Video: Blogger mysteriously crashes Republican presidential debate

posted at 8:45 am on October 12, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Just think of me as the 9th Beatle, or as Jonah Goldberg said last night on Twitter, the Kilroy of GOP debates:

The clip comes from Herman Cain’s appearance at TeaCon Midwest two weekends ago in Chicago, when Guy Benson, Katie Pavlich, and I were conducting a panel discussion just prior to Cain’s speech.  I bet you’re wishing they’d used the camera angle that showed Katie instead of me, aren’t you?  Of course you are.  As soon as this clip started playing my Twitter mentions column in Tweetdeck started spinning like a crazed slot machine in Vegas.  The Boss Emeritus said it was the best thing on Bloomberg TV all night, but let’s face it — that’s not a tough bar to clear, is it?

Who won last night’s debate?  We’ll get as many opinions on that as there are people who managed to find the Bloomberg TV channel on their cable system, so let’s pose the question a little differently: who helped themselves and who didn’t?  Let’s just go down the list in alphabetical order:

  • Michele Bachmann — Started off with a couple of excellent answers on Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac and on health care, but got hyperbolic on the debt ceiling issue by claiming to the “the lone voice” opposing a debt ceiling deal, and then even more so by using a 666 joke from Revelation about Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 plan.  Overall not a bad effort, but not the kind of gamechanger that Bachmann needs to recapture her earlier magic.
  • Herman Cain — Cain had to prove that he could keep up with Mitt Romney and not get flustered while coming under attack.  He did a much better job of both than Rick Perry has done in any of these debates, and kept cool under pressure.  He continued to use his sense of humor, perhaps less than in previous debates, but his personality and warmth still came through.  Cain had a Reagan-like moment in the first half when he demanded and took some time to address a question — and then a Gerald Ford-like moment when he named Alan Greenspan as his model for a Fed chair.  Overall, though, he had a good debate, and did nothing to damage his momentum.  His rebukes to Ron Paul and to Karen Tumulty for misquotes were firm but not hysterical, and that demonstrated that Cain can control debate currents.
  • Newt Gingrich — Another fine debater, Gingrich rarely has a bad night, and he did well again.  Gingrich’s problem isn’t debates, it’s baggage, and so far he hasn’t done anything to shed it.  He’s aiming at a VP pick, or perhaps a Cabinet post, and he’s doing a fine job in auditioning for either.
  • Jon Huntsman — Given his 2% finish in the Bloomberg/WaPo poll, I’m surprised he was even included in this debate, and he may as well have stayed home.  He got a lot of attention in the first half and did nothing to distinguish himself from Mitt Romney, and disappeared entirely in the second half.
  • Ron Paul — Paul scored big on Cain’s Greenspan comments, and also had some good points about overregulation and how both parties have contributed to it.  No real crazy moments, but he did get a hard rebuke from Cain after misquoting him and ended up looking contrite.
  • Rick Perry — Perry didn’t make any serious gaffes this time, but he looked tranquilized most of the night, too.  When Tumulty brought up Solyndra as an entree to questions about the Texas Enterprise Fund — which have been asked for weeks — Perry once again looked unprepared to answer those questions.  He tossed a softball at Mitt Romney on RomneyCare when he had a chance to ask a question, and his follow-up was equally weak.  Perry didn’t botch the debate, but he certainly didn’t look engaged, either.
  • Mitt Romney — Once again, Romney came prepared, gave crisp answers, and worked the moderators and the other candidates.  His defense of TARP won’t win him any new converts, however, and he only tried making the experience argument against Cain once, to little effect.  As the frontrunner again, Mitt can’t spend too much time engaging the other candidates; he wants to look presidential, not petty, and Perry’s fall helps Romney avoid those kinds of exchanges.  Expect Mitt to hit Cain harder on foreign policy in the Vegas debate next week.
  • Rick Santorum — The farther we get into the debates, the more desperate Santorum seems to get.  He was the only one on stage to lose his cool, and he continually rushed through his answers in a raised voice, at one point refusing to allow Charlie Rose to move to the next question after his time expired.  Santorum made good points and will look good in the transcript, but his delivery looks desperate and angry.

Overall, I’d say that Romney continues to play out the clock by outboxing the rest of the field, and Cain gave an impressive performance.  Perry didn’t make an impression one way or the other in this debate, which means he needs to impress viewers in the next debate or watch his campaign spin off into Bachmannville.  The rest of the field didn’t do much to distinguish themselves, and they’re becoming increasingly irrelevant.

