Debate Liveblogging

I was planning to just do a debate round-up instead of a liveblog, but what the hell. Why not liveblog? Still, so I can get a post out of this tomorrow, you’ll have to wait until then to get who I thought won.

Rudy G: Rudy’s talk about his time as Mayor of New York is getting really tired. His answer to every question pointing out his shortcomings is, “Well, look at the things I did as Mayor of New York!” At some point, Rudy has to address these glaring weaknesses in his record.

Fred Thompson: Fred started out, as my buddy, EM Zanotti would say, “Hawt!” He just steamrolled Rudy and Mitt. Awesome, awesome, awesome start.

8:15: Mitt sounds off-key tonight. He isn’t doing well with this rough and tumble battling.

8:16: I have never bought into this whole, “A gay marriage amendment is anti-federalism” argument. How can the federal government be running roughshod over the rights of the states with an amendment when 3/4 of the states have to approve?

8:18: Mitt is right about gay marriage. Activist judges are deliberately distorting the law to implement gay marriage.

8:20: The problem with Rudy’s whole, “we need to wait until several states,” implement gay marriage to have an amendment idea, is that the liberals won’t go along with it after it’s happening. Look at Mass., now…

8:21: McCain hasn’t changed? Please. He is claiming to have changed his position 180 degrees on illegal immigration and he certainly flipped on social conservatives, although he’s denying it.

8:28: Duncan rocked it! Good response.

8:29: McCain has been solid tonight, but very sedate. Decent answer on health care.

8:30: Ugh…Ron Paul can’t even answer a question about health care without rambling on about a world empire — and this should be a strong suit for Paul since he was a former doctor.

8:32: Hey, where’s Alan Keyes? I just noticed he isn’t here.

8:33: Mitt should hammer health care. He sounds good on it, he has done it, and people care about the issue.

8:34: I agree with Duncan. We should be able to buy across state lines.

8:35: Mitt, we deregulated health care and slashed costs. Again, he sounds good on it.

8:36: Health care is Mike Huckabee’s weakest point if you ask me. I could see him going totally Mike Bloomberg on this subject and outlawing transfat and potato chips.

8:38: I might agree with what Tanc says about debating whether the federal government should be involved in health care or not, except that it’s a moot point. The government is involved in health care and that’s not going to change.

8:46: My early ratings…

Fred is winning, Rudy 2nd, Huckabee 3rd, Mitt 4, my former employer, Duncan Hunter 5. Unfortunately for Huck and Dunc, because they get so little time to talk, they get a very minimal amount of time to score points and will probably drop back a bit over time.

8:47: Asking Mitt about whether Hillary can be Commander-In-Chief is a bad question for him because that isn’t exactly a strong point for him either. He hasn’t had that much experience and he doesn’t have much foreign policy experience either.

8:49: Rudy: “You gotta be kidding!” Me and Hillary exactly alike on all those areas where we’re exactly alike? He is charming when he beats up on Hillary though.

8:52: Wow, Johnny Mac has the best electability numbers against Hillary? On 2nd thought, it’s not that surprising, but it’s interesting because everyone keeps writing him off, but he polls better nationally than Mitt and apparently has the best electability numbers.

McCain mocks Woodstock! Funny and he gets a standing “O.” Very nice.

8:53: I agree with Huckabee. We need to work harder to reach out to minorities.

8:54: I have to admit that I am enjoying this entire round of Clinton bashing.

8:56: Fred got some applause nailing the newspapers. Fred has been much stronger this debate than last. The Democrats will lead us down the road to comfortable mediocrity. I love that line!

8:58: Ron Paul can’t even attack Hillary Clinton correctly. While he’s doing that, he has to ramble on about an empire again. Annoying!

9:01: The American people are ready to make changes on Medicare and Social Security. Most Americans understand it’s unsustainable and they do want someone to make changes. Good answer on Social Security and Medicare from Thompson, although it’s too hard to explain that in a minute.

9:05: As a party, we really need to work on our messaging and sound bites on Medicare and Social Security. The ideas? They’re fine. But, if you can’t explain it in a minute — and nobody seems to be able to do it — you can’t get your message out.

9:07: I’d love to opt out of Social Security — it’ll never happen. The whole thing is a ponzi scheme where they rely on people my age to pay for the people getting their Social Security. If people like me opt out — and I would in a heartbeat — the system will collapse.

9:08: McCain sounds good on Social Security — although the American people generally don’t respond to a crisis until the crisis is upon us. In fact, that’s why we haven’t fixed Social Security yet — because it’s a looming crisis, but not a crisis yet.

9:09: I love Duncan, but he’s completely off topic talking about trade when they’re talking about Social Security.

9:11: Tanc’s points are about illegal immigrants are relevant, but he needs to stay off of that issue as much as possible to show people he’s not a one issue candidate.

9:15: Great line from Johnny Mac, “When I looked into Putin’s eyes, I saw 3 letters, K-G-B.” Putin is a dangerous person. McCain gave a great answer on Putin.

9:17: Duncan is probably the best of the candidates on foreign policy. He knows missile defense and he had good comments about cooperating with the Russians on missile defense.

9:18: Rudy G. wants to expand NATO? Ehr…I don’t know. NATO is a huge mess and I am not sure that adding more countries to the mix is going to help. I do like the fact that Rudy is talking up increasing the size of the military and having an unbeatable military.

9:20: Fred is giving a good, solid answer on the Turkish/PKK question. Nice little smack at Pelosi on the end.

9:23: Huckabee sounds smooth as usual.

9:23: Ron Paul is such an idiot. Even if you don’t like the war, we’re there, Ron, you moron. You can’t pretend it hasn’t happened. Oh yes, we’ll just talk to everyone and it’ll work out great. He sounds like Alec Baldwin….BOOOOOOO!

9:25: Mitt managed to work a slap at the Clinton military. Liked it.

9:27: Typical Ron Paul pap — 75% good common sense — 25% loony crap. PS: His voice is irritating.

9:28: Spot-on, Rudy. We don’t want to fight with Iran, but better to fight with Iran than allow them to have nukes.

9:30: I am glad Fred got the lazy question. People are asking it, so he should have to deal with it up front — and Fred has a hell of a good answer — and it’s the last one! Nice…

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