Me, Myself, and the Voices in My Head

A place to ramble and maybe make some sense about a thing or two.

Archive for the tag “ron paul”

A brief review/rant of last night’s debate

I have lots and lots to do today, so this one is going to be quick.  I watched the Republican Debate last night and found myself again frustrated by what I heard and saw.  So, since I’m busy, this is going to be a quick synopsis of what I saw and remember from the show.

The four candidates were introduced by CNN in an almost WWE “wrasslin'” style as each was given a nickname and funky background music.  They all came out onstage and stood for the National Anthem.  Politicians need to learn where their heart is — most of them were covering their spleen with their right hand.

Questions were posed and Frothy Mix (Santorum) and Mittens (Romney) sat and argued like small children trying to one-up each other.  Newt (Gingrich) looks as if he’s put on a few pounds and the way he sat in his chair holding his right hand made me wonder if he was constantly checking his pulse or if he was just trying to control himself from smacking Mittens for all of his inane comments.  DocRon (Paul) sat at the other end of the stage and was often ignored but did make sure that when he was asked to give a “quick response” by the moderator that he said, “No, not a quick response.  I get one minute like they do!”

Frothy Mix kept falling into the “John Kerry Trap” of  saying that he “voted for something before he opposed it” which the other candidates, with the exception of DocRon, seemed to not notice.  DocRon, however, did jump on it.  He also made a comment about not believing something that Frothy Mix said was “real.”  Frothy Mix tried to interrupt by showing his hand and arm to DocRon and saying, “Sorry!  I’m definitely real!” to which DocRon simply replied, “Congratulations.”

Mittens kept trying to remind everyone about how he was affiliated with the Olympics but never could get the right words out.  He said he was “in the Olympics,” not that he served on the Olympic Committee.  If he was “in” the Olympics, then in what sport did he compete?  And, in my own opinion, who gives a crap that he worked on the Olympic Committee.  True, he uses it as a way to prove that he’s the most qualified to run the country economically, but that’s with a budget of billions which only people like he and his friends have, not the type of budgets with which we “regular people” are familiar.

Newt made a great statement that everyone is comparing what they’re going to do with what the current government is doing and pointed out that the current government is the problem.  Like, duh!!  If the others didn’t already know that, then they don’t need to be up there.

DocRon was patient as he was mostly ignored throughout the night and did defend himself and his ideas when he could.  However, I do believe that he often got some of the biggest applause and was the only person who, as everyone tried to make sure to mention as many of the Bill of Rights amendments as they could, mentioned the Second Amendment.  And I agree with him that if someone has entered the country illegally and is trespassing on your property, you should be able to call the police and have them arrested (and they can be referred to the proper immigration authorities).  Why not?  If I can report citizens for trespassing, why do illegal immigrants get a free pass?

At the end of the debate, I really got upset when they were asked their final question and only two of them answered it.  Newt and DocRon actually answered the question.  They passed my first rule of having a debate.  When it was Mittens’ turn and he started his campaign speech, the moderator stopped him and asked him to answer the question.  Mittens countered with, “You get to ask the questions you want; I get to give the answers I want.”  Frothy Mix took the same approach and both stayed “on-message” and wouldn’t answer the question directly.

So, if I had to choose someone at this moment, it would be either DocRon or Newt.  Newt actually isn’t “presidential” in my eyes, but he at least can answer a direct question!  Same for DocRon.  You might be stunned at what you hear but he’s not going to mince words or go off on his “message” instead of addressing the issue.

They said last night this could be the last Republican Debate — I seriously doubt it.  Everyone’s in-it-to-win-it and no one is going home until they mathematically can’t win.  And some are trying to get enough delegates so they get a prime-time slot during the Republican National Convention, which worries many in the RNC.

I just hope that the next debate is better than this one was and that questions can actually be answered directly.  And if they don’t, I still think dropping them through the floor or squirting them with water like you do your dog or cat that won’t behave would be fine.

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Political rant for the day (prospects for more are good).

I’ve been trying to stay out of the political fray in this blog because I know there are TONS of bloggers who are better at it (and many who are not), more popular, and people like a variety of subjects to read.  But today, I’ve just had it.  I’ve had it with the media and the talking heads of the national and local news stations yammering about certain topics while completely ignoring others and I’m tired of it.  Not just tired; sick and tired.  And everyone knows that’s the worst tired to be.  So, for today, I’m gonna rant ’cause it’s my blog and I’ll rant if I want.

