9:04p (and final update): Debate is over. I think Congresswoman Bachmann asserted herself tonight, she offered clear answers and went after the frontrunners. Romney looked good, but he’s going to continually get pummeled because of RomneyCare and I believe it’ll keep him from winning the nomination. Perry just got savaged tonight on Gardisil and immigration. The shine came off the frontrunner, it wasn’t a good night for him. Gingrich had a good debate and I have come to expect that, but it isn’t translating into positive poll numbers. Santorum also got some good shots in, and had solid answers, he also had a good debate. Cain had a couple of good one liners, but we really didn’t learn anything new. Paul’s going no where with his 9/11 stance and doubling down on that will cost him dearly. Huntsman’s treasonous remark toward Perry was ill advised. He came across to me as smug and arrogant. Why he’s still in this race is anybody’s guess.
Winners tonight: Bachmann, Gingrich, and Santorum
Losers: Perry, Paul and Huntsman
Status Quo: Cain and Romney
8:52p – Cain, “I’d bring a sense of humor to the White House because America is too uptight.”
8:50p – Gingrich would kick out the White House czars in order to make up more space. Nice.
8:44p – What will you do to protect women in Afghanistan from the radicals? Huntsman: nothing, time to get out. When we take care of our core and start shining again, it’ll help protect the women there. Perry said we need to maintain some presence, but we do need to start bringing the troops home.
8:39p – Gingrich touting his foreign policy/national security bona fides who said we need to deal with Iran, North Korea who are developing nukes. He said address Egypt and Turkey. He pointed out we should be concerned by what is happening in Mexico. Paul said we need to cut militarization, but have a policy that takes care of our national defense. He said we should have free trade, and not occupy. Santorum slams Paul on having a blog post yesterday that blamed U.S. for 9/11. Paul’s Achilles heel is his position in this issue. Paul was booed.
8:38p – Energy independence? Cain – I’d put together a regulatory reduction committee for every agency starting with the EPA, he’d have people who have been abused by the EPA to be on the committee.
8:30p – How to reach out to Latinos? Santorum said Perry must do it through allowing in-state tuition for illegal immigrants. Perry said they did it for kids who have been here for several years so they wouldn’t be on the government dole. Bachmann said this is like Obama’s Dream Act.
Perry’s getting savaged tonight, wow. Perry said what we did is a state’s right issue, and that there was only four dissenting votes.
Huntsman tried to joke, “Rick to say we can’t secure the border that’s a treasonous statement.” Fell flat. Perry never said that by the way. Huntsman said Utah provided a local fix by allowing illegal immigrants to drive. Romney said yes we need to build a fence, we do not give in-state tax credits, and we don’t allow driving privileges.
8:28p – Question asked in Cincinnati about removing illegal immigrants. Santorum said we need to secure the border, and that we need a fence unlike Governor Perry. Perry said strategic fences in urban areas is appropriate, but what is really needed is boots-on-the-ground. He said Texas can’t do it alone and the Feds need to perform their constitutional duty and secure the border.
8:25p – My inbox is getting filled up by opp research from Ron Paul’s campaign and Michele Bachmann’s campaign focused on Rick Perry.
8:21p – Bachmann said, executive orders and waivers won’t cut it. If a President can undo it, the President can redo it. She said it needs to be dealt with it by the root and branch. It needs to be repealed. She said that an individual mandate at the state level is unconstitutional. If you supported it in your state, you are not committed to getting it repealed.
8:16p – Romney agreed with Cain that they need to discuss how to lower health care costs. Promotes health savings accounts. He said in response to RomneyCare, he said “I’m not running for Governor, I’m running for President.” Perry said he doesn’t believe that it was a good thing for Massachusetts. Romney said that RomneyCare dealt with 9% who were uninsured, Obamacare deals with 100% of the population. He said they also didn’t create a panel that will decide who gets care, etc.
8:08p – Executive orders: Paul said they’ve been abused by every administration. It is problem when they legislate. Perry said he regrets his executive order about the Gardisil vaccination, but will use executive orders to eliminate as much as Obamacare as he can. Bachmann said that decision was appalling. Perry said his decision was to get rid of cancer, and he did allow an opt-out. He wanted to do err on the side of life. Bachmann said the drug company, Merck, donated to Perry. Perry said “if you think I can be bought for $5000 I’m offended.” Bachman responded, “I’m offended for the little girls who were forced to get this shot.” Santorum said it was a wrong decision. Parents should have had an opt-in, not an opt-out. Perry got shredded in this exchange, in my opinion.
8:05p – Fair Tax question: Romney doesn’t like how it’s currently structured, but likes it in principle. He says it gives lower income and upper class a break, but not the middle class.
