Liveblogging GOP Presidential Debate (Updated with Video)


Quotes of the Day at Hot Air deal with TPaw whimping out on the ObamneyCare question. Why was he not better prepared for that question? Why the whiff? Someone who is already considered to be a bit of a wimp needed a strong, decisive answer on that one.


The candidates participating in the debate: Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty, Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, Herman Cain, Ron Paul.

CNN Livestream, here.

I liked Ron Paul’s answer to the question – “Has President Obama done anything right on the economy”. “That’s a tough question.” He couldn’t think of any. Honest answer.

Mitt is asked about Obamneycare criticism. He says if elected, he would work to repeal Obamacare. Talks about the differences in his state health ins plan, and Obamacare. TPaw is getting slammed by moderator, John King,  for calling it “ObamneyCare”. You can tell who the MSM  favorite is. “Mainstream” (read moderate) Republican asks Santorum how he would be able to bring all factions together. Santorum doesn’t take King’s bait to disparage the teaparty. Neither does Michele Bachmann, obviously.

Bachmann announces that Obama will. be. a . one. term. president.

Herman Cain says he will use his business acumen to get America on its feet, again. Says he’ll do what’s right – not necessarily what is politically right.

Bachmann wants to pass the “mother of all repeal bills”.

Pawlenty supports “right to work” legislation.

Gingrich wants to eliminate the NLRB.

Cain also believes in “right to work”.

Frivolous questions coming up to give viewers an idea about their personalities:

Santorum is asked, Leno or Conan? I think. Santorum stumbles a little –  Says probably Leno, but he really doesn’t know because watches neither. Pretty much what I would say.

Follow on Twitter using this hashtag: #cnndebate

A consensus forming that John King is being obnoxious with his constant interruptions.  Maybe he read Twitter during the break because he’s doing better, now.

Gingrich is answering the question about his Road To Prosperity budget plan. Makes the point again that he didn’t want to see Republicans passing legislation in  a hasty manner when the American people are not behind it, (like Obama did). Talks about where he differs with Ryan on the budget.

Santorum “wholeheartedly supports” the Ryan plan. Says he wouldn’t slow down…something needs to be done now.

Cain: “We don’t need to slow down”. Supports the Paul Ryan plan.

Gingrich is the odd man out, here.

Mitt asked about raising the debt ceiling, and says that the president needs to lay out a plan to rein in spending before debt ceiling is raised. Asks good question why the president isn’t leading?

Bachmann says she has already voted to not raise the debt ceiling and will do it again without serious spending cuts.

A “separation of church and state” question from (most likely a lib). TPaw is hitting it out of the park. Says the phrase was meant to keep the state out of the private worship of citizens.

Paul notes that the Constitution says nothing about “church and state”. A lot of liberal heads are exploding, they’ve never heard that before.

Cain makes the distinction that he would not have a radical Muslim on his staff. King twists his position as a “litmus test”.

Mitt Romney is giving a bland PC answer about everyone having equal rights, etc.

Gingrich jumps in and says there’s nothing wrong with asking a potential employee where his allegiance lies. If you cannot be loyal to the United States you cannot be in my administration, period.

JasonMattera on Twitter: Are you committed to the Constitution? Yeah, what a litmus test! #cnndebate

Cain prefers deep dish to thin crust pizza. I can live with that.

daveweigel on Twitter:BREAKING: Cain surges to first place in poll of fat people
A gay marriage question:  states rights vs. conservative views on marriage.
Michelle Bachmann doesn’t see it as the role of the President of the United States to go into states and change laws.
Santorum and Gingrich and Bachmann support a constitutional amendment defining marriage.

All of the candidates are against the overturning of “don’t ask don’t tell”.

Bachmann: I stand for life from conception until death.

Santorum now talking up his solid pro-life credentials.

A legal immigrant asks about illegal immigration:

Santorum says he consistently voted against giving benefits to illegals.

Paul says we need to protect our borders, not those of Iraq and Afghanistan, (to tepid applause).

Gingrich hits this one out of the park. Ends with:There are humane, practical steps that can be taken if we can get politicians to deal with the problem honestly.

I will say this: Gingrich is resurrecting his campaign, tonight. He is sounding very strong.

