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The Asylum

Welcome to the Asylum. This is a site devoted to politics and current events in America, and around the globe. The THREE lunatics posting here are unabashed conservatives that go after the liberal lies and deceit prevalent in the debate of the day. We'd like to add that the views expressed here do not reflect the views of other inmates, nor were any inmates harmed in the creation of this site.

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

GOP Debate II -- Live-blog and reaction

Welcome back to the Asylum for the second GOP debate, this time hosted bt Brit Hume and FOX News. We're doing this one a bit different from the first one. I'll be doing the blogging, and at the end of this post, Marcie will round-up our reactions. (Trust me, I can type and talk to her at the same time; I'm very adept at multi-tasking.)

Instead of trying to follow along as quickly as I can with as many Q & A's as possible, I'm going to be highlighting what I think are the key, integral questions to the candidates. Just a side note here -- I spoke with Hugh Hewitt prior to the beginning of the debate, and I asked him which candidate he thought would have the most improvement in this debate. We agree that Rudy will have the better performance, compared to the previous debate. I think he will because he'll be better prepared for this one. Marcie disagrees and says Mitt will trounce them all again. We'll see. Stay tuned ...

(All times are AZ times; the debate begins at 8 p.m. EDT. We're in AZ, not on the East Coast.)

As this is a collaborative effort, Thomas has given me a chance to put my two cents in before this starts. First off, it is a blessing that FOX News is hosting this debate. Not only will be this more professional, if you will, than the one hosted by MSNBC. Secondly, I do hope we will see more about where the candidates stand this time around. We listen to Hugh Hewitt daily, and he had a conversation with Jonathan Martin @ Politico about his views regarding this debate. He does believe that this debate will focus more on social or domestic issues. The problem with that line of thought is that national security and the war will be the primary issues of this campaign. If we lose this war, nothing else matters domestically, or from a foreign perspective. While we may have domestic issues on our minds, they come second this time around. The focus, I believe, will be on the foreign issues confronting this nation. We will have some domestic issues that confound us, and the candidates must answer these questions, but our overall success/performance in the war after President Bush leaves office will resonate with the voters more than one's stance on abortion, health care, or even gun control.

6:00 p.m. -- Debate opens with the usual pleasentries and introductions. Brit Hume is moderating the debate and is ably assisted by Chris Wallace and Wendell Goler.

6:05 -- First question, War in Iraq. McCain chosen, "Why should Americans continue to fight and die when Iraqis have done so little?" If we fail, we're screwed, and they're for us. A new strategy is in place. They're there. It's difficult, but our national interests are at stake.

6:08: Romney, would you pull out of Iraq? "I'm not going to project failure." There is a global jihad that wants to reinstate a caliphate, and they want to come after us. "What we're doing in Iraq is key to the whole thing." (He knows our enemy pretty well, folks.)

6:10 -- Brownback, "We can win if we pull together." "I condemn the statements of Harry Reid." (Quit beating on the podium, man.)

6:11 -- Rudy, "Is your commitment to winning in Iraq open-ended?" You're misinterpreting me. (He clarifies his statement.) He's going into the "Dix Six." We have to understand our enemy isn't going to quit.

6:12 -- Ron Paul, "Are you running for the nomination for the wrong party?" (This was brought up by his statements about the war.) "I made the point it would be a quagmire."

6:17 -- Huckabee's dodging a question about whether or not he'd be open to more troops going into Iraq. Nice two-step, but you got caught.

6:20 -- Questions on the economy; Romney is shining well with the first question regarding his "no new taxes" pledge. "Let's talk about benchmarks in Washington."

6:21 -- McCain, How will you make the base believe in making the tax cuts permanent? "Rein in spending." "We didn't lose in 2006 over Iraq ... we spent money like a drunk sailor." (He's making a funny about drunk sailors; same old joke.)

6:23 -- "They're spending like John Edwards in a beauty parlor." John Edwards' beauty shot!! (They're rolling. It was good; completely off the cuff.)

6:24: -- Rudy going over his economic credentials. "If you can lower spending in NY, you can do it in Washington, DC."

6:25: Brownback talking about gas and oil. He brought up bio-fuels and alternative drilling in ANWR. "We can be energy secure in fifteen years."

6:29: Ron Paul nearly unhinged, folks. He's making some sense about spending cuts, but this sounds a bit like a rant.

