This evening I will doing a live blog of the FL GOP debate. My commentary will mostly focus on Mike Huckabee, although I will comment on relevant statements made by other candidates.
Thanks for stopping by to read the live blog, I hope you will check back often for commentary on Huckabee, politics, and the news.
Live blog follows:
8:02- Wow, Brian Williams just said the campaigns decided to limit the debate to 90 minutes, I wonder why?
8:03- Romeny gets the first question and it is about the economy. Praises the President’s economic stimulus plan
8:05- McCain- will make Bush tax-cuts permanent, cut corporate income taxes, don’t add pork to tax cut bills, encourage savings (does not say how he will do this)
8:06- Rudy says Bush’s stimulus package does not go far enough. Will make Bush tax-cuts permanent. America needs to cut taxes and regulation to remain competitive in the world market.
8:08- McCain again, says he is very well versed in economics, drops names, says WSJ likes economic record
-so far the questions have all gone to the three FL frontrunners
8:10- Does Huckabee trust Romney as a Tax cutter? Says the question is do the voters trust Romney. Huckabee touts tax cutting record in Arkansas. Makes good point about Bush stimulus package and a lot of that money going back into foreign governments because we import so much. Suggests building a highway to increase productivity would be a long term stimulus package.
8:12- Romney gets another tax cut question and touts his own record, says he balanced budget without raising taxes and left a two billion dollar surplus. Says McCain voted against Bush tax cuts, but now supports them. Touts experience in business, private sector.
8:14- says Romney’s raising fees is equivalent of a tax increase, responds to his voting against Bush tax cuts the first time. Says spending needs to be cut to restore confidence in the party
8:16- Paul- says government responsibility is to lower taxes and reduce regulations, makes anti-war rant
8:17- Rudy- having a hard time following his answer, say he is in favor of free trade, be aggressive about global economy
8:20- McCain- Dems will be bad for economy because they will spend money and expand government. President signed a bunch of pork, McCain says he will veto big spending bill
personal note- this is a quiet crowd
8:22- Huckabee- Why should people vote for Republicans? Says you can’t blame all of economy on the President. Refers to Michigan debate when he was the only candidate who said economy is only doing great for the guys at the top and not for the every day American. Suggests there is a trickle-up impact when the economy begins to go sour. Says America needs a President who understands the entire country, not just the guys at the top.
8:25- Romney- Will run away from the record of Washington. Critisizes Washington’s failure to bring about change and deliver on promises. Says entitlements need to be reigned in. Touts change
8:27- Rudy- I’m the only one who has actually turned around an economy
8:27- Paul- Touts voting record, never voted for tax increases
8:28-McCain- Question about leaving troops in Iraq- Says effort in Iraq is sustainable and we are succeeding. He is proud that he said to abandon the Rumsfeld strategy for the new strategy, expresses pride in military.
8:30-Romney- Iraq question, Army to small and poorly resourced, how increases size of Army without draft? Add 100,000 troops to active military. Touts bill passed in MA, says benefits need to be updated (i.e. GI Bill). Critisizes Dems for Iraq stance.
-first applause goes to Romney
Was war worth it?
8:33- McCain- Yes, problem was mishandling of Iraq by Rumsfeld, war justified because of threat from Saddam
8:35- Rudy- Criticizes Hillary flip-flop on war, he supports the war
8:35- Paul- War bad idea (applause)
8:36- Huckabee- Supported President, says pres. deserves thanks for taking the initiative to protect us. It’s easy to second guess a president
8:37- Romney- Right decision to go into Iraq, still supports it. Supports current plan
Okay, Williams explains that audience has been asked not to applaud to give candidates more time.
Thanks for reading, stay tuned!
Candidates will ask other candidates a question of their choice
8:42- Romney asks Rudy how do we level trade playing field?
8:43- Protection of intellectual properties, be careful with imports, what can we sell to China? They need to buy what we have. We should increase size of our military, criticizes Bill Clinton’s peace dividend.
8:46 McCain asks- Huckabee- How will Huckabee answer criticism that flat sales tax would work and hurt lower income people?
8:46- Huckabee- Says people would love to see IRS abolished, we should not be penalized for our productivity. Fair Tax should get bipartisan support. Says the poor come out best because of the prebate. Everybody get prebate up to the level of poverty so that necessities are not taxed. There will be no more underground economy (get a laugh), everyone will pay. Mentions imbedded tax.
8:49- Huckabee- Follow up- Americans are paying more than 15 percent tax rate because of imbedded tax. Americans pay an average of 33 percent in taxes and work until May just to pay their taxes.
-Wow, Huckabee got to give a great response to the FairTax questions.
8:50- Paul asks McCain-
8:50- McCain answers
8:52- Huckabee to Romney- Asks question about 2nd Amendment and his support of Assault Weapon band, and support of Brady bill (great question)?
8:52- Supports assault weapon ban, does not support new legislation banning assault weapons
8:54- Rudy asks Romney- Property insurance, national catastrophic fund?
8:55- Romney-Supports national catastrophic effort
8:57- McCain- says insurance reform needed, every American will get the insurance they need
8:58- Rudy- Why against cap on green house gases? He supports technologies that will clean up the environment. Nuclear power, hybrids, clean coal, biofuels (good answer). Says we should be energy independent. Caps would crush industry.
9:00- McCain- In favor of Cap and trade system to help reduce green house gases, go back to nuclear power. Climate change is real.
I’d like to see Huckabee get some more air time. Thank goodness he gave Huckabee the FairTax question, so far that has been Huckabee strongest answer of the night.
9:05-Rudy- Answers question about decline in the polls. Says he will come from behind and surprise everyone. Says he lulled everyone into a false sense of security (laugh from audience)
9:07- McCain- Says he is proud of his record on judges, will be able to unite the party because of his stance against Islamic extremism, says will keep Israel independent
9:09- Romney- How run against Hill/Bill- Not running against Bill, he will run against Hillary if she is the nominee. Critisizes Hillary insurance plan, says Clinton’s have been in D.C. too long, will strengthen country the Reagan way
9:11- Romney- How much of his own money has he spent? Will not answer
9:13- Romney- Not trying to buy election
8:14- Romney- Mormon question- says people will not choose candidate based on the church someone goes to
Romney has had six minutes of time straight
9:15- Paul-In favor of abolishing social security? Yes
9:17- Huckabee- How save Social Security? In trouble because less people are paying into the system. Supports FairTax because SS has a different and more stable funding system. Huckabee goes off on people continuing to say “we can’t”
9:20-Romney- Would he raise taxes like Reagan? No, worst idea is to raise taxes on the American people
9:22- Rudy- Why airing Spanish ad? says citizens should be fluent in English. Touts border security plan. Tamper proof ID card
9:24-Rudy- Why Cubans allowed to stay? Because the people are fleeing from communism, political persecution
9:25-Huckabee- Is McCain too old? He does not think McCain lacks the rigor to be President, says look at his mother!
9:27- Rudy- How defend against NYT attack? They attacked him because he was a conservative
9:29- Romney- Changes positions with the wind? He is proud of his record as gov., abortion, fought same-sex marriage, cut taxes, created surplus, strong 2nd Amendment record
9:31-McCain- Temper? Not an issue, if he had a terrible temper, why would so many support him? Praises Rudy for 9-11 leadership
9:33-Huckabee- Faith? Faith gives direction, respects all faiths, faith is important part of this country
9:34-Paul- Remain Republican? Has no attention of going to a third party
Thanks for reading my live blog. I will try to post my comments about the outcome tomorrow after I get out of class.
Good night everyone!