What: GOP presidential debate on NBC
When: Sunday January 8th at 8am CST and 9am EST
Where: On NBC — livestream HERE for those without TVs
Who: Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Jon Huntsman, Rick Perry, Willard Mittens Romneycare, and the Fifth Dimensional imp named Luap nor! masterfully debate in the Granite State for the last time before the January 10th primary.
Live Blog Transcript begins at 0800am CST
Prior to the start of the debate, David Gregory from NBC has NH Senator Kelly Ayotte on for an interview. The Cocktail Party GOP establishment keeps pushing Ayotte as one of the “replacements” they want to put forward for Governor Sarah Palin…but there is just nothing to get excited over with this woman. Michele Bachmann is another example of this. Not every woman has the same skills and ability to fire people up — but the Cocktail Party thinks so little of remale conservatives that they think they are interchangeable and that they can get the same response from them that Governor Palin elicits from crowds. Ayotte seems like a nice person, but she’s a cure for insomnia to listen to and Bachmann became incredibly off-putting the more she focused on her attacks in the last few debates and the further she got from standing for anything. Just as not every male in Congress is an Allen West, not every woman in politics is a Sarah Palin. There are few stars in the GOP firmament but many wannabes that the Cocktail Party insists on foisting on the public.
804am CST — having trouble finding a feed of the debate. The links at MSNBC don’t work.
807am CST – multiple times on the MSNBC site there are places to click labeled LIVE VIDEO that go to blank pages. Yet again, the Party of Stupid that is the GOP has not guaranteed a place to watch these debates on the internet with a reliable feed. Ridiculous.
810am CST: Feed working. Finally. But we’ve missed the first ten minutes (NOTE: see end of transcript for the first ten minutes, as watched when the debate was archived).
GINGRICH: Hits Romneycare on “running for president since the 1990s”
ROMNEYCARE: Citizenship has always been on my mind. My father said, “Never get into politics if you have to win an election to pay the mortgage”. I never thought I would get involved in politics (despite the fact that my father and my mother both repeatedly ran for office for years). When I saw Ted Kennedy running, I knew that someone had to run against him. I didn’t have a ghost of a chance of winning against him. I was just happy that he had to take a mortgage out on his house to defeat me. I am in this race because I care about the country and I look as fresh and polished today as the day I rolled off the factory press at Mattel and was sealed in ForeverWare.
David Gregory: I want to get Dr. Paul into this to say something whacky. Let’s see if I can successfully bait him.
RON PAUL: I think this whole discussion is superficial and you are superficial. I’m a character with issues. I don’t see how we can do well against Obama who is a candidate who endorsed the mandates and who does not challenge our huge empire and our overseas spending. That’s how the Soviets came down. If we want to change things this is what we have to talk about. What I consider to be significant is what we really believe in.
Gregory: I’m going to trick you into saying your name backwards at some point in this debate and then you will POOF! back into the Fifth Dimension, Dr. Paul.
RON PAUL: I’d like to see you try, Yrogerg divaD.
RICK PERRY: Over here! Hey, I’m still in this race despite all conventional wisdom. You wanna ask me who can beat Obama? Who can invigorate the Tea Party? Well, shucks, I look down this line and see insiders. Obama has thrown gasoline on the fire but the bonfire was burning long before. The policies of spending of Wall Street and the DC insiders got us into this. We need someone who can lead the Tea Party movement back to what it was in 2010 and see that it was big spending Republicans in the House that helped the Left get us into this mess. I am that outsider.
ROMNEYCARE: You have my record as governor of Massachusetts. I had the opportunity after my last failed attempt at running for president to write a book. About a dozen people read that book. I rewrote parts of it after they read it because they didn’t like it. I wrote in that book that I have principles and was in business. I have seen a lot of government try to solve problems. I understand how the economy works. In fact, I wrote a book on it.
HUNTSMAN: I am most likely going to run third party as a spoiler to help Obama win a second term, no matter what I say here tonight. Doesn’t anyone find it odd that I left a very cushy ambassadorship in China to run for president in 2012 when I have no chance of winning the nomination? Why would anyone do that? If you think back to 2009 when I was made ambassador, Democrats and the media started talking then about me running for president and how formidable I would be as a candidate. I’m really in this debate to try to convince Ron Paul’s disgruntled supporters to join my third party effort when I start it up in a month or two. The goal is to use my immense wealth and my media-hyped appeal to Independents to combine with Ron Paul’s legions to steal just enough votes from the ultimate Republican nominees to squeak Obama to victory in several key battleground states. I’m not going to be a national third party candidate, but just one who wants to be a spoiler in a handful of states like Missouri, Ohio, Virginia and others. My reward for doing all of this is the promise Obama has made me to become Secretary of State in his second term. That is my real goal here. If you really think about all this, and think about the nonstop media love I am given (second only to Romneycare in such adoration), then you can piece it together that I am being setup to be the Ross Perot of 2012.
