This one will be sans Thompson, who will be the ninth contender, as of tonight when he announces on Leno and his website. Here is his ad that will be running at the beginning of the debate tonight:
For those of you that are peeved that your questions will be unanswered by Fred tonight, he has a fix: he will answer them on his blog. Captain Ed has the details.
Welcoming Fred Thompson to the race
9:04 pm: Huckabee sarcastically says he was invited to be on Leno but he’d rather be in New Hampshire.
9:05 pm: McCain says perhaps it’s past Fred’s bedtime. Wisely recognizes the people of NH expect to see you.
9:06: Romney asks Fred, “Why the hurry? Take some more time.” Showcases his 462 events between NH and Iowa this year.
9:07: Giuliani mentions that Fred does a pretty good job of playing his role on Law & Order. Correctly points out that top three Democrat candidates have never run a country, state, or even a city.
9:09: Romney conveys desire to eliminate amnesty and crackdown on employers.
9:10: Giuliani talks about his programs in NYC to help illegal aliens that were victims of crime.
9:12: McCain recognizes American people have lost trust in politicians. Focus on border security first and employ a temporary worker program.
9:14: Huckabee acknowledges history of immigration problem. Notes that UPS and FedEx do a better job of tracking packages into this country. American people might trust them if someone does not fix the problem.
9:16: Tancredo blasts other candidates for being silent on this issue until now. Wants to see more than rhetoric. Passionate answer. This is probably his only chance to shine. Too bad he only had one minute.
9:18: Hunter talks about his fence. If someone makes it over, they need to be on the Olympic team. Commits to complete 864 miles of fence in 6 months.
Viewer question: Crime is out of control. Who will make illegals already here follow laws?
9:20: Giuliani used to turn the names over to ICE. No one was deported. We have to stop them from coming in. Physical fence not enough. Need a technical fence (motion detectors). Need an id card. Other countries have them.
9:22: McCain says amnesty means forgiveness. Our program is not that. Uhh, yes it was. Your temporary worker program was far too forgiving.
9:23: Romney notes that the Z portion of the bill would allow any illegal in the country today to gain permanent worker status. It also promoted easy ways for employers to hire illegals.
9:24: Brownback believes he should stick to his decision to resign. Believes party should still run on family values. He’s right. One sour apple, while sour, does not ruin the bushel.
9:26: Tancredo says he should resign too. That’s what Republicans do. If they have a problem like this, they leave.
9:27: Romney wishes America did not have abortion. Believes Roe should be overturned and the decision go the states. It is without question, murder, the taking of a life.
9:28: Huckabee would like to see a recognition that life begins at conception. Every human life has value.
9:30: Giuliani notes that NYC was the safest large city while he was mayor. States have a right to decide to allow college students to carry guns. Reduced shootings by 79% by focusing not on gun control, but on criminals.
9:32: Paul favors airlines being in control of safety on air planes. Other private industry protects their business and clientèle on a daily basis. Would have reduced chances of 9/11 happening.
Viewer question: Should there be a Constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage?
Brownback: Absolutely. This is a cornerstone of humanity. In other words, it’s a moral issue that is trying be forced on Americans politically. Like trying to fit a square peg in a circle hole. Notes that 80% of children are born out of wedlock in countries that embraced a “marry-who-you-love” stance.
McCain: Giuliani did a good job during 9/11, but that does not translate to experience for running the military. I know how military strategy works.
Giuliani: If I wasn’t running I’d probably be supporting McCain. Huh? Doesn’t add up. Drones on about achievements running NYC. Goes past bell for third time.
Romney: Doesn’t have a time frame for troops in Iraq. Supports Bush’s plan and surge. We all hope for a pull-back and support mode for Iraq, but we can’t do that until we achieve enough safety there.
McCain: The surge is working. The vote in the middle of September will determine if it continues to work or fails. I want them home, but for the right reasons. I want them home with honor.
Paul: Only anti-war candidate running. Calls it the “real conservative position” ??? Repeats outlandish statement that we caused 9/11 by having troops in Saudi Arabia. Bring troops home and defend this country.
Chris Wallace: So we need to take our marching orders from al-Qaeda?
Paul: No, blah, blah, blah, we need to defend this country. Uhh, Ron, we are.
Brownback: Offers a political answer for post-war by establishing a separate Sunni state in the west. Still same country. Different state. Will help compliment what our troops have done there.
This was probably the most interesting part of the debate and worth a video:
Huckabee: We must continue the surge. If you break something, you fix it. We broke Iraq and need to fix it. Gives props to McCain because he understands honor more than the rest of us.
