I didn’t watch the debate last night. I couldn’t stomach it. I think we’ve seen enough debates to know what everyone is going to say to the same old tired questions that idiots like Diane Sawyer and George Stephanopoulus ask. I did follow what was happening on Twitter. I prefer to read what other’s think. The primary reason for last night’s debate was to see if Newt, Rick Santorum, Rick Perry, Jon Huntsman and Ron Paul were going to go after Mittens. The LSM wanted a bloodbath….they wanted a GOP remake of “A Nightmare on Elm Street” (with Newt, of course, playing Freddie Kreuger). They didn’t get it though. Sure there were some zings thrown here and there but they were just little cat scratches compared to the damage that could have been done by Freddie’s knives.
I truly believe that Newt wanted to do the unexpected. He didn’t want to give the left a “see we told you so” debate. He took all the hot…toxic…foul air out of their balloons. They are absolutely depressed over last night’s debate. Here’s a quote from MSNBC news this morning…
“A Saturday night debate in Manchester yielded few defining moments, and did little to add new scrutiny that had been expected of Mitt Romney, the frontrunner in the Granite State’s primary on Tuesday.”
They are hoping and praying that round 2 (this morning’s debate) will yield at least a pint or two of Romney’s blood. They desperately want the GOP to slaughter each other between now and November so that Obama…the most un-American President in the history of our country…can win re-election and continue his path of destruction.
I love Newt Gingrich. He’s the right man for the job. I do not like Mitt Romney. He is no real friend of conservatives. I do not like the GOP establishment and their blind stupidity….but I hate Barack Obama and all that he and his goons are doing to this magnificent nation. I will fight to keep Mittens off the GOP ballot but if he is the nominee…I will fight for him.
We can not let EVIL win in November.
I love you girlfriend, but you’re seriously drinking some DNC-controlled-media Kool-Aid when it comes to your take on Ron Paul.
I’m serious…I think you’re a wonderful woman, I agree with you on 90% of the issues, and I think you’ve been had. You’ve been lied to. But we all have. I just have more incentive to research things about about Ron Paul than you do, or most readers of HillBuzz.org. And that’s why you don’t know the facts about the newsletters written by ghostwriters and published by a company under Ron Paul’s masthead over 20 years ago.
If you’re not a Ron Paul voter like me, you probably don’t know that Ron Paul scores highest among minorities in a head-to-head matchup against Barack Obama, according to the latest CNN/ORC poll released Tuesday. Ron Paul gets 25% of the vote amongst non-whites, whereas Romney polls at 20% and Gingrich gets only 15%.
I’m also sure you haven’t read this Open Letter to the Media by a black man, who points out that even if Ron Paul actually believed everything written by the ghostwriters (which, clearly, he doesn’t),
Pursuing [Ron Paul's] platform of limited government against a hostile bipartisan congress will be hard enough, why would he use his 4 year stint to bring back Jim Crow? Does anyone realistically think he would try to reshape America into some postcard of the antebellum south with black people working in cotton fields and white masters in palatial mansions? Really? [...]
Despite anything Ron Paul could say or do in office he couldn’t use his mandate to change who we are. I have more faith in the American people. How quickly we forget that a majority of white people in America chose an unknown largely untested black man over a seasoned, white war hero in 2008. Four years is not enough time to fundamentally change who we are as a society. Americas political structure wouldn’t permit Ron to create a “Racist States of America”. Not within a 4 year term, even if he were 100% in favor of it.
You probably also didn’t read the commentary from Black Entertainment Television, which pointedly does not label Ron Paul as a bigot (which is what one might assume from BET.com). Instead, the writer notes,
“Paul has since come out and said he only lent his name to the newsletters, and that he never actually wrote the content in them. Business Insider suggests there’s reason to take him at his word on this one, but even if we do there’s still the case of Paul’s views on civil rights. To that I’d say that Paul is a true libertarian, and being a true libertarian means believing that the government shouldn’t have the right to meddle in people’s lives, regardless of whether those people hold abhorrent beliefs.
A lot can be said about Paul, but one thing you can’t say about him is that he’s an ideologically inconsistent politician who lies and changes his mind constantly in order to court votes. What’s sad about American politics is that this is somehow considered tremendously virtuous, and not just the status quo.”
So…let’s think about those ghostwritten newsletters for a minute.
You and I both have the ability to log into HillBuzz and write whatever we like, don’t we?
Has Kevin ever told either of us what we could or could not say?
Has he ever demanded that we censor ourselves, or write for or against any topic?
I can’t speak for you, of course, but I believe Kevin has given every HillBuzz contributor free reign to express ourselves, even when he strenuously disagrees with us.
Because the views of the contributors are not necessarily the views of Kevin DuJan.
But here’s the interesting wrinkle. Because I have administrative access, I can, at this very moment, post an article with ANY byline I choose. I could post under your name, my name, Kevin’s name, Megan Fox’s name…anybody’s. I could create a totally new author account and post under that name.
