Nasty, Brutish & Short

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Yes, NBS is liveblogging the CNN Youtube Debate!

November 28, 2007 08:56 PM

Out comes The Coop.  He’s apparently the moderator.

The Chair of the Florida Republican Party is going to introduce people.   Oh no, his eyes are set to close together.

No wait, it’s going to be the Governor of Florida who introduces the candidates. Charlie Crist.  He’s absurdly tan.  Melanoma city!  Looks suspiciously like Anderson Cooper.

What’s next?

Photos.  Boring.  CNN’s talking heads are talking.  More boring than the photos!  Sub story of the night: Is CNN going to remotely pretend like they have their candidate on that stage?  Or not even bother?

So while they’re doing that… what do I think of the premise of this?  Asinine questions from the public?  I think it could be fun, and let the candidates show some personality.  Thank God we are past the days of having that boring PBS guy moderate the debates.  Who cares about him!   I want to see the snowman!

The first question: a gi-tar player from Washington.  Okay, he’s too long on the riff.

Fred Thompson—wrinkly.  Is that what the country needs right now?  McCain pretends to be entertained.  Awww they actually have the guitar player in the audience.  He’s embarrassed.  As he should be.

The first real question to Giuliani: sanctuary cities in NYC.  He supported it!  Giuliani says no, it wasn’t.  We sent them back if they committed crimes.  Oh wait, there were exceptions.  The kids got to go to school, and they have emergency care.  And they could report crimes.  Whoop dee dee.  He then talks about what he will do with illegals.  Too many ideas, too little time to type.

Romney: Yes it was a sanctuary city!  Mitt looks good.  Hair looks a tad dark though.  She didn’t get the mix right! 

Back to the G man: Mitt has the worst record.  He had a sanctuary mansion at his own home!  Illegals in Mitts own home.  Oh please, who cares.  Good help is hard to come by.

Mitt: you know better than that.  No illegals in my mansion!  They were illegals hired by my contractors.  I’m with Mitt on this one.  That does not a sanctuary mansion make.

G: Holier than though attitude from Mitt!  Again, an unfair attack.

Is anyone else running but Mitt and Rudy?  The Coop says we’ve got to run.  But Mitt and Rudy ARE the front runners, you know.

Next question: People want to come here LEGALLY.  But the Senate wants amnesty.  Will you veto any amnesty bill?  Thompson says he will.  Good for him.  Totally with him on legal immigration, I know someone from Peru who would make a great citizen, and she’s about go home because her visa’s done.  If she just flew to Mexico and walked in, she’d be fine.

Fred also wants us to know that Romney supported the Bush immigration bill.  And then he goes after Rudy, too.  We’ve all hired people and it’s been a bad decision.

Hey, what’s he saying, that Republicans have lots of house hold help?  Where’s my household help?  Roberto, martini.  STAT!

McCain: we never proposed amnesty.  That’s basically a lie.  Boo!  He says we need people to pick the cotton (in not so few words).  We have learned the people want the borders enforced.  Why did they have to learn that?

Immigrants are God’s children too, he says.   Implies that people who oppose illegal immigration are racist.  So double boo to McCain!

Next up: More on immigration.  We can’t run our business without our guest workers.  Oh what crap, questioners.  Pay your employees more, and raise your prices. Why should you get labor on the cheap?

Tancredo: Says what I just said.  But was nicer. 

Hunter: He built the border fence in San Diego!  But, not himself, it would appear.  Crime went down 53%. 

Going to get Henry a frosty paws while these non-tier people are talking.

Huckabee: I never gave favors to illegals as Governor of Arkansas!

Is this whole debate about immigration?  If Republicans want to win next fall, the debate will be then.  People are hot about this.

Romney: Huckabee reminds me of a liberal in Massachusetts.  Hits him on the taxpayer issue.  Huckabee is weak on that.  No favorable tax treatment for illegals. 

Huckabee: I had to pay my own way through.  I might have needed government support or I’d be picking lettuce.  Boo hiss!  He just lost me.

Romney: no tax funded benefits to illegal kids is better than what others get.  That’s the issue.

Next question: For Ron Paul: your supporters are conspiracy freaks!

