Ron Paul

Republican Debate III: Skirmish at Saint Anselm


6:57: The sound of Wolf Blitzer clearing his throat could be easily mistaken for a swarm of locusts, mating.

6:58: I guess it's possible that that was his microphone.

7:02: Is Tommy Thompson growing a devilock?

7:03: More quick snark: Mitt Romney and Sam Brownback know how to use their junk. Hasn't John McCain been tortured enough? Mike Huckabee is blissfully unaware that Bill Clinton is really, really popular.

7:04: "I am the champion of the Constitution." And I—have—the—power!

7:05: Why is Mitt Romney still beating up on Harry Reid? Obvious: Only one Mormon gets to ride the white horse. That said, he waffles the "would you have supported Iraq if you knew it would be the worst war ever" question with grace that would drive Fred Astaire to the bottle.

7:07: Here's the paradox: Giuliani and McCain handled the Iraq question with far more grit and honesty and, hell, respect for Wolf Blitzer than Romney did. And yet, pop quiz: Which of those guys is it easiest to imagine behind the podium? That's right: The waffler.

7:09: I have no comment on Rudy's "live free or die" remark. He might ban me from his event tomorrow.

7:10: Brownback "doesn't remember" the National Intelligence Estimate. Jim Gilmore does and hezzzzzzz….

7:11: McCain won't let Hillary Clinton lose the war. Well, good.

7:13: Thompson's "dey can have dere own states" plan sounds less dotty when he's asked a specific surge question.

7:14: This is superficial, but the fact that Paul has started chopping his hand when he makes his anti-war point makes it far, far more effective.

7:15: Mike Huckabee's solution for Iraq: Quote Terrance Howard's dialogue from Hustle & Flow.

7:16: Did Tancredo not enjoy the applause Paul got when he called for quitting Iraq? He dashed through the fact he voted against the surge to say how much he wants it to work.

7:18; Things Duncan Hunter doesn't want to nuke: the border wall, the Liberty Bell, Disneyworld's California Adventure. Things he does: All that other stuff. (He said we scould use "any method" to stop Iran from moving arms into Iran, but Blitzer made him clarify.)

7:20: Rudy: Iran can "hand nuclear material to terrorists." Well, hell, why are we arguing about "when they'll be ready" with nukes? Let's hit it to quit it!

7:21: Romney: "How do we move the world of Islam so they don't move toward the extreme?" You don't need to use force, but you need to be ready to… attack everyone.

7:24: That's a lot of time Tancredo got to explain his position on the immigration bill: It's not just bad, it'll break America up into Balkan states.

7:25: Rudy wants immigrants to live free with a tamper-proof ID card and listing in a national database or die.

7:27: Romney: Sure McCain disagrees with me, but he campaigned for me. Romney, you'll recall, is the candidate who hates non sequitors.

7:29: Hand it to Wolf Blitzer: He knows how to let John McCain talk. He sounds arrogant, like he knows no one else has reckoned with immigration (or the current bill), and dares them to come on and bring a better idea. Giuliani and Romney know just enough for this strategy to fail, although Rudy sounds like he's pored over the bill and Romney sounds like he's read a memo.

7:31: I got a fever! And the only perscription! Is more Duncan Hunter! (Or, you know, a shitload less.)

7:32: I really don't want to worry this point: Maybe Ron Paul will get 10 minutes of speaking time right after I post. But Duncan Hunter won't get as many votes in New Hampshire as Paul. He doesn't have the built-in constituency that Paul does. If he gets more votes in the primary, I'll donate a brick to the border wall.

7:34: Wow, Paul is really humming tonight. He gets the pre-selected kook question from Blitzer (Deeuhr, should we build a wall on the Canadian border?) and unloads his line about "if you subsidize something you get more of it it." This is probably the Paul position most repulsive to left-libertarians, but he makes a play for them by calling illegal immigrants "scapegoats" in the current system.

7:38: A ticket has two people, Jim. Not three.

7:40: And God literally strikes Rudy with lightning. Multiple times.

7:41: And the lightning goes away, the clouds part, to allow Mitt Romney to wax about his Immaculate Flip-Flop. Matt and Trey were right: God is a Mormon.

7:43: And the Holy Spirt has possessed Mike Huckabee! This is like The Last Temptation of Christ without all the jokes.

7:44: Inherit the Wind, starring Wolf Blitzer as Clarence Darrow and Mike Huckabee as William Jennings Bryan. I miss Duncan Hunter.