RT @STU_GBP on twitter: In case you were interested, if all you watched was this debate, I don’t think you’d know we were at war. #CNNdebate

MelissaTweetsMelissa Clouthier RT @breeannehowe: Mr. King, your disdain for Cain is obvious. Might want to reel that in a bit. #cnndebate #fail
Finally a foreign policy question: When should we leave Afghanistan?
Mitt Romney would get us out asap but would defer to the generals on the ground.
Ron Paul would immediately get us out of every war zone.
Pawlenty sounds very much like a hawk.
Bachmann: Gates could not identify a national interest in Libya. As commander in chief, I would not “lead from behind”. We to this day, do not know exactly who is behind these rebel fighters.
Gingrich agrees with Bachmann, and sees a massive failure of American intelligence in Libya.
Mr Cain says before we engage in military action we have to understand the problem, see if its in our interests, and rely on commanders on the field.
dickmorristweet #CNNDebate Cain’s straight talk on Libya was refreshing
A lefty asks about the US being the  “policemen of the world” and spending us into oblivion.
Santorum hits Obama for turning his back on our allies., and says because of the Obama  administration’s fecklessness, an even bigger presence is going to be needed in the future.
dickmorristweet #CNNDebate So far the big winner is Gringrich. Head and shoulders above the others in the specificity and innovative nature of his comment
A question about polls:
Cain says it’s still very early in the process. Says when people get to know folks more, they won’t think it’s a weak field.
Santorum: Biden has been wrong about every single foreign policy question he’s weighed in on.
Says Sarah Palin is qualified to be president.
I think all of them did well, even Paul, even though I totally disagree with him on foreign policy. But Gingrich really shined tonight.

Video: Eric Holder Faces Contempt Charges For Obstructing Justice In Operation Fast and Furious Probe

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, discusses the constitutional authority of Congress when issuing a lawfully issued subpoena to the Executive Branch during a Full Committee hearing entitled, “Obstruction of Justice: Does the Justice Department Have to Respond to a Lawfully Issued and Valid Congressional Subpoena?” on June 13, 2011.

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air asks:

How high does this go? Barack Obama insists that he knew nothing of either operation, and Holder has denied prior knowledge of it as well. If that’s true, then why not provide Oversight the documentation they requested? After all, executive privilege wouldn’t apply if Obama knew nothing of the operation. We’ll see if the White House wants to engage in a fight over a contempt citation, and if they do, it will show that they think that path is less damaging than the transparency Obama insists that his administration provides.

Take this with a grain of salt but –White House Insider 6/10:

Obama had a recent “meeting” with some of his former top advisers very recently. In my line of work that means only one thing.  This administration is absolutely          sh-tting itself right now.  The cover is being blown off, the fingers of blame are being pointed, and discussions over who is going to take the fall are happening this very moment. 


WeinerGate a “Distraction” Says White House – “Dishonesty Inappropriate”

Glenn McCoy cartoon via Townhall.

The Hill Reports:

A White House spokesman said Monday that Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) is a “distraction” from important issues, but he stopped short of calling for Weiner’s resignation.

White House press secretary Jay Carney, who refused to comment on the scandal last week, said Monday that “the president feels, we feel at the White House this is a distraction.”

While some  are calling this another example of Obama voting “present”, most pundits say this is as far as a President should go without overtly calling for Weiner’s resignation:

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air says:

The reluctance to publicly demand a resignation may get some criticism, but it’s probably best to avoid such a call.  The legislative branch should be left to handle its own affairs, and a President does best to stay out of those kinds of demands … publicly, at least.  The role of demanding a resignation should be left to Congressional leaders.  Otherwise, it threatens (at least rhetorically) the independence and co-equality of the branches of government.

Of course, the fact that Obama had to issue any kind of statement on Weiner is an obvious escalation in the effort to push Weiner into a resignation.  By making this statement, the message is made clear that Weiner does not have the support of the President, especially when scolding Weiner for his dishonesty.  It piles on more pressure on Weiner, and it also tells him that Democrats are not inclined to allow the scandal to quietly go away as Weiner clearly hopes.

Keith Koffler at White House Dossier concurs:

While the wording is hedged, the message is very unambiguous: President Obama wants Weiner to resign.

The subtle wording could be due to the sensitivity of Obama’s position: Weiner’s wife Huma Abedin is a close aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Wiener and his wife were married by Bill Clinton. But the clear signal for Weiner to quit shows either that the Clinton’s have green lighted the move or the White House feels the political need to get rid of the Wiener issue outweighs any concerns that the Clintons might have.

What struck me about the White House statement? This:

“As Congressman Weiner has said himself, his behavior was inappropriate, dishonesty was inappropriate,” Carney said, briefing reporters aboard Air Force One. “But the president is focused on his job, which is getting this economy…. blablablapolitical boilerplateblablablabla.

