it.

Thompson: For some it is a symbol of racism, otherwise, who cares?


Huckabee is getting to much time. Ditto

Topic for later: Why did the guy asking the guestion on gays in the military get to give a speech.



Rudy tells us about his record - again. Long term budgeting program.

Paul: blah blah blah blah blah.

McCain: Veto every pork project (YiPPEE!)

Rudy: Line item veto is unconstituional.

Ron Paul - will you run as an independant?
No. Blah blah blah blah blah and blacks like me too. I think he actually smiled.

Rudy - why did you root for the Red Sox in the world series.

Because the red sox are clearly the best team on the earth.

The end.


Huckabee video.

Q26: Retired Brigadier General, who's openly gay, asks about don't ask don't tell.

Hunter: I agree with Colin Powell that having gays openly serving would be bad for unit cohesion. Most in the service have conservative principles and shouldn't have other values forced on them.

Huckabee: UCMJ has good rule, it's all about conduct.

Romney: Not the time to change, during war. I didn't think don't ask don't tell would work but it seems to have. I'll listen to military.

Brigadier General: I didn't get an answer. Gays and lesbians are professional enough to serve. Came out of closet after retirement. Policy harms military.

McCain: Military leaders tell me, almost unanimously, that present policy is working and should be continued.

Q27: Accept support from Log Cabin Republicans and why should they support you?

Huckabee: I need the support of everyone I can get. I disagree with them on same sex marriage. If they support me, I'll be their President, I'll be anyone's President. People can disagree on some issues.

Q28: National debt.

Thompson: One of the things I'd do for his generation is protect it from out generation. Entitlement tsunami is coming. We can act or leave it to children. Moral, not just fiscal issues.

Romney: Lots of problems, can't follow Hillary. Need to follow path Reagan blazed, strengthen economy, military, families.

Q29: Vision for space explanation? Go to Mars?

Huckabee: Doesn't want to decide on Mars. Space program has led to many improvements in our lives. More investment in science. Maybe Hillary can be on the first rocket to Mars.

Tancredo: We can't afford some things and going to Mars is one of them.

Q30; African-Americans have conservative views on many issues, so why don't we vote for you?

Giuliani: Haven't done a good enough job showing African-Americans and Hispanic that our philosophy is best for them. Education, welfare are examples of issues where Republican ideas can help many people.

Huckabee: 48% of African-Americans voted for me. I asked for their vote. Jobs in administration. Health programs targeted to blacks. Need to reach out.

Q31: Confederate flag.

Romney: With all the issues we have...I wouldn't fly it. America has decided not to fly it. We're united. That flag is divisive and shouldn't be flown.

Thompson: Many who fly flag are not racist, but it is a symbol of racism to many so I'm glad it's not displayed publicly.

Paul video.

Q32: What will you do to fix America's infrastructure?

Giuliani: Long term capital investment in infrastructure in New York City. It's been working, but it takes a long time. Sustained 20-30 year program for America. It will benefit next generation. Need federal-state partnership.

Paul: Going bankrupt, can't afford it. Get government out of our lives.

McCain: Veto pen for pork-barreling. No bridge to nowhere. Line item veto, which Giuliani opposed so he could have his pork.

Giuliani: Line item veto unconstitutional. I challenged it, carrying out my fiduciary duty. I beat Bill Clinton.

Q33. (For Ron Paul) Will you run as an independent?

Paul: I'm a Republican, my campaign is doing well. Raised 4.2 million dollars in one day. Revolution.

Q34: (For Giuliani) How can a life long Yankees fan root for the Red Sox?

Giuliani: American league fan, always have rooted for American league team. Yankees will beat everyone next year. They won 4 times when I was mayor but they haven't won since.

Romney: Winning World Series and coming back from 3-0 against Yankees were great. We love our sports teams and we hate the Yankees.

It's over.



Rudy tells us about his record - again. Long term budgeting program.

Paul: blah blah blah blah blah.

McCain: Veto every pork project (YiPPEE!)

Rudy: Line item veto is unconstituional.

Ron Paul - will you run as an independant?
No. Blah blah blah blah blah and blacks like me too. I think he actually smiled.

Rudy - why did you root for the Red Sox in the world series.

Because the red sox are clearly the best team on the earth.

The end.


Elliott you are so organized! I can't believe you numbered the questions. Nice job!


So this debate was slanted to give Huckabee the most air time - Does CNN think that he can't beat hillary? Is that the reason?


I did not agree with either of the answers on the question about long term bases in Iraq. I would join the impeachment call if I thought any President didn't see the absolute strategic imperative of having a long term presence there. The U.S. needs those bases, the Iraqi government has asked us to establish them, why is this even a question? Just take a look at a map.

Rick Ballard

"Why did the guy asking the guestion on gays in the military get to give a speech."

Becath he'th a very good friend of Anderson's, thilly.

