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First question (put to Romney): 200k new jobs last month, some say this is the signal that the economy is turning around. Romney said he hopes so but if it is, it is in spite of the President, who has actually made things worse and take longer. Second question (put to Santorum): What he meant by “we don’t need a CEO a manager as president” and was he talking about Romney). Said we needed a leader, someone to provide a vision, not a manager. Romney rebutted by saying entrepreneurs are not managers, they are leaders and that is what makes them successful. Third question (a friend of Gingrich who published an attack on Romney, Romney is involved with Bain Capital): Just said to watch the video and see if they are factual, that Romney may not be as upstanding a business man as people think. Fourth (to Gingrich, again about an attack on Romney): Something about a New York Times article on Jan 5th and how Romney’s investment companies work. Basically the same train of thought as the last question, not really interesting. Fifth (to Romney): He claims that his businesses have created 100k jobs, but the question was raised whether or not that is accurate. Romney says it was net. Sixth (to Huntsman): Is Romney’s record at Bain strength or a weakness? (BTW my initial impression was that Huntsman is terrible at answering questions) Note: Romney strongly pitches his experience in the private sector as one of his main strengths. Seventh (to Ron Paul): About one of his ads against Santorum in which he calls Santorum “Corrupt”. Paul noted Santorum’s big government tendencies, that he is a big spender. Santorum in rebuttal basically referred to his record and pointed out that he (Santorum) is not a libertarian like Paul, so he believes in some government involvement/spending. Eighth (to Perry): couldn’t hear the question because of chatter but it was against Santorum. Santorum says he has put out bills for entitlement reform, but yeah he has voted for debt ceiling increases. Changing subject to being Commander in Chief Ninth (to Huntsman): Hunstman has said that the Iranians want to go nuclear, why would he (Hunstman) be a better leader than the others…Huntsman sucks at answering questions…His basic answer is that America has a trust issue and he can be trusted…He did mention that he has experience overseas. Tenth (to Romney): What does Romney have to say about what Huntsman said that he (Huntsman) can address international issues better than the other GOP candidates. Romney said anyone on the stage could do a better job than Obama.
Eleventh (to Perry): Does military experience make him (Perry) better prepared to be commander in chief. Perry’s short answer was kind of weak, he just said yeah it gives you a better idea of what the guys on the ground are doing, and then he started harping on the budget cuts to the military. He did say that cutting $1 trillion from the DoD is the biggest thing America faces, not Iran as Santorum and Romney say. Twelfth (to Gingrich who has never served in the military): Seeking response to Paul saying he (Gingrich) is a chicken hawk, and what Perry said about familiarity with what happens on the ground. Gingrich responded with his long record of involvement with the military including that his father was in the military and they moved around the world. Thirteenth (to Paul): Does Paul stick to his comment that Gingrich is a chicken hawk? Yes…Apparently Gingrich got deferments… Fourteenth (to Paul): About his newsletter and also Gingrich claiming that Paul makes inaccurate accusations. Paul glossed over it and said if they really want to talk about his stance on racism, they should look at his record. He is very familiar with racist practices and has stood against them. End of first section First (to Romney): Santorum has said that the supreme court is wrong when concluding the “right to privacy” is embedded in the constitution…He says it should be ok for states to ban contraception. Question to Romney is do states have the right to ban contraception, or is that trumped by right to privacy? Romney indicated that it was a stupid question. Romney never specifically answered the question, rather he kind of bloviated about it. Paul jumped in and had a specific answer based on the constitution. Paul says there is absolutely right to privacy in the constitution, and other legal provisions that would make it impossible for states to ban contraception. Second (to Gingrich): This question came from the web and basically asked “if no gay marriage, then what should gays do?” He had a pretty direct answer along the lines of “there should be a distinction between the historical meaning of marriage, and allowing gays to be together in some sanctioned way.” The question then went to Hunstman on how he disagrees with the others. He (Hunstman) thinks civil unions are fine. I guess this means Gingrich doesn’t think so. Third (to Santorum): Will Santorum allow kids to stay in foster care rather than be potentially adopted by a gay couple who wants kids? Santorum deferred it to the states. He said marriage is federal law, but beyond that the issues become state issues. Fourth (to Romney): Repeat of the second question. Romney says if they want a long term commitment that is fine, but don’t call it marriage. He said we should reserve a place for the historical meaning of marriage, also recognizing that we believe this is the best environment for kids to be raised in. Gingrich jumped in and pointed out bias and asked a reverse question (Catholic Church charities are being driven out in some places because of their stance on marriage), and this goes unreported. Wow he even pointed out that there is more anti-Christian bigotry…