Paul: The American people did not make the decision. Our foreign policy was hijacked. Applause.
Huckabee: Going at it with Paul now. We are the United States. We decide as such. Louder applause.
Paul: Really digging and trying to stay afloat. How many more lives do we need to lose to save face?
Hunter: Reminds us that troops are watching over there. Attacks down 80% in toughest provinces (Fallujah etc). Civilian casualties down 74%. 129 battalions of Iraqis being trained now to rotate in and replace Americans.
Tancredo: The war is not in Iraq. It’s against radical Islam. Just happens to be on Iraq’s battlefield for now. It won’t end with our departure. They didn’t attack on 9/11 because we had troops in Saudi Arabia. They attacked because they hate us.
Viewer Question: How can we end the war so we win as well as Iraq? Also, you shouldn’t have compared your son’s efforts to get you elected to my son’s service in Iraq.
Romney: People who serve their country are an elite group and there is no comparison. We need a global strategy to overcome jihad. Says surge “appears” successful. Believes it is, but will withhold endorsement until after Petreaus’ report.
10:01: Romney will not wiretap without judge’s order. Focus on preventing an attack. If it means going into a mos
que or a church, we’ll do it. Most important civil liberty is safety.
10:02: Tancredo says waterboarding is not torture. All other duties pale in comparison to that of safety.
10:03: McCain says any information gained from torture does not outweigh the damage done to America’s reputation.
10:05: We can’t close GB because no country wants them. Reality that liberals seem to ignore. Asks when has a nation ever won a war by debating when to retreat.
10:06: Tancredo says we have sent back some prisoners from Gitmo then later picked up with a gun in their hand. They have tax-funded prayer rugs, 5 prayers a day, gained weight, and they live in a place where no one has ever been murdered.
Taxes and Spending
10:09: McCain opposes tax increases. Increase in revenue is direct result of tax cuts. Proposed to cut taxes and spending, but congress didn’t agree with him on spending. Will veto every pork bill that hits his desk. Does not need to sign the tax pledge that 6 other candidates have because his record stands for himself.
10:12: Brownback has his record too, but signed the pledge to communicate to the American people that they don’t need any more taxes.
10:13: Giuliani (other person to not sign the pledge). Take one pledge: uphold the Constitution. Intention to lower taxes. Did it 23 different taxes in a city that had never had a cut and increased revenue.
10:14: Romney lowered taxes in Mass, despite Democrat leadership’s desire to raise them.
10:16: Huckabee says Bush’s Tax Panel did not look at the true Fair Tax plan. Fair tax plan would be 23%. Bush’s Tax Panel says it would need to be 34%.
10:18: Paul would eliminate the IRS, FBI, Homeland Security. Without intelligent people to interpret intelligence, it does no good.
10:20: Viewer Question: Family values is lead by example, not talked about. How do you respond, Rudy?
10:21: Giuliani says he’s not running as a perfect candidate. He’s running as a human being. A highly successful one. Issues in private life do not affect performance. Not a good thing to say to values voters such as this college-aged questioner who is likely left unsatisfied by that answer.
Scenario: Iran’s nuclear program is advancing. Inspectors say they can produce weapons. Iran makes inspectors leave country. UN Security Council has imposed some sanctions on Iran. What do you do?
10:27: Paul says US President does not have authority to go to war. Congress gives it to him. We don’t need to look for ways to attack. Ought to be talking about how to get along. Someone please wake this guy up. He belongs on the other debate. Completely ignorant.
10:28: Tancredo gets Israel added to scenario by Hume. We don’t immediately go to war. But we don’t rule it out either. We continue to be politically correct. It will get us killed.
10:30: Hunter says can’t allow them to have a nuclear device. Would hope to have help from allies.
10:31: Huckabee says a President will be between two immovable forces: the Constitution and his conscience. You get on your knees then you get on your feet and go with preparation from head and heart to best protect Americans. Great answer for values voters.
10:33: Brownback says the scenario is all too likely. We are facing it now. Go after Iranian forces in Iraq and prevent the nuclear device.
10:34: Giuliani points out that Iran is the largest state-sponsor of terrorism. If a nuclear device is permitted, they won’t have to go looking for takers. Reagan did not win the Cold War because he talked to the Russians. He talked to them with a thousand missiles pointed at them!
10:35: Romney notes that a nation that participates in ethnic cleansing cannot have a nuclear device. Work with Democrats and Republicans. Talk to allies. Talk to other countries on the Arabian peninsula. This will remove war as the first option, but we’ll be ready if needed.
10:37: McCain believes the hypothetical is more real than we know. At the end of the day, we can’t allow Iran to have a nuclear device.