LIVEBLOG: CNN Arizona Republican Party Debate

From time to time, here at Hammer of Truth one of us will liveblog a debate or something. This is what it looks like.

On Wednesday February 22nd 2012, four GOP candidates for president got on stage to once again lay into each other in the new public blood sport democratic process of of getting to know our next commander in chief. From left to right on the stage were Ron Paul, Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich. Most people have been more interested in Whitney Houston’s sudden death over the past week and a half than anything political, so we’ll see if the first post-Whitney GOP debate is a pop or a drop amongst the American rabble.

The complete transcript of the debate can be found here. Ron Paul highlights can be found here. Read on for our official Hammer of Truth verdict on the debate and be sure to leave your thoughts on how the candidates did.

All times are EST (I hated having to add that shit on every update, so hurray efficiency):

19:40 CNN doing pregame prep on their stage, before it was a shot of the White House being patrolled by men in trench coats. It seems we’re having everyone in the sit-down format this time, so we’ll probably get a few nice tight shots of some angry finger pointing.

19:44 CNN Saying the Arizona GOP is co-hosting this with them is like saying a fat kid who gets a pin from the airline is a pilot. They will be allowed to approach microphones in the audience area like the other peons, CNN hosts will be the only persons allowed on stage with the candidates.

19:57 I’m really digging CNN’s style, now if they will only bring some substance this time. One question we’d love to see tweeted about a bajillion times is how the candidates feel about Snoop Dogg being busted in an illegal internal checkpoint in notorious Sierra Blanca, Arizona last month over a minor amount of marijuana. There, insta-substance plus style points.

20:04 Candidates have just been introduced. They are all mic’ed up individually so there’s a good chance we’ll hear some under the breath snipes between candidates, and certainly lots and lots of sighing.

20:10 Santorum talking about how he’s going to end all those damn welfare for corporations. No wait, he’s going to get rid of entitlement programs for lazy poor people. Santorum keeps acting like Santorum is going to happen. Hold hands with Gingrich and please go away.

20:11 Romney lives in the world of business, he balanced his budgets. He also balances on the fence on damn near every issue until he sees which one is winning.

20:14 Santorum reminds everyone that Romney raised taxes. Romney says no no no, he’s going to cut taxes. Come on, you can trust him, he has gray sideburns.

Gingrich gets involved and starts jabbering about how he’s going to balance the budget, by exploiting oil and natural resources. Millions of oily oily jobs. I’m excited at this oil-covered Gingrich future.

20:18 CNN asks why Paul says Santorum is a fake. Paul says because he is. Massive applause. Points out that Santorum voted for No Child Left Behind but is now running against it. Santorum’s face is a snarled mess. Paul says out they are all big spenders on foreign aid.

20:19 Santorum talks about some endorsements from some psuedo-conservative organizations no one gives a shit about. The crowd laughs because he’s talking fast and acting nervous. Ron Paul ranked in the bottom with that clearly stacked organization. Paul comes back and calls that comparison answer a “cop out”.

20:22 Back to Romney, he was a “severe, strict” governor of Massachusetts and he will gladly rule America with that same Iron Fist. For the children.

20:24 Gingrich gets a question about supply side economics. His face goes blank as he tries to figure out how to change the subject. Oh look, he changed the subject to a populist “modern border control”. Hello Arizona, Gingrich has ADD.

“Let’s get back to a balanced budget” like the line of credit he had with Tiffany’s.

20:29 Santorum lays into Romney over earmarks for Salt Lake City Olympics funding. He can barely defend his record on earmarks so he’s trying to take everyone down with him, including Bush and Cheney. Santorum would oppose earmarks as president, someone in the audience boos. Romney calls the process broken, and then elaborates on how he exploited it “to save the Olympics”.

20:31 SCREEN GRABS OF THE MOMENT. Knee slapping between the three stooges when Romney is the butt of the joke, and Ron Paul having a teaching moment:

20:32 ALL HAIL HYPNO-CNN.

20:36 Romney is pretty good at business, this much is true. Are his hands clean? That’s a definite no, so that’s why he supports TARP, but not GM bailout.

Because… deep breath… “ALL THE BANKS COULD HAVE COLLAPSED”. What a load of hooey.

His favorite word: “managed bankruptcy”. Sounds a lot like a nod to managed democracy.

20:41 Paul says all “bailouts are bad, and we shouldn’t be doing it.” Gives us an analogy to a criminal robbing people, being good at it, and so for that reason being allowed to continue. Bankruptcy for General Motors would have been natural, also for banks.

