4:44PM Tonight, the talk is supposed to be all about the economy. That’s just fine, since the debate is being hosted by financial-centric Bloomberg TV, which is the network we here at PJTV laugh at.
4:48PM Say this much for Bloomberg’s lineup: They aren’t flashy, but they certainly are uninteresting.
Al Hunt? Wasn’t he that guy who used to be on CNN? We’ve got Austan Goolsbee, too, and I swear to you the first thing he did during his introduction was stick a finger in his eye and start digging around in there.
I’m not – yet — drunk enough to wonder what he found.
4:51PM Also, you probably heard already that Chris Christie endorsed Mitt Romney today, release his donors to Mitt’s already-flush campaign.
And if I can steal one of my own gags from Twitter, Christie’s price was Secretary of Cheese.
Follow me on Twitter if you don’t already.
4:54PM This is the lamest pre-show ever. It’s going to be a long night, and I make no apologies.
5:00PM Bloomberg TV will have two candidates on after the debate, but they’re not saying which two. So I’m betting on Gingrich and Huntsman.
5:00PM Debate moderator: Charlie Rose. There’s some small chance that the candidates, too, will be allowed to speak.
5:01PM The candidates will also be allowed to question each other in the second half. This could be fun.
5:02PM I haven’t seen this many people looking this uncomfortable being so close to one another since my first mixer.
5:02PM First question to Cain: What’s your plan for the economy, specifically.
5:03PM Cain: My plan is to present a bold plan and get serious. Also, some nines.
5:04PM To Perry: Will you compromise like Reagan?
5:04PM Perry: I’ve had to deal with folks on both sides of the aisle in this tremendously big state I govern.
Also, I have a plan for drilling, but Palin took “drill, baby, drill” already.
5:05PM Romney: Be specific.
5:05PM Romney: I would, very specifically, be a leader. Which, in a very specific way, our current president is not leading.
5:05PM Specifically. That’s our drinking word tonight.
5:06PM To Perry: Why aren’t you being specific like Mitt?
5:07PM Perry: I would be very specific about opening up drilling. Specifically.
5:07PM NOTE TO SELF: Charle Rose isn’t any less absurd than any of the other moderators I’ve seen. Just more — if this is possible — self-important. And specific.
5:08PM To Bachmann: Wouldn’t it be cool if some Wall Street people took one right in the nads? (I’m paraphrasing.)
5:09PM Bachmann: Dodd-Frank got us into this mess.
Sorry, it’s just no fun to make fun of Bachmann since the Bad Lip Reading guys did it. I bow to them.
5:10PM If Bachmann uses the word “institutionalized” again, I will giggle.
5:10PM To Newt: Obamanomics sucks, huh?
5:10PM Or maybe it was “Wall Street sucks, huh?” Honestly, this Karen person goes on like me after the third after-dinner brandy.
5:11PM Newt: “Start with Barney Frank and Chris Dodd… ”
And Newt suggested they go to jail! That’s a drink.
5:12PM Newt drew first blood on Bernanke, too. Ron Paul must be steaming.
5:12PM To Paul: How much would you like to tar and feather Bernanke?
5:13PM Paul: “There are some even at this table…” who didn’t want to audit the Fed.
5:13PM Typical Paul — great first half of the answer, dog barking in the second half.
5:14PM Hey, Rick Santorum! Haven’t seen him in ages. What’s he doing here?
5:16PM To Huntsman: How would you make the economy innovative?
5:16PM Huntsman: I’d bring back heavy industry.
Wow. Bad bad bad.
5:17PM If you don’t have Bloomberg TV on your dish or cable provider, it’s being streamed online, too. Go to Bloomberg.com, I’d guess.
5:18PM To Gingrich: Save Medicare. Right now. Kill off some old people for us.
5:18PM Newt: I am against the killing of old people for political gain.
5:19PM Camera switched to Perry during Newt’s answer, and he looked a little lost. Like when Joey on Friends tried to do math in his head.
5:19PM To Bachmann: Seriously, won’t YOU kill some old people?
5:20PM Bachmann: Obama will kill old people, but I won’t.
5:20PM CORRECTION: Obama’s secret cabal of 15 people will kill old people.
5:21PM To Huntsman: Who are your econ advisors?
5:22PM Huntsman: My dad. And living people, too.
Actually, Huntsman is pretty darn good. But he has no constituency in this race, and he’s tried to build one by being an ass. That makes me not like him so much.
5:22PM Huntsman wants to get good people into government. How very progressive of him.
5:23PM For the love of God, Huntsman cannot still be talking.
5:24PM Cain can’t wait to “throw out the current tax code.” I’m with him on that, but the idea of giving the Feds a sales tax without taking away the income tax strikes me as dangerously naive thinking.
5:25PM Really, seriously, naive. Like, worse than my very first last call.
