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Drunkblogging Tonight’s GOP Debate

Will Steve breakout the Southern Comfort for tonight's debate in Charleston, SC? Tune in here at 8:00 PM eastern to find out!

by
Stephen Green

Bio

January 19, 2012 - 4:44 pm

4:44PM When Ed Driscoll reminded me this afternoon that there was another GOP debate tonight, the first thing I said was a string of obscenities so offensive, my monitor now displays whites as a kind of sickly yellow. But then I remembered Marianne Gingrich, Mitt’s South Carolina poll implosion, Herman Cain’s endorsement of “all Americans,” ABC News declaring itself a wholly-owned subsidiary of the DNC, President Obama speaking at Fantasy Land (!) just a day or so after throttling the XL pipeline, and I thought…

…man, I’m gonna need a bigger string of obscenities.

4:46PM Also, Roger L. Simon is live on the scene, filing reports directly from SC. I don’t know what Roger is drinking, but tonight it’s nothing but Bombay Sapphire martinis for me. Just a touch a dry vermouth, and a nice twist rubbed ’round the rim of the glass.

4:51PM Over at The Other McCain, Smitty is sober-blogging, the poor guy.

4:52PM For the record, I do not want to see Mitt’s tax returns. But I wouldn’t mind seeing his colorist.

4:55PM The biggest disadvantage of watching these things on CNN rather than FOX is, I don’t learn nearly as much as I’d like to know about reverse mortgages.

4:57PM I have Wolf Blitzer’s tie.

4:59PM I’m betting Wolf has some money in the Caymans.

5:00PM Why is a CNN reporter interviewing a CNN reporter? This is news?

5:01PM “Welcome to the South… the heart of the Republican Party…”

Really? Did CNN really just say that?

5:02PM Pro Tip: Defeating Mitt Romney in Iowa is like defeating me in drinking tea.

5:04PM Ron Paul is wearing yet another bespoke suit. Newt is looking… like a guy who I can’t believe ever had even one wife ever. Mitt’s posture is weak. Santorum looks like a guy who just won a state where they lost a bunch of ballots.

Where’s Rick Perry? Did I miss something?

5:04PM DWL: I know Perry dropped out.

5:06PM “Welcome to Berkeley, California, the heart of the Democratic Party… ”

5:07PM Mitt: “I’m married now 42 years.” And to just the one woman, he didn’t need to say.

5:08PM RON PAUL.

5:09PM To Newt: Did you really want an open marriage?

Newt: “No [I don't want to respond to that], but I will.” Crowd goes wild.

5:10PM Newt: I am appalled that you would begin a presidential debate on a topic like that.

Crowd goes wilder.

5:11PM Newt: “As close to despicable as anything I can imagine.”

John King looks embarrassed to be breathing. But I’ve watched his old Sunday show on CNN, and so I’ve seen that look a lot.

5:11PM Newt: “You and your staff chose to start this debate with that.”

5:12PM Newt: “I’m tired of the MSM protecting Barack Obama by attacking Republicans.”

Wonder what we’ll be talking about tomorrow.

5:13PM Santorum: “I thank God for forgiveness… ” but… Yeah, he went with the Big But.

5:13PM MItt: “Let’s get on to the real issues.”

5:13PM RON PAUL: BAWK BAWK BAWK BAWK.

5:14PM RON PAUL: “My wife of 54 years…”

5:14PM So, all that just happened.

5:15PM To RON PAUL: Washington could put people back to work by “getting out of the way.” Also, gold standard BAWK BAWK BAWK BAWK.

5:17PM Newt: Repeal Dodd-Frank to create jobs. Also, drill, baby, drill.

Although there’s an argument to be made he’s done enough of that already.

Sorry. I shouldn’t go there. But you know I’ll go there again at least one more time.

5:18PM Newt: Bain Capital ruined the steel industry or something.

I grew up in the steel industry, and that just isn’t so.

5:19PM Mitt: “[Obama] has been practicing crony capitalism.”

Once again — and this is almost always the case — Mitt draws first blood on Obama. It’s been his trademark in these debates.

5:20PM Mitt: “My view is capitalism works.”

Not exactly Reaganesque, is it?

5:21PM MItt: “There’s nothing wrong with profit.”

5:22PM Santorum: “I believe in capitalism, too.” Except, apparently, for rich people. This is not a very coherent answer, but he seems to like capitalism — just not capitalists.