First order of business in this rant — there were two caucuses and a primary this week.  Just two days ago on this past Tuesday for those who didn’t know.  They were held in the states of Colorado, Minnesota, and Missouri, respectively.  Rick Santorum won the majority of votes in all three contests.  However, Mitt Romney, days before the Missouri primary, said that Missourians were having a “beauty contest” instead of a primary because their votes “wouldn’t count.”  Hmmm….clever way Mitt to get people to not turn-out to complete their civic duty and participate in a right given to them by the government in a state where you weren’t very popular.

For those who kept saying the Republican Party was wasting millions of dollars in having a Primary that “wouldn’t count” and that it was incredibly irresponsible on the part of Missouri to allow it — let’s look at the law.  The State of Missouri has a law that sets the date of the primary and for 2012 it was set, by that law, for February 7th.  The law was enacted when other states had moved their primary dates forward and Missouri wanted its primary to still be “relevant” in picking the candidates for president, regardless of political party.  The Republican National Committee (RNC) set the rules that required all states with the exception of Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina to wait until March 6th to have their “contests” or risk losing half of the delegates for their state when it comes time for the RNC Convention later this year.  That rule was enacted after Missouri and other states had changed their primary laws.  Because the law is on the books in Missouri, the State legislature attempted to pass a resolution to move the date so that the primary would be in “compliance with the RNC” and that they wouldn’t have to risk losing delegates.  Whether you believe the statements that the Missouri Legislature just didn’t act in time or that the Governor (a Democrat) helped to block the change of date in order to cause the problem, the fact remains that a change couldn’t be passed and the State of Missouri was required by law to hold the primary last Tuesday.

So, of course all of the Republican candidates who weren’t going to have a great showing in Missouri decided to make fun of the predicament the people of the Show-Me-State were in or, in the case of Newt Gingrich, didn’t appear on the ballot at all.  What people are conveniently forgetting is that the primary wasn’t only for Republicans.  Democratic candidates and even a Libertarian candidate appeared on their respective party’s ballots in Missouri.  Even Republican candidates who have long since cancelled their campaigns appeared and some even got votes!  Everyone just assumes that President Obama will receive the nomination again for the Democratic Party, but technically the votes cast by any Democrats towards the choosing of a candidate would count since the Democratic National Committee (DNC) didn’t make any changes to their rules/regulations regarding primary dates.  So the delegates selected by the primary in Missouri for the Democrats will count.  Only the Republicans have to assemble again on March 17th in a caucus to select the delegates for the RNC Convention.  And, any registered voter in the state who declares themself to be a Republican can participate in the caucus — so even though the popular vote was for Santorum, the caucus vote could change.

But to say that “Missourians’ votes didn’t count” is just wrong.  The people of Missouri who went to vote weren’t there just for a presidential nominating primary.  Many cities, towns, counties, and municipalities had issues on the ballot that needed votes.  Many, regardless of their political affiliation, went to vote on some controversial issues.  Those votes most certainly counted.  The decisions they made that day on those amendments and/or referendums impact the lives of Missourians very much and those who were dissuaded from voting by presidential candidates saying that their votes “wouldn’t count” were completely misled.  And they were misled by the people who want to be the next leader of the country!  How despicable is that?  It’s like waving a flag that says, “Yes!  You can trust me because I’m an honest leader but only when it suits me and I really don’t feel the need to waste my time on you!”  Any candidate who would directly or indirectly try to influence a registered voter to NOT vote should NOT be allowed to be a candidate for president (in my opinion, for whatever that’s worth).

The second order of business in this rant is my complete frustration and disgust with the media, especially the national media, to continue their blackout of Dr. Ron Paul’s candidacy.  And don’t act like you’ve not noticed it — even major networks like CNN have admitted that they’ve been purposefully non-reporting anything about his campaign.  Just watch the debates — who gets pushed to the side of the group and not asked very many questions?  And it’s incredibly stupid for the media to do that (1) when there are questions for which Dr. Paul is more than competent to answer (medical issues come to mind) and (2) when the public is watching closely to see just how biased the network really is.  And regardless if you’re a Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, or any other party affiliation, you should be demanding that they treat Dr. Paul with the same courtesy they do the other candidates.  Last night I was watching the NBC Nightly News and it was said, loud and clear, that there were three Republican candidates.  Who dropped out??  Romney?  Santorum?  Gingrich?  If they’re saying that there are only three Republicans left in the fight, then it had to be one of them because Ron Paul has said he’ll stay until it’s “mathematically impossible” for him to win enough delegates and that time certainly hasn’t come yet.