20:43 Finally a commercial break, these guys jabbering on is hard to follow with a keyboard. Once again Paul is being marginalized (with tricky camera angles only showing Santorum/Romney/Gingrich being the worst culprit and a lack of questions being a close second). John King is less of a douche tonight, letting the candidates do all the talking and encouraging the crowd booing.

20:47 Gingrich bringing back the “elite media” dog whistle, I wonder if the elite media can get lines of credit at Tiffany’s. They are going apeshit over birth control, one of the worst wedge issues in modern politics. Romney calling people liberal on any issue is just trolling.

20:49 Santorum says contraception is dangerous. Teens are sexually active! Children raised by chidren, drug use, anarchy, nihilism. “EVERYTHING IS NOT GOING TO BE FINE!” I bet he drinks a lot.

20:51 Paul says get the government out of medical issues. The “pills can’t be blamed for the morality of society”.

20:52 Romney says too many kids being born out of wedlock, asks “how are we going to have a society?” Kids being in a home with a mother and father gets applause, loaded language indicates “a mother and a mother” or “a father and a father” is not the society he’s willing to entertain. Unless it polls higher in this primary state.

20:55 Oh look, Gingrich has something to say about family values, everyone try not to laugh. Surprise, he changed the subject to coercion of the state to try and appeal to libertarians.

20:56 Paul teaches everyone about the chemical structure of birth control pills and morning after pills (they are very similar). Did we mention he’s an actual fucking doctor?

20:58 Someone please make a dubstep song with Santorum saying “children being sexually active”. I predict great reception.

21:02 Santorum and Rmoney get into a heated fight over Obamacare and Rmoneycare.

Santorum writes “eat me, you cunt” on a piece of paper while Romney angrily louder than normally tries to defend his record. Santorum circles and draws him out. Paul and Gingrich laugh at the tangle. The crowd begins to boo both of them, so John King moves to an audience question.

21:06 Paul fields a question on border enforcement, says we could do a better job securing our own borders than the ones in the Middle East, snap. Says there should be no mandate by the federal government, calls immigration inefficient. Romney coughs loudly.

21:09 SNAP ASSESSMENT: The GOP is good at building walls and telling other people to tear theirs down. Guess we won’t be talking about the next step within walled society, which is internal checkpoints.

21:10 Romney endorsed e-verify and REALID and you should just be a good American and get chipped already to work that job because that’s obviously preferable to some dirty immigrants takin yer jerb.

21:13 Gingrich “voted in 1986″ for the bill that was supposed to solve all the immigration problems. Of course that bill failed. May we remind the former House Speaker that those who give up essential liberty for temporary security will get neither?

21:20 King asks for one word from each candidate to label themselves with:
Paul – consistent
Santorum – courage
Romney – resolute
Gingrich – cheerful

21:22 My one word for each candidate:
Paul – underdog
Santorum – shitty
Romney – flipper
Gingrich – philanderer

21:24 Paul says he’s afraid a draft is in the making with all these wars. He doesn’t want men or women being killed in wars, calls pre-emptive war morally unjust. Defensive posture only. Doesn’t call Gingrich a chickenhawk tonight. Santorum, Romney and Gingrich all more support foreign entanglements because lol, not their ass.

21:26 Gingrich saber rattles at Iran, calling him a dictator. Romney says enact “crippling” sanctions. Santorum says sanctions plus more saber rattling. Here’s a not-scary map of Iran’s threat to America:

21:32 Paul says, they feel threatened, so they seek weapons… he says look at the map (that I just posted, lol). Paul says worry more about the Soviet-era nukes than new hypothetical nuke programs. Paul warns that war must be declared, and not to do it lightly.

21:35 King changes topic to Syria. Same question, different bullshit. Santorum calls them an “axis” and would be more aggressive in the Middle East. Calls the situation “cataclysmic”. If Santorum is elected I expect the bunker industry to boom thanks to his paranoia.

21:37 Gingrich wants to engage the entire region. There’s a multiple partners joke in there somewhere. Romney wants to get involved in Syrian conflict, because… America: world police.

21:39 Paul “I tried the moral argument, I tried the constitutional argument”. He switches gears to then the financial argument, “we don’t have the money”. He goes on, “I’m going to win this argument for the economic reason … The Soviets left because they were broke.” Big applause.

21:47 EDUCATION! Everyone on the stage: got mine, up yours. Oh wait, we will help you with pretty school buildings. Gingrich says rebuild from ground up. Ron Paul goes last and gets biggest applause for his radical platform to ends the federal Department of Education and return the issue of education back to the states. Consistent.

