Patterico's Pontifications

9/27/2023

Republican Debate Open Thread

Filed under: General — Dana @ 12:13 pm



[guest post by Dana]

Tonight is the big night! The second Republican candidate debate. It’s also the second debate where frontrunner Donald Trump will not be making an appearance. The former president will instead be rallying in a swing area of northern Michigan. He is scheduled to give a speech before the debate begins.

Anyway, there will be seven candidates will be vying for *second* place: Ron DeSantis, Vivek Ramaswamy, Mike Pence, Nikki Haley, Tim Scott, Chris Christie and Doug Burgum. Former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson failed to make the cut this debate.

It’s ironic that the debate will be held at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, given the current MAGA state of the Republican Party, which Reagan would likely view as nearly unrecognizable :

The Reagan-era GOP base was made up of fiscal conservatives who wanted to slash government spending while cutting taxes and barriers to free trade, social conservatives who fought to limit abortion rights, and defense hawks who advocated for foreign intervention and steep military spending.

All three parts of Reagan’s “three-legged stool” are caught in a tug of war — one that kicked off as Trump remade the party in his image. Much of the party now wants to impose steep tariffs to limit global trade, while Trump and others have shown they have no issue with harnessing state power to achieve culture war goals. Recently, Trump himself has taken to criticizing the anti-abortion rights movement on his Truth Social platform while criticizing six-week abortion bans as “terrible.” And the war in Ukraine has deeply divided the party, particularly over how much the U.S. should spend supporting its Ukrainian ally.

Anyway, questions to ponder: Will the fading DeSantis come out fighting like a real contender? Will Nikki Haley continue to break through and push on to the front of the debate pack? Will that walking contradiction Vivek Ramaswamy spout more nonsense and yet still charm voters? Will Mike Pence find his voice, and realize that it’s 2023? And without Trump there, who will Chris Christie go after? And so on…

You can find where to watch the debate here.

To the dismay of many former Republicans, sane voters, and to the shame of our country, I’ll leave you with this dismally accurate observation:

Far from being an electoral liability, the former president is starting to lead — or at the very least tie — Biden in general election polling.

Not only is Trump the top choice of a growing majority of Republican primary voters in national surveys, but Republicans overwhelmingly think he’s the candidate with the best chance of beating Biden next fall. And poll after poll suggests Biden and Trump are essentially tied with just over a year until the general election.

Unbelievable.

—Dana

224 Responses to “Republican Debate Open Thread”

  1. Hello!

    Dana (aac8e9)

  2. If I was advising anyone on that stage, besides DeSantis, I would tell them to spend at least half their time bashing the bejeebers out of Newsom. Give DeSantis a couple kidney punches along the way for even entertaining the idea of a WWE one-on-one with Newsom while Hannity plays fluffer.

    If the RNC dolts want to have the worst Democrat Governor in the audience, then don’t let the opportunity go to waste.

    Hammer, hammer, hammer him and the policies that have everyone so disgruntled. Draw the distinction between the two parties, not another gripe fest about the distinctions within your own party.

    The last three years is the current topic. Stick to that and paint the ugly picture that is the Democrats in a way that the stupid people can recognize.

    My opinion, of course.

    BuDuh (d920c6)

  3. BuDuh (d920c6) — 9/27/2023 @ 12:42 pm

    Wasting time on someone who is not running for President in 2024? LOL!

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  4. Well said BuDuh.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  5. NBC News’s left wing framing of Republican positions is disgusting. They deserve to be hoist upon their own petard.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  6. I will take a moment here to ask the moderators if they ever have a problem with Rip Murdock’s schtick?

    I find him to be so off putting.

    BuDuh (4214e4)

  7. BuDuh (4214e4) — 9/27/2023 @ 1:04 pm

    Feel free to block me. I will continue, however, to respond to posts that are factually wrong or just doesn’t make sense (like advocating the Republican presidential contenders to attack Newsom, who is clearly not a candidate for President, at the expense of explaining why they are the best person to be President).

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  8. What to Watch in the Second Republican Presidential Debate

    ……….
    Here is what each of the seven debate contenders hopes to accomplish:

    Ron DeSantis
    ………
    DeSantis had a solid first debate, but didn’t reverse his decline. He faces the biggest test of any candidate on the stage. Advisers expect him to continue to stick to his message, as he did in the first debate while others squabbled, though the governor will also seek to maximize his speaking time.

    Nikki Haley

    …….. An aide to the Haley campaign said she will share her vision, but there’s an awareness that the momentum coming out of the last debate could make her a target for the other candidates. She is prepared to respond to those attacks, the aide said.
    ……..
    Still, Haley has a long way to go to have a shot at the nomination and it isn’t clear her general election pitch holds much sway with Republican primary voters who are generally far more conservative.

    Vivek Ramaswamy
    ………
    ………Tricia McLaughlin, a spokeswoman for Ramaswamy, said he would be prepared for attacks from other candidates but his focus is still on getting people to know him.

    Tim Scott

    The senator from South Carolina went into the first debate as the candidate seen as most likely to take the mantle from DeSantis as the Trump alternative, but he failed to make much of an impression or gain momentum from the event……..
    ……..
    …….. Scott needs a more assertive performance Wednesday.


    Chris Christie

    ………(Christie) drew audience boos for hitting Trump over his legal problems. The former New Jersey governor remains a long shot and unpopular with many GOP primary voters…….Christie will look to argue Trump can’t win a general election and say he failed on completing a border wall, among other promises, while driving up government spending. …….

    Mike Pence

    ……..Pence stands out on abortion, supporting a national ban, and he could try to contrast that position with Trump and others reluctant to go that far. Pence is likely to criticize Trump’s economic policies, including a plan for a universal baseline tariff on U.S. imports……..

    Pence styles himself after Reagan and watch for him to make the connection at the presidential library. The only problem: Trumpism has supplanted Reaganism within the GOP.

    Doug Burgum

    Doug who? …………
    ###########

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  9. The debate will be who is the bigger dwarf. The ghost of wendell wilke with gop base yelling we want TRUMP! Populist goppers the majority of gop primary voters hate the same people trump hates especially never trumpers.

    asset (fbcab5)

  10. Did you even try to understand the concept, Rip?

    Gavin Newsom is going to be a guest in the audience at tonight’s debate.

    DeSantis and Fox previously elevated Newsom(liberalism) to be the titular face of the opposition to DeSantis(conservatism) by having their silly debate.

    The other candidates have an opportunity to dress down all that Newsom represents well before Hannity frames himself and DeSantis as idiots.

    This is perfect timing to do serious damage where the fight ultimately lays. And whoever lands the best blows against what Newsom represents will score points with those who want to know if they truly understand what is happening to this country.

    This has NOTHING to do with whether or not Newsom runs for POTUS 2024.

    BuDuh (4214e4)

  11. The other candidates have an opportunity to dress down all that Newsom represents well before Hannity frames himself and DeSantis as idiots.

    This is perfect timing to do serious damage where the fight ultimately lays. And whoever lands the best blows against what Newsom represents will score points with those who want to know if they truly understand what is happening to this country.

    This has NOTHING to do with whether or not Newsom runs for POTUS 2024.

    BuDuh (4214e4) — 9/27/2023 @ 1:57 pm

    1) I doubt they will take your advice. The candidates on stage have far more important things to talk about than Gavin Newsom-like win Republican primaries and caucuses. I’m not sure how attacking Newsom gets them there.

    2) And Donald Trump will continue to have a massive lead in the polls.

    3) Comedy Gold!

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  12. I’m not sure how attacking Newsom gets them there.

    Of course you aren’t. That is why you say doltish things.

    BuDuh (4214e4)

  13. I’m not sure how attacking Newsom gets them there.

    Of course you aren’t. That is why you say doltish things.

    BuDuh (4214e4) — 9/27/2023 @ 2:04 pm

    LOL!

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  14. BuDuh (4214e4) — 9/27/2023 @ 2:04 pm

    It may be a good tactic in a general election debate, tying whomever the Democratic candidate for president is to Newsom, but during a primary election debate it doesn’t make any sense.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  15. Ouch!

    ………
    Semafor reviewed the rates the (Fox) network shared with one prospective ad buyer for both the first and second GOP primary debates. For the first debate, the cost of a single 30-second spot topped $495,000.

