Image 01 Image 02 Image 03

South Carolina Republican Debate

South Carolina Republican Debate

End Game – no clear winner.  Cain exceeded expectations but only because expectations were low.  Perry redeemed himself but I doubt it will change perceptions.  Newt and Romney were both good, Newt scored his usual slap at the moderator and it worked wonderfully.  Scott Pelley started arguing when he didn’t like one of Newt’s answers, which will be the video of the night.  CBS switched to internet only after 60 minutes, and then the live feed for the final 30 minutes was sketchy – major production fail.  Separate post soon with Tweets and video of night.


Arab Spring – Cain says may end up worse, may end up with Muslim Brotherhood.

Syria – Newt say should have been more active on Syria, contrast with Egypt.  Don’t need no fly zone, covert action.

Live feed went shaky, hard to hear a lot of it.

Lindsay Graham asked a question about Gitmo policies.  Ron Paul and Rick Perry got into argument about interrogation.

Then Jim DeMint asked question about budget cuts, not really related to foreign policy.  Huntsman endorses Ryan plan as template.

Newt says 4 interlocking problems, not a single problem.

Bachmann says get rid of Great Society programs of LBJ.

Uh, it it over? Yes for TV, go to this link for the remaining 30 minutes,

Perry, every country including Israel starts at zero, and make the case.  Should try it with some of those agencies I was trying to think of (nice joke).

At the second break – Round goes to Newt, scored his usual smash the moderator in the mouth moment, and was strong on killing people who are trying to kill us.

Classic – asked if wanted to comment on Romney competence, Newt says No.

Stand on torture — Cain, following procedures established by military, and leave it to military to decide what is torture.  Is waterboarding torture? I agree it was enhanced interrogation technique, would return to policy, not torture.

Bachmann, would use waterboarding.  Paul, waterboarding is torture, illegal, immoral.

As to ordering assassination of American citizen overseas, Romney says yes if aligned with foreign terrorist group.  Then segways into speach on American exceptionalism.

Gingrich, says if enage in war against U.S. you are enemy combatant.   Pelley says that’s not the rule of law.

China:  Perry says Chinese administration will end on ash heap of history if don’t change.  Romney says take China to WTO for currency manipulation, Huntsman says can’t take country to WTO on currency issues.

At the first break – Round goes to Cain but only because expectations were so low for him on foreign policy and he did well.

What do with Iran?  Cain, assist opposition in regime change, and more economic pressure though U.S. energy independence strategy.  Increase sanctions.  Deploy Aegis warships strategically.

Is it worth going to war to prevent Iran from getting nuke? Romney, starts by pointing out Obama mistakes.  Should be credible threat of military action.  If reelect Obama Iran will have nuke.

Any non-war options?  Praises both Cain and Romney answers, crowd cheers.  Several smart ways, one dumb way, Obama picked only dumb way.

Paul says not worth going to war over Iran nuke.

Perry says should sanction Iranian national bank, would shut down Iran’s economy.  As to Afganistan, say never should have given timetable for withdrawal.

Huntsman says time to come home from Afghanistan, focus on domestic economy.

On Afghanistan, Newt says problem is bigger than Taliban in Afghanistan, it’s Pakistan and Iran.

Pakistan friend or foe? Cain says we don’t know.  (Absolutely the right answer) (Cain more impressive on foreign affairs than expected.)

Perry says focus on withholding foreign aid to unfriendly countries.  Doesn’t trust Pakistan.

Bachmann likely line of the night – “Obama willing to stand with Occupy Wall Street but not willing to stand with Israel.”

Newt agrees with Perry, start with zero and then say why should we give you anything.

Newt, degree to which Arab Spring becomes anti-Christian Spring deeply troubles me.


Before the start:

Sounds so much better than CBS/National Journal Debate.  I wonder what CBS has in store for the candidates — pop quiz on the names of the leader of Tajikistan, or Madagascar?

Starts at 8 p.m. on a channel which shall remain nameless.  In case you cannot find it on TV, here’s the link to the live stream.

I will not be “live blogging” but will have commentary at the breaks, and hopefully a Tweet of the Night.


Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.


