GOP Debate Lowlights

Here's the transcript of the New Hampshire Republican debate tonight. Among the lowlights:

Rudy playing the terror card:

First, his self-introduction:

I’m Rudy Giuliani. I agree with the motto of your state, “Live free or die.” And I think it would be a pretty good one for our time.

Now, Saddam and the terror war:

It’s unthinkable that you would leave Saddam Hussein in charge of Iraq and be able to fight the war on terror. And the problem is that we see Iraq in a vacuum. Iraq should not be seen in a vacuum. Iraq is part of the overall terrorist war against the United States.

Then, he plays up the Guyana wannabes, in a question on Iran:

And during the debate the other night, the Democrats seemed to be back in the 1990s. They don’t seem to have gotten beyond the Cold War. Iran is a threat, a nuclear threat, not just because they can deliver a nuclear warhead with missiles. They’re a nuclear threat because they are the biggest state sponsor of terrorism and they can hand nuclear materials to terrorists. And we saw just last week in New York an attempt by Islamic terrorists to attack JFK Airport; three weeks ago, an attempt to attack Fort Dix.


No, Mr. Giuliani, we saw a federal bust, not an attempt to blow up anything. The Guyana plan, according to the feds, was aspirational, not operational. And nowhere near ripe.

Tom Tancredo on immigration in two parts: One, where he says our nation will not survive. The second where he advocates limiting legal immigration.

First answer:

REP. TANCREDO: They are incredible and they are disastrous. And that is exactly why I have said what I’ve said, and that is why I have consistently tried to impress upon the American public the seriousness of this issue. We’re not just talking about the number of jobs that we may be losing, or the number of kids that are in our schools and impacting our school system, or the number of people that are abusing our hospital system and taking advantage of the welfare system in this country — we’re not just talking about that. We’re talking about something that goes to the very heart of this nation — whether or not we will actually survive as a nation. And here’s what I mean by that.

What we’re doing here in this immigration battle is testing our willingness to actually hold together as a nation or split apart into a lot of Balkanized pieces. We are testing our willingness to actually hold on to something called the English language, something that is the glue that is supposed to hold us together as a nation. We are becoming a bilingual nation, and that is not good.

Second answer:

If you come here as an immigrant, great. Welcome. If you come here legally, welcome. It means you cut your ties with the past, familial — especially political ties with the country from which you came.

But let’s be serious about this, you guys. We talk about all the immigration reform we want, and what it’s got to get down to is this: Are we ready for a timeout? Are we actually ready to say, “Enough is enough”? We have to stop all legal immigration except for the — for people coming into this country as family members, immediate family members, and/or refugees. Are we willing to actually say that and say enough — is it — we have got to actually begin the process of assimilating people who have come in this great wave of immigration. The process of assimilation is not going on.

Mike Huckabee on his belief in creationism over evolution:

MR. HUCKABEE: I believe whether God did it in six days or whether he did it in six days that represented periods of time, he did it, and that’s what’s important.

But, you know, if anybody wants to believe that they are the descendants of a primate, they are certainly welcome to do it. I don’t know how far they will march that back. But I believe that all of us in this room are the unique creations of a God who knows us and loves us and who created us for his own purpose.

John McCain hedges his bets:

SEN. MCCAIN: No, I believe that’s up to the school districts. But I think that every American should be exposed to all theories. But I can’t say it more eloquently than Pastor Huckabee — Governor Huckabee just did, and I admire his description, because I hold that view.

The point is that the time before time — there’s no doubt in my mind that the hand of God was in what we are today. And I do believe that we are unique, and I believe that God loves us. But I also believe that all of our children in school can be taught different views on different issues. But I leave the curricula up to the school boards.

Rep. Duncan Hunter, trying to raise his ranking by slamming Ted Kennedy:

REP. HUNTER: And let me just say, you know, I look at Governor Romney, Mayor Giuliani, my good friend John McCain. Governor Romney joined with Bill Clinton for the 1994 gun ban when I was fighting that. Mayor Giuliani stood with him at the White House on that. Governor Romney has passed what I consider to be a major step toward socialism with respect to his mandated health care bill. John McCain is standing strong with Ted Kennedy on this Kennedy- McCain-Bush border enforcement bill.

I think the guy who’s got the most influence right here with these three gentlemen is Ted Kennedy. And I think we need to move away from the Kennedy Wing of the Republican Party. (Applause.)

