Open thread: The debate America’s been waiting for — Huckabee vs. Santorum vs. Fiorina

posted at 5:21 pm on January 14, 2016 by Allahpundit

6 p.m. ET on Fox Business. If you watch only one debate this year of candidates who are polling a combined five percent in Iowa, let it be this one.

The only reason this is being held, obviously, is to deny these three an opportunity to screech about having been robbed of a soapbox when they wash out of the race next month. But you know what? Against all odds, this debate was thisclose to being compelling. If Fiorina had followed Rand Paul’s lead and boycotted, we would have been left with the surreal spectacle of the two candidates in the race who are most similar to each other alone onstage trying to distinguish themselves somehow. It would have been two hours of Huckabee saying “Rick’s never run anything in his life” and Santorum saying “Mike has zero experience with foreign policy” mixed in with endless, endless, endless Cruz-bashing. It would have been a train wreck, but train wrecks are nothing if not watchable. Meanwhile, if Rand Paul hadn’t boycotted, we would have had two hours of the most prominent libertarian in the GOP pitted against the party’s two most famously socially conservative pols. Rand isn’t as adventurous on most social issues as a truly dogmatic libertarian would be, but I wonder if this forum, against these two candidates, wouldn’t have pushed him in that direction. He has nothing to lose at this point by being daring; some splashy pronouncements on, say, drug legalization would have gotten him a second look from the libertarian cohort that’s currently backing Ted Cruz. Ah well.

We’re left with Huck, Santo, and Fiorina, who I assume is only participating because she’s still in the hunt for VP. Her main target tonight is Nikki Haley, not Huckabee or Santorum. (Which might be awkward since the debate’s being held in South Carolina.) As for the other two, there should be plenty of (if not endless) Cruz-bashing as they each try to peel off some of Cruz’s social conservative support and regain a foothold in Iowa. I wonder if either of them still really believes a late surge back into contention is in the cards, what with Cruz and Ben Carson having already carved up most of the evangelical vote, or if they’re both still in the game primarily to try to spoil Cruz’s shot at victory. Huckabee and Santorum have both backed up Trump’s attacks on Cruz’s eligibility this week, and Huckabee has made no secret of his bitterness over the fact that evangelical leaders collectively decided to support Cruz rather than him last month. Via BuzzFeed, here’s Huck’s latest rhetorical middle finger:

Huckabee noted he deeply admired Trump.

“That’s fine, I admire him, I think frankly there’s a more readiness on my part if I don’t make it I’d support him before a lot of people,” he said. “Because at least with him there’s an authenticity. And you know, he may say some bold things, but he deep down knows that if were the president he’d have to surround himself with people who fill in blanks for him and I respect that.”

That’s not the first time he’s emphasized the supposed authenticity of Democrat-turned-Republican Donald Trump in contrast to other candidates. Except last time he made this point, he was more explicit about who he was contrasting Trump with. Exit question: If Cruz is the nominee, will Huckabee refuse to endorse him? I think the chance is small — but nonzero.


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Comments

3 birthers walk into a room…..

OrthodoxJew on January 14, 2016 at 5:23 PM

3 birthers walk into a room…..

OrthodoxJew on January 14, 2016 at 5:23 PM

Lone occupant says, “Is this a joke?”

IDontCair on January 14, 2016 at 5:26 PM

3 birthers walk into a room…..

OrthodoxJew on January 14, 2016 at 5:23 PM

The curling locker room

gerrym51 on January 14, 2016 at 5:30 PM

Rand Paul is winning.

TDSchemer

SpongePuppy on January 14, 2016 at 5:30 PM

Will they be using the Vaudeville hook today?

Fallon on January 14, 2016 at 5:30 PM

Lone occupant says, “Is this a joke?”

IDontCair on January 14, 2016 at 5:26 PM

Yes, its a joke when the only republicans agreeing with the Trump birther nonsense are guys with no support

OrthodoxJew on January 14, 2016 at 5:31 PM

Will they be using the Vaudeville hook today?

Fallon on January 14, 2016 at 5:30 PM

Lol, thanks for making me laugh!

celt on January 14, 2016 at 5:31 PM

Fiorina belongs under the table. *ducks*

Rix on January 14, 2016 at 5:34 PM

Donald J. Trump [email protected] 3h3 hours ago

Do you think Iran would have acted so tough if they were Russian sailors? Our country was humiliated.

