The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

SIOUX CITY IOWA DEBATE TONIGHT

Posted on | December 15, 2011 | 24 Comments

Roundup:
Frank Luntz on the Hannity special edition:

Newt defined himeself as the Reagan conservative,
Mitt Romney, the private sector conservative,
Ron Paul, the civil liberties conservative,
Rick Santorum, the conviction conservative,
Jon Huntsman, the consistent conservative,
Michele Bachmann, the female conservative,
and my favorite is Rick Perry, the Tim Tebow conservative.

My ratings:

Rick Santorum: He sounded quite strong on foreign policy and all values.
Rick Perry: Perry sounded quite improved.
Mitt Romney: Really didn’t sound good on the internals of his Massachusetts tenure.
Newt Gingrich: Michele wrecked Newt on Freddy Mac.
Ron Paul: Ran aground in the Straights of Hormuz. I understood his reticence on judges, but the Progressive judges in the last century are as wrong as the Federal Reserve, Ron.
Michele Bachmann: She sounded calm and poised, and did the best job of going after Newt.
Jon Huntsman: A couple of good ideas. Should have served some Tea, but it’s too late.

Overall, I remain firmly committed to supporting the GOP candidate, plan to vote for Sarah Palin in the primaries, and hope that Newt, Mitt, Paul, and Jon don’t make it. I hope the ticket boils down to some combination of Santorum, Perry, and Bachmann.

22:55 p.m. ET (Smitty): Brett Baher: Rick Santorum, what about Reagan’s 11th Commandment?
Santorum: Vet the candidates.
Perry: Bring it.
Mitt: They’re nothing new. Focus on BHO.
Newt: I’ve rebutted attacks, but focused on solutions.
Paul: Let’s be responsible. We’re picking up the media slack. Focus on issues.
Michele: We’re exposing who can do the best against BHO.
Huntsman: Respectful debate breeds trust.

22:50 p.m. ET (Smitty): Chris Wallace: Michele Bachmann, what about pro life issues?
Bachmann: We. Must. Get. Life. Right. Gingrich didn’t defund Planned Parenthood when he had the chance.
Gingrich: Bachmann is daft. I have an overwhelming pro life record.
Bachmann: He’s supported partial birth abortion candidates.

22:46 p.m. ET (Smitty): Chris Wallace: Rick Santorum, what’s your take on Mitt’s response.
Santorum: Yeah, if you peak at the details, Governor Romney issued gay marriage licenses.
Wallace: Mitt?
Romney: No, I’m all about traditional marriage.

22:42 p.m. ET (Smitty): Chris Wallace: Mitt, do you like those Cafe Press flip flops?
Romney: My position on gay rights is missionary, and mercenary. I have been firmly pro-life all along.
Wallace: Are you sure that those flip-flops are a good fit?
Romney: Yes, do they make my toes look furry?

22:37 p.m. ET (Smitty): Chris Wallace: Huntsman, should the GOP pander to Hispanics?
Huntsman: We just need to be true to conservative values, but illegal immigration is down. Immigrants are an engine of growth.

22:38 p.m. ET (Smitty): Megyn Kelly: Newt, what say you?
Gingrich: I agree substantially with Mitt. But drop the anti-state lawsuits, remove federal aid to sanctuary cities, secure the border.

22:37 p.m. ET (Smitty): Megyn Kelly: Mitt, do you expect illegals to go home and get all their paperwork in order to return?
Mitt: I will give them a RomneyCard to keep them in line.

22:35 p.m. ET (Smitty): Megyn Kelly: Rick Santorum, is Holder correct that Republican’s are politicizing Fast and Furious?
Santorum: Cartels are training terrorists in Central- and South America. BHO wrong. Reset.

22:34 p.m. ET (Smitty): Megyn Kelly: Rick Perry, would you take Eric Holder’s scalp?
Rick Perry: I’d toss an attorney general such as holder under the bus like it’s my frickin’ job, Megyn.