Is this a campaign speech in favor of Ron Paul?  Not necessarily.  I have the candidate in mind that I would like to win.  I’m incredibly glad to see many of the candidates drop-out of the race and feel some of them took way too long to do so.  However, I certainly know that if I were running for office that I would want to have the same coverage that the other candidates receive.  I’m not saying that every single candidate should get 24/7 news feeds and you can usually tell who is and who isn’t really in the race for the long-haul and committed to actually getting elected.  If I didn’t have enough money to put as many commercials on television as the other candidates, that would be my issue and I’d have to really work hard on fundraising.  But to give a speech somewhere or participate in a televised debate and be basically ignored while the media fawns all over the “big name” (i.e. “big money”) candidates is just not fair.  And to be completely omitted by a national news program when you’re (1) still on the ballot, (2) still campaigning, (3) haven’t stopped your campaign, and (4) are the number-one recipient of campaign contributions from active duty service members and their families is offensive.

Children are taught in school that anyone (who is a native-born citizen of the United States over the age of 35 and has lived in the US for over 14 years) can grow up to become the president.  The media is teaching them otherwise.  And since the American people are becoming more and more “educated” by mass media and turning into sheep that follow only what the famous and wealthy have to say, I guess I shouldn’t say I’m surprised at this turn of events.  It still ticks me off royally, but I shouldn’t be surprised.  What I am doing, though, is educating my children in their political rights and making sure that both (only one is eligible to vote at the moment, though) understand that it is a civic duty; it is a right given as part of their citizenship in this nation; and that if they decide they don’t want to or don’t care about voting, then they really have no right to complain when things don’t go their way.

What you missed while not watching the Florida GOP Debate – reprinted

I am very much against plagiarism.  I would never pass off someone’s work as my own.  That’s why today, while I’m trying to ice-down my head in hopes of relieving a migraine, I am reprinting this FABULOUS article by Michael Scherer from Time.com.  It’s everything I would have written had I been able to keep as detailed notes or give as much of a crap about what did and didn’t go on in last night’s debate.  Let’s face it — they’re no longer debates and never were.  I only wish I could run a major political debate — they’d all be standing onstage and Rule 1 would be that if they start campaigning instead of answering my “Yes or No” question, their microphone would be cut and no one could hear them.  Rule 2 would be that if they did it again, they’d be dropped through the floor to not return to the rest of the debate.  I know I’d stay up to watch reruns of that debate!

Anyway, here’s Mr. Scherer’s article and I certainly hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

0 minutes.  TV Guide lists a new episode of Fear Factor at 9 p.m. on NBC.  It’s called “Leaches & Shaved Heads & Tear Gas, Oh My! Part 1.”  And yet, as the hour strikes, the screen shows another patriotic montage, this time from Tampa, Florida, introducing the 18th Republican debate.  The NFL plays a 16-game regular season.  There are nine circles of hell.  God got it done in six days.  But democracy is unrelenting, a bit like Joe Rogan, with less forced regurgitation and fewer critter challenges.  Which is to say, Fear Factor has been preempted.  A fearful nation takes its place.

2 minutes.  Blue gels on the audience again, like Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, except there will be no “dum-dum-dum,” at least as sound effects.  Brian Williams, the handsomest man to have never been a movie star, is not wasting any time.  He lists a lot of bad stuff former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has been saying about former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.  “Erratic, failed leader,” it goes on.  “Your response tonight Mr. Speaker?”

3 minutes.  Gingrich responds by reciting his resume, with extra emphasis on confusing historical analogies that only he knows.  He says Reagan carried “more states than Herbert Hoover carried — than Roosevelt carried against Herbert Hoover.”  As is often the case with Gingrich, his words form a shield.  By the time he gets to, “they’re not sending somebody to Washington to manage the decay,” it’s impossible to remember what was asked.

