Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Liveblogging the Arizona Republican Party Presidential Debate on CNN

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Tonight's Republican Presidential Debate will begin at 8PM PST on CNN (and streaming here).  This is the 20th Republican Presidential Debate.  I have watched all of them, which means I've literally spent 2 whole days of my life listening to this insanity.  It also means I should be committed.  Still this is likely to be the last debate as both Romney and Santorum have announced they won't be doing any more.  What else to say?  This debate is pretty much must win for everybody, except Ron Paul who doesn't really count.  Romney's only hope for closing out this nomination is to win this debate and go on to win at least 2 of the 3 contests next week.  Santorum's hoping for a win tonight to help him maintain his lead in the face of a relentless onslaught of negative ads.  And Newt Gingrich is hoping someone will remember he's still running.  So let's do this:

7:48
T-Minus 12 minutes

7:56
T-Minus 4 minutes

8:00
LET THE GAMES BEGIN

8:01
Rick Santorum: The Late Contender
Mitt Romney: The Long Distance Runner
Newt Gingrich: The Determined Challenger
Ron Paul: The Delegate Hunter

I wish I was making this up, it's like I'm watching Professional Wrestling

8:04
Haha, this is going to be fun, the entire audience stopped cheering when Rick Santorum was introduced

8:05
Ok, doing both the Pledge of Allegiance AND the National Anthem before the debate seems kind of intense

8:07
After 20 debates is it really necessary for the candidates to introduce themselves?

8:08
Mitt Romney just quoted George Costanza, that actually happened

8:11
Santorum: The Paul Ryan budget doesn't go far enough in destroying Medicare

8:12
Romney: "I served in the Olympics."  What event?  Luge?  Curling?  Pretty sure flip flopping isn't an event.

8:14
Santorum: Romney joined the Occupy Wall Street movement today, he's basically a dirty tax raising hippy

8:17
Paul, why do you call Santorum a fake? "Because he's a fake."

8:18
I really wish I knew what exactly Romney was bribing Paul with, because it has to be good for him to always be Romney's attack dog in these debates

8:20
Santorum has been rambling on about all the report card scores he's gotten from various organizations, and all I can think is: Clearly there needs to be an Entertained Organizer Report Card

8:22
There really is nothing like watching Mitt Romney pretend that he was a social conservative while Governor of Massachusetts

8:24
I think Newt Gingrich just managed to say "class warfare" 4 times in a single sentence.  That would be impressive if it wasn't idiotic and terrifying.  Terriotic?

8:26
Rick Santorum is actually making sense when discussing earmarks, inevitably this means that the crowd is going to turn against him.

8:29
Seriously we've spent 10 minutes on earmarks, why?

8:32
Ron Paul getting giggly talking about how much everyone hates Congress.

8:34
Now we get to listen to all of them explain why saving the auto industry was a bad thing.

8:39
Romney: I think the auto industry needed to go through a managed bankruptcy, which is why I am opposed to do what Obama did, which was lead them through a managed bankruptcy.....am I missing something here?

8:42
Commercial Break

8:46
The audience literally started booing for 20 straight seconds at the mere mention of the words "birth control." that's.....special

8:47
Gingrich: "Why didn't you question Obama on trying to legalize infanticide?"  Because that never happened?

8:50
Santorum: "Single parent households are devastating children by locking them into a cycle of poverty, which is why I oppose birth control", has anyone considered the possibility that Santorum just doesn't know what birth control actually is?

8:54
Romney: The Catholic Church would rather stop helping abandoned children get adopted than let a gay couple adopt.  I support this.  Democrats are the monsters.

8:56
Our Ron Paul Broken Clock Moment: The Morning After Pill is not an abortion pill, it's the same as regular birth control

8:59
And now our Ron Paul moment of crazy: The Federal government shouldn't be spending money on sex ed period, abstinence only or not

9:01
Romney: You endorsed me 4 years ago you bastard, how dare you attack me now! RAWR

9:02
FUN FACT: In 20 minutes of demonizing and debating birth control, none of the Republican Presidential candidates said the word "women" once.

9:03
Santorum: "Don't go bragging about something you were constitutionally required to do.  Michael Dukakis balanced the budget for 10 years does that make him qualified to be President?"  Soundbite of the night.

9:06
Ron Paul: Illegal Immigrants are trespassers, and Castle Doctrine should apply.  Because shooting the brown people is always the answer.

9:10
Romney: Arizona should be the model for immigration policy.  Goodbye Latino vote.

9:12
Santorum: Of course I'm not going to try to deport people's maids, that would be going way too far!

9:20
Describe Yourself in One Word:
Paul: Consistent
Santorum: Courage
Romney: Resolute
Gingrich: Cheerful



9:25
I stopped paying attention for 2 minutes and I come back to Ron Paul saying the Draft is coming.  What the hell happened?

9:27
Gingrich: "I'm inclined to believe dictators." -Best reason ever for him never to be given power again.

9:29
Obama killed Bin Laden and toppled Libya without losing a single American soldier, how the hell do they think they can attack him on National Security?

9:30
Romney: If President Obama is reelected we will have nuclear war with Iran.  If I am elected we will just have regular war with Iran.

9:33
It really is terrifying to listen to the Republican audience booing Ron Paul for saying that going to war in Iran is insane.

9:36
Santorum: "Prolific Proliferator of Terror," try to say that 10 times fast

9:39
Paul: "I've tried the moral argument and I've tried the constitutional argument on these issues and they don't work very well." -That's because you're speaking to a Republican audience.

9:46
I was going to try to cover this section on Education, but honestly they're just making my head hurt.  Here are the things that are apparently bad: Teachers Unions. Funding. Self-Esteem. Obama.


9:51
Last Question: What is the biggest misconception about you?

Ron Paul: That I can't win.
Newt Gingrich: I worked with Reagan
Mitt Romney: You get to ask the questions you want, I get to give the answers I want.
Rick Santorum: I can beat Barack Obama.  He's going to have more money than whoever we nominate, so maybe we shouldn't nominate a guy who can only win by outspending his opponents 10 to 1.

9:56
THE END.

Immediate Reactions

  • Santorum had the best two soundbites of the night, and was probably the closest thing there was to a winner tonight
  • I don't think that the earmark attack is powerful enough to take him down.
  • Mitt Romney has either promised Ron Paul something, or has pictures.  Both are terrifying for different reasons

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