GOP Debate Liveblogtweet (Follow: @DavidSPJM)
Ok, we're done.
Newt won this thing hands-down, and surprisingly, I think that matters. He just moved into first place for the VP slot. Cain certainly didn't help himself and likely hurt his chances, which was the most likely scenario for him coming in. Perry is not worth discussing anymore.
Romney is going to come away with this nomination unless tea partiers make a stink, which better happen soon.
9:46 Good lord -- Karen Tumulty brought up an income inequality question straight from an occupy Wall Street sign. She is an unrepentant radical who thinks she has some blockbuster soundbite that will smack down any conservative, not realizing she's a caricature.
9:42 Newt smashes another one, gives a rather inspiring answer about America being able to get back on the right track if it decides to.
9:40 Solyndra question from Karen Tumulty a wolf in sheep's clothing -- she follows up a swipe about Solyndra with a question about Perry's record on giving to businesses in Texas. It's the type of disingenuous journalism you get from, say, a Martin Bashir.
9:31 Paul: Greenspan was a disaster.
9:30 Who's your favorite Fed chairman? Cain: Alan Greenspan. Ugh.
9:23 Perry campaign is dead, by the way.
9:22 Santorum strong on TARP question. Yes, four of these candidates supported TARP, and they should be held to it.
9:20 Romney decides to question Bachmann, which is bizarre. How could he possibly think picking on her is a good use of his time?
9:16 Perry gets to Romneycare. Good move, since he's otherwise flailing.
9:14 Ron Paul Federal Reserve fed depression abolish evil fed. Free Mumia.
9:12 Huntsman went from funny drunk uncle to the guy no one wants around with that question. Nasty.
9:10 Newt takes on Romney rather than Cain. Smart guy.
9:10 Cain goes after Romney, wins. The point being that Romney is a classic ruling class type who thinks you need the most complex bill created by the brainiest folks he can find to cut the deficit. Just stop spending!
9:07 Bachmann ties Perry to Gore. It's like the consolation game at the World Cup with these two.
9:05 They should make Bachmann and Perry leave for the final segment, like that espn show that boots a commentator every break.
9:03 I think my pre-debate prediction is holding -- Perry never had a chance here, as he's already lost his conservative credentials. Cain can only hurt himself unless he's perfect.
8:59 Commercial break, after which the candidates are to be allowed to question each other. This sounds like a slightly worse idea than letting Charlie Rose question them.
8:57 "Repeal Obamacare" first uttered by Mitt.
8:55 Even Santorum seeming more dynamic than Perry.
8:53 Perry back on energy. He's falling flat with this approach here because he's a crummy debater, which is a shame because energy is integral to a jobs discussion.
8:48 Bachmann just tried a folksy Palin approach that fell flat. Plus, associating Cain's 999 plan with satan can't be good for her image as a bit unhinged, entirely formed by the gardasil stance.
8:47 Great answer from Cain, he did a decent job covering a wonky subject with a short soundbite. He hasn't hurt himself here.
8:45 Cain: "The problem with that analysis is that it is incorrect."
8:44 Cain gets his own video clip displayed. Huh?
8:42 Newt! "Stupid!" Awesome.
8:39 Misleading video clip of Reagan claiming he would accept tax increases in exchange for spending reductions. Perry points out the obvious, historically accurate point: Reagan never saw those reductions from Congress. Also, Reagan was talking about a decrease in tax cuts.
8:36 First commercial break. Any reasonably unbiased observer without knowledge of the campaign would assume Newt Gingrich is the frontrunner. This thing is about more than debating though, and I simply don't believe he can get over his popularity issues and standing as a pre-Tea Party establishment guy, fair or not.
8:35 Perry can feel his run draining as he sits there. Debatin' ain't easy.
8:30 We know who Romney is now -- another "there's a crisis, must act now" guy. I have no doubt that Romney would rush to spend a few billion rather than wait out the news cycle whenever a situation arises.
8:25 Romney does not rule out another bailout. Bad bad.
8:23 Cain is using tonight to focus on 9/9/9, which is a bit too wonky for a debate setup. He simply doesn't have the time here to elucidate a plan like this.
