Posted on | January 7, 2012 | 40 Comments
22:40 EST Perry: if not here, I’d be at a shooting range.
Newt, Rick, Mitt: watching football.
Paul: I’d put the family to bed and study an economic textbook.
Huntsman: talking to my two sons in the Navy.
The two Texans are not looking strong. Huntsman looks comfortable, but Mitt, Newt, and Santorum are doing well. I think Mitt has worked the hardest to combat perceptions about his candidacy.
22:35 EST Huntsman: oh sure, Mitt, start a trade war. Brilliant!
22:33 EST Mitt: oh Huntsman, dear, you were BHO’s little messenger boy for a couple years. I fear I shall have to offer to introduce you to my boom stick.
22:31 EST Huntsman: I know how to make trade work.
22:30 EST Mitt: I am not a DC insider. If you make that accusation again, I will use my boom stick.
22:28 EST Santorum: I declare war on class warfare. My arithmetic operator is multiplication, not division. I will appeal to blue collar workers, but don’t call that classifying them.
22:26 EST Newt: I’m sure that BHO is a sincere Commie. But the WSJ called Mitt’s plans ‘timid’.
22:25 EST Mitt: I’m a soul man. Dada duh da dadada. . .
22:24 EST Huntsman: I did something really weird and talked to an actual taxpayer. Frickin’ mindblowing. He wanted to manufacture something.
22:22 EST Perry: develop energy.
22:20 EST Paul: I am here to restore principles such as freedom. These people don’t understand economics. Cut spending. Do not be Japan. Understand the business cycle.
22:19 EST Mitt: I, too, have a flood of details.
22:17 EST Santorum: cut taxes.
22:16 EST Huntsman: to pay for infrastructure, reform the tax code. Simpson-Bowles would be accepted.
22:15 EST Newt: infrastructure should be shiny and new. Work on energy to pay down our debt and rebuild infrastructure.
22:13 EST Mitt: capitalism, not stimulus, is what we need to rebuild our infrastructure.
The story so far:
Perry and Huntsman are being ignored, Ron Paul hasn’t looked great, Mitt has stayed above the fray, attacking Stephanopoulis, Newt and Santorum have been solid.
Bonus points for Newt for the anti-Christian bigotry charge against the media. God have mercy upon the souls of these media ghouls. These Postmodern anti-Christs hate anyone who posits a Truth, unless Muslim.
22:04 EST Santorum: Paul, your policies would preclude having a Navy to rescue Iranian fishermen from pirates.
22:03 EST Paul: I think that actually declaring war would be a refreshing change.
22:02 EST Sawyer: can you prophesy exactly when you will deploy troops?
Newt: I don’t practice Santeria, I ain’t got no crystal ball.
22:01 EST Perry: I think we consult with the Iraq and consider re-deployment, before Iran moves back into Iraq not at a double time, not at the speed of sound, but Light Speed, gentlemen.
21:58 EST Santorum: as a result of Obama, we’ve been through the desert on a horse with no name. The commander-in-chief has got to step up to the plate.
21:57 EST Newt: let’s nuke the question, and look at the theater-wide problem from Libya to Pakistan. Let me pull a brand-Newt strategy from an undisclosed location.
21:56 EST Huntsman: dunno, the ‘Stan could end up a civil war.
21:56 EST Mitt: watch me gymnastically assume all positions on this issue.
21:54 EST Huntsman: the 90k troops left in the ‘Stan; sure, let’s draw down and leave some snake eaters.
21:53 EST Perry: I must now pile on the gay marriage issue. Fear my facts.
21:51 EST Ron Paul, are you going to be a third party spoiler?
Paul: I’m going to keep on twisting the knife, to drive my issues. You know, the overspending.
21:43 EST Diane Sawyer’s brain cell is overwhelmed to consider the Constitution. Can’t we think about gay marriage instead of that ancient, unintelligible document? Twice-divorced Newt, what say you?
Newt: I’ve got 5,000 words in my head.
Huntsman: civil unions are fair, but protect marriage.
Santorum, can you support gay adoption?
Santorum: marriage is a federal level issue.
Mitt, if you had a couple of homosexuals in your living room, would you kick them?
Mitt: I’m still protecting the symbol ‘marriage’.
Newt: hey, the bigotry is bi-directional, and the anti-Christian bigotry goes unreported. BRAVO!