So let’s say I log in under NewtLove’s name and I put up a post that says “Hitler had the right idea” or some b*llsh*t like that, would that magically transform Newt into a Nazi? Would that actually change who Newt is or what he believes? Would Newt suddenly behave differently? Would he start goose-stepping his way through life? Of course not. Newt stays Newt.
This is basically what happened with Ron Paul’s newsletters. Dr. Paul got out of Congress, went back to running his OB/GYN practice full-time, and gave up day-to-day control of the company that published several different newsletters with his name in the masthead. There were several different newsletters, with a series of editors. And they were written by ghostwriters with an occasional article by Ron Paul thrown in the mix.
Here’s my take on the Ron Paul newsletters, as a professional ghostwriter. It explains how ghostwriting works, and why Ron Paul probably couldn’t ever publicly identify the ghostwriters involved, even if he knew who they were.
This non-controversy has been resurrected time and again by Dr. Paul’s political opponents, and debunked time and again. Here’s what Ron Paul had to say about it during the last election cycle:
Newt Gingrich doesn’t have much money, and he has no ground game. And his support is weak. But he does have one ace up his sleeve…a hack writer and Cocktail Party GOP/John McCain supporter named James Kirchick, who’s a fellow with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies in Washington, D.C.
And guess who else is involved with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies? Why…Newt Gingrich. He sits on its Leadership Council.
The Foundation for Defense of Democracies apparently lobbies heavily for Israel and against Iran…and since Ron Paul wants to cut all U.S. foreign aid (including that to Israel) and doesn’t want to bomb Iran into the stone age without a Congressional declaration of war, it puts Ron Paul at odds with the group, with Newt, and with Mr. Kirchick.
So, conveniently, just as Newt started to plummet in the Iowa polls, Kirchick re-ignited the non-controversy with The Company Ron Paul Keeps – Meet Alex Jones.
Ron Paul has never, not once, spoken a bigoted comment, or advocated a discriminatory policy. In fact, we libertarians don’t view people as members of groups. We judge people on the content of their character, not the color of their skin. We see people as individuals. Libertarianism and collectivism (racism, sexism) are polar opposites.
If there was ANY audio or video of Ron Paul–oh, I don’t know–calling Barack Obama “clean and articulate” for a black guy (like Joe Biden) or saying Barack Obama is appealing because he’s a light-skinned black who can switch in and out of black dialect at will (like Harry Reid), don’t you think we would have heard it by now?
Let’s contrast Ron Paul’s views on racism with these choice comments by DNC-media darling The Reverend Al Sharpton, in a speech at King’s College:
“White folks was in the caves while we [blacks] was building empires … We built pyramids before Donald Trump ever knew what architecture was … we taught philosophy and astrology and mathematics before Socrates and them Greek homos ever got around to it.”
Wow! Racism AND homophobia in one sentence. Way to go, Reverend Al!
Later in the same speech, Reverend Al gave some background on America’s founders, whom he described as “the worst criminals, the rejects they sent from Europe and sent them to the colonies.”…“So [if] some cracker,” he continued, “come and tell you ‘Well my mother and father blood go back to the Mayflower,’ you better hold you pocket. That ain’t nothing to be proud of, that means their forefathers was crooks.”
So, my 13-year-old ancestor, Mary Chilton, was a “crook” who was “sent” here? Gosh, I thought the Pilgrims came here because they were fleeing religious persecution. I guess that shows you what I know about my own family tree!
This is what real-live racism smells like, Bridget. This is the real deal in all its disgusting “glory.”
But because he’s a Democrat–and a liberal one at that–a real live in-your-face, caught-on-video racist like Al Sharpton doesn’t just get a free pass from the media…he gets his own TV show on MSNBC!
That’s right…if you’re a Republican, you can be accused of RAAAAAACISM and anti-Semitism and burned at the stake by the DNC-controlled media for words you didn’t even say and don’t believe…despite a complete lack of evidence…despite the fact that your heroes are Dr. Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, Gandhi, and Jewish economists Murray Rothbard and Ludwig von Mises and despite a 35 year track record of voting against racism and collectivism in all its forms.
But if you’re an authentic, confirmed, proven, on-the-record Jew-hating, cracker-hating racist whose words caused a riot that killed a few people in a Jewish-owned clothing store in Brooklyn, you get your own TV show.
I have some serious questions for you, Bridget.
Are you really going to allow yourself to be manipulated by the same DNC-controlled media who destroyed Sarah Palin’s character because she “could see Russia from her house?”
Are you going to believe the same DNC-controlled media who smeared Newt Gingrich by reporting that he “served his dying wife divorce papers in her hospital bed?”
Are you going to believe the same DNC-controlled media who took down Herman Cain with completely manufactured charges of “sexual harassment?”
Are you going to believe the same DNC-controlled media who claimed that Kevin DuJan was “rigging the votes for Bristol Palin” on Dancing With the Stars?
If there was any video or audio of Ron Paul saying anything even remotely questionable, don’t you think it would be starring in a Mittens Romney commercial already? Don’t you think you would have seen it in any of Ron Paul’s 12 congressional campaigns or his two previous presidential campaigns? He has been elected to office 12 times from a district that is approaching 40% minority population.