8:20 Huntsman is a little too into this dinner table setup. I think he actually believes he's in some guy's dining room with these avuncular answers. Someone get him a snifter.
8:19 The questioner just presented herself as being pro-death panel, and Gingrich called her on it, actually using the term "death panel." Newt!
8:16 Huntsman! He's speaking in Clintonesque platitudes, as is his wont.
8:15 Santorum also doing that "shake-off the catcher" thing. "My jobs is different than the other ones proposed here because my plan will pass."
8:15 Newt wins the first 15 minutes, hands-down.
8:10 Newt: "The first person to fire is Bernanke, the second is Geithner." Whoa -- want to put people in jail, the first people to look at our Barney Frank and Chris Dodd!"
Newt just started a real campaign here.
8:08 This question approved by Occupy Wall Street. Seriously, this is a bush league question she just pushed at Bachmann, and Bachmann is doing a tremendous job of explaining.
8:07 Would like to hear Gingrich here. Pipe in, Newt.
8:05 Perry points out that he has been good working with people on both sides of the aisle. Not what we're interested in. Also, he will lay out his plan over the "next three days." Huh?
8:03 Cain mentions the 9/9/9 plan within the first three words of the debate. He also claims revenues will equal spending during his first year as president.
8:02 And we're off.
7:50 Goolsbee has a permanent "shaking off the catcher" face.
7:50 I close my eyes, and this anchor sounds exactly like Marty Funkhouser.
7:45 Goolsbee: "Small businessmen do not mention high taxes and regulations as their biggest problems." Son of a ...
7:43 The protesters have quieted, but "Stop the War on Women" signs have taken up residence in the background. The signs all say NARAL.
7:42 Austin Goolsbee! Hide the silver!
7:41 Interview with a local furniture maker/retailer: he claims he has to constantly be pricing his products at 20-25% off his regular retail, whereas a 5% sale used to be enough to spike his profits. Yikes.
7:36 I am truly excited to hear Cain speak tonight. Contrary to Perry, Cain has made his name as job creator in the private sector, rather than Perry's work facilitating a free-market atmosphere as a politician. I prefer Cain's experience in this regard: a job creator in the private sector like Cain is very likely to successfully follow Perry's path once in office. A politician headed to the private sector is starting from scratch as a businessman, lest his contacts.
7:30 Good lord, it's Dean Kamen, the inventor of the Segway. He wants to know how the candidates are going to encourage innovation. Supposedly so our kids don't fall behind the world in making prohibitively expensive scooters for mall cops and Gob Bluth.
7:12 Protesters are overwhelming the anchors, but I can't make out what they are chanting about. "More free s***" or something.
7:10 Candidates will be seated at a round table. I suppose this is intended to make us think they are more approachable, perhaps ... human. But it makes me think Benihana.
7:05 I simply don't see this as a big opportunity for Perry, I see a greater likelihood that his chances are done. This is the Economy Debate, yes, which should seemingly provide Perry with a window to play to his greatest strength, his undeniable success with creating a free-market business atmosphere in Texas that has kept the country from a possible depression. However -- this campaign season has shown only one noticeable trend: the candidate viewed as most conservative rockets to the top, and falls back in the pack when their bonafides are tested.
Perry is simply not going to convince the electorate that he's a solid conservative at this point.
Which opens up tonight's likely storyline: Cain is considered a strong conservative already. He can only hurt his image tonight -- perhaps if guns come up -- though not particularly help it.
6:30 Newt reportedly getting fired up backstage by doing the Ray Lewis dance.
5:00 Off to pickup son from daycare. Twenty-one month-old Jack, who by the way has already mastered the nuanced political sloganeering of the Democrats: he'll have a plate full of food, but he'll still point at whatever on the plate he finds to be the yummiest item and shout: "Moooooooooore!"
4:55 Bold debate prediction: Milwaukee, Texas take Game Threes
4:50 Bold debate prediction: Newt offers Contract With America IV: The Wrath of Khan
4:45 Bold debate prediction: Jon Huntsman claims able to "see both sides" of an issue
4:30 Romney and Christie doing tremendous job of invigorating Perry's campaign today.