ROMNEYCARE: I think the decision to work for Obama is one that you took. I think the person who should most represent the party is not someone who called him a remarkable leader and then went to work for him.
HUNTSMAN: This nation is divided by thoughts like that. There is no trust left in the American people. We need to come together. I agree with the Meg Ryan plan. It looks at everything. There are no sacred cows. As president of the United States we are where we are. Let me just say that I will tell the upper income categories that there is mean testing, and I will not tie things to the GDP. If we think we can’t find efficiencies in the defense budget, I’d say I’ll have what she’s having.
SANTORUM: We can’t burden future generations with social security problems. It makes no sense to have a big tax on labor that makes things uncompetitive. We need to bloc grant food stamps back to the state. Housing programs etc. need to have work requirements and time limits. There are dependency programs that need to be transitional programs to move people out of poverty.
GINGRICH: The Ryan Wydan Bill allows people to choose. It is a substantial improvement to allow a transition from Medicare. I find it fascinating that the media has a fascination with pain. With theft alone we could save a trillion over ten years if the government were competent and the only people in pain would be crooks.
RICK PERRY: What are the three areas where you would make reductions: Department of Commerce, Energy, and Education that we would do away with. (big laughs because he remembered all three). Americans want to have a job and it’s not true that people are clamoring for Government to give them assistance. People need the dignity to take care of their families. That’s what people are looking for. I have the executive governing experience that others up here do not have.
[ Commercial Break ]
NOTE: It looks like the first 10 minutes of this debate — which I did not see because the stream was not working — included some good punches at Romneycare. When the feed started working, Gingrich was in the middle of hitting Romneycare for losing to Ted Kennedy in 1994 and then losing almost everything he ran for in the next 20 years — but still claiming he is not “a career politician”. This is the thing that makes me the most sick when Romneycare speaks. He keeps claiming he is “a businessman and not a politician” but he was in the business of running for elected office over and over again since 1994…but he lost more times than his father and mother lost when they tried to perpetually run for office themselves in the 1970s. I just can’t stand this about Romneycare, lying about being “a businessman not a politician” when he would have been in the Senate for 17 years if he hadn’t lost that election to Kennedy.
827am CST — end break
Talking about Medicare now
SANTORUM: I hear this all the time in this state. We should have the same kind of healthcare that members of Congress have. The federal government has a liability and puts things out there. If you want a more expensive plan you pay more and if you don’t you don’t. People should be free to make the choices that’s best for them in a healthcare plan.
Gregory: The Facebook is talking about taxes. There’s some guy named Grover Norquist that doesn’t like taxes. What you think?
ROMNEYCARE: I don’t know. The right course for Americans is to not raise taxes on Americans. You cannot continue to grow government you need to aim a shrink ray at the government. Stop the extraordinary spending. Cut that Obamacare and save $95 billion a year. With those entitlements don’t change Medicare and Social Security for retirees. You need to recognize for younger people that things will be different in the future.
HUNTSMAN: This is a silly format. I put tax reforms on the table. I call for what needs to be done. We are so chock full of loopholes and deductions. We have to phase out loopholes and say so long to corporate welfare and subsidies. We must prepare for competition.
GINGRICH: I think every president who works with the leader of the opposition knows they are trying to make them a one term president. Look at Tip O’Neil and Reagan. I wanted Bill Clinton to be a one term president. You have to at some time say that the country comes first. Let’s talk it through. I will tell you what we need and what we can’t do. We need to come together and talk it out. Look at the welfare reform I got and the four straight years of a balanced budget. It can be done with real leadership.
ROMNEYCARE: I was governor of a whole state. The legislature was Democrat. The Senate president told me that the people expected us to govern. I had a personal relationship with that man. Crises arose and I cut the spending and people had confidence in me in emergencies. Republicans and Democrats can go across the aisle because we have common interests and common ground and I can work with people to drive people to charter schools and I have records that show this.