I liked the stage setting of a table instead of a series of podiums, and I also liked the idea of giving the candidates time to question each other.  That round was surprisingly respectful, and it produced some interesting moments — and the puzzling choice of Romney to toss a softball at Bachmann instead of going after Cain.  The moderators were only passable, however, and continually insisted on providing a talking-points prologue to each question instead of just asking the question directly.  They ended up giving Romney a full quarter of the speaking time, according to Smart Politics, while Perry got 14.1% and Cain got 12.5%.  In fact, Romney spoke more in the first hour (7:25) “than Gingrich, Paul, Huntsman, and Santorum recorded for the entire debate.”  That’s just a poor job of moderating no matter how good the questions were — and they weren’t that good anyway.

I’d expect polling to show Cain and Romney achieving more separation from the rest of the field by the end of the week, but it’s the all-topics debate in Vegas that will be Cain’s real test, and perhaps an opportunity for Perry to get his act together.

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Oooooh. Scary disembodied head!
*wink*

annoyinglittletwerp on October 12, 2011 at 8:51 AM

Just think of me as the 9th Beatle,

Reminded me of Forest Gump! haha.

I’m kind of discouraged that Romney keeps staying on top of this thing. Yea, I’d vote for him, but it would be more of a vote against the current president than a vote for a new one. I would be more enthused about voting for Perry or Cain or even Gingrich.

scalleywag on October 12, 2011 at 8:53 AM

The next debate should only include mitt, Rick, Herman and newt….everybody else can go home

cmsinaz on October 12, 2011 at 8:54 AM

We should do a HotAir invite for the Candidates. Invite all the “relevant” GOP candidates to Hotair and let us ask them questions while Ed and Allah moderate.

William Amos on October 12, 2011 at 8:54 AM

time traveler

gatorboy on October 12, 2011 at 8:54 AM

My opinion, FWIW.

There’s a substantial Anybody But Romney contingent in the GOP, and it is only a question of behind whom they will gather. I like Cain, but he’s a loose cannon, and does not have the resources or organization to beat Romney. Perry knows this. Perry was trying NOT to draw the attention and fire, letting Cain over-flog 9-9-9, and take Santorum’s reasonable criticism of the plan.

Sekhmet on October 12, 2011 at 8:55 AM

We should do a HotAir invite for the Candidates. Invite all the “relevant” GOP candidates to Hotair and let us ask them questions while Ed and Allah moderate.

William Amos on October 12, 2011 at 8:54 AM

Seconded!

annoyinglittletwerp on October 12, 2011 at 8:55 AM

Go Ed!

cmsinaz on October 12, 2011 at 8:56 AM

3rd that William

Me likey

cmsinaz on October 12, 2011 at 8:58 AM

No clip of Mitt Romney saying if don’t agree with RomneyCare you don’t care about people?

terryannonline on October 12, 2011 at 8:59 AM

There’s a substantial Anybody But Romney contingent in the GOP, and it is only a question of behind whom they will gather.

Yep. The field is settling into Romney and not-Romney. Just remains to be seen which not-Romney candidate people will coalesce behind. I think you’re right that Perry is laying low in hopes Cain will flame out.

Missy on October 12, 2011 at 9:00 AM

The next debate should only include mitt, Rick, Herman and newt….everybody else can go home

cmsinaz on October 12, 2011 at 8:54 AM

Yup.

gracie on October 12, 2011 at 9:00 AM

Good overall assessment of the debate, although I thought Santorum did pretty well. I’d actually rank him second behind Newt in terms of performance(when he was actually allowed to speak which was rare).

He managed to do one thing last night that no one else has done at these debates thus far save for one brief remark from Bachmann a few weeks ago. He went after Mittens on the Obamacare waiver pledge and said what I and many others have been saying for weeks. An executive order issuing waivers to all 50 states is NOT the same as a total repeal of the law. And Santorum managed to get him to utter the word “repeal” not once but many times as a result. Now if we can only get some of these other candidates to force Mittens to commit to domestic drilling, a balanced budget amendment, and tort reform, he may not be such a crappy frontrunner.

As for the rest of the field, I won’t even waste time with the lower tier candidates(aside from Santorum). They are who they are. Perry did ok, but overall looked out-of-it and tired. I think he knows he’s done. Cain did fine. The Greenspan answer wasn’t good, but it’s not gonna hurt him in the polls. Mittens also did well, but his main problems remain his flip-flopping and Romneycare. And it didn’t help matters that he defended TARP and almost sounded like he was in solidarity with the OWS hippie wannabes at one point. I don’t think it’ll hurt his numbers, but it was a headscratcher.

The real key will be next week’s debate which will be on CNN, cover a wider range of issues, and be seen by way more people. Expect a Romney vs. Cain main event at that one.

Doughboy on October 12, 2011 at 9:00 AM

I thought that was a photoshop. Book idea – Where’s Ed?

Newt is hands down the smartest guy up there. Cain is refreshing and smart, too.

Huntsman & Paul need to go.