22:28 p.m. ET (Smitty): Cavuto: Rick Perry, you’ve criticized Solyndra, but you signed a 2003 bill for a natural gas company.
Perry: today is the 200th anniversary of the Bill of Rights, including the 10th Amendment. So I’m all about letting states be competitive.

22:26 p.m. ET (Smitty): Cavuto: Michele Bachmann was the BP shutdown Bogus Policy?
Bachmann: BHO did no real investigation. Keystone XL is really important, BTW. BHO’s calculus is about his re-election, not policy.

22:24 p.m. ET (Smitty): Cavuto: Should we love Gaia or jobs.
Huntsman: Balancing act. We’ve got to quit shooting oil like heroine. We need alternatives like natural gas.

22:23 p.m. ET (Smitty): Cavuto: Newt, should the GOP get Zany about the XL pipeline?
Newt: The POTUS should use the XL pipeline to crush the OPEC threat, not pander to Lefty environmentalists?
Cavuto: AFTQ.
Newt: Vote it in and break it off in #OccupyResoluteDesks booty.

22:20 p.m. ET (Smitty): Baher: Perry, should we throw cereal at Sryia?
Rick Perry: I’ve called for a no fly zone, and I will enumerate BHO foreign policy gaffes, and pray I don’t drop one.

22:17 p.m. ET (Smitty): Baher: Huntsman, what say you?
Huntsman: I want a foreign policy that is based upon a good economy.

22:16 p.m. ET (Smitty): Baher: Newt, can you quote something historical for us?
Newt: Yeah, Israel is under rocket attacks.

22:15 p.m. ET (Smitty): Baher: Paul, are you dangerous?
Ron Paul: I’m too broke to be dangerous. Wage peace, muffers. Declare war when you need to.
Bachmann: The IAEA report points out that this is a weak response.
Ron Paul: No UN Report says such. This is nothing in comparison to the Cuban Missile Crisis. Chill!

22:12 p.m. ET (Smitty): Baher: Michele Bachmann, we’re pulling out of Iraq today. Dangerously stupid, or stupidly dangerous?
Bachmann: I’ll go with fools and knaves for ignoring the Iranian plan. Ron Paul is dangerous.

22:09 p.m. ET (Smitty): Baher: Mitt Romney, was the President totally metrosexual to ask for the drone back from the Iranians?
Mitt Romney: Yeah, that was as limp wristed as it gets. American century. Peace through superior firepower, muffers.

22:07 p.m. ET (Smitty): Baher: Rick Santorum, Iran has been supplying terrorists against us. How are we responding.
Rick Santorum: Yeah, Iran has been at war with us. Sorry Ron, they hate us. We should go all Spec Ops on Iran with the Israelis.

10:04 p.m. ET (Smitty): Foreign Policy. Ron Paul. Iran may be a year off. Say you had solid intel about Iran. You’d remove sanctions?
Ron Paul: I’d run with the American people. I’ll play the UN card: they have no evidence on Iran. It’s another war buildup. I fear over-reaction.
Baher: Say you had solid intel. Still pull back sanctions.
Ron Paul: Hey man, sympathy for the devil. They just want respect. It makes more sense to work with people. No war.
Baher: One more time. Say they blockade Hormuz?
Ron Paul: Well, we’re teasing them into doing it. Sanctions are an overreach. We will launch doves.

Welcome, Instapundit readers!

9:58 p.m. ET (Smitty): Megyn Kelly: who is the best justice?
The conservative justices get kudos. From all but Paul. Ron Paul likes/dislikes them all. He made the point of the split on personal liberty and economic liberty, and how the SCOTUS has screwed the whole discussion.

9:55 p.m. ET (Smitty): Megyn Kelly: Mitt Romney, you sure nominated a fistful of Dems when you were a governor. Whaddup?
Mitt: yeah, I had to play the game. Congressional oversight over justices is a dodgy idea. We can impeach judges. Tools exist already.

9:54 p.m. ET (Smitty): Megyn Kelly: Ron Paul, is this too much?
Ron Paul: let’s hold our horses. Might lead to trouble if the Congress goes judging judges.

