Archive for Friday, August 12, 2011

GOP debate: Candidates hit hard at each other, Obama

August 12, 2011


— Minnesota rivals Tim Pawlenty and Michele Bachmann sparred bitterly Thursday night during an eight-candidate Republican debate, trying to break out of the GOP presidential pack ahead of an Iowa test vote with huge consequences. Each seeks to become the main challenger to Republican front-runner Mitt Romney.

Romney, a multimillionaire businessman who casts himself as a jobs creator, made his own stir earlier in the day when, at the Iowa State Fair, he declared that “corporations are people,” drawing ridicule from Democrats.

Those were just the latest twists in the most consequential week yet in the 2012 Republican presidential nomination fight.

In the two-hour debate, the squabbling by Pawlenty and Bachmann allowed Romney, the GOP front-runner making his second presidential bid, to remain above the fray and emerge relatively unscathed by his rivals.

Though every debate participant assailed President Barack Obama, it was clear from the confrontations between Pawlenty, a former Minnesota governor, and Bachmann, now a member of Congress, who had the most on the line ahead of Saturday’s straw poll that could well winnow the field.

On stage just a few minutes, Pawlenty, who is struggling to gain traction despite spending years laying the groundwork for his campaign, accused Bachmann of achieving nothing significant in Congress, lacking executive experience and having a history of fabrications.

“She’s got a record of misstating and making false statements,” Pawlenty said.

Bachmann, who has risen in polls since entering the race this summer and has eclipsed Pawlenty, quickly responded with a list of what she called Pawlenty’s liberal policies when he was Minnesota’s governor, including his support for legislation to curb industrial emissions.

“You said the era of small government is over,” she told Pawlenty. “That sounds a lot like Barack Obama if you ask me.”

Much of the rest of the debate was heavily focused on the Democratic incumbent, with Romney and his seven rivals each seeking to prove he or she was the strongest Republican to take on Obama.

“I’m not going to eat Barack Obama’s dog food,” Romney said when asked whether he would have vetoed the compromise legislation that Congress gave to the president that raised the debt ceiling. “What he served up is not what I would have done if I’d had been president of the United States.”

Notably absent from the eight-candidate spectacle were Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who was in Texas preparing for a weekend announcement tour to early primary states, and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who isn’t a candidate but was stoking presidential speculation anew with a visit to the Iowa State Fair.

The nation’s teetering economic situation shadowed the debate, with stock market volatility and a downgrade in the U.S. credit rating giving Republicans ample opportunities to criticize Obama.

The Democratic president will get his shot to counter the criticism next week during a Midwestern bus tour that will take him through this state that helped launch him on the path to the White House four years ago.

But in Iowa Thursday night, the Republicans commanded the spotlight.


Richard Heckler 6 years, 10 months ago

There were no GOP candidates at this forum. Rick Perry is about to add his RINO name to the list. The GOP party is dead. Republicans do not think like Brownback ,Perry or any of the these candidates. I say Richard Perry will get the RINO nod and may bring Jeb Bush in at a late date as his running mate. Koch and Wal-Mart money will back Perry.


Quit Voting RINO

These RINO's care about money and power. Yes Koch Bros are nut jobs just like the Wal-Mart family and both are billionaires through no fault of their own. Yet both are funding think tanks and other PAC"s that represent lower wages for most all americans blue and white collar.

STOP electing RINO’s ! My My father in law left the RINO party because he is a fiscal conservative republican with at least 50 years under his belt. Evermore stunning he is working with the democrat party in Pennsylvania.

RINO's focus is privatization of as much government as possible. Not because private industry can do anything better or more efficient. It is because these private industry nut jobs want OUR trillions of tax dollars in their bank accounts.

Then OUR trillions of tax dollars can be spent evermore recklessly after all the most reliable source of fraud against consumers and taxpayers is private industry. Case in point: remember Sen Bill Frist? He and his family own a few HMO's that which ripped Medicare for billions. These white collar criminals should be in jail and never allowed to have access to medicare dollars again.

