Wednesday, November 28, 2007

republican debate

PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The Republican debate got under way Wednesday with a testy exchange in which Rudy Giuliani accused Mitt Romney of employing illegal immigrants at his home and running a "sanctuary mansion."

The exchange came at the start of the second presidential debate -- first for Republicans -- in which candidates fielded questions from the public submitted via YouTube.

The candidates were forced to confront immigration immediately, signaling the volatility of the issue among Republican voters. Mr. Giuliani criticized Mr. Romney after the former Massachusetts governor claimed Mr. Giuliani had retained New York's status as a sanctuary city while he was mayor.

Mr. Romney said it would "not be American" to check the papers of workers employed by a contractor simply because they have a "funny accent." Mr. Romney had landscapers at his Belmont, Mass., home who turned out to be in the country illegally. Mr. Giuliani shot back, calling Mr. Romney's attitude "holier than thou."

"Mitt usually criticizes people when he usually has the far worse record," Mr. Giuliani said. The audience, however, booed Mr. Giuliani as he tried to persist in his criticism of Mr. Romney.

At the outset, the questions submitted online dominated the immigration issue and swept over the remainder of the Republican field.

Fred Thompson took the opportunity to distinguish himself from both Messrs. Romney and Giuliani, arguing that Mr. Romney had supported President Bush's plan to provide a path to citizenship for some immigrants in the U.S. illegally now. He took Mr. Giuliani to task for attacking Mr. Romney's employment of illegal immigrants.

"I think we've all had people who we've hired who in retrospect was a bad decision," he said.

Sen. John McCain, for whom the immigration issue has proved particularly vexing, defended his support for an unsuccessful overhaul of immigration laws that included a temporary worker program and a path to citizenship.

"We must recognize these are God's children as well," Mr. McCain said. "They need our love and compassion, and I want to ensure that I will enforce the borders first. But we won't demagogue it."

Mike Huckabee, who has also come under GOP criticism for some of his immigration policies while governor of Arkansas, defended benefits he supported for children of illegal immigrants, including allowing children to be eligible to apply for college scholarships.

With six weeks to go until the Iowa caucuses, the stakes in this debate are higher. The eight men haven't debated in a month. Polls suggest former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney leads in Iowa and New Hampshire, while former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani holds a commanding lead here in Florida; Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.) is chipping away at Romney's lead in New Hampshire, and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee is surging in Iowa.


• Watch videos of questions submitted for the CNN/YouTube GOP debate.
• Washington Wire: Immigration Brawl Polls also suggest many Republican voters are open to switching allegiances, particularly to someone deemed better suited to challenge Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton next November.

YouTube, a unit of Google Inc., says almost 5,000 video questions have been submitted, more than twice the number for the Democratic debate. CNN is likely to choose about 40.

As of last weekend, education and health care drew the most interest, accounting for 15% of the questions, according to an analysis of the first 3,000 submissions by YouTube.

By Steve Holland

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., Nov 28 (Reuters) - Republican presidential candidates headed into a CNN/YouTube debate on Wednesday bickering over illegal immigration and taxes while looking for ways to break out of the pack.

Plenty of fireworks were expected at the event, whose unusual format -- tech-savvy citizens sending in often-comical questions via video -- will likely play a prominent role.

The last CNN/YouTube debate, involving the Democrats, featured among the quirky questions a snowman asking about global warming. Republicans were initially reluctant to participate in one of their own.

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, leading national polls, and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, at the top of polls in the early voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire, in recent days have engaged in a withering cross-fire over such issues as illegal immigration and taxes and spending.

Each accused the other of either increasing taxes in their home regions or turning a blind eye to illegal immigration -- two hot-button issues for Republicans. They have also each declared the other a Republican version of Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton.

Some experts wonder if the bitter back-and-forth will drive voters toward another candidate, such as Arizona Sen. John McCain, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee or former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson, all of whom are portraying themselves as the real conservative in the November 2008 presidential race.

"Challenging an opponent like that scores points, but it also drives voters away from both of you and builds up a third party," said Republican
Republican debate was at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California. It was simulcast live on MSNBC and from 8 to 9:30 p.m. EST. All declared candidates were present. Former First Lady Nancy Reagan was present, along with California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The debate was moderated by MSNBC anchor Chris Matthews of Hardball and The Politico's John Harris.[4] Questions were gathered from The Politico readers for the candidates.