Ron Paul:  Oh my God, he does talk about the Trilateral Commission.  There is a move for a North American Union.  It’s a conspiracy of ideas.  Whack.  Job.  Millions of acres in imminent domain taken for a highway to Mexico!  I’m with him on not liking the U.N.  But I think the other candidates are too.

Next question: the economy.  A co-ed wants to know about trillions spent on national debt.  Oh please.  This is not a concern of hers.

McCain: Republicans have forgotten about spending and greatly expanded government.  He’s right about that.  But what was he doing to stop it?  He saved us $2 mill on a bogus deal.  Big deal!

Romney: Every bill with pork must be vetoed.  And there must be fundamental change.  Go after the entitlements.  So I like Romney at this point.  But I’m not believing he’s going to veto every bill with pork in it.

Rudy: across the board cuts at every agency, like Reagan did.  That sounds great!  Bush should do this now.  Yes he should!

Next question: limited government by reducing federal spending was what we used to believe.  What programs would you cut?

Fred: lots of ‘em.  But he doesn’t name a single one.  Reform Social Security and Medicare need reform.  But oh no, we’re not going to cut them.  Re-index the way benefits are calculated.  Not revolutionary enough.  By far.

Ron Paul: Washington didn’t change me.  He’s certainly right about that.  Cut Department of Education, Energy, Homeland Defense and foreign aid.  Amen.

Huckabee: Get rid of the IRS.  He claims he’s serious about this.  Revamp Homeland Security, it’s a mess. 

Question for McCain: Eliminate the federal income tax for a retail sales tax?  McCain says no.  Look carefully at it.  We need a commission, and do what we do with base closings.  Oh great.  That’s a wonderful way to de-politicize it.  Also: Paul’s brand of isolationism is what caused WWII.  Right about that.  Also, the troops don’t like you, Ron.

Paul: Why do I get the most $ from active duty personnel?  McCain doesn’t understand the difference between isolationism and non-intervention.  I believe in non-intervention.  I guess I don’t see much of a difference in that either.

Question: A no new tax pledge? Oh the question was from Grover Norquist.  I met him during my Human Events days.

Everyone signs on to the pledge but Thompson and McCain.  Paul has NEVER voted for a tax increase.  Impressive.

Question from a rude guy eating corn.  Why should we have farm subsidies?  A question for Iowans!  But I have to say, the Iowans are ridiculously greedy on this.  No farm subsidies!  Romney’s on the wrong side of this.  He wants to win in Iowa.  Boo.  Rudy agrees.  Boo, again.

Question for Rudy: he used expense accounts improperly as Mayor.  True or not?  Rudy: I had threats; I had nothing to do with the handling of security records.

All the campaigns have submitted videos.  They better be good.

Tancredo’s is bad.  He speaks poorly in his own video, with weird clips of Hillary.

Question: There is lead in our toys from China.  And we adopted a baby from China!  The kind of question I hate.  The one where the questioner is totally self-absorbed.

Tancredo: we need a new trade arrangement with China.

Hunter: China is cheating on trade, to buy planes and missiles.  Tells us to buy American.  I hate that line of thought too.   Make a competitive product and I’ll buy it. 

Fred’s vid: attacks the others as not conservative.  It’s a piss poor video, though.

Romney: I WAS WRONG ON ABORTION.  I was WRONG.  I changed my mind as Governor.  The first time it came to my desk, I came down on the side of life.  I am proud to be pro-life.  Satisfies me.

Huckabee:  I did too oppose taxes.  I am a fiscal conservative.

Finally, a break!

And we’re back.  Barely enough time to let Henry out and pour a glass of petite sirah.

I did miss some.  They’re talking about guns.  I would certainly hope they are all in agreement about this.  If not, they’re toast.

Question, tell us about your gun collection?  The Coop thinks the questioner is a freak.

Thompson: I have a lot of guns.  Won’t tell us where, though.  Witty, but sounds like a dodge

McCain, I know how to use one.  I don’t own one.  Weird.  But, if I had been tortured, maybe I wouldn’t keep guns around either.  Special dispensation on this for the previously tortured.

Booo.  Romney doesn’t own guns either.  It’s just McCain and Rudy who don’t

Next question: Black on black crime. 