6:31: Gilmore taking veiled swipes.

6:34: A quick break. Thus far, not bad, and decent questions.

6:38: Challenge on "Rudy McRomney." Rudy being picked out for his abortion views. Picking on Huckabee on his "tax increases." Nailing Romney on health care.

6: 39: Rudy response, "Rudy McRomney would make a bad ticket." Not directly answering the charge; remember he was picked out for abortion, not a dictat on socialism via the Democrats. "You didn't answer my question." Citing his "abortion" stats as mayor.

6:41: McCain response, and the list is being handed to him on why the base dislikes him. "How do you square that with the list I just read you?" "Bipartisanship." "We [bipartisanship support] were asked to do this ... I will do that."

6:43: Huckabee response, "I wish Gov. Gilmore would get me in the moniker; I need the bump."

6:44: Romney response, I support the 2nd Amendnment; I support civil rights (gays). "In the toughest of states, I fought for the toughest decisions."

6:46: Brownback responding and still pounding on the podium.

6:48: Giuliani, "You have said you hate abortion, yet you still support a woman's right to choose?" "It's going to take aawhile for the courts to figure this out." Work on reduction of abortions now while they do.

6:51: Brownback, How can you tell a rape victim she has to carry a child based on your views? He's going into the emotional side of life. Nice dance, but it's only going to appeal to a few. (No, I'm not being callous I'm being realistic.)

6:52: Romney question on abortion, What do you say to somneone who loses somone from an "illegal abortion" if Roe is turned over? "The Supreme Court made a decision, and I supported that decision." "Roe v. Wade has cheapened life." "The people should make this decision, not the court."

6:53: Immigration, Tancredo: Do you think Rudy McRomney is soft on reform. With regards to McCain, "Yes," and he citesMcCain's attachment to Kennedy immigration reform. "I'd rather see conversions on the road to Damascus, not Des Moines."

6:55: McCain response, "We have to work together." He's bringing up the enforcement of the border FIRST, and regularization second. He's saying the "right" things, but I don't buy it.

6:58: Romney takes a swipe at McCain over CFR. Good zinger.

6:59: McCain response, "I haven't changed and I won't."

7:01: Hunter bringing up his stance on border enforcement and security, and regulation of illegals here. A chance to shine, and I know a lot of people this appeals to. But it's the same schtick. (Applause, hey it's a big issue guys.)

7:03: Ron Paul on a soapbox about "Republican" history, and trying to equate a strange idea of "anti-war" stances in the GOP. He's saying that we were attacked because we were over there as "interventionists." "Did we invite the 9/11 attacks?" Doesn't answer it.

7:05: Rudy responding. He's dressing down Paul right there on stage, and it wasn't pleasant.

7:06: There is no response other than a lecture about "blowback." "They don't come to attack us unless we're over there." Rudy wants 30 more seconds. (Rudy wants to finish him off.)

7:12: Break time. Question ... Why is Ron Paul even there?

7:15: We come back with questions regarding "real-life" scenarios. McCain, "How aggressively would you interrogate them?" As the president, I make the decision, no one else, but we donb't torture people. (Funny, isn't that what Bush basically did with his legislation?)

7:17: Rudy, What is your view on the current techniques? "Use every method you can think of."

7:18: Romney, "The key to this is prevention ... How do you prevent the bomb from going off." "I want them in Gitmo ... we ought to DOUBLE gitmo." "Enhanced interrogation techniques have to be used."

7:20: Brownback, "Would you go to the UN?" No, especially in the scenario presented. "(QUIT pounding on the podium!)

7:21: Hunter, "This would take one minute with the Sec/Def ... Get the information," no matter what.

7:22: McCain, "Do you consider enhanced interrogation techniq/ues as 'torture?'" "Yes." DOA folks.

7:26: Only Ron Paul could seguay from economic strides after such an attack to torture, and our presence in the Middle East. Talk about tangents ......

OK, now I'm turning things over to Marcie. She'll give you our thoughts in a few minutes. Let us hash this one out a bit ....

Publius II

All right. I am here. We have divided the candidates into four simple categories.

Those who did better.
Those who stayed the same, with little change in opinion.
Those that were still ho-hum/so-so.
Those that bombed.


