Let me start by saying that even though I’ve referred to other debates as the worst, this one definitely took the cake and showed us just how godawful these things can be. This debate came to us from Tampa, Florida and was hosted by NBC. Brian Williams was the moderator and he was a shitty one at that. To start, there were no intros and the audience was not allowed to participate in any way. This means that the crowd could not applaud, boo or get fired up like they have in most previous debates. While I understand that this is done to speed up the process and fit in more quality time with the candidates, it creates bad television and boring debates, especially when the candidates argue incessantly for long periods of time and the moderator is too chicken shit to break it up and stick to his own rules regarding time. My biggest regret about watching this goddamned thing is that I only had one beer in the whole fucking house. I was also too lethargic from a 20 oz. New York strip to get up and mix a stronger drink. At least the ecstasy I got from my giant piece of premium American red meat kept me from losing my shit and going completely insane throughout this episode of ‘Three Statists and a Constitutionalist’.
So we start with Newt Gingrich being asked to respond to Mitt Romney recently calling him “erratic” and a “failed leader”. Woohoo! Here we go already starting with the personal attacks over policy issues. Gingrich immediately dropped several Reagan references and was shocked that he didn’t get any applause. Oh yes, the crowd must stay silent or be forced to stare into the droopy eyes of Brian Williams who has been known to turn people into hipster liberals with just a quick glare. This didn’t bode well for Newt as he was waiting for the crowd to react to his empty one-liners. Gingrich said he was like Reagan, who ignored Carter and went on to win the election. Really Newt? You’re ignoring the attacks against you? Funny, because every show I’ve seen you on, you’ve just gone on and on about all the attacks against you.
Gingrich is immediately given a second question, as Williams asks him how he has changed since being Speaker of the House. Gingrich says that as Speaker he had four consecutive balanced budgets, which he says is unheard of. He also brags about how many jobs he created and how he reformed welfare. This is also funny because in a recent interview he took the Romney approach and said government doesn’t create jobs the private sector does. So which is it Newt?
Brian Williams then directs his attention to Mitt and I can already tell that Paul and Santorum are probably going to get the shaft on time this round. Romney is asked if he is electable, which is a dumb fucking question. It’s a dumb question when anyone is asked this, really. Romney talks about how he saved the Olympics and created tons of businesses. He doesn’t actually answer the question he just runs through his already well-known yet well-rehersed talking points. He then switches to attacks on Gingrich and disses him for talking bad about the Paul Ryan Plan and for aligning with Nancy Pelosi on several occasions.
Newt Gingrich says that he isn’t going to spend the entire evening “chasing Mitt’s misinformation.” Yes he will, just keep reading. Gingrich says that the American people need a discussion on how the candidates are going to beat Obama and that they need to move passed the bullshit. Romney jumps in and points out that 88 percent of the Republicans in the House of Representatives voted against Newt, which caused him to resign from his position in disgrace. Mitt also points out that Newt’s approval rating when he left Congress was 18 percent. Romney then takes a stiff shot at Gingrich when he says that we can’t retake the White House if the person leading the fight was in the pocket of Freddie Mac. This fight then goes on forever and Brian Williams just lets them duke it out regardless of time restraints and the fact that there are other candidates who haven’t even talked yet. Gingrich tries to explain how he left Congress, which is all bullshit and just leads to him arguing with Romney over who has the most inaccurate attack ads. I thought you were ignoring the attacks and weren’t going to spend the evening “chasing Mitt’s misinformation”? Can we please discuss the real issues?!
Rick Santorum finally gets asked a question and as much as I loathe the guy, I’m glad to see him at this point. Of course he is asked to comment on the Romney-Gingrich spat because Brian Williams wants the two feuding idiots to be front and center to help discredit the GOP as a whole. Santorum rambles some nonsense about painting a positive vision for the country and adds that he creates a real contrast to Mitt and Newt. Um, not really homeboy unless you’re referring to the religio-fascist part. Santorum then claims to “..have a track record of being a strong conservative.” Well that depends on what your definition of a conservative is, as it varies greatly from candidate to candidate.