    But the same 30-second spot during Wednesday night’s contest would cost just over $200,000.
    ………
    As non-Trump Republicans candidates fail to gain traction in the polls, there’s less incentive for advertisers to pay the same record rates as the first contest.

    “Sans Trump… these debates just aren’t big-time TV, because the GOP primary race has become a snoozer,” one ad buyer told Semafor.
    ……….

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  16. This is where you get lost because you don’t pay attention.

    Newsom is already at the dinner table because of DeSantis’ ill advised exclusive “debate” with him. That is the part that didn’t make sense.

    But now that it is a reality, the other candidates can use tonight’s debate to beat DeSantis to the punch and level liberalism.

    BuDuh (4214e4)

  17. BuDuh and Rip Murdock,

    Lighten up.

    With that, DeSantis, who is a Republican candidate for the presidency, *chose* to debate Newsom. He didn’t have to, he didn’t need to, and in my estimation, he has already diminished his standing by being goaded into a snipe fight for the sake of pride and ego. Democrats are going to Democrat, but that does not mean that Republicans, who are running for the presidency, should lower them selves to childish games, especially when they are fading from the lead, and are in danger of ending up at the back of the pack. In other words, DeSantis has done himself no favors, including this debate, as well as picking a fight with Disney, etc.

    Dana (aac8e9)

  18. I don’t think they need to lower themselves in any way, Dana. Certainly not to the bizarre DeSantis/Hannity level.

    But Newsom is Biden’s surrogate that landed an invite to be in the audience tonight for an RNC Primary debate.

    An articulate take down will long be remembered as the highlight of these lousy debates and possibly derail the Hannity slobber-fest that should have never happened.

    Or does team Biden deserve some sort of reprieve while the GOP is in Infighting Season?

    BuDuh (4214e4)

  19. But now that it is a reality, the other candidates can use tonight’s debate to beat DeSantis to the punch and level liberalism.

    BuDuh (4214e4) — 9/27/2023 @ 2:13 pm

    LOL! The other Republican candidates (at least those polling above 5%) want to replace DeSantis as #2, and want to be the Republican nominee for President, so they don’t care about “owning the libs.” I haven’t seen any reporting that the Newsom-DeSantis debate is an issue for them (except possibly as a waste of DeSantis’s time, roughly one month before the Iowa caucuses, where Trump is +33 over DeSantis).

    Trump and the others must be gleeful that DeSantis will be wasting his time debating Newsom in Georgia.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  20. But Newsom is Biden’s surrogate that landed an invite to be in the audience tonight for an RNC Primary debate.

    Who invited Newsom?

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  21. @17

    In other words, DeSantis has done himself no favors, including this debate, as well as picking a fight with Disney, etc.

    Dana (aac8e9) — 9/27/2023 @ 2:17 pm

    I’m going to politely disagree with you here.

    DeSantis enjoys is support primarily based on his willingness to engage a fight with Newsom (as a way to contrast his policies as Governor) and his willingness to engage with Disney.

    He’s still super popular in Florida.

    It remains to be seen if such things works at a national scale that can overcome all the Trump news.

    whembly (5f7596)

  22. The field much catch up to the leader or else the debate is fairly pointless. Yes there’s 3 months before an actual vote, but they either believe that Trump is a losing bet in the general or they don’t. If Trump will be a weak general candidate, then the debaters need to hammer that. I tend to believe that Trump general polls will tank once the Dems unload J6 and indictment ads. He will hemorrhage moderates and independents and lose the swing states. So, job #1 is why should people be watching and listening to you? If it’s for 2028 or VP (none will get selected), then it’s a snoozer.

    Job #2 is to become the front runner behind Trump. I see this as a battle between DeSantis and Haley. Ramaswamy will continue to be an annoyance and an easy target of opportunity for the others. I anticipate some references to Newsom if he is in the audience because it provides an opportunity for some light humor. It can also be turned on DeSantis for making the debate. California is deep blue so taking shots at CA is easy but I’m not sure it changes hearts or minds of people voting in the GOP primary. Hey, Newsom might end up the candidate…it’s not a low or minuscule probability. If Republicans can seed some Democrat dissension, why not? But that’s not job #1 or #2. I look forward to debate even if most Americans are not. Maybe I’m disappointed…but this is another big opportunity for the GOP to start saving itself…fingers crossed.

    AJ_Liberty (1295e6)

  23. DeSantis enjoys is support primarily based on his willingness to engage a fight with Newsom (as a way to contrast his policies as Governor) and his willingness to engage with Disney.

    He’s still super popular in Florida.

    What support-not nationally at least (Trump +40 over DeSantis), and certainly not as a Presidential candidate in Florida (Trump +10). His national favorability is underwater like his presidential prospects (-14%).

    But you may be right that he is “super popular” in Florida. At the rate things are going, that’s where he will end up for the rest of his gubernatorial term.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  24. …….this is another big opportunity for the GOP to start saving itself……..

    Or to start planning for a new conservative party to run candidates beginning in the 2026 midterms and then the 2028 presidential campaign.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  25. One, the thing about Reagan and the debate at the Reagan Library and the fact that Reagan was governor of California, he wouldn’t recognize California politics under Newsom, but he also wouldn’t recognize GOP politics under Trump, IMO. I’m guessing some candidates will invoke his name, but most of them don’t deserve to.

    Two, as I recall at the previous debate, there was a plenty of criticism of Democrats and Biden, and I expect the same tonite, and if some enterprising candidates want to take shots at Newsom in the audience, I’d be surprised if that didn’t happen.

    Three, I expect the candidates to take more shots at each other than at the frontrunning adjudicated liar and sexual abuser and fraudster and criminally indicted no-show who currently has more support from my party than the rest of the field combined, because my party is a cult and you don’t piss off the cult members by criticizing their cult leader, even if the cult leader peels off one unhinged rant after the next on his money-losing social media platform, even if he confuses Biden and Obama or George W. and Jeb! Even if he said he’d “terminate” the Constitution or sh-t on the First Amendment by shutting down media outlets he don’t like, or imply that his onetime Chairman of the JCOS should be executed for treason against the cult leader.

    Four, because this party is a cult (which I may have already mentioned), this debate is going to be meaningless, because no one will get enough traction to make a difference or get anywhere near the cult leader poll-wise. I wish every candidate well, especially Haley and except Ramaswamy, but it’ll still be meaningless.

    Five, despite my expectation that there will no movement in the polls from this meaningless debate, I’ll still be watching out of general curiosity, just to see if anyone pleasantly surprises me.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  26. Monmouth University Poll 9/26/23

    ……….
    When asked who they prefer as the Republican nominee for president in 2024 without any prompting of current candidates, 48% of GOP-aligned and leaning voters name Trump, 15% name Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, and 18% name another person. In a subsequent primary ballot question listing nine announced candidates, Trump’s support increases to 55% while DeSantis’s support barely moves (17%). The vote share for DeSantis in both the open-ended and close-ended ballot questions have dropped by 5 percentage points since July. The next highest vote-getter in the named ballot question is former U.N. Ambassador and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley at 7%, which is not significantly different from her 3% support level two months ago.

    Trump’s support has remained stable as he faces mounting legal troubles………

    The vast majority of Republican voters say Trump is either definitely (48%) or probably (24%) the strongest candidate the GOP can nominate to take on Biden in 2024. The total number who see Trump as the party’s strongest option has climbed steadily from 63% in May after the New York indictment, to 69% in July after the Florida indictment and to 72% in the current poll.

    “The unwavering support for Trump as criminal charges pile up looks like a classic case of what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger in the eyes of most Republican voters,” said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute.

    Backing Trump seems to be synonymous with supporting the party’s MAGA movement. Among strong MAGA supporters – who make up about one-third of the Republican electorate – 74% name Trump off the top of their heads as their favored pick for the GOP nomination, with DeSantis coming in a distant second place (11%) and 9% not naming any preferred candidate. ………..Among Republicans who do not support the MAGA movement, though, just 29% back Trump and 12% choose DeSantis. Another 30% of non-MAGA voters name another candidate, although no single candidate gets more than 10% (Haley), while 30% do not name any candidate as their preferred nominee. ……..

