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Live blogging the first GOP debate: Saint Anselm College, NH

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LYNN SWEET POST DEBATE ANALYSIS...

Winners...Mitt Romney and Michelle Bachman....

The top tier GOP contenders: Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty decided not to go after former Massaschusetts Gov. Mitt Romney over his Massachusetts health care plan to his face...Romney, the frontrunner had a very good night; pleasant, focused on Obama. Pawlenty had a very hard time making his points; did not make the best use of the debate.

Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-Mn.) who many in the nation may know just from some goofy soundbites on political shows...She had articulate positions, answered pretty straightforward most questions, got some buzz by announcing she filed her presidential paperwork....got to show off her credentials....as well as her family: mother of five, foster mother of some two dozen.

Solid but not standout: Santorum.

Interesting but grouchy: Gingrich

Not ready for debate: Cain, especially in his Muslim answer.

Best riff: Paul, on why the U.S. should get out of Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen.


* * * * * *

9:58 John King asks what have you learned these past two hours...
safe answer is New Hampshire folks ask good question..

9:54 pm question...polls show lack of enthusiasm for the GOP field...
CAIN...a lot of the people dont know us yet...as people get to know us, this is a good field of candidates...not a weak field..
PAWLENTY ASKED by JOHN KING...who was better choice for runningmate, BIDEN OR PALIN..takes the leap...."gov. p is a remarkable leader.." she is qualified to be president
ROMNEY...not clear in answer
BACHMANN...would ya pick someone on stage? Maybe need an American Idol contest.
PAUL...sidesteps


9:45 pm question right for US to be in Libya? a vital national interest?

BACHMANN..no...our policy is flawed...the president was wrong...he was not leading when it came to libya...we were not attacked...Sit on House Select Committee on Intelligence....we don't know who rebels are...
GINGRICH..seems to agree with Bachmann...we have no idea what percent of Libyan rebels are Al Queda....
CAIN...we dont understand the problem...


9:41 pm...question...osama is dead...isnt it time to have troops leave Afghanistan...

ROMNEY will do so when get word from Generals Afghans can defend themselves from Taliban...we learned...our troops should not go fight for independence for others
PAUL... i wouldnt wait for generals...get troops home as soon as possible..Afgahistan, Iraq, Libya...NO BOMBING IN Yemen....longer there, worst things are....
PAWLENTY....not sure position..


REMINDER: Not in the debate...Jon Huntsman, who is expected to declare in about ten days...Rick Perry...thinking about a run...or Sarah Palin....who is a maybe...

King to PAWLENTY....coke or pepsi?
Coke, says Pawlenty...

iowa question...end ethanol subsidies?

SANTORUM.. could phase it out

30 minutes left, on Immigration now
birthright citizenship?
CAIN ...i dont believe so...get serious about securing the borders...promote the path to citizenship...empower the states...to do....not sure what...

John king to PAWLENTY...should each state have its own policy..."let the states do it," sent minnesota national guard to the border...birthright...points out how important it is to appoint conservative judges....

King: Should states be spending money on this...
GINGRICH...country is in trouble because of elites...we are never going to pass a comprehensive immigration bill...control the border...send national guard to the border...take half of department of homeland security bureaucrats to the border...should not be trapped into a yes or know answer....there are humane practical steps..if pols and the news media would cool it...


9:21 pm would try to ban gays in military or leave obama policy in place
CAIN have other things to do
PAWLENTY..leave it to military
PAUL...behavior counts..
ROMNEY...i believe dont ask dont tell should have been left in place until conflict is over
GINGRICH...I would listen to commanders
BACHMANN..I WOULD keep dodt, confer with chiefs to see how it was being implemented.
SANTORUOM...should be repealed...punish bad behavior

9:18 pm gay marriage...should pres. use position to chance
BACHMANN..brings up she and her husband took in 23 foster children..i am running for the presidency of the United States and i dont see...role of president to go into states...
PAWLENTY..for a const. amend to define marriage as between man and women
PAUL...govt should get out
GINGRICH, SANTORUM, for a const. amend.
BACHMANN...comes back to say does support const. amend, but would not go to states to change state law.

9:14 pm
to ROMNEY...spicy or mild wings...
Spicy, Romney says.
9:11 pm
to CAIN, Godfather's Pizza former CEO...deep dish or thin pizza
Deep Dish, says Cain

9:05 Cain flails over explaining what he meant regarding Muslims...ROMNEY...not having to say he is Mormon, calls for tolerance...

9:02...Debt limit ceiling ..should it be raised
ROMNEY...maybe...need a president to "reign in" excess spending. "Where is the presidents ideas" He is not leading...budget..on jobs....

9:00 social security...should retirement age be raised, income means tested..
CAIN..talks about Chile...wont say about retirement age...

8:54..How keep Medicare solvent...
PAUL...cut foreign, military aid and let people opt out of the whole system...
GINGRICH..side steps why he criticized Paul Ryan plan...
PAWLENTY...says he will have his own plan out...