The candidates presented differing opinions of President George W. Bush, with McCain and Huckabee criticizing Bush's mismanagement of the Iraq War while Giuliani and Romney praised Bush.[4] The candidates also presented different opinions on contentious issues such as abortion and stem-cell research but were united in calling for further tax cuts.[4][5] All candidates opposed a pullout from Iraq except for Ron Paul, who spoke and voted against the resolution to authorize war on Iraq in 2002 and has been a vocal critic of the war.[6][7] When asked to indicate if they did not believe in evolution, three candidates (Tancredo, Brownback, and Huckabee) raised their hands,[8] although in the June 5 debate, Brownback and Huckabee elaborated on their position, taking a far more moderate approach.

Pundits Howard Fineman and Joe Scarborough concluded that Romney did the best and maintained his posture by seeming the most energetic in the debate. Eugene Robinson deduced that Romney showed that he has the potential to be a formidable candidate and also answered the most questions in a consistent manner.

At the end of the debate, MSNBC's online votes showed Ron Paul standing out from the other candidates. As of August 20, Ron Paul is winning "Best one liner," "Who stood out from the pack" "Most convincing debater", and "Who showed the most leadership qualities?" In all four, he has at least 45% of the total vote.[9]

Mitt Romney won an online vote taken at The Drudge Report, with Giuliani and Paul close behind.[10]

CFR Transcript
MSNBC Transcript
New York Times Transcript
Entire Debate Video

[edit] May 15, 2007 - Columbia, South Carolina
The second Republican debate was May 15 in Columbia, South Carolina at the Koger Center for the Arts at the University of South Carolina. It was broadcast live on Fox News Channel, 9 - 10:30 PM EST, and simulcast on Fox News Radio affiliates, including the station of the debate, WVOC. The event was moderated by Brit Hume, with Chris Wallace and Wendell Goler asking most of the questions. The debate was in three rounds, the first on the War in Iraq, the second on domestic issues, such as abortion, gay rights, spending and tax cuts. For the last, Brit Hume proposed a fictional scenario involving terrorism. The candidates had to predict their actions in that situation. Fox News held text message voting by the audience. Ron Paul received the most (33%) with Mike Huckabee second (18%).[11]

During the debate, Ron Paul asserted that American interventionism in the Middle East, from CIA installation of Iranian leaders to the bombing of Iraq in the 1990s, culminating in the on-going Iraq war, led to anti-American sentiment in the Middle East and to terrorists plotting attacks against America. Rudy Giuliani portrayed Paul as implying that America had justified the 9/11 attacks through its actions and interrupted the proceedings to demand a retraction, which Paul refused.

The fictional ticking time bomb scenario suggested by the moderator was: "Three shopping centers near major U.S. cities have been hit by suicide bombers. Hundreds are dead, thousands injured. A fourth attack has been averted when the attackers were captured off the Florida coast and taken to Guantanamo Bay, where they are being questioned. U.S. intelligence believes that another larger attack is planned and could come at any time."[12] John McCain and Ron Paul were the only candidates who said they were opposed to the concept of "enhanced interrogation techniques",[13] a phrase Paul labeled Orwellian newspeak for torture.[14] Mitt Romney suggested that the U.S. double the size of facilities holding non-citizen enemy combatants held in places like Guantanamo and deny them access to the protections afforded to American citizens, such as the right of having an attorney. Giuliani said interrogators should use "any method they can think of" and did not exclude water-boarding.[15] Expressing disbelief at the idea of debating "whether or not waterboarding would be a bad thing to do" Tom Tancredo said "I'm looking for Jack Bauer."[16]

Mike Huckabee drew the biggest laughter of the night when he accused Congress of spending money "like John Edwards at a beauty shop," a reference to Edwards, a 2008 Democratic Presidential candidate, spending $800 of campaign money on two haircuts.[17]

CFR Transcript
New York Times Transcript
Entire Debate Video

[edit] June 5, 2007 - Manchester, New Hampshire
WMUR-TV, CNN, and the New Hampshire Union Leader hosted Democratic and Republican debates at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire. The debate was two hours without commercial interruption (7-9 p.m.), making it and the CNN Democratic Presidential Debate the longest debates in the 2008 season so far. Wolf Blitzer of The Situation Room and Late Edition on CNN moderated the debate.[18][19][20]

