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.