    “There is no lack of certainty among MAGA stalwarts. Trump is their guy. They don’t even need to consider any other options in the field. On the flip side of that coin, non-MAGA Republicans seem much less inspired by the options available to them,” said Murray.
    ……….
    Nearly half of the GOP electorate says it is either extremely (26%) or very (21%) important for the next president to be someone from outside the political establishment. …….

    “A former president is seen as the ultimate political outsider. Let that sink in,” said Murray.
    …………

    Poll cross tabs.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  27. None of the people on stage tonight have developed a great deflection of the “do you repudiate Trump” questions they are bound to get from the likes of network news. I’d favor something like “I think he did a lot of good things like remain in Mexico policy… he really laid a stink bomb around the events of Jan6, here is how we reunite and move on…”
    Maybe the friendly moderators will be an opportunity to try out a better line than the one I came up with

    steveg (483085)

  28. The GOP today is closer to Dick Gephardt than to Newt Gingrich (the two party leaders of the late 90s).

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  29. Tricia McLaughlin, a spokeswoman for Ramaswamy, said … his focus is still on getting people to know him.

    I would think that he’d be wanting to avoid that. Instead he will put up this week’s pretense.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  30. Newsom is already at the dinner table because of DeSantis’ ill advised exclusive “debate” with him. That is the part that didn’t make sense.

    Governor, shouldn’t you be backstage debating Newsom?

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  31. Yes, it’s a cult.

    More than half of Republicans see former President Donald Trump as a person of faith, putting him ahead of more vocally religious figures like his former vice president, Mike Pence, according to a new national poll conducted by HarrisX for the Deseret News.

    Registered voters were asked whether they considered a list of political figures people of faith. Trump rose to the top of the list for Republicans, while President Joe Biden topped the list for Democrats. Among independents, Sen. Mitt Romney was most likely to be chosen as a person of faith.

    Among Republicans, 53% said Trump was a person of faith, ahead of every other person on the list — although he was statistically tied with Pence, who came in at 52%.

    Trump also led several of his other opponents in the Republican presidential primary, with 47% of Republican respondents saying Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is a person of faith, 31% for Sen. Tim Scott, 31% for former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, 30% for entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, and 22% for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

    I’ve actually heard Pence and Romney say that Christ is their Personal Lord and Savior, but I never those words across Trump’s lips. That’s the whole ball game.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  32. None of the people on stage tonight have developed a great deflection of the “do you repudiate Trump” questions they are bound to get from the likes of network news.

    They can’t “deflect” those questions with “he really laid a stink bomb around the events of Jan 6,” as that would be an insult to his supporters, whom they will need for the general election.

    Three (polar opposite) candidates have come up with an answer; DeSantis, Christie and Ramaswamy. DeSantis is trying to have it both ways by downplaying January 6th; when he said that he “wasn’t in Washington on that day” and followed up by promising Trump and the January 6th rioters pardons, as well as criticizing the seditious conspiracy sentences (no doubt they would receive pardons on “day one.”) Ramaswamy has promised the same. Christie, obviously, is not expecting any MAGA votes.

    The others on the stage have made their choice. All of them have promised to at least consider a Trump pardon.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  33. The GOP today is closer to Dick Gephardt than to Newt Gingrich (the two party leaders of the late 90s).

    Kevin M (ed969f) — 9/27/2023 @ 4:15 pm

    Did Dick Gephardt’s Democrats have a faction that tried to subvert the Constitution by interrupting the peaceful transfer of power? LOL!

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  34. 30% for entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy

    I’m sure a huge chunk of that 30% don’t know Ramaswamy is a Hindu.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  35. Ramaswamy will continue to be an annoyance and an easy target of opportunity for the others.

    If you’re right, and I hope you are, that Trump will bleed support as his legal trials progress, it seems to me that Ramaswamy is the likeliest beneficiary. Who has more of what attracted Trump’s supporters to him in the first place, including how obnoxiously annoying he is, but without the criminal baggage?

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  36. Catoggio is as pessimistic as me that, absent some major unforeseen event, Trump will have no serious challenger and will therefore be the GOP nominee.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  37. Trump will bleed support as his legal trials progress, it seems to me that Ramaswamy is the likeliest beneficiary Who has more of what attracted Trump’s supporters to him in the first place, including how obnoxiously annoying he is, but without the criminal baggage?

    MAGAWorld true believers loathe Ramaswamy, there is no way they would vote for him. He’s Big Pharma, non-Christian, too inexperienced, and a fast talker. I won’t mention that some consider him ineligible. (Oops!)

    The best second choice alternative for Trump voters would be DeSantis, but MAGAWorld true believers loathe him too (they’re very finicky).

    From this week’s Morning Consult tracking poll:

    DeSantis is the second choice of 33% of potential GOP primary voters who are backing Trump, while 34% of the Florida governor’s supporters view Trump as their top backup option.

    Ramaswamy is the second choice of 25% of Trump supporters and 19% of DeSantis backers.

    16% of Trump’s supporters, who represent about 10% of all potential GOP primary voters, say they do not know where their loyalties would fall if Trump weren’t in the race.

    Personally, his foreign policy positions are a deal-breaker.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  38. Did Dick Gephardt’s Democrats have a faction that tried to subvert the Constitution by interrupting the peaceful transfer of power? LOL!

    Myopic to the end.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  39. That’s the whole ball game.

    Donald Trump could not name the first 3 books of either Testament.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  40. Nearly half of the GOP electorate says it is either extremely (26%) or very (21%) important for the next president to be someone from outside the political establishment

    The Know-Nothings.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  41. Myopic to the end.

    Kevin M (ed969f) — 9/27/2023 @ 5:40 pm

    I haven’t ended. 🤣

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  42. @35, electability will figure in as well. Emotionally and superficially, yeah, MAGA supporters might like the cocksuredness of Ramaswamy…but he’s an amusing lightweight that people don’t really trust. They haven’t seen him for years on the Apprentice. They’ll pass.

    DeSantis will be perceived as not being ready for primetime. They may love what he’s doing in Florida, but his campaign misteps, clunky personality, and creepy forced smile isn’t what they want. They love his anger and feistiness, but they don’t trust him to win the general.

    Haley has a nice lead over Biden pollwise. Sure, she’s not the big culture warrior that is DeSantis or even Ramaswamy, but she’s smooth without being slick and most respect her knowledge…especially on foreign policy. She coalesces the non-Trump vote then starts picking off MAGA that eventually will see the writing on the wall. Will it be a 65-35 drubbing as AllahNick predicts (Trump v. Haley)? Maybe, but I wouldn’t base my prognostications on past primaries or current national polls. We’ve never had a potential bankruptcy, civil verdict, and criminal conviction all lingering at the same time over a candidate. Trump’s negatives are whopping.

    GOP voters still have plenty of time to reshape this narrative. How about starting tonight?

    AJ_Liberty (426775)

  43. Rip: “Or to start planning for a new conservative party to run candidates beginning in the 2026 midterms…”

    Except, where are all of these conservatives that are magically going to take over? Over half the GOP are populist Trumpers who aren’t especially ideological. They dance to his tune….and more shysters will gladly pick up the flute and continue the grift. A certain Tucker comes to mind.

    Either you’re wrong that 50% of the GOP electorate are firmly MAGA or you’re wrong that a big chunk of that 50% will wistfully come back to conservatism in 3 years. Which one is it?

    AJ_Liberty (426775)

  44. First impression of the candidate introductions: DeSantis looks like that forced smile puts him in physical pain.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  45. Were no Americans available to moderate this thing?

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  46. Rip: “Or to start planning for a new conservative party to run candidates beginning in the 2026 midterms…”

    We don’t need a new wingnut party, we need a center-right party.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  47. Sure, she’s not the big culture warrior that is DeSantis or even Ramaswamy,

    I see no indication that most Americans are demanding a culture war.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  48. So far, Scott shows a bit of life, Vivek delivers his canned pitch, Pence is a stiff as a board.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  49. I wonder if they will allow continued “he mentioned me” ping-pong “debates” and colloquies.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  50. The moderators have already lost control.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  51. DeSantis takes credit for using federal largess to pay down state debt.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  52. DeSantis bringing it.

    AJ_Liberty (426775)

  53. They tee up something for Scott

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  54. Burgum is having a debate with his eyebrows. Milley has the “four-eye” variety, but Doug’s is Groucho caliber.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  55. $2T in the hole, can we really cut taxes significantly for the middle class?