Having said that, I think the rest of them could easily beat the most corrupt administration evah. Here is arrogance at it’s finest.

http://themorningspew.com/2011/10/12/eric-holder-dodges-question-about-fast-furious-and-then-leaves-press-briefing/

bloggless on October 12, 2011 at 9:00 AM

I’m thinking that was the beginning of the end for Cain and marks the ascent of Newt as the next ABR.

huckleberryfriend on October 12, 2011 at 9:01 AM

3rd that William

Me likey

cmsinaz on October 12, 2011 at 8:58 AM

If YOU likey then all is good in the world.
*runs*
Hey-I’m averaging around 4 hours of sleep a night. Whatever mind I once had is about gone. LoL

annoyinglittletwerp on October 12, 2011 at 9:01 AM

:)

golfmann on October 12, 2011 at 9:01 AM

It would have been better if someone in the audience upon seeing the clip leaped to his feet and said “Hey! Who’s that guy talking about 9-9-9 next to Ed Morrissey?”

radjah shelduck on October 12, 2011 at 9:01 AM

WOW Ed was that you in the clip? I thought it was a Halloween Pumpkin!

Confederate on October 12, 2011 at 9:02 AM

Kilroy was here.

hahaha
All those younger than 40 are scratching their heads. :)

itsnotaboutme on October 12, 2011 at 9:04 AM

Hang in there ALT :)

Got some coffee for ya

cmsinaz on October 12, 2011 at 9:06 AM

Romney really blew it on the european question, afraid or not able to answer what is surely to come…dodging it by saying it is hypothetical.
Well Mitt, here is some news, you plan for the “hypothetical”, that is what planning is. When you did 5 year budgets, were those based on facts…or what probable events.
Europe/Greece going down is probable, and in fact they are dealing with it now…very, very weak.
Bachmann, a joke gone bad…that hurt her.
Cain, he was good, steady, but too much “salesmanship”.
Perry, this is where I disagree, what others call “disengaged” I see as calmness, confidence, laid back and answered the questions.
You don’t have to interject yourself into every question, to answer the important ones, and he did.
Ricky, is desperate, and Huntsman is not long for the field…

right2bright on October 12, 2011 at 9:07 AM

The next debate should only include mitt, Rick, Herman and newt….everybody else can go home

cmsinaz on October 12, 2011 at 8:54 AM

I agree, these are the four serious contenders as we go forward…

Keemo on October 12, 2011 at 9:07 AM

That’s funny, Ed. Good for you.

DaydreamBeliever on October 12, 2011 at 9:07 AM

WOW Ed was that you in the clip? I thought it was a Halloween Pumpkin!

Confederate on October 12, 2011 at 9:02 AM

I was thinking more along the lines of when Ben Gardner’s head popped out of his ‘sunken’ boat in Jaws.
What?

annoyinglittletwerp on October 12, 2011 at 9:07 AM

In your Cain assessment, Ed, you neglected to mention the stupid question he posed to Mitt in the candidates-ask-eachother-questions segment.
Re. that segment, did you notice the softball beach ball Romney tossed at Bachmann? (If Bachmann surges, guess who that helps?)

itsnotaboutme on October 12, 2011 at 9:08 AM

Hang in there ALT :)

Got some coffee for ya

cmsinaz on October 12, 2011 at 9:06 AM
If I can pull my azz away from the monitor I’m going to Starbucks.

annoyinglittletwerp on October 12, 2011 at 9:08 AM

Is Fox hosting any more debates?

Cindy Munford on October 12, 2011 at 9:09 AM

WOW Ed was that you in the clip? I thought it was a Halloween Pumpkin!

Confederate on October 12, 2011 at 9:02 AM

I was thinking more along the lines of when Ben Gardner’s head popped out of his ‘sunken’ boat in Jaws.
What?

annoyinglittletwerp on October 12, 2011 at 9:07 AM

hahaha
You guys are vicious!

itsnotaboutme on October 12, 2011 at 9:09 AM

hahaha
All those younger than 40 are scratching their heads. :)

itsnotaboutme on October 12, 2011 at 9:04 AM

Kilroy needs to make a comeback! (Gives age away with comment)

scalleywag on October 12, 2011 at 9:10 AM

And Santorum managed to get him to utter the word “repeal” not once but many times as a result.

Romney had already come out for repeal about 10,000 times before this debate. He’s said “It must be repealed” in every debate.

Jon0815 on October 12, 2011 at 9:11 AM

Wonder how many watched this as opposed to the other debates

blatantblue on October 12, 2011 at 9:12 AM

Perry, this is where I disagree, what others call “disengaged” I see as calmness, confidence, laid back and answered the questions.

right2bright on October 12, 2011 at 9:07 AM

But that’s the thing. He didn’t answer all the questions. He danced around issues like Solyndra and the number of uninsured people in Texas instead of addressing them head-on. Maybe because he was trying to avoid a major gaffe or perhaps he felt there was no easy answer for either one. Also, he fell back on “energy independence” as his answer to a variety of questions much in the same way he relied on just saying “Texas” in response to questions at previous debates. He needs to be more specific on policy instead of just speaking in generalities.