The highlights:

On Iraq, Ron Paul:

MR. PAUL: The sooner we come home, the better. If they declare there’s no progress in September, we should come home. It was a mistake to go, so it’s a mistake to stay. If we made the wrong diagnosis, we should change the treatment. So we’re not making progress there and we should come home. The weapons weren’t there, and we went in under U.N. resolutions. And our national security was not threatened. We’re more threatened now by staying. (Applause.)

On Bush, Ron Paul:

MR. PAUL: The president ran on a program of a humble foreign policy, no nation-building, and no policing of the world. And he changed his tune, and now we are fighting a war, and our foreign operations around the world to maintain our empire is now approaching $1 trillion a year.

That’s where the money’s going, and that’s where it has to be cut so we can take care of education and medical cares that are needed here in this country.

On immigration, John McCain:

When you hear what Congressman Tancredo says, what goes through your mind?

SEN. MCCAIN: It’s beyond my realm of thinking. Look, America is the land of opportunity. The question was just asked, “What is it to be an American?” It’s to share a common goal that all of us — a principle — are created equal and endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights.

That means we go as far as our ambition will take us. That means we have a better life for ourselves and our children. And the lady that holds her lamp beside the golden door is still the ideal and the dream. Of course it has to be legal. Of course it has to be regulated. And 18 months, by the way, will go by while we fix the border before we do anything else on this issue. But America is still the land of opportunity and it is a beacon of hope and liberty, and as Ronald Reagan said, a shining city on a hill. And we’re not going to erect barriers and fences.

So there you have it. Three highlights and the rest will make you gag.

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  • Display: Sort:
    Is the Ghoul joking? (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by kdog on Wed Jun 06, 2007 at 07:40:49 AM EST
    "Respect authority or die" is a slogan more his speed.  As mayor, he left NYC a less free place than when he started.  He'd do the same to the nation.

    But if you're from the Moussolini school and just want the trains to run on time at any cost...he is your horse.

    Someone besides Jeralyn or the other guy answer (none / 0) (#1)
    by LonewackoDotCom on Tue Jun 05, 2007 at 11:30:42 PM EST
    1. Don't we have a huge assimilation problem in the U.S.?

    2. Don't we have a large segment of the population that prefers to use Spanish and does not have to use English, and isn't that a problem?

    3. Wouldn't a moratorium - such as we've had in the past - prevent the problems above from getting worse?

    4. Is there some natural law saying the U.S. has to absorb over a million new citizens per year?

    Someone besides Jeralyn or that other guy please try and answer.

    What the hell..... (none / 0) (#5)
    by kdog on Wed Jun 06, 2007 at 08:05:17 AM EST
    1. Not that I've noticed.  When people assimilate they bring some of their own culture into the fold, and I see nothing wrong with that.  There are neighborhoods in NY where people still primarily speak Polish, Russian, Yiddish, Italian, Korean, Chinese and others.  I think it only adds character to these communities.  There is no need for an extra incentive or penalty to force people to speak english, the bottom line is if you wanna get ahead economically in the US you have to learn english, thats the only incentive necessary.

    2. I don't care how people choose to communicate, speak Klingon for all I care.  As for official business, local officials can decide which languages need to be included in addition to english in order to best serve the local community.

    3. Moratorium on immigration? Why? Is there a shortage of apartments or jobs that I'm not aware of?  There are tons of seasonal jobs unfilled right now in the Hamptons, not enough slobs to wash the dishes, make the beds, and cut the grass. Better convince the Wall St. crowd to cook and clean for themselves first if you want a moratorium.

    4. I think there is a natural law that says people are gonna move around to where they find the living is good...and no man-made line or law can stop that natural inclination.  People used to follow the buffalo on this continent, now they follow the jobs.  It's up to us whether to make US law jive with the natural law or not.

    You aren't the other guy (none / 0) (#9)
    by LonewackoDotCom on Wed Jun 06, 2007 at 04:25:14 PM EST
    Who's that one I'm thinking of?

    1. Not that I've noticed says it all, I do believe. I live in L.A., and I could conduct daily chores all in Spanish if I so chose, and that includes ordering Whoppers at any BK or any fast food restaurant in L.A. (see the other comment).

    2. Obvious to most, what you support would lead to a fractured society, with one set of Americans unable to communicate with other sets. Those who would profit would be "community leaders", aka ethnic demagogues. Welcome to the Balkans.