I think CNN blew it on question selection tonight. They were shooting for wedge questions and answers and wound up serving a nice dinner to the base.


Mitt did very poorly.

Fred wasn't as sharp as he needs to be.

Rudy was sharp - and good.

McCain - Needs a good nap.

T'others - who cares?


I agree the spotlight was on Huckabee and Paul too. There isn't much about Huckabee I don't like and I can find things about all his positions I can agree with him about. But, his answers are what I'd expect of my counselor or pastor. I don't think a President can afford to be so touchy feely. He did have the best line of the night, though, with the Jesus would be too smart to run for public office remark.


I thought Mitt did poorly too, but I think Rudy had a tough time on some issues the base loves - altho I agree with Rudy on most of those things. I like Fred's style which most people find too sluggish. I don't like Huckabee. Now on CNN Bill Bennett says Romney came out well and Rudy didn't.


You guys were terrific. I loved the different styles.

Ron Paul: Blah blah blah blah blah LOL

Kudos to both of you.

So this debate was slanted to give Huckabee the most air time - Does CNN think that he can't beat hillary? Is that the reason?

Seems like it, Jane. He appears to be the MSM's favorite Republican candidate, which I hope means the GOP will be smart enough not to nominate him.

They do seem to like Huckabee for some reason. I ran into a college classmate this past summer who is a writer for the Colbert Report (and on strike now, I guess). He said they all love him on that set, lib/lefties that they are. They think he's genuinely personable and funny.


Jane: I liked Mitt and Fred and Duncan.

I think that CNN has learned some lessons from their last debate, bnt not all. You could tell when Anderson Cooper was uncomfortable, he found a way to move on, if ya know what I mean!


My take:

Tancredo sounded ridiculous.

Paul - I like his libertarian views, but when he gets into foreign policy, he sounds loony tunes, at least to me.

I like Duncan Hunter. He was my Congressman and I liked him then. But not for President. I'd like him as a VP candidate.

John McCain is too one note for me. Like Rudy about 9/11, McCain counts too much on his VN era. Make him Sec Def.

Rudy is and always has been too much the prosecutor for my taste and his arrogance rubs me the wrong way. Make him Atty. Gen.

Romney is still my favorite.


Sara: Romney, Fred, Giuliani.

The others, I wish they would just go home.


I don't know what to say about Fred Thompson. I'm not a Thompson supporter, but I do like the guy very much. I keep getting the feeling that he isn't really into this who President thing.


Thank you both.


I heart Fred. I think he wants to be President very much. It's the idiocy of the modern campaigns he refuses to pander to.


And thanks Jane and Elliott, the live blogging was great.



Thank you for complimenting Jane and me. This has probably commented on in the other thread, but it is becoming harder and harder to dispute your view that Bill really wants to avoid 4 or 8 years playing second fiddle.


I agree with you about Rudy.


I think you're right about McCain. I liked Fred's video too, but unless you have the moderator asking good follow-up questions, it's easy for Huckabee to cite the number of times he cut taxes and get the better of the exchange in the view of people who don't know very much about the candidates.

I'll have to wait until tomorrow for Luntz's focus group, but I would guess Huckabee will be judged the winner with Romney also getting good marks, while McCain and Giuliani receive negative reviews. I don't know about Fred. I thought he was good tonight, but I think it's possible that some will fault him for making numerous criticisms of other candidates


Sara: re: Fred: "I keep getting the feeling that he isn't really into this whole President thing."

Really? Or is it what the MEDIA are drumming into your head?

I found it interesting to pay as much attention to the candidates as I did to Anderson Cooper. If you have the chance to watch again, please watch it with Anderson as your focus. It gives a different "nuance" to how Liberal/Progressives view these things (i.e., the real men in the room!)


Where was the jewelry question?

Bill Bennett just said that he was getting email that the gay guestion came from a guy on Hillary's steering com. and it should be disclosed!!

Rick Ballard

The Corner noted that the Gay Brigadier (Keith Kerr) is on the Clinton campaign LGBT steering committee.

No plants here, boss.


Yup--first CNN plant exposed:
"CNN, as part of its Republican debate with YouTube, failed to mention that retired general Keith Kerr, who announced he was gay after his retirement from the Army, is a member of Hillary Clinton’s "LGBT Americans For Hillary Steering Committee." Not only did General Kerr ask the question via a YouTube video, but he was also present in the audience, and got to ask the candidates for a "straight answer" (pardon the pun). General Kerr’s, whose question came 47 minutes into the 9 pm Eastern hour the debate, is also part of the Servicemembers’ Legal Defense Network's advisory council, an... "

http://newsbusters.org/blogs/matthew-balan/2007/11/28/cnn-fails-mention-retired-gay-general-s-endorsement-hillary>CNN Planters


Ann: Thank you for that piece of info!