21:42 EST Mitt wrecked Stephanopoulis on the birth control question. Paul makes the 4th Amendment case and hammers the Patriot Act.
21:40 EST Mitt: I must play the Newt card and accuse the banning of contraception to be a stupid question. I am not a Constitutionalist, but I stand next to one on stage (looks to Ron).
Summary thus far:
- Ron Paul is going after Newt and Santorum, and mostly adding to his kook rating.
- Santorum has acquitted himself well, as has Newt. Santorum’s riff on Paul’s microphone is the line of the night.
- Perry played the outsider card.
- Huntsman sounds polished.
- Mitt is most interesting, trying to walk back the notion that the fix is in.
It’s fairly scrappy.
21:30 EST Paul: the real raaaaacism is in the judicial system, and drug laws, as well as military service.
21:27 EST Would Ron Paul double down on calling Newt a chickenhawk? Paul: sure, any of these non-serving chickenhawks are a pack of hawkish chickens. And the Constitution is being sadly ignored.
21:26 EST Chickenhawk Newt: I am not a chickenhawk. I am an Army brat, and I know what the military is about.
21:25 EST Perry: yeah, having served gives me an edge. ASIDE: Governors make precisely 0 decisions about federalized and deployed troops.
21:23 EST Romney: I must halt the knife fight and return the focus to #OccupyResoluteDesk. See me rise above the fray! ‘I will endorse our nominee’–Mitt admits he may not be it? Wow.
21:21 EST Huntsman: I got more vision than Lens Crafters, muffers. I will bring the CINC, the President, and the trust. Gimme.
21:20 EST Mitt Romney thought bubble: the Paul/Santorum sandwich is possibly the most uncomfortable position of my life.
21:18 EST Perry: that was 18 minutes of the problem, which you just heard: INSIDERS. With the exception of Huntsman, I’m the outsider here.
21:16 EST Paul: yeah, I voted for appropriations, but not not the spending.
21:16 EST Santorum: I stayed involved in causes like health care and coal that I care about.
21:15 EST Ron, you’ve got a vicious attack ad against Santorum. Can you defend it?
Ron: not with this microphone.
Santorum: well, it detects lying. But the Soros-funded CREW sues conservatives like Stacy McCain and DaTechGuy wear fedoras.
21:11 EST Would Governor Huntsman defend Mitt’s record at Bain? Is it a fair topic? Jon: yeah, we put Utah at #1 on the Billboard charts, so Rick and Mitt can bite my big 10′ record of a band that plays the blues.
21:09 EST Mitt: this is free enterprise. Oh, and don’t forget the Olympics.
21:08 EST Mitt: yeah, we had to get out the pliers and the blowtorch. But Zed’s dead, baby: Zed’s dead.
21:07 EST Newt, will you defend the NYT attack piece on Bain? Newt, nah, let Mitt do that.
21:06 EST Newt, your attack dogs brought the pain to Bain. Do you know these dogs?
21:05 EST Romney responds that people who have spent time in Washington don’t know the economy. Like that Santorum dude to my left.
21:04 EST Rick Santorum, do we need CEO Romney? Why, no: we need leadership. Was I attacking Mitt with the managerial riff? Why yes: yes, I was.
21:03 EST Mitt takes question #1 on jobs. Can he ooze some optimism? Yes, but he can use ‘tepid’ to describe the effects of Obamanomics. Roosters did not cause the sunrise.
21:02 EST Diane Sawyer reads the candidates the riot act, plus a color lesson. We am smart.
21:00 EST Introductory reel. They have successfully lowered our politics to the level of the WWF.
20:58 EST This obstacle course on Wipeout is great. I’m afraid I don’t recognize the candidate, but Newt is in trouble when it’s his turn.
PREVIOUSLY. . .
Once again, it’s time for the Republican candidates to debate. Alas, Michele Bachmann is gone, and Jon Huntsman is here. To his lovely daughters, I say: I’m glad your Dad is going to lose, but it was a pleasure to meet you.
Some pre-debate headlines:
Rick Santorum to get
Gary Bauer endorsement Sunday
— Washington Post
I’m going to be watching the debate here at the Radisson Hotel at a National Review event, where everyone seems to feel obligated to buy me beers. Expect increasingly incoherent updates.
UPDATE: My loyal sidekick Smitty has agreed to handle liveblogging duties, which will enable to collect all these free beers.