Privatization = expansion of government by way of YOUR tax dollars

Do you want MORE of your tax dollars spent on:

  1. CEO's
  2. Stock options
  3. Shareholders
  4. golden parachutes
  5. special interest campaign contributions
  6. corp jets
  7. 3 martini dinners
  8. lawyers defending against fraud charges
  9. dishonest campaign commercials
  10. homes in Aspen,Colorado

Republicans should quit voting for RINO's!

Flap Doodle 6 years, 10 months ago

"There were no GOP candidates at this forum. " Why do you think you are qualified to decide who is a real Republican?

beatrice 6 years, 10 months ago

It warms my heart to see partisan Republicans pining for Hillary Clinton.

If only they hadn't run their "Anyone but Hillary" campaign starting in 2007, who knows what might have happened. As they say, be careful of what you ask for, you might get it.

jafs 6 years, 10 months ago

So the new campaign would be "Anyone but Obama", even though that didn't work out so well last time.


jafs 6 years, 10 months ago

The fact checking on the debate was interesting as always.

Wouldn't it be nice if politicians told the truth?

beatrice 6 years, 10 months ago

Lets hook politicians up to electric shock / lie detector machines during debates. Each time they knowingly tell a lie they get a shock, which increases in strength with each lie they tell. The last person standing would be declared the winner. Now that would make for interesting debates.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 10 months ago

I watched a fair bit of the debate, and I was actually impressed with some of the tough questions that were posed. Is Fox really trying to be "fair and balanced?"

That said, most of the candidates did their best to avoid answering the really tough questions, instead resorting to mostly irrelevant soundbites.

Jimo 6 years, 10 months ago

Teabag Downgrade

Partier Queen: “I think we just heard from Standard & Poor’s. When they dropped our credit rating, what they said is, we don’t have an ability to repay our debt. That’s what the final word was from them.”

S&P: S&P senior director Joydeep Mukherji said the stability and effectiveness of American political institutions were undermined by the fact that “people in the political arena were even talking about a potential default. That a country even has such voices, albeit a minority, is something notable. This kind of rhetoric is not common amongst AAA sovereigns.”

Who you going to believe? A cross-eyed Teabagger or the actual source? Bachmann has a long, long history even by Republican standards for making false statements and persisting in them despite being shown that they are false (even worse then many wingnuts commenting on here).

jafs 6 years, 10 months ago

That's one of the most disturbing things to me about our political discussions these days - the repetition of things that have been shown to be untrue.

If enough of that persists, and people stop correcting the falsehoods, then they sink into psyches and lodge there, despite everything.

Jimo 6 years, 10 months ago

A. To be fair, sometimes reality is just complicated and something can be specifically true while being in general false. Take for example the claim that the Obama Administration believed that passage of the stimulus would keep unemployment no more than 8%. While (1) one economic adviser did say that (2) it has taken years for economists to document that the economy was far, far worse off in 2008-09 than even the most pessimistic person believed at the time, and (3) one comment by one adviser does not a policy make.

B. At the risk of false equivalence, many at both extremes tend to live in an echo chamber in which few contrary voices intervene (usually to be casually, sweepingly dismissed). I can just as easily turn on Sean Hannity and hear commentary about how the stimulus was a failure as I can (once again, sigh) watch Keith Olbermann and be regained by the likes of Michael Moore about how Bush lied us into invading Iraq (W presumptively not believing any of his own rhetoric, which was the precise opposite of the problem). Questioning such partisan 'truisms' brings out various quacks to desperately defend the indefensible - a la, that Sarah Palin's word salad re Paul Revere demonstrates her superior understanding of history.

Jimo 6 years, 10 months ago

Indeed, recently yet another Republican economic adviser agreed that the stimulus was a spectacular success for the few hundred billion invested.