8:04p – Gingrich said that he found it ironic that Obama talked about getting rid of loopholes when every green tax credit is a loophole and pointed out that General Electric doesn’t pay taxes. “We have a spending problem, we don’t have a under taxation problem.”
8:01p – Great question, “how much of my money do you think I should be able to keep.”
7:55p – Fed audit question: Santorum – yes, single charter based on sound money. Cain said it should be audited and focus needs to be narrowed, and based on sound money. Bachmann said Bernanke won’t be reappointed by her, but avoids the Perry treason question. She said the Fed shouldn’t be giving loans to foreign governments. Perry reiterates what he actually said, and said we need to have a Fed reserve that works toward sound money. Romney said the Fed should have oversight, but we need a Fed to oversee the currency he doesn’t want Congress to do it. Congressman Paul didn’t get to answer this question, but I think we know where he stands.
7:52p – Huntsman… “my state is better than your state.”
7:50p – Cain hit on the “work on the right problem mantra.” Zzzzzzz….
7:49p – Gingrich said, “Government doesn’t create jobs, the American people do.” Very true!
7:47p – Paul said taxes have gone up in Texas and that 70% of the jobs created were government jobs.
7:46p – Perry pointed to tort reform and said that a million jobs were created.
7:44p – Romney points out that Texas job growth occurred due to no income tax, low regulations, right-to-work state, Republican legislature, and a lot of has to do with oil. Not so much due to Perry.
7:43p – Cain said “people say you don’t know how Washington works, he said you’re right, ‘it doesn’t.’” Nice.
7:41p – Bachmann said she was the only one in Congress saying not to raise the debt ceiling (Paul did as well). She said we need to repatriate capital spent overseas, she said we need to repeal regulations.
7:38p – Job creation – Huntsman wants to lower tax rates and cut out corporate welfare. Regulatory reform deal with Obamacare, and he says we need to have energy independence.
7:33p – Bachmann said we need to have an ownership society, and we need to lift up personal responsibility.
7:32p – Paul is drumming up cuts in the military, but also cut the Department of Education, Energy, and another one I didn’t catch.
7:30p – Perry said they found waste and fraud in Texas, and he wouldn’t repeal the drug plan, but said “if we found waste in Texas, I’m sure there is much more at the Federal level.”
Romney said he would eliminate waste since he did that in the business sector, but we also need to cut spending. He supports the cap, cut and balance plan.
7:27p – Gingrich plugs Strong America Now, and challenges the super committee to sit down with them and challenges them to learn to “be smart, not cheap.” They need to eliminate waste.
7:26p – Santorum points out he’s been talking Social Security reform back in 1994 in a blue state and still won.
7:23p – Gingrich money quote, “I’m not particularly worried about Governor Perry and Governor Romney scaring the American people with their exchange when President Obama scares them every single day.”
7:20p – Score 1 for Perry in that interchange, let the Romney-Perry show begin. Romney is on the wrong side of this issue. Both Ron Paul and Herman Cain believe it’s broken and younger people need to have options.
7:19p – Perry says if Romney thinks that the Feds made all the right decisions in the 1930s he’s wrong.
7:17p – Romney says Perry’s rhetoric is irresponsible. Romney thinks Perry is wrong with his believe that the federal government shouldn’t be running it.
7:16p – Perry says it needs to be reformed, and be there for people who are currently depending on it, but they need to level with the American people regarding the problems.
7:15p – Bachmann gets the first question, let the Perry pile-on regarding Social Security begin. She said it is a promise that needs to be kept.
7:11p – Jon Huntsman says we’re deeply divided, so apparently we need a squish to bring us together.
7:07p – Is it just me or is the lady signing the National Anthem, Diane Nagy, awful? Sorry, put she was flat, and she was a recording artist? Wow, perhaps better in the studio and not so much live singing accapella.
7:04p – They have locations in Virginia, Arizona, and Ohio saying they will be pivotal states, and they will – in the general election, not so much in the primary race so this doesn’t make a lot of sense.
7:01p – Be sure to refresh your browser to see the updates.
6:55p – It seems odd to me that CNN decided to work with the Tea Party, you’d think this would be something Fox News would want to do. Basically some Tea Party leaders, I believe all from Florida, are giving their opening remarks.
I’m going to live blog the CNN-Tea Party Express Republican Presidential Debate tonight. If you don’t have cable and can’t watch CNN, you can watch online here. It starts at 7:00pm (CST)/8:00pm (EST).
Those attending the debate are Texas Governor Rick Perry, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, Texas Congressman Ron Paul, former Utah Governor and Ambassador Jon Huntsman, Herman Cain, and former Speaker Newt Gingrich. Wolf Blitzer of CNN will moderate the debate, and candidates will also receive questions from people attending Tea Party remote locations nationwide.