The Other McCain

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


Posted on | October 18, 2011 | 59 Comments


* * The Debate Ends: Let the Spin Begin! * *

22:52 ET (Wombat-socho) Made horrible mistake trying to transcribe everything instead of just reacting. Here’s my takeaway:
ROMNEY: The Teflon skin is in place and growing; his pimp hair and mojo were strong tonight as he deflected all attacks calmly, using a minimum of effort. Up to this point he’s been kinda wimpy, but he delivered a couple of good smackdowns to Rick Perry. Still not losing; clearly we have not yet seen the power of the fully operational Mitt Romney.
PERRY: Didn’t suck quite as hard as last time; actually able to form coherent sentences. Obviously would rather face off against Mitt Romney in a steel-cage death match than appear in public and open his mouth again.
THE HERMANATOR: Hung in there and threw down against the dogpile attack early in the debate which saw everyone kick the 9-9-9 plan around. Generally conducted himself well, certainly better than Rick Perry.
RON PAUL: Sounded halfway sane on the foreign aid and defense issues for once; avoided his usual isolationist rhetoric and stressed the need to withdraw from the 7687450675086504328 places American troops are deployed around the world. Scored lots of points by sticking to the “Government is the problem” mantra, which is now conventional wisdom in the GOP instead of RAAAAACIST extremism.
RICK SANTORUM: I am Catholic. And Angry! I am an Angry Catholic Conservative! RAWR!
NEWT GINGRICH: Still the smartest guy in the room. Has the Chief Wizard Science Advisor job locked up if he wants it.
MICHELE BACHMAN: Came so close to locking up the Ukrainian vote with the Yulia Tymoshenko hair braid but was cruelly betrayed by her hair stylist. All about careless mothers losing their homes and bashing Obama. Probably ahead of Santorum in the race to be the new Dick Cheney if Mary’s not available.

21:52 p.m. ET (Smitty) Cain: No, I should be president. Unlike Romney, who has Wall Street experience, I have Main Street experience. They should #OccupyWallStreetHair like Romney’s.
Romney: I did startups. For magnets.
Bachmann: I am the biggest anti-Obama here.
Newt: I bring substantial magnets to the fray.

UPDATE (RSM): Linked by The Lonely Conservatve — thanks! — and welcome, Instapundit readers!

21:44 p.m. ET (Smitty) Who can beat Obama? 41% say Romney. Santorum got 1%
Santorum: Less than 50% of the U.S. have any idea who the GOP candidates are. I am the only one who has won a swing state against a Democrat incumbent. Fear my chops, yo.
Romney: My hair can beat Obama, and its magnetism will correct the country’s track.
Perry: I hate to mention you were 47th in job creation in Mass. Possibly to hair magnetism.
Romney: Yeah, well you know Al Gore, and Bush was from Texas, and your new jobs were all for illegals.

21:33 p.m. ET (Smitty) Why foreign aid, when so many U.S. citizens hurt?
Perry: Scuttle the UN. The Palestinians should be hammered for trying to be a state.
Romney: Foreign aid does some defenese and humanitarian aid. We are spending more.
Paul: Foreign aid is unconsitutional.
Romney: Would you cut aid to Israel?
Paul: I would treat everybody equally.
Bachmann: We should not cut aid to our biggest ally Israel. Cutting back is one thing. Being reimbursed is another. We should expect something back from Iraq and Libya. The U.S. must not negotiate with terrorists.
Cain: Go back to Reagan. Peace through strength and clarity.
Paul: Who will condemn Reagan for negotiating with Iran for the 1979 hostages.
Newt: Reagan thought that the hostage deal was a tremendous mistake.

21:31 p.m. ET (Smitty) Did Israel did the right thing when it gave 1,000 Palestinians for 1 Israeli.
Cain: We will not negotiate with terrorists.
Santorum: Back to Paul, cut no defense. The DoD is the unique federal task. Our problem is political objectives, not military objectives.
Paul: We can blow up the world 20, 25 times over, and you can’t cut a penny. Won’t someone cut something.