Do you think a district that’s nearly 40% minority would elect Ron Paul to Congress 12 times if they thought he was a racist?
Bridget, if you think Ron Paul is a racist, it’s because you’ve been played, and the DNC-controlled media and Cocktail Party GOP are counting on the fact that you won’t make any effort to discover the truth for yourself.
I respectfully request that you examine the links I’ve provided and look at this smear campaign with an open mind.
Last week, someone posted in the comment section of one of the Hillbuzz articles that we had turned into a Ron Paul site so I thought I would chime in and make a correction. I am not a fan of Ron Paul. I have never taken him seriously as a GOP contender and always just thought of him as an annoying distraction. Until now. If the polls are to be believed, he could very well win Iowa. Disturbing. It would most likely end there for him (hopefully) but it does make you sit up and take a healthier look at him and what he believes and some very disturbing things are bobbing to the surface. Like any candidate that is taking a lead in the polls…media scrutiny is part of the territory. I have to say that I agree with his general theory that less government is ideal. I know that Ron Paul wants to get rid of many (or most) of the government agencies and for that I applaud him but his foreign policy views scare the hell out of me. Islam is a very big threat to the United States…Iran is a very big threat to the United States…we can’t ignore them and leave them alone. A nuclear attack from Iran would change life as we know it. Like it or not, the world counts on us… and our current president wants to weaken us to the point that we are no longer able to protect those who want to live free. In the words of the great Ronald Reagan…
“You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We will preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we will sentence them to take the first step into a thousand years of darkness. If we fail, at least let our children and our children’s children say of us we justified our brief moment here. We did all that could be done.”
So, like all the other candidates, Ron Paul is having to answer questions about his past and there’s plenty of skeletons to dig out of his closet. Here are a few things you may (or may not) know about Congressman Paul.
1. Did you know that Ron Paul endorsed Cynthia McKinney in 2008 as the Green Party candidate? Yep…you read that right. Instead of endorsing McCain/Palin (or remaining silent) he actually endorsed one of the looniest humans to ever walk the Earth…Cynthia “I love Muammar Qaddafi” McKinney.
2. I know this has been covered on here before but did you know that Ron Paul thinks that Bradley Manning is a patriot? Yep…the Bradley Manning who gave stolen classified military documents to Wiki-leaks to be exposed to the world? How could an American presidential candidate actually voice support for someone who knowingly put our troops lives in danger?
3. Did you know that in the 70′s, 80′s and 90′s, Congressman Paul had a monthly newsletter called Ron Paul’s Freedom Report? This newsletter made very controversial anti-gay, anti-Semitic and anti-black statements. One newsletter claimed that gays were trying to infect other Americans with AIDS by compromising our blood supply. Another stated that order was established during the LA riots only because the blacks had to go pick up their welfare checks. Paul has tried to distance himself from the newsletters by saying that he did not write the articles but they were written in the first person (as if by him) with no other name in the byline and Mr. Paul profited over a million dollars from the newsletters. Whether he wrote all the newsletters or only some of them, he should have been aware of what was being written in his name. He has been given a free pass on these newsletters because no one has taken him seriously as a presidential candidate but in light of his poll numbers in Iowa…he has some explaining to do.
Whether you love Ron Paul or hate him…you have to ask this question…
If Ron Paul is so libertarian that he won’t even police people who use his name, if his movement is filled with incompetents and opportunists, then what kind of a president would he make? Would he even check in to see if his ideas are being implemented? Who would he appoint to Cabinet positions?
For the record…Kevin and I have discussed at great lengths the current GOP field and agree that currently Newt Gingrich would be the best man for the job (unless Sarah decides to jump in and save the day…how wonderful would that be?). Rick Perry is also a good man but may have done too much damage to himself during the debates to recover fully. We both were greatly disappointed by the demise of Herman Cain, who clearly was not ready for prime-time. I am almost completely burned out by this political roller coaster and we haven’t even begun the primaries yet. The people that I used to admire and respect (Charles Krauthammer, George Will, Ann Coulter, Nikki Haley etc.) have really let me down and have proven to all be establishment cocktail party hacks. I’m not sure where the Tea Party is in all of this mess. Who are they supporting? Have they made any statements? Will we be stuck with Romney? Will Ron Paul launch a 3rd party bid should he not be the GOP nominee or will he accept defeat so as not to damage his son Rand’s political career?
What are your thoughts?
Ashley Madison, an online hookup site dedicated to helping people cheat on their spouses, has endorsed GOP candidate Newt Gingrich, putting up a giant billboard with the headline,
Faithful Republican, Unfaithful Husband.
Again, you really can’t make this stuff up.
Very interesting comments by Sarah Palin on the GOP field going into Iowa.
Note: Clicking on the image will take you to a blog post on the Washington Post’s website, because the embed wasn’t working for this clip. Don’t read the blog post unless your blood pressure is too low this morning.