I thought he merely did ok. Certainly it was better than the third debate(which ain’t saying much), but it wasn’t the kind of performance that’ll lead to a rebound in his polling numbers. I think right now Newt and Cain seem like far superior and more coherent alternatives to Romney compared to Perry.

Doughboy on October 12, 2011 at 9:13 AM

Just think of me as the 9th Beatle

Well let’s see, there was Paul McCartney’s replacement, George Martin, Eric Clapton, and Billy Preston, so actually you’d be the eighth Beatle.

Akzed on October 12, 2011 at 9:13 AM

Ed: You were sooo lucky to visit Chi.
I wanna fly back long enough to get some Eli’s Cheesecake, Argo Tea, Giordano’s Pizza-Lou Malnatti’s works too- and a case of egg bagels.
I love Lubbock-but the eats here SUCK!

annoyinglittletwerp on October 12, 2011 at 9:14 AM

He managed to do one thing last night that no one else has done at these debates thus far save for one brief remark from Bachmann a few weeks ago. He went after Mittens on the Obamacare waiver pledge and said what I and many others have been saying for weeks. An executive order issuing waivers to all 50 states is NOT the same as a total repeal of the law. And Santorum managed to get him to utter the word “repeal” not once but many times as a result.

Doughboy on October 12, 2011 at 9:00 AM

I agree about Santorum. If he’d have done this in the first few debates he might be seriously considered. His personality is killing him. Usually he comes off as whiney or snotty, depending on the question, but last night he seemed a bit more like a real candidate. Too little too late.

Romney seemed like the Teflon Don. Perry acted like Oliver, “Please sir, can I have some more.” Cain at times sounded like a CEO conducting a share-holders meeting. Bachmann came off as a PTA mom. Paul was, well Paul. Huntsman, who cares. And Newt was Newt as usual.

Deanna on October 12, 2011 at 9:14 AM

The next debate should only include mitt, Rick, Herman and newt….everybody else can go home

cmsinaz on October 12, 2011 at 8:54 AM

With Morrissey as the only moderator….

Rovin on October 12, 2011 at 9:15 AM

Romney had already come out for repeal about 10,000 times before this debate. He’s said “It must be repealed” in every debate.

Jon0815 on October 12, 2011 at 9:11 AM

That’s BS. He’s been avoiding that word for weeks. Maybe he’s saying it at townhalls or in interviews, but in these debates, he would consistently pledge to issue an executive order offering 50 waivers and said nothing more. Now I’m not saying that means he won’t try to repeal the law, but I just found it a little disconcerting that everyone else on that stage showed no hesitation in stressing the need to repeal Obamacare, while Mittens shied away from that language.

Doughboy on October 12, 2011 at 9:15 AM

I saw you mentioned on Twitter last night and I thought you were there having drinks with Charlie Rose or something.

JammieWearingFool on October 12, 2011 at 9:17 AM

Video: Blogger mysteriously crashes Republican presidential debate

I think we need more videos and photoshops with Ed’s Head edited into them, something along the line of the stolen garden gnomes that end up photos traveling the world. A “Kilroy Was Here” type thing.

whatcat on October 12, 2011 at 9:18 AM

I think we need more videos and photoshops with Ed’s Head edited into them, something along the line of the stolen garden gnomes that end up photos traveling the world. A “Kilroy Was Here” type thing.

whatcat on October 12, 2011 at 9:18 AM

Yes!

annoyinglittletwerp on October 12, 2011 at 9:18 AM

Soooo you “back” Cain, eh, Ed?

ProudPalinFan on October 12, 2011 at 9:22 AM

Ed should have held up a Steelers Terrible Towel while the camera was on him, I would have.

Bishop on October 12, 2011 at 9:23 AM

Yes Rovin! Allah would fit in nicely too

cmsinaz on October 12, 2011 at 9:24 AM

Ha! I was so distracted by the hideous disco era curtain I missed Ed.

Mitt Romney — …and he only tried making the experience argument against Cain once, to little effect.

Au contraire, I think Mitt’s response was very effective. As for Vegas, I don’t expect him to ‘pound’ Cain on anything – he will be gentle but persuasive.

Buy Danish on October 12, 2011 at 9:25 AM

I got a kick out of Ed’s unexpected appearance at the debate… but I’ve got to disagree that Cain’s performance was “impressive”. He’s beating a dead horse with 9-9-9, as Santorum proved, albeit looking screechy and out of sorts as he did so.

Cain was verging on an impromptu Jimmy McMillan impersonation by the end of the night, with people actually LAUGHING at his plan.