9:51 p.m. ET (Smitty): Megyn Kelly: Michele Bachmann, should we trash the 9th Circuit?
Bachmann: we need to have the separation of powers restored. Go Iowa! for scuttling the 3 justices over the marriage issue. Original intent!

9:49 p.m. ET (Smitty): Megyn Kelly: Newt, your Court plan is really tough. Is it too much?
Gingrich: Newt.org has a paper about how we need to liquidate judges who attack American Exceptionalism. I will make the Judiciary lay by its dish. Historians may have a better grip on the picture than lawyers.

9:48 p.m. ET (Smitty): Mitt Romney: let the markets figure out where the jobs will grow. Manufacturing, high tech, and energy are it. I promise an American Century.

9:45 p.m. ET (Smitty): Rick Santorum, we need to let money return to the U.S. to rebuild industry. Cut corporate tax. I will snuff every BHO regulation with extreme prejudice.

9:43 p.m. ET (Smitty): Governor Huntsman, can you fix China? Sure, invite dissidents to dinner. Let’s share us some values.

9:42 p.m. ET (Smitty): Rick Perry goes after Newt Gingrich’s confusion on the difference between lobbying and influence. Part time Congress, like in Texas, balanced budget amendment.

9:41 p.m. ET (Smitty): Ron Paul sounded great on earmarks.

9:38 p.m. ET (Smitty): Newt, did you waffle on the ‘right wing social engineering’ bit on Press the Meat?
Gingrich: Look, I have to go all Reagan here to be a great communicator. I must kiss up to Mitt to get him to soak up some heat.
Romney: We’ve really got to do it for the kids.

9:35 p.m. ET (Smitty):
Ron, do you buy Newt’s noise?
Paul: GSE is neither fish nor fowl. This bunk leads to fascism.
Newt, what do you say?
Gingrich: Hey, lots of other people do the same thing, and it wasn’t lobbying.
Michele, are you smelling what Newt is stepping in?
Bachmann: Quite whiffy. He’s tainted.
Newt, can you refute?
Gingrich: I can slice the facts anyway you like.
Michele?
Bachann: He took 1.6 million.
Newt?
Gingrich: I did not have sex with the definition of ‘lobbyist’. And I will kill Fanny & Freddy if they are too politically painful.

9:29 p.m. ET (Smitty):
Newt, GSEs have lined your wallet, and you’ve supported them. Are you Michael Moore without a ballcap?
Gingrich: look at the full picture. I was in private enterprise. Habitat for Humanity. Love me.

9:28 p.m. ET (Smitty) DC Culture:
Mitt, are you vulnerable to charges of being a capitalist meanie?
Romney: it sucks if you were on the receiving end, but if you look at the bigger picture, we’re better under capitalism. How did BHO do as dictator of Government Motors?

9:20 p.m. ET (Smitty): 30 second government shutdown responses:
Santorum: Motivate people with a righteous narrative.
Perry: 3 years OJT, BHO AFU. Stupor committee is a leadership joke.
Mitt: If I could drive an 80% Dem legislature in Mass. Leadership, muffers: I speak it.
Newt: The Saul Alinksy leadership is killing us. I know better.
Paul:We’ve got to cut this Leviathan down.

9:12 p.m. ET (Smitty): Rick Perry: your debate stack-ups are of Indy 500 proportions. Perry: I will have Tebow coach me to victory.

9:11 p.m. ET (Smitty): Michele Bachmann: can you capture the cross-eyed twenty-something barista demographic? MB: why yes, if I can pick them up in Minn, then I can do it elsewhere.

9:10 p.m. ET (Smitty): Mitt and his hair serve up some hope and change. Mentioning his whole resume without the Bain Capitol.

9:09 p.m. ET (Smitty): Megyn goes to Santorum. Will you douse yourself in gasoline and set yourself on fire to get your campaign going? Rick Santorum plays the political AND personal life cards. Go, Rick!

