Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Live Blogging the GOP Debate -- Giuliani Wins

Live from SC -- how nice that you can be the first state to secede, but still host the first presidential debates.

Iraq: The Maliki government keeps failing to meet deadlines. Why keep fighting?

McCain - he's a little blinky, but he's right about the fact that AQ will follow us home. It's in our national interest. Strong answer.

To Giuliani: is your commitment to win limitless? He cites Fort Dix to demonstrate that AQ will strike us at home if we leave them in Iraq -- but he does point out that this cell was not directed by Al Qaeda. We must not show weakness, he says. Strong answer.

Hunter: he says that the Iraqi troops are doing much better and can be rotated onto the battlefield to replace US troops. I don't know if I agree that chairing the Armed Services Committee prepares you to be Commander in Chief.

Iran question for Gilmore, from the internet. He says we need a united international approach. The American people must agree that Iran cannot have nuclear weapons. It may call for a tough decision.

How many candidates are there?

Romey says Washington is broken. We need leadership to reform the government. Sounds good. We need benchmarks in Washington. Sounds a little like Al Gore's 'Reinventing Government,' though.

McCain on why we must make the tax cuts permanent, and why we need to rein in spending. Tweaks the drunken sailor line... it's getting old.

For Huckabee on the AMT: enact a Fair Tax and put the IRS out of business. What's a fair tax? Is that a national sales tax? Apparently not, because it helps those at the bottom... Congress spends money like John Edwards in a beauty shop... funny, but people will accuse him of being a homophobe.

To Giuliani on the line item veto: why did NYC spending go up so much. Giuliani trots out the Gold Card: the Club for Growth seal of approval. And he did it in NYC. Not sure if Goler has his facts right, but this was in Giuliani's wheelhouse. Wants to attrit the federal civilian workforce by 50 percent.

Brownback plugs biofuels... yech. Plugs ANWR and conservation. We can do better. Wants to be 'Energy Secure.' I'll drink to that.

Thompson: name 3 federal programs you would cut. Thompson talks about all his vetoes as WI Governor, and the tax cuts. Wants agencies to prepare two draft budgets - one at 95% of current year, one at 100%. I only need the first one.

Ron Paul lists 3 Departments he'd eliminate. Makes Thompson's answer look weak.

Going to reduce the frequency of posts now...

Gilmore attacks candidates for not being real conservatives - but he won't name names. I don't expect to go to his website tomorrow to check. He should have said his piece tonight.

Hunter wants to give tax advantages to US companies. But they're illegal under WTO rules, so there will be penalties on US exports... doesn't sound all that great to me.

Grab a beer and come back to Chris Wallace...

Wallace asks Gilmore why he says that Romney, McCain and Giuliani are not real conservatives. Sounds like he flubbed his line on Giuliani though. And Wallace calls him on not naming names. Gilmore looks silly; why not mention them? So he does - attacking Romney, Giuliani, and Huckabee.

Giuliani takes it lightheartedly - good response. And he shifts to an attack on Hillary. Nice move. He wants to unite Republicans - effective.

But Wallace TOTALLY nails him - making him answer about being pro-choice and supporting Cuomo. Giuliani goes back to the George Will endorsement. His statement on abortion is pretty good - pro-choice, but I want to reduce abortions.

McCain-Feingold, stem cells, other issues - you haven't been all that conservative. Good line on 'blood relatives and paid staffers.' We need to act in bipartisan manner -- save it for the general. Turns to 'radical Islamic extremism.'

Huckabee with a good line about not getting attention when Gilmore attacks him. He says he got 94 tax cuts enacted - good for him.

Wallace goes after Romney as well. He supported the assault weapon ban... and talks about blue and black suits... says that he was as conservative as he could be in Massachusetts... Eh - ok

Brownback... gets dinged.

Goler gets specific to Thompson on stem cells. He says that they invented stem cells in Wisconsin. I thought only cheese was invented in WI. Oh wait - he says amniotic fluid was invented in Wisconsin as well. Take that Minnesota!

Giuliani on abortion - he sounds tremendously better when he speaks in generalities only. Much less space to trip up.

Huckabee... meanders. Something about how Islamic terrorists don't look for lost hikers.

Goler gives Brownback a 'Kitty Dukakis' question - about what he'd tell a rape victim who did not want to carry the child to term. Brownback gives a simple response - regardless of anything else, if the fetus is a child, then that child has done nothing wrong and deserves protection.

Wallace on immigration. He invites Tancredo to attack McCain, Giuliani and others. Tancredo slams McCain. Amusing line about conversions and the road to Des Moines. Thanks folks, I'll be here all week.

McCain says he would never support amnesty and he backs a bipartisan approach. He cleaves to Bush... not a great answer. But he turns it back to Islamic terrorists.

Wallace - have you pulled back from the immigration debate because it's bad politics? McCain says he's knee deep in it. And he will lead for results. The Senate better have a good bill...

Romney endorses the plan that Mickey Kaus hates - doesn't he? He attacks McCain-Kennedy. He says no special treatment for those here illegally. Sounds like he's flip-flopped though.

McCain doesn't like too much money in politics. He says he doesn't trim his sails for politics.

Giuliani liked illegal immigrants when he was Mayor. He thanks Tancredo for calling him soft -- good line. Giuliani wants a database... yech. He says he knows more about security than anyone on the stage. He wants a fence, a tamper-proof ID, and a way for 'people' to get into the database.

Hunter BUILT the border fence. He makes a big point of it. Did he really BUILD IT, or did he build it like Al Gore invented the internet? He loses me on the rest of the answer.

Ron Paul gives a terrible answer - about how the GOP is the party of ending wars. He wants us to be friends with people... Goler gives him a tough time about blaming the US for bringing on the attack.

10:05 Giuliani jumps in and b****slaps Paul - and says his explanation of 911 is absurd. He gets in Paul's face, and tells him to recant. Paul is thrown off balance. Giuliani took advantage of a nice opening and created a moment that will lead the highlights. He wins the debate.

Confederate flag... global warming... chewing up the clock.

Torturing terrorists at Gitmo? McCain 'would take responsibility.' He wpuld never use torture. It's about what kind of country we are.

Giuliani endorses 'every method they could think of' short of torture.

Romney rejects the Kobayashi Maru scenario. He wants to prevent the attacks. We can't close Gitmo. He won't use torture either - only enhanced interrogation techniques.

UN? Hell no! We're attacking whoever we need to attack. So say Brownback and Thompson - and Hunter. But he WOULD use torture. McCain opposes torture because then the bad guys would do nasty things to our servicemen and women. Glad we're avoiding that.

Gilmore chaired a commission... so he's all set to deal with 911. Huckabee is, too. His face is so boyish though...

Tancredo wants to call in Jack Bauer... good line

And it's a wrap...

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