Romney: We need moms and dads.  He’s right, there’s been a total collapse of the family structure in the African American community.  Cites Bill Cosby.  Civil rights issue of our time is the failure of inner city schools.  Great point.  Wish he’d followed up with school vouchers. 

Rudy: Romney has a mixed record on crime.  Rudy is on the attack.  Rudy says he has a strong record on crime.  True.  He took NYC from a very dangerous city to a very safe city. 

Romney gives him credit for that.  Says I was not a mayor, I was a governor.  Again, I agree with him on this.  Crime is a local issue.  Not a state issue, and certainly not a national way.  Say no to a nationalized criminal code!

Question on abortion: What if it becomes illegal?  Sweet cheeks, it’s not going to become illegal.  It would be a states issue and the public would get to decide through the political process.  You have nothing to fear.  Paul understands this.

Thompson: Overturning Roe should be our No. 1 focus right now, and that pertains to judicial appointments.  Amen.  But I just don’t believe this would be his No. 1 priority.

Question: another question on Roe.  He says what would you do if Roe is reversed, and Congress imposes a federal ban, would you sign? 

Rudy says no, leave it to the states.  He’s right.

Romney: Overturn Roe.  I would be delighted to sign such a bill if it were the consensus.  But we are not there as a country.  Leave it to the states.

Question: the death penalty: what would Jesus do?  A good question!

Huckabee:  I’ve done it as Governor, the others haven’t.  He took it very serious and sincerely, it seems.  There is a place for the death penalty, he says.

He avoids the theological question about where Jesus would be on the death penalty.

Coop asks the question again.

Huckabee: Jesus was too smart for to ever run for public office.  Good response.  I wouldn’t answer that question either.

Question: Do you believe every word of the Bible.  Specifically.  Weird questioner.  An attack on Romney’s Mormonism?

Rudy gives an intelligent, thoughtful response, and seems to have a sound theological understanding.

Romney: The Bible is the word of God.  I believe in the world of God.  I may interpret differently.  He’s off his footing here.

Huckabee: It is the word of revelation to us from God himself.  Quotes a few of the greatest hits.  Let’s work on Love Your Neighbor first.  No one is ever going to understand all of it.

Romney’s vid.  Hits on the big conservative points.  Looks professional.  Good spot.  But not a typical youtube video.

Break and we’re back.

Rudy’s video: Funny.  Youtube like.  Best one of the night!

Question: a Muslim lady from Alabama.  What would you do to repair the image of America in the Muslim world?  Please, this chick is not a Republican primary voter.

Rudy: Be tough on terror.  He refused to get sucked in by the premise of the question.  Excellent, excellent response.

McCain: Continue the surge.  Reconstruct Iraq.  Fight the Democrats on a date for withdrawal.  Criticizes Rumsfeld’s strategy.  But we’d be worse off under the Democrats’ strategy, though, he says.

Question: Waterboarding.  Do you support it?

Romney: The President should not limit our interrogation tactics.  Does not seem to have a big problem with it.  Interrogate terrorists.

McCain: He’s totally opposed to waterboarding and torture.  I know his background on this, and I know he was tortured.  But still.  I just don’t have a problem with torturing terrorists.  He’s very passionate about this.

Romney: I am not in favor of torture, but I am not going to pick what is and is not torture.  I will let the counter terrorism experts make that decision. 

McCain: They you have to advocate that we withdrawal from the Geneva Conventions.  And why, really, shouldn’t we?  We’re basically the only ones who honor it.  McCain, still very opposed to torture.  Life is not “24” he says.  But maybe if it were, we wouldn’t have to strip search grandmothers at airports.

Question: We should stay in Iraq long-term.  Who supports that idea?  Thompson: don’t stay forever, but for as long as it takes. 

Paul: Give them their country back.  The surge hasn’t worked.  They’re ready to be the next Vietnam.  He’s pretty ignorant, if you ask me.

McCain: we never lost a battle in Vietnam; American public opinion lost that war.  Terrorists want Iraq to be a base to attack the U.S.

He gets booed.  He’s totally right, though.  Why don’t want people want to hear the truth about this?

Paul: It is irrelevant that we never lost one battle in Vietnam.  The only reason they hate us is because we have bases in the Mideast.  So clueless!

