iowa-gop-lincoln-dinner-2015I’m at the 2015 Republican Party of Iowa Lincoln Day dinner in Des Moines, IA.

Updates will be at the top, be sure to refresh your browser for updates.

7:46p – I’m wrapping up.  Thanks for following along.

7:45p – Kaufmann is giving prompts to all of Iowa’s Republican elected officials.

7:43p – Kaufmann is up for a last minute announcements.  Encourages people to donate to a fund to renovate former Governor Merrill’s tomb.

7:42p – Walker is getting a good response re. his comments on national security.  Says we need strong leadership and that we need to take the fight to our enemies.

7:39p – Walker: I get frustrated with a President who draws a line in the sand and allows people to cross it.  Dings President Obama’s foreign policy.  Just got back from Israel.

7:36p – Walker touts voter ID, Right to Work, public employee pension reform, defunding Planned Parenthood, castle doctrine, etc… applause.  Turns Wisconsin from blue to red.

7:35p – Walker highlights his record as governor.

7:33p – Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is following Trump… I don’t envy him.

7:32p – Donald Trump if elected will be the first President who refers to himself constantly in the third person.

7:30p – I am having a very difficult time live blogging Trump’s speech.

7:29p – Trump is going to make an announcement in June and he says it will surprise us.

7:27p – Trump – if we don’t strengthen our border we won’t have a country anymore.  I will build a wall.  I’m a good builder.

7:24p – Donald Trump goes after China and then Mexico.

7:23p – Fiorina gets cut off.  Donald Trump says “how rude, we should bring her back.”  Crowd didn’t seem happy… so far she was getting the best reaction.  Graham got the most laughs.

7:20p – Fiorina says the first two calls she would make would be to Israel to say we are with you, and to Iran to say the deal is off.

7:19p – Fiorina lists numerous things that the United States can do in order to improve our national security and standing in the world that doesn’t require war.

7:18p – Fiorina now discussing the difference between leaders and managers.  This has been her standard stump speech.

7:16p – Fiorina, only the well-off, wealthy and well-connected are currently doing well in this current situation.  Crony capitalism is alive and well.

7:15p – Fiorina, I have sensed a deep disquiet in our nation.

7:12p – Carly Fiorina has taken thousands of on-the-record questions since declaring her candidacy.  Hillary Clinton has answered eight.

7:11p: Graham: I am a Republican, but we are all a car wreck away from needing someone’s help.

7:10p: Graham: only five nations allow abortions after 20 months, and I want to get us out of that club.

7:08p – Graham: The worst outcome in the world is allowing the Allatoylahs to have a nuclear bomb.  If you want a war you will lose it.

7:07p – Graham: Obama squandered the gains in Iraq.  He also promises to leave troops in Afghanistan.

7:06p – Graham: The world is a better place without Saddam Hussein.  I am glad he is dead.

7:05p – Graham: Barack Obama, not George W. Bush should be blamed for Iraq.

7:04p – Graham: If you are thinking about joining ISIL… I am not going to call a judge, I am going to call a drone and I am going to kill you.  I am tried of treating war like it is crime.

7:03p – Graham – If you are a radial Islamist you have come to the wrong place.

7:01p – Graham – the one thing I learned about this dinner it must have been free for Chuck Grassley or I wouldn’t have been here.

7:01p – Lindsey Graham tepid applause.

7:00p – Pataki said recruiting members of ISIS should be illegal.

6:59p – Pataki said he’d reduce the workforce by 15%.  He also said that Congress should live the laws they pass.  Talking about sealing the border, and speaking out on radical Islam.

6:57p – Pataki: Is talking about increasing manufacturing and simplifying the tax code.  He want to change the culture in Washington.  He wants to ban former members of Congress to be lobbyists.

6:55p – Pataki: I would reduce the size of governor by at least 15%… Or did he say 50%?  I think he said 15%.

6:54p – Pataki: I think our country is at greater risk of losing our freedoms than at any other time in our lifetime.

6:53p – Pataki thanks Senator Chuck Grassley for his help after 9/11.  Also thanks vets since today is Armed Services Day.

6:52p – Pataki served as Governor during 9/11.  He said that New York lost more office space in one day than what is available in the city of Chicago.

6:50p – Former New York Governor George Pataki is up.  I didn’t realize he was going to be here tonight.

6:49p – Rand Paul: We need a bigger, bolder party, and we can do that through a message of hope.

6:48p – Rand Paul brings up the 6th Amendment right to a speedy trial… the first time I’ve heard that brought up in presidential politics.

6:46p – Rand Paul: Hillary Clinton’s failure in Beghazi, her failure to defend our ambassador should forever preclude her from holding office.

6:45p – Rand Paul: We need to think before we act.  As a physician my pledge was first do no harm.

6:44p – Rand Paul: We need discuss Iraq and whether or not remove Hussein in Iraq and Quaddafi in Libya was a good idea.

6:42p – Rand Paul: We need to be the party of the entire bill of rights.

6:41p – Great joke by U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) to open up… leads to most people would like a government who minds its own business.

6:40p – Perry’s speech wrapped up with music.

