GOP Debate Open Thread

I realize I’m being inconsistent, though not for partisan reasons. Sunday was my birthday and I was gone, hence no Democratic Debate Open Thread. The others at the site just fell down on the job.

But, here’s one for tonight’s debate.


  1. Chris says:

    45min in and no one has commented. I guess everyone has made up their mind to support Fred

  2. joe says:

    Ron Paul has had great answers. Too bad he can’t gain traction. Yes, I am waiting for Fred or somebody.

  3. Chris says:

    Club for Growth might revoke my membership, but I’m really starting to like Huckabee.

  4. Doug Deal says:

    Ron Paul’s answer about getting out of Iraq was just irresponsible and stupid. I am all for his small government outlook, but he would be a disaster as President.

  5. Chris says:

    Ron Paul is a one trick pony. Even the “most important moral question of the day” was about Iraq.

  6. joe says:

    On the morality question, Huckabee seems to blur the lines between what is right/moral and what is governmental.

  7. Chris says:

    “Bilingual countries don’t work”

    WTF? Canada, Switzerland, The Netherlands.

    Trancedo is a dumb*ss.

  8. Chris says:

    joe – true – but one thing about Huckabee is that he is pushing a positive message. And I didn’t hear him pushing a bunch of government programs to enforce that morality.

    And thank you to Mitt and McCain for reminding us that immigrants are not the enemy.

  9. Doug Deal says:

    McCain needs one of his handlers to explain to him the difference between legal and illegal immigration.

    But, if McCain didn’t have straw-men with which to argue, he would rarely win an argument.

  10. joe says:

    I know the question was about Bush, but Tancredo says that Bush ran as a conservative, but governed as a liberal.

    What about congress?

  11. mercergirl says:

    Lord only knows what kind of response I’ll get for this but… I’d like to see a McCain/Rudy ticket

  12. Jeff Emanuel says:

    Chris, I don’t know much about the Netherlands, but Canada, and to a far greater degree Switzerland, are entirely segregated into their separate linguistic regions.

    BTW, Huckabee is kicking a** and taking names. I’m impressed for the second straight time with him.

  13. Jeff Emanuel says:

    joe, Bush ran as a moderate and governed as one. His big-government streak shouldn’t surprise anybody who was paying attention from 1999/2000 to the present.

  14. ConservativeCaucus says:

    I thought the best three tonight were Huckabee, Hunter and Guiliani. Huckabee did a good job (or, in the words of CNN’s Jeffrey Toobin: “breathtaking”) of explaining the pro-life position and his response on the issue of evolution.

    McCain was awful to begin with and finished ok. Romney was underwhelming.

    Can we please get rid of Paul, Tancredo, and T. Thompson? Can we spread the air time out to serious people?

  15. Mike-El says:

    Somebody (McCain?) should’ve just flat-out asked Tancredo, “Are you prepared to say here tonight that if someone doesn’t speak English, you don’t want their vote?”

    This was my first long look at Romney and I thought he was, as Lewis Grizzard said about Bill Clinton, slicker than a whole bucket of eels.

    For me, the highlight was the lightning striking over and over as Giuliani talked about abortion and Romney and McCain slowly backing away from him.

  16. Jeff Emanuel says:

    I’d vote for jettisoning Paul, Brownback, Hunter, Tancredo, Gilmore, and T. Thompson now, and then revisiting in a month. I think Huckabee is the only non-big-three announced candidate who earned the right to move on.

  17. Doug Deal says:

    I don’t have a problem including the lessor candidates. There is still over a year before the convention, and several months before the first primary. Is there really any reason to hurry?

  18. Bull Moose says:

    I think that some of you guys really need to understand what’s at stake with immigration reform. Some of you confound me with your misinformation on the bill, how it compares to the 1986 bill, and what the stakes are of doing NOTHING as you obviously would prefer to do.

    McCain clearly won this debate HANDS DOWN. Why? Because he’s the only candidate who’s willing to do the hard things to lead America, will put an end to wasteful spending, and because he’s the only consistent conservative in the race.

  19. Bull Moose says:


    I have not read the bill, but I did several break downs of the main points in it and a detailed comparison of this bill with the 1986 bill.

    Yes, there are several polls that show McCain not winning, but you have to look at the larger trends.

