Republican Debate III: Part Two: Final Justice


8:11: Ho-hum.

8:15: Hunter thinks we can pull a Douglas MacArthur in Iraq. I get it now: He stopped reading the news four years ago.

8:17: Brownback wants to turn Iraq into three countries with a federal capital, the way America will be if we pass the immigration bill.

8:19: In the comments, Lonewacko asks "Aren't the questions Wolfie asks extremely broad, lightweight?" Yes. Everybody hates them, but the super-specific questions of Tim Russert variety make for much better back-and-forth than a lot of the stuff we've heard so far.

8:20: Paul, confronted with two military vet/family members in a row, tells them that the troops shouldn't be nation-building. It's politely receieved.

8:21: Rudy wonders whether Wolf will report the news if Gen. Petraeus comes back with a positive report, then soaks up the benefit of standing to answer the townhall questions: He walks away to booming applause.

8:25: Rudy basically endorses Romney's old health care compromise.

8:27: How will Duncan Hunter's dad get his meds from Mexico if Duncan builds a border fence? Duncan Hunter: Hates the aged, hates America. (I'm guessing. Hunter lives in Southern California. I'll take it back if we're talking frequent Canadian vacations.)

8:31: It's never been clear why Romney is running as a faux right-winger instead of a businessman/super-work. He comes alive for the health care question: "The market works. Personal responsibility works."

8:33: Ron Paul, a doctor, gets no question about health care. Mike Huckabee, a pastor, gets a softball about morals. And he whips out the "what makes America unique is our respect for life," contrasting that with the Muslim nations where everyone's kids become suicide bombers.

8:35: Rudy points out that "we're friends" with Vietnam because we stuck it out and won.

8:36: Paul gets the war question and uses it to rap the rest of the candidates on the Iran talk. We need to "not think that we can change the world by force of arms and starting wars."

8:38: Romney's pretty positive that no illegal immigrants are watching his Spanish ads.

8:43: That's a pretty fat finger that McCain just stuck in base voters' eyes. He tells Romney "muchos gracias" and then calls sneaking across the border "accelerating their citizenship."

8:45: Rudy and McCain are shoulder-to-shoulder on spending as Bush's biggest mistake. Nice, but not really credible.

8:47: Matt Yglesias doesn't want to liveblog. Me, I want to liveblog, but lightning is knocking out CNN's army of plasma TVs and audio equipment in the media room.

8:48: Ah, we're back. The questions are getting exponentially more generic.

8:50: "What does it mean to be American?" Tancredo: "To not be a Mexican." (Paraphrase.)

8:52: Rudy: "Immigration makes us better. If we lose that, we lose the genius that has made us great." Nice.

8:55: Interesting, throwing the question about "how to bring back independents" to Gilmore. "Well, as the guy who thinks moderate Republicans are gutless mutant hybrids…"

8:57: How does the GOP win back independents? Well, it can't. But Ronald Reagan could!

8:58: McCain: We can win by being ever-more hawkish and blustery.