The Des Moines ABC/Yahoo GOP Presidential Debate, Part 3

Here are the traditional liveblogging notes, formatted for readability, that I kept during the latter-half of Saturday night’s ABC News/Yahoo News debate co-sponsored by WOI-TV, The Des Moines Register and Drake University


[9:48] George S asks Perry about his describing marital fidelity as an important issue to the Presidential campaign.
[9:48] Marriage is a vow to your wife, and a vow to God, and stronger than a Texas handshake.
[9:49] Perry: Someone who cheats on their wife is likely to cheat on others.
[9:50] Santorum: Character counts, but people make mistakes. The public has to decide, based on someone’s whole record. And I’ve been married for 21 years and have 7 kids.
[9:51] Paul: Character is important, we shouldn’t have to talk about it, it should show through in the way we live (and I’ve been married for 54 years, BTW)
[9:52] Q to Romney: Family and faith feature of your first ad. Romney: It’s a response to an Obama ad, saying I have no core values. I am motivated by love for this country, and want to make sure America continues to be a merit based society.
[9:53] Bachmann: Founders spoke of a “measure of a man” (or “measure of a woman”) and thought that if a person would keep their word was more important than anything else.
[9:55] And Gingrich says: The questions are legitimate. People have to judge who I am now, am I someone they can trust.
[9:56] Sawyer asks about immigration. She wants it “stipulated”(?) that everyone here wants to secure the borders. Now lets talk about 11 million undocumented people in the U.S.
[9:57] Gingrich: Create citizen review boards based on the selective service system. Doesn’t think the people of U.S. will deport people who are good community members.
[9:57] Gingrich: Deportation of people with no community ties should be made easier; English should be the official language of the US.
[9:59] Sawyer asks Romney a long-winded version of “how many people do you want to deport”.
[9:59] Romney says let’s secure the border first. Then give the people who are here an opportunity to Settle their affairs, and return home.
[10:01] Sawyer simplifies Romney‘s answer to you want to deport 11.5 million people.
[10:01] Sawyer to Perry, what about people who are in the military.
[10:01] Perry: First we need to secure the border! Then we need to enforce the laws that are on the books. Then we can have a legitimate conversation on immigration reform.
[10:02] Stephanopoulos asks Paul about Gingrich‘s recent comment that the Palestinians are an invented people.
[10:03] Paul: Under the Ottoman Empire, that was technically correct, but Israel wasn’t a state either. People in those regions should be dealing with those problems, we shouldn’t be dealing with them. Says his “policeman of the world” meme.
[10:04] Gingrich sticks by his guns. What he said was historically true, and groups like Hamas are willing to say openly that not a single Jew will remain in Israel. There’s too much lying about the Middle East.
[10:05] Romney asked to respond: He agrees with most of what Gingrich said, except that the Palestinians are an invented people. US should not jump ahead of Israeli leadership, and make their jobs more difficult.
[10:07] Fanned by Stephanopoulos, some back and forth between Gingrich and Romney.
[10:09] Gingrich compares his remark to Reagan’s evil empire remark.
[10:10] Q to Bachmann: who got the better of the arg? Obviously uncomfortable, she goes into a prepared set-piece, starting with her days working on Kibbutz, ending with her confronting the head of the Palestinian authority about textbooks that teach hatred of Jews.
[10:11] Q to Santorum: who got the better of the arg? A: “You have to speak the truth, but with prudence”.
[10:12] I wonder if Bachmann and Santorum were told before the debate that their role was to be Greek Chorus to the other candidates.
[10:13] Perry says Gingrich‘s comment is a minor issue and the media is blowing out of proportion. Criticizes Obama’s handling of a crashed drone. This President is the problem, not something that Gingrich said.
[10:14] Sawyer says “I’m a yahoo”. Oh, wait, that’s “I have a question from Yahoo”, right after this next commercial break.
[10:20] Question from Yahoo to the candidates: Has the economy forced you to cut back on any necessities (not just luxuries)?
[10:21] Perry didn’t have running water until he was 5 years old, and his mother sewed his clothes until he went to college. But never felt like he had to give anything up.
[10:22] Sawyer complains about candidates going over time.
[10:23] Romney says he didn’t grow up poor, but his parents instilled principles of hard work.
[10:23] Sawyer asks Paul if the question she just asked matters.
[10:23] Paul: I grew up in the depression and WWII, but didn’t feel deprived. Then pivots to monetary policy, and how overspending and overborrowing will destroy the middle class.
[10:24] Santorum grew up in a modest home, and had his basic needs met. Most important thing: I had two parents. Breakdown of family leads to breakdown of the economy. Marriage should be promoted.
[10:26] Sawyer asks Bachmann about bank bailouts. Bachmann answers that some people on this stage supported bailouts, I didn’t. Says she was born in Iowa, and had a job at 13 to help out her divorced single mom.
[10:27] Gingrich: I lived in an apartment above a gas-station for a while. Has several out of work relatives. Callista runs a business, has to meet payroll, etc.
[10:28] Stephanopoulos: I want to keep being a yahoo — oh wait, that’s I want to stick with Yahoo. Yahoo audience wants to hear more about healthcare mandates.
[10:29] Romney: “States can do whatever the heck they want to do”, but a Federal mandate violates the 10th amendment.
[10:30] Stephanopoulos actually comes up with a decent follow-up: Gingrich supported the mandate up until May. Gingrich says he opposes the mandate, because it means any majority could make you do anything.
[10:30] More Gingrich: 3rd party payment model has grown more difficult sustain, we need to move back towards a doctor-patient relationship.
[10:31] Sawyer talks about her visit to a pharmacy in Iowa. Listening to her speak is making me want to take painkillers.
[10:32] OK, since I was too busy being snarky in the last line, I missed the specific question that prompted Paul‘s response of: If you need a system where government protects you from yourself, we’re in big trouble.
[10:32] Then Paul adds “All government is force”. Ron, you we’re starting to sound sane tonight — don’t lose it now.
[10:33] Stephanopoulos asks if anyone disagrees with Paul‘s point of the government not being involved in regulating behavior. Perry jumps in (disappointing Stephanopoulos, I think): It’s up to the states, it should be their call. Goes into set-piece about overhauling Washington, going to a part time Congress…
[10:34] …except Perry then adds the brilliant point that we need a balanced budget constitutional amendment.

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Sammy in Arizona
Sammy in Arizona
9 years ago

Serial adulterer, disgraced former Speaker of the House, Freddie Mac lobbyist chicken-hawk coward should do well with the Family Values Folks
Of all the millions of people in the country, this sorry group of lame Presidential contenders is the best the Republicans have to offer???

Monique
Editor
9 years ago

“Sawyer says “I’m a yahoo”. Oh, wait,”
” Stephanopoulos: I want to keep being a yahoo — oh wait”
lol
“Sawyer complains about candidates going over time.”
Especially if it’s a Republican and they’re going to use the time to point out that they did not have privileged childhood, as Perry had just done.
(Great job with this, Andrew.)

Monique
Editor
9 years ago

“Sawyer simplifies Romney’s answer to you want to deport 11.5 million people.”
Andrew, did she really use the verb “deport” here?

Monique
Editor
9 years ago

Thank you, Andrew.
President Obama is all up on compromise – regularly chiding the Republicans for NOT compromising. Illegal immigration is a great place for “compromise”: we don’t need to actively deport people. The compromise is that we simply enforce the laws already on the books, especially those pertaining to jobs and social programs. (And close the border, of course.)

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