5:25PM To Romney: Europe is going to bring us down, huh?
5:26PM Romney: I’m not going to answer this question because it’s TOTALLY HYPOTHETICAL that Europe’s economy could effect ours.
5:26PM Romney: “I’m not going to call up Tim Geithner and ask him how the economy works.”
5:27PM Romney is defending TARP. Meh, he wasn’t exactly counting on the Tea Party vote.
5:28PM Is Romney’s complain with the GM bailout that the funds came from TARP instead of from some other place, or do I need to drink less — or more?
5:30PM Friedman totally stole that joke from Dorothy Parker, who said that if all the girls attending the Yale prom were laid end to end, she wouldn’t be at all surprised.
5:30PM To Cain: Is Romney right?
5:30PM Cain: Yes. TARP was a good idea, badly implemented. You listening, Tea Party?
5:31PM Newt, speaking out of turn: Bush’s people “didn’t have a clue” in the 2008 crisis.
5:31PM I really do wish sometimes Newt were electable.
5:32PM To Paul: Would you get the government out of housing, or are you a dirty hypocrite?
5:32PM Paul: I would dig Keynes out of the grave just to hit him with the shovel.
Again, I’m paraphrasing. But not much.
5:33PM Commercial break. Or refill, as I like to call it.
5:37PM Ooh, we get to watch videos on TV!
5:38PM To Perry: How much like Reagan do you want to be?
5:39PM This Rick Perry sounds like the Bad Lip Reading Rick Perry. I’m expecting him to say “ice cream” any moment now. This isn’t the top-tier performance he needs to stay a top-tier candidate.
5:39PM To Romney: You’d compromise, right?
5:40PM Mitt: Compromise, hell — I’ll flip and I’ll flop!
5:41PM Romney wants to repatriate dollars. Has he tried offering them amnesty?
5:41PM Wow. That last bit of crulety is why you read VodkaPundit, isn’t it?
5:42PM Newt just went on a great rant about the fake spending cuts and the supercommittee.
5:43PM Bachmann: I’m sane on the debt limit thing. Honest.
5:44PM To Santorum…
Just kidding. Nobody is talking to Santorum.
5:45PM To Cain: Our people say your 999 plan won’t raise enough money, while raising sales taxes on the poor.
5:45PM Cain: Nuh-uh.
5:46PM Cain: Subtract nine from 15.3 and you get 9!
5:47PM To Bachmann: You’re a tax lawyer, right? And that’s a real thing?
5:47PM Bachmann is echoing my complaints about a national sales tax.
And suddenly she’s sane again!
5:48PM And… Bachmann just turned 999 upside down to get 666.
Back to padded room.
5:49PM To Huntsman: You’d start a trade war with China, huh?
5:49PM Huntsman: Is explaining this with references to QE2. Oh, he’s right — but it’s not a good debate answer.
5:50PM To Romney: Why do you hate New Hampshire?
5:51PM Romney: We can win a trade war with China, bitches!
5:52PM Perry: Remember me? Also, Texas makes jobs.
5:54PM To Santorum:
No really, he got a question.
To Santorum: “I want to go to war with China.”
5:55PM Santorum: “Repeal ObamaCare” and go to war with China.
5:56PM Santorum: Elect me President so I can be a Senator! I swear that’s what he just argued.
5:56PM Romney: I will repeal AND excommunicate ObamaCare which isn’t anything like ObamaCare.
5:57PM Huntsman: “That’s the ruinous part of ObamaCare.” He’s talking about 19,500 new IRS agents.
5:58PM After the break, the candidates will ask questions of each other, because Charle Rose needs his tea.
6:02PM Matthew Dowd sounds sensible. Is that a real thing, or did somebody slip me a mickey?
6:04PM These ads about the deficit with these kids who can’t read their lines very well? Please tell me this isn’t the best the right can do next year.
6:06PM From Bachmann to Perry: Why did you use to be a filthy Al Gore-loving Democrat, and aren’t you still?
6:07PM Perry: I’m just glad to get a third question after more than an hour.
6:07PM Perry: I was a Republican younger than Reagan was. Also, don’t mess with Texas.
6:08PM Cain to Romney: Can you name all the kajillion points in your stupid plan?
6:08PM Romney: Simple answers don’t work.
6:09PM Newt nodded gamely, as if Romney was finally wonky enough for him.
6:11PM Newt to Romney: Why aren’t you cutting taxes enough for people in my bracket?
6:11PM Romney: Because I love the middle class. And puppies. And pizza. And New Hampshire voters, especially. And very specifically.
6:12PM Huntsman to Romney: Aren’t you a filthy capitalist like those nice Occupy Wall Street people are complaining about?
6:12PM Mitt: I am so pleased to answer yet another question.
6:13PM Honestly, Romney just bitch-slapped Huntsman with his record at Bain.