Brian Williams then takes a shot at Santorum and says that he lost his seat in the Senate by 18 percent. This was of course after Santorum bragged about winning the seat in a liberal state. Santorum responds to the criticism by saying that the Republican governor in Pennsylvania lost worse than he did that same year. What the fuck does that have to do with anything? Santorum also physically crouched down when he was rambling incoherently and actually said the word “crouch down”. Thanks for the visual buddy.
Finally Ron Paul gets brought into this thing! Williams reminds us that Paul once said that he never visualized himself as winning the nomination so why does he think he can win now. Paul says that he doesn’t sit around and dream about being in the White House like everyone else on stage. He points out that, according to polls, when he is put head-to-head with Obama he has a better chance at beating him than anyone else in the GOP. Paul also clues the masses into the fact that Iowa was just a straw poll and the real winner hasn’t yet been decided, as it will be the person who acquires the most delegates. He’s asked if he will run third party because every goddamned moderator has to seemingly ask this question. Once again, Ron Paul says that he has no intentions to do so. He is then asked if he would ever support Newt. Paul gives Gingrich props on his stance with the Federal Reserve and the gold standard but adds that he needs to change his stance on foreign policy. Newt responds by giving Paul some props on economic issues.
They then get into the boring topic of Mitt Romney’s tax returns which just shifts all the attention back to Tweedledum and Tweedledumber – that being Romney and Gingrich, you can choose which is which. Romney says that his income tax info will show how he made profits and rewards. He then goes on to claim that he’ll drop corporate tax rates while reshaping the entire tax code in an effort to simplify it. Gingrich jumps in and channels Mitt’s dad, who released a dozen years worth of tax information. Newt then says something about a Hong Kong tax model. This guy’s always pulling obscure shit from other countries. Romney jumps back in and says he and his father disagreed on many things and unlike his dad, he will only release a few years worth of his personal tax data. Romney then goes on to say that he inherited nothing and made his own mark in the world. He name drops Staples, Sports Authority and Steel Dynamics as ten minutes have passed without mentioning them. Truthfully, I think everything Mitt says is a pre-recorded statement and he just moves his lips to the words.
The mic in this rap battle is then passed back over to Santorum. He takes a shot at Newt and Mitt when he says that they claim to support capitalism but how can they make that claim when they supported the bailouts. Santorum says that we should have allowed these moronic financial institutions go through bankruptcy. What some people might not know though is that Rick Santorum wasn’t in office at the time of the bailouts so he couldn’t vote on TARP; so it is easy for him to say he didn’t support it. When looking a little deeper however, Rick Santorum did support the bailout of the airline industry. So would he have really rejected TARP? Based off of the $15 billion dollar airline bailout and his past voting record with other things, Santorum looks to be a pro-TARP motherfucker. Lucky for him he lost his seat in the Senate and didn’t get stuck with TARP on his record.
Newt is asked about more criticism from Mitt, who apparently claimed Gingrich “peddled influence” with Freddie Mac. Why couldn’t this be addressed the first time in this very same debate when Newt was asked to comment on Mitt’s criticisms? Time wasting bullshit! Newt said he never “peddled influence” and added that Romney’s approach about the Freddie Mac situation is nasty. Gingrich claims that he never lobbied for them and actually says that he brought in experts to teach his staff how to not lobby. Sorry, I just find that laughable. Romney quickly lashes back at Gingrich saying that Freddie Mac doesn’t pay “historians” as much as they paid Newt. Romney also points out that Gingrich was pushing GSEs every chance he got, which is a form of lobbying. Newt said he only made $35,000 per year, which is a lie. Why do people like either of these shady bastards? Aren’t Americans sick of criminals in power?
The Mitt-Newt show goes on for a long time as these two duke it out with no buzzer going off and Brian Williams sitting quiet – wasting our precious fucking time on this bitch fight. Williams, after minutes of this nonsense finally cuts in to stop it but only because NBC has to go to commercial break. Brian Williams has the spine of a squid.
After the commercial break, the issue of the housing crisis comes up. Santorum is the first person asked to address it. He claims that he saw the crisis on the horizon and tried to stop it. Yep asshole but you were about a decade behind Ron Paul on seeing it. Santorum, while explaining his fallacious knowledge on the subject, actually utters the phrase: “Let capitalism work.” Hilarious! This guy doesn’t know what capitalism is! Santorum immediately follows up his pro-capitalism line by saying that the government needs to step in and help the people who have lost their houses. Here we go with the doublespeak! Santorum continues by saying that people need the freedom to get out from under these houses and get relief. Really dude? Just “let capitalism work”?