RON PAUL: I demonstrate how out of touch the US government is. That’s the disgust that people have because they keep growing government. I work on the principle that freedom and the Constitution bring people together. We tell people to spend their money how they choose. Republicans are not all that well known for protecting privacy and personal liberties. We need to work our way out of social security. We need to attack overseas spending. We need to take a look at who got special benefits from the government.
Gregory: This country is polarized. How you change this?
SANTORUM: Congressman Paul has never really passed anything. He’s never been able to accomplish anything and has no track record because he has been out there on the margins. What Commander in Chief Paul could do is pull all our troops from overseas and destabilize the world. The Problem with Paul is that all the things people like about him he will never accomplish and the scary things he talks about he would do on Day One.
PAUL: We are running Woodrow Wilson’s foreign policy. Changing foreign policy is significant. We can’t stay in nation building. We have to change monetary policy too. Right now we are winning that battle. 75% of Americans say we ought to audit the Federal Reserve.
SANTORUM: Look at welfare reform and federal entitlements. I remember standing next to Daniel Patrick Moynihan and Ted Kennedy who claimed welfare reform was the end of civilization. I said that not believing in people is the problem. I was able to work together and paint a vision to end a federal program and put time limits on welfare. We compromised on some things like transporation and daycare. Poverty is not a disability. We need to help people transition. We got welfare reform passed.
HUNTSMAN: It all comes down to Trust. Simpson Bowles lands in the garbage can. The first press conference I had in 2004 was about term limits and campaign finance reform and how bad lobbyists are. I believe I want to roam around the country and generate enthusiasm to bring term limits to congress and get rid of lobbyists.
Gregory: New Hampshire is an independent place. Where you going to buck your party?
RICK PERRY: I want to talk about the spending that went on in the 2000s. Dr. Paul says the biggest problem facing the country is overseas. No, it’s the Congress that’s out of control with spending. An outsider is needed not an insider. These people have been part of the problem. Two things need to occur. Put term limits in. Get a part time Congress. Cut their pay, send them back to their districts. Live under the laws you pass and then get a balanced budget amendment. There is a bunch of people who say they are conservatives but their records don’t follow up on that.
[ Commercial Break ]
NOTE: It’s really striking that the audience ignores Rick Perry. In that last bit from him, he made a lot of points that you would think people in New Hampshire would enjoy. But there was just stone cold silence when he spoke, as if they didn’t want to encourage his presence by clapping. That’s unusual because there was clapping for other candidates — just not Perry. It’s a damn shame this man bungled his campaign so badly because he says the best things of anyone on the stage, but he has just established such a bad rep for himself that no one pays him any attention.
He had a good laugh when he mocked himself with the “Cabinet positions” joke earlier in the debate…but why keep reminding people of that stumble from the “53 seconds” debate?
845am CST — return
Questions are coming from the NH Newspaper people now.
HUNTSMAN: We have people in need who suffer. We have challenges. We need to confront things headon. We need to move towards energy independence. We need to look at the distribution bias that favors oil. We have a multiplicity of products. I want to do to oil what they did to broadcast communication. We need to blow it apart. All products getting to the customer need to be disrupted like a monopoly.
RON PAUL: Subsidies per se are bad economic policy. Do not transfer money from one group to another. Deregulate. Supply and demand is what people know about. People forget about transactions having monetary units. When you create a lot of money then prices go up. There’s education and medical care and housing. When you subsidize people it is bad economic policy. It is not a good way to find answers.
Gregory: What about social security nets and austerity?
ROMNEYCARE: We do not need a federal government saying it will solve poverty across the country. Each state is different. Send it back to the states and let states craft programs to deal with that. Medicaid, heating oil support, food stamps. You have massive overhead and bureaucrats administering them. The government keeps building program after program. Get the money back to the states and let them care for people as they think best.
Romneycare is asked about things he said in a gay newspaper in 1993.
ROMNEYCARE: Andy, as you know, I don’t discriminate. I had a gay in my Cabinet and I had gays on the bench. I did not discriminate in hiring. I said to the gay community that I do not favor same sex marriage. I will not discriminate against gays. You will not find that in me. Right now is the last time I spoke about increasing gay rights.
SANTORUM: What? What is the question? I am a voice for speaking out that every person in America is treated with dignity and has the same opportunities. I do not agree with the gay community in changing marriage and adoption rules. Remember James Madison and how he wanted people to be heard and just because you don’t agree with someone’s desire to change the laws it doesn’t mean you don’t like them. I use a respectful tone. We may not agree, but we leave it open to the public. I would love a gay son as much as I did before I knew and I would do all I can to be as good a father to him as possible.