Mayor Giuliani did much better this debate, but still relied on the same tired talking points. Citing his economic success in New York is not something new. His stance on abortion was hammered out. The problem, we agree, is that it sounds rehearsed. We know that late last week, it was reported that he would be adjusting it, but it sounds phony. On the whole though, he did well, and considerably better than the last debate. He was looser and more relaxed.

Duncan Hunter also had a better outing, and it might be because he seemed a bit more relaxed. He still answered passionately about the immigration issue, but there were a series of questions about it.

Mike Huckabee also had a better outing this time, and for much the same reason that the other two did. Relaxed. I honestly think that a good majority of the more relaxed demeanor of the candidates is attributed to the moderator and forum. They know that they are not being set up for a soundbite. Though there were a couple of good bites.


Mitt Romney still ahd a really good showing. I would not say he was the "winner" of the debate, like the previous one, but he did make a mark.

Tommy Thompson seemed a lot like the same one I watched before. Stiff. Rehearsed. Thomas thinks that he did a bit better this time, but nothing significant to help him right now.


James Gilmore, Sam Brownback, Tom Tancredo; all of these men are good men, but there was little from them that makes them memorable. Brownback did not help himself, really, by lapsing into the plea for "life" speech when it came to abortion. Tancredo's repeated "one-trick pony" show on immigration -- Thomas's description, though I tend to agree -- was predictable; as predictable as Rudy's speech on New York economics when he was questioned on it. I also must concur with my husband on Brownbacks repeated banging on the podium. It was annoying.


John McCain. At times he sounded lost, almost rambling, but he kept that passion in check, for the most part. The Confederate Flag question, a controversy he was involved with, drew boos from the crowd. It is a nothing issue, until it is tied into yet another flip-flop from him. He was asked about others, and did not convincely explain them. On the tax cuts, and especially on torture. Thomas is correct -- McCain advocated precisely the same position that the president took; that the "buck" stops with him on such a decision. Yet McCain criticized the president over the signing statement he issued on the torture legislation included in the Defense Appropriations Bill of 2006.

Ron Paul. The soapbox rants must end if he is to truly compete in this race. His segue between subjects is almost distrubing. I felt as though I was being lectured by a college professor rather than appealed to by a political candidate. And yes, he is incorrect on a good deal of what he speaks of, including our going to war. Additionally, his little talk about how America is "at fault" for this war WILL NOT appeal to the conservative base. I know he received applause formt he audience on one point, but he is the GOP's version of Raplh Nader minus the socialist tendencies. Yes, he makes sense. Yes, he makes points. But they are not the sort that the base will entertain.


ADDENDUM: We are not the only ones who picked up on Ron Paul's slam of the nation, as being partially responsible for 9/11. Captain Ed Morrissey agrees that these sorts of rants are unacceptable in such a forum. We did not invite the attacks; they were delivered to us on the grievance of others who dislike our presence in the region at all.

But the Buffoon Of The Year award goes to Ron Paul. His contention that America deserved the 9/11 attack should end his political career. Hopefully it will convince the next forum to exclude him from the proceedings. Paul made everyone else look tolerable, and had most of us yearning for a vaudeville hook.


ADDENDUM: I am sorry for this second one, but we are perusing the other blogs now, and Kathryn Jean Lopez @ NRO's The Corner lets us know that Rudy did get the final word on his exchange with Ron Paul:

On Hannity & Colmes, Rudy got his second round in, comparing Paul to the Saudi prince he gave the money back to after 9/11.

Ouch. That is going to leave a mark.


A Correction: Actually, two. First of all, e-mailers noted Marcie messed up the link to K-Lo's comment at the Corner. It's fixed. Second, they're telling me I screwed up the Rudy quote about "Rudy McRomney." It isn't that it "Rudy McRomney would make a bad ticket." It's "Rudy McRomney wouldn't make a bad ticket."My bad. I apologize.

Publius II


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I watched and listened to the "debate." For my two cents, I thought Romney looked and sounded more presidential than any of the other with Duncan Hunter coming in a strong second. They would make a strong team. I don't know how many caught the amnesty buzz word, "Comprehensive" immigration reform- I believe it was Brownback. . McCain should bow out now. He's pathetic. Paul showed what we knew are his true colors. Rudy doesn't appear to have the strength of his convictions anymore. He sounds like a worn out record. Rudy did good responding to Paul. The best humor is Edwards hair. Rawriter.

12:59 AM  

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