South Carolina GOP Debate

What, no live blog? Let’s get one rolling!

8:00 Debate opens with a question about Newt Gingrich’s infidelity. Newt responds by attacking the press. None of the others want to touch the issue. Santorum comes the closest, but ultimately shy’s away by alluding to God’s forgiveness and such nonsense. The crowd eats up Gingrich’s attack on the press. If there’s anytthing that Republican crowds hate nearly as much as a black president, it’s the press.

8:20 Romney calls Obama a crony capitalist for not allowing GM to fail. GM just reported that it has regained its place as the most successful automaker in the world. It doesn’t matter. UAW. Obama should have let GM fail just to stick it to the unions.

8:25 So Ron Paul’s never heard of the G.I. bill. That’s interesting.

8:30 OMG… Newt Gingrich is channeling… ME? Excuse me while I go to shoot myself.

8:32 Mitt Romney is going to repeal Obamacare on DAY ONE… but not really.

Romney’s replacement for Obamacare? Insurance companies will not be allowed to deny you coverage for pre-existing conditions as long as you already have coverage.

8:40 Rick Santorum came loaded for bear on the Romneycare question. Yeah, it’s 50% statistics combined with 50% lies. A government run medical system in Massachussetts? Please! But this crowd is going to eat it up.

8:45 Mitt Romney defends Romnerycare. He’s foundering.

8:45 Ron Paul inadvertently reminds everyone that he praciticed as a doctor in a 100% socialized medical system. Doesn’t complain about. Seems proud, actually.

8:45 Ron Paul would pay for the wind-down of Medicare by eliminating our overseas commitments. This is why he scares the shit out of the Neo-cons.

Commercial break: as has happened in previous GOP debates, the crowds go nuts when Ron Paul calls for bringing the troops home. One wonders to what extent this is evidence of widespread disenchantment with the neo-con program among Republicans in general, or just skewed representation by Ron Paul’s super-committed followers. In any case, the Bill Kristol’s of the world have cause to worry.

8:50 Santorum isn’t flamboyant. Nice.

8:55 Santorum slams Gingrich on the congressional checking scandal. This is a new one. Not sure how much traction it’ll have though. Very inside baseball.

8:55 Romney seizes on Newt and Santorum’s squabbles to make the case that what America needs is an outsider. Smart move. He picked the right moment to make this argument.

9:00 Romney is on a roll. “You were speaker for 4 years, I was in business for 25. I’m not going to let you take credit for my 25 years in business.” Good line… for this crowd. Also “I never once thanked Washington.” Romney is doing a good job making his weaknesses his strengths among this crowd.

9:05 Mitt Romney is not going to release his taxes because he doesn’t want to give Obama ammunition to use against him. REALLY? This is Romney’s justification? “If I release my tax returns Obama will have plenty in there to destroy me with?” Wow. And the crowd doesn’t seem to buy it either.

9:10 Rick Santorum is going to tax big multinational businesses at 0%. He’ll tax small businesses 17%. Wait? What!?

9:10 Ron Paul = laissez faire

9:15 Crowd boos SOPA. Wow…

Against SOPA: Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, Santorum

For:… ???

No one is willing to put lipstick on that pig. The most interesting answer to the question is probably Ron Paul who boasts of being the first Republican to join with Democrats in opposing the law.

Rick Santorum is clearly the least opposed to the law, voicing the closes to a dissent among the group.

Gingrich’s answer, filled as it was with scorn for Hollywood was just shallow pandering to the crowd. More proof that the guy has no genuine core.

9:25 Romney: Barack Obama “believes government should run this country.”

Wait, and that’s a bad thing? One wonders who Mitt thinks should run this country (and should they do it in “quiet rooms”?)

9:30 Newt Gingrich favors a guest worker program but he would outsource it to Master Card… WTF?! This is clearly one of those zany Newt Gingrich ideas like putting school kids to work as junior janitors.

Mitt Romney (who just explained that his father was born in Mexico) says the immigration problem is simple: build a big assed fence.

Rick Santorum is the son of immigrants, but he’s still deport old ladies who’ve been in this country 25 years because his grandfather suffered, too.

Ron Paul weaves a convoluted back-story into an answer that somehow comes back to bringing the troops back home. Crowd goes nuts.

9:40 Mitt Romney “I’m not questioned on… integrity much.” LOL! Really?

Romney seems to think that if he repeats the phrase “Pro Life” as much as possible it’ll play with this crowd. Not really.

9:45 John King tries to pass Ron Paul over on the abortion question. The crowd boos him. A couple of points: (1) yes, Ron Paul has lots of fans at every event. (2) yes, no matter how well he polls, the press will never take Paul seriously as a GOP candidate. Justified? Dunno. Just a fact.

Closing Arguments

Ron Paul: South Carolina has a deep respect for freedom.

Me: Really? The state that’s never come to terms with slavery and the Civil War?

Newt Gingrich: “President Obama is te most dangerous president of our lifetimes.”

Proving that there’s no such thing as too much hysteria and hyperbole in a GOP debate.

The Rest: Meh… whatever.

Final Thoughts: OMG… did I really just do a two hour live blog? Nuts!

Technical Note: This entire live blog was composed on an HTC Flyer Android tablet and an iGo Bluetooth keyboard.

Take care everyone!


Mitt accuses Obama of “crony capitalism”. It’s gonna be a fun campaign.

Mitt: “I think that Ayn Smith was right.”

Nojo, not sure if you can take over, but feel free to. Gotta put the girls to bed, so there’ll be lacunae.

@Serolf Divad: I’m white-noising it while pinned down by hackwork, but I’ll comment if something grabs my attention.

George Romney grew up poor in Mexico? Can we get a fact-check on that?


I’ve got a feeling Romney’s definition of “poor” isn’t your and my definition of “poor.”

Mitt, asked what he would do different in his campaign: “I’d work to get 25 more votes in Iowa, that’s for sure.”


Did I just hear Mitt call for a national ID card? That will go over well.

@nojo: Either that or a Bain CapitalOne bank card. What’s in your wallet?

Mitt: “I’m not questioned on my character or integrity very often.”

Stay away from Twitter, dude.

Did somebody lose a post? Does somebody need a geek to rescue it?

@nojo: Managed to rescue it using the “back button!” LOL!

@nojo: He had barely 300 million pesos in his pocket.

@nojo: It’s true. And itinerant. He was by every measure an activist HUD chairman, too, under Nixon and would have been very comfortable in a Democratic administration.

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