RICK PERRY: Jim DeMint’s legislation to repeal the legislation forcing people to be right to work. The way you rehabilitate this country is on the regulatory side and pulling legislation that kills jobs. If it kills jobs then pull it. I am a right to work guy. If you pass the right to work legislation you become a magnet for jobs. (cheers and claps at that).
ROMNEYCARE: Carpenters’ unions train people for jobs. Let me just say this about unions: right to work legislation makes a lot of sense for New Hampshire and the nation. We need to pull back the political power of the government unions. We need to tie government pay to the private sector. We should not pay government workers more than the private sector.
SANTORUM: Pennsylvania was not a right to work state. We need to work with the labor unions like they are businesses in the community.
[ Commercial break ]
900am CST — back from commercial
GINGRICH: The long term answer to four dollar heating oil is to open lands to oil and gas. Make supply and demand work for us not against us. Obama is killing jobs and raising the price of heating oil and gasoline. The right president opening up the development of energy creates jobs, heating oil, and more revenue from the government. People get happier all around. That is what supply side economics is all about.
ROMNEYCARE: I don’t blame Obama for the recession and the decline I blame him for keeping it going. Businesses feel they are under attack. Obamacare stacks the NLRB with stooges and Obamacare is scaring businesses with mandates and then there’s Dodd Frank making it hard to make loans. Obama has been anti investment, anti jobs, anti business. You need to recognize that the role of government is not just to catch bad guys but to encourage the good guys.
NH newspaper asking about Kelly Ayotte and how she was talking about NH being a tailpipe on emissions coming from Massachusetts and upsetting people in New Hampshire.
ROMNEYCARE: I am not familiar with this. We have a responsibility to keep the air clean and not have one state sending pollution into another state. We need to get the emissions from power plants down. The big opportunity here is not a new distribution system but there is tons of natural gas in this country. It is cheap and a fraction of the cost of oil. We need more natural gas systems to take advantage of this new source of economic strength.
905am CST: Feed cut out
Picks up with NH newspaper man talking something about EPA
GINGRICH: The EPA is increasingly radical and agenda driven. The EPA shuts things down and doesn’t know why. In Iowa there was a dust regulation. They were worried that the plowing of a corn field would lead to dust on another farm. They thought that maybe they should water the desert to prevent dust storms. You need a new agency that is practical and has common sense and incentivizes change not punishes it.
NH newspaper man talks about John McCain and asks what people think of him.
RICK PERRY: We have a president who is a socialist. We are not a socialist country. I disagree with anyone who says that Obama reflects our founding fathers. I am a tenth amendment believing governor. We need to push things back to the states. The states will do a better job than a one size fits all Washington DC.
Gregory: Is Obama a socialist?
SANTORUM: We need funding mechanisms. I fought for health savings accounts. I am transforming things from the bottom up. I am not advancing socialism. I just talked about health savings accounts as an anti socialist idea. We structure Medicare Part D to be a premium support model. We should have paid for it though.
RON PAUL: Entitlements are not right. I don’t like the term gay rights or womens rights or religious rights. We have just a right to liberty. For too long we punish rights. Affirmative action is wrong. No one is entitled to take things from someone else. There is a lot of good intention to help poor people but the entitlement system is run by the military industrial system and the banks.
Gregory: Ok, Congressman Paul, that’s enough.
HUNTSMAN: We are fulfilling our citizenry to live out our founding documents. I have done 160 plus public events in this state. I take it seriously. I want you to take my leadership seriously. Everyone is talking about gays and unions. People want a leader who will unify and bring people together. Project a vision for a more hopeful tomorrow. I will attack the trust deficit so that people are not corroded in this nation.
[ Commercial break…and then a final round of questions ]
916am CST — back from break
SANTORUM: Iran is a theocracy with deeply embedded beliefs that the afterlife is better than this life and that the principle virtue of Iranians is to die for Allah. A nuclear weapon would be used by Iran. Pakistan is not a theocracy. We are hopeful about maintaining a secular state in Pakistan. We have some real serious problems with the Pakistani military. The reason is we have a president who is really weak and not respected.
GINGRICH: Is being asked about the Super PACs hitting Gingrich in Iowa and how Gingrich thinks Romneycare is a liar. I am consistent because you ought to have fact based campaigns. If you look at Romneycare’s record, Bain Capital looted companies and left behind hundreds of unemployed people. One of the ads I complained about in Iowa got four Pinocchios for all its lies. Romneycare I wish you would calmly state that it is your aids and staff running that PAC.