    AJ_Liberty (426775)

  56. $2T in the hole, can we really cut taxes significantly for the middle class?

    Depends on what you mean by “the middle class.” Trump cut taxes significantly for everyone who claimed the standard deduction. He did this by jumping up taxes significantly on itemizers, notably by capping the SALT deduction.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  57. * He did BALANCED this by …

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  58. Tim Scott on speed…I like it

    AJ_Liberty (426775)

  59. Ramaswamy goes full on nativist. So does Scott. Reagan is spinning in his grave.

    Me, I think that Hindus should not be citizens as they are not beholden to God’s Law.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  60. Tim Scott on speed…I like it

    Vivek is on crack.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  61. Cut the f’ng mics

    AJ_Liberty (426775)

  62. “Shut the F up, Donnie!”

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  63. What a bunch of whiny little b*tches.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  64. Vivek and Tim Scott competing for biggest misunderstander of the 14th Amendment. Scott at least seems to have read it. Vivek not so much.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  65. @64, yep, not a clue. They’re making an emotional argument to the audience.

    AJ_Liberty (426775)

  66. But good comment by Burgum.
    Christie was expected to criticize Trump for being a no-show, but DeSantis stepped in, too.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  67. Hello…Kristi Noem commercial. Definitely a Trump VP ad

    AJ_Liberty (426775)

  68. Weak moderator panel….got to establish control…no one there has the personality to do it.

    AJ_Liberty (426775)

  69. ESL, even the Brit.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  70. Gun safety: Make sure the safety is on and don’t point it at people even then.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  71. Fintonol? I heard Scott and Pence say it.
    Haley said fentanyl.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  72. But Ilia Calderon is sexy…Stuart isn’t

    AJ_Liberty (426775)

  73. Truck tunnels under the wall? I’m waiting to hear about the hollowed out babies next.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  74. But Ilia Calderon is sexy…Stuart isn’t

    I guess.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  75. Samurai sword to Ramaswamy’s neck…please

    AJ_Liberty (426775)

  76. Turn off the effing microphones

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  77. Obamacare IS here to stay, thanks to the so-called Freedom Caucus torpedoing Ryan’s plan to gut it.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  78. Pence dreaming….

    AJ_Liberty (426775)

  79. Dear mouthy candidate: the camera is elsewhere.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  80. Pence dreaming

    Who is giving him money?

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  81. Great health care answer by Haley….Pence whiffs

    AJ_Liberty (426775)

  82. Dear Lord: why do we have so many health BKs? Because people don’t buy insurance EVEN WHEN the government is paying for 90% of it.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  83. Scott is wrong, too, about the 14th Amendment, along with Vivek. Ridiculous.
    The moderators are sucking.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  84. I know a guy who kissed off Medicare Parts B and D becasue — even with significant government subsidies, he didn’t want to spend the cost of 3 grams of pot a month on health care.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  85. Well..at least I don’t want to throttle the audience by the neck

    AJ_Liberty (426775)

  86. The moderators are sucking.

    They aspire to be sucking. Not only can’t they control the panel, but they ask such stupid questions.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  87. The 911 hucksters need Sally Struthers.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  88. I still want to know from each candidate why Trump supporters should move to them….why are they better than Trump?

    AJ_Liberty (426775)

  89. Oh no, there’s DeSantis’ awkward weird smile at the end of his comments.

    Christie, DeSantis and Haley are solid on law enforcement, as expected.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  90. Haley on fire

    AJ_Liberty (426775)

  91. DeSantis having a better night.

    AJ_Liberty (426775)

  92. Pence: “I’m going to make my own speech, and then I might get to your question.”
    Maybe he’ll have an answer in two weeks, because he didn’t answer it tonite.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  93. Paul, you must be delayed

    AJ_Liberty (426775)

  94. Chris Christie would be good in almost any cabinet job, but AG would be most fun.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  95. Pence wit not going over well

    AJ_Liberty (426775)

  96. Christie would be perfect for AG…of course not under Trump

    AJ_Liberty (426775)

  97. Pence wit not going over well

    I think he watches Bob Hope tapes (sic) for inspiration.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  98. DeSantis is a little better, but I still don’t like that he’s in favor of committing an act of war on Mexico while not supporting Ukraine for lawfully defending itself against an unlawful invasion.

    I like Haley’s and Burgum’s answers on healthcare.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  99. I’m almost a half hour delayed, AJ.
    Doggie needed walkies.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  100. @98, agreed but I can see how the masses like the notion of attacking inside Mexico

    AJ_Liberty (426775)

  101. Where’s Rip?

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  102. Hot take: No one on this stage is closing the distance between themselves and Trump.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  103. Vivek is going to reach out to young Americans by taking away their phones. Good luck with that.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  104. Haley gets dumber listening to Vivek, and he tries talking over her.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  105. Shut up Burgrum

    AJ_Liberty (426775)

  106. DeSAntis wrong on Ukraine; Scott correct

    AJ_Liberty (426775)

  107. Scott says that Ukraine money is a loan. Vivek disagrees. He know a lot about stiffing people.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  108. Christie can’t believe the naivete he was hearing on Ukraine. Boom.

    AJ_Liberty (426775)

  109. My take so far…
    Down: Vivek, Scott, Pence.
    Up: Haley, DeSantis (despite that act of war thing), Burgum, Christie.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  110. Truth from Christie.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  111. Go, SOCOM.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  112. Invading Mexico is a non-starter.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  113. She’s right about Chinese drones. But they are really good drones. US producers of small drones are generally 3rd rate. Sure, there’s Aerovironment, but there’s also a lot of DoD shlubware.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  114. Haley makes a great case on Mexico and China

    AJ_Liberty (426775)

  115. Invading Mexico is a non-starter.

    Indeed, but special forces in the night are a different matter.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  116. @113 custom builds

    AJ_Liberty (426775)

  117. I still do not get the international panel thing. Is the new guy at Faux trying to impress his London friends?

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  118. @113 custom builds

    You have no idea how bad some of that crap is.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  119. It’s not rocket science to assemble a quadcopter from quality non-Chinese parts

    AJ_Liberty (426775)

  120. You would think. I have a project that has been in limbo for a year because the mandated government drone supplier cannot get their drone to fly where you point it and not jam its own avionics.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  121. Indeed, but special forces in the night are a different matter.

    Adam Kinzinger:

    Regarding Mexico: They are too dumb to simply say: “look at plan Colombia. We worked WITH Colombia using our military cooperatively to empower them to destroy cartels.” That is what we actually should do but it doesn’t hit the dopamine right.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  122. @121, it HAS to be cooperative

    AJ_Liberty (426775)

  123. That is what we actually should do but it doesn’t hit the dopamine right.

    We tried that with Mexico. Don’t you think we tried that? If failed there, and it failed in Columbia, too. Why? Because the local politicians were never really on board. They took our money and threw some small fries our way, but mostly they took our money. Columbia has become a narco-state, as has Mexico.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  124. @121, it HAS to be cooperative

    What happens when it CAN’T be?

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  125. Balanced Budget Amendment…nothing tough with that idea

    AJ_Liberty (426775)

  126. I’m moving DeSantis to “down”, for his foolishness on Putin’s War Against Ukraine. I’m getting close to NeverDeSantis.

    Scott is wrong about aid to Ukraine. Eh.
    Ramaswamy is channeling Putin propaganda. Good grief, he’s the worst.
    Christie again is solid. Fat, but solid.

    Haley: “I’m feeling a little bit but dumber every time you talk.” Well done, and great comment on China.
    Same for Burgum.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  127. Compared to what it was, I wouldn’t say Colombia has fully reverted, FARC is a whisper of what it was But it wasn’t just paying off pols, but a Giulianiesque figure, Alvaro Uribe as president getting things done, in that respect they do seem to have tracked similar to NYC with subsequent Presidents in terms ofresisting drug cultivation and supply.

    urbanleftbehind (d31136)

  128. Balanced Budget Amendment…nothing tough with that idea

    Won’t work. Many states have those things, and they just issue phony income forecasts. California does that every year.

