Reidblog [The Reid Report blog]

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Tuesday, June 05, 2007
GOP debate redux
Liveblogging on ...

The GOPers are debating on CNN. They were asked to give a brief self-introduction. The best one: Mike Huckabee -

"I'm Mike Huckabee, former governor of Arkansas. I'm from a town called Hope. You might remember it. And I hope you'll give us another chance." Cute...

Worst: Rudy Giuliani - Paraphrasing: "I'm Rudy Giuliani -- vote for me or die..." (He actually said, "I like the motto of this state, 'live free or die." I think it's a good motto for our country...'

On a more substantive note, Giuliani followed Mitt Romney's feeble attempt to deflect Wolf Blitzer's question of whether he would invade Iraq today, knowing what we know now about how it's turned out (Mitt made no sense) by saying the invasion was "absolutely the right thing to do." The base will love it, but it will also end up in a campaign commercial should the unthinkable happen and he becomes the nominee.

Update 7:12 - How hard is it to remember Matthew Stanley? John McCain had to look at his paper twice to remember the name of a soldier killed in Iraq whose family he met with. Not good for a politician. Meanwhile, he can't seem to answer the question, if Gen. Petreus reports in September that the surge is not working, what then? McCain trotted out his tried and true, "they'll follow us home!" chestnut. In other words, he wants in until the last American dies, just like Bushie. ...

Tommy Thompson chimes in: if it ain't workin' divide Iraq! Somebody's been listening to Joe Biden...

Just a note: Thompson looks like he needs a shower...

Duncan Hunter looks like a grumpy security guard...

Oh, ok, Ron Paul is up. He says if no progress in September, we should bring our troops home. He added that it was a mistake to go in, and if you get a bad diagnosis, you change the treatment, saying we're less secure now than before we went in ... and you know what? He got applause. Clearly, this is not that rabid Fox News audience.

Mike Huckabee's head is too small for his body... sorry...

Tom Tancredo is saying the surge isn't working and he didn't support it. He says he "hopes to God" it works, but if it isn't by September, we need to tell the Iraqis the answer to the age old question, what have you given us? "A Republic, if you can keep it." Now keep it. Applause.

7:22 update: Mistake number one for Rudy. He just said we need to make it clear to Iran that it's unacceptable that they have nuclear power ... nuclear power??? Oh dear... He also added that we'd nuke Iraq to stop them from having ... nukes ... and he got his chance to throw in that "Islamist terrorists have been nabbed trying to ATTACK JFK AIRPORT!!! ATTACK FORT DIX!!! VOTE FOR ME GODDAMIT OR YOU'RE ALL GONNA FREAKING DIE!!!!!!!" Ahem...

What about you, Mormon guy? Should we nuke the Persians? "You don't take options off the table," says Guy Smiley. "You stand back and say, 'what's going on here...'" Huh??? Now he's saying we need to move the moderate Muslim world toward modernity with the help of our allies. Sounds like a Democrat, except that he just said the Democrats don't understand that there's a war on terror. Gulp...

7:25 - immigration time. Tancredo's up. He's asked about his vow to oust any Senator who supports the monstrous "reform" bill now winding its way through Congress, and the retort by senior NH Senator Judd Gregg that Tancredo is from the "no nothing" wing of the GOP. Tancredo is wearing a really cheap, ill fitting suit. I'll bet it was crafted by illegal immigrants...

Giuliani has called the bill a "typical Washington mess" that has "no organizing purpose." And what should that purpose be? Identify all aliens with a TAMPER PROOF I.D. CARD THAT MAKES SURE THEY'RE NOT TERRORISTS!!!! PHTTTPH!!!

Mitt Romney says his big problemo with the immigration bill is Z visa ... get it? "Z visa..."? Sorry, I know I should be taking this more seriously, and take it seriously I will...

McCain's turn: he starts by saying "I agree with Judd Greg" (ooh, no he didn't! Tancredo, he just called you a no nothing...!) McCain says that the bill is a national security bill. "For us to do nothing is silent and de facto amnesty. What we have done is what you've asked us to do, my friends, and that is, come together with the president ... sit down and figure out an approach to this problem." He adds that if someone has a better idea ... which caused all other hands on the dais to go up...

Rudy has managed to get a 9/11 or terrorism reference into every single one of his responses. He was just on a roll, saying the legislation is "typical Washington" in that it doesn't say in the text (he says he read all 400 pages) what McCain says is in it. He says there should be one form of ID, a national database, etc. Not unreasonable. And then he goes for the 9/11 reference and I immediately tune him out.

Duncan Hunter's up: cue the double fence!!!

I had to stop and Tivo a bit, so I'm running a scosh behind real time.

The first wire stories are coming in. The AP has this unfriendly headline:

McCain, Brownback never read Iraq report
I guess that kills that anti-Hillary ad. I wonder if snarky-ass Tucker Carlson will go after them the way he did Hillary. Newsflash: Few members of Congress read either the legislation in front of them, or the reports handed to them. Their staffs read it, and then they get briefed. Sad, but true.

I don't think Tommy Thompson's hair is real...