9:06 p.m. ET (Smitty): Megyn goes to Paul. Can you win the nomination, and if not, will you guarantee not to sandbag the nominee? Paul contrasts himself nicely with the others.

9:05 p.m. ET (Smitty): Newt. Who says I am not pretty, conservative? And I’ve got facts at my fingertips, too.

9:04 p.m. ET (Smitty): Newt I am the master debater!

9:03 p.m. ET (Smitty): First question to Newt. Can you guarantee nothing will go wrong if you’re nominated? Newt plays the Reagan card. Electability!

9:01 p.m. ET (Smitty): Brett paints a grim picture of the world situation. Electability. Is that tonight’s codeword?

9:00 p.m. ET (Smitty): Brett Baher still doesn’t look old enough to be on TV. They’re all on stage, saving the walk on time. Huntsman is back!

PREVIOUSLY (8:20 p.m. ET)
***

Just 19 days until the crucial Jan. 3 Iowa caucuses, and the final pre-caucus debate in the Hawkeye State is at 9 p.m. ET on Fox News:

SIOUX CITY, Iowa – It’s been 32 weeks since the first Republican presidential debate. Since then, a changing cast of contenders has faced off a dozen times across the country with millions watching at home.
Of the original combatants from that May 5 meeting in Greenville, S.C., only two, Ron Paul and Rick Santorum, remain. There have been four lead changes in national polls, two candidates drop out, four candidates join the field and billions of pixels poured out by reporters and pundits trying to make sense of it all.
Tonight, that all culminates here on the western edge of Iowa with the 13th showdown — the last chance for candidates to make their cases before voters start the process of picking a presidential nominee. Even in a cycle that has been shaped by televised debates like no other, the stakes for the candidates this evening are enormous.

The tension in the Sioux City Convention Center tonight is reportedly so extreme that Republicans in the audience have chewed their fingernails to bloody nubs, and the candidates are washing down Xanax with whiskey just to be able to calm their stress-strained nerves.

The Fate of the Free World hinges on what will transpire on that stage tonight, and here are some headlines that capture the dramatic political landscape on which will be fought the struggle destined to be known as Armageddon in the Heartland:

Iowa: Romney 23%, Gingrich 20%, Paul 18%
Rasmussen Reports

Gingrich Momentum Slows, Polls Suggest
New York Times

Mitt Romney’s life as a poor Mormon
missionary in France questioned

– U.K. Telegraph

Newt Gingrich shows signs of slide in Iowa
Politico

“Something Incredibly Stupid”
Andrew Sullivan

What Sully said, if you must know, was that Chris Wallace should recuse himself as moderator of tonight’s debate because Wallace said something bad about Ron Paul, and therefore is not “objective.” And if there is one thing that Andrew Sullivan insists on, it is that journalists must be completely objective — although no one could ever aspire to being as objective as Andrew Sullivan.

Anyway: Smitty will be liveblogging here – even though he’s kinda upset that I offered to sell him to a Las Vegas billionaire – and we’ll have updated reactions from all over. Commenters are welcome to add their objective observations about tonight’s proceedings. That is, if you’re not so distraught by the extreme tension that you’ve completely chewed off your fingers before it begins.

Just to help settle your nerves: Christina Hendricks and whiskey. Objectively speaking, I didn’t much notice the whiskey. IYKWIMAITYD.


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  • Anonymous

    I don’t normally bother with Rule 5 stuff, but Christina is an exception.

  • Don Surber

    Great one-liners Smitty.

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  • http://theothermccain.com smitty

    I come from a long line of wiseacres.

  • http://nukemhill.wordpress.com/ NukemHill

    “9:41 p.m. ET (Smitty): Ron Paul sounded great on earmarks.”

    Yeah, except for the 100s of millions he’s taken for his constituents.  But, really, he sounds great!

  • http://twitter.com/dustbury Charles G Hill

    I just wish someone would have shown up with a FLY SUX t-shirt from the Sioux City airport.