Net increase in GDP versus "no stimulus" = $3,300,000,000,000.

jafs 6 years, 10 months ago

That's very interesting.

I'd like to see some comments from the right wing folks about that analysis.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 10 months ago

Given that Republican policies are responsible for most of that unemployment, this may be an exception. Republican obstructionism over the last few years will make it difficult to put all the blame on Obama. But Obama's preference for Republican-lite policies won't help him any with his one-time base.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 10 months ago

Obamacare and the wars are by far the most obvious.

Jimo 6 years, 10 months ago

A. Based on an extraordinarily small sample size that would, in any other context, make a sane person shy away from prognosticating. There are (a) few re-elections to sample to begin with and (b) virtually none with a serious level of unemployment.

B. Franklin D. Roosevelt - President after the last GOP Depression, who managed re-election multiple times, even a record number of times. (Bet lost. Come mow my lawn.)

C. Strange how every poll, even the biased Rasmussen and Fox News ones, indicate otherwise. Polling in key states vs. a variety of Repubs show Obama winning. Generic Party polling shows Dems on top. Who's to blame for the economic downturn shows the public's fingers point to GOP. And on and on. (Typical for a Propaganda Channel watcher - you're woefully misinformed and confused about reality - or you're suffering head trauma.)

D. So far, Obama's job approval mimics Reagan's to an eerie degree, considering the similar nature of the economic context. Perhaps that's why Obama hews so closely to the Reagan Democrat model (despite the buffoonish wingnuts cries of socialism).

Jimo 6 years, 10 months ago

BTW - new poll this week from North Carolina. Obama leads each Republican challenger by margins of 3 to 13 points.

North Carolina - the state the Obama team never expected to carry in 2008. If Republicans can't win back North Carolina then the question really is: can the GOP hold the South in general? Indications are that Georgia may well go Democratic in 2012. Polling of Obama vs. Perry show Obama carrying Texas.

I'm not predicting any of those events. But the fact that they are even conceivable puts the lie to your laugh out loud prognostication. Despite your theory, actual evidence (as severely limited as it is) more likely shows that during periods of extreme economic distress and scorched-earth opposition by partisan opponents, incumbents landslides are more likely, as voters clearly see (a) who got us in the mess and (b) who is making everyone suffer in order to prevent credit from accruing to the President.

So go ahead and nominate Marcus Bachmann. It'll just make the Obama landslide all the sweeter.

Paul R Getto 6 years, 10 months ago

Bless his little pea-pickin' heart, Newt was the only one who made much sense, but he's already toast. He has a long-term vision, but few are interested in that aspect of politics. I hope Bachmann doesn't play poker. Her face gives her away. It was interesting to see her reactions to attacks; looks like a person who is used to getting her way.

Jimo 6 years, 10 months ago

I don't think you understand the half of Bachmann's "coworkers" resentment to her unstoppable narcissism.

Any Congressman you ask will talk about how, while they were doing the heavy lifting of getting legislation passed, the only time they saw Bachmann was when they looked up from their task and saw her--yet again!-- on TV. Multiple terms in Congress - not a single piece of legislation but yet endless pleas for earmarks for spending in her district.

Ask her coworkers from her years as an IRS agent (strange how she never quite comes out and admits that IRS tax collector was the only real job she's ever had in her entire life), and what they remember most is that she spent half her time there on maternity leave at taxpayer expense, leaving them to pick up the slack, and leaving her so inexperienced upon her return that all she was assigned to do was the easy stuff. Haven't we all worked with a deadweight like that at least once before? So typical for a Teabagger - mooching off the public while decrying moochers: Keep your gubnit hands off my Medicare! That's probably why people's disapproval of the Partiers had doubled in less than a year to a majority of the nation.

Jimo 6 years, 10 months ago

Why would a decline in consumer sentiment resulting from Tea Party intransigence and apparently a universal assumption that job killing spending cuts preclude economic recovery be evidence that "Obama has failed"?