Fifth (to Paul): Why has he not ruled out running as a third candidate if he is running as a republican right now? Kind of a stupid question and Paul indicated such. He said he wants to have the reservation, and wants to see serious change. Sixth (to Perry): Does he think everyone on the stage should rule out 3rd party candidacy? IMO this is a stupid question. Maybe they are trying to paint Paul as a nut, casting a 3rd party stigma on him. Perry didn’t really answer; he went back to the gay marriage thing. He brought up the current administration’s war on religion. Note: I am not familiar with details of the war on religion that Perry brings up. This is an interesting issue. Back to foreign policy… Seventh (to Huntsman, Romney, Gingrich): When should the 90,000 troops in Afghanistan be brought home at the earliest? He (Hunstman) didn’t really answer other than saying drawing them down by the end of 2013, and we need to fix our own problems rather than nation building. He suggested leaving 10k troops as counter terrorism, various purposes such as intelligence, training, rapid response etc. Romney says ASAP, but defers to the recommendations of the commanders. Doesn’t want to put in jeopardy the success we’ve gained. Hunstman’s response was along the lines of “duh, you get advice from the commanders, but that didn’t work in Vietnam.” He says he thinks Afghanistan is on the brink of civil war, and we should recognize our success but get out of there before investing a penny in a civil war or sending a soldier to their death. Gingrich: “we’re asking the wrong question”. He commented on the large instability in the region. Says we need fundamentally different strategy in the region “comparable” to what was done in the cold war. Not sure exactly what that means… Eighth (to Santorum): Would you send troops into Iraq right now? He says “not right now” but that Gingrich is right, the current strategy is flawed. He pointed out how the current administration has made America look soft, and that we can be pushed around. Santorum accused the President of not being honest about the threat of Islam, that he has sanitized every document. Ninth (to Perry): Who has the better argument Santorum or Huntsman? Perry said he’d send troops back to Iraq right now, and that Iran is going to move very rapidly back into Iraq and we will lose the “treasure” we have fought for there. Says because the President does understand the region, we are going to lose everything we’ve fought for. Tenth (to Gingrich): Does he agree that troops should be sent back to Iraq (i.e. agree with Perry?) Gingrich said no but gave larger context. Gingrich went to the root of the issues, if we’re worried about Iran going back into Iraq, don’t send troops to Iraq, instead fix the problem in Iran. If we’re worried about Wahhabism (Saudi Islam) make an energy policy so that no American president ever “bows” to a Saudi again (jab at Obama).
Eleventh (to Romney): What would it take for him to send troops back in? He says a “high hurdled”, it would have to dramatically affect American interests. Also that the president should highlight those interests, pointing out that Obama has not explained on TV the reasons for going into Libya. Twelfth (to Paul): How does Paul reconcile some of his comments with the duties of commander in chief? (Paul was allegedly against the bin Laden raid, and that a nuclear Iran is none of our business). Paul said that was out of context, that he doesn’t want Iran to have nukes, and that he voted for the bin Laden raid. Paul then went into commentary on the larger issue that people should decide when to go to war, that the way the Middle East wars have been handled is more akin to a King deciding when to go. He also said that the current approach has a lot of unintended consequences and blowback, and that sanctioning Iran will destabilize Eastern Europe and push Iran into the hands of the Chinese (not familiar with this train of thought). Final word on troops (to Santorum): Points out that the Iranian people have been trying to overthrow their government but the current President did nothing. Said the President supported the results of the election, when the election was obviously rigged. Also mentioned that the people of Iran like America because we stand up for the truth and call evil for what it is, but the President is not acting on that. New subject: Jobs First question (to Romney): How committed would he be to an economic growth package for the infrastructure? He says government doesn’t make jobs; in fact it is in the way of jobs with taxes, regulations, and federal workers. Says the government should back off and encourage the private sector. Says the President has a vision for social welfare, and that will kill America’s ability to provide “a prosperous future” and uphold American founding principles. Second (to Gingrich): How does his position differ from Romney? He isolates infrastructure from the larger topic of jobs, and outlined that with poor infrastructure we cannot compete with China “in the long run.” Says a systematic approach is needed to infrastructure investing in order to compete with China. Gingrich also highlighted that we can generate the money for this through an energy policy that makes us independent of other oil countries. Third (to Huntsman): Where will money for infrastructure come from? Huntsman said we have to “earn our way forward.” Says we have a corrupt tax code that needs focus, which would be part of inspiring confidence in the creative “class in this country”. In answering he brought up a Simpson-Boles recommendation, which raised another question. Do any of the other candidates support the Simpson-Boles plan for raising revenue (my best estimating of the question, there was some chatter)? Santorum: Proposes a plan to simplify tax code to 5 deductions, healthcare, housing, pensions, children and charity. The other part is corporate side, cut the tax in half to 17.5%. He is also concerned with another part of the economy; that is manufacturing which is an area where we are uncompetitive. Proposes “zeroing out” corporate tax on manufacturing and processing because we are at a “20% cost