Murf76 on October 12, 2011 at 9:25 AM

Romney seemed like the Teflon Don. Perry acted like Oliver, “Please sir, can I have some more.” Cain at times sounded like a CEO conducting a share-holders meeting. Bachmann came off as a PTA mom. Paul was, well Paul. Huntsman, who cares. And Newt was Newt as usual.

Deanna on October 12, 2011 at 9:14 AM

Mittens is very good at staying on message. The problem is I don’t trust the guy. I do think the Tea Party will be able to hold him in check somewhat unlike during the Bush years where fiscal conservatives were way too willing to look the other way in order to show solidarity after 9/11. But one of the biggest issues facing us in the next few years will be entitlement reform, and given the way he’s used the Democrat playbook against Perry and managed to get Chris Christie of all people to downplay its severity, I have serious concerns that he’ll do nothing about it until after it’s too late.

Doughboy on October 12, 2011 at 9:26 AM

Ed should have held up a Steelers Terrible Towel while the camera was on him, I would have.

Bishop on October 12, 2011 at 9:23 AM

Oh dang thanks for that visual Bishop! That also made me think of this.

ProudPalinFan on October 12, 2011 at 9:27 AM

That’s BS. He’s been avoiding that word for weeks. Maybe he’s saying it at townhalls or in interviews, but in these debates, he would consistently pledge to issue an executive order offering 50 waivers and said nothing more.

Doughboy on October 12, 2011 at 9:15 AM

Romney at Fox News debate, Sept. 22

“And what you — what you heard from Herman Cain is one absolutely key point, which is Obamacare intends to put someone between you and your physician. It must be repealed. And if I’m president of the United States, on my first day in office, I will issue an executive order which directs the secretary of health and human services to provide a waiver from Obamacare to all 50 states. That law is bad; it’s unconstitutional; it shall not stand.”

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/09/22/fox-news-google-gop-2012-presidential-debate/#ixzz1aZd7PNxG

He’s said “repealed” at other debates too.

Jon0815 on October 12, 2011 at 9:29 AM

I don’t care about Newt’s “smart” words. I care about actions, and his actions have dictated that he’s nothing but a smarmy elitist…looking to cozy up to Democrats like Pelosi for a nice photo op. Newt or Romney as President means government won’t shrink, we’ll have lots of bi-partisan horse trading like with Bush Jr. and the Tea Party/Conservatives get the shaft again.

search4truth on October 12, 2011 at 9:30 AM

Someone rent Santorum a copy of “Happy Gilmore”.

ProudPalinFan on October 12, 2011 at 9:30 AM

search4truth on October 12, 2011 at 9:30 AM

Yeah, that Contract for America stuff was nothing but words, with no action, no results./

Buy Danish on October 12, 2011 at 9:34 AM

I held my nose when I voted for McCain, will I have to hold it again to vote for Mitt?

Paulenty should have stayed in, he was good.

And Sarah? Where’s Sarah when we need her?

It’s a lackluster field.

Oh well, ABO.

EL on October 12, 2011 at 9:38 AM

I think we need more videos and photoshops with Ed’s Head edited into them, something along the line of the stolen garden gnomes that end up photos traveling the world. A “Kilroy Was Here” type thing.
whatcat on October 12, 2011 at 9:18 AM

Yes!
annoyinglittletwerp on October 12, 2011 at 9:18 AM

Obama waving

whatcat on October 12, 2011 at 9:41 AM

Romney at Fox News debate, Sept. 22

“And what you — what you heard from Herman Cain is one absolutely key point, which is Obamacare intends to put someone between you and your physician. It must be repealed. And if I’m president of the United States, on my first day in office, I will issue an executive order which directs the secretary of health and human services to provide a waiver from Obamacare to all 50 states. That law is bad; it’s unconstitutional; it shall not stand.”

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/09/22/fox-news-google-gop-2012-presidential-debate/#ixzz1aZd7PNxG

He’s said “repealed” at other debates too.

Jon0815 on October 12, 2011 at 9:29 AM

Fine. He said “repealed” once in the previous 3 debates with regard to Obamacare(and that was as a followup to something Cain said). He did NOT however use that word on Sept. 7 or 12 at those debates. In fact, the only time Mittens did use the word “repeal” was to say that he would NOT repeal Medicare Part D.

He was doing everything he could to not go there. The man’s strategery is to commit to nothing major between now and the primaries in order to avoid offending too much of the electorate.

Doughboy on October 12, 2011 at 9:42 AM

Ed –

Can you get a State of the Union Address invite from Boehner???

I’ll take that glorious head over a botoxed yapping lapdog anyday.

We baldies need to stick together.

Odie1941 on October 12, 2011 at 9:46 AM

Doughboy on October 12, 2011 at 9:13 AM

They all have a pre determined answer, so they always sway the retort back to their strengths…but Mitt is the one who really ran away from a question, an important question the European/Greece immediate problem.
I was shocked how he ran from that…probably because his answer is more like, we give them money to bail them out…

right2bright on October 12, 2011 at 9:49 AM

He’s said “repealed” at other debates too.

