Ron Paul

Republican Debate MMCXIV: The Mid-Afternoon Massacre

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The GOP candidates are debating right now in Des Moines—starting at 2 p.m. ET—right when I'm looking at 5 p.m. deadlines. So, sporadic liveblogging, but go ahead and use this as an open thread if you're watching.

The debate's being run on CNN right now and will be re-run later. Liveblogging by Jim Geraghty—who's always been good, but has gotten really spectacular at this ungentlemanly art—is here. Stock ticker blogging by Marc Ambinder here.

Ah, it's online here.

2:01: Yes, that's Alan Keyes on stage right. The Des Moines Register asked only that a candidate be filed with the FEC, have staff in Iowa, and be polling at or above 1 percent in the state. Alan Keyes fits the bill. Mike Gravel and Dennis Kucinich do not. (Keyes did get 14 percent in the 2000 caucus.) Sadly, one-trick Tancredo and the buffoonish Duncan Hunter also made the cut.

2:10: If that first round is any guide, this is going to be terrible. Thirty-second rounds (in order to keep time for the Tedious Trio?) and every candidate squeezing their talking points like nursing home pillows. How do you deal with the debt? Giuliani fires people, Ron Paul saves the currency, Mike Huckabee makes us fat, etc.

2:28: I've got a hunch this format will be unkind to Obama. He's terrible at soundbite answers and he'd benefit from Gravel and Kucinich flinging dung at the rest of the candidates.

2:33: Hm, Thompson and (to a lesser extent) Romney are wailing on the moderator. She asks for a show of hand shows. Thompson: "I'm not doing any hand shows!" Romney applauds. "Can I get more than 30 seconds to answer?" Thompson asks. The moderator says no. "Then I'm not gonna answer."

2:35: Good blogging at the Corner here, and some from the AmSpec crew here. And even I'm yelling at the moderator now. Don't ask Alan Keyes a question if you don't want five minutes of incoherent free verse. Good jab from Ron Paul, though. (Keyes rambled about politicians' "hot air" and Paul grumbled "Doctor, heal thyself.")

2:36: Some scary National Greatness Conservatism from McCain, tempered by the fact that he'll probably trail Ron Paul in this state.

2:28: Huckabee, on climate change, refuses to admit it's happening while poaching McCain's popular conservatism: "We need to be better stewards of the earth."

2:47: And then he talked about "Weapons of Mass Instruction."

2:49: Alan Keyes: "They got a minute. Why do I get 30 seconds?" Because you're Alan Keyes.

3:08: Giuliani promises an open government like the one he ran in New York. Ouch—I think I heard the lawyers of the NYCLU spontaneously combust.

3:26: And it's over. The only solace I can take is that the moderator looked and talked eerily like Garance Franke-Ruta.

UPDATE: I'm checking the video now and just realized that Alan Keyes elbowed in and interrupted a question meant for Ron Paul. If his campaign actually had a phone line or e-mail address, it'd be beseiged right now.

NEXT: Q: What's the Worst Behavior on Capitol Hill Over the Past Two Decades?

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  1. PBS has to their credit, decided to have candidate placement in random order rather than have the frontrunners in the center for made for TV drama.

  2. The moderator is so dull that she makes Fred Thompson seem charismatic and the Iowa public TV studio looks (and sounds) like something out of the Soviet era.

  3. the Iowa public TV studio looks (and sounds) like something out of the Soviet era

    How appropriate.

  4. every candidate squeezing their talking points like nursing home pillows.

    Thanks for the visual.

  5. Don’t forget, this Sunday is Tea Party day!

  6. One year, why can’t we have all the candidates from both parties together slugging it in one debate?

  7. One year, why can’t we have all the candidates from both parties together slugging it in one debate?

    We need some version of speed dating. A few minutes of one-on-one debate with one Republican versus one Democrat, then switch opponents and repeat.

  8. 2:49: Alan Keyes: “They got a minute. Why do I get 30 seconds?” Because you’re Alan Keyes.

    Because it only takes 30 seconds for Keyes to prove to everyone that he’s a stark-raving loon.

  9. Two observations:

    1) This moderator sucks. Hard.

    2) Alan Keyes is a bloviating asshole.

  10. Duncan Hunter: pandering to rust belt industries is a security issue.

  11. McCain: Ready to face the “cyberspace challenge.”

  12. Where’s the Ron-Paul Love on this-here-web thingy? I’m thirsty for some liber-tea.

  13. “Weapons of Mass Instruction” sounds perilously close to “War on Underperforming Children”.

    Would it be too much to hope for for the “save the children” and “war on everything bad” crowds in the Republican party annihilated each other and disappeared in a puff of (tortured) logic?

  14. Good for Thompson!

    I’ve been rooting for the Democrats to start openly mocking Wolf Blitzer.

