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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.

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Thursday, May 03, 2007

LIVE-BLOG of the GOP debate from The Reagan Library

On the left, nearest Chris Matthews, is former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. Then you have Sen. Sam Brownback (Kan.), former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Rep. Duncan Hunter of California, former Wisconsin Gov. and U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson, Sen. John McCain of Arizona, Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Rep. Tom Tancredo of Colorado. -- From the Politico, who is hosting the debate.

Yes, tonight is the fisrt debate amongst the GOP contenders, and I'll be covering it right here. The debate starts at 8 pm EDT; the times below are AZ time. Chris Matthews will be moderating the debate, and the Politico's Editor-in-Chief, John F. Harris, will be posing questions. During the interactive rounds f the debat, the Politico's executive editor, Jim VandeHei will present questions submitted by readers of the Politico.

(A quick side note: I do apologize for any spelling errors up front because I'll be going as quickly as I can with this.)

5:00 pm -- Here we go. After a brief introduction and explanation from Chris Matthews about the debate, we open up with the first question going to Rudy. "How do we get back to Ronald Reagan's morning in America?" We get back with optimism. He is citing his own record from NY. He also cites that we need to figure out our immigration issue from optimism. Same goes for health care.

McCain's next. "What do you do in Iraq?" He is talking about Petreus and his strategy. He's talking stability and help to Iraq. He's taking a nasty swipe at Harry Reid with his answer. He's bringing up the withdrawal timetable, and saying it's the wrong direction with that. McCain believes that we're on the right track RIGHT now.

Tommy Thompson: "What do you need to do to win it." Support the troops, al-Maliki needs to say we need to stay; 18 territories to be treated like states; split the oil reserves into thirds -- federal, "state", and the people.

Duncan Hunter: The key to winning in Iraq is standing up the Iraqi military. They need a 3-4 month shakedown. They need to rotate out the US military

Romney from John Harris: Victory is not possible." We need leadership. Reagan was a president from strenght. With regards to Iraq, I want our troops home as soon as I can, but we can't leave in the wrong way -- abandoning Iraq to it's neighbors. Support the al-Maliki effort in Baghdad and Anbar.

Brownback: "How do we win this war when terrorists are replaced?" We're partnering with a number of moderate Muslim regimes. They ware working wiuth us, and our enemy is trying to upset those regimes. Iran is the lead sponsor of terrorism around the world. We need to engage those who will work with us. You have toi engage the terrorists trying to topple those governments.

Huckbee from Harris: "Will you have fired Rummy before the election?" There was an error in judgment, and those people weren't listening to the generals. We gave them a limited number of troops and a budget, and that was a mistake. It's important we finish this job right.

Gilmore: "Do you think a general shake-up in the administration would be good?" There have been changes. We got distratcted by the end of the Cold War. We didn't pay attention to the entire Middle East. We need to have an honest conversation with America over this. This isn't a Pali/Israeli problem. This is a regional effort.

Paul from Harris: "Why are your candidates wrong?" He's talking about his vote against the war, and Paul is saying we need to utilize alternative sources to deal with the problems in the Middle East. Don't get into the war for reasons other than necessary.

McCain: "Do you agree with Fred's idea that Iran is dangerous?" McCain is citing the Iranian interventions in Iraq. "Iran poses one fo the greatest threats to the security in the Middle East." He's calling for intervention against Iran on ALL levels. Our allies, etc., and if Russia and China aren't helping, we need other avenues. "We cannot allow Iran to obtain nuclear weapons." He's hedging on Iran getting nukes.

Tancredo: "Israel's about to strike Iran's sites, and asking for help. Do you help?" Kudos to him for bringing up the zealot side. We respond in the appropo fashion. There are conditions we would say yes, but if there is a clear cut threat, then we would help them.

Rudy: It depends on what our intelligence says. Iran getting nukes would be a nightmare. Ahamadinejad can't be allowed to have nukes.

Harris to Gilmore: "Who's right on Osma? We have to do everything we can to get this guy. (Romney disagrees.) Americans have to lead against the sea of hostility. We can't allow a situation where the Middle East doesn't have their best interest at heart. What we have to do is use all of our abilities to end this, like the Cold War.