Jon0815 on October 12, 2011 at 9:29 AM

He also stated he was for abortion…and that he was not a conservative…so what do you believe…that’s the dilemma. Is he pandering to you know, as he did to liberals?

right2bright on October 12, 2011 at 9:51 AM

Herman Cain is a terrific fellow, but a foreign-policy novice, and his domestic ‘solution’ is naive. His “999″ plan won’t fly, for the reasons that Rick Santorum and Michelle Bachmann gave–it opens the door to a national sales tax (unconstitutional?) without repealing the 16th Amendment (the income tax). Mr. Cain would not be President forever, and what the Congress giveth, the Congress can take away.

Mitt Romney is no conservative, but he is smart, electable, and can probably beat Obambi without breaking a sweat.

I had big hopes for Rick Perry, but he is clearly a political hack without an original idea in his head.

Rick Santorum has good ideas, lots of legislative experience, but is too earnest by half. Is he old enough to be President?

Newt Gingrich is an enormously-clever policy wonk, who should be Secretary of Something, but not President.

Michelle Bachmann is attractive, but acerbic and annoying, too doctrinaire.

The ‘debate’ was really much better than the previous ones. The table format lent itself to real discussion, as opposed to pontificating.

The Bloomberg stream started buffering, so I switched to the Washington Post one, which worked fine, though the full-screen image wasn’t as good.

MrLynn on October 12, 2011 at 9:54 AM

AAA!!! The disembodied Buddha head!

Coronagold on October 12, 2011 at 9:55 AM

Words are underrated, they got us the 1994 House of Representatives and huge changes that now Bubba is taking full credit for. Being honest with the people about what you would like to attempt is a winning strategy. Sometimes if doesn’t work (Porkulous II) and sometimes it does Contract with America. Welfare reform was huge and the Democrats are systematically turning back the hands of time to shore up their voter rolls.

Cindy Munford on October 12, 2011 at 9:57 AM

JournoLista Karen Tumulty, no one should take a question from these people with first making that connection on national TV. The right in the US gives a free pass so that the MSM can engineer their own destruction.

Viator on October 12, 2011 at 10:02 AM

But that’s the thing. He didn’t answer all the questions. He danced around issues like Solyndra and the number of uninsured people in Texas instead of addressing them head-on. Maybe because he was trying to avoid a major gaffe or perhaps he felt there was no easy answer for either one. Also, he fell back on “energy independence” as his answer to a variety of questions much in the same way he relied on just saying “Texas” in response to questions at previous debates. He needs to be more specific on policy instead of just speaking in generalities.

I thought he merely did ok. Certainly it was better than the third debate(which ain’t saying much), but it wasn’t the kind of performance that’ll lead to a rebound in his polling numbers. I think right now Newt and Cain seem like far superior and more coherent alternatives to Romney compared to Perry.

Doughboy on October 12, 2011 at 9:13 AM

Agreed. Perry didn’t even appear engaged – that’s just ridiculous. I’m not interested in a president who won’t debate and engage the opposition – Bush did that and look what we wound up with?!!

piglet on October 12, 2011 at 10:03 AM

At this point, we need to make certain we have a strong hold on the Senate and increase our standing in the House. I want to hear from the candidates who they would have on a short list for the Supreme Court and if they would sign repeal Obamacare legislation when it hits their desk. Romney has said he would sign a repeal and that is a promise that would be death to a second term to break.

piglet on October 12, 2011 at 10:06 AM

There was a disruption from the audience somewhere near the end of the debate – it was largely ignored but caused some confusion on stage.

Who was responsible for that?

HondaV65 on October 12, 2011 at 10:06 AM

Grover Norqist:

And after the 2012 elections the GOP will be led from the House majority and the incoming Senate GOP majority. They have already tipped their hand: They will pass the Ryan Plan, which includes spending restraint, broad welfare/Medicaid block grants, entitlement reform, and tax reform, beginning with top rates dropping to 25 percent.

The debate about 9-9-9 or Huntsman’s plan or Romney’s plan or Perry’s upcoming plan helps pass the time if Netflix hasn’t arrived. But the only real question is whether each candidate has a working thumb and forefinger and can sign the legislation Boehner and McConnell pass. We are not looking for a fearless leader. We are looking for signer in chief.

A signer in chief – exactly.

piglet on October 12, 2011 at 10:11 AM

The next debate should only include mitt, Rick, Herman and newt….everybody else can go home

cmsinaz on October 12, 2011 at 8:54 AM

Which Rick? Perry or Santorum?