Ron Paul supporters crash, mock Newt Gingrich’s party
A group of Ron Paul supporters staged a satirical protest outside at least two Newt Gingrich events today, pretending to be ardent fans of the former House Speaker while holding signs that criticized his past positions and personal baggage.They call themselves the Party Crashers (or, they did, when asked if they had a name), and held signs with slogans including “Divorce Lawyers for Newt” and “TARP recipients.”
[...]The Party Crashers handed out constitutional report cards on which Gingrich earned an F in every single category “so that everybody knows if you really want to destroy the constitution, this is the man,” one girl explained.
Only Ron Paul got straight A’s, a rating the group joking insisted was actually a bad thing.
“We want a Washington insider,” a girl said.
“We like Freddie Mac,” said another.
“He’ll keep the ‘too big to fail’ alive, sucking the last life out of the treasury. And we know that he wants individual mandates,” added another.
“We want to see corruption not only continue, but increase,” insisted one girl.
“And the wars!” another woman chimed in. “We want Syria bombed. And Iran.”
[...]In a rare moment of seriousness, another Crasher criticized the former Speaker for not treating his supporters with respect. She noted that the Gingrich campaign had too many people to register for the event.
“They told all 1,200 people that they had seats, and that they just had to show up,” she said, though the venue seated only 650 people.
“We make sure we take care of the people who can take care of us,” she said. “We’re not dumb.”
With that exception, however, everyone the group stayed in character.
“He’s a dirty hippie,” said one girl, referring to a Paul supporter who was mentioned in conversation. “Ron Paul’s a dirty hippie,” she laughed.
Despite getting 25% of the airtime during the debate, and more questions than anyone else (which is odd, since he’s tied for second place in the polls, behind Gingrich), Mittens Romneycare did not have a good performance in Saturday night’s debate…at least, not according to Jon Stewart.
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c|
|Indecision 2012 – ABC News GOP Debate|
And here’s the really, really stupid unforced error-the $10,000 bet. Pay attention: this segment shows EXACTLY how the DNC-controlled media is going to tear down Mittens, Newt and Perry:
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c|
|Indecision 2012 – ABC News GOP Debate – Mitt Romney’s Bet|
LIVE BLOG TRANSCRIPT: The Newt Gingrich-Jon Huntsman Lincoln-Douglas Debate: today at 4pm EST/3pm CST in New Hampshire
What: A Lincoln-Douglas Debate between Newt Gingrich and Jon Huntsman
Where: St. Anselm College, New Hampshire
When: 4pm EST and 3pm CST Monday December 12th, 2012
How to watch: ?
I remember telling you a long time ago that I didn’t believe Herman Cain was serious about running for President because his campaign never reached out to anyone, took advantage of people who wanted to volunteer, or organized people to do anything to support him as a candidate. I was really disappointed in that at the time, because I personally (and many of my friends) would have happily volunteered for Cain — but his campaign never bothered to engage any of us, despite repeated attempts via phone and email to get in the Cain loop.
Well, I have to tell you that I am blown away by Newt Gingrich’s campaign organization. I got an email from someone in the campaign who had been monitoring our coverage of Gingrich here at HillBuzz.org. This person asked if I wanted to be on the email list to receive Gingrich’s weekly schedule so I could keep informed as to what the Speaker was doing and when. It was a very classy touch from his campaign, which I appreciate immensely today because otherwise I would have had no idea that the Speaker was debating Jon Huntsman — Lincoln/Douglas-style – in New Hampshire today at 4pm EST and 3pm CST.
The only failing in the email was that there was no link directing me how I can watch this debate online. That needs to always be included in these sort of email blasts, since millions of us no longer have TVs and use the Internet exclusively to watch video.
Newt Gingrich impressed me immensely in the debate on Saturday, and his campaign is impressing me with its emails. I love watching the Speaker debate and hope I’m able to catch his debate today somehow.
Do you know of a link where we can all watch this Lincoln-Douglas style debate streaming today?
If you give me one in comments below I will be able to do a live transcript of the debate for those who are at work and can’t watch it for themselves.
UPDATE: 1240pm CST It looks like CSPAN is going to run the debate, but 2 hours after it is over for some reason. Here are the links that I’ve found so far:
This site says that the debate will indeed be on CSPAN, at 6pm EST and 5pm CST.
Can anyone find a feed that’s running sooner than that?
UPDATE #2: 1250pm Thanks to readers for the heads-up that Jon Huntsman’s site will be live-streaming the debate, starting at 4pm EST and 3pm CST.
Here’s a direct link to watch the debate via Huntsman’s livestream: WATCH HERE
I have to say I am very impressed by Huntman’s campaign for doing this livestream. EVERY candidate should insist on having debate livestreams on THEIR sites, for every single debate. This way, a candidate’s supporters do not have to scramble to find feeds so they can listen to the debates.
If the campaigns were REALLY smart, they’d build the livestreams into some sort of a little box on a webpage where the campaign could live-blog transribe the debate as it goes…and the viewers would not be able to hide that feature. This way, the campaign could slant the debate the way it wants by highlighting what it wants to highlight in real time.
Every campaign is foolish beyond belief for not doing this and for allowing the agenda-driven media to haphazardly distribute access to these debates.