The Retired General [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
was also on the Steering Committee of "Veterans for Kerry."


And . . . CLARICE! for the real backstory to the planted questioner!



It was a pleasure, as it always is, to co-blog with you. I look forward to the next debate.

It looks like we JOMers would make an interesting focus group. The ones on TV always remind me of the Libby jury, concerned primarily with getting along and reaching a consensus.

Finally, thanks are due to the man with the most misspelt name on the net for putting this venue at our disposal. Thank you, TM!

Rick Ballard

Geez, Google turns up this when you use "Keith Kerr" "Anderson Cooper" as the search string.

Two icons in the same show.

What an extraordinary coincidence.


Okay - teh General - he kinda shot himself in the foot with his oh, so very, topical question. He was pretty obvious about his personal procliviities, no?


Jeez, will they ever learn?

I thought the questions were a little too much of the "are you guys really racist gun-toting Bible thumpers?" variety. SOP for CNN it would seem.


Say what? Rick. The search string , , , ??




Porchlight - you are dead on with your perception, but really, what are we to expect from the Liberal/Progrressive side? Their candidates are still fighting over how much money we are going to pay for all of their socialisic programs.


Damn, Ann - you are quick with the background!

Rick Ballard


Just type in "Keith Herr" "Anderson Cooper" on the search line and the "Gay Icon" site pops up about 10 ten items down.


On a roll,

Anderson Cooper just admitted that in fact Mr. Kerr did work for the Red Witch six months ago, but they were unsure if he still worked for her. Ha He also said they probably wouldn't have used the question. Ha Ha

Don't quote me on this, I type badly, too!


I saw a post on Jiblets today claiming that that cute Bill Hemmer of Fox is gay.


Centralcal - very true. After my weekend foray into a blue state, it was quite clear how much my Dem friends and I differ on the candidates. Ah well, at least one of them - a genuine centrist - despises Hillary as much as I do.


OK, I had to turn CNN OFF. I haven't watched that much CNN, in well, a long time. GAG


Tom got everyone rooms?

Hillary got KOS paid. That is how he got started(dems)blogging, so maybe he's on the steering committee. The gay stuff is to embarass Hillary who is; notice FDL went live blogging too.

SOP for Hillary is gay.

Rick Ballard

My pick for "most obnoxious question" was the one concerning the Confederate flag. (BTW - Romney can save some money now by not campaigning in South Carolina or Georgia or Mississippi.) It might have been the worst gaffe of the season to date.


Girl in blue dress (abortion question) is an Edwards supporter.Blue Dress Girl- Here Web Address: http://likespring.livejournal.com/profile Clearly States she supports John Edwards and Keith Oberman

Her Profile on youtube: http://youtube.com/user/paperserenade

Geez, can't CNN google?


Let's all guess how many plants will be deflowered by tomorrow?


Dixie flag boy is a Ron Paul supporter.


I'm disgusted with McCain acting like he is the expert on everything military because of being shot down as a pilot and being a POW.

I'm especially disgusted by his torture shtick. Listening to him it sounds like the US waterboards everyone they come into contact with. I read the other day that THREE terrorists have been waterboarded.

I wish there were a candidate with enough guts to say, "I not only support the waterboarding of the mastermind of 9/11, but I WOULD GLADLY POUR THE WATER OVER HIS HEAD MYSELF. And I wouldn't do it in his case just to get info out of him, but because he deserves it."


I'd just like to say a few words about my impression of Huckabee. He is genuinely likable and funny. I don't think CNN or the press in general talk about him to pump him up because they think he can't beat Hillary, I think they really enjoy him and expect him to give them quotable quotes.

I also don't think his record speaks well enough of him to satisfy most conservatives once they get past their initial impression.

However, what I see in him is Bush with speaking skills. I think Huckabee is one of those, you know, compassionate conservatives. He'd probably cost the taxpayers money. But he could reach across the aisle easily--like Bush tried to do in the beginning.

Also, he seems very weak on foreign policy. But put a bunch of 'neocons' in his cabinet and he might straighten out.

Sigh. Can you imagine the last 7 years if Bush had the speaking skills of Huckabee?

However, I agree with the sentiment I sense here. Huckabee feels too weak to be the leader of the free world, letalone commander in chief.

I like him a lot, though.


And again McCain tries to muddy the waters by LYING, acting like the Geneva Conventions apply to *terrorists* when they absolutely positively do not.


Clarice, you truly are amazing.


I commend Giuliani for his Bible answer. Obviously a lot of the Bible should not be taken literally.

Bad bad bad marks for Romney for out and out pandering on his Bible answer.

And again, Huckabee has no monopoly on religion, faith, or God, any more than McCain does on things military, and yet everybody acts like he's got absolute authority on the subject.


Heh, heh. They can control the narrative all the way up to the voting booths. Then the Diebold machines take over.

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