  20. Jeff Emanuel says:

    Bull, I’ve read those too, and I’ve also read the bill (and most of the amendments), and, in all honesty — and in the nicest way possible — I have to tell you that I think your support for McCain has colored your perception of it, and that you’re projecting a workability and a desirability on this bill that really isn’t there.

    In my opinion, having read the bill and most amendments, doing nothing for the now and something better later is preferable to passing this one as it stands.

  21. Holly says:

    Bull, you need to read it. I waded through it; you can, too.

    I was trying to give it the benefit of the doubt, and I reserved judgment until I was done reading it, but now I’m sure it’s a bad bill. There are just too many loopholes, and it will be a major expansion of the government. I can’t support it.

  22. Louis_Oliverio says:

    First off, RUDY won this debate–don’t listen to the liberals at CNN who bore the brunt of an attack by Rudy, which was the most passionate moment in the debate–truth is if the General’s report about Iraq is positive, it will not be reported with the same gusto by CNN as if the report is critical.

    Here is my ranking of the candidates performances:

    1. Rudy–held firm; still have some difficulty on his abortion stance and some social issues, but when looking at the Democratic opposition, I have to support Rudy.

    2. Mike Huckabee–I hope that he can gain some traction; he speaks with a positive, conservative tone and it would be good to see a debate with fewer candiates, but including him.

    3. John McCain–I am tired of McCain, but he appeared Presidential tonight at times and is going to be a factor in NH especially.

    4. Mitt Romney–smooth, but still not totally believable; would like to have a debate where he speaks for 3 minutes from the heart about why he wants to be President.

    Now we’re getting into the lower tier:

    5. Tommy Thompson–FINALLY a question about his strong suit–health care; Tommy is very bright and likeable, and can speak in depth on many issues–but he won’t gain enough traction to be a serious contender; Back when debates were more about substance than soundbytes, he may have had a shot.

    6. Duncan Hunter–of the 3 Congressmen, he was the most eloquent and articulate. Could gain some traction on the immigration issue;

    7. Sam Brownback–a real loser tonight; it is between Brownback and Huckabee to gain support among the conservatives of the party and Huckabee cleaned Brownback’s clock badly and has so for all 3 debates.

    8. Jim Gilmore–I don’t remember a single line of his from the debate–but in the SC debate, he was too negative.

    9. Tom Tancredo–will strike a chord with a few over immigration, the media has done enough to make attacks at President Bush.

    10. Ron Paul–does not belong in the debate–he was on the attack-end of the focal point of the SC debate but was irrelevant tonight.

    Finally, Fred Thompson–on Hannity and Colmes–it will definitely be interesting to see him on the debate floor; I don’t think its a as much of a slam dunk that the conservative GOP base will flock to him as it seemed 2-3 months ago.

    In the end, maybe 5% of the electorate is paying attention to this–so we have a long way to go.

  23. ToddH says:

    Since I’ve really began paying attention to politics, during the 2000 presidential race, it seems that many place the mantle of victory upon the candidates they like, neverminding that just b/c someone says something you don’t like they could still “win” the debate. So people who like McCain say he won, and people who dislike McCain say he lost, and so on and so forth with the other candidates.

    I like McCain and I think he did quite well, but he didn’t “win” the debate. The best three, in order are:

    1. Huckabee
    2. Hunter
    3. Rudy (tie)
    4. McCain (tie)

    But, then again, that is only my opinion. The real winner will be determined by whoever gets a bump in the polls in the days ahead.

  24. Bill Simon says:

    I missed the debate…did Anderson Cooper ask for the candidates to “raise your hands” if they agree with one blanket statement?

  25. Chris says:


    I caught parts and yes, Wolf Blitzer did ask candidates to raise hands on at least one question. And he walked the line for a yes and no on “would you pardon Scooter Libby”.

  26. Doug Deal says:

    I’ve always hated those blanket statement kind of responses. They assume that there are only two possible answers to complex issues.

  27. Jeff Emanuel says:

    Doug, there are very few issues which are not far too complex for such simple answers. Unfortunately, our fast-food, sound-byte culture rarely allows for real explanation or accuracy.

  28. Doug Deal says:


    Yes, that’s true, but I was being generous to the people who use such tactics.

    Using the “Raise your hand if …” methodology, people could easily label me everything from a left wing radical to a Christian conservative, but the answers would truly be grounded in respect for federalism, limited government and rule of law.

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