IDontCair on January 14, 2016 at 5:35 PM

The only way this debate will be interesting is if they restrict the discussion to the meaning of ‘natural born’ and New York values.

verbaluce on January 14, 2016 at 5:36 PM

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CYn4ZlhWkAAIOCd.jpg

IDontCair on January 14, 2016 at 5:36 PM

The debate America’s been waiting for — Huckabee vs. Santorum vs. Fiorina

Whatever. I’ll be watching the live feed of Rand and Mitch doing each other’s hair.

Pork-Chop on January 14, 2016 at 5:38 PM

Going for the gold.

Source: Alabama running back and Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry will forgo his senior year and enter the NFL draft – @schadjoe

IDontCair on January 14, 2016 at 5:40 PM

The only way this debate will be interesting is if they restrict the discussion to the meaning of ‘natural born’ and New York values.

verbaluce on January 14, 2016 at 5:36 PM

Is Cruz Natural Born or Naturalized.

RickB on January 14, 2016 at 5:41 PM

Strongly worded.

White House issues statement condemning in ‘the strongest terms’ the terrorist attack in Jakarta

IDontCair on January 14, 2016 at 5:41 PM

Walt Hunter [email protected] 2h2 hours ago

FBI Director Comey: ambush,shooting of Phila. Police Officer Jessie Hartnett investigated as “act of terrorism” new details live at 5

IDontCair on January 14, 2016 at 5:42 PM

Planned Parenthood has filed a lawsuit against group behind undercover videos, organization’s president says

IDontCair on January 14, 2016 at 5:45 PM

3 Natural Born losers..

celt on January 14, 2016 at 5:46 PM

The libertarian cohort isn’t backing Ted Cruz. The libertarian cohort has left the Republican Party.

TBSchemer on January 14, 2016 at 5:47 PM

The libertarian cohort isn’t backing Ted Cruz. The libertarian cohort has left the Republican Party.

TBSchemer on January 14, 2016 at 5:47 PM

No, he refused a seat at the kiddie table.

RickB on January 14, 2016 at 5:48 PM

It would have been two hours of Huckabee [Elmer Gantry] saying “Rick’s never run anything in his life” and Santorum saying “Mike has zero experience with foreign policy” mixed in with endless, endless, endless Cruz-bashing. It would have been a train wreck, but train wrecks are nothing if not watchable.

I hate those two bastards. Freaking go away already!

Aizen on January 14, 2016 at 5:49 PM

Let’s get ready to RummmmmZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzz.

portlandon on January 14, 2016 at 5:49 PM

Clinky
Gonna miss tonight’s fireworks

Take care

cmsinaz on January 14, 2016 at 5:50 PM

[…] and Huckabee has made no secret of his bitterness over the fact that evangelical leaders collectively decided to support Cruz rather than him last month. Via BuzzFeed, here’s Huck’s latest rhetorical middle finger:

POS.

Aizen on January 14, 2016 at 5:52 PM

Gonna rock the Nielsens… easily do a .2 rating… er… I mean a 20. Yeah that’s it, that’s the ticket.

Neitherleftorright on January 14, 2016 at 5:53 PM

The libertarian cohort isn’t backing Ted Cruz. The libertarian cohort has left the Republican Party.

TBSchemer on January 14, 2016 at 5:47 PM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PVrEwCa8nSA

IDontCair on January 14, 2016 at 5:54 PM

Let’s get ready to RummmmmZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzz.

portlandon on January 14, 2016 at 5:49 PM

Perfect. We can close the thread :-)

Doomberg on January 14, 2016 at 5:59 PM

Clinton’s Spot on Illinois Ballot Challenged
Anti-Hillary super PAC files petition claiming thousands of ballot access signatures are invalid

That’s a classic Obama move, and in Illinois, lol.

Fallon on January 14, 2016 at 6:03 PM

Carly is so unlikeable

davemason2k on January 14, 2016 at 6:05 PM

Cool, this is kind of like the Democrat debate!

Joseph K on January 14, 2016 at 6:05 PM

Milk toast Huck

davemason2k on January 14, 2016 at 6:06 PM

Rand paul couldnt make it tonight. Hes still filibustering……

Indiana Jim on January 14, 2016 at 6:06 PM

The libertarian cohort isn’t backing Ted Cruz. The libertarian cohort has left the Republican Party.

TBSchemer on January 14, 2016 at 5:47 PM

I don’t even think it’s been in the Republican Party since the Reagan era. The “libertarian cohort” probably left once Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell began influencing the party platform.

Aizen on January 14, 2016 at 6:07 PM

The libertarian cohort isn’t backing Ted Cruz. The libertarian cohort has left the Republican Party.

TDSchemer on January 14, 2016 at 5:47 PM

We’ll miss you and your friend.

Joseph K on January 14, 2016 at 6:07 PM

Paul didnt leave the republican party…. It left him, you idiot!!!