Screams and boos for him, now.

Tancredo: We are living in a world where we are threatened by radical Islam.

Question for Rudy: You’re using 9/11 to propel yourself into the White House.  True?  Rudy: Look at my whole record.  And then he goes on.  And on. 

God, this is a long debate.  This may be the last NBS live blog, ever. 

Next: Stupid question about Vice President Cheney.  Why are people so paranoid about Dick Cheney?  The only thing wrong with Dick Cheney is he’s not running for president.  Anyway, the question:  How much authority will you give your VP?

Thompson: VP needs to be ready to assume the office, if necessary.  Brings up judges again.  Why is he bringing this up so much?  It just seems so insincere. 

McCain: Bush had to rely on Cheney’s foreign policy expertise, because that was Cheney’s area and we were at war.  I would not have to do that.

Hunter’s vid: It’s another commercial.  And it looks cheap.  Looks like he’s running for Congress, not President. 

Another break.  Have a Holly Jolly Christmas, and go to Playhouse in the Park to see Scrooge!

Question: A gay veteran wants to know what the problem is with gays in the military.

Tancredo: Blows the answer.  Young enlistees are conservative Christians, and it would be unfair to them.

Huckabee: Conduct could put at risk morale, and cohesion.

Romney: The Coop points out a Romney flip flop on this.  Romney: This is not a time to change don’t ask, don’t tell.  Let the military decide this issue.  Romney kind of flubs this.

The veteran says he didn’t get an answer.  But he did!  He just didn’t get the answer that he wanted.  The Coop gives the veteran a long leash to go on and on about gays in the military.  Gee, I wonder why?

McCain:  Thanks for your service, but all the military people I talk to say don’t ask, don’t tell is working.

Next: Should gay Republicans support you?

Huckabee: Gives a funny answer.  Hey, I’ll take their support.  But I won’t change my mind on same sex marriage.  Perfect response.  Respectful.  Kind.  Firm.

Next up?  Boring question about social security from a young person.  Start saving now, young person,” is just about the only honest answer.  Let’s see if we get it.

Thompson’s response is so boring I miss it.

Romney: We can’t follow Hillary to the left, but follow the path Reagan blazed.  He certainly knows the talking points, doesn’t he?

Question: We need a man on mars!   What are you going to do for NASA?

Huckabee: Expand the space program.  And let’s put Hillary on the first rocket to mars.

Tancredo: No spending on crap like that!  Excellent response.  We can’t afford to go to mars!

Question: African Americans hold conservative views, but vote for Democrats.  Why don’t we vote for you?   I love this question.  The Republican Party’s failure to make this case is one of the tragedies of our time. 

Rudy: School choice, welfare reform.  We can be popular in African American Community.

Huckabee: African Americans vote for me.  I asked for their vote.  He then says he spends money on hypertension and diabetes, and they afflict African Americans more.  Again with the spending!

And on the opposite extreme: Do you support Confederate flags?

Romney:  With all the issues we face?  No.

Thompson: Not everyone with a confederate flag is racist.  But there is not a place for it in the public arena. 

Paul’s video: Very populist.  Very isolationist.  Not bad as a matter of form.

Question: We need new infrastructure, and it’s going to be expensive.  Let me guess?  Huckabee will pay for it.

Rudy: We need a sustained program and long term planning.

Paul: We are taxed to blow up bridges overseas and our own bridges are falling down. 

McCain: I will veto all pork. 

Rudy: Blows it by saying he opposed the line item veto and (apparently?) took Clinton to court on this.

Question: Will you run as an independent, Ron Paul, if you don’t get the nomination?  He says no!  I think. 

Last question.  THANK GOD.  For Rudy: You are a life long Yankees fan, but still supported the Sox in the post-season.  Rudy says he is an American League fan.  Boo hiss!  He almost ends on a weak note, but then has a good joke about how many times the Yankees won the World Series when he was Mayor. 

Romney:  My family hates the Yankees.  He wasn't going to win New York anyway. 

And that’s it.  Romney’s got my vote. 

More substantive thoughts later.  I'm taking Henry outside.

UPDATE: I accidentally deleted several comments.  I get several thousand spam ones a day, so sometimes accidents happen.  Sorry!