When is dishonesty appropriate? When Obama does it?

I only ask because the Obama regime has not exactly been the epitome of honesty and integrity for the past few. Obama, who follows the Alinsky method, lies  as a matter of course. For him it’s always been a means to an end, therefore he’s a shameless and prolific liar. Let us not forget that. To have this White House questioning another Democrat’s honesty…..sheesh —that guy had to have screwed up beyond repair for Obama to question the appropriateness of his dishonesty.


Gateway Pundit: Breaking: Obama Tells NBC “I Would Resign” If I Was a Penis-Tweeting Liar

No he wouldn’t. He’d go golfing.


Monday Morning Catch-Up

Glenn Foden cartoon via Townhall

Here are the important stories you may have missed if you were busy having a life, last weekend. We don’t fault you for that here at Nice Deb. Sometimes she does the same thing.

First up –Weiner. Yes, he’s done. You can finally “stick a fork in him”. I said from the beginning that he wouldn’t survive this scandal – and I was right. Taint no way, now. As Weiner faces increased calls for him to resign, the story has officially entered the “professional treatment” phase, which Weiner clearly wanted to avoid when the scandal first broke.

Big Government: New Weiner Photos Hit The Internet:

The photos posted Sunday were purportedly taken in the House members’ gym and show a shirt-less Weiner with a towel around his waist and his hand on his crotch. TMZ said the photos were sent online to at least one woman.

Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland, the No. 2 House Democrat, spoke of Weiner’s “bizarre and unacceptable behavior” in texting inappropriate pictures of himself to young women. Hoyer said it would be “extraordinarily difficult” for Weiner to continue to represent his constituents effectively.

Weiner announced Saturday that he was entering professional treatment at an undisclosed location and wanted a leave of absence from Congress. A statement from an aide did not say where he would receive treatment or what type was involved.

And this doesn’t look good…

Big Government: Weiner Staff Heading For The Exits?

BigGovernment has learned from a confidential source on Capitol Hill that, starting tomorrow, Rep. Weiner’s DC staff will depart for other Congressional offices. According to our source, staff from Democrat leadership assembled Rep. Weiner’s staff and offered to assist them finding positions in other offices. Finding positions for everyone in Weiner’s DC office could take a week or two.

In the face of all this, Weiner is apparently finally considering he may have to resign:

A source close to the congressman told the Daily News that he had been adamant about keeping his seat – even amid daily new revelations of his reckless sexting.

But the unrelenting media coverage, the demands from his party’s leaders that he step down and the appearance of more humiliating photos made Weiner realize he may not be able to bull his way through the crisis after all, the source said.

TMZ published a new slew of squirm-inducing self-portraits, apparently taken in the House gym – some clothed, some not.

Several show Weiner showing off his naked body holding only his camera and his privates. In others, he is clothed or draped in a white towel, flexing his muscles as he holds a camera up to his reflection in a locker room mirror.

TMZ said the photos were sent online to at least one woman and said the House gym venue raises new questions about his use of congressional resources for his salacious cybering.

See also Patterico: My Chat With Gennette Cordova (By Aaron with Skeptical Updates from Patterico) (UPDATE: Gennette Appears in Comments and Refuses to Answer Patterico’s Questions) and Sunday Weiner Notes.

Can’t beat this: Toy Company Introduces Anthony Weiner Action Figure

One more – in which John at Cold Fury shows off his impressive photoshop skills: Coincidence? I think NOT



There was some buzz over the weekend about Doug Ross’s post on the Obama and Netanyahu meeting, and Obama’s continued betrayal: Narcissistic Rage, Envy, and Revenge at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue:

Keep in mind, one of his sources is Ulsterman, who writes the gossipy White House Insider reports.

But it does look like the White House is exacting revenge by bullying Israel to negotiate with Abbas even though none of the pre conditions have been met on the Palestinian side. This is via Jennifer Rubin’s report in the WaPo:

Is the U.S. president pressuring Israel to adopt a position that is not its own and diminishes its bargaining position? And what happened to the statements in President Obama’s speech to AIPAC that Israel could not be expected to sit down with those who want to destroy it? After all Hamas has not yet agreed to the Quartet principles (recognize Israel, renounce terrorism and abide by past agreements), nor has Mahmoud Abbas separated himself from the unity government.

…Is the administration now asking Israel to sit down with Abbas absent a commitment by Hamas or a break-up of the unity government? By gosh, that should be an easy answer (“No!”) , yet the administration won’t say.