7:46: I suspect that McCain attends church less often than Huckabee and Brownback.

7:47: Paul and McCain give the same answer on church and state. Blitzer's framing is amusingly silly: "You ran for president as a Libertarian. What do you think?" Maybe he has a well-known stance on it, Wolf.

7:50: Romney and Rudy agree: Let's launch a major national project, paid for with tax cuts and a kissing booth, to solve the energy crisis. I guess everyone misses the Carter presidency.

7:53: When it comes to the energy question, Paul is the only Republican on the stage.

7:55: Huh. I joked about Paul getting more time, and (probably because of his good behavior) he's actually getting more time. Of course, unlike Rudy Giuliani, I believe in Jesus.

7:58: Does anyone know why CNN is harping on the gays/military issue? How hot a topic is this?

8:00: I'm selling tickets for the "George Bush Rocks the Youth of America!" tour out back after the show.

8:02: Tancredo and Dennis Kucinich are probably the only candidates who'd put President Bush on trial at The Hague. Paging Unity08…

8:03: Huckabee: "There was a feeling that there wasn't a proper handling of the Iraq War." Maybe a little more than a feeling. When I hear that old song they used to play.

8:06: The Libby question: Hunter wants to pardon those border guards, and who cares? But there's a nice, surprising difference between Rudy and Romney. Rudy approaches the question as an attorney, talking (for a long while) about how he recommended pardons in the Reagan administration. Romney approaches the question with absolute smugness: He practically brags that he never pardoned anyone as governor and pretends that Scooter Libby's fate is worse than anyone ever convicted by a journey in Massachusetts. Brownback recants his vote to remove Bill Clinton from office. (Not really, but he doesn't think Libby committed a crime.)

Part two here.

NEXT: Nutritional Information That Is Conspicuous by Its Absence

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  1. Once again, Paul is at the very end.

  2. Over/Under on the time Alterman gets arrested?

  3. The Republicans are taking way too much time.

  4. Mommy…

    Can I go out and…


  5. Rudy wouldn’t know “live free or die” if it came up and bit him in the ass. Hopefully it will.

  6. I haven’t stopped laughing since Rudy Giuliani said he believes in “Live Free or Die!”

  7. Will RP get to answer the Iraq question? The “Null Set”

  8. Shouldn’t there be a rule that no candidate speaks twice before everyone speaks once?

  9. Why not start with a Scooter Libby pardon question. That would have been much more interesting.

  10. And right before Paul gets a shot to answer the softball “was Iraq a mistake” question … Wolf changes the topic.

  11. Jim Gilmore just used the phrase “stability in the Middle East” in a positive manner. Clearly, he hates Jews.

    No, seriously, there are an awful lot of neo-con hangovers among Republicans. I wonder if he’s going to trot out “not the world’s policeman” and “those people have been killing each other for centuries.”

    It would be interesting to see if he gets some momentum.

  12. God, Jim Gilmore was a terrible governor of my state and we still have that car tax he promised to abolish.

  13. Looks like Wolf is at least making an effort to have them answer the questions.

  14. So, Romney, McCain, and Hunter get to speak twice before Paul gets a question. Nice.

  15. Cut Brownback off Wolf! I thought you were going to make them stay on topic?

  16. My God, I’m agreeing with Tom Tancredo. And I’m not high.

  17. It was the people of the Eastern Bloc that caused the collapse of the USSR, NOT Reagan. Dumbass.

  18. How do you pre-empt a certrifuge?

    Israel didn’t have F-18s.

  19. “The Democrats seem to be back in the 1990s.”


    “They don’t seem to have gotten beyond the Cold War.”


  20. War, War, War, and more War

  21. Iran is a nuclear threat, but what about Pakistan? Kind of a selective condemnation here.

  22. “”The Democrats seem to be back in the 1990s.””

    I for one wish the whole country could be back in the 1990s.

  23. Did Gilmore just say that one of the reasons we’re in Iraq is so that we can keep Iran under control? He can’t possibly be that stupid.

  24. “Did Gilmore just say that one of the reasons we’re in Iraq is so that we can keep Iran under control? He can’t possibly be that stupid.”

    Yes, take it from a Virginian, yes he can be.

  25. “How do we help move the world of Islam, so that the moderates can stand up to the extreme?”

    Gee, Mitt, let’s threaten them with tactical nuclear weapons!

  26. “Congressman Tancredo, let’s talk immigration.”


  27. Does Tom Tancredo think its 1860? “Holding the nation together”?

  28. tamperproof?