The flames burn beneath the GOP - and they're so disconnected from reality they don't even realize they've caught on fire.

beatrice 6 years, 10 months ago

Corporations are people? I thought Soylent Green was people. Does this mean we have to start eating our corporations now?

Jimo 6 years, 10 months ago

A notable comment. But I think people make too much of it.

It has been apparent for some while that in wingnut circles corporations really are "people." How else to explain the excretable Citizens United decision from the activist judges on our Supreme Court?

If you cut a corporation, does it not bleed?

If you speak ill of a corporation, does it not cry?

If you tickle a corporation, will it not laugh?

If you tax a corporation, will it not die?

If you let a corporation screw you over without first failing to get a binding commitment, will it not fail to return your calls the next day?

jafs 6 years, 10 months ago

They gained the status of "legal person hood" quite some time ago.

Jimo 6 years, 10 months ago

Yes, as a legal fiction. Able to sign contracts, sue and be sued. That's a long way from this current trend of forgetting the fiction portion and pretending they're actual people.

Or, as in Citizens United, simultaneously: a. ignoring dissenting views of owners (since when was it valid to steal a shareholder's money for non-business purposes without--even contrary to--their consent?) b. giving controlling persons' views a double-voice (Why would a shareholder need another voice beyond the one God gave them?) c. effectively allowing non-Americas political voice by allowing secret money laundering of their cash through the arm of the corporation (when Newscorp's Fox News blows millions in equivalent time and attention to astroturfing the Tea Party, isn't it relevant that a single Saudi prince is the 2nd largest shareholder?)

Isn't it creepy, for example, that a corporation would be formed, secretly give Mitt Romney's campaign $1,000,000, and then dissolve without any name, other than the corporation's attorney, attached to the ownership? And yet that actually happened:

jafs 6 years, 10 months ago

I agree.

I'm just saying that it's not CU that's responsible for the idea that corporation are legally considered persons - that happened a while back.

Without the original declaration of personhood, CU wouldn't be possible.

Jimo 6 years, 10 months ago

Not all Republicans. Polling shows that even a majority of Republicans acknowledge that Bush was at least partly responsible for the recession that began in December 2007 - before most anyone outside of Iowa had ever heard of Obama.

But let's also share blame. After all, it was Obama, for political reasons, who decided to water down the stimulus to $400 some billion when economists were insisting that it would take $2,000-3,000 billion. We got $400B worth of results but are stuck with the remainder of the need unmet.

(Where's another Hitler so we can finally convince the GOP of the need for more stimulus, as occurred in the 1940s when we finally ended the First Republican Depression after a decade of unremitting GOP opposition to recovery then as well?)

Jimo 6 years, 10 months ago

One repeating nutter theme is: Obama has no plan. Of course, everyone knows this is false.

The Democratic plan is to inspire economic growth through investment in infrastructure, education, more efficient health care, and research and application of technology.

The GOP plan, in contrast, is an eschatological one of unavoidable doom and bankruptcy, to be actually sought out and brought to pass.

The Democratic approach is an uplifting one that believes in the ability of America to achieve and grow. The Republican one is a negative and narrow vision that says, explicitly, "live within our means," with a strategy of making those means as limited as possible.

The Democratic theme is "A New Morning in America" while the GOP theme is "Learn to live with a smaller vision of what's possible." Dems have become the new Reagan, which is probably why they quote him so much these days. Repubs have become the new Jimmy Carter, peddling limits and Jesus-saves.

That's a pretty clear choice for people - and voters in 2012.

Jimo 6 years, 10 months ago

We also learned this week that Democrats have returned to the superior position in Congressional polling that they held in the 2006 and 2008 period. The brief 2010 muddle where voters favored Republicans has disappeared.

Given the shocking recklessness Republicans displayed in the last month, begging for default and a credit downgrade, this isn't a surprise. Most periods, average Americans barely pay attention to politics. The Tea Party managed a rare occasion when people pay attention outside of elections ... and then bungled their moment in the spotlight spectacularly. And now it shows in the polls. No surprise.