Indiana Jim on January 14, 2016 at 6:07 PM

Is Rich Lowry there?

22044 on January 14, 2016 at 6:08 PM

OT:

Alan Rickman, RIP.

trigon on January 14, 2016 at 6:09 PM

Aizen. Roger that. And Fiorina acting like a school teacher who hasnt been laid for ten years…..

Indiana Jim on January 14, 2016 at 6:09 PM

Carly is probably great in bed. So much pent up anger!

davemason2k on January 14, 2016 at 6:09 PM

I Hate The Media [email protected] 44m44 minutes ago

Will they say the same things in English and Spanish?

IDontCair on January 14, 2016 at 6:11 PM

If only Pauls libertarian cohort would leave HA……

Indiana Jim on January 14, 2016 at 6:11 PM

Thank you God for taking Carly, that yipping doggie, off the top stage.

She and Hillary sound the same.

Schadenfreude on January 14, 2016 at 6:13 PM

And Fiorina acting like a school teacher who hasnt been laid for ten years…..

Indiana Jim on January 14, 2016 at 6:09 PM

Carly is probably great in bed. So much pent up anger!

davemason2k on January 14, 2016 at 6:09 PM

o_O

Aizen on January 14, 2016 at 6:13 PM

Dr. Rand Paul Verified account [email protected]

I just yelled, “you lie” really loud. Good thing I’m not there. #SOTU

IDontCair on January 14, 2016 at 6:17 PM

Which undercard candidate will do the best Trump impersonation tonight?

Joseph K on January 14, 2016 at 6:17 PM

Aizen. Roger that.

Indiana Jim on January 14, 2016 at 6:09 PM

Eh, we probably agree but for different reasons. I see nothing wrong with running on a platform of social conservatism, but (IMO) federalism is always the best approach, in part because it teaches the most people. I think the Republican Party did a lot of damage to itself over the years with figures like Santorum and Huckabee (and those like Newt, who’ve had affairs and damage the “family values” brand), but that’s a different issue. I think most libertarians have a greater dislike for neoconservative foreign policy than any other “Republican” platform.

Aizen on January 14, 2016 at 6:18 PM

Go home, Krauthammer. You’re drunk.

Guy Benson Verified account [email protected]

Krauthammer: Best #SOTU response I’ve ever heard tonight. “It was even well-written…that was a really good speech.”

IDontCair on January 14, 2016 at 6:18 PM

Carly is probably great in bed. So much pent up anger!

davemason2k on January 14, 2016 at 6:09 PM

If you could get her to shut up.

Joseph K on January 14, 2016 at 6:19 PM

Guy Benson Verified account [email protected]

Krauthammer: Best #SOTU response I’ve ever heard tonight. “It was even well-written…that was a really good speech.”

IDontCair on January 14, 2016 at 6:18 PM

Of course he liked it; he wrote it!

Joseph K on January 14, 2016 at 6:20 PM

Thank you God for taking Carly, that yipping doggie, off the top stage.

She and Hillary sound the same.

Schadenfreude on January 14, 2016 at 6:13 PM

So, Fiorina isn’t the “Japanese doll” anymore?

C’mon.

Aizen on January 14, 2016 at 6:20 PM

Aizen on January 14, 2016 at 6:18 PM

“[…] reaches the most people,” not “teaches.” Although both work.

Aizen on January 14, 2016 at 6:21 PM

So, Fiorina isn’t the “Japanese doll” anymore?

C’mon.

Aizen on January 14, 2016 at 6:20 PM

Just for you, bud, she’s a Japanese plastic doll and yips like a doggie at the debate. She looks/sounds like a slim Hillary.

That hectoring is really grating. Enough of that after the oaf in chief.

Schadenfreude on January 14, 2016 at 6:24 PM

If you could get her to shut up.

Joseph K on January 14, 2016 at 6:19 PM

Why God created duct tape.

TXUS on January 14, 2016 at 6:24 PM

Santorum to go all the way….

Viator on January 14, 2016 at 6:27 PM

Dr. Rand Paul Verified account [email protected]

I just yelled, “you lie” really loud. Good thing I’m not there. #SOTU

IDontCair on January 14, 2016 at 6:17 PM

I hope that Randy doesn’t knock over his Smurfs TV tray … Mitch will have to spank his little bottom.

Pork-Chop on January 14, 2016 at 6:28 PM

FBN’s Trish Regan is the hottest news babe ever, and that’s including all the Fox news babes.

TXUS on January 14, 2016 at 6:29 PM

Dr. Rand Paul Verified account [email protected]
I just yelled, “you lie” really loud. Good thing I’m not there. #SOTU

Way to look like a fighter, Randie. I bet you go poopy all by yourself too.