Romney: Of course we get bin Laden. "Do we move heaven and earth?" Of course we do. This is about terrorist groups and religions. They want a caliphate, and we have to stop this. This is a global effort. He will pay, and he will die.

INTERACTIVE: McCain -- "Would you be comfortable with Tancredo in charge of ICE?" In a word, no.

Romney: Should we change our Constitution to allow like Mel Martinez to run for president?" Never thought about it. No.

McCain: Depends on whether or not he endorses me.

Majority no votes on that based on original intent.

INTERACTIVE: Rudy -- Regrets on delaing with blacks in NY? Always regret what you can't control, and "I" worked very hard to work against welfare. Moved 60K people off welfare.

INTERACTIVE: Romney -- "What do you dislike most about America." I love America.

INTERACTIVE: Huckabee -- "Do you believe global warming exists?" Whether we are responsible, it's all of our responsibility to leave the planet in better shape.

INTERACTIVE: Hunter -- "Are you a compassionate conservative?" Yes. Goes off on Iran, and states the US has a license to do what's necessary to stop Iran from interfering in Iraq.

INTERACTIVE: Paul -- "Would you phase out the IRS?" Absolutely. If you think we should be cradle to the grave nation, you can't. But if you want less government and less taxes, you havce to change policy.

Roe Question: You welcome it? Everyone is in favor of it's downfall. Rudy expands, but is right in line with his beliefs.

Gilmore: Still in favor of the early abortion. Pro-life community should be proud of my record as governor.

Harris to Romney: Asking on the flip-flop. Been personally pro-life, but the point was about gov'ts intervention into right to life issues. He changed his mind, taking the same road that Reagan did. Politically convenient? I studied the issues, and I've changed my mind over the stem-cell debate. "We had gone too far."

Harris: To Bropwnback: Can you support a pro-choice candidate? Yes, and cites the Reagan line about the 80% ally. "Life is one of the central issues of the day."

Rudy: "You're not for funding at all?" I think it belongs to the states. I supported it in NY, and people in other places should be able to decide that themselves.

McCain: Can you restore that sense of purpose that Reagan had? Yes. I'm prepared to take on the greatest issue of our day, radical Islamofascism. I know good and evil. I've been in the military, and know how it works.

Hunter response: John's not the only guy with a defense background.

Huckabee response: It's important to remember that Reagan gave us a vision -- we're a great nation because people are great, not because gov't is great.

Paul: "How do you put together a unified national purpose?" When we overdo our military aggressiveness, we weaken our defense. Defending liberty and minimize the scope of gov't.

Romney: "What do you say to Roman Catholic bishops who deny communion to those in favor of abortion?" I don't say anything to them. Imagine a gov't telling a church what it can and can't do?(GOOD RESPONSE!)

(I'm not happy with Matthews bringing up Romney's faith. Low ball politics here. They're making light of it, but this was to be expected. The Left ALWAYS does this sort of garbage.)

Brownback response: We've had 40 of 50 years where we're trying to run religion out of the public square. We should be embracing it, not dividing it. We should celebrate.

Hunter: Brings up the border fence, and cites enforcement first on immigration issues.

Tancredo: Karl Rove? He wouldn't be in my White House because we've had differences on immigration.

Rudy: Christians in the party a good thing? Of course because people in the party are always good. I ran a city that was 5-1 Democrat, and I did a good job according to George Will.

Thompson: Respond to conservatism, and cites his credentials. I'm in Wisoconsin, a blue state, and still won four consecutive elections. We went to DC to change it, and it changed the GOP.

Harris to Brownback: Corruption question ... "What's with your party?" There are Dems that are corrupt, and ALL involved would be going to jail for that corruption. We need to rebuild the family structure, and emphasize the right, moral view.

Tancredo Response to ethics violations: They aren't unique to the GOP. They should be dealt with. Does a centrist have to win the presidency? No, Reagan wasn't a centrist. He believed in principles, artiuculated them, and put them into effect.