Steve Z on October 12, 2011 at 10:15 AM

Is it just me, or does Romney never answer a question? Has he been taking lessons from Obama? All I saw was a question being asked, and he never, NEVER answers it. He dances around it with a bunch of inarticulate nonsense, and that seems to pacify some, but not this bunch here. I read a lot of comments last night. Not to many favorable towards Mitt.

I just don’t want white Obama here. And Romney seems to be that. He’ll never just directly answer a question thrown at him and when they do that, I don’t trust it. He’s not the only one, but since he did get more air time, he did it more than the others.

Ed? It’s always fun to see you on tv. :)

capejasmine on October 12, 2011 at 10:18 AM

Romney has said he would sign a repeal and that is a promise that would be death to a second term to break.

piglet on October 12, 2011 at 10:06 AM

Romney can’t repeal this on his own, he knows that, he is pandering.
A president can’t come in and just repeal a bunch of bills, it has to go through the process, and in that process a lot of things can “happen” that doesn’t allow him to ever sign a bill.
He is just saying what he wants the conservatives to hear…if he was truthful he would not be so adamant about signing a bill that may never reach his desk…

right2bright on October 12, 2011 at 10:24 AM

Cain was not misquoted….

Cain’s own words

I wish that was all. Its not. You could write a book just on how poor the coverage has been of the alleged housing bubble. The media have been foretelling a massive bust in housing prices for months now. On May 19, ABCs Elizabeth Vargas said: The run up in housing prices is now beginning to look something like the boom in Internet stocks, and we know what happened there. That kind of ignorance makes homeowners fear that their most expensive possession could turn worthless overnight.

He defends the Fed, claims an “alleged housing bubble” and writes that critism of the run up in housing prices is “ignorant.”

elraphbo on October 12, 2011 at 10:27 AM

And Sarah? Where’s Sarah when we need her?

It’s a lackluster field.

Oh well, ABO.

EL on October 12, 2011 at 9:38 AM

Well, the pack of bears that are done with her, are walking with that pack. There’s two packs right now as I write: Those that continue to follow her moves and resort to observe rather than act (moi), and the diehard ones that say she’ll declare on the 30th-not mentioning that the move is in Iowa to draft her (I read) and petitions galore to reconsider, along with a Facebook group.

The speech she gave in South Korea was great, and it goes to show people around the world how far she’s changing minds when it comes to finally allow a woman to fix the colossal mess men have done (sexist but gimme a pass, mhkay?). Merkel, not so much. I’ve written about “The Age Of The Amazon” but back then Bachmann was in a better standing than now.

ProudPalinFan on October 12, 2011 at 10:31 AM

Who knew Rich Lowery lived in Cleveland, TX?

DanMan on October 12, 2011 at 10:46 AM

What? Cain likes green spans? What is it with these candidates and their positions on the environment?

Vince on October 12, 2011 at 10:49 AM

Mittens is very good at staying on message. The problem is I don’t trust the guy. I do think the Tea Party will be able to hold him in check somewhat unlike during the Bush years where fiscal conservatives were way too willing to look the other way in order to show solidarity after 9/11.

how? by not seeing him get elected in 2016? How can the TP keep him in check? I really hope you are right.

balkanmom on October 12, 2011 at 11:12 AM

The next debate should only include mitt, Rick, Herman and newt….everybody else can go home

cmsinaz on October 12, 2011 at 8:54 AM

With Morrissey as the only moderator….

Rovin on October 12, 2011 at 9:15 AM

Just his head…

golfmann on October 12, 2011 at 11:13 AM

Good lord, it’s an Observer!

Blacklake on October 12, 2011 at 11:26 AM

There’s a substantial Anybody But Romney contingent in the GOP

Just like the “Anybody But McCain” four years ago.
Remember, the first/primary/overarching goal is to oust Obama then keep the House and then take back the Senate. Then we can, hopefully, start to reverse the trends.
However, having said that, and seeing that we can’t even defund NPR when we had the WH and all of Congress AND we passed the light bulb bill and can’t kill that either…well, I’m not all that hopeful.

Amendment X on October 12, 2011 at 11:36 AM

Why did Bachmann have to punt the 666 football to the MSM?

Cain on Greenspan. The problem is Cain sat on the board of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, most of the nation did not. Still, not as bad as Newt melting when Clinton comes into the room, because more people know Clinton

On Newt:

He’s aiming at a VP pick, or perhaps a Cabinet post, and he’s doing a fine job in auditioning for either.

Imagine Newt as White House Press Secretary. I’d watch every day

Post debate on CNN etc, the liberal press seemed disappointed Perry did not hit harder on Romneycare. Did they want Perry to win, or did they want more attacks on Obamacare? Beware when the opposition is sad for you

Romney:

His defense of TARP won’t win him any new converts, however, and he only tried making the experience argument against Cain once, to little effect. As the frontrunner again, Mitt can’t spend too much time engaging the other candidates; he wants to look presidential, not petty, and Perry’s fall helps Romney avoid those kinds of exchanges. Expect Mitt to hit Cain harder on foreign policy in the Vegas debate next week.