differential with our nine top trading partners.” Basically says the current administration over-regulates and kills manufacturing. to Romney: Why not zero tax? Romney says no tax (with respect to Santorum’s plan) would be great but the money is needed for the military etc. However he did say that across the board taxes are too high, that taxes consume 37% of the economy. We are on the brink of not being a free economy. He wants a tax program that relieves the middle class; this consists of reduced taxes on savings, dividends, and capital gains. Fourth (to Paul): People are hoping for a great vision, give us a great “realistic” vision. His reply is a return to America values, but to get there the economy has to be fixed. Says this is only achievable by liquidating debt instead of having tax payers bail them out. Says there is an economic bubble that is crumbling, that built up for 40 years. Says you can’t keep bailing out the debt. Perry: Said there is a vision and that is “Americans working again.” That means getting government out of people’s hair, developing America’s energy resources, using money from that to pay down debt, and says Texas has a model that is working. Hunstman: He referred to his record, and how a flat tax helped his state (Utah) in becoming number one in job creation. Criticized other candidates for proposing to just “tweak” the tax code, no eliminate all deductions and loopholes. Apparently the WSJ endorsed his (Huntsman’s) tax plan. Over says if taxes are fixed and regulations are mode more “friendly”, we can “win back” our manufacturing jobs. Fifth (to Romney): Why not get rid of all loopholes like Huntsman? Romney blew off the question, and said the issue is the “soul of America.” He said that the current President is trying to take us towards a European style country, and he doesn’t understand America. So rather than addressing the issue of tax, he argued that we need a president who believes and understands the foundation principles of America. This was part of his “vision” pitch. Sixth (to Gingrich): Why does he (Gingrich) believe Romney is not the man for carrying the “American vision” for the Republican Party (i.e. Romney isn’t the best candidate). Makes a huge jab at Obama, saying that he’s sure Obama is sincere in his efforts to create a radical European socialist state. He summarized a WSJ article in which they said something to along the line of “Gingrich has an aggressive pro-jobs approach, and Romney is timid and more like Obama.” Says there is a difference between a “bold Reagan model, and a more establishment, cautious model.” So he is trying to associate himself with Reagan, and distance Romney from the conservative hero (Reagan). Seventh (to Santorum): Says he agrees with Gingrich, and Romney is bold or focused on the right problems. He criticized the use of the term “middle-class” saying there are no classes in America. Outlined some of the things he was against that Romney was for, noting that there is more contrast between himself (Santorum) and Obama, than Romney and Obama. Romney responds: Says it is more than taxes; it is about opening markets and creating jobs. So he doesn’t really address the charges leveled at him that he is not as bold as Gingrich, and not as
significantly contrasted with Obama as the other candidates. Romney focuses more on attacking Obama and how he has not worked to open new markets. By new markets he was indicating “trade relationships” not markets like clean energy. Went back to highlighting that “he has lived in the economy” and knows what regulations are most detrimental to business. Says if we don’t make the right choice about the direction of our country this time around, we may not get a chance to try again in a while. Eighth (to Huntsman): Vision for dealing with China and being competitive around the world. Says America needs someone (such as himself) who understands the relationship (from an “economic and security standpoint) with China, and jabbed Romney who apparently proposes a tariff on China right away. Hunstman has been in China for 2 years implementing Obama’s policies in China (according to Romney). Romney jumped in with accusations along the lines of “China is not playing by the rules.” He (Romney) brought up an odd (interesting?) point that China is hacking into American computers and stealing intellectual property. Romney also claimed that China is artificially holding down the value of their currency. Hunstman rebuttal: Says Romney doesn’t understand the issues, and that his (Romney’s) policy will result in trade war. Romney: China doesn’t want a trade war because they sell so much to the US. Says it is important to stop letting China push countries around. Final questions, on a personal note First (to Perry): If not running for President, what would he be doing with his Saturday night? Perry said he’d be at the shooting range… Gingrich: Watching the college championship basketball game…football game. Santorum: Watching the college football championship Romney: Same thing Paul: With his family, but if they went to bed, an economic textbook. Huntsman: On the phone with his sons in the Navy. He probably made the biggest “butt kiss” answer to this question. “They are a constant reminder of what is great about this nation…” Yeah ok but no one else is making such a grandstanding answer. By: Matthew Brown 1/8/2012 Website: TalkNewstoMe.tumblr.com Videos from: MOXNEWSd0tCOM