6:14PM Paul to Cain: Why won’t you audit the Fed and hit the corpse of Keynes in the face with a shovel?
Interesting that Paul is going after Cain.
6:15PM Cain: No, the Fed really does suck. So THERE.
6:16PM Cain: And 999 jobs jobs jobs.
6:16PM Perry to Romney (surprise!): ObamaCare is ObamaCare…
And Romney is smiling as if to say, I have you beat already. And I’m happy to answer yet another question.
6:17PM Er, ObamaCare is RomneyCare.
6:17PM Romney: I love children. And old people who I won’t kill. And I hate taxes. And I’m proud of what we did. Why do you hate children?
6:18PM Romney: Also, ObamaCare isn’t RomneyCare and I can’t tell you how pleased I am to answer yet another question.
6:18PM Wow. Charlie Rose doesn’t know the alphabet.
6:19PM Romney to Bachmann: HUH??? To Bachmann?
6:19PM Romney to Bachmann, which doesn’t at all belittle Cain or Perry: How would you get people back to work?
6:20PM Bachmann: I have tons of kids, so I know about job. Also, I have a dot.com website and everything.
6:22PM Santorum to Cain: I oppose things. I oppose things like TARP. And I love the Constitution. Why don’t you love the Constitution, Herman Cain?
6:23PM Cain: I will ask Congress to act responsibly.
6:24PM Commercial break.
6:27PM To Perry: What’s the difference between your health care ideas and Romney?
6:29PM Perry: Health care is a very important issue, which people in this country care about because of its importance as a big issue around the kitchen table which is why it requires a lot of attention, especially in the energy industry, which we have in Texas, where the health care access is better because of bill I’ve signed and lower rates which we didn’t get from Medicaid but we do have innovators and innovation, especially in health care when it has block grants that aren’t one size fits all with the thought process.
6:30PM To Cain: PLEASE don’t talk about 999, just the Fed, OK?
6:31PM Cain: I still love Alan Greenspan.
You’re the only one, buddy.
And Ron Paul just shook his head so hard, the sonic waves messed up a RomneyHair.
6:31PM To Paul: Congressman Paul?
6:31PM Paul: “Alan Greenspan was a disaster.”
6:32PM Paul: Paul Volcker was good, but I’d still abolish the Fed.
6:33PM Audience question to Rose?
6:33PM Rose deflects to Romney…
6:33PM …and Romney shoots at Obama and scores!
6:35PM Bachmann: I talked to a banker in Texas who is going broke, maybe because of Rick Perry.
6:35PM Bachmann: Here’s another bill I’ve introduced which no one has read.
6:36PM Cain: Repeal Dodd-Frank, repeal capital gains, institute some nines.
6:36PM Paul: Partisanship is a problem and… I’m the cure?
6:37PM To Perry: Government subsidies suck, yes?
6:38PM Perry: Except when we do them in Texas.
6:38PM Romney: Also, the Texas legislature is my partner in crony capitalism, so we’re spreading the theft around a little.
6:39PM Perry: Also, I’m proud of picking winners.
He might be done as a serious candidate after tonight.
6:40PM To Newt: Why don’t you want Americans to own their own homes?
6:41PM Newt: I love America. Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama don’t, and they’re also much more political than I am. Also, I love these candidates and their good ideas. Charlie Rose, you and China suck.
I think I got all that right.
6:42PM To Cain: Why do you hate 14 million unemployed Americans?
6:42PM Cain: No, no — I only hate filthy hippies.
6:43PM Romney: I hate tax increases and stimulus plans.
I didn’t hear the question, sorry. I started tuning out the moderators…. about 103 minutes ago.
6:44PM To Perry: The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer — doesn’t that suck?
6:44PM Perry: Obama.
6:45PM Santorum: Remember me? I love families!
6:45PM Santorum: I know Greek!
6:46PM Rose has lost control of his own forum.
Final round, softball: What do you want to tell America about yourself?
6:47PM Bachmann: I feel your pain.
6:47PM Cain: No, I feel your pain.
6:48PM Newt: No, no, I feel your pain.
6:49PM Paul: No, no, no, I feel your pain. And I love liberty, unlike the rest of you squares.
6:49PM Santorum: No, no, no, no, I feel your pain.
6:50PM Where did Perry go? Did Rose forget the alphabet again?
6:50PM Huntsman: No, no, no, no, no, I feel your pain.
6:50PM Oh. Not alphabetical order. I apologize to Rose. But not for much.
6:51PM Perry: No, no, no, no, no, no, I feel your pain.
6:52PM Romney: No, no, no, no, no, no, I feel your pain. And Iove children and leadership and the military. Specifically.
6:53PM For my own self, I’d like to thank Bloomberg TV for hosting — and Charlie Rose for moderating — tonight’s heartwarming episode of the Mitt Romney Show. I hope everyone enjoyed it, especially the inevitability. And the specificity.