  15. I’ve been rooting for the Democrats to start openly mocking Wolf Blitzer

    In my household we mercilessly mock Wolf Blitzer. It’s less fun because he can’t hear us, but still.

  16. See, Romney, Clinton, McCain, Biden, and the rest of ’em would have all thought of the “Physician, heal theyself!” line, but they wouldn’t have been willing to say it without a week’s worth of polling and half a dozen focus groups.

  17. One year, why can’t we have all the candidates from both parties together slugging it in one debate?

    A candidate battle royale would be awesome. I wonder who would win? Paul & McCain are too old. Thompson’s too slow. Romney’s special underwear wouldn’t protect him from a Giuliani low blow. Tancredo would get it in the back of the head while looking for Mexicans. I get the feeling Gravel & Kucinich would take each other out. A punch to the gut would knock the air out of Biden, disarming him. Edwards & Obama are young – they’d last a while. But I’m thinking Hillary, just because she’s such a dirty fighter, would win.

  18. What does ‘doctor, heal thyself’ mean? Am I missing a reference?

  19. I think I’ll settle for some ABC Special. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

  20. A candidate battle royale would be awesome.

    I’m thinking a reality show a la Survivor or The Biggest Loser or The Apprentice where there are challenges and tribes / teams and someone gets eliminated every week.

  21. Luke 4:23 (King James Version):

    And he said unto them, Ye will surely say unto me this proverb, Physician, heal thyself: whatsoever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in thy country.

    Basically, to work on your own problems first before slagging someone else who has the same problem.

  22. Tancredo: “concentrate on feeding the good side or you lose control”

  23. de stijl – how is that different from our current system, other than being more interesting?

  24. reality show a la Survivor or The Biggest Loser or The Apprentice where there are challenges and tribes / teams and someone gets eliminated every week.

    We already have it. Isn’t it a great show?

  25. I heard a rumor that Huckabee was thinking of appointing Duncan Hunter as SecDef

    Here

  26. Its a long article, but here is the money part:

    Huckabee has no military experience beyond commanding the Arkansas National Guard, but he doesn’t see this as an insuperable problem. ”What you do,” he explained, ”is surround yourself with the best possible advice.” The only name he mentioned was Representative Duncan Hunter of California. ”Duncan is extraordinarily well qualified to be secretary of Defense,” he said.

  27. That was quite possibly the most boring presidential debate since 1996.

  28. That’s surprising. I would have pegged Huck as relatively dovish, compared to the rest of the field.

  29. So, that’s the last debate impression that Iowans will get before the caucuses?

    Does any candidate benefit from this debate?

  30. I just had an idea for time management at these debates. Each candidate gets a *total* allocation of speaking time, say 10 minutes (or whatever). If you want to spend 8 of them answering the first question, fine. That leaves you 2 minutes for all the rest of them. When your time runs out, you have to STFU and get off the stage. This last part is important.

    I think this rule would improve the debates immensely. What do you think?

  31. My thoughts:

    A)Who let Alan Keyes in? In how many states is he even on the ballot?

    B)Best format so far. I can almost believe that they are trying to be fair.

    C)Tancredo sounded the least crazy that he has yet. Ron’s constitutionalism is catching on.

    D)School choice and anti-subsidy movements are starting to get some attention

    E)If Romney thinks we can honestly make a dent in the budget by running the government better, I want some of what he’s smoking

    F)Ron should have a quota – gold standard talk no more than once per debate

    G)Romney thinks the Federal Government should prevent teen pregnancy and conduct “economic development”, just with fewer agencies.

  32. I think this rule would improve the debates immensely. What do you think?

    I think it would incentivize them to be abrupt with all but the last question, which they would answer, and then launch into a 9 minute stump speech. However, I would like to see instead of a red light signaling time’s up, a banana cream pie is launched at their face. They can either keep talking or duck. No towels allowed.

  33. However, I would like to see instead of a red light signaling time’s up, a banana cream pie is launched at their face. They can either keep talking or duck. No towels allowed.

    What we really need is a gong. And Jaye P. Morgan.

  34. sixstring, heh heh. Pie, mmm…

  35. sixstring –
    this is a great idea. I would like to amend it to include questions asked of them that have right and wrong answers, and if they get it wrong, they get slimed or something. The questions should be relevant to the topic being asked about, and also relevant to the state they represent, their own policies, etc.

  36. Have any of these deals been debates in any sense of the word? How about each candidate gets 3 minutes to spout his proposals, each then gets 5 minutes to to say whatever he wants about the other candidates? And then each gets 3 minutes to respond to whatever was said about him? Then 20 high school and college debate team coaches vote on which candidates did the best technical job of making and defending their case, answering the questions, etc. without ruling on ideological content. Then the two most incoherent are taken out and tarred and feathered before being run out of town on a rail.