5:24PM Should DC be promoting job credits for vets?

5:25PM RON PAUL: “To some degree.”

Principled libertarianism! Some intervention, but just the right amount! RON PAUL.

5:27PM Santorum: “We have and should continue to have veterans preferences.”

5:28PM Mitt: Wants the states to help vets, with DC money.

5:30PM Hey, they’re letting Newt talk again! He’s not on camera, so I can only imagine how much John King is cringing.

5:31PM Q: Can ObamaCare be repealed or reversed in its entirety?

5:32PM Except that wasn’t the question, because King is asking his own question that isn’t at all what the gentleman from the audience asked.

So you know what? John King — shut up for just a damn second. If you’re going to take audience questions, then shut your damn trap and take an audience question, you prima donna mofo.

5:34PM Newt: “If you’ve watched Washington and you aren’t skeptical, you haven’t learned anything.”

Now Newt is arguing that ObamaCare will be a big part of the fall campaign, which is a sneaky way to undercut Mitt. Nicely done, Newt.

5:35PM Newt: “Elect us, and your kids will be able to move out because they’ll have work!”

5:36PM Rick going after Mitt on RomneyCare. There’s a federalism issue that the candidates gleefully ignore — but it IS still Mitt’s Achilles heel.

5:38PM I ran out of martini before the first commercial break. Who’s going to do a blogger a favor?

5:40PM Wow. Now Mitt is schooling Rick on Medicaid.

This is an interesting debate. I must be drunk.

5:41PM Newt: I’m the one who got Rick’s ideas on HSA’s made into actual law.

Dude.

Santorum is nodding along without much to say.

5:42PM Rick: But ObamaCare bad.

He’s not answering Newt’s charges.

5:42PM Newt: “I figured out I was wrong; you didn’t.”

5:42PM RON PAUL: “Thank you! [for finally letting me speak]”

5:43PM RON PAUL: “Chances are, we can’t” repeal ObamaCare.

5:44PM RON PAUL: Will pay for everything by cutting back on the military, which on Monday he promised he wouldn’t cut.

RON PAUL!

5:49PM The stage just looks so empty. Maybe CNN could get cameo appearances from Bachmann, Perry, Cain, Du Pont, Paul Lynde. Something.

5:50PM Rick: “Grandiosity has never been a problem for Newt Gingrich.”

That is the first and maybe last Santorum line that I will remember the next day.

5:51PM Pro Tip: Rick, you’d have spent more money if you had had more money, so stop making it a point to tell people you have no money.

5:52PM Newt: I worked with Ronald Reagan.

5:52PM Newt: “I think grandiose thoughts; this is a grandiose country.”

What a line!

5:53PM Rick: “I will not give [Newt] his due on execution” of his ideas.

5:54PM Rick is just nailing Newt on House ethics and the 94 win.

5:55PM And now Newt is defending his record of taking on business-as-usual in Congress, and “busy being a rebel.”

This is good stuff, and largely forgotten.

5:55PM So far, this is the Newt & Rick Show. And it’s not a bad show.

5:56PM MItt has “lived in the real streets of America.”

He said that. Really.

5:57PM Nice moment where Mitt couldn’t remember the original question and neither could Newt.

5:58PM Newt: “When I was speaker, we went back to the Ronald Reagan playbook.”

5:58PM Newt just took credit for setting the stage for Mitt’s financial success.

5:59PM Mitt: I never said, “Thank heavens for Washington, DC.”

Well done. Well done.

5:59PM Q: When will you release your tax returns?

6:00PM RON PAUL: “I’d be embarrassed.”

No need for jokes. No need to see a candidate’s tax returns.

6:01PM MItt just kicked his toe in the dirt and said, “if I have to.”

6:01PM Mitt is going after Obama again. It’s tagline stuff, but delivered pretty well.

6:02PM Newt: “If there’s anything in [MItt's taxes] that will lose the election… ”

6:03PM Rick: “I don my own taxes, and they’re on my computer.” And, “When I get home, you’ll get my taxes.”

6:04PM I’m so tired of this tax return BS.

6:06PM John King: I dare you all you say bad things about Apple Computer, which the young people love.

6:06PM Rick: I’d cut taxes to make Apple even awesomer than it already is.

(For the record, I, VodkaPundit, am a total Apple fanboy.)