Ron Paul is getting only his second question. Does he still support the border fence? Paul says the fence was his "weakest reason" for voting for the Duncan Hunter bill previously signed into law. He says he supported the bill because of the rule of law, and the need to stop drawing people here and paying for their healthcare and education. He calls illegal immigrants the scapegoat for our failure to have a true market based economy.

Should English be the official language of the U.S.? No hands went up, but John McCain makes the point that his state, AZ, has made treaties with the Navajo, who speak their own language, and "that's okay." He uses his answer to reiterate that his bill isn't amnesty, and to thank Jeb Bush for his support. I'm thinking running mate...

I was just about to blog about Gov. Gilmore's "Rudy McRomney" retort, but Wolf just asked Rudy about the Rhode Island Bishop's equation of him with Pontius Pilate. Just as he began answering, a bolt of lightning struck the CNN sound system, BY WAY OF GOD...

Giuliani is saying he feels he has to make good government public policy decisions, consulting his views, but not having government impose those views on women. God is still striking down CNN's sound system. I take it as a sign.

There goes the lightning again ... every time Rudy opens his mouth to speak ... spooky...

Romney McFlipflop is justifying his change of mind on abortion. Interestingly enough ... no sound glitches ...

Update: Gov. Huckabee, who is an ordained minister, just finessed the hell out of his previous answer about whether he believes in evolution, saying that he believes the question was unfair, because he isn't "asking to write the science curriculum for an eighth grade textbook" and that knowing how long it took God to create the earth or mankind wouldn't make him a better or worse president. This guy hides being a religous fanatic nut job better than anybody I've ever seen!

Now it's wacky Brownback's turn. He sounds like a Sunday school teacher, but his suit fits him better than any of the other candidates. Brownback says we should "engage faith and reason." Okay, so does that mean you believe in evolution now?

McCain is saying students should be exposed to "all theories" of creation, not exclusively creationism. McCain says that he believes that God loves us. That's nice. I feel much better now.
Update: The candidates are asking questions about American dependence on Mideast oil and the GOP's close ties to Big Oil, this after Rudy Giuliani put another nail in his conservative coffin by saying he believes in global warming. Ron Paul was great on this question, giving a brief history of why we overthrew Mosedeq in Iraq in the 1950s -- because of oil. He pointed out that we shouldn't be so dependent on oil that we fight wars over it.

On gays in the military, Ron Paul and Mike Huckabee agree that homosexual conduct, like heterosexual conduct, is outlawed under the uniform code of military justice. No need to change existing policy.

Giuliani is asked to address the dismissal of gay linguists. Rudy says "this is not the time to deal with disruptive issues like this." Okay... he says that "in a time of war..." terrorism, war, blah blah blah... this isn't the right time to deal with this. We should "listen to our commanders." Sounds like Bush...

Romney: "in 1994, you were quoted as saying you advocated gays serving open and honestly in the military." Surprise, surprise, he's changed his mind. He says "I was wrong." and "this is not the time to change 'don't ask don't tell.'

McCain, same issue: "we have the best equipped, best trained military in the world and I'm proud of them. We just don't have enough of them. It would be a mistake to reopen the issue. The policy is working."

Anyone for open service? No takers.

Next question: Tommy Thompson, how would you use George W. Bush in your administration? Thompson says "I certainly would not send him to the United Nations...." pause for applause ... find that there is none ... resume answer awkwardly ... Thompson is now saying that GWB should be used speaking to young people about public service. So ... Bill Clinton and Bush Sr. get to travel the globe taking on AIDS, famine and natural disaster, and Dubya heads back to the classroom to read "My Pet Goat..." Damn.

Senator Brownback says former presidents should sit quietly in the corner and shut the hell up.

Tom Tancredo says some time ago, he got a call from Karl Rove saying that because of his criticism of the president, he shouldn't "darken the door of the Oval Office." Tancredo says that he has been so disappointed in the president, that he's afraid he would have to "tell the president the same thing Karl Rove told me." DAMN!!!

Mike Hukabee is answering "what happened to the GOP"? He says the party lost credibility because they didn't do what they were supposed to do, from corruption to Katrina, and that they "deserved to get beat" in 2006. He's using his answer to focus on GWB and the GOP's indifference to border security to score points.

Next topic: Pardon Scooter?

Duncan Hunter: you'd have to look at the transcript. You know what transcript he's looked at? Campeon and Ramos. Score an applause line for Duncan Hunter. He's now saying we need to "bring back the Reagan Democrats" by getting right on trade.

Yes or no: pardon Scooter? Paul: no, Gilmore: no, Hunter: no, Huckabee: no, McCain - says he's going through an appeal, he'd wait and see ... Rudy says the prosecution was "way out of line." He would wait for an appeal, but the "excessive punishment" favors a pardon. He's filibustering. The case is "incomprehensible." ... I think he says yes. Oh, God, now Mitt is filibustering. He says he didn't pardon anybody as governor so as not to overturn a jury. He says the prosecutor was dead wrong, and he's look into it. Brownback says yes. Tommy Thompson says he'd wait for the appeal. Tancfredo says yes.

Break time.

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posted by JReid @ 7:04 PM  
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"I am for enhanced interrogation. I don't believe waterboarding is torture... I'll do it. I'll do it for charity." -- Sean Hannity
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