21:25 p.m. ET (Smitty) How do we throw the DoD under the bus, and still have a national defense?
Bachmann: This was a historic week. We have the Iranians stirring up trouble. We invaded Uganda. We are to cut and run from Iraq with no immunity.
Anderson: Back to the question. . .
Bachmann: The DoD is on the table, but not really that much.
Newt: The supercommittee is a prime example of how broken Washington is. Both parties are intellectually bankrupt. I am a hawk, but a cheap hawk. Putting security of the U.S. against a budget number is suicidally stupid.
Anderson: You’re whacking the Government to save a trillion, and 15% DoD. Can you guarantee it won’t hurt defense.
Paul: It would enhance defense to minimize our over-extension.
Paul sounded coherent there.

UPDATE (RSM): A quick photo feature:

Our good friend Barbara Espinosa of American Freedom poses here in the media filing center with Wombat and Smitty. Barbara was telling them stories about what I did last night in Vegas: Lies, all lies!


21:19 p.m. ET (Smitty) Should voters pay attention to religion? Santorum: pay attention to values, what they stand for, and what their faith teaches. I am Catholic, and it is legitimate to compare me to Catholic teachings. The value of Catholicism is not a legitimate question.
Newt: Religion is important, but we shouldn’t be judging. I’d worry if someone has no faith.
Perry: I will not repudiate the comments of my pastor buddy, and I don’t agree with it. But we have to find an awkward way to transition to Obama.
Romney: Don’t pick on candidates based upon religion. Be tolerant.

UPDATE (RSM): Here are Smitty and Wombat hard at work live-blogging the debate:

I’ve got a $500 check in my pocket to re-imburse Smitty for my plane fare here. But don’t you think I ought to take these guys out to dinner after we’re done covering the debate? Hit the freaking tip jar!

There have been questions about the moderation of tonight’s moderator:

CNN advertises Cooper’s regular segment, “Keeping Them Honest,” with the question: “Who’s Anderson keeping honest tonight?” Apparently, CNN and Cooper find Republicans are much more dishonest. Since July, a review of “Keeping Them Honest” segments found 24 reports tagging the Republicans with dishonesty, compared with just three for Democrats – a ratio of eight to one.

You know who loves him some Anderson Cooper? Jon Huntsman.

21:12 p.m. ET (Smitty) Romney: My pimp hair is strong. We’ve got to get a president who has a jobs plan, not a campaign plan. Let’s grow America, like my hair.

21:12 p.m. ET (Smitty) Paul: Don’t say TARP was mismanaged, when government can’t really manage anything. Don’t blame the victims.

21:11 p.m. ET (Smitty) Paul: We should not blame victims until we have totally blamed the magnets out of the Federal Reserve. Give the loot to people losing their houses would be better than giving to the banks.

21:10 p.m. ET (Smitty) Cain: #OccupyWallStreet should be in front of the White House.

21:09 p.m. ET (Smitty) The Nevada real estate market sucks.
Santorum: Perry, Romney and Cain all supported TARP, and it is a disaster. Perry tries to interject. Santorum spank. Perry insists that he was against TARP.
Romney: have I told you that I get massages while listening to Austrian Economics lectures?
Cain: I supported the concept, but not the implementation. We must reform the regulations that impede the market.
Bachmann: mothers across the country are losing their houses, and it’s not their fault, and Obama has failed you. I will fix everything, but I cannot give Smitty magnetic hair.

21:03 p.m. ET (Smitty) Gingrich: Yucca Mountain in Nevada. Should we put waste there? Newt, sure, if scientists say so. Paul: state’s rights. We shouldn’t beat Nevada into submission. Markets. Property rights. Romney: I find myself in agreement with Paul. Can I get a quick medical check? Romney cloaks himself eloquently in federalism. And great, non-magnetic hair. Perry: I’m going to agree with Romney, in the hope he doesn’t publicly spank me again. Even the French have serious nuclear power. The 10th Amendment.

21:00 p.m. ET (Smitty) Paul wants boots on the ground, and says we can pull those boots from Afghanistan. Presumably the people come, too.