…This is a very, very big deal. Former deputy national security adviser Elliott Abrams explained to me Friday evening: “I hope news reports of what the Obama White House is privately demanding of Israel are wrong. If the reports are right, the U.S. is now abandoning the Quartet Principles — and asking Israel to negotiate with a Palestinian side that includes Hamas without Hamas taking one single step away from terror.

Rubin spoke with Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), “who plainly was angry over the continued effort to bully Israel … ‘President Obama never learns. His real instinct is to weaken Israel. You don’t treat an ally this way.’ He said he has never seen this sort of behavior from any U.S. president [and] the current posture is ‘shameful.’

It was so obvious to me, in early ’08, after I had started looking at Obama’s background, and his associations that he was going to be no friend to Israel. Many of us on the right could see this, and we rang alarm bells with all of our might.

On the bright side – both Democrat and Republican members of Congress were anxious to show their support of Netanyahu when he spoke before them. Will they allow Obama to continue antagonizing an ally?


You may have heard a report last week that Margaret Thatcher didn’t want to meet with Sarah Palin when she visits the UK because, “she’s nuts”. There was immediately widespread doubt that Thatcher would ever say such a thing, and this report furthers that assumption:

Gateway Pundit: Thatcher Foundation Responds to the ‘Palin Was Snubbed’ Report Saying, “The Guardian Has Minimal Credibility”


Lots of buzz also about a surprising post from John Ziegler in which he channels me. Or maybe I’ve been channeling John Ziegler for the past two years. My point is – we have exactly the same take on Sarah Palin, although he knows her much better than I do…

The Sarah Palin I know:

Now, with Sarah’s bus tour of historic sites seemingly completed, and the biggest decision of her life directly in front of her, I wish her the best—I genuinely do. Without a doubt, she’s been subjected to the most biased media coverage in modern political history; enough to leave even the most thick-skinned of candidates shivering in the fetal position on the side of the road. Instead, she’s survived and, in many ways, prospered. For that, I will always respect and admire her. Everyone should.

However, what she appears to be currently doing is almost certainly destructive to her cause and her country. I say this as the guy who risked $300,000 of his life savings to produce the very first pro-Sarah documentary back in 2009 (and the only one with her participation), while putting everything on the line to fight countless battles on her behalf—such as demonstrating outside David Letterman’s studios in New York after the late night talk show host made a joke about 14-year-old Willow Palin getting “knocked up,” being dragged away in handcuffs from a laughable awards ceremony for the liberal ‘news’ anchor Katie Couric, getting regularly attacked as a guest by liberal hosts on MSNBC, and responding with $100,000 offers to charity to debate them on her behalf.

I’ve fought so hard for Sarah, I’m almost unemployable.

But in spite of being approached by Sarah’s husband Todd only a month ago and specifically discussing the possibility, I won’t be working on any Palin presidential campaign. Why? Well, first of all, contrary to what geniuses like Andrew Sullivan and Howard Dean may want you to believe, there is absolutely no way that she can be elected. I’ve told this to her directly; more than once. While many pundits mistakenly think what she is doing is some Trump-like PR stunt, I’m pretty convinced she is running and in doing so will damage the prospects of any conservative defeating Barack Obama in 2012.


Here is where Ziegler’s feelings completely match mine:

The worst part about the resignation from a political narrative perspective is that it also stripped away Palin’s greatest strength. She is clearly a fighter but it is impossible to make “She will fight for you” the cornerstone of a campaign when she just quit her only big job, seemingly for personal gain.

What Palin and her many supporters apparently refuse to accept is that Palin is the Bo Jackson of modern Republican politics. She was a natural, but that talent has been taken away by circumstances beyond her control.

She once was a moderate conservative with the ability to appeal to Democrats and the charisma to energize Republicans. Not since Reagan has there been as gifted a politician as her and, because she is an attractive woman with a powerful personal story, you could easily argue she exceeded even the Gipper in overall political potential. I also believe her to be smarter than Reagan.

But like Jackson, she was cut down by “injury” in the prime of her career. The media-induced knee-capping during the 2008 election and its aftermath was grossly unfair, but it was also comprehensive and complete. Like Jackson after his freak hip injury, she still looked the same and could still plausibly play the game, but the magic was gone. It isn’t her fault and it is a travesty of justice, but to not recognize and accept that would be highly detrimental to the team. Jackson soon realized this; Palin apparently has not yet done so (or, potentially even worse, has, and just doesn’t care as much about the team as her brand).