21:51 King poses the biggest misconceptions question to each candidate.

Paul: “That I can’t win”. Says to look at his to the rallies (and they are sizable, yes), that misconception is not present.
Gingrich: The amount of work he did, many many many years ago.
Romney: goes offtopic, then scolds King when he tries to help steer him. Delivers a stump speech instead of answering the question.
Santorum: follows Romney’s lead and talks about how much money Obama has raised. Another stump speech.

21:56 Show’s over, CNN’s King thanks the Arizona GOP. They can each expect a commemorative pin in the mail for their help in selling out the democratic process in another lame-ass “debate”.

0:29 Thank you to Betty Liberty for pointing out Santorum’s wild handshake with Paul after the debate.

No Rick, we told to you hold hands with Gingrich and leave. But seriously, who the hell shakes hands like that? Angry losers.

posted by vforvandyke
  • Anonymous

    Santorum, Gingrich, & Romney: “The three stooges”….

    Together, they couldn’t pour pi.. out of a boot, if the instructions were written in bold print on the side!

    • https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1004683294 Freshtodeath77

      They’d figure out how to pour it on your head and call it trickle down economics.

  • Show

    All the world’s a stage,
    And all the men and women merely players:
    They have their exits and their entrances;
    And one man in his time plays many parts,
    His acts being seven ages. At first the infant,
    Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms.
    And then the whining school-boy, with his satchel
    And shining morning face, creeping like snail
    Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
    Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
    Made to his mistress’ eyebrow. Then a soldier,
    Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard,
    Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel,
    Seeking the bubble reputation
    Even in the cannon’s mouth. And then the justice,
    In fair round belly with good capon lined,
    With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
    Full of wise saws and modern instances;
    And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
    Into the lean and slipper’d pantaloon,
    With spectacles on nose and pouch on side,
    His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide
    For his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice,
    Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
    And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
    That ends this strange eventful history,
    Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
    Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.

    William Shakespeare – All the world’s a stage (from As You Like It 2/7)

    • Guest

      Ron Paul to VP to a chiksa ?   LOL :)  what a joke !!! Why is the FED for afraid ??? Read
      ———————————————————————————————————————————————
      The Behind Closed Door(s) meeting of the Fed to discuss “new rules” is a fraud. What was actually discussed was a Pre-Audit employee extravaganza. The final agreement was to hire all the Carnival Cruse ships, for a grand “ I’m a Dancing Fool “ party cruse. The destination was undisclosed, but rumors suggest somewhere in the Mediterranean. Several trains from Washington to New York were also to be booked for “special congressional guests “. According to rumors again, Ron & Rand Paul were not invited ! Experts had no explanation for the party mood, some say, that after years of “ getting high on themselves ” that “ they deserve it “. Other rumors suggest that both Ron & Rand Paul, will run for President and Vice President respectively, on the Libertarian Party Ticket in November. This sparked much heated debate within these “closed meetings” of the Fed, therefore Party Cruse!

  • Bob

    Dr. Paul rocked tonight…well done good and faithful servant…

    • https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1004683294 Jane Smith

      He is looking very relaxed and comfortable talking amongst those hyenas more than ever. It’s fun to see him become so confident on stage!

      • Guest

        Ron Paul to VP to a chiksa ?   LOL :)  what a joke !!! Why is the FED for afraid ??? Read
        ———————————————————————————————————————————————
        The Behind Closed Door(s) meeting of the Fed to discuss “new rules” is a fraud. What was actually discussed was a Pre-Audit employee extravaganza. The final agreement was to hire all the Carnival Cruse ships, for a grand “ I’m a Dancing Fool “ party cruse. The destination was undisclosed, but rumors suggest somewhere in the Mediterranean. Several trains from Washington to New York were also to be booked for “special congressional guests “. According to rumors again, Ron & Rand Paul were not invited ! Experts had no explanation for the party mood, some say, that after years of “ getting high on themselves ” that “ they deserve it “. Other rumors suggest that both Ron & Rand Paul, will run for President and Vice President respectively, on the Libertarian Party Ticket in November. This sparked much heated debate within these “closed meetings” of the Fed, therefore Party Cruse!

    • RP2012

      “I’m going to win this argument for the economic reason” will go down in history as the warning heard round the world.

  • RickH

    Nice debate review, saved me a bunch of time.

  • RP2012

    Santorum looks like a passive aggressive tool.