4:05- It’s was a dark and stormy day…well it was at first and now as the clouds clear, thousands of Republicans are filling the Orange County Convention Center here in Orlando, Florida as the candidates prepare to slug it out in the FOX News/Youtube debate. We’ve still got a few hours if, you haven’t checked out my predictions they can be found here. Check back frequently for updates!
5:46- Hope you got here early, lines are back up to get into the debate
Senate President Mike Haridopolos making the rounds…
Well…the line has gotten a little longer
6:16- Gonna grab some chow..
7:03- Shephard Smith just announced that tonight will be the end of the line for some of these campaigns. I hope he’s right.
747- Here are some more pics
8:54- The house is full. It’s almost gametime!
8:59- The crowd shouting out their candidates names! Let’s go Orlando get rowdy!
9:00- Candidate Intro’s Loudest applause Herman Cain, Ron Paul, Mitt Romney…. Gary Johnson mildly booed..
9:01- Brett Baier going over the rules and the new alarm by Google
9:03- Question from right here in Orlando. Talking small business, Perry gives a shout out to Scott before answering.
9:04- Baier wants to know where is Rick Perry’s job plan. Perry says he’ll get it soon enough and starts touting Texas job creation.
9:05: Romney asked about class warfare goes back to original question about small business jobs. Calls China a cheater and pushes for energy independence. Interrupted by the Google alarm. Mitt wants everyone in America to be rich.
9:07- Megyn Kelly to Michele Bachmann- Kelly goes to a question from a past debate over how much money a young man should keep after he’s earned it. Bachmann says he spoke to that young man and says he should keep all of it.
9:09- Kelly asks Santorum about Right to work and unions. Santorum goes after public unions that make more than their private sector counterparts. Gets applause. Gingrich asks about unemployment compensation. Newt says, you want help then you need to retrain. Not bad. Says it’s fundamentally wrong to give money for nothing.
9:12- Chris Wallace asked about loans for clean energy and solandra renegging alone. Huntsman kisses up to the crowd and answers. “Everyone wants to draw from the sun and the win but the economics don’t work” Wallace follows up with a promise Huntsman made in NH. Huntsman parry’s with phasing it out.
9:14- Herman Cain asked about 999 plan. He is greeted with warm applause. He should he has been hitting Central Florida hard. Cain disses Romney (where did that come from?) says Romney’s plan or dog won’t hunt.
9:17- Question from Indiana and that dude is wearing a sweet white skull cap. Question goes to Paul. He says we’re overstepping the power of the constitution and gets applause. Gary Johnson is asked about his libertarian cred and if he’s got more of it than Ron Paul. Johnson deflects with balance budget amendment. Johnson says he’s vetoed more bills than any other Governor…..ever. Santorum looks at him like he’s crazy.
9:20- FOX says this is the most interactive debate ever. We go to break.
9:25- We’re back, we’re talking Social Security. Perry is talking options, Romney calls out Perry and says Social Security is unconstitutional Romney is saying their might be another Rick Perry out there. Romney takes the opportunity to plug his book. Perry going to attack Romney’s book and Romneycare. Perry says that a line from the hardcover version of Romney’s book was removed from the paperback. Romney livid and says his plan was a plan for a state not a country and stands up for it.
9:29-Kelly pulls controversial lines from the candidates. Kelly asks Romney if he thinks Obama is a communist. Romney says Obama is pulling economic policy from Europe and that Europe is not working in Europe. Says he didn’t inhale channeling 90′s Bill Clinton. Romney is doing well.
9:31- Huntsman is asked about class warfare and raising taxes. He channels Reagan
9:33- Cain is asked about eliminating a department and he says he would cut the EPA. He uses his extra time to push Chile’s health care plan. Gingrich is asked about spending vs. earning, how could you slash spending. Gingrich shoves Kelly’s question and get’s a few laughs. Gingrich says Obama’s socialist policies.
9:36- Here comes an education question from a pretty lady from Georgia. What would you do about government overreach in the classroom? Johnson pushes balance budget again and wants to abolish government of education. Santorum speaks, he’s not getting a lot of screen time. He’s says the education system is not serving the customer or the parents. Gingrich says eliminate regulations and says pushes vouchers. Ron Paul says he wants the government out of educating kids. Rick Perry tips his hat to the other ideas and….Perry tees off on Mitt Romney saying, Romney favors Obama’s race to the top. “Nice Try” Romney fires back, wants to hire better teachers and says he’ll stand up to unions. Romney says Perry is talking nonsense. Bachmann pushes giving control back to the parents and her 87 foster kids. Cain compliments all of the other ideas and wants to cut the strings attached to education. Huntsman wants to lock in the cognitive pillars of education which makes sense. Baier new sound joke falls flat
9:44- Chris Wallace asking about immigration and possible conflict of constitution. Bachmann says the President has failed the states and says build a fence and secure it. No taxpayer benefits for illegals or their kids.