20:59 p.m. ET (Smitty) 14th Amendment anchor babies. Cain says solve the economy, and immigration follows. Perry doubles down on Cains economic point. Deregulate, says Perry. Bachmann says that anchor babies are magnetic. These illegal alien babies magnetically attract social resources. Santorum points out that the family is the basic unit of society, not the individual, as Paul says. Santorum agrees with every other point, but puts family in the mix.

20:54 p.m. ET (Smitty) Paul doesn’t think that a fence is an answer. We need to quit clumping people as groups and strive for a free and prosperous country. Courts are disadvantaging minorities. So we have to make courts fair without grouping people.

20:53 p.m. ET (Smitty) Newt points out that most Latinos in the U.S. are here legally, and want pretty much the same as everyone else.

20:52 p.m. ET (Smitty) Perry puts Romney in the problem category, audience does not buy it. Question from a Latino in the crowd.

20:51 p.m. ET (Smitty) Romney says we love legal immigration. I know. My wife is from Germany. Romney says that Perry’s experience claim is like a college coach with 40 losses claiming experience.

20:50 p.m. ET (Smitty) Perry isn’t taking guff from anyone currently in the government about the border. Federal government fail.

20:49 p.m. ET (Smitty) Bachmann riffs on the Obama family’s immigration program. Rattles off some big sounding numbers. Build a fence. Making English the official language of the government.

20:48 p.m. ET (Smitty) Perry is now sounding much more clear on the border. Boots on the ground, Predators. A fence will take much time and money. Where is Santorum?

20:46 p.m. ET (Smitty) Now we’re after Cain for his electrified fence. Yes, we should secure the border, and it may be a fence, and boots on the ground. Shut back door, so people can come in the front, tidy the bureaucracy, and enforce laws. Let states enforce laws where DC fails.

20:45 p.m. ET (Smitty) Rick fires right back about illegal aliens on Romney property, when confronted by a newspaper. Romeny says it was a lawn company, and he fixed the problem when called on it. eVerify will fix this. Mitt schools Rick on civility.

20:40 p.m. ET (Smitty) Perry, the children in your state are highly uninsured. But let’s talk the border. The illegals are here due to a jobs magnet. Let’s pile on Mitt for hiring illegals. Romney interjects, seeking facts, Rick talks over. Mitt appeals to He manAnderson Cooper for order. I want fisticuffs.

20:39 p.m. ET (Smitty) Paul wouldn’t keep any piece of ObamaCare. Cain pushes HR3400, a starting place for reform. Kill ObamaCare.

20:37 p.m. ET (Smitty) Score at the first commercial:
Cain: holding his own, reliant upon the American people to actually read his plan. Dicey. C
Romney: polished, but taking hits from all sides about RomneyCare. C+
Santorum: hits hard, not getting much mike time, not letting Romney go. C-
Bachmann: sounding polished and knowledgeable on taxes. C
Gingrich: calm, wise. C
Paul: liked his plan, doing well here. C
Perry: didn’t handle the Romney plan question well. C-

20:33 p.m. ET (Smitty) Bachmann: the CLASS act just died on Friday.

20:32 p.m. ET (Smitty) Romney: hey, RomneyCare’s individual mandate came from Newt and Heritage.

20:31 p.m. ET (Smitty) Newt wants to chew on Massachusetts, including a Boston Herald story about a business getting wrecked for RomneyCare. Newt hates the big government behind RomneyCare, and there is more going on than Romney will want to admit.

20:30 p.m. ET (Smitty) Santorum isn’t having any of Romney, and Massachusetts like it by a 3:1 ration, probably if your ask 4 people, three of whom are Democrats.

20:29 p.m. ET (Smitty) Tempers flare over a sentence that was/was not in Romney’s book? He wouldn’t impose RomneyCare everywhere. If president, Romney will repeal that legislation, and bail out my hairstyle.

20:27 p.m. ET (Smitty) Santorum’s plan provides “income mobility”. Why does Santorum hate made in China? Oh yeah, it means we’re not working. They all remind us that they will repeal ObmaCare. Romney doesn’t have credibility or track record on repealing ObamaCare, speaks Santorum.

