CNN Las Vegas Debate 10/18/11 Blogged Live

Here we go another slugfest between GOP Presidential Hopefuls. Glad to have you aboard!

7:53-
The color guard has just left the stage and the warm up guy is speaking to the audience. Some basic notes, Romney and Cain will be the targets as the other candidates try to knock the front runners down a peg. Jon Huntsman will NOT be here tonight. Which at this point might help his campaign.

8:01- Montage baby! Very effective with the playing cards and the reshuffling. Coolest opening to a debate so far? Aww they didn’t even call Rick Santorum a wild card? C’mon man!

8:03- Anderson Cooper…don’t mess this up man. You’ve got to be better than your boy John King. We have the candidates walking out. No complimentary peck on the cheek from Bachmann for Gingrich. Cain Struts out, Ron Paul does whatever the opposite of strutting is.

8:06- National Anthem. Santorum singing. Didn’t see Paul or the others…

8:07-
Cooper announces he’s the moderator…really? These look like Jeopardy podiums..We get candidate intros. Santorum’s daughter had surgery today (bless her), Ron Paul just called himself the champion of liberty! Rick Perry declares himself an authentic conservative. Newt kisses up to Vegas. Bachmann does the same.

8:11- Kevin from The Office asks a question about taxes.

8:13-
999 is under attack. Cain insists on reading analysis. This is a deflection. Why doesn’t he just explain it? Santorum follows. Bachmann flexes tax knowledge and calls up value tax. Rick Perry brings up no sales taxes in NH (he’s right) and plugs his plans. Cain insists that 999 and the current tax code is apples and oranges. Ron Paul calls 999 regressive. Cain insists that none of the other candidates know the plan.

8:20- Romney pins Cain down with a direct 999 question. Cain deflects…Romney fires that he’s gonna get a bushel of tax oranges and tax apples and springs into a stump speech. Point to Romney

8:22- Gingrich sticks up for Cain but, backs up Romney. He’s jockeying for a VP nod. Bachmann says that every American needs to contribute and pay taxes. Applause

8:26- We’re talking energy. Romney deflects, goes into repealing Obamacare. Santorum talks about bringing the poor up through a Western Europe model. Santorum calls out Mitt on Obamacare and his Romneycare. Romney fires back.

8:31- Cooper asks about capital gains. Newt ignores Cooper and wants to talk about healthcare. Gingrich goes after Romney. Romney says he got the idea from Newt. Newt says he got it from the Heritage Foundation. Romney nails him down. Bachmann barges in and brings up a part of Obamacare that has already been taken down.

8:35- Commercial

8:38-
We’re back….Twitter question any parts of Obamacare to keep? Paul says no. Cain says no too. Rick Perry call Romney a hypocrite and accuses him of hiring illegals.

A shouting match ensues Romney and Perry. Romney puts his hands on Perry (oh hell no…) and if it was me it I wouldn’t have it. The two slug it out and Romney takes control. Perry admits amnesty. Romney admits that his lawn service had illegals and they were fired. Romney puts Perry in check again!

8:46- Cain is asked about electrified fence to keep out illegals. Cain needs to clarify. Cain won’t back down. Cain says empower states and gets applause. Perry brings up logistics and cost. Bachmann brings up Obama’s Aunt and Uncle being illegals. Perry cites experience with the border and attacks Bachmann for criticizing him. Romney unites the group by saying everyone agrees.

8:53- Latino man asking about immigration- Gingrich answers strong. Paul pushes for the economy. Cain asked about 14th amendment, he deflects and pushes economy and plugs 999. Perry asked and he’s soft on the 14th and won’t support repealing it. Bachmann wants the issued of anchor babies addressed. Santorum brings up family and values.

9:00- Candidates are asked about nuclear waste.

9:04- Real Estate bubble question: Santorum brings up TARP and gets interrupted by Perry, Cain. Nevada has the worst market in the country. Worse than Florida. Perry, Romney deny Santorum. Cain admits to supporting an early version of TARP. Bachmann dials up Mamma Grizzly and nesting. She’s found the camera and keeps pushing past cooper.

909- Cooper asks about Occupy Wallstreet: Cain backs up his Occupy Wallstreet statement “They ought to be in front of the White House”. Paul asked about it and fires on the FED. Romney goes after Obama.

9:15- Commercial

9:20- Talking candidates’ religion and specifically about Romney’s faith. Santorum says it’s about the values. Gingrich says faith matters, cites wise opinions. Great answer. Rick Perry kinda denounces cult comment from a religious supporter.

9:26- Talking foreign policy and Bachmann lays into Obama over Iran, Iraq and says we need to stand up. Bachmann says defense spending is on the table but reinforces the liability of multiple conflicts. Gingrich brings up supercommittee and that it’s a bad concept. Cooper brings up the multiple departments Paul wants to eliminate and he smiles wryly and gets applause. Paul brings up examples of fallen empires and says we could be next. it’s time to come home

9:31- Cain is asked about negotiating with terrorists and that he needs to examine the whole situation, finally says we can’t. Santorum says no and he won’t cut defense. Paul says we have enough weapons to blow up the world 20 times and wants to hear someone finally say they will cut something.

9:34- Talking foreign aid. Perry wants to defund UN. Romney lays out a whole slew of places to cut the budget. Bachmann tries to jump Cooper but doesn’t get in. Paul says cut all aid even Israel and that foreign aid make them dependent. Bachmann won’t cut aid to Isarael. Ron Paul asks candidates if they would trade hostages for weapons and cites example of Reagan doing so. Santorum beats him down. Gingrich says that Reagan thought it was a horrible mistake

9:42- Commercial! I’m not missing Jon Huntsman

9:45- Cooper talks about who beats Obama. Santorum is asked about his 1%. He says he wins the tough races. He too has found the camera. Romney touts his experience. Perry goes after Mitt and Texas job creation. Mitt fires back and says those jobs were created for illegal immigrants. Cain say he should be President.

9:51 Cooper says the debate needs to end? Bizarre. Bachmann jumps on the stump and says Obama will be a one term President. Gingrich says bickering doesn’t win and wants 7 Lincoln-Douglas debates with Obama.

9:53: Cooper talks over the candidates as they discuss not having the chance to close.

The circus is over guys. We almost had a physical altercation. I will have a full recap in the morning.

Sigh….