Transcript, part 1, 2, 3, 4.
CNN asked those of us watching at home to rise for the National Anthem. I did not, and surprisingly was not struck down by lightning bolts from Uncle Jesus and/or Uncle Sam.
BE VEWWY VEWWY QUIET: The CNN intro calls Ron Paul “the delegate hunter.”
HEH HEH, HE SAID BOTTOM: In their opening statements, Santorum says he wants to “include everybody from the bottom up,” because it’s always nice to start a debate off with a good snigger.
(Update: searching the transcript, I find that Santorum said Ron Paul is in the bottom half of Republicans by conservative voting record, he used the phrase “bottom line” 3 times, and no one else used the word bottom at all. Hmmm.)
MASTER OF HIS DOMAIN: Romney says the promise that if you worked hard, went to school and learned the values of America, you’d be rich and secure has been broken by Obama. Bad Obama, bad! Then he (mis)quotes George Costanza (when they’re applauding, stop) (I see Romney as more of an Elaine, what do you think?).
Gingrich promises $2.50 a gallon gasoline.
Ron Paul explains that the reason his commercial says that Rick Santorum is a fake is because Rick Santorum is a fake. Santorum offers to let Paul touch him.
SANTORUM: I’m real, John. I’m real.Paul: foreign aid goes to “all our enemies.”
SANTORUM: Thank you.
For the second time, Romney says that if businesses don’t balance their budgets, they go out of business. Hey, have you noticed that that doesn’t happen with nations,* so that maybe that analogy is flawed?
Santorum admits he was an “earmarker,” defends it by saying the government’s budget priorities aren’t always right and he had to redress them in Congress. And he would ban earmarks. Mittens says he didn’t follow that. Mittens admits he asked for earmarks for the Olympics, defends it by saying it’s traditional. And he would ban earmarks. Also, too, the bridge to nowhere.
Mittens keeps mentioning the Olympics, because surely Americans’ love of luge and bobsledding will propel him straight into the White House.
Gingrich’s attempts to smile avuncularly are astonishingly creepy.
Romney says Obama “gave” the auto companies to the UAW. Gingrich says the bailout was “an unprecedented violation of 200 years of bankruptcy law by Barack Obama to pay off the UAW”.
Paul: “I opt for the free market in defense of liberty. That's what we need in this country.”
GINGRICH ALWAYS WANTS TO BE CLEAR: Gingrich to moderator John King: “But I just want to point out, you did not once in the 2008 campaign, not once did anybody in the elite media ask why Barack Obama voted in favor of legalizing infanticide. OK? So let’s be clear here.”
LOOK AT HIM. LOOK AT HIM!!! Asked about his opposition to contraception, Santorum complains about children raised out of wedlock, which would obviously cease to happen if we outlawed Planned Parenthood, or something. “The left gets all upset. ‘Oh, look at him talking about these things.’”
DON’T BLAME THE PILLS. Ron Paul says it’s not the pills (i.e., The Pill) that create immorality, “I think the immorality creates the problem of wanting to use the pills. So you don’t blame the pills.” He invokes the NRA slogan “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” So I guess pills don’t fuck people, sluts do. Or something. At any right, libertarian Ron Paul is no more in favor of women having sexual autonomy than anyone else on that stage.
Romney also hates out-of-wedlock births, which are especially high “among certain ethnic groups.”
Romney denies that the Catholic Church in Massachusetts was ever forced to provide Morning After pills to rape victims, that’s just crazy talk.
THE POWER OF FORCE: Gingrich says that’s not what he heard, and this just shows the problem with government providing services: “you inevitably move towards tyranny, because the government has the power of force.” Astonishing (well, no it isn’t, not at this stage in the degeneration of our political discourse) that Gingrich could talk about the power of force in this scenario and not be referring to that used by the rapist, whose victim Gingrich is trying to force to carry his baby, because otherwise you’d have tyranny.
See in this scenario, the Republicans see the Catholic Church as the real victim, not the rape victim.
Everyone talks about how they hate Planned Parenthood. As well as planned parenthood.
WHO KNEW? This is new: Romney says we once have Obamacare because Arlen Specter voted for it, and Arlen Specter (“the pro-choice senator of Pennsylvania”) was only re-elected because Santorum supported him, so Obamacare is all Santorum’s fault. “So don’t look at me. Take a look in the mirror.”
Gingrich would move half of Homeland Security personnel to the border with Mexico.
Someone was wondering who would be the first to talk about the threat of Hezbollah in Latin America. It was Romney.
Gingrich denies that Iran is a rational actor. And that if Israel, which presumably is a rational actor, wants to bomb Iran... (I put in the ellipses because he didn’t finish the sentence).
Gingrich: “I’m inclined to believe dictators.” Well, Santorum’s inclined to believe the voices in his head, so...
VOTE FOR OBAMA AND THE WORLD BURNS: Twitt Romney says Obama shouldn’t have removed Eastern European Star Wars sites without getting Russia to support “crippling sanctions” against Iran in exchange. And Obama shouldn’t oppose Israel taking military action against Iran. And we should take military action against Iran. If Obama is elected, Iran will have nukes “and some day, nuclear weaponry will be used. If I am president, that will not happen. If we reelect Barack Obama, it will happen.”
Santorum: Syria and Iran is an axis. And Obama is “afraid to stand up to Iran.”
The first thing Gingrich would do to deal with Syria would be drilling on federal lands and offshore and eliminating the EPA.
Gingrich and Romney say we should get our good buddies in the Middle East to arm the Syrian opposition.
Gingrich: “This is an administration which, as long as you’re America’s enemy, you’re safe. You know, the only people you’ve got to worry about is if you’re an American ally.”
I’LL BET HE DID, I’LL BET HE DID: Santorum voted for No Child Left Behind in the Senate even though it was against his principles, to “take one for the team,” even though he was always picked last for the team, I mean every single time. But he made a mistake and will never support education again in any way, shape or form. Also, he’s “a home schooling father of seven,” so for god’s sake give me a job so I can get away from the little fuckers.
Romney just wants to screw the teachers’ unions.
Gingrich says teachers’ unions don’t care about the kids. And something about schools teaching self-esteem.
(Somewhere in there, but it seems to be missing from the transcript, the candidates were asked to summarize themselves in one word, Gingrich said cheerful, Romney said sneezy, Santorum said dopey, and Paul said sleepy. Actually, Romney said resolute, although if you don’t like that word he’ll come up with another one.)
What’s the biggest misconception about you?
Gingrich ignored the question. Romney did the same, except King called him on it. Romney: “You know, you get to ask the questions want, I get to give the answers I want” “Fair enough,” King responds. No, not really, but those words tell you everything you need to know about cable news.
Santorum says his campaign shows he’s “someone who can do a lot with a little.” The fact that he has a lot of children also shows that.
He has a tiny penis, is what I’m saying.
Actually, he is a tiny penis, is what I’m saying.
What’s your one-word summary?