Romney’s biggest weakness is not Tarp, but his undignified counterattacks. Phrases like ‘I’m still talking’. Romney is not a Cain who can assert himself and still look good natured.

If Romney tries ‘I’m still talking’ on Cain he hands the punch line to Cain. Romney needs to practice gentle, self deprecating humor like Reagan’s ‘There you go again…’ Recall Perry in prior debates laughing at the wrong time. Stage laughs are killers.

Santorum is a good guy with good ideas, but he looks like he is waiting for his 2 minutes on the floor. Santorum has to convince the audience he is in it for them. Not a good year for his job category. He has to divorce Congress to begin to gather loyalty beyond his base.

Huntsman, who’s he representing besides himself? I likes his talk about high catastrophic health insurance in his state. He should have worked that. He had promoters but he also needed a base. He had no image. It’s too late.

entagor on October 12, 2011 at 12:12 PM

In light of the recent manufactured Rick Perry controversy, I name that video “Crackahead”.

OxyCon on October 12, 2011 at 12:13 PM

… according to Smart Politics, while Perry got 14.1% and Cain got 12.5%.  In fact, Romney spoke more in the first hour (7:25) “than Gingrich, Paul, Huntsman, and Santorum recorded for the entire debate.”

How can this be? Why not randomly direct a question to a candidate providing a fixed time to respond (e.g. up to 1 min), then provde each of the other candidates a fixed limit shorter duration (e.g. 30 sec) to support or rebut. If there are any additional statements (e.g. opening or closing), the same should apply.

I’m no expert on debate format, but if equal time is available for use by each candidate if the individual so chooses, then this should be a non-issue…

Danny on October 12, 2011 at 12:22 PM

I thought Romney won decisively. Ed’s assessment of Newt and Bachmann was spot on. I thought Santorum was better than Ed does, and I didn’t see the question Perry asked Romney was a softball, but Romney made it look like one.

Cain didn’t stand out for me the way he has in the past. Maybe it’s debate fatigue but he seemed repetitive. His 9-9-9 began to remind me of “Pass this bill!” His answer to how he could be sure that his plan would pass Congress and that tax rates wouldn’t creep up, left me unsatisfied. Everything seemed to boil down to “Just trust me.” After Obama’s first term, I don’t think that’s good enough. He doesn’t seem to want to let us know why we should trust him until after we elect him.

I had begun to view him as a good alternative to Romney, but not now.

I like the round table format, but all the gotcha questions from the questioners continues to annoy and make me wonder how long these debates will go on.

By now most of us are familiar with what they all have to say, and I don’t care to go on with a mutual destruction exercise. They need to spend more time persuading Americans that Obama needs to go. We don’t need to supply him with attacks on the candidates.

flataffect on October 12, 2011 at 12:39 PM

Is Fox hosting any more debates?

Cindy Munford on October 12, 2011 at 9:09 AM

Cindy,

Fox is hosting a couple more debates. Here is a link to a handy schedule of the Primary Debates so you can mark your calendar:

http://www.2012presidentialelectionnews.com/2012-debate-schedule/2011-2012-primary-debate-schedule/?wpmp_switcher=mobile

I’m loving these debates! Even my Democrat friends are watching the debates (and learning from them!).

Next Debate: Tuesday October 18 on CNN.

wren on October 12, 2011 at 2:18 PM

Keep the media from choosing a GOP nominee . Stay informed, stay involved, and stay educated.

madmonkphotog on October 12, 2011 at 3:26 PM

No real crazy moments, but he did get a hard rebuke from Cain after misquoting him and ended up looking contrite.

Sorry Ed. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200.

iamse7en on October 12, 2011 at 5:14 PM

After last night I realized I could vote for any of the candidates — particularly after hearing the media’s questions that assumed the Republicans were wrong right out of the gate.

That was an embarrassing and sad commentary on Bloomberg and a reminder of how in ideologically in the tank for the left the media is.

LifeTrek on October 12, 2011 at 6:20 PM

This could be the first scene of the next Stephen King thriller (floating head attacks politician giving a speech).

waelse1 on October 12, 2011 at 8:49 PM

My collie says:

I see Ed people.

CyberCipher on October 13, 2011 at 12:09 AM

Having listened to it, I became concerned about Mr. Caine use of the magical number nine.

Consumers are often fleeced by the magical number nine to buy stuff they really do not need. Remember $15.99 on the sale sign is actually $16.50 at the register, or a simple 3% increase (to cover the cost of storing, stocking,etc. Then comes the sales taxes etc. on top of it.

If Mr. Cain had just stuck with a 10% flat tax it would be an easier sale.

MSGTAS on October 13, 2011 at 10:01 AM