Liveblogging/Livetweeting the Cicilline/Gemma Debate

Below is the livetweet coverage from Anchor Rising’s contributors of WPRI-TV’s (CBS 12) televised debate between First District Congressman David Cicilline and primary challenger Anthony Gemma (Nancy Krause’s write-up here, panelist Ted Nesi’s analysis here).
[3h Patrick Laverty] >> And today, @MattAllenShow announced Gemma vs. Cicilline Part 2 will be Tuesday, 6 pm on WPRO. Can’t wait to see what each do differently.
[3h Justin Katz] >> “Only Vertigoed Are Hopeful” RT @eniedowski: It’s OVAH. #WPRIdebate
[3h Patrick Laverty] >> Will someone ask Gemma if he has proof of cash payments to Cicilline staffers? #wpridebate
[3h Patrick Laverty] >> It seems possible that Gemma was referring to Rep. John Carter of Texas who has sponsored bills to fund cancer research. #wpridebate
[4h Patrick Laverty] >> Catcalls from audience sure don’t help your candidate. #wpridebate
[4h Justin Katz] >> Compare w/Cicilline, who bragged about condition of Prov. MT @jim_baron: Bragging about “anonymous” donations and naming them? C’mon Gemma
[4h Patrick Laverty] >> Term limits, 12 years each. #wpridebate
[4h Justin Katz] >> I hate to say it, but I think these debates are actually detrimental to informed voting. How could non-wonks see through the BS? #WPRIdebate
[4h Patrick Laverty] >> If I could rent my home, why wouldn’t I just pay the mortgage? #wpridebate
[4h Patrick Laverty] >> Wow, Chris Young looks sane next to these two. MT @mattallenshow: What’s the casual voter thinking watching this? #WPRIdebate
[4h Patrick Laverty] >> the B-level candidate for Governor
[4h Justin Katz] >>Earlier, Cicilline while not assigning blame for Solyandra: “Of course, people should be held accountable.”
[4h Justin Katz] >>After an hour of trying to turn debate to bashing GOP, Cicilline talks about solving partisanship by getting to know colleagues.
[4h Justin Katz] >>Note to anybody who like to save money on everyday products: Cicilline & Gemma want to drive those prices up with import taxes.
[4h Justin Katz] >> QED why RI is in such horrible shape. RT @danmcgowan: Gemma and Cic actually aren’t all that different on the issues…
[4h Justin Katz] >>”They took off my show for this?” MT @mattallenshow: What’s the casual voter thinking watching this? #WPRIdebate
[4h Andrew Morse] >> Cicilline’s closing “I’m [in Washington] every day to fight for the middle class of our country”.
[4h Andrew Morse] >> Gemma’s closing “We must restore integrity to Rhode Island’s 1st congressional district”.
[4h Andrew Morse] >> Gemma does not support fracking, or speculation in energy markets.
[4h Andrew Morse] >> Cicilline tries to take both sides of fracking issue. Tim White says answer sounds like code for more regulation.
[4h Andrew Morse] >> Gemma: I am not for vouchers. Attacks Providence school performance under Cicilline.
[4h Andrew Morse] >> Cicilline: We need to spend more $$$, expand programs, but no “private scholarships to private schools”.
[4h Andrew Morse] >> Achorn asks why Cicilline voted against DC opportunity scholarships.