4 minutes.  A wide shot shows Romney standing there, next to Gingrich, with his right hand hanging at his side, ready to draw.  But dapper Williams tries again with Gingrich, which allows the speaker to continue taking credit for everything good that happened during his decades in the House.  “When I was speaker, we had four consecutive balanced budgets, the only time in your lifetime, Brian, that we’ve had four consecutive balanced budgets.”  This is not true.  The four years of surplus ran through 2001.  Gingrich resigned from office in 1999.  Newt gets two out of four.  If this were a history class, he would fail.

5 minutes.  Romney gets his chance.  “I think it’s about leadership,” he says, “and the speaker was given an opportunity to be the leader of our party in 1994.  And at the end of four years, he had to resign in disgrace.”  This is the same Mitt Romney who said in the last debate that he wished he had spent more time attacking President Obama, and less time attacking his rivals.  Romney calls Gingrich an “influence peddler,” says he encouraged cap and trade and called Paul Ryan’s budget plan “social engineering.”

6 minutes.  Gingrich, doing his best imitation of Romney, from when Romney was the frontrunner, acts like he is too big a deal to worry about the criticism.  “Well, look, I’m not going to spend the evening trying to chase Governor Romney’s misinformation,” he says, adding that he would rather be attacking Obama.  “I just think this is the worst kind of trivial politics.”

8 minutes.  Williams still looks like every 1940s radio drama detective sounded.  He asks Romney whether he can appeal to conservatives.  Romney says he does, and pivots.  “Let’s go back to what the Speaker mentioned with regards to leadership,” Romney says.  He notes that Gingrich was the first speaker in history to resign.  “I don’t think we can possibly retake the White House if the person who’s leading our party is the person who was working for the chief lobbyist of Freddie Mac,” he adds.

9 minutes.  Romney says almost exactly what Gingrich said after Iowa:  That the last election taught him he can’t sit back.  He has to go on offense.  “I had incoming from all directions, was overwhelmed with a lot of attacks.  And I’m not going to sit back and get attacked day in and day out without returning fire,” Romney says.  The two men have traded strategies since South Carolina.  Or traded bodies.  Gingrich is now aloof and focused on the general.  Romney is trying to muddy the field.

10 minutes.  Gingrich returns fire with a couple of zingers:  “He may have been a good financier,” he says of Romney.  “He’s a terrible historian.”  So is Gingrich (See minute 4).  Then Gingrich proceeds to respond to a lot of stuff he just said he would not waste his time talking about.  He tells a rosy version of his fall from the atop the U.S. House that would not please his fellow historians.  “Apparently your consultants aren’t very good historians,” Gingrich tells Romney.  “What you ought to do is stop and look at the facts.”  The intellectual insult.  A classic Gingrich move.  Like I-know-you-are-but-what-am-I?

11 minutes.  Debonair Williams, he of the slender face and half-Windsor knot, throws it to former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, who has apparently been standing on stage this entire time.  How, asks Williams, is Santorum going to actually win?  Santorum hits his stump speech, saying he is positive, and that this is not a two person race.

14 minutes.  There is actually a fourth person on stage as well.  Texas Rep. Ron Paul gets a question that is basically this:  You have no chance of winning, you said you don’t envision yourself in the Oval Office, so will you run as a third-party candidate?  Paul says he has been winning the under-30 vote, and otherwise doing “pretty darned well.”  Then he calls the historian on his rosy history about giving up the speaker’s gavel.  “This idea that he voluntarily reneged and he was going to punish himself because we didn’t do well in the election, that’s just not the way it was.”  True that.  Then Paul says, once again, that he has “no plans” to go third party.

17 minutes.  Gingrich gets a question about Paul.  Gingrich praises Paul for his criticism of the Federal Reserve and desire for a “gold commission,” which is nothing like a blue-ribbon panel.  It would study bringing back gold as currency.

18 minutes.  Romney says he will release his tax returns for two years on Wednesday morning.  But again he gets tongue tied.  Rich people don’t like to talk about their own money.  It is impolite.  So Romney says, “The real question is not so much my taxes, but the taxes of the American people.”  Suddenly, out of nowhere, Romney, who previously opposed any debt compromise that raised any taxes, is praising the Bowles-Simpson plan, which raises tax revenues by nearly $1 trillion.  But Romney doesn’t talk about the deficit part.  He talks about the cutting marginal rates part, which by itself would make the debt problem worse.  He chastises Obama for having “simply brushed aside” the Bowles-Simpson recommendations, in much the same way that Romney did previously.