    What is needed is a Spending Cap Amendment. Tie next years spending to a percentage of the last few years average GDP, with a 2/3rds override option.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  129. MExican politicians would benefit from the narco bosses getting dead from time to time.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  130. Shut up Tim

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  131. Shut the F up, Donny

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  132. Tim Scott can’t stop interrupting….

    AJ_Liberty (426775)

  133. @98 “DeSantis is a little better, but I still don’t like that he’s in favor of committing an act of war on Mexico while not supporting Ukraine for lawfully defending itself against an unlawful invasion.”

    Stressing the importance of our border security as opposed to some other country’s border is not something I’d hold against a presidential candidate. I have to wonder about those who would link our border situation with Ukraine’s, as if they’re equivalent.

    lloyd (c90050)

  134. I have to wonder about those who would link our border situation with Ukraine’s, as if they’re equivalent.

    It’s all “national interest” and the two are comparable on that basis.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  135. For me, this debate definitely solidified the down and up candidates.
    Christie is still a solid “up” despite that dumb “Donald Duck” remark.

    Ramaswamy’s remark about putting people to work but wanting firing a million employees is flat-out sophomoric, and his comment does nothing to address our national debt.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  136. There is only one thing I am sure of: Donald Trump’s presence would have degraded this debate immeasurably.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  137. Christie is still a solid “up” despite that dumb “Donald Duck” remark.

    It was funny when his aides heard it.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  138. Scott is getting worse on debt because growing the economy is only part of the equation. None of the candidates have addressed entitlement reform.

    They cut off Burgum’s microphone but not Scott’s?

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  139. UP: Haley, Christie, Burgum
    DOWN: Scott, Ramaswamy, Pence

    DeSantis is generally UP but I agree with Paul that his Ukraine view is a huge negative for me. Burgum might be up but he’s still irrelevant.

    AJ_Liberty (426775)

  140. They even kept the split screen on Scott.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  141. So, Newsom is going to share the screen with Hannity on the “analysis.” I wonder what he will bring besides “Republicans are bad.”

    Gas prices at the station closest to my old house in L.A.: $6.69 for regular. There are some other stations under $6, but not many. In my NM zip code the number is $3.65 – $3.75 (and highly competitive).

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  142. @139: Ditto

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  143. Not much market share was taken from Trump. A few good attacks by DeSantis and Christie on Trump but the debate optics were awful…too much cross talk. No real questions on electability. Questions were kind of weird at times. Too much preening. I want 3 people on the stage: DeSantis, Christie, Haley

    AJ_Liberty (426775)

  144. Pence is a walking-talking platitude with a serious somber-sounding voice.
    Ugh, Scott, the curtain thing with Haley.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  145. @123. It didn’t fail in Colombia. As to illicit American drug use, Colombia used to be what Mexico is now. The Mexican cartels grew to fill the void vacated by Colombian cartels. And those Colombian cartels were substantially knocked down by American-funded and assisted, Colombian military operations. It took time, patience and cooperation, but it worked. Not perfectly, not completely, but enough. If we made the requisite commitment to the same sort of cooperative project in Mexico, instead of appealing to the xenophobic demagoguery craved by Trump’s base, there’s no reason to think we can’t achieve comparable results. Yes, the Mexican government and military have big-time corruption problems, but so did/does Colombia’s. The patience and commitment required to find and work with the right government and military partners should eventually yield results. And even if that’s wrong, even if the Mexican cartels can never be defeated cooperatively, the alternative, invading our largest trading partner unilaterally, whether by day or night, is insane. It’s a guaranteed operational and policy disaster of historical dimensions.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  146. The two most consultant-driven candidates: DeSantis (fire the consultant who told him how to smile) and Scott (too much overtalking, I’ve seen too much of that on basketball courts), with an honorable mention to Vivek.

    All that said, none of this will change the polling to any major degree, IMO.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  147. If any of the candidates mentioned Newsom by name, I didn’t hear it. A few comments about California, yes.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  148. @145, bingo…you can’t violate Mexico’s sovereignty. You make Russia’s case by doing so.

    @146, the debate design with these moderators protected Trump…once again. You cannot make headway into his lead without challeging the proposition of a convicted man running for President. You cannot be the law and order party without challenging Trump’s actions. Christie went down that path but let his competitors off the hook for their hand raise in the first debate. That deserved a follow up at this debate.

    Hey DeSantis and Christie hit Trump for not being there…great. But Trump’s crazy social media posts…not mentioned. Why? Because Fox protects Trump. The opinion people do not want those hard questions and questions embarrassing to Trump. Right Wing media has to want a contest for there to be one. Paul is right, this didn’t move much…

    AJ_Liberty (426775)

  149. I get dumber when I listen to all the dwarfs debating not just the chinese communist manchurian candidate vivek what ever his last name is. Why is mike pence doing his lost in space cadet no one wants you. Someone should ask desatan how he “earned” his bronze star as he keeps trying to fool voters into thinking he served as a navy seal. Most in the military are proud of their medals and don’t hide and refuse to say how they got their medal.

    asset (d06162)

  150. I want 3 people on the stage: DeSantis, Christie, Haley

    The debate rules seem to favor Trump, by packing the event with extras.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  151. @145, bingo…you can’t violate Mexico’s sovereignty. You make Russia’s case by doing so.

    Ukraine wasn’t shipping drugs into Russia by the ton. We didn’t win in Columbia, it’s just that Mexico has the products “we” want (meth and fentanyl) and it’s closer and easier to import. We used to produce our own opioids (Oxy), now we outsource.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  152. chinese communist manchurian candidate vivek what ever his last name is

    Got that right.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  153. It’s all “national interest” and the two are comparable on that basis.
    Kevin M (ed969f) — 9/27/2023 @ 7:54 pm

    The U.S./Mexico border is “National Interest.” The Ukraine border is “Foreign National Interest,” to put a fine point on it The former is an immediate existential crises, the latter is not. A contrast in reality.

    felipe (9bcc73)

  154. I want 3 people on the stage: DeSantis, Christie, Haley
    AJ_Liberty (426775) — 9/27/2023 @ 8:10 pm

    I’d prefer that as well.

    felipe (9bcc73)

  155. lurker (cd7cd4) — 9/27/2023 @ 8:19 pm

    Good points.

    felipe (9bcc73)

  156. The “Ukraine border” is their interest, but that’s not the issue.

    Dealing with a hostile imperialist foreign power like Russia is the issue, and it’s a direct American national security interest.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  157. While you’re at it, why don’t you invade Neiman-Marcus so your wives will not be spending all your money there?

    Here’s a radical thought: Clean up your spoiled-baby, self-indulgent, libertine, over-affluent, fat-assed society so it won’t be a magnet for illegal mind-altering substances.

    As a first step, you could make the punishment for using and possession with intent to use personally, the same as selling and possession with intent to sell.

    nk (bb1548)

  158. As a known DeSantis honk, but I want more details on this ‘Mexico’ plan.

    I realize that this isn’t the format, so he or his peeps should elaborate.

    Did he mean literally conquering Mexico?

    Or is he meaning things like spycraft/drones/special forces?

    If he meant going all Hernán Cortés on them, yeah I’m not on board.

    Other than that, DeSantis did pretty good. Still needed to do more imo.

    Haley did the best imo…hopefully, that gives her more momentum.

    whembly (5f7596)

  159. I didn’t watch but I’m glad to hear Haley did well. Have read Scott did well also. Too bad Desantis didn’t lay an egg. I’m not a fan of him.

    Time123 (5c552e)

  160. Still, why no questions on the wisdom of nominating a candidate facing 4 indictments…including the possibility of 1 or more trials during the general election….and the specter of constitutional crisis of self pardons and a potential cabinet of dubiously-qualified yes-men?

    It’s not clear to me that a good chunk of the 58% supporting Trump will abandon ship because Haley or DeSantis said something interesting about the border, China, or education. This is a referendum on Trump…his style, his problems with the law, his challenges with truth and reality, his isolationism, his bizarre social media posts, his electability in the face of all of this, and the quality of his future advisors. How can a debate not focus on this…and how could candidates not insist on bringing it front and center?

    Tim Scott is talking about curtains…CURTAINS! The moderators want to play SURVIVOR…and demonstrate no urgency to control the cross talk and impertinence. SMDH. It’s all unserious.