8:53 pm
Blackberry or Iphone to Paul...He thinks a moment, says Blackberry

HALF TIME LYNN SWEET SCORE: Bachmann, Romney doing best of the seven....

8:51 PM John King "this or that" question for Gingrich...
"Dancing with the Stars" or American Idol.
With great solemnity, Gingrich replies, "American Idol."
So far, the finest moment for the former Speaker.

8:50
Romney sidestepping question about disaster relief...

8:48 pm should federal govt be doing food safety?
CAIN...yes...

8:46 PM question..what should govt be doing about housing?
PAWLENTY...unions partly to blame!...Obama programs a failure...got to get the private sector growing!
PAUL...corrections are good!..need to get prices of housing down to clear the market...

8:43 pm question..role of government in future space exploration...
GINGRICH...NASA a case study in why govt cannot innovate...too much of a bureaucracy...NASA ought to be getting out of the way..
PAWLENTY...we should not eliminate the space program...
GINGRICH...i did not say end....decentralize...
ROMNEY...

8:39 pm question..was auto bailout a succcess?
ROMNEY...critical of the BUSH AND OBAMA administrations for auto bailout...perception in country that government knows better...allow private sector...to create a brighter future...
John King tries to make Romney eat his 2008 words...predicting auto companies would not survive if a bailout...
SANTORUM...agrees with Romney, should have just let auto companies go to bankruptcy..
BACHMANN...I fought against ..my own party...against TARP

8:37 pm
question...what should government do to hurt private enterprise.
PAUL...Should not happen...

BACHMANN...elvis or johnny cash? She says both..

8:32 pm
John King is going to ask the gang some questions through the debate to bring out their personalities and we learn
SANTORUM...Leno or Conan? never watches Leno....


8:30 pm..question..support right to work laws?

PAWLENTY...govt should not tell us what to do..
GINGRICH...Congress should defund the National Labor Relations Board...meddling in Boeing in South Carolina...(an early primary state)
CAIN...believe in right to work...

8:25 pm...how get more manufacturing jobs in the U.S.
PAUL...have a strong federal currency...
PAWLENTY.. "I was in a union!" ..have to have fair trade...."not for being stupid, not for being a chump....blames high taxes, obamacare...
BACHMANN...reduce corporate tax rate..."need to pass the mother of all repeal bills..and I would start with the EPA...
SANTORUM..cut capital gains tax in half
everybody thinks ya can create jobs through the tax code....

8:20 P.M. question about Tea Party and what should mainstream GOPers do...
BACHMANN...reminds chairman of the Tea Party Caucus...we need everybody to come together...I want to announce tonight..."President Obama is a one term president."
John King reminds us...CNN hosting Tea Party debate in September...

8:13 P.M. health care question...Republicans talking about "Obamacare"
BACHMANN.. will not rest till I repeal Obamacare...this is a job killer...
ROMNEY..RE pawlenty re obamneycare....I will repeal obamacare...is he going to igonre Pawlenty taunt? CNN showing split screen shot with Pawlenty...
PAWLENTY...DId not give a clear answer here...did not want to address why coined phrase Obamney care..John King pressing him...Pawlenty does not seem to want to take on Romney now over the Mass. health care plan.
ROMNEY..acting like a frontrunner...saying cant wait to debate Obama over health care...wondered why Obama did not call him to ask what worked in Massachusetts.
GINGRICH...this campaign can't just be about the presidency...have to pick up seats in Senate and Congress...


8:12 still on jobs
PAUL...HUH??


8:10 still on jobs
GINGRICH... Obama "destructive" on jobs
BACHMANN...just announced she filed paperwork today...to run for president...SHE'S IN.

8:05
First question about job creation
CAIN....economy stalled....lower capital gains tax to zero...
SANTORUM...Obama "oppressive regulations" "Obamacare" bad for business....blames Obama for high oil prices..."we need to drill.."
PAWLENTY...cut taxes, reduce regulation, Obama is a "declinist," that's a new phrase...says he could deliver 5 percent annual growth...a figure that has been dinged by fact checkers as overly optimistic.
ROMNEY...housing prices in decline, "this president has failed..delegated stimulus to Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid.


8:03 pm est
Newt Gingrich slams President Obama while he is introducing himself. Looks grouchy. Others are upbeat, at least in the first three minutes.

Herman Cain...not a politician, he says. Happy to be on a stage with better known folks.


WASHINGTON--I'm live blogging tonight the first GOP 2012 presidential debate in the first in the nation primary state. Seven contenders--not all declared yet--are on the stage at Saint Anselm College in New Hampshire. The moderator is CNN's John King, thrilled to be back, in "Red Sox nation."

At bat...

Michele Bachmann
Herman Cain
Newt Gingrich
Ron Paul
Tim Pawlenty
Mitt Romney
Rick Santorum

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on June 13, 2011 6:58 PM.

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