Meremortal on January 14, 2016 at 6:33 PM

Just for you, bud, she’s a Japanese plastic doll and yips like a doggie at the debate. She looks/sounds like a slim Hillary.

That hectoring is really grating. Enough of that after the oaf in chief.

Schadenfreude on January 14, 2016 at 6:24 PM

Meh, Christie annoys me just as much when he belches out his nonsense. I dislike Fiorina because she tries to out-hawk Christie (and Rubio and Bush), and because she has her fingerprints on the whole mess involving the surveillance state (dating back to her time at HP). As for the hectoring, it’s very rude but I wouldn’t single her out for that.

Also, at least she’s not a decaying beached whale. ;)

Aizen on January 14, 2016 at 6:34 PM

TXUS

Schadenfreude on January 14, 2016 at 6:38 PM

I dislike Fiorina because she tries to out-hawk Christie (and Rubio and Bush), and because she has her fingerprints on the whole mess involving the surveillance state (dating back to her time at HP).

Of course

Also, at least she’s not a decaying beached whale. ;)

Aizen on January 14, 2016 at 6:34 PM

No, she’s a decaying eel.

Schadenfreude on January 14, 2016 at 6:39 PM

Beck – Loser

Magicjava on January 14, 2016 at 6:41 PM

No, she’s a decaying eel.

Schadenfreude on January 14, 2016 at 6:39 PM

That mental image. o_O

Aizen on January 14, 2016 at 6:42 PM

FBN’s Trish Regan is the hottest news babe ever, and that’s including all the Fox news babes.

TXUS on January 14, 2016 at 6:29 PM

Yep. Pretty hot indeed.

rottenrobbie on January 14, 2016 at 6:43 PM

I must be a closet masochist as I actually like these under-card debates!

smokeyblonde on January 14, 2016 at 6:46 PM

Any one of the three candidates in the Republican undercard debate – Santorum, Fiorina, Huckabee – would keep our country safer than any of the Democrat candidates.

wren on January 14, 2016 at 6:48 PM

I must be a closet masochist as I actually like these under-card debates!


smokeyblonde
on January 14, 2016 at 6:46 PM

I am enjoying the undercard debate too, Smoleyblonde!

All 3 candidates are doing well.

wren on January 14, 2016 at 6:49 PM

Any one of the three candidates in the Republican undercard debate – Santorum, Fiorina, Huckabee – would keep our country safer than any of the Democrat candidates.

wren on January 14, 2016 at 6:48 PM

Absolutely.

But then … nearly everyone here except the trolls (and maybe even some of them) would be better than the DNC bench.

smokeyblonde on January 14, 2016 at 6:50 PM

smokeyblonde on January 14, 2016 at 6:46 PM

I am enjoying it too despite these 3 will never make it into the top 3. Smith and Regan doing a good job on the questions.

CoffeeLover on January 14, 2016 at 6:50 PM

Schadenfreude on January 14, 2016 at 6:38 PM

And an opera singer to boot. Never had one of those, but would sure like to make her sing.

TXUS on January 14, 2016 at 6:51 PM

Live streaming of the Republican debates is available at:

http://www.foxbusiness.com/

wren on January 14, 2016 at 6:52 PM

I am enjoying the undercard debate too, Smoleyblonde!

All 3 candidates are doing well.

wren on January 14, 2016 at 6:49 PM

Jeepers, got the feeling I was the only one! Misery loves company, ya know! :)

Have to say … I really do like Santorum; he’s really grown on me through these debates. He is probably choice #3 right now; but still a Cruz girl and proud Howler Monkey.

smokeyblonde on January 14, 2016 at 6:54 PM

smokeyblonde on January 14, 2016 at 6:54 PM

Political junkie :)

CoffeeLover on January 14, 2016 at 6:57 PM

I am enjoying it too despite these 3 will never make it into the top 3. Smith and Regan doing a good job on the questions.

CoffeeLover on January 14, 2016 at 6:50 PM

Aren’t the mods great? Have only watched about 20 minutes, but the are doing well.

Funny how if the mods are respectful to the candidates, the respect is reciprocated?

And to get snarky – life is damn unfair that the mods are beautiful and smart and capable and appear nice. Women like that are just annoying … :)

smokeyblonde on January 14, 2016 at 6:58 PM

smokeyblonde on January 14, 2016 at 6:54 PM

Santorum is on my short list too. Although Ted Cruz is as the top of my short list at the moment.