    AJ_Liberty (5f05c3)

  161. The historically Trump-leaning Drudge Poll scores the debate:

    Haley (37%)
    DeSantis (22%)
    Ramaswamy (18%)
    Christie (13%)
    Bergum (5%)
    Scott (3%)
    Pence (2%)

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  162. I want 3 people on the stage: DeSantis, Christie, Haley

    Agreed, but you’d have to take Ratsaswarmy, too.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  163. so it won’t be a magnet for illegal mind-altering substances.

    Taking most prescription painkillers off the US market was probably not a great idea. Replacing prescription Oxy with fentanyl, then going all medieval-lawyer on the people who made Oxy, did not improve anyone’s life (except for the aforementioned lawyers).

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  164. What happened with painkillers in the US was the exact opposite of what drug-legalization advocates suggest. A regulated system, managed by doctors, was replaced by more Drug War. For the Children™

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  165. Still, why no questions on the wisdom of nominating a candidate facing 4 indictments…including the possibility of 1 or more trials during the general election….and the specter of constitutional crisis of self pardons and a potential cabinet of dubiously-qualified yes-men?

    “Should the RNC bar any candidate convicted of 3 or more felonies from nomination at the Convention?”

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  166. Kevin, you should watch “ painkiller” on Netflix

    Time123 (c89298)

  167. Time,

    I have no illusions about Oxy or other opioids. I have buried several friends due to prescribed Oxy turning into a terminal addiction. But the replacement — black market fentanyl — is a hundred times worse.

    There are those who argue that dangerous street drugs should be replaced with regulated ones, or the dangerous drugs themselves be legalized and regulated. Several European countries do this with heroin, for example. What happened here was the opposit3e — the regulated drugs were outlawed and the black market took over.

    Complaining about “bad to worse” does not imply that I don’t recognize bad.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  168. If I were writing debate questions for Republican nominees, here are a few I would ask:

    * Currently there is a mass migration of “refugees” — largely for economic reasons — flooding across our southern border. President Biden seems intent on allowing this flow to continue. If you become president in 2025, what will you do to address this? Will you simply block further migration, or will you take extraordinary measures to quickly repatriate these immigrants? If so, what measures?

    * California’s concealed carry laws were struck down in Bruen. Recently, California passed new laws that are actually MORE restrictive than the laws struck down. Would you ask Congress to pass a national law overriding state restrictions of this sort? Would you promise to appoint judges who support the Second Amendment?

    * Should children be subjected to surgical alteration, or extreme medical intervention, to “affirm” an expressed gender identity? Should parents be pressured to agree to such intervention at the risk of losing custody? Should Congress and/or federal regulation bar such procedures on minor children?

    * On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being worst, what impact would a Russian victory in Ukraine have on America’s national interests? Does Russia have to withdraw entirely from Ukraine, or is there some lesser victory possible?

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  169. Getting back to the so-called debates (I did not watch a single second of this one), does it strike anyone else that it’s a practical joke played by friends of Trump Ronna McDaniel and Fox News on the wannabes?

    nk (bb1548)

  170. Getting back to the so-called debates (I did not watch a single second of this one)

    And yet you will an an opinion.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  171. It’s a practical joke on the Republican voter. The next debate should be Haley, DeSantis, Christie and (unfortunately) Vivek the mini-Trump.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  172. * And yet you will HAVE an opinion.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  173. This wasn’t a debate aimed at edifying choices for conservative and populist voters. This was a forum for media to take potshots at these candidates, get them to fight amongst themselves, and to make them look extreme. Nikki Haley, Vivek Ramaswamy, and Tim Scott took the bait (Haley repeatedly); Ron DeSantis, Christie, and Doug Burgum did not.
    In the first half hour of the debate, the moderators never asked about China. They never asked about crime. They didn’t ask about the national debt. Not a question about energy until later, and I don’t recall the moderators asking anything at all related to national security or military preparedness. Various candidates brought these topics up, only to be slapped down by moderators in favor of topics like day-care subsidies, DACA and Dreamers, and so on.

    Ed Morrissey is correct.

    NJRob (644675)

  174. Morrissey is correct when he says that Fox flubbed it.

    This is easily the most disappointing performance I’ve yet seen by a host for a presidential debate. This should raise serious questions about Ronna McDaniel’s leadership at the RNC, especially because she made the debates a key issue in her re-election as RNC chair. She pledged to make sure that these forums would not become turkey shoots of Republican candidates by mainstream media. The first Fox News debate had its issues, but this was far worse, and every candidate on the stage last night should demand some answers and accountability for what McDaniel has wrought thus far.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  175. * And yet you will HAVE an opinion.

    Many opinions are formed by second hand information.

    nk (bb1548)

  176. @174,
    1. The amount of talking over was unacceptable. There was no penalty for being disruptive. After debate #1, the rules of engagement should have been your mic is turned off until you are recognized. Maybe give them a light to activate if they want to respond…but on the second thought, all seven lights would be continuously lit as they understand more time is better than less time speaking. It’s difficult to have back-and-forth with so many people on stage and remain fair. It also extends trivial conversations and shortens topics that deserve more time. Every candidate should have been allowed to talk about Ukraine, China, and Trump. I doubt they did.

    2. Ilia Calderon’s questions were by designed to come from the liberal perspective…or at least intended to pull back extreme positions. It didn’t bother me, but it became filler to avoid directly addressing contrasts with Trump. Again, the debate should have been aimed at convincing Trump supporters why they should abandon Trump and consider the candidate. That just didn’t come across…and I would argue that was purposeful in the design of the debate.

    AJ_Liberty (5f05c3)

  177. A question for those who watched the debate: Did anyone there, moderator or candidates, mention, even indirectly, what I just described as our worst domestic problem? (Over on the open thread.)

    Jim Miller (a41107)

  178. When I first suggested this, I was mostly joking, but I am beginning to think we should try something like this: If one of the candidates in these “debates” talks over another, the offending candidate should be ejected. (For men, I would have a linebacker or two carry them off; for women, perhaps a couple of ladies from those “mixed martial arts” shows.)

    If that seems too tough, perhaps the offender could get one warning before they get ejected.

    Jim Miller (a41107)

  179. …and I would argue that was purposeful in the design of the debate.
    AJ_Liberty (5f05c3) — 9/28/2023 @ 11:02 am

    And I would be persuaded, AJ. I could stand less than 30 minutes of that barely-contained spectacle.

    felipe (5e2a04)

  180. From what I have read (Kevin!), any serious candidate would have walked out of this Jerry Springer Show remake after 10 minutes.

    nk (bb1548)

  181. Many opinions are formed by second hand information.

    But they are often just regurgitation of that second-hand information.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  182. @180:

    They should have, but the example Romney set in 2012 is that you tolerate asshat moderators.

    Scott, Ramaswampy and Bergum were the worst offenders, but the rule that you get to respond (and the moderators ignoring that rule) is what turned it into a free-for-all.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  183. I missed 2012’s Newt Gingrich throughout that debate. And those present missed a golden opportunity to channel Newt.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  184. RIP Michael Gambon, 82. Dumbledore dies again.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  185. Kevin M (ed969f) — 9/28/2023 @ 1:54 pm

    I remember that. you are so right.

    Re: Dumbledore

    I mourned Harris’ passing, but was delighted with Gambon’s spry performance. Harris gave the part gravitas, and Gambon, verve.

    felipe (9bcc73)

  186. Kevin M (ed969f) — 9/28/2023 @ 9:37 am

    I have no illusions about Oxy or other opioids. I have buried several friends due to prescribed Oxy turning into a terminal addiction. But the replacement — black market fentanyl — is a hundred times worse.

    Any idiot could have foreseen that happening/ Any fool could have seen that it was happening. But somehow, nobody could say anything.

    The problem goes back to not allowing drugs to be prescribed because people are addicted, and all sorts of requirements that often aren’t met for substitute narcotics. This is a mistake now hoary with (the people who initiated that policy are now probably alldead)age.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  187. 163, Kevin M (ed969f) — 9/28/2023 @ 8:34 am

    Taking most prescription painkillers off the US market was probably not a great idea.

    Probably? like the commercial says?

    They weren’t taken completely off the market. But they were not to be prescribed if someone was addicted.