    3. Spoken like a... well, let's just say someone from the local Chamber of Commerce.

    4. People have been fighting each other over territory since people began, and territory is what most wars are fought over. And, defending their territory is what countries are supposed to do. Without a clearly delimited territory and rules over who can enter it, you have no country, only a territory. Needless to say, the dissolution of the U.S. would suit some people just fine, but not so with with 99.99% of Americans.

    fwiw.... (none / 0) (#10)
    by kdog on Wed Jun 06, 2007 at 06:00:15 PM EST
    I live in a community with a high immigrant population...I'm talking day-laborers hanging out at the 7-11.  No surprise...my neighborhood as some of the cheaper rents around.  A place for people working their way up, or in my case for people with no respect for money.

    The clerk at the bodega around the corner where I buy my steak, rice and black bean soup dinners for 5 bucks speaks broken english, I speak broken spanish...we manage and we learn from each other.  Her english gets better every day.  My neighbors invite me to play futbol, I invite them to play football.  We are able to communicate despite the language better, and once again it gets easier over time.

    I can't understand why this bothers you and so many others so...I doubt I ever will.  And frankly I'm not noticing this failure to communicate that will lead to America becoming the Balkans, or anybody fighting me for my territory.


    err.... (none / 0) (#11)
    by kdog on Wed Jun 06, 2007 at 06:08:43 PM EST
    s/b language barrier, not language better.

    I inadvertently raised some questions in my mind...Would grammatically incorrect, horribly spelled, and hastily written english be in violation of the "official" language?  How about slang, or words that really aren't words like "ain't"?  How about non-english words that have been assimilated into the english language, will they be forbidden?


    simple answers to stupid questions (none / 0) (#6)
    by Sailor on Wed Jun 06, 2007 at 09:01:50 AM EST
    1.) No.

    2.) No.

    3.) No.

    4.) No.


    That works too Sailor....lol (none / 0) (#7)
    by kdog on Wed Jun 06, 2007 at 10:09:59 AM EST
    But I gotta say there is no such thing as a stupid question, as long as its sincere.

    Oh well, I guess everybody has got their own boogeyman, mine is the govt., lonewhacko's is immigrants, others its terrorists.


    Answer (none / 0) (#2)
    by fredisajoke on Wed Jun 06, 2007 at 12:58:42 AM EST
    1. We have an assimilation problem but it's hardly huge.  The research shows that it takes about as much time for Hispanic immigrants (because this is clearly your target) to assimilate into the American culture as it has taken other immigrant groups in the past.  The third generation usually doesn't speak Spanish at home at all, and third generation Hispanics do about as well as the typical American household.

    2.  We have a considerable segment of the population that speaks Spanish, but isn't "does not have to use English" stretching the truth a bit?  I don't know about you but I don't think I've ever been able to go to Burger King and order a Whopper in Spanish (one of the essentials).

    3.  A moratorium sounds a little drastic to me.  Better assimilation programs, like Sweden or Canada?  Sure.  But by cutting off our low-wage labor, we're going to see many more corporations move their manufacturing abroad because they can not compete by paying the resulting wages.

    4.  Look up Japan with their restrictive immigration policies and then tell us that we can compete globally without low-wage immigrant labor and our immigrants' ambition.  

    The percentage of US IT companies started by persons born in India or China is over 50 percent.
    Our service sector remains competitive because we have access to such a large influx of immigrants.  The constant renewal of hungry ambitious immigrants keeps the United States hungry and competitive, just like it's always been.  Why change our model now?

    Giuliani, Tancredo, and Huckabee (none / 0) (#3)
    by Edger on Wed Jun 06, 2007 at 05:20:10 AM EST
    sound like comic book versions of politicians, they should be using this as their flag... and I suspect most things are beyond McCain's "realm of thinking"...

    Realm of thinking? WTF? Is that his attempt at sounding intellectual or something?

    I have a hard time understanding how anyone can listen to this guys without laughing them off the stage.

    Live free or die? (none / 0) (#8)
    by txpublicdefender on Wed Jun 06, 2007 at 10:16:26 AM EST
    Rudy was joking, right?  Live free or die?  I thought the whole thrust of the war on terror was "Your pasny-ass liberal desire to live free will lead to your death and the death of your children!"