ROMNEYCARE: I don’t direct those ads. But of course there are people who support me. You were forced out of the Speakership and you sat on that couch with Nancy Pelosi and you called Paul Ryan’s plan a right wing social engineering plan. You were part of an ethics investigation. Those things were all true. Anything wrong I was opposed to. You ain’t a bean bag and you have rhetoric that is over the top.
GINGRICH: My rhetoric is over the top but your ads are fine?
ROMNEYCARE: Those are Super PACs and I am not directing them. You are over the top not me.
GINGRICH: Come on. I am glad that weeks later he has said that if they are wrong then take them down. I am taking his advice. We started to run his commercial from 1994. It takes broad shoulders to run. There is a movie coming out. I hope it runs an accurate movie about Bain Capital. I hope it is totally accurate and people can decide for themselves.
SANTORUM: I have written a book in response to Hillary Clinton’s It Takes A Village and I called my book It Takes A Family. It is five times harder for a single family to do things. The Working Institute has a study and it says there is a 2% chance of being in poverty for people who are married. Why aren’t people talking about that? There are things that we know work and are good for society. Obama requires people not to talk about marriage and he has a secular ideology against our traditions.
RON PAUL: I preach the gospel of Liberty. Our founders understood what Liberty meant. We have a right to life and the fruits of our labor. We need to understand what sound money is about and what national defense means. We need to defend liberty and more liberty.
[ Commercial break and then closing moments ]
NOTE: I feel bad for Rick Perry. He didn’t even get to talk in that last round.
Would love to see Gingrich really go “Newtular” on Romneycare. He keeps promising to do that, but then it never happens. Can’t wait to see what that movie is about that Gingrich keeps talking about.
Gregory: I want to thank the candidates and thank you for watching. Be sure to watch the primary coverage on Tuesday.
Note: that really sucks…it’s over, and Perry didn’t even get a last statement. They really screwed him over on this.
I can’t decide who is worse at moderating debates: ABC or NBC.
The Republican Party is the Party of Stupid for not grooming and fielding a professional debate moderating team from conservative ranks that would handle debates like these. Consistent moderators. a stable and reliable livestream internet feed, a format that is more like Lincoln-Douglas that allows for substantive answers…no more than three candidates on the stage at the same time so everyone can speak and express him or herself. THAT would make the debates really important and engaging to watch.
[ NOTE: I can see the first ten minutes of the debate now…so below you will find that transcript ]
David Gregory explains the rules and says some questions come from Facebook users (oh, great). Gregory thanks the candidates for waking up early and debating each other every ten hours (the last debate was last night at 9pm and now they are back at 9am for another debate).
The first question goes to Gingrich and he is asked why Romneycare should not be the nominee.
GINGRICH: President Obama is going to have a very hard re-election effort. But I do think
ROMNEYCARE: I created more jobs in Massachusetts than Obama created in the whole country. I got the police in Massachusetts to enforce the immigration rules. Nikki Haley and Chris Christie and Kelly Ayotte all support me. Obama is a lifetime politician and I am not a lifelong politician. I proved time and again that I can lead. I am a leader and Obama is not a leader.
SANTORUM: If his record was so great why not run for re-election? Why bail out? I fought the fight. Romneycare didn’t do that. I ran for re-election in a 71% Democrat district. It was a hard campaign. My district was more Democrat than Massachusetts. I ran in 1994 in Pennsylvania. Romneycare lost by almost 20 points in 1994. He said he was going to be to the left of Ted Kennedy on things.
ROMNEYCARE: I am not going into all that. I think it is unusual that people who spend their whole lives in politics think that is all people want to do. I went to Massachusetts to make a difference. I did what I wanted to do. I pursued things and then didn’t do other things. Running again would have been about me. I decided to go into business. It is my time Rick and don’t interrupt me. This for me, politics, is not a career. My career was being in business. My career, my family, my country. I long for the day when people would serve and then go home and not stay in Washington for 20 years. I want term limits. I don’t want people to go to Washington and then stay there forever.
GINGRICH: I see the red light doesn’t mean anythign to you because you are the frontrunner. You dropped out of office while preparing to run for president. You were out of state consistently. You lost to McCain like you lost to Kennedy. This idea that citizenship suddenly came in your mind is ridiculous. You have been running for president since the 1990s.
— this catches us up with where the transcript started above…so we didn’t really miss that many great punches in those first ten minutes.
© 2012, Kevin DuJan. All rights reserved.
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