20 minutes.  More discomfort, as Romney is asked again to talk about his money.  “I pay all the taxes that are legally required and not a dollar more,” he says.  “I don’t think you want someone as the candidate for president who pays more taxes than he owes.”  Now that is settled.

21 minutes.  Gingrich tries to needle Romney by saying he wants everyone to enjoy Romney’s 15 percent tax rate.  Romney points out that under the Gingrich tax plan, investment gains would be taxed at zero.  “Under that plan, I’d have paid no taxes in the last two years,” Romney says.  This is true.  It is the reason Gingrich’s policies are better for wealthy financiers than Romney’s policies.  Romney would keep his own tax rate on investments at 15%.

22 minutes.  More awkward talk about Romney’s wealth.  “I will not apologize for having been successful.  I did not inherit what my wife and I have, nor did she.  What we have, what I was able to build, I built the old-fashioned way, by earning it,” he says.  This is true, if you discount the fact that his father’s money helped to put Romney through college (Bringham Young, Stanford) and joint degrees at Harvard (Law, Business).

25 minutes.  Now it’s time to talk about what lobbying means.  Gingrich worked for lobbyists at Freddie Mac, a quasi-government agency that conservatives despise.  He also took lots of money from health care companies, while at the same time writing articles and giving talks that furthered those company’s agendas in Congress.  But technically none of it was “lobbying,” which is a legal term of art.  Williams asks the right question, by avoiding the L-word.  “You never peddled influence, as Governor Romney accused you of tonight?”  Gingrich can’t answer.  “You know, there is a point in the process where it gets unnecessarily personal and nasty,” he says, before avoiding the question by saying he never lobbied.

28 minutes.  Romney and Gingrich go at it.  Romney accuses Gingrich of profiting from an organization that destroyed the housing market in Florida.  Gingrich tries to compare his consulting work for lobbyists with Romney’s consulting work for corporations.  “Wait a second, wait a second,” protests Gingrich at one point, after Romney admits that his firm made money too.  “We didn’t do any work with the government.  I didn’t have an office on K Street,” Romney says.  It goes on.

33 minutes. Never-a-bad-hair-day Williams cuts them off and goes to commercial break.

36 minutes.  We’re back, with charity time for the other two candidates on stage who have not had much time to talk.  Paul and Santorum talk about the housing market and say nothing new.  Then Romney says he wants to help homeowners too.  And Gingrich says he wants to repeal Dodd-Frank, the banking regulation bill, because of its effect on smaller banks.  Romney agrees.

43 minutes.  Cuban question:  “Let’s say President Romney gets that phone call, and it is to say that Fidel Castro has died.  And there are credible people in the Pentagon who predict upwards of half a million Cubans may take that as a cue to come to the United States.  What do you do?”  The premise is a stretch, since Fidel has already ceded most government control to his brother, Raul.  Romney tries to make a joke about how Fidel is a bad guy.  “First of all, you thank heavens that Fidel Castro has returned to his maker and will be sent to another land,” he says.

44 minutes.  Gingrich retells the joke, but gets the punchline right.  “Well, Brian, first of all, I guess the only thing I would suggest is I don’t think that Fidel is going to meet his maker.  I think he’s going to go to the other place,” he says.  Fidel in hell jokes must poll really well in Miami.  Then Gingrich says he would authorize “covert operations” to overthrow the Castro regime.

46 minutes.  “I would do pretty much the opposite,” says Paul.

47 minutes.  Having stirred up the Cuban pot, Williams now accuses the candidates of pandering for votes.  Why don’t they care as much about Chinese dissidents and embargo China?  Santorum says China is not 90 miles off the coast.

49 minutes.  Iran time.  Romney criticizes Obama, “We ought to have and aircraft carrier in the Gulf.”  Nevermind that the USS Abraham Lincoln is there right now.  Gingrich picks up where Romney left off.  “Dictatorships respond to strength, they don’t respond to weakness,” he says.  The same can be said of Republican primary voters.

52 minutes.  Romney tears into Obama on Afghanistan, saying the president should not have reduced troops so much, allowed elections to go bad or announced withdrawal date.

53 minutes.  Paul pretty much has the opposite view.