I support Newt Gingrich going into this debate, but I’m going to be watching the debate on Jon Huntsman’s site because Gingrich does not have a livestream feed setup on his site. As impressed as I am with Gingrich’s debating skills, he loses points today for not being smart enough to have secured a livestream for his own site.
Team Gingrich needs to remedy this for ALL future debates. Pronto.
Here’s a live blog transcript of the debate for those who couldn’t catch it:
257pm: Waiting for debate to start. Can’t believe I am actually on Huntsman2012.com. Can’t shake the thought that anything “Huntsman”.com sounds too much like “Manhunt.com”, which reminds me of just how much gay face Jon Huntsman most definitely has. What an unfortunate last name in the Internet age for anyone with even a passing knowledge of gay porn sites. I am very grateful for his campaign’s livestream though.
It looks like Gingrich is also holding a Town Hall at 7pm EST/6pm CST that CNN is going to carry. I’m going to try to watch that, too, if I can.
302pm CST: live feed is not working on either Huntsman’s site or on CNN.com. I’m not a technie, but how hard is it, really, to get things things to work properly and on time?
305pm CST: still no working stream. Seriously…if you are someone who knows anything about computers and video streams I bet you would make a FORTUNE setting up a company that would provide reliable streams of events like this. If you have the know-how, there is a clear need for YOU to do this. Think about it.
307pm: Someone just sent me this link to USTream, where supposedly we can see the debate: http://www.ustream.tv/jonhuntsman You have to watch a bunch of Disney commercials first.
309pm: FINALLY, I can see the stream. It’s a random man in New Hampshire introducing Gingrich and Huntsman. There are severe sound problems with this man’s mic, though, so the sound gets very quiet and then blares loudly at times. Huntsman comes out first and it appears he’s paid people to be there and cheer for him. It’s very apparent.
I really love this debate format. Two candidates at a table, with the chance to actually speak for an hour and a half.
GINGRICH OPENING STATEMENT: He’s known Huntsman for years. Gingrich gives Huntsman credit for serving as ambassador overseas to Singapore and to China. Says Huntsman’s wife is a very nice lady. Gingrich says today is a chance to have a good dialogue on trade, diplomacy, and national security.
HUNTSMAN OPENING STATEMENT: Says he’s honored to have Gingrich here and that his wife Callista is very nice. Huntsman says he appreciates people who like mayonnaise and warns people he has an accent that is hard to understand. Huntsman says he is thrilled to be in the discussion since no one would let him speak on Saturday at the debate so he’s thankful that Gingrich has given him some attention today. Huntsman said that he wants to strengthen his core and that he has no choice but to do that. He says that foreign policy should be led by economics and he says that terror is going to be part of the 21st Century. Huntsman said he wants the world to know what it means to be a friend and ally of the United States.
Afghanistan and Pakistan topic:
HUNTSMAN: We are 10 years into the War on Terror. Some families gave the ultimate sacrifice and deserve gratitude. We have achieved some important outcomes. It is not about nation building. It is about a counter terror initiative that we need to be involved in. We ran the Taliban from power (note: he pronounces words like this with that same annoying accentuation that Barack Obama does…not Taliban but TALLY-bahn, the way Obama says POCK-ee-STAHN instead of Pakistan). Huntsman says we’ve made progress, killed Osama bin Laden (once again, giving it great flourish), and we’d had elections there. Big problem is that Afghanistan is a tribal country and we don’t know how to run a tribal country. We can build infrastructure and create rule of law, but we can’t change these people. We have done as much as we can ever do and it’s time to leave so they can descend back into tribal chaos which is their destiny. Pakistan is a country that we only should have financial relations with. Pakistan is a gateway to different things. We’ve long run all sorts of clandestine operations through Pakistan. There is an Islamist group that really runs Pakistan, not the secular government. 180 million people with thriving Madrassa movement. Does our aid money there help America’s image there? It’s a transactinal relationship there. It’s a nuclear country and we don’t want Islamists to have those nukes. Huntsman wants to recognize our relationship is what it is there and aid money should be tied to outcomes and careful cooperation with the Pakistan government. Pakistan’s civilian government cannot control country.
GINGRICH: Tells a story about someone he knew from National Institutes of Health — about having five star hotels next to places where people have come in from the jungle. Pakistan is a bigger problem than anyone is willing to admit. If a year ago you had asked where bin Laden was, I would have said he was in a cave somewhere and not living in a large compound a mile away from the Pakistani military city. This was only possible because the Pakistani government was protecting him. Pakistan was angry with the people who helped us find bin Laden. What are the underlying lessons of all this. Across the region we have a much deeper, much more profound problem. Are we in the business of having a transactional relationship with the Afghan and Pakistani governments and we allow them to hurt us occasionally so that the civilian leaders keep hold of the tribes…or do we push modernity that would get rid of the tribes? We have no idea what’s going to come out of Egypt, Syria, Libya, etc. In 1947 we went into France and Italy and defeated the Communists who wanted to take over those countries. We don’t have a theory on what we are doing today. The Obama administration just issued terrorist training that should make no mention of Islam. It is a willful denial of reality. We are not stronger than we were 10 years ago. We are not safer than we were 10 years ago. Pakistan keeps producing nuclear weapons and we have no idea where those will go. Iran is close to having a nuke and they will use it. This is all very serious. A movement that recruits its own children to be suicide bombers is a movement who would use nuclear weapons in a heartbeat. It is a much deeper and longer crisis that needs new strategy to overcome.