McCain: We lost in 2006 because we lost the view of our vision.

INTERACTIVE: McCain: Budget, what specific programs would you cut? A line-item veto is needed, and you start with the defense budget. Stop the pork barrel spending, then we move onto programs. Lay out the goals, or lose the funding.

Huckabee: Grade the Bush Administration's handling of the war? You can't grade midway through the year.

Romney: What did you mean by a pro-life president? I direct it an anyone who isn't pro-life. You fight for life on all levels against abortion. Not directed at any candidate in particular.

Rudy respond to pro-life position: I hate abortion. I'd encourage people to not have one. I'd encourage adoption. I ddo respect the woman's choice.

Thompson: Is racism is still a problem? The president can set a vision to end racism. He must be able to speak and unite the nation.

Tancredo: Who should be the GOP nominee other than yourself? "I serve the purpose." Issues not addressed yet tonight, and we need to deal with these things. He's sitting on immigration.

McCain on Immigration: Working with Dems to come up with a comprehensive solution. Hyping worker program, and seems to pay lip service to enforcement.

Hunter: Watch an Inconvenient Truth? No, but we should bring together the intellectuals to work on alternative fuel sources.

Paul: Ability to make sound decisions in crisis, can you cite one? I made critical decisions in the medical field. I can't think of one where I affected a lot of people.

Stem-Cell research: Throughout the panel, the majority are supporting the research, but not through the use of embryonic cell research. (McCain wants to fund the full research.) (Rudy supports it with limitations.)

Harris to Romney -- Health care. I love my program, and I'm delighted we worked together to get helath care for everyone. Heritage foundation worked with us. Don't need a gov't takeover, and let the market do it's job.

Harris to McCain: Support extending tax cuts when you were against them, what gives? We had nothing to restrain the spending, so I disagreed with the cuts. Spending is killing the cuts, but they need to be permanent.

Harris to McCain: Democrats to a cabinet post; Other than Lieberman? I'd go to America and ask them to serve.

INTERACTIVE: Hunter -- Name one thing the gov't does well and poorly? Precision munitions on Zarqawi's hidey hole, and border security sucks.

McCain -- Yes or no, do you believe in evolution? Yes.

Romney -- Which cabinet official will you choose first? Build a group of people excited about the future.

Rudy -- Difference between Sunni and Shia? Beliefs in descendents of Mohammed differences. (He's trying too much with this question. KNOW it, don't reach for it.)

Paul -- Do you trust the MSM? Some of them, but I trust the Internet more.

Brownback -- Personal religious beliefs shape foreign policy? I think beliefs figure into all aspects of decisions. It doesn't dominate it, but it does influence everyone.

Rudy -- What is your most significant weakness? I think my strengths outweigh my weaknesses.

Brownback: Do you find any faults in Rudy? No, I think we have a set of quality candidaters. We win when we have the ideas and principles.

Tancredo --- Will you work to protect women's rights? Yes, but the reproductive choice I don't agree with or support.


Rudy: Tamper proof ID card? We need one. It's the first step in border and national security.

Romney: On Rudy with the ID Card? Absolutely. It's needed based on a post 11 Sept. world.

Brownback doesn't buy the idea, and thinks that the border security comes first, and that a SS# needs to mean something again.

McCain: 9/11 Commission has said we need one, and he supports one.

Paul: Opposed to a national ID card.

Tancredo: Don't need, following up on Paul's and Brownback's stance.

Romney and Rudy clarify their ID card stance by stating it should be for immigrants ONLY, not for every citizen.

OK, my thoughts are simple. I'm not happy with a couple of Matthews's questions. I think Tom Tancredo and Duncan Hunter need to pick up the pace, and quit beating immigration like a dead dog. Being a one-trick pony will not win the WH. Rudy and Romney did very well in this debate. And I'm about fed up with John McCain grandstanding, and using the debate like it's a campaign stop. People want to know whaere their stances are on issues. They don't need to here a rally speech about what he will and won't do. (Also, pot-and-kettle moment for him on judges; not a smart move.)

Publius II


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