  29. I see we’ve entered the Rudy McRomney portion of the show.

  30. Rudy scares me the most. Tamper-proofs IDs for all! Databases! Compromise is for pussies!

  31. “Rudy scares me the most. Tamper-proofs IDs for all! Databases! Compromise is for pussies!”

    The United States Constitution is one big bundle of compromises. I guess he really does hate the Constitution!

  32. I cannot understand Rudy. If you enter the USA, you get fingerprinted and photographed. The stupid database is already there. Of course illegal immigrants won’t care about that, because they don’t enter the USA via the official entry points.

  33. Did McCain just say that illegal immigrants who crossed our southern border were behind the Fort Dix plan?

  34. Hmm, Rudy McRomney are all next to each other. I suppose positions on stage aren’t randomly selected this time?

  35. Does everybody drink when Rudy mentions 9/11?

    I might need to go to the fridge for reinforcements.

  36. You don’t wanna be caught short, crimethink.

    Better go, just to be safe.

  37. WTF? How about asking Paul a question?

  38. Is Paul in Venezuela?

  39. Yea, it would be nice to see Paul answer a question that isn’t about the war.

  40. Zevatron, as joe mentioned earlier, they had John Rodham Obama together on Sunday night too. They must be trying to make editing the clips for the news simpler.

  41. I’m waiting for a drug war question asked to Paul.

  42. Ron Paul just pointed out that massive IllegalImmigration is subsized… I guess he’s one of the real libertarians, eh?


    My God, not making people scapegoats, noticing that it’s easy to do if people are poor…

  44. Welcome back, el wacko

    Ron Paul made a great statement on immigration–stop making illegal immigrants a scapegoat. Take him up on that advice!

  45. Gilmore: Thompson’s a fine man, served as senator, I loved him in Die Hard 2…

  46. Wow, it’s pretty rotten to ask Jim Gilmore for his opinion on Fred Thompson. That’s sort of like talking to a fat girl about how hot the prom queen is.

  47. God is very unhappy about you Rudy.

  48. Don’t be fooled by Gilmore. He was a failed governor and is responsible for running the RPVA into the ground. He makes George Allen look like a Rhodes Scholar.

  49. Wrath of God Rudy! Watch out!!

  50. Huckabee: God said it, I believe it, that settles it.

  51. Am I back in Sunday school?

  52. evolution question=stupid

  53. Notice that the lightning stopped while Huckabee was talking. Coincidence? I don’t believe in such a thing!

  54. Giuliani laughing at Huckabee’s “I don’t know, I wasn’t there” line was pretty funny, I have to admit. Careful Rudy, God’s given you a warning already tonight.

  55. How many more seconds will Paul get before the night is over???

  56. Oh snap! Mormon question!

  57. St. Anselm was right. Ron Paul is the presidential candidate greater than which it is impossible to conceive.

  58. Weigel really is a lightweight, isn’t he? Is he at all familiar with the Balkans? Does he have the brainpower and experience to realize that’s where we’re heading due to massive legal and IllegalImmigration combined with multiculturalism? Isn’t the last word a slight clue?

  59. John-

    Im hoping one of the Republican campaigns does a graphic like Dodd’s did last night–a bar graph which each candidates head on it representing how long each one got to talk.

  60. Uh, yeah, LOTS of presidential candidates don’t believe in God. Tell me, Governor, which ones?

    Can you tell just by looking at them, or do you need to discuss terrorism first?

  61. Dodd has a graphic like Dodd’s last night.

  62. Paul is screwed. We don’t want to hear about the Constitution! We want to hear about theology!

  63. Paul’s not getting much time, but he’s making the most of it.

  64. Ron Paul has become more presidential with each appearance, its really rather impressive. He’s SO much more confident and less awkward than the first debate.

  65. “Paul is screwed. We don’t want to hear about the Constitution! We want to hear about theology!”

    Yea, but at least Paul didn’t piss God off.

  66. Forget about the Constitution for a second, Ron. What about your relationship with Jesus? THAT’S important!

  67. Spectacular answer by Paul on church and state. Did you notice the the close up of the people looking confused at Paul’s answer?

  68. Paul gets to wrap up all the issues a very nice position to be in

  69. “There is global warming, and human activity contributes to it”.

    Yeah, activity including all of your hot air, Giuliani.