HUNTSMAN: We need to be very careful as a nation in identifying what the core national security interests are in the world. We need to look at where we sit with Pakistan and Afghanistan. We need to worry about Pakistan losing its nuclear weapons. Pakistan is a failed nation state like North Korea. This is a training ground for terrorism. We need to analyze and put into perspective what it means to deal with the Pakistani people. We have to shore up the relationship we have with India. We need to help India broaden its links with the US to give us a hedge in the region. The largest democracy in the world with a billion people. They share our values. As tumult plays out in Afghanistan and Pakistan, Russia and China wants to play a role; the Chinese have never had a situation like this on their periphery. What happens when China decides to get involved? They’ve always relied on the US to do that. What happens when China starts?
GINGRICH: We have four needs: an American energy policy that expands our energy production (Iran just engaged in an exercise to close the Straits of Hormuz); if we are not the arsenal of Democracy there is no stability on planet; we need to liberate our intelligence capabilities — we rely on too much foreign intelligence; we need to have a national dialogue about a strategy to combat ALL of Islam. The Saudis have been the leading perpetrators of terror and hatred on the planet as the Iranians are on the Shia side.
GINGRICH: Are you are or are you not willing to accept an Iran with nuclear weapons? You need a regime change there. You can’t take out their weapons systems every four years because the world would not allow that. I read the original reports on WMDs. The CIA was YEARS OFF on the Soviet and Pakistani nukes. It’s baloney. The truth is that we don’t know when Iran will have the bomb. Iranians have been building facilities underground that have been built under mosques. To accurately take out the nuclear program is a fantasy, and it would have enormous civilian casualties. We need serious economic, political, and psychological actions against them. They import 40% of their gas. They have only one refinery. We can take them down if we wanted. Think of Pope John Paul II, Margaret Thatcher, and Ronald Reagan joining together to smartly destroy Communism. The Iranians have been at war with us for 30 years. They have a consistent pattern of being our enemies while Americans have tried pretending they weren’t. We need a regime change now and we should not tolerate an Iranian nuclear weapon.
HUNTSMAN: Iran is the transcendent issue of this decade. Afghanistan is not our future and neither is Iraq. The future is how we will meet the economic challenges of the Pacific century ahead. The transcendent threat of today is Iran. We forget we had a different relationship with them before 1979. A huge opportunity was missed in the “Persian Spring” in 2009. Instead, we keep attacking Israel and scratching our heads watching Libya. Iran is looking at North Korea: they have a few nukes and are untouchable. The mullahs want the credibility of a nuclear weapon. The US has to confront the reality of what to do. Can we live with a nuclear Iran. China and Russia have decided they can live with it, though the Chinese more so. Saudi Arabia and Turkey and Egypt will then go nuclear. This is an unsustainable situation in the Near East. Especially regarding Israel. All options should be on the table. We will have a talk with Israel in the next one to three years: we have enough intel to believe Iran has enough crude material and we want to know if the US is with us. We need to be able to stand up to address. All options need to be on the table. The mullahs need to know that all options are on the table. There should be no blue sky between us and Israel.
On topic of Israel:
GINGRICH: China does not care about Israel and wants to see the US weakened. China doesn’t care about anything but China. So China does not care what Iran does since Iran will not go to war with China. We need to understand that Israel realizes that a nuclear attack from Iran would be a new holocaust. It would be the end of Judaism. In December of 1994 I met with the Israelis and they told me that Iran is an existential threat to Israel…the reason Israel wants to clear the space wtih the “Palestinians” is because Israel needs to deal with Iran and the PLO is a distraction.
HUNTSMAN: There will be talk about additional sanctions with Iran but that will do no good at all. It won’t work because the mullahs want to go nuclear and China and Russia will not stop them. When you get to specifics of citing individuals, this is going to be the US doing things of our own devices. With respect to Israel, when you look longer term you must think how to improve the region. We have to see about enhancing that bilateral relationship. Syria is on the brink of disaster, a regime with Assad that does not have much support outside Lebanon and Iran. How do you put the pieces back together again. We have a free trade agreement with Israel. Take Iran off the table. Why the Arab Spring? Why are these events playing out? One, longstanding dictators who would not go away in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya. Second, real pockets of discontent with no improvements so people rose up. We need to pull the levers of economic power. We need to engage on investments. Israel provides an opportunity to have free trade agreements with the larger region. How do we bring stability, productivity, and accountability to a region that has none?