9:46-Gingrich asked about E-verify. A perky girl asks the question on Youtube. Gingrich says have a credit card company do it to prevent fraud. Gingrich says english is the official language of goverment. Romney is going to push Perry on Texas tuition benefits for illegals.
9:50- Rick Perry is asked about being soft on illegals. Says he feels normal getting criticized by these candidates and starts talking Texas rangers and defending Arizona’s laws. Perry calls Santorum on withholding education. Santorum replies says the country shouldn’t be subsidizing and illegals shouldn’t get preferable treatment and that he is soft on immigration. Bi-national health insurance. Perry asks Santorum if he’s ever even been to the Mexican border and he knows how to defend the border.
The two keep slugging it out Perry get’s the last word and Santorum is left without a chair after time runs out.
9:55- Ron Paul is asked about border fences keeping Americans in? He says it’s a real concern. During tough times, money and people want to leave the country.
9:56- More Google speak and trending.
9:58- That’s a break..
10:02- We’re back and Romney is asked about Israel. Romney says you don’t leave an inch of space between you and your friends. Slams Obama for apologizing for America. also says its unacceptable for Iran to become a nuclear nation. Herman Cain quotes Regan and his experiences in Israel during his travels. “You mess with Israel, you mess with the United States of American”-Herman Cain.
10:06- Perry says we don’t have the allies we need in that region. Santorum is asked about the security situation in Iraq and he thinks we need to stabilize, he wants to find allies in Pakistan.
10:08- You can see former D-8 Candidate Bruce O’Donoghue behind moderator Brett Baier.
10:09- Gingrich asks why are we giving out aid when their not our allies. Johnson asked about Cuba-America relations and once again brings up the balance budget amendment. He’s in favor, he thinks of supporting those kind of flights. Uh oh, here comes Michele and says Cuba is harbor of terror. Huntsman jumps the moderator and goes after Santorum, he says he’s the only guy with foreign experience. Pushes Santorum and says Americans want soldiers to come home. Santorum says Americans values are not sick and that we’re fighting wars with one hand tied behind our generals back.
These guys are slugging it out.
Huntsman says only Pakistan can save Pakistan. Supporters for both candidates sound off.
10:14- Bachmann asked about religion and government. Michele pushes for separation but, people should still be able to exercise their faith.
10:16- Santorum is asked about “Don’t ask, Don’t Tell” by a gay soldier and wants it re-intsitute that policy, “keep it to yourself”. Paul is asked about a rape exception to abortion and he says it’s a state issue
10:19- Perry is asked about comparison to W. and potential bad blood. Perry says their is not bad blood.
10:20- Chris Wallace brings up Obamacare and Herman Cain survival of stage 4 cancer. Gets applause from everyone. Cain says he would be dead if Obamacare existed, says a bureaucrat would have delayed his treatment and that save his life. Huntsman is asked by a sick young man if he would overturn policy that would make receiving care more difficult. He wants the states to experiment to find a better solution.
10:26- Bachmann asked about her story of a woman saying Perry’s mandated vaccine caused severe complications. Bachmann recites her accusations from the previous debate, essentially giving Rick Perry a second chance at this. Perry says he was lobbied….by a dying woman and does not back down. He still supports life.
10:28- Perry is asked about TX uninsured. Perry says the government won’t let his state have medicaid waivers. Romney is asked about Perry’s comments that Romneycare is socialized medicine. Romney says his first day in office he will overturn Obamacare. Perry assaults Romney says the people doesn’t know which Romney their going to get. Romney once again says “nice try” and more book comparisons. Romney comes back with Perry Social Security comments.
10:37- We’re back and talking about civil unrest. How are you going to turn this country around in 30 seconds. Huntsman says he would reform taxes, repeal Obamacare, and energy independence. Cain pushes 999 plan (again), restoring leadership. Bachmann says we must reach for the brass ring of liberty, repeal Obamacare. Romney brings up everyday families and hardship, and patriotism. Perry says repeal Obamacare, remove regulations, and lower tax rates, and energy independence. Ron Paul wants to go after the fed and promote the free market. Gingrich says 30 years ago, we were in the same place and quotes Ronald Reagan. Rick Santorum says Barack Obama doesn’t know what America is about and that he’s the new King George. Gary Johnson talks about his neighbors dogs, they’ve created more shovel ready jobs.
10:45- Going to commercial, last block.
10:46- Last question. Which opponent would you choose on stage to be your running mate? Nice! Gary Johnson says Ron Paul…wow. Rick Santorum says Newt Gingrich because they agree a lot. Newt Gingrich refuses to play this game. Ron Paul won’t answer it either. Rick Perry wants to create a Newt Gingrich/Herman Cain hybrid. Mitt Romney doesn’t answer and gets called out for calling Perry unelectable. Bachmann doesn’t answer. Herman Cain says he would pick Mitt Romney or Newt Gingrich. Jon Huntsman says Herman Cain and that he’s his man.
10:53- The debate is over… first impressions?
Check back for a full write up tomorrow and more Presidential V coverage.