According to the online poll, Ron Paul received the most votes in all but two categories: "snappiest dresser," who was Mitt Romney, and "most disappointing performance" who was Rudy Giuliani.[21] The "big three" candidates (Giuliani, McCain, Romney) also received larger shares of air time compared to the "minor candidates."[22][23]

A WBZ-Franklin Pierce College poll showed Romney as the winner of the debate at 22%, followed by Rudy Giuliani at 18% and John McCain at 11%. In that poll, none of the other candidates earnered over 3%.[24]

CFR Transcript
CNN Transcript
CNN Video
New York Times Transcript
Entire Debate Video

[edit] August 5, 2007 - Des Moines, Iowa
ABC News conducted a live, 90-minute debate that aired Sunday morning on a special edition of This Week, moderated by George Stephanopoulos. All Republican candidates were present. Mitt Romney defended his change from a pro-choice to pro-life position on abortion. Ron Paul spoke of pulling U.S. troops out of Iraq. The debate concluded with the candidates' revealing their biggest mistakes. Frontrunners Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani, and John McCain were given more time to speak than were lesser-known candidates, as in previous debates.

According to an on-line poll at, Paul won the debate with 63% of votes.[25] Paul's vote total was nearly eight times as many as runner-up Romney.[25] Frank Luntz, a political commentator for Fox News, asserted that Mike Huckabee had won the debate.[26] Conservative radio hosts Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity asserted that Huckabee had won the debate.[citation needed]

CFR Transcript
New York Times Transcript
Entire Debate Video
Video with Closed Caption

[edit] September 5, 2007 - Durham, New Hampshire
Fox News Channel hosted a Republican debate at The Whittemore Center at the University of New Hampshire in Durham, New Hampshire, at 8:30 p.m. The debate was on Fox News from 9 to 10:30 p.m.[27] The event was moderated by Brit Hume, with Chris Wallace and Wendell Goler asking most of the questions. According to a public text messaging poll, Ron Paul won with 33%, Mike Huckabee came in second with 18%, followed by Rudy Giuliani and John McCain who received 15% and 14% respectively.[28]

The Fox News Luntz focus groups watching the debate declared disappointment with the performance by Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani, though John McCain was viewed favorably.[29] However, some noted the lack of McCain supporters in the audience.[30] The status of Larry Craig was discussed in the debate, with Sam Brownback stating that Craig should go through with his decision to resign.[30]

An exchange between Ron Paul and Mike Huckabee over the war in Iraq was covered extensively by many news agencies.[31][32][33] Huckabee argued: "What we did in Iraq, we essentially broke it...We bought it, because we broke it. We have a responsibility to the honor of this country."[34] Ron Paul responded, "We've lost over 5,000 American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. How much do we have to pay to save face? It's time we came home." Laughter, which some considered highly inappropriate, was heard from several of the candidates as well as commentator Sean Hannity during Ron Paul's turn.[35]

CFR Transcript
Entire Debate Video

[edit] September 17, 2007 - Fort Lauderdale, Florida
The first-ever "Values Voters" Presidential Debate was held for the GOP candidates at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, at 6 PM. It was broadcast live on television on Sky Angel, and live on many Christian radio stations, including the Voice of Christian Youth America (VCY America) network and WKBF-AM, and online on the American Family Association (AFA) Web site. Seven candidates attended--Cox, Brownback, Huckabee, Hunter, Paul, Tancredo, and newly announced candidate Alan Keyes. The official Web site reports the immediate straw poll of 340 delegates was won by Huckabee with 219 votes (63%) to Paul 44 (13%), Keyes 22 (7%), Brownback 18 (5%), Fred Thompson 15 (4%), Hunter 4%, Tancredo 2%, Giuliani 1%, McCain 1%, Cox 1%, and Romney 0%. A similar event was planned for the Democratic candidates, but none would confirm their participation.

AFA Video

[edit] September 27, 2007 - Baltimore, Maryland
PBS television hosted a Republican debate in Baltimore, Maryland, at Morgan State University that aired live on PBS and on[36][37] The All-American Presidential Forums are the first in prime time with a panel exclusively of journalists of color. Questions were asked by host Tavis Smiley and panelists Ray Suarez of The NewsHour, Cynthia Tucker of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and NPR's Juan Williams.

The six debaters were Sam Brownback, Mike Huckabee, Alan Keyes, Ron Paul, Duncan Hunter, and Tom Tancredo. Absent were Rudy Giuliani, John McCain, Mitt Romney, and Fred Thompson, who are, according to scientific public opinion surveys,[38] were the leading Republican candidates. Those four were roundly condemned by the hosts and most of the participants. The first few questions concerned how some perceive the Republican Party to be racist. The organizers put empty podiums on the stage in the names of the candidates who refused to attend.