On the “Arab Spring”:
HUNTSMAN: You can’t predict history. We can’t pick sides yet. There is a lot of uncertainty that will play out in the world after these dictators. The Chinese are frightened by the changes, because they don’t know if economic regions that are impoverished in China will rise up too in a Jasmine Spring. We just don’t want to seem inconsistent with our values long term by picking winners in these uprisings too soon. Syria is different because it is a conduit of Iran for destabilization areas. It is thus a national security issue. We have to be conscious of how things go. While the breeze of change is blowing we have certainty with our relationship with Israel. We need to remind Israelis what it means to be a friend and ally of the United States. We can’t force or push the peace process. Why would Israel want to negotiate with Egypt and why should we force it. We need to be a facilitator like in the Madrid and Oslo Accords. We need to just present the context of a two state solution.
GINGRICH: 1. The way Obama got rid of Mubarek was heinous; we need people to see that US allies have staying power. The Iraq campaign would not have happened without Mubarek. Everyone else watches you. When an American president dumps an ally other allies get afraid. Obama was capricious and unceremonious. 2. It is a real problem to have such a crippled intelligence system. We don’t know who is doing what where. The number two source of anti American fighters is Libya but Congress has so crippled our intelligence systems that we have to rely on local sources and they all have agendas. 3. If you don’t have a strategic plan and don’t try to broadly shape the culture, you can’t succeed. Look at what we did in Europe and Japan after WWII. We need to translate books into Arabic so that these people can understand something other than the Koran and could read things other than what the mullahs give them. South Korea is a lively country and that didn’t happen overnight. As late as 1969 it was as poor as Ghana. You can’t create that if people are sending troops out every day. It took time to create this peace that led to prosperity.
HUNTSMAN: I can see my daughter falling asleep. She’s also my senior policy advisor and she’s nodding off.
GINGRICH: But she did it when I was speaking, in her defense.
Reducing the debt:
GINGRICH: The first priority of government should be to decide what the threats are and to deal with them, because you can’t have prosperity without that. You need to spend what you have to in order to deal with threats. I am a cheap hawk. I am big supporter of applying Six Sigma to all areas of government. We need to think about how quickly things change technologically. You should create the defense and foreign policy systems you need as inexpensively as you can. You can save $500 billion a year by modernizing government and giving young Americans personal health savings accounts. The richest country in the world can sustain what we need to do in defense but we do not have to break the budget. Obama is vastly spending more on entitlements than he is on defense.
HUNTSMAN: I have two sons in the Navy. There is a lot of debt in this country. Debt is a national security problem. If you want coming attractions on debt, look at Japan. Look at Europe. Italy. 120% debt to GDP. All spending programs need to be on the table. We’ve hit the point where everything has to be on the table. $700 Billion in defense needs to be looked at. For us it’s a function of priorities. Whatever we do on defense spending must follow a strategy to keep us safe. We need a strategy that fixes our core, gets our economy right, to have an economy that leads our foreign policy. We are securing places like Afghanistan and then China takes the mining contract. I want a strategy driven by economics and counter terrorism. As far as the eye can see we have a problem called terror. We have to be real about that. We need to be real when it comes to friends and allies. As we follow strategy we need to be smart enough to say that the Pentagon has a lot of waste in purchasing. We have NAV-C at 25,000 people producing a lot of ships a year. There has been a cost escalation that is not commiserate with actual increases in labor. We need to lift up the hood of the car and make some fixes.
GINGRICH: Defense spending needs to be looked at in terms of what you want to achieve. Look at Stuttgart Germany. We are sitting there out of habit. There is no more Soviet Union. Why is the African Headquarters of the US military in Stuttgart? Why are we still there? We study things for years to decide to study things for years. NASA currently has no vehicle to get to space because thousands and thousands of people are writing reports on what they would maybe want to do some day. The system is broken. We need a leaner management system than we have today.
HUNTSMAN: We have 700 bbases in 60 coutnries. We have 50,000 troops in Germany when the Russians are not coming anymore. We are not looking at a massive land war any time soon. The rise of Asia-Pacific is the rising militaries of the 21st Century. We need to be smart, to be a realist, and we need to rethink some of these bases around the world.
HUNTSMAN: The US-China relationship is the big thing for the 21st Century. What we need to be mindful of regarding China. 1. There will be elections here next year. China just has leadership changes, not elections. You need to stop and look at the Politburo. 7/9 of that is changing. The Fifth Generation is rising to power. They are hubristic and nationalistic. They don’t remember how bad it was under Mao. They have been ill-informed by blue sky and think there time has arrived and they can do no wrong. They have never been humbled. This is their world view. They think they are unstoppable. China’s economy is going down, inflation is up. There will be political uncertainty. A country going from 800 million farmers to just 200 million farmers, and that’s 600 million people wandering around putting stresses on the country. Where will they go? The risk profile for businesses might say that they no longer want factories in China. We need to bring those jobs back here and fix our competitive environment. Was various places today that think they can bring back a lot of brick buildings that lost their lives in risky environments. China is going to become risky and if we have a strategy to bring it back we can have a manufacturing renaissance here. We need a real dialogue with the Chinese about our complicated relationship. The US government needs to go in and hit all the issues at the time like China does. China is the best long term strategic thinkers and we are the best short term tactical thinkers. We need to create a relationship with China to lead the world. What are China’s priorities? Let’s solve the trade issues. Every issue in China impacts some other issue. That’s how things are there. By 2014 we will have running room in which we can put a relationship in place with China. They will be devoid of politics in 2013 because the changeover will have happened and we can bring stability to our peoples.