    Replacing prescription Oxy with fentanyl, then going all medieval-lawyer on the people who made Oxy, did not improve anyone’s life (except for the aforementioned lawyers)

    It would be nice if some candidate for president had the brains and the guts to say that..They are more missing brains than guts.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  188. Time123 (5c552e) — 9/28/2023 @ 6:59 am

    I didn’t watch but I’m glad to hear Haley did well. Have read Scott did well also.

    Heard oin the radio, both from the successors to Rush Limbaugh (one of them) and from Bo Snerdly (moniker for James Goulden, who was a call screener for Rush Limbaugh) that Doug Burgum did well too.

    Bo Snerdly mentioned he heard from conservatives in North Dakota that they considered him too moderate (paraphrase)

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  189. Donald Trump won’t attend the November debate either and says the RNC should cancel all the debates.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  190. Kevin M (ed969f) — 9/27/2023 @ 10:49 pm

    We didn’t win in Columbia, it’s just that Mexico has the products “we” want (meth and fentanyl) and it’s closer and easier to import. We used to produce our own opioids (Oxy), now we outsource.

    Startng with Nixon, we caused drug smugglers to switch from bulky marijuana to smaller cocaine, and now to small volume fentanyl.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  191. Kevin M (ed969f) — 9/27/2023 @ 6:48 pm

    Obamacare IS here to stay, thanks to the so-called Freedom Caucus torpedoing Ryan’s plan to gut it.

    But they zeroed out the mandate.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  192. The historically Trump-leaning Drudge Poll scores the debate:
    ……
    Kevin M (ed969f) — 9/28/2023 @ 8:30 am

    I’m sure the numbers would have been quite lower had Trump shown up.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  193. Why do the governments of central america run by drug cartels that reagan/bush/clinton installed to prevent more nicuraguas not be given orders to halt drug/migrants importation or the CIA will replace them with stooges who will? Same with mexico if we want too. (we don’t $$$) China is not the only country who buys are politicians which the supreme court allows.

    asset (eb5f82)

  194. Central America has a bunch of different governments.

    El Salvador got rid of a lot of the gangs at the expense of civil liberties and careful judgement

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salvadoran_gang_crackdown

    In Guatemala a presidential candidate who is against gangs is in the lead.

    Meanwhile Ecuador is getting very bad.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  195. Unsurprising:

    ……..
    Thirty-three percent say Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis had the best performance, while 18 percent say the same for former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley and 15 percent for entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy. But this is not a slam dunk for DeSantis, as most of those who say he performed best already had a favorable opinion of him, according to (the 538/Washington Post/Ipsos) survey before the debate.

    Asked whose performance was the worst, 24 percent say former New Jersey governor Chris Christie, 20 percent name former vice president Mike Pence, 11 percent name North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum and 10 percent pick Ramaswamy.
    ……..
    The share of Republicans considering DeSantis and Haley did tick up four points each, but all other candidates saw even smaller shifts. This is in stark contrast to the first debate in August when our poll found significant increases in the share of potential Republican primary voters considering DeSantis, Haley and Ramaswamy.
    ……….
    Pence, Ramaswamy, Scott, Christie and Haley all received less positive ratings from Republican debate watchers for the September debate than the August one. …….

    ………Roughly two-thirds of Republicans did not watch the debate Wednesday.

    ……..(O)ver a third of Republican primary voters watched something else on television or cued up a movie while about 2 in 10 spent time with a family member or slept. About 1 in 10 worked while a similar share cleaned or did other housework.

    ………The poll finds 13 percent watched (Trump’s) speech versus 32 percent who watched the debate.
    ………

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  196. But they zeroed out the mandate.

    No, the courts did that.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  197. I’m sure the numbers would have been quite lower had Trump shown up.

    He did, or at least mini-me did.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  198. 32 percent who watched the debate.

    But the counted the opinion of who did best from the other 68%. It’s like taking “Hot or Not” to the Vatican.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  199. Not Mentioned At the Debate…….:

    ……….
    Last Friday, Trump laid into Joint Chiefs Gen. Mark Milley on Truth Social, saying that the general “turned out to be a Woke train wreck who, if the Fake News reporting is correct, was actually dealing with China to give them a heads up on the thinking of the President of the United States.”
    ………
    “This is an act so egregious that, in times gone by, the punishment would have been DEATH!” Trump added in his post.
    ……….
    When the comparison (to when former Vice President Mike Pence’s life was seemingly threatened by his boss during the storming of the Capitol in 2021.) was made on CNN this morning, Pence rebuked the former president.

    “There is no call for that kind of language directed toward someone who’s worn the uniform of the United States and served with such distinction,” Pence said.

    Fresh off the second GOP presidential debate Wednesday night, other candidates also took aim at the frontrunner.

    Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, the most outspoken Trump critic of GOP presidential contenders, had a harsher take, calling Trump an “absolute child” for the “reprehensible” remarks, while speaking on MSNBC this morning.

    Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson also took aim at the GOP frontrunner.

    “To suggest that Gen. Milley should be executed is inexcusable and dangerous,” Hutchinson told POLITICO in a statement. “While some will excuse this latest outrage as Trump just being Trump, the fact is that his statement endangers people and is an insult to those who serve in the military.”
    ……….
    The lack of response from others is indicative of how hesitant many of his opponents are to speak out against him on a regular basis.

    A Trump campaign spokesperson argued that candidates who do speak out on it are just looking for headlines.
    ……….

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  200. The corrupt criminal traitor Trump was probably hoping that China would take January 6 as a sign of American weakness, do something aggressive, and give him an excuse to assume emergency powers.

    When Milley told his Chinese counterpart, in a nice way, “Don’t even think for a moment that you can f*ck with us, we’ll whup your asses”, that put the scotch on the corrupt criminal traitor’s fantasies.

    nk (bb1548)

  201. Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 9/28/2023 @ 4:34 pm

    “I am your justice… I am your retribution.”

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  202. He’s really saying that to his masters in the Kremlin. Payback for the fall of the Soviet Union.

    nk (bb1548)

  203. DeSantis Keeps Dodging on Ukraine

    Ron DeSantis did well overall at Wednesday night’s GOP presidential debate, with one glaring exception that could cost him support as the alternative to Donald Trump. To wit, he keeps ducking and covering on U.S. aid for Ukraine against Russia’s invasion.

    “It’s in our interest to end this war. And that’s what I will do as President,” the Florida Governor said. “We are not going to have a blank check. We will not have U.S. troops, and we’re going to make the Europeans do what they need to do,” details unavailable. He then careened into the non-sequitur of talking about the U.S. border.

    ……..Would Mr. DeSantis deliver peace by caving to (Putin’s) demands, the way that Donald Trump is suggesting he would?
    ……..
    The risk of this political tightrope is that voters conclude the Governor has no fixed worldview. Some GOP voters are isolationist and want America to withdraw from the world, but they will vote for Mr. Trump or Vivek Ramaswamy.
    ……..
    A better election strategy is to prosecute Mr. Biden’s handling of the war. The Biden Administration has calibrated its support on fear of Vladimir Putin’s response, a cowering that GOP voters don’t like.
    …….
    Mr. DeSantis is competing with Nikki Haley and perhaps one or two others to see who can emerge as the main challenger to Mr. Trump in Iowa and beyond. Ms. Haley is gaining support because she shows conviction. A bob and weave on Ukraine doesn’t look good by comparison.
    ##########

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  204. @194 no mention of honduras I wonder why ? The movie salvador explains that place.

    asset (760bfe)

  205. Ronna and Rupert are making these twerps look like a bunch of clowns, while Trump is doing what he does best, rousing unquestioning believers.

    And that leads to the real question. What difference does it make? Should any person who is elected by Trump voters be allowed within a mile of the White House?

    Let’s go Brandon!

    nk (bb1548)

  206. Feinstein passed.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  207. @207

    Feinstein passed.

    NJRob (eb56c3) — 9/29/2023 @ 6:26 am

    Prayers for the family.

    My hometown paper… The Post DisTrash… had this headline:
    Dianne Feinstein, centrist Democrat who served as California senator since 1992, dies at 90

    Absolute trash of a newspaper.

    whembly (5f7596)

  208. @204

    https://thehill.com/homenews/state-watch/4228529-newsom-signs-california-law-raising-fast-food-workers-minimum-wage-to-20-per-hour/

    Weimar Germany here we come. Wall off California.