Welcome back Speaker Pelosi. The incompetent Speaker Arafat is headed back to his daily hours of golfing and many a Partier freshman back to their mooching. Many a Republican now wishes they'd accepted Obama's gracious offer of $4 trillion in deficit reduction.

zbarf 6 years, 10 months ago

All but one conservative posting here about a republican debate. Not very critical comments, only the expected bla bla bla.

IDEA.... LJworld should color code our user names red or blue. This will give readers an indication of where each commenter is coming from.

zbarf, rockchalk1977 = Red All others = Blue

Then place a tilt gauge at the top to see if people are reading balanced comments. Also, I would be interested in seeing the article writers political affiliation.

Jimo 6 years, 10 months ago

Me thinks your fundamental flaw is to associate Republicans with conservatism.

jafs 6 years, 10 months ago

And that there are only two options.

And that all people who vote R or D think the same way about all things.

And that it matters at all - why not just read the comments, and think about them, regardless of political affiliation or lack thereof.

And that those two are the only Republican voters on here.


Cait McKnelly 6 years, 10 months ago

And not one single word from any of them about jobs.

Jimo 6 years, 10 months ago

Apparently the candidates all concluded that there are no Republicans in Iowa without jobs, with friends or relatives without jobs, or anyone fearful of losing jobs.

But then again, if you don't have any plan that doesn't include Keynesian stimulus -- and there is no plan that does not -- then why say anything and expose your weakness? Let's talk about how much we love the 10th Amendment, except for gays.

somedude20 6 years, 10 months ago

It scares the crap out of me that people would give their support to Bachmann. She is so so dumb, full of lies and just plain weird. That whole bit about god telling her to marry her husband (when she did not love him) and telling her to run for office and all that stuff. Use to be when a person heard voices in their heads telling em what to do, a straitjacket was not far behind. Are people just supporting her because they think she is good looking (she ain't)? All well, I guess if people can convince themselves that a spirt made everything in the universe and that man and dinosaurs walked the earth together and that there is a holding cell called heaven in the sky, then why not beileve that Bachmann would be a good President

Jimo 6 years, 10 months ago

Ha, as one Republican put it today:

"Michele Bachmann is a joke. She is a joke. And now I will pass it on to you. Her answer is a joke, her candidacy is a joke, and anybody that sits here and says she has any chance of winning anything is out of their mind. Take your straw poll, take your caucus, but Iowa, if you let her win, you prove your irrelevance once again."

Cait McKnelly 6 years, 10 months ago

Here, I'll just paste it. "As for Bachmann, I'm willing to leave her kids out of the picture; foster, adopted or bio. That should be a simple no-no on either side (despite the fact that Glenn Beck has no problem taking potshots at Obama's kids on a regular basis). But her husband and business? Not so much. This woman is an elected representative and makes a salary a lot of people only dream about. Despite that, her husband has received Medicaid payments for a psych practice that uses highly questionable, unproven and unsanctioned treatment methods. (Can we say, "Pray away the gay"?) That business has also received SBA loans. She and her husband have also received Federal housing mortgage assistance for their residence. Doubt me? She's an elected representative running for President. Her personal finances are open and online in compliance with the law. I guess for her it really is "good to be Queen". In Minnesota, at least."

Cait McKnelly 6 years, 10 months ago

Oh and also, to date no one has found a single, solitary case that she has argued in front of a court. In fact, no one seems to be able to determine just where she sat the bar (if she sat the bar). She claims she received an LL.M from William and Mary in Tax Law. (interestingly W&M claim her as a "notable graduate" on their website and Wikipedia also states this, from a self referenced claim) despite the fact that W&M doesn't even offer a specialized degree in "tax law" (or "taxation law" or "accounting law" or anything like it.) What's up with that?

Commenting has been disabled for this item.