GINGRICH: Huntsman knows far more about China than I do, he is very very knowledgeable. The most important relationship in the next 50 years is between the American and the Chinese people. We cannot have the Chinese people see us as enemies. That’s different than the US and Chinese governments. By 2015 South Caroline will be less expensive for manufacturing than China is. There are military challenges for us. Look at a map. There are very short range fights in Europe. The Pacific is enormous. We need to rethink how to project power. Europe is very short legged and immediate. You must recapitalize and modernize to deal with China while being really good at counter terrorism. If you don’t fundamentally rethink what we are doing here, we cannot compete with China. If we are committed to being domestically stupid we cannot expect China to match us in that stupidity. Rebuilding American education and the arsenal of democracy is key; the failure of our students in math and science is a great threat than terrorism. Obama has things backwards. We do not hire the president to be a globe traveling purchasing agent, we hire him to be a salesman. We need to be thinking every morning of exports and trade agreements. We require great institutional change in Washington to allow us to remain the great power of the world.
HUNTSMAN: We need to take things out of Washington and Beijing. We need to get regular people together with their counterparts in China. The citizens of China are accessing the Internet to discover the world. The top bloggers in China have 120 million readers apiece. I visited Chinese language programs here in Bedford and talked to students in Chinese. We have to keep something going that allows access and opportunity. Our values change history.
Moderator: we got halfway through our ten points, but we are going to get closing statements now.
GINGRICH: I want to thank you all for doing this and thank Huntsman for being here. There are no GOTCHA! moments here. This is a sophisticated and candid dialogue. I want to thank this Governor. This is substantive. We are a country in enormous trouble. We just talk at a sophisticated level. We can’t solve these things in 30 second nutty reality shows. We need conversations. If I am the nominee I will challenge the President to seven three hour debates because this is so important.
HUNTSMAN: For the Speaker to become the nominee he will have to overcome my formidable operation on the ground here in New Hampshire. It is a great pleasure to be here. This is the window through which the rest of the country gets to see those who are running for the highest office in the land. These people have the chance to see the candidates up close. Maybe we can do another round up of this with other candidates. I can’t wait to compare and contrast this format with the Speaker in the Donald Trump debate in the next coming days. Don’t underestimate how the light of the United States shine on the rest of the world. We are still the envy of the rest of the world. We still project that. The world is a better place when America is strong. May a good Republican go on to win and may the first priority be to fix the core of this country because we deserve it.
Moderator: I bet you $10,000 that Obama would not show up to a series of these sorts of debates.
— End of the Debate —
GOP Debate sponsored by ABC “News,” local ABC affiliate WOI-TV, The Des Moines Register, Yahoo and the Republican Party of Iowa
TIME: 9:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m Eastern time tonight
LOCATION: Sheslow Auditorium, Drake University, Des Moines
CANDIDATES: Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Rick Perry, Mittens Romney and Rick Santorum.
SPINMEISTERS: ABC “News” anchors Diane “Republicans are Nazis” Sawyer and George “Obamatron” Stephanopoulos
WATCH: ABC-TV (check your local listings)
LIVE STREAM: http://www.DesMoinesRegister.com/caucus
All questions will be “gotcha” questions along the lines of “When did you stop beating your wife?”
Most debates up to now have arrayed the candidates onstage based on poll numbers. However, with Ron Paul in second place, the organizers will be forced to come up with a unique and unusual seating chart that puts him all the way on the end.
Mittens will get 75% of the questions and follow-ups.
Newt and Mittens will rip each other to shreds, and will be giving unlimited time to do so. Ron Paul will laugh inside, where it counts.
Ron Paul will get three questions total. Despite polling at #2 in Iowa and New Hampshire, Diane Sawyer will ask Dr. Paul when he is going to announce his third party campaign. The second question will be about Dr. Paul’s “nutty” statements that the U.S. shouldn’t tell Israel what her borders should be. And for his final question, George Snuffleupagus will ask Dr. Paul when he’s going to announce his third-party campaign.
Rick Perry will nod off, but will receive more questions than Bachmann, Santorum and Paul combined, even though his poll numbers are in the basement.
Michelle Bachmann and Rick Santorum will pile on to both Mittens and Newt, mainly about Obamacare. Rep. Bachmann will remind the crowd that she was born in Iowa. About 100 times.
UPDATE: Here’s a benchmark by which to judge the TelePrompTer-free performances by GOP candidates…
Two devastating videos in which establishment GOP candidates take themselves down with their own words.
I always knew Mittens Romneycare never met two contradictory positions he didn’t like, but I was shocked at how often Newt has flip-flopped.
I love watching Newt in the debates, and I love how he stands up to the JournoList media, but this is pretty damning…