20:26 p.m. ET (Smitty) Has Perry read Romney’s plan? Well, we’ve got to get people back to work. And I have a plan, too. Let’s have American energy independence. All this is long for ‘no’.

20:24 p.m. ET (Smitty) Bachmann wants to resurrect Reagan’s ideas, and does want to flatten and eliminate the tax code. President Obama’s plan has been destruction. Wow.

20:22 p.m. ET (Smitty) Newt applauds Cain’s plan, but Newt thinks the sales pitch will be as hard to the people as the rest of the candidates. Newt thinks the problem is more complicated than Cain imagines, and more analysis will help get a better product.

20:20 p.m. ET (Smitty) Romney wants to know if 9-9-9 replaces state taxes. Cain says this is apples and oranges. Romeny wants a bushel marked apples and a bushel marked oranges. Romney likes Cain’s chutzpah, but the middle class won’t like it, and it will dampen the private sector. And Romney’s going to fix everything but my hairstyle.

20:19 p.m. ET (Smitty) Ron Paul says Cain’s plan is regressive, and will thus raise more revenues. Paul says replace income tax with nothing. Spending becomes a tax, either directly or via borrowing. Wholesale rates increasing becomes a tax. Hence Paul offers a $1 Trillion dollar cut plan. Cain: do the math yourself, and figure out whether it makes sense.

20:17 p.m. ET (Smitty) Rick Perry is dropping a plan at the end of the week that will bump up favorably with people in New Hampshire, says, Perry. Cain says mixing apples and oranges isn’t a fair appraisal.

20:14 p.m. ET (Smitty) First question goes to scrapping the income tax and goes to a national sales tax. Michele Bachmann say that Congress will go crazy. Newt does like it. Herman Cain says read the plan. Rick Santorum is worried about side effects. Bachmann concerns that the tax carries through, and becomes a hidden tax that is too heavy.

20:09 p.m. ET (Smitty) Herman Cain is a problem solver.

20:08 p.m. ET (Smitty) Ron Paul wants you to know he’s offered a balanced budget.

20:08 p.m. ET (Smitty) Rick Santorum greets the daughter.

20:05 p.m. ET (Smitty) Michelle Bachmann comes out, looking fabulous. Newt looks figgy, Rick Perry is sharp, and his hair is arrayed against Mitt Romney. Cain looks good, Ron Paul’s eyebrows are under control, and Rick Santorum rounds us out.

20:01 p.m. ET (Smitty) The opening montage sounds like a WWF match. CNN has us pumped.

7:59 p.m. ET (Smitty) Anderson cooper apologizes for his singing voice.

UPDATE 7:53 p.m. ET: We are now less than 10 minutes from the start of the debate. Smitty and Wombat just arrived. …

Thanks to Dave Weigel for the photo.


PREVIOUSLY: We’re in the media filing center of the Sands Expo and Convention Center. Smitty and Wombat got a late flight and will arrive momentarily. The big news here today? I’m beating the roulette tables like you wouldn’t believe. But meanwhile, Republican candidates for president are less than half an hour from their 8 p.m. ET debate on CNN.

UPDATE: And what would a GOP debate be without a bunch of smelly left-wing protest pests?

UPDATE II: By the way, thanks to all the people who’ve hit the tip jar to bring us to this event. And remember that we’ve got less than seven weeks until the Iowa caucuses.




  1. Anonymous
    October 19th, 2011 @ 3:35 pm

    No need-CNN was lavish with the food & drink.

  2. Anonymous
    October 19th, 2011 @ 3:37 pm

    f***ing magnets, how does they work?

  3. Anonymous
    October 19th, 2011 @ 3:40 pm

    All attacks slid harmlessly off the intense magnetic deflector field generated by his pimp hair.

  4. Anonymous
    October 19th, 2011 @ 3:42 pm

    I spent far too much of the debate fighting with my wireless keyboard and Google Docs, which weren’t working well together, 🙁

  5. Anonymous
    October 19th, 2011 @ 3:58 pm

    THOSE people. You know, THEM! The lizards!

  6. Julie
    October 19th, 2011 @ 7:47 pm

     I liked the “I found our change, they gave it to wall street” sign as well. 

    Nothing to argue with there!

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