On the same issue, Paul is asked if the government owes the people anything. Paul says that they owe the people a free market and sound money. He says that the interest rates were kept too low for far too long. Ron Paul says that he introduced legislation to help prevent the housing bubble from bursting years before it actually did. He declares that the bubble and the consequences of these actions were easy to spot but no one in Washington did. Paul says that the government needs to get out of the way. He then closes by saying that the Federal Reserve dumped so much debt on the taxpayers after wiping the slate clean with banks and corporations they bailed out.
Brian Williams, who apparently wants to suck Mitt’s dick, gives us another Mitt-Newt session when he brings them in on the housing issue. Romney says that the government has to help the people they fucked but immediately after that says that the government has to get out of it. Which is it bro? Gingrich says we need to repeal Dodd-Frank as it would improve the economy overnight. He says that the bill led big banks to get bigger. Newt is asked if the financial system is overregulated, which just proves how stupid Brian Williams is. Romney jumps back in to monopolize more time and says that the markets need regulation to work. What? What happened to capitalism? He then adds that we need up-to-date regulation not that old shitty regulation.
Williams, who wants to keep Romney in the spotlight, switches the subject and asks him about opening up Cuba. Mitt actually says that he’d be glad if Fidel Castro died and went to see his maker.. WTF?! Romney says we can’t talk about opening up Cuba but we need to support those in the country who want freedom. Okay, so how are we supporting them by contributing to making their economy shit? Why do you think that it is so easy for Castro to convince his people that America is bad? This is why! Romney wants to help Cubans by punishing them and not “giving in”.
Gingrich adds to Romney’s “glad when Castro’s dead” comment by saying that he won’t meet his maker but that he’ll essentially go to Hell. Newt starts talking about a “Cuban Spring”. He says that we need to reach out to younger Cubans who want freedom. Of course he, like Mitt, wants to do this without working with them in a productive and positive way. These guys must believe in magic.
When the discussion shifts back over to Ron Paul, he says that he has a lot to teach these guys on foreign policy. Ron Paul calls Newt and Mitt’s tactics “isolationist”. Funny watching Ron flip the script when every idiot out there calls him an “isolationist” as the idiots don’t really get what it means. Paul points out that the Cold War is over and the Cuban Missile Crisis was 50 years ago. He adds that we prop up Castro with our sanctions and embargo as it helps him stay in power by gaining support through pointing the finger of blame at the United States. Paul reminds the candidates that we used to talk to the Soviets and currently talk to the Chinese while we’ve had major problems with both. He even adds that we went in and talked to the Vietnamese after the disastrous Vietnam War. He says that we are living in the dark age if we are going to refuse to talk to Cuba.
Santorum, who apparently ignored Paul’s great insight, calls for us to use sanctions against Cuba until the Castro brothers die. He says that for right now we have to keep the current policy active and we shouldn’t embrace Cuba until the dictators are dead. Santorum then goes on a dumb tangent about how Cuba works directly with jihadists. Here we go with the fear mongering!
On Iran, Romney says we need to build a super strong military to scare the fuck out of everyone. Gingirch says that we are a country that likes peace and stability. Apparently he means between all the wars he wants to bring forth. Gingrich adds that he feels that we should defend the freedom of the sea. He then shares his thoughts on Obama, saying that Iran keeps testing us because our president is weak. Ron Paul gets in the Iran talk and says that our blockade of Iran’s strait is an act of war and tells us to imagine if the roles were reversed. Paul points out that Iran needs the Strait of Hormuz as much as we do. He warns us all that we have too many wars and the thought of invading Iran is ridiculous as we don’t have any money.
Santorum is asked how he would attack Iran when they have such a large target list. Santorum doesn’t answer that, he immediately goes right into the fear mongering he is so good at. He says that if Iran gets a nuke, the whole world will change. He then says that Obama’s Iran policy is a failure and feels that no one in power is serious about the Iranian threat. He then claims that Iran’s leadership is the equivalent to having a country ran by Al-Qaeda. He hammers the point that it is reckless to not try and stop Iran from building a nuke. He then flips the script and starts rambling about manufacturing and energy in Florida.