  70. Is there any issue McCain can’t tie to “national security”?

  71. A softball question to Ron Paul? Wow…

  72. Let’s attack the Moon and strip it of its energy resources

  73. Everyone says exactly the same thing about energy except Paul.

  74. Paul is on the ball tonight. All of his answers have been excellent and well-delivered.

  75. Homosexuality is an attitude?

  76. I think Blitzer is warming up to Paul

  77. Note to Ron Paul: When answering a question about teh gay, try to keep the hand-flapping to a minimum.

  78. Gays in military? RP says current policy is OK? Then he goes on to say sexuality shouldn’t matter in military. I don’t get it.

  79. You really should watch Pipe 3 on CNN Pipeline for the viewer response feed. Paul’s fucking cleaning house.

  80. hrmm…RP has a tendency to let the pitch of his voice rise as he talks. If he didn’t have a strict time limit, he might become inaudible to humans anyway.

  81. @joe
    Well i did not find Paul’s answer there strong. He should have pointed out that it is okay for oil companies to make these profits, that normally they would invest these profits in extra refinery capacity, but that federal and state regulations prevent new refinery capacity to be installed.

  82. We can’t take up the issue of gay servicemembers during war.

    Also, I believe we need to be at war for the rest of my life.


  83. how is changing DADT a social experiment?

  84. OK I’m still wondering……

    What the Hell is a left-libertarian?

  85. Jerry,

    There were a lot of directions for him to go in.

    Anti-corporatism is one that actually sets him apart from the other candidates.

  86. I’d still like to hear an answer to Wolf’s question about translators.

  87. What exactly does it mean to “serve openly as gay?”

  88. You really should watch Pipe 3 on CNN Pipeline for the viewer response feed. Paul’s fucking cleaning house.

    Obviously his campaign (which is apparently omnipotent) is gaming the system.

  89. George W. Bush, motivational speaker? Yeah, because we all know what a great public speaker he is.

  90. Please ask Ron Paul how he would use GWB in his administration. Please please please please….!

  91. Seriously, shocked silence, gasps, and “ooooohhhhs” when Thompson says he wouldn’t send George Bush to the UN?

    THAT seems like a crazy gaffe to this audience? That Dubya would be bad at the UN?

  92. Paul – Tancredo 2008!!!!!!!

  93. I just got this txted to me:

    “URGENT!!! Ev Rsn rdr plz go 2 Digg!!! Use ur sock puppet accounts, digg up RP articles!!! THNKS!!!!”

    Meanwhile, I’m going for a BikeRide. Check the link later for a wrapup.

  94. Finally the Libby question.

  95. Rudy is really good at answering yes or no.

  96. ‘What exactly does it mean to “serve openly as gay?”‘

    It means “not actively hide the fact that you’re gay.”

    Right now, if someone asks what you did last weekend, and you say you went to a movie with your partner, you can be thrown out of the military.

  97. 30 months = a man’s life?

  98. Rudy, you attention-grubbying jerk.

  99. these guys love to hear themselves talk.

  100. Who’s the drunk guy with the crooked wig?

  101. er, grubbing

  102. “”URGENT!!! Ev Rsn rdr plz go 2 Digg!!! Use ur sock puppet accounts, digg up RP articles!!! THNKS!!!!””


  103. Boo-hoo-hoo, Scooter Libby. Mitt Romney never issued a single pardon, but Scooter Libby moves him.

    Remember the 16 words and the CIA agent? Don’t worry, America, we’ll keep doing stuff like that!

  104. Anderson Cooper, you bring a lot to the table: “So far, debate’s been interesting. I’m curious to see if next half will be too”

  105. Ce[s]ar,

    That’s the special code the omnipotent Ron Paul campaign uses to send its operatives into action.

  106. “That’s the special code the omnipotent Ron Paul campaign uses to send its operatives into action.”

    I must have missed the secret briefing last saturday. How’d it go?

  107. John King, not all Republicans say we should stay in Iraq…dick.

  108. Its so FRUSTRATING. “Every republican candidate” is NOT saying that the troops need to stay in Iraq. I know the media loves black and white issues but come on, Ron Paul is CLEARLY not in favor of staying in Iraq.

  109. Finest news team my ass, Wolf.

  110. HD,

    Quoth the Wolf, “You ran for president as a Libertarian. What do you think?”

    Libertarian. Not a Republican.

  111. David’s is like everyone else in his lead in,
    trying to be a comedian! Not funny.

    The above comments are funny, tho.

    The Republicans will remain
    in the pardon parameters
    set by Dem. Bill Clinton.