54 minutes.  Another break.  “I’ll welcome two colleagues out here to the stage when we continue from Tampa right after this,” says Williams.  Hope for Joe Rogan and Donald Trump.  Or Alec Baldwin and Tina Fey.

58 minutes.  We’re back.  It’s National Journal’s Beth Reinhard and the Tampa Bay Times’ Adam Smith.  After Santorum gets a chance to talk about the evils of Iran, he is asked about offshore drilling.  Santorum said the economy in Florida went bad in 2008 “because of a huge spike in oil prices,” which is like saying people watch Fear Factor to see Joe Rogan.

62 minutes.  Reinhard asks a great question:  How can the candidates be against bilingual balloting, even as they advertise in Spanish to Hispanics?  Gingrich and Romney don’t really have answers.  So they dance around the edges.  Everyone on stage is against multi-lingual education, except Paul who doesn’t mind if states do whatever they want.

66 minutes.  Immigration time.  Same as before, except Gingrich makes clear that he would support a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants who serve in the military.  Romney agrees.  Then Romney says of other undocumented immigrants, “Well, the answer is self-deportation, which is people decide they can do better by going home because they can’t find work here because they don’t have legal documentation to allow them to work here.”  Self-deportation is one of those neologisms that gets added to dictionary at the end of the year.  Sign of the times.

70 minutes.  Questions about sugar subsidies.  Gingrich says you can’t beat the sugar lobby, because “cane sugar hides behind beet sugar,” and there are “just too many beet sugar districts in the United States.”  Surely someone can work that into a Haiku.

71 minutes.  Romney says he is against all subsidies.  Then he pivots into a long rant about the awfulness of President Obama.  It is telling that it has taken Romney 71 minutes to get into this rant on Obama.  South Carolina has transformed him as a candidate.

72 minutes.  Paul is asked is he supports federal funding for conservation of the everglades.  Paul lets down his strict libertarian guard to pander for Florida votes.  “I don’t see any reason to go after that,” he says.

73 minutes. Another break.  Things are speeding up.

77 minutes.  Some talk about Terri Schiavo, a woman in a vegetative state who became a cause celeb for conservatives in 2005.  The answers are inconsequential.

81 minutes.  Space cadet time.  No, really.  Romney says Obama has no space plan, and America needs a space plan.  Gingrich gets asked about going to Mars.  He says he wants a “leaner NASA,” but then lists off a terribly expensive list of goals:  “Going back to the moon permanently, getting to Mars as rapidly as possible, building a series of space stations and developing commercial space.”  At least something new is happening.  First time in 18 debates that anyone has talked about Mars.

84 minutes.  Gingrich is asked why the Bush tax cuts in early 2000s did not create a lot of jobs.  His answer is priceless.  He channels Obama, seemingly unaware of the irony.  “In 2002 and ’03 and ’04, we’d have been in much worse shape without the Bush tax cuts,” he says.  That’s what Obama says about the stimulus bill.  Both are basically right, though neither would give the other credit.

85 minutes.  Last break.  Almost there.  Actually scratch that.  You will never get there.  When this debate ends, there will be another.  The next one is Thursday.  No joke.

90 minutes.  We’re back.  Romney is asked what he has done to further the cause of conservatism.  He is sort of stumped.  Talks about his family, his work in the private sector, neither of which is all that ideological.

92 minutes.  Gingrich talks about how he went to Goldwater meetings in 1964, when he would have turned 21.

93 minutes.  Santorum is asked about electability.  Suddenly he comes alive.  It’s the best moment of any of his debates.  Yet few will ever notice, and it will almost certainly not matter.  He makes the case that he is the only true conservative who can take on Obama, and that both Romney and Gingrich are fundamentally flawed because they are too close to the political positions of Obama.  “There is no difference between President Obama and these two gentlemen,” Santorum says.  This is not true, if you were wondering.

95 minutes.  Paul talks about the constitution.

97 minutes.  Romney talks about RomneyCare and ObamaCare.

98 minutes.  Gingrich says, “I never ask anyone to be for me.  Because if they are for me, they vote yes and go home and say, I sure hope Newt does it.  I ask people to be with me, because I think this will be a very hard, very difficult journey.”  No doubt.

99 minutes.  Romney, who talks all the time about “restoring American greatness,” is asked when America was last great.  “America still is great,” Romney says, thus undercutting the meaning of his signature campaign message.

101 minutes. That’s it. See you Thursday.

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