PBS Transcript
PBS Video, Audio and downloadable Podcast

[edit] October 9, 2007 - Dearborn, Michigan
CNBC, The Wall Street Journal, and the University of Michigan-Dearborn hosted a Republican debate in Dearborn, Michigan at the Ford Community and Performing Arts Center.[39][40] It was co-moderated by MSNBC's Chris Matthews and CNBC's Maria Bartiromo. The focus of the debate was on the American economy.

Sam Brownback, Rudy Giuliani, Mike Huckabee, Duncan Hunter, John McCain, Ron Paul, Mitt Romney, Tom Tancredo, participated, along with Fred Thompson in his debate debut. According to online poll, which was taken down after several hours when total number of votes were over 7,500,[41][42] Ron Paul received over 70% of the votes in all three categories.[43][44][45][46] For the question, who won the debate, Paul received 74%, Huckabee came in second with 7.2%, followed by Romney with 5.8%, Thompson with 5.5%, Giuliani with 3.6%, McCain with 1.9% and all others below 1%.

The "highlight" of the debate occurred when Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani debated whether the line-item veto was constitutional or not. Giuliani claimed that it was unconstitutional and challenged former President Bill Clinton on its use, while Romney praised the practice citing that he used it 844 times as Governor of Massachusetts.

Another high point in the debate happened when candidates were asked by Chris Matthews if they need to go to Congress to get authorization to take military action against Iran's nuclear facilities, if they were president of the United States.[47][48][49] While Hunter, Huckabee, McCain, Thompson and Giuliani replied they would not obtain US Congress authorization if there was some imminent threat from Iran, Romney replied "You sit down with your attorneys and (they) tell you what you have to do, ..." Paul, in his reply, strongly advocated for obtaining US Congress authorization, which is mandatory in the US Constitution,[50][51][52][53] and addressed Romney's answer by stating "This idea of going and talking to attorneys totally baffles me. Why don't we just open up the Constitution and read it? You're not allowed to go to war without a declaration of war."

In the end of the debate, Mitt Romney remarked, "This is a lot like 'Law & Order,' senator. It has a huge cast, the series seems to go on forever and Fred Thompson shows up at the end." Romney was making a reference to Fred Thompson's role on Law & Order. Not to be outdone, Thompson replied, "And to think I thought I was going to be the best actor on the stage."[54] [55]

Critics of the debate have began calling foul on the amount of words the second-tier candidates had time to speak.[56]

The debate aired on CNBC at 4 pm ET and MSNBC at 9 pm ET.

Detroit Free Press Transcript
Video with Closed Caption

[edit] October 16, 2007 - Washington, D.C.
The Republican Jewish Coalition debate at the Grand Hyatt Hotel Independence Ballroom featured five candidates: Sam Brownback, Rudy Giuliani, John McCain, Mitt Romney, and Fred Thompson. Although Mike Huckabee was invited, he did not attend, due to being in California at an event with Newt Gingrich. RJC Communications Director Shari Hillman wrote that "due to the limited time available for the event, the RJC could only include the top six candidates currently in the field." The Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported that sources close to the RJC leadership said that Paul was excluded due to his "record of consistently voting against assistance to Israel and his criticisms of the pro-Israel lobby".[57]

RJC Forum Webcast

[edit] October 21, 2007 - Orlando, Florida
The Republican Party of Florida hosted a two-day event in October featuring major Republican candidates for President of the United States and culminating in a presidential debate. The debate, produced in partnership with the Fox News Channel, was the focal point of the weekend's events, called "Presidency IV." The event was moderated by Chris Wallace, Brit Hume, Wendell Goler and Carl Cameron.

Presidency IV was held on Saturday, October 20, 2007 and Sunday, October 21, 2007 at the Rosen Shingle Creek Hotel and Resort in Orlando, Florida. The weekend's agenda consisted of a variety of activities, culminating in the nationally-televised, prime time debate at 8:00PM Eastern time.[8]

According to Fox News Viewers text voting after the debate, Ron Paul won with 34%, Huckabee came in second with 27%, Giuliani third with 11%, Romney 10%, Thompson 9%, McCain 5%, Hunter 1% and Tancredo less than 1%.[58][59]

At one point, with the poll showing Ron Paul winning the informal "cell phone" poll, Fox News talk show host Sean Hannity burst out with a definitive statement, "Ron Paul did not win the debate tonight," even though the poll showed that he was winning by a wide margin.[60] Hannity described the results as "stacking", though the poll only permitted one vote per cell phone.