Santorum is very strong on immigration issues. And I really liked his point tonight about how sending ILLEGAL aliens back to their home countries would help to export American values so those people could help to lead their birth countries toward more democracy and freedom. And then people would not have to come here ILLEGALLY.

wren on January 14, 2016 at 7:00 PM

Political junkie :)

CoffeeLover on January 14, 2016 at 6:57 PM

Only when I get the chance! Stupid work has a tendency to get in the way during the week.

And here we go! The calls & texts from family and friends just started for tonight’s main debate … good thing have a large cocktail made and back-up beers in the fridge. :)

smokeyblonde on January 14, 2016 at 7:01 PM

Political junkie :)

CoffeeLover on January 14, 2016 at 6:57 PM

Yup, I’m guilty as charged. Political junkies Unite!

wren on January 14, 2016 at 7:03 PM

wren on January 14, 2016 at 7:00 PM

That was a great answer!

Did you catch the EMP threat? Had just gotten home & turned on the debate so missed some of it, but the pieces I caught were impressive.

And I love how he was taking Rand Paul’s time for closing remarks! Hilarious!

smokeyblonde on January 14, 2016 at 7:03 PM

smokeyblonde on January 14, 2016 at 7:03 PM

It was a great answer. And yes I laughed at Santorum asking for Paul’s time LOL.

2 hours before Round 2

CoffeeLover on January 14, 2016 at 7:05 PM

Did you catch the EMP threat? Had just gotten home & turned on the debate so missed some of it, but the pieces I caught were impressive.

And I love how he was taking Rand Paul’s time for closing remarks! Hilarious!

smokeyblonde on January 14, 2016 at 7:03 PM

Yes. I watched from the beginning and was impressed throughout the debate.

Santorum did a great job with the infrastructure/EMP question. Tying the EMP threat together with the need to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon was timely and right on target.

wren on January 14, 2016 at 7:10 PM

With only 3 candidates in the undercard debate, all 3 got a substantial amount of time to talk to the American voters.

But I am surprised that the undercard debate only lasted for 1 hour. I want more!

Oh well, now I have time to make dinner here in the Pacific Time Zone, before the main debate.

See you on the main debate open thread Smokeyblonde and CoffeeLover…

wren on January 14, 2016 at 7:13 PM

See you on the main debate open thread Smokeyblonde and CoffeeLover…

wren on January 14, 2016 at 7:13 PM

Woo Hoo! Can’t wait!

smokeyblonde on January 14, 2016 at 7:22 PM

I’m going to have to rely on y’all– I don’t get that channel or any others except for CBS and FOX local affiliates. I like it that way! Thank you in advance.

tbear44 on January 14, 2016 at 7:34 PM

Fiorina belongs under the table. *ducks*

Rix on January 14, 2016 at 5:34 PM

Shouldn’t Carly be dusting or setting the table???

stenwin77 on January 14, 2016 at 7:35 PM

http://www.nbcnews.com/meet-the-press/trump-more-doubles-national-lead-nbc-wsj-poll-n496711

What I find interesting– and I know I’ll be attacked for this– Normally it’s the Democrats who are lousy at math.

According to the above poll — combined with previous polls– we are leaning towards nominating a candidate, or two, who will turn off 80-90% of Hispanics, 85-90% of Blacks, and 75-80% of Women.

Okay then.

Way to solidify a Euro-Socialist America, and a completely liberal Supreme Court.

BossmanMike on January 14, 2016 at 7:40 PM

FBN’s Trish Regan is the hottest news babe ever, and that’s including all the Fox news babes.

TXUS on January 14, 2016 at 6:29 PM

She looks anorexic.

they lie on January 14, 2016 at 7:56 PM

Planned Parenthood Lawsuit (CNN via Levin)

Someone email me the NBC version. Almost identical.

gh on January 14, 2016 at 7:57 PM

Shouldn’t Carly be dusting or setting the table???

stenwin77 on January 14, 2016 at 7:35 PM

All that but not mirrors. I mean, look at that face

rik on January 14, 2016 at 7:57 PM

Way to solidify a Euro-Socialist America, and a completely liberal Supreme Court.

BossmanMike on January 14, 2016 at 7:40 PM

How long you been here Bossman?

celt on January 14, 2016 at 7:57 PM

FBN’s Trish Regan is the hottest news babe ever, and that’s including all the Fox news babes.

TXUS on January 14, 2016 at 6:29 PM

Martha McCallum

rik on January 14, 2016 at 8:01 PM

There is no libertarian that supports Ted Cruz.

iwasbornwithit on January 14, 2016 at 11:40 PM

The winner of last night’s debates was pretty clearly Trish Regan.

justltl on January 15, 2016 at 7:10 AM