Read the whole thing. What should be absolutely clear is that although Ziegler remains fond of Palin – (just as I am),  if she really has made her mind up to run, and by all appearances, it looks like she has, he shares my opinion that she is hurting the party, and ruining our chances of beating Obama in 2012. That is the political reality.
And please don’t hate us for not being on board the Palin Express. If she should win the Republican Primary, we will come on board. There should be no question about that. But it will feel like 2008 all over again —- and that is not a good place to be.
At Red State, Erick Erickson chastised the Palinistas who have gone after Ziegler in the wake of his column: On John Ziegler: How Easy We Trash Our Friends
I’m just going to say that a quick review of conservatives on twitter reads like the insane ramblings of lefties after the 7,000 extra votes were found for Judge Prosser in Wisconsin. They read like the insane ramblings of lefties who suddenly see a Democrat come out critical of Barack Obama.

We should be better than that and perhaps we might just want to hold out a modicum of recognition for the several years of attacks John Ziegler has withstood for defending Sarah Palin and maybe consider his sincerity instead of descending with lefty like relish directly into attacks on his motives.

Whether you agree with him or not, as much as you might say shame on him for daring to write what he wrote, I’d say shame on you for immediately questioning him, his motives, and loyalties. In fact, it’s not the first time these sorts of concerns have been raised by people on the right who have direct experience in the matter.

Ed Morissey has a poll up at Hot Air: Ziegler: Palin can’t beat Obama

Is Palin unelectable in a general election?

Amazingly enough, the majority are saying she’s more electable than other Republicans. Coming in a close second place  is the less electable position.


For a decidedly pessimistic view of where the US economy is headed see Noisy Room: An American Descent Into Hell.

It’s hard not to see the signs all around us that America has begun a cataclysmic downward spiral in finances and morality. It’s like watching a slow motion murderous wreck, all the while denying that it is actually occurring. I assure you, what is unfolding in the US now is all too real. It’s a reality that is about to smack Americans full frontal in the face and many will never even see it coming until it is way too late.

It is hard for me to imagine how people cannot see what is happening in finances and in politics in their own country. It is in the news if you look at all… It is on the Internet for all to see… It is whispered by many all around us if you just listen.

The stock market has gone down for the last 6 weeks in a row. And if stock futures are to be believed at all, things will not be good Monday morning this next week. The last time the stock market dropped seven weeks in a row was in 2001 when the bubble burst. I have said for a long, long time that the stock market is fiction and is being manipulated. But they are running out of ways to fake recovery and growth – they can’t hide forever just how bad things are about to become. We are in free fall economically and stand to not only enter another great depression, but a great, great depression in the next twelve months. Only this time, we don’t have manufacturing or a winnable war to bring us out of it. Obama has ensured that – he has masterfully implemented Cloward and Piven at every turn and we have just sat here allowing him to do it.

Fox News covers a the shocking results of a study of 100 mosques in the US in which “incubation of Jihad” is taking place:


Gaffney’s right about Weinergate dominating the news. I could find only a single story on Peter King’s next round of hearings focusing on prison recruitment: He’s back! Rep. Peter King announces a second Muslim Radicalization hearing by Cynthia Hodges at The Examiner:

House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Peter King announced plans to hold a second Muslim Radicalization hearing, this one titled “ The  Threat of Muslim-American Radicalization  in U.S. Prisons will be held on Wednesday. The focus of the second in a series of hearings will be the U.S. prison system.

Congressman King argues that the hearing is necessary due to a reported increase in cases in which inmates have been radicalized at the hands of jailed terrorists and extremist imam chaplains.

Last week Rep. King released a statement describing the second hearing’s agenda saying, “We will focus on a number of the serious cases in which radicalized current and former inmates have planned and launched attacks or attempted to join overseas Islamic terrorist organizations.”

The panel will hear testimony from both U.S. and international experts on the issue and from those intimately involved in recent prison radicalization cases.

A 2009 report found that in the United States, roughly 240,000 inmates have converted to the faith since the 9/11 attacks.

See also, exclusive video at the Shark Tank: Pamela Geller Jumps in the Tank, Warns of Islamic Jihad


Doug Powers at Michelle Malkin on another unsympathetic face of the Democrat party: Robert Gibbs to Deliver Team Obama Response to Tonight’s GOP Debate:

By all means, Dems, DO put this incompetent lout’s face out there to dog  Republicans at every turn. I’m sure they’re all shaking in their boots.