  • http://theothermccain.com smitty

    Earmarks are a systemic problem, a small part of the budget, and it is specious to go after anyone not doing anything wildly illegal.

  • http://thepagantemple.blogspot.com/ ThePaganTemple

    Would somebody kindly remind Michelle to clean Newt’s nuts off her shoes?

  • TR

    I am not factually impaired, she protested.
    All these people keep dong fact-checks on me, just STOP IT!

    I am just trying to remind Newt that he should be more like Stalin since  those purges did accomplish the goal back in the USSR (don’t know how lucky you are girl..back, back  in the USSR).

  • http://www.leftbankofthecharles.com Charles

    The Iowa National Guard ain’t wanting to muster again for Iran, so Ron Paul singing “Happy Christmas War is Over” will go over well in Iowa. And saber-rattling Rick Santorum will finish 5th or 6th.

  • Anonymous

    “Should have served some Tea, but it’s too late.”

    Mormons don’t do tea.

  • Anonymous

    It’s not THAT Paul takes earmarks — his defense of earmarking is actually pretty sound. The more specific Congress is on how dollars are to be spent, the less discretion the executive has to blow money on weird shit.

    But look at the TYPE of earmarks Paul takes — many of them are for things he says the federal government shouldn’t be involved in. For example, he decries government and business being in bed together, then puts in an earmark to promote the Houston-area shrimping industry. He wants the federal government out of education and medicine, but earmarks money for medical education. And so on, and so forth.

  • http://thepagantemple.blogspot.com/ ThePaganTemple

    Or coffee, tobacco, or alcohol, sure fire signs of cult behavior.

  • http://theothermccain.com smitty

    You’re not refuting my point that the problem is systemic.

  • Anonymous

    Why would I want to refute your point that the problem is systemic?

    I’m an anarchist — I consider ALL problems of political government systemic.

  • http://theothermccain.com smitty

    How can anyone with a handle like ‘The Pagan Temple” do aught but applaud cults, one wonders. :-)

  • Doc Clear

    I’m sorry but Michelle Bachman comes across to me (and has since this all started) as a loon.  Maybe it’s just sexist but I can’t stand women who try and make a mountain out of every little mole hill.  You run across them all the time, all emotions.  Very little facts and zero rationale.  She seems to think that she has some protective bubble where she can do anything she wants but everyone else can’t reciprocate.  Like when Gingrich said that she has a problem getting her facts right.  She acted all offended and talked about how she was A SERIOUS candidate for President.  See, you must, MUST take her seriously no matter what kind of fool she makes of herself.  Sorry, but I’ve already got 2 moms (thanks, dad) and the last thing I need is a national mom trying to micromanage my life.

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  • http://zillablog.marezilla.com Zilla of the Resistance

    “Overall, I remain firmly committed to supporting the GOP candidate, plan
    to vote for Sarah Palin in the primaries, and hope that Newt, Mitt,
    Paul, and Jon don’t make it. I hope the ticket boils down to some
    combination of Santorum, Perry, and Bachmann.”

    WHAT?!? You plan to vote in the primaries for someone who IS NOT EVEN RUNNING AS A CANDIDATE? Are you freaking kidding me? What about Vanuatu? What about RICK SANTORUM? Has The Other McCain been hacked? WTH?

  • http://thepagantemple.blogspot.com/ ThePaganTemple

    It’s an oft-repeated refrain in the overall pagan community that trying to get a group of pagans to agree on anything is like trying to herd cats. The only thing remotely cultish about most of them is the unfortunate tendency of most of them to adhere to leftist causes. Then again, that’s bad enough.

  • Pathfinder’s wife

    Bachmann was the spoiler of the night — and this was one of her best debates (imho).
    Santorum seems to be the one that actually gets and is serious about the ME.

    Nobody really seemed to win, but Paul has dropped himself out with his foreign politcy stance (no Ron, they really do hate us and there is no getting around that).  In an ideal world I’d probably try to transfer portions of Dr. Ron’s domestic policy into Allen West and then run that canidate….sadly the world is not to my ideals.

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