[…] Foreign policy is an important test for president, or at least it used to be. Indeed, there is a foreign policy expert (and domestic policy expert) who catches the eyes of Americans these days. Republican/conservative HotAir notes that she is the key to the keystone state (among other states). Her name is…: “Thursday, Quinnipiac released a series of “swing state” polls that showed how much danger Barack Obama faced in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida, even with the Republican Party fighting through its primary season.  Obama has lost the independents he assiduously courted in 2008, and the voters that at one time were called Reagan Democrats are fleeing the ticket. […]

Why do they call these debates? It isn’t a debate. It is more like a pop quiz from the moderator. At 20:25 there has been almost no “debate.”

I don’t know where Santorum is going with “Pakistan must be our friend.” Large parts of the government and military clearly are not our friends and don’t want to be. I am not sure we can make them want to be our friend…

Pakistan must be our friends? Huntsman thinks only in collaborative terms diplomatically, no clue about adversarial diplomacy.

And exactly what color is Huntsman wearing? Holy cow!

And there is this strange shadow under Cain’s chin on live stream…

Why didn’t anyone point out that Obama thinks waterboarding one person is wrong but incinerating dozens of people at once with a Hellfire missile is okay…

Huntsman is a putz. They cut off people’s heads slowly with dull knives. But waterboarding three prisoners a couple of times is wrong? Have any of those 3 prisoners died? Or are they sitting in an air conditioned cell, getting 3 culturally sensitive meals a day? Give me a break…

Major Garrett is a real putz! And Newt properly handed him his head on this enemy combatant issue…

I maintain that scaring the hell out of people without physical harm is not torture.

Romney put his foot in it. Perry did so too, and he forgot to remove his spurs first.

The way to deal with China is the same way you dean with any economic competitor. Out-compete them. China would be no threat if we didn’t hamper our own industry.

Obama’s policies are quite likely to result in the deaths of tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, in a nuclear exchange. These Iranian lunatics will use a nuke when they get one. And the Israel and the US will be forced to respond in kind when it happens…

End of the first hour? I don’t think I can take this for another whole hour…

Side note
Distracting graphics behind Romneys head at times
Appears to look like animated ears penciled in

Gringrich on defining enemy combatant is spot on
Water boarding is definitely unpleasant but it is not the
same practices as during WWII and Korean conflict

Bachmann is spot on there. We need to get a serious handle on procurement.

The moderators of these debates are SO annoying.

The commentary on the CBS page is loaded with Paulites, looks like.

Graham! What a joke. When is he going to officially join the Democrat party?

What is it about taking up arms against America that Ron Paul doesn’t seem to get…

I wonder what DeMint will do after the end of his term? He seems like a good man…

Does anyone really believe Romney will kill PBS and the NEA? Seriously?

I give up. Crappy feed. I’ll catch the second hour recorded.

My feed is great. Many others at are complaining too.

Wow, Firefox just crashed…

Now live streaming sux…

The good news is that all of them seem to be improving their debate game. Obama is off vacationing. I think this bodes well for Nov. 2012.

I thought Cain came across very weakly and did not perform well at all. Were you watching the same debate Professor?

    WarEagle82 in reply to damocles. | November 12, 2011 at 10:12 pm

    Cain made no major mistakes. His basic response was that he would turn to the military for military advice and other experts where necessary. It seems like he has a fair grasp of his relative inexperience unlike the current president who is out to fundamentally change the world and thinks he knows everything.

    None of the others seemed to have any real feel for foreign policy except for Newt. He is the only guy on stage who has really played in that pond.

Congratulations, CBS. What inept management. The second hour was not carried by many station affiliates. The “live feed” was spotty. And the moderation was beyond rude, cutting off most of the answers.

The live feed from CBS was halting and very poor. I wonder if it was a deliberate ploy to stop the public from hearing the GOP foreign policy debate? If not their technology is pathetic. Also, Scott Pelley has to be the most aggravating obnxious moderator ever.

damocles — No, the quality of your live feed is a consequence of poor Internet infrastructure in the United States. I live in Korea, where 75% of us can get a 100MBps fiber-optic connection for $25 a month. (Don’t blame the US too much, though — the population density here is unreal, and makes it economically feasible to pull the necessary cable.) And I watched the CBS feed throughout, without interruptions; it was smooth as butter.

And yes, Scott Pelley was embarrassing. It’s rare that American media figures aren’t embarrassing in these Presidential “debates”. We’re definitely overdue for format change.

[…] Legal Insurrection says there was no clear debate winner […]