  112. joe – Yes, but he’s a Republican CANDIDATE this election cycle, not a Libertarian candidate for president (even if he is a libertarian he’s not currently running as a Libertarian).

  113. They should have had all the candidates fight for chairs…

  114. Hot war chick! Yes!

  115. crimethink, you said it, I was thinkin’ it.

  116. I feel a bit bad about it though…

  117. 8:16 Erin Flanagan, sister of dead GI,
    How are you going to get our troops home?

    Premise – The US hasn’t the will to lose 3 of OUR soldiers a day.

    All answers – sympathetic to her feelings.

  118. We’re safe?? Even with the flood of “illegals?!”

  119. Does anyone know why CNN is harping on the gays/military issue? How hot a topic is this?

    So, did Huckabee call Edwards a queer and do the high-five lap?

  120. HD,

    “joe – Yes, but he’s a Republican CANDIDATE this election cycle, not a Libertarian candidate for president (even if he is a libertarian he’s not currently running as a Libertarian).”

    What are you telling me, that the press is shallow and unfair?

  121. shocking I know.

  122. Att. Crusco: conservation and Republicans?

    Key lingo – she didn’t say “Green”

    commentator – ‘protect the environment?’
    Hall – Rx in neighboring Canada is cheaper

    notion – The president is going to decide this.

    Why not ask if the candidates would veto any act of Congress to address health care? If so, what would be the principles opposed?

  123. RP rocked the hizzouse on that one.

  124. Ron Paul: (main moral issue today)
    “Pre-emptive war”

    From the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Mexican-American, Civil War, Spanish-American, WWI, Vietnam

  125. Did you hear the sparseness of the applause when Rudy said he’d “clean up Washington?”

    The Republicans don’t seem to want their party cleaned up. They still identify VERY closely with the Bush executive branch and Republican Congress in Washington.

  126. Oh, look, the closing statements are dick-waving contests.

    Democrats want to surrender. I believe in good and evil. You want a piece of this?

  127. How is YouTube and Google going to get in the next debate?

    What about those poor people off line?

    This will help computer sales.

    Candy, is she John Candy’s sister?

  128. McCain looks like he’s had a double chin lift.
    Does anyone know, and if so, does that mean anything? Remember Kerry losing the lines in his face.

  129. I just wanted to let you know that I used a clip from your post and linked you to the post I did on the debate.

    Nice work.

  130. “Brownback recants his vote to remove Bill Clinton from office. (Not really, but he doesn’t think Libby committed a crime.)”

    Libby remembered years-old conversations differently than reporters in a political witch-hunt (why didn’t we jail reporters for any of the other leaks, you know, the ones with actual national security implications, like the financial tracking system or the secret prisons?) about the leak of a “covert” CIA agent who sent her husband on a very public CIA trip, drove to Langley in plain view every day, and was in absolutely no danger of anything but a grueling Vanity Fair cover shoot and fawning adoration from the Left – and when the leaker turns out to be someone inconvenient like Richard Armitage, we’ll just keep asking people questions till we can find some contradictions and charge someone juicier with perjury.

    Clinton provably lied, in an investigation that resulted in dozens of convictions for actual crimes, about an affair with a subordinate, a prima facie abuse of power. A Republican would have resigned in disgrace.

    And let’s remember: if the DNA-stained dress hadn’t appeared, Monica would have just been some emotionally disturbed stalker with crazy delusions of grandeur. And if not for Drudge, we’d never have known about it at all; Newsweek tried to spike the story before it ever came out.

  131. I count nine lies and three “Hey, look over theres!”

    Very efficient, TallDave.

    How’s the Arab Spring going, oh great seer of truths?

  132. joe,

    Math-challenged as ever, I see. Your first-grade teacher must disappointed you never learned the difference between zero and nine.

    As for the Arab Spring, Iraq’s rated as one of the freest countries in the Mideast by the Index of Political Freedom, and Bashir Assad’s goons are facing a tribunal. And the Kurds just started pumping oil.

  133. “Gee, Mitt, let’s threaten them with tactical nuclear weapons!”

    Nah, let’s start listing all the weapons systems we won’t consider using so we can negotiate with terrorist-supporting tyrants from the weakest position possible, o great oracle of strategy.

  134. Iraq’s rated as one of the freest countries in the Mideast by the Index of Political Freedom

    One of the freest countries in the Mideast? Is that like being one of the world’s tallest midgets?

  135. Jake,

    More or less. They’ve gone from the smallest midget to the tallest.

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