6:07PM

6:08PM RON PAUL: “The way you ask the question infers… ”

No, RON PAUL, it implies.

6:11PM 70 minutes in, and just one break. I’m earning my salary tonight.

6:11PM A SOPA question!

6:12PM Newt: “You’re asking a conservative about the economic interests of Hollywood.”

I think Newt has been reading Instapundit.

6:12PM The GOP, by and large, is so RIGHT about SOPA — and techies will still give and vote overwhelmingly to Democrats who love SOPA.

Why?

6:14PM Every single candidate on this stage hates SOPA. Damnit, techies, what’s wrong with you?

6:14PM Excuse me. Rick Santorum only mostly hates SOPA.

And the techies will latch on to that as they write their checks to Obama 2012.

6:21PM And… we’re back. If you aren’t following me on Twitter, you’re missing the stuff I can’t put up, even on the drunkblog.

6:21PM Q: What would you have done differently?

6:21PM Newt: I’d have been even Newtier.

6:22PM Mitt: I’d have worked to get 25 more votes in Iowa.

6:23PM Rick: “I wouldn’t change a thing.”

If Newt said this, everyone would call him an egotist.

6:23PM RON PAUL: BAWK BAWK BAWK BAWK

6:24PM Q: Something about illegal aliens and/or amnesty. Audience member just not ready for primetime, and I mean no insult — that’s a lot of pressure.

6:25PM Newt: I’d build a fence even bigger than the bill I’d pass. Or something.

6:27PM For what it’s worth, I think Newt is more correct on amnesty than any other candidate on this stage.

6:28PM MItt: I would like to change the subject, and build a very big fence.

6:29PM Rick: I am “the son of an immigrant.”

6:31PM This is Santorum’s problem: He feels things very deeply… and then I stop caring because he seems so really very deep.

6:32PM Mitt: I’m tougher than Newt and nicer than Rick.

I think.

6:34PM RON PAUL: BAWK BAWK BAWK… and then some stuff about incentives.

Folks, I was once an earnest and well-meaning Libertarian. But then I realized that time is precious and ideas must be practical. And I also quit smoking pot.

6:36PM Newt went after John King again. And it makes me relike him again in spite of myself — every time.

6:38PM Now Newt & Mitt are talking very specific details about abortion and MA law… and suddenly I’m more exhausted than drunk. Just a moment ago, it was so the other way around.

6:40PM Rick: I know many technical details about legal abortions under RomneyCare.

6:45PM I know I should be keeping up, but the legal nuances of abortion confound me. I think English common law got this one exactly right ages ago — and now both sides, pro and con, will pillory me as they see fit.

6:47PM Commercial break, and do I need one.

6:51PM John King: “I wish I could stay all night.”

And… I just released another unprintable stream of profanities.

6:52PM Last call on tonight’s debate…

6:52PM And here is where RON PAUL comes into his moment, talking about spending and debt and what happens if we don’t get the budget under control.

6:53PM Newt… wants to “thank” CNN? Really?

6:55PM MItt: “It’s an absolutely critical election.”

And to prove it, he can quote the Declaration of Independence, and hoo-ra for the military, and… it’s really just a tasty smorgasbord of talking points.

6:56PM Rick: “I agree with Governor Romney.”

So he’s tying Romney to his sicking ship? That’s just mean!

7:02PM Wow. It’s over. Lots of energy, lots of BS.

CNN promised something like a free-for-all, and totally failed to deliver. Instead we got… a debate with some good moments, most of which were over-shone by John King’s seeming desire to be the corpse at every wedding and the bride at every funeral.

He intro’d the debate badly, and got schooled — first by Newt, and then by everybody. And then he intro’d audience questions, which he then attempted to sidestep. And then he spent a substantial fraction of the debate talking about abortion issues which have yet to play any part in the national debate.

So, as a debate, there were moments of… almost goodness. As an episode of the John King Show… it was about as awful as you’d expect, except maybe more so.

Stephen Green began blogging at VodkaPundit.com in early 2002, and has served as PJMedia's Denver editor since 2008. He's one of the hosts on PJTV, and one-third of PJTV's Trifecta team with Scott Ott and Bill Whittle. Steve lives with his wife and sons in the hills and woods of Monument, Colorado, where he enjoys the occasional lovely adult beverage.
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