The candidates are then asked why it is okay for them to court voters in Spanish while they are all in favor of English as a national language. Gingrich says that the common bond that unites a country is one language. He says that there will be 300-400 languages used in the U.S. very soon so we need to unify the people with just one. Romney agrees with Newt before rambling about Massachusetts teachers teaching in other languages. Ron Paul steps in and says that we need to have one language at the national level but adds that if states want ballots in Spanish, such as Florida, it is their right to do so. Paul says that you can make English the official federal language without interfering in what the states want to do.
On illegal immigration, Newt says that the children of illegals should be allowed to join the military so they can go off and die for his senseless wars. Romney says he would not sign the DREAM Act in its current form but he would if it included military service. Romney then goes on a weird rant that illegals should “self-deport” themselves, go back to their country of origin and apply for legal citizenship. Santorum, who didn’t think the “self-deportation” comments were obscure, says that people have been self-deporting for awhile now due to our shitty economy. Santorum keeps referring to illegal immigrants as “they” as if they are something other than individuals.
Newt is asked about sugar and goes on to ramble about sugar types. Romney, who gets a bunch of money from Florida sugar farmers, says that we need to kill sugar subsidies. He then goes on a rant about homes in Florida, diverting his attention away from sugar. Romney says that too many homes in Florida are underwater. OMG! Global warming is drowning us! Oh.. wait.. that was a figure of speech.
Ron Paul is asked some dumb question about saving the Everglades and then we go to a commercial break. Why couldn’t they ask that dummy Santorum about the Everglades? He’s a snake, he’d have more invested in the issue. We also get Williams asking abut the Terry Schiavo case, which happened years ago and has nothing to do with anything that is going on right now. Gingrich and Paul address it but it is just a time-waster.
Romney is asked if space is a priority. He says “yes” but adds that Obama doesn’t have a real vision for NASA and because of that, Florida is suffering. Actually dude, I live in Florida and I’m doing okay, so don’t speak for me. Mitt says that the right mission for NASA needs to be determined by the president. Um.. I thought you were a capitalist guy? Romney then adds that NASA shouldn’t be solely funded by the government but that it should be funded by a collaborative effort of the military and companies that have ties and can benefit from the institutions work.
Keeping with Romney, he is asked what he’s done to promote conservatism. Mitt gives the stupidest answer when he says that he has created a family and worked in the private sector. Really, that’s your answer? Gingrich is then brought in and asked to comment on Mitt and replies with, “I don’t want to spend my time commenting on Mitt.” Well what the fuck was he doing the first half of this goddamned debate?! Santorum jumps in and rants and whines about a bunch of shit regarding Gingrich and Romney not being as conservative as he is.
Brian Williams then asks Ron Paul if Gingrich and Romney are insufficiently conservative. Why didn’t Williams ask if Santorum was? Ron Paul says that it all depends on what your definition of conservative is. He points out that conservatives have lost their way completely and asks how can a person be conservative when they’ll cut food stamps but won’t stop wasteful spending overseas. He adds that you can’t have smaller government if you keep creating all these wars. He also adds that you can’t promote personal liberty and then try to legislate all the crap that the GOP wants.
Mittens says that he has a solid conservative record, just look at it. Okay dickbag. He then diverts and brags about how Ted Kennedy had to take a loan out on his house to beat him in the governor’s race back in the 90′s. Yeah, he still beat you dude. He finishes his soulless rambling by saying he will repeal Obamacare and leave health care up to the states.
Gingrich is asked about his numbers being on the rise and what scares him the most about possibly becoming president. He just says that the next president will face enormous problems. No shit cuntpickle! He then warns that there are too many huge special interest groups working against the country and only for their own benefit. Somehow he expects to defeat that. This ends the debate, twenty minutes early and Brian Williams introduces NBC’s crack staff to analyze the debate for the remainder of the time. I turn off the TV.
God this shit was awful.
Grade B: Ron Paul
Grade D+: Newt Gingrich
Grade D: Rick Santorum
Grade D-: Mitt Romney