    NJRob (eb56c3) — 9/28/2023 @ 6:41 pm

    You wanna increase inflation, that especially hurts the poor California?

    Keep do you what you’re doing.

    You’ll also see more kiosk and robots in fastfood industry.

    whembly (5f7596)

  209. You’ll also see more kiosk and robots in fastfood industry.

    I’m sure that the new fast food councils will ban such anti-labor practices, or at least require minimum staffing levels.

    But the real takeaway is this: Fast food restaurants won’t be hiring entry-level or marginal workers at these wages. The actual minimum wage is ZERO, and a lot of folks previously employable at $8/hour are going to be SOL at $20/hour.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  210. Scene at McDonald’s…

    Good news: Wages here are going up to $20/hour
    Bad news: You’re all fired.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  211. If you want other people to cook your food and serve it to you, pay for it! Or cook it yourself! Nobody has a right to easy living on the labor of others.

    nk (bb1548)

  212. And you can make your own clothes, and build your own houses, and go off and fight your own wars, too.

    nk (bb1548)

  213. The actual minimum wage is ZERO,

    That is a meaningless noise. Even Nazi slave labor digging von Braun’s rocket tunnels got one raw potato a day. If the worker is to be able to work, he needs a minimum amount of sustenance.

    nk (bb1548)

  214. digging von Braun’s rocket tunnels *with their bare hands*

    nk (bb1548)

  215. Nobody has a right to easy living on the labor of others.

    Nobody has a right to be paid more than their labor is worth. Laws mandating wages may cause temporary distortions, but it’s not nice to fool the Invisible Hand.

    Eventually the market will sort this out, either by selecting better employees, or by diminishing the market for the now-regulated service. The UAW found this out over the last 40 or so years, as UAW employment went from 1.5 million in 1979 to 150,000 today.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  216. The actual minimum wage is ZERO,

    nk, the actual minimum wage is paid to those sitting at home with no job. Something that will happen to more than a few current fast-food workers, and HAS happened to others recently.

    Look what happened to LA Airport hotel workers when the city council passed a special minimum wage: automated parking lots and vastly reduced maid service. Both things that have expanded throughout the industry.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  217. And you can make your own clothes, and build your own houses, and go off and fight your own wars, too.

    Apparently we can import workers to do most of that. Or import the clothes directly from places with lower wages. Ukrainians are fighting our current war for us, as much as we complain about the cost.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  218. There is no bigger distortion than rich jerkoffs accumulating wealth off the sweat and blood of the workers.

    And we can talk about the American auto industry when the highest-paid executive in Detroit is paid no more than 60 times the wages of the assembly line worker like in Japan.

    (And when American cars are not designed to rust out within six years but that’s a different subject.)

    nk (bb1548)

  219. no more than 60 times the wages of the assembly line worker like in Japan.

    1) There are also perks, which can be a lot in Japan.
    2) Many Japanese CEOs don’t really need the money with family wealth (e.g. Toyoda).

    As far as assembly line workers in Detroit, maybe the pendulum has swung too far, but the 1980-era pay and work rules just could not go on. And they didn’t.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  220. Nobody has a right to easy living on the labor of others.

    A lawyer said this.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  221. A reason to dislike Tim Scott (“Mr Nice Guy”): If you donate to him, his campaign will text your from several numbers multiple times a day, with no opt-out offered. Eventually you just block the numbers, but it’s really not very cluefull. And of course you get put on all his (and everyone else’s) email lists.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  222. The canadian conservative party decides to emulate reagan in the 1980’s and institute free trade in canada at the behest of canada’s wealthy class. This worked out so well that nearly a million canadian jobs were lost. In 1993 election the voters voted the conservatives OUT! They went from 177 seat majority to 2 seats! In 2016 the white working class base had enough of milton friedman/reagan economic libertarian free trade and voted for the populist donald trump flushing down the toilet the donor class money to the 16 dwarfs again trying to buy the gop nomination for president. AS AOC says for both parties they got the money we got the votes!

    asset (d8195b)

  223. I think that General Milley got worried that the Chinese would think Trump would do something aggressive against China (he was contemplating something against Iran, but I don’t know China – this danger may have existed mostly in Milley’s mind and maybe somebody he talked to) and he contacted China to say nothing was going on. This Trump has now called treason.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2021/09/14/peril-woodward-costa-trump-milley-china

    Top general was so fearful Trump might spark war that he made secret calls to his Chinese counterpart, new book says

    ‘Peril,’ by Bob Woodward and Robert Costa, reveals that Gen. Mark A. Milley called his Chinese counterpart before the election and after Jan. 6 in a bid to avert armed conflict.

    ….Twice in the final months of the Trump administration, the country’s top military officer was so fearful that the president’s actions might spark a war with China that he moved urgently to avert armed conflict.

    In a pair of secret phone calls, Gen. Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, assured his Chinese counterpart, Gen. Li Zuocheng of the People’s Liberation Army, that the United States would not strike, according to a new book by Washington Post associate editor Bob Woodward and national political reporter Robert Costa.

    One call took place on Oct. 30, 2020, four days before the election that unseated President Donald Trump, and the other on Jan. 8, 2021, two days after the Capitol siege carried out by his supporters in a quest to cancel the vote.

    The first call was prompted by Milley’s review of intelligence suggesting the Chinese believed the United States was preparing to attack. That belief, the authors write, was based on tensions over military exercises in the South China Sea, and deepened by Trump’s belligerent rhetoric toward China.

    “General Li, I want to assure you that the American government is stable and everything is going to be okay,” Milley told him. “We are not going to attack or conduct any kinetic operations against you.”

    In the book’s account, Milley went so far as to pledge he would alert his counterpart in the event of a U.S. attack, stressing the rapport they’d established through a backchannel. “General Li, you and I have known each other for now five years. If we’re going to attack, I’m going to call you ahead of time. It’s not going to be a surprise.”

    This must be what Trump was referring to as reason. Marco Rubio did.

    Li took the chairman at his word, the authors write in the book, “Peril,” which is set to be released next week.

    In the second call, placed to address Chinese fears about the events of Jan. 6, Li wasn’t as easily assuaged, even after Milley promised him, “We are 100 percent steady. Everything’s fine. But democracy can be sloppy sometimes.”

    Li remained rattled, and Milley, who did not relay the conversation to Trump, according to the book, understood why. The chairman, 62 at the time and chosen by Trump in 2018, believed the president had suffered a mental decline after the election, the authors write, a view he communicated to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in a phone call on Jan. 8. He agreed with her evaluation that Trump was unstable, according to a call transcript obtained by the authors.

    Believing that China could lash out if it felt at risk from an unpredictable and vengeful American president, Milley took action. The same day, he called the admiral overseeing the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, the military unit responsible for Asia and the Pacific region, and recommended postponing the military exercises, according to the book. The admiral complied.

    Milley also summoned senior officers to review the procedures for launching nuclear weapons, saying the president alone could give the order — but, crucially, that he, Milley, also had to be involved. Looking each in the eye, Milley asked the officers to affirm that they had understood, the authors write, in what he considered an “oath.”

    The chairman knew that he was “pulling a Schlesinger,” the authors write, resorting to measures resembling the ones taken in August 1974 by James R. Schlesinger, the defense secretary at the time. Schlesinger told military officials to check with him and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs before carrying out orders from President Richard M. Nixon, who was facing impeachment at the time.

    Though Milley went furthest in seeking to stave off a national security crisis, his alarm was shared throughout the highest ranks of the administration, the authors reveal. CIA Director Gina Haspel, for instance, reportedly told Milley, “We are on the way to a right-wing coup.”

    The book’s revelations quickly made Milley a target of GOP ire.

    Trump, speaking Tuesday evening on the conservative television network Newsmax, labeled the chairman’s reported actions “treason” and said, “I did not ever think of attacking China.” Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, the top Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee, wrote a letter to President Biden urging him to dismiss the Joint Chiefs chairman, saying he had undermined the commander in chief and “contemplated a treasonous leak of classified information to the Chinese Communist Party in advance of a potential armed conflict …” A White House spokeswoman earlier Tuesday declined to comment on the book. Milley’s office did not respond to a request for comment.

    Sammy Finkelman (c5132f)


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