  37. Whatever happened to tar and feathers? Those were more civilized times.

  38. Ron Paul’s web site showed $10.8 million yesterday. Today it has jumped to $11.3 million. Was there a memo calling for a money bomb for Dec. 12 that didn’t receive? Anyone have an explanation for for this half a million buck boost to the campaign coffers?

    btw: I predict $5.8 will be raised during the Ron Paul Tea Party on Dec. 16.

  39. NoStar,

    The Paul campaign periodically releases offline raised numbers, which amounted to somewhere north of $400k this time. Total, he’s pulled in almost 2 mil offline.

  40. I would like to see the entire primary process reduced to a single one hour Fear Factor style show for each party, without the normal safety equipment. After each candidate performs a humiliating, disgusting or dangerous task, they are given 5 minutes of airtime to use as they see fit, fail the task and you are out. Of course there would be no purpose to the 5 minutes of delivering talking points but you know they would feel compelled to do it anyway. The last person standing finishes with their acceptance speech.

    For the general election, they could expand it to two hours and add dangerous animals to the mix.

  41. and if they get it wrong, they get slimed or something.

    The Nickelodeon debates!

    “Congressman Hunter, can you burp on command?”

    “Mayor Giuliani, were you the model for the hack magician on Frosty the Snowman?”

    “Grandpa Thompson, will you read to me?”

    “Governor Romney, is that your real face?”

    “Dr. Paul, if we go back to a gold standard, will it be shiny?”

    “Governor Huckabee, could you give Governor Romney a hug?”

  42. Ron Paul’s web site showed $10.8 million yesterday. Today it has jumped to $11.3 million. Was there a memo calling for a money bomb for Dec. 12 that didn’t receive?

    I noticed the same thing. I haven’t seen anything about a mini-money bomb, but the Paul campaign has let it be known through various channels that some money before Sunday’s Tea Party would be helpful.

  43. Lost in Translation,

    Thanks for the info. It would be great if the RP campaign broke the 12 million mark on Friday in time for the nightly news. Then everything brought in during the Tea Party would be pure gravy.

  44. http://www.teaparty07.com/ is showing that 29443 people have pledged to give $100 on Dec. 16th. For the mathematically challenged *cough*Dondi*cough*, that totals $2,944,300.

  45. “Mayor Giuliani, were you the model for the hack magician on Frosty the Snowman?”

    “Voila, the eggs have Iraq has turned into… messy, messy, messy!”

    “I must get that hat back win the neo-con vote! Think nasty, think nasty, think nasty!”

  46. 2:49: Alan Keyes: \\\”They got a minute. Why do I get 30 seconds?\\\”

    3/5ths rule Alan. And actually you got 36 seconds…

  47. Wow, I haven’t been to The Corner in a while, and near the bottom NR announces its endorsement of Romney. Watching K-LO fellate Romney throughout that page borders on surreal.

  48. “We need to be better stewards of the earth.”

    With most of these Republicans that could be taken in many, many, many ways.

  49. Watching K-LO fellate Romney throughout that page borders on surreal.

    Oh, my therapist is going to hear about this.

  50. Uh oh, someone forgot to change their handle…

  51. NoStar sez:

    http://www.teaparty07.com/ is showing that 29443 people have pledged to give $100 on Dec. 16th. For the mathematically challenged *cough*Dondi*cough*, that totals $2,944,300.

    Actually, the last two Money Bombs (11/5, 11/30) have ended up with twice as many donors as the number of people who registered. Continuing that path would net Paul $5,888,600. Perhaps that’s overly optimistic, but I’m thinking $5 million will be broken.

  52. One good thing about Alan Keyes is that he makes Ron Paul look practically mainstream by comparison.

    Getting the snot beat out of him by Obama in ’04 seems to have destroyed his mind. Seriously, I don’t remember him being this crazy back in 2000.

  53. Remember when Nick Berg’s beheading got all that media attention, and then every pissed off group of Iraqis with a utility knife and a webcam started kidnapping and beheading people, trying to get a share of the spotlight…but after a couple of times, they lost their shock value and the media turned to more gripping stories about nipple starbursts?

    Well, that’s what this Tea Party idea reminds me of. And if we don’t exceed the amount raised last time, it will be portrayed in a negative light, I gay-ron-tee.

    DISCLAIMER: I am not comparing Ron Paul donors to terrorist decapitators.

  54. DISCLAIMER: I am not comparing Ron Paul donors to terrorist decapitators.

    If you define ‘terrorist decapitator’ as ‘one who decapitates terrorists,’ then in a way the term does apply best to Ron Paul, as he actually has a plan to go after the head of al-Qaeda — i.e. bin Laden — while the other candidates whimper like Bush Lapdogs and talk as if the World Trade Center was destroyed by Iraqi car bombers (who also are going to build a dirty bomb any day now — pay no attention to those radical fundamentalists in Pakistan!).

  55. Watching K-LO fellate Romney throughout that page borders on surreal.

    You ought to go through the archives and read her one-handed typing about George Bush and his bulge on Flight Suit Day.

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