[4h Andrew Morse] >> Cicilline: He supports a balanced budget amendment, and wants to accelerate troop withdrawl from Afg.
[4h Andrew Morse] >> Nesi asks Cicilline where he disagrees with House D leadership.
[4h Andrew Morse] >> Nesi asks on which of Cicilline’s 1,900+ (Backfill: It’s actually 1,600+ votes. Ted Nesi has the right number, I put down the wrong one during the liveblog) votes Gemma would have voted differently.
[4h Andrew Morse] >> Cicilline: I’ve seen how bad Rs in Washington are, so I’ll vote for every D on the ticket.
[4h Andrew Morse] >> Responding to an Achorn Q: He will support the other Ds on the Fed ballot, but not Cicilline.
[4h Monique C] >> Gemma: Cicilline “not fit to serve in Congress”.
[4h Andrew Morse] >> Cicilline cites his bona fides on abortion, and how extreme the Republicans are.
[4h Andrew Morse] >> Nesi to Cicilline: Should you congratulate Gemma on his new position.
[5h Andrew Morse] >> Nesi: Since just this April? Gemma: Yes.
[5h Andrew Morse] >> Gemma: Republicans have become very extreme on the issue.
[5h Andrew Morse] >> Nesi to Gemma: Why did you flip-flop on abortion?
(Backfill: In my original liveblog, I missed a good exchange on the Federal Budget here, specifically Tim White pressing both candidates on 2 specific programs they would cut. Cicilline started out with a vague answer and started talking about “grand bargains”. Tim White pointed out to Cicilline that he was talking about raising revenue in response to a question about program cuts. Cicilline said that some forms of raised revenue are “tax expenditure” cuts. Gemma named defense as part of what could be cut, and Cicilline chimed in to agree.)
[5h Andrew Morse] >> Gemma: Supports aggressive sanctions, and would support his commander-in-chief.
[5h Andrew Morse] >> Gemma: Iran should not have a nuke. Sovereignty of every nation must be respected.
[5h Andrew Morse] >> Achorn repeats Q about military action. Cicilline says we’d support Israel, if they took military action.
[5h Andrew Morse] >> Sanctions first. Israel is an ally who shares our values.
[5h Andrew Morse] >> Achorn asks about Iran. Cicilline: Iran cannot be allowed to get a nuclear weapon.
[5h Andrew Morse] >> Gemma pointedly asks if Cicilline is paying anyone cash right now. He’s planning to go somewhere with that.
[5h Andrew Morse] >> Cicilline: I won my elections with an overwhelming number of voted.
[5h Andrew Morse] >> Cicilline: There are Republicans having a Presidential convention tonight(?)
[5h Monique C] >> Cicilline: “Not one shred of evidence” – still no denial.
[5h Monique C] >> Re voter fraud, Cicilline: This is “absolutely absurd”. But he doesn’t deny it!
[5h Andrew Morse] >> Gemma says Cicilline asked someone to delete “the NC list” from her computer.
[5h Andrew Morse] >> Loud jeers from the crowd.
[5h Andrew Morse] >> Gemma: Voter fraud. Cites the accusations made in the affidavits.
[5h Andrew Morse] >> Tim White: What’s the specific accusation against David Cicilline?
[5h Andrew Morse] >> On to voter fraud…
[5h Andrew Morse] >> Gemma responding to a Ted Nesi Q: He wouldn’t change Social Security or Medicare at all.
[5h Andrew Morse] >> Ed Achorn to Gemma what would you have done? Gemma: Not lied, then discusses how he managed his business
[5h Andrew Morse] >> Tim White asks for “good, fair, poor?”. Cicilline doesn’t answer, talks about all of the problems he inherited
[5h Andrew Morse] >> Cicilline says he was “overly optimistic”.
[5h Andrew Morse] >> Ed Achorn asks about Cicilline’s apology for saying Providence was in “excellent financial condition”.
(Backfill: 1st question was on each candidate’s jobs program. IMO, neither defended their ideas convincingly)
[5h Andrew Morse] >> Cicilline’s opening statement is much more conventional. He’ll fight Republicans on the usual Dem fronts.
[5h Andrew Morse] >> Anthony Gemma goes after Cicilline in his opening statement: Says Cicilline lied and will lie again tonight.

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John Loughlin
John Loughlin
10 years ago

Fascinating debate. David hasn’t really refreshed his debate book much at all from two years ago – other than not lying about the city – though he couldn’t even answer that question honestly. So many missed opportunities by Gemma.

10 years ago

Just, wow. This is a republican? Wouldnt change anything about SS, Medicare/Medicaid, not for vouchers, not for fracking? Wishy washy about Israel. Spends the whole time for the most part making(valid it seems) accusations about fraud and mismanagement. Seems like he’s running to be the democrat with a slightly crimson hue. Cicillini is a joke but this guy really doesnt impress me. And theres plenty to work with people. Remember Cicillini’s ad from the last time around answering a charge that SS was a “ponzi scheme”? The ad was old RI’ers just saying “A ponzi scheme? Thats ridiculous” over and over again. I was left with the impression that noone on his staff knew what the term meant, so they just repeated the word over and over again. And lets not forget the scummy way he left providence. Financial trickery and doubletalk abound.
Really, we cant find someone better to run against this joke?

10 years ago

“Just, wow. This is a republican?”
HI Pete. WHo are you referring to? Gemma? No, he’s a Democrat.
“Really, we cant find someone better to run against this joke?”
Actually, we did.

10 years ago

“The ad was old RI’ers just saying “A ponzi scheme? Thats ridiculous” over and over again. I was left with the impression that noone on his staff knew what the term meant, so they just repeated the word over and over again.”
Politifact already settled that matter. The organization investigated and definitively ruled the comparison of Social Security to a Ponzi scheme “FALSE” on its entirely objective Truth-O-Meter, so there is nothing left to dispute. The comparison is FALSE, according to their irrefutable logic, because a government program can’t be a fraud scheme by definition and the program could be modified in the future through increased taxes.

10 years ago

” definitively ruled the comparison of Social Security to a Ponzi scheme “FALSE” on its entirely objective Truth-O-Meter, so there is nothing left to dispute.”

10 years ago

Hey if all of you were watching a Democratic primary debate last night who the hell was watching the Republican convention in Tampa? It can’t be that bad.

10 years ago

What was fascinating was the absence of point blank denials by Cicilline on more than one point.
When Cicilline was asked by Gemma, for instance, if his (Cicilline’s) campaign is paying cash to some of their campaign workers THIS campaign, Cicilline did NOT deny it; rather, he called it “absolutely ridiculous”. Similarly, when the allegation of voter fraud came up, he did not deny it but said that Gemma had produced no evidence that he himself had participated.

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