6:38p – Perry invokes Ronald Reagan…

6:37p – On to national security – brings up ISIS involved in Garland, TX.  Reminds those attending of his military service.

6:36p – Perry touts federalism… Governors and state legislatures can do a better job.

6:34p – Perry points to his accomplishments in Texas and what that can do in the rest of the country.  Created 1.5 million jobs when the rest of the country lost almost $500,000 jobs.

6:33p – Still on domestic energy production… he said that wages will grow if this happens and job creation will explode.

6:31p – Perry: On to discussing energy which is wheelhouse.  Coupling increasing energy with lowering corporate tax rate.

6:30p – Rick Perry – It’s good to be in Iowa, driven hours across the state today.  Talks about Iowa agriculture and the rows of corn… I hear laughter in press area.

6:28p – Bush focuses on school choice in his remarks on education.

6:27p – Bush what countries are better off?  Iran… Cuba….

6:26p – Bush moves on to foreign policy… mentions “peace through strength.”

6:24p – Bush is bashing Obama administration on politicizing IRS and DOJ.  Brings up Armed Services Day, and mentions there is only one person fired in the VA scandal. “This administration has tried to regulate everything under the sun…but we can fix this.”

6:23p – Bush touts 2nd amendment record, as well as, his record protecting the unborn and promoting the sanctity of life.

6:22p – Bush talks about how U.S. economic growth is anemic and compared Florida’s growth under his administration.

6:21p – Bush is touting budget cuts, raising surplus, reducing the state workforce, vetoing budget line items…. etc.

6:20p – Jeb Bush is going over his biography, where he lived, that he was a business owner, and Governor of then the 4th largest state.

6:19p – Jeb Bush says he’s happy to be here, but he hasn’t been here in two months.

6:18p – Jindal says he is tired of hyphenated Americans.  We are all Americans.  We must not change the idea of American exceptionalism.

6:16p – Jindal: America did not create religious liberty.  Religious liberty created the United States.

6:15p – Jindal: 2nd threat is the threat to religious liberty.  Clinton says we need to have our beliefs change.  “My religious beliefs is not between me and Hillary.”

6:13p – Jindal: Continues to talk about radical Islam.  Brings up President Obama bringing up medieval Christians.  Jindal says if Obama will take care of radical Islamic terrorism.  He will watch out for those medieval Christians.

6:12p – Jindal: I don’t know about you, but we view gun control as being able to hit what you are aiming at.

6:11p – Jindal: We must beat Hillary Clinton.  Two threats – first threat – radical Islam.  This is a threat that has come to the United States.

6:10p – Jindal is discussing how his parents came to the United States from India.

6:09p – Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is up.  Attacking Obama for imposing his liberal vision on America and destroying the American dream.

6:07p – Carson: We must stop being afraid of being people of faith, and having faith in God.  We are a Judeo-Christian nation.

6:06p – Carson notes that we need to show leadership in the world.

6:05p – Carson says we need to get rid of unneeded regulations which is most of them.  We need to get rid of Obamacare.

6:04p – Carson: In our inner cities there has been a lot of change, but very little hope.

6:03p – Carson: Americans need to stop seeing each other as enemies.  We need to stop framing everything in partisan terms.

6:02p – Resistance to change Carson says is not unique to politics.  We need people who can think outside of the box.

6:00p – Ben Carson says that he is a problem solve… brings up doing a prenatal brain surgery.  I think it is safe to say he’s the only candidate who can share stories like these.

5:59p – Ben Carson is up… Reminds audience that Abraham Lincoln didn’t have much experience before running for President.  Living in the real world, Carson said, is valuable experience.

5:57p – Santorum reminds that he came in 2nd place… so it’s his turn.  Iowa GOP sticking to 10 minutes.  Music gets cracked up.

5:56p – Santorum points out his economic record.  Santorum will be making an announcement on May 27th.

5:55p – Santorum reminds audience that he authored the bill that increased sanctions on Iran.

5:54p – Santorum says our most serious threat is Iran.

5:53p – Santorum is supportive of sending troops… gives primer on Iran.

5:52p – Santorum says that ISIS wants to bring us back to 7th Century Islam, his suggestion – load up our bombers to bomb them to the 7th century.

5:50p – Santorum – we need a president who knows the difference between a friend and an enemy.  We are at war with radical Islam, we are at war with jihadists and we need a president with the courage to say it.

5:48p – Rick Santorum is up, every candidate has been given 10 minutes.  We’ll see if they stick to it.

5:47p – U.S. Senator Joni Ernst asked me if I was live blogging tonight and I said probably … so Joni I dedicate this live blog to you 🙂  Iowa GOP Chair Jeff Kaufmann got horse talking about how unified the party is.  It was a strange delivery.

5:46p – U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) encourages those in attendance to buy tickets to the Iowa Straw Poll so that it is a success.  It would have been epic if he looked at Jeb Bush when he said that.

5:38p – 1300 people bought tickets… this is a sell out.

5:37p – Got late start, I just get a chair, no table.. yes feel sorry for me :).  Jeff Kaufmann is talking party unity about how many different people we will have in the big tent.

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