Paul was the only candidate to be jeered during the debate. Both times Paul advocated a non-interventionist foreign policy, he received boos from the audience.[61] Alan Colmes, in the post-debate analysis, stated that Paul drew the most spirited reaction of any candidate, both positive and negative.

The Republican debate also revealed that the Republican contenders think America is going bankrupt if spending policies are not changed.

Thompson hit on a theme that all of the Republicans seemed to agree on and that is that out of control spending is bankrupting America, "We're spending the money of our grand kids and kids yet to be born", Thompson said.

Giuliani accused Fred Thompson of being the "biggest obstacle to tort reform". Giuliani touted his record as New York City Mayor, said, "I brought down crime 60%", and called for school choice.

Regarding health care, Ron Paul said that "managed care isn't working" and that "drug companies lobby for managed care". Paul said, "We could take care of these poor people if we weren't trying to maintain an empire overseas".

Ron Paul hit on his theme of military non-interventionism, "70% of Americans want war over with and are sick and tired of big government at home and overseas". They want their "civil liberties and not allow government to spend endlessly and bankrupt us". Paul also answered questions related to his experience with Medicaid and endorsed allowing civil unions for same-sex couples countrywide, with marriage itself handled solely by religious institutions.

Mike Huckabee defended the "sanctity of human life, it is one of the defining issues of our culture" and on health care promoted "personalization not privatization. We do not have health care system, we have a maze. It's a health care crisis".

Huckabee was regarded as the candidate who got the most support for his debate performance. As shown in that in the last FOX debate Huckabee came in second with 18% of the vote. In the this post-debate poll Huckabee got 27% of the vote, while he was beaten by Ron Paul who had 34% of the vote.

FOX News Channel and its affiliates moderated and televised the debate.

CFR transcript
New York Times transcript
Washington Post video
Fox News video
Video with Closed Caption

[edit] October 25, 2007 - Sioux City, Iowa
AARP and IPTV held its second Presidential Candidate forum on October 25 at the Orpheum Theater in Sioux City. All the major Republican presidential candidates were invited to participate, but only Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee and U.S. Senator John McCain attended.[62] The forum was webcast live at 7:00 p.m CDT, and was not aired on PBS stations across the country as originally planned. Due to a lack of participation by the majority of candidates, the format was changed to "allow Sen. John McCain and Gov. Mike Huckabee to discuss the issues of health and financial security with Iowa caucus-goers. The format included opening remarks, questions from moderator Dean Borg of IPTV, Sioux City Journal readers and those selected in the audience."[63]

AARP video

[edit] November 28, 2007 - St. Petersburg, Florida
CNN plans this debate with a simulcast on CNN en Español (in the Spanish language). Internet services YouTube and Google also plan to participate, allowing them to stream the event live and have clips for future use. Video questions must be submitted by November 25 to YouTube

Several candidates cited scheduling conflicts with the original date, September 17, 2007, so it was re-scheduled. The invited candidates are Ron Paul, Rudy Giuliani, Mike Huckabee, Duncan Hunter, John McCain, Mitt Romney, Tom Tancredo, and Fred Thompson.[64] All candidates have accepted.[65]

[edit] December 9, 2007 - Miami, Florida
Univision, the nation's largest Spanish-speaking television network, will be sponsoring a Republican debate hosted by the University of Miami on December 9, 2007. The candidates in attendance will be Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney, Fred Thompson, Ron Paul, John McCain, Duncan Hunter, and Mike Huckabee. Tom Tancredo has also been invited, but has vowed never to participate in a Spanish-language forum.[66]

[edit] January 5, 2008 - Johnston, Iowa
The Des Moines Register and Iowa Public Television were supposed to host a Republican debate in Johnston, Iowa on January 5, 2008.[18] However, because of the constantly-changing primary schedule, and attempts by other states to hold earlier primaries, the Iowa Republican Party has since moved their primary date to January 3, two days before the planned debate. The debate has since been moved to December 12, according to an unverified comment by Mitt Romney.[67]

[edit] January 10, 2008 - Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Fox News will host a debate at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center.

[edit] January 30, 2008 - Los Angeles, California


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