#NHDebate Recap Jan 7, 2012

Less than 72 hours until the New Hampshire primary, the six remaining major candidates for GOP nomination gathered in Manchester, New Hampshire for a nationally broadcast debate. Here were the key points and most interesting tidbits.
  • When asked if he would stand behind his negative ads against Rick SantorumRon Paul didn’t back down. The ad accuses Rick Santorum of being a corrupt big government guy among other things. Paul cited a liberal activist group (CREW) that called him corrupt, his vote against right-to-work laws, and five votes for raising the national debt limit.
  • Rick Santorum defended himself by pointing out that the corruption charges came from a very left-wing organization saying (paraphrasing) “you’re not conservative if you haven’t been attacked by CREW.” He explained that he was one of the few guys working on entitlement reform back when we were running a surplus, and that the debt ceiling increases were necessary to keep the government running and he always worked to tie-in spending decreases. He also noted that unlike Ron Paul, he is not a Libertarian, he is a conservative.
  • Rick Perry claimed to be the only outsider that has not been part of the Washington problem (despite sending lobbyists to Washington to lobby for earmarks for Texas).
  • Jon Huntsman argued for congressional term limits.
  • Ron Paul claimed that our drug laws and judicial system are racist, because many more African-Americans are arrested on drug charges than Caucasians, despite comparable drug usage. He went on to ask, (paraphrasing) “when was the last time you saw a rich white man get the electric chair?” He said this in response to accusations about his 20 year-old newsletters which apparently contained inappropriate racial commentary.
  • Newt Gingrich explained that the sacrament of marriage is of enormous, 3,000 year old, foundation for our country. He also said that everyone should be treated with respect, and there should be ways to give hospital visitation rights, include partners in wills, etc. Multiple candidates including the “moderate” Mitt Romney endorsed a constitutional amendment to define marriage as between a man and woman.
  • Newt Gingrich informed the audience that following Massachusetts’ decision to guarantee the right to marriage for same-sex couples, the state government attempted to force the Catholic Church to comply with a state law saying that homosexual-couples must be allowed to adopt children. The church’s non-compliance forced the shutdown of their adoption services in the state. The Catholic Church was responsible for about half of the adoption placements in Massachusetts. This was one of the more interesting talking points. Everyone on the stage seemed to agree with Gingrich when he pointed out how same-sex marriage has repercussions that aren’t being talked about by the biased media.
  • Santorum argued that the foreign policy weakness displayed by the Obama administration is culpable for what we are seeing from Iran, with their military exercises practicing closing the Straight of Hormuz.
  • Rick Perry literally said “I would send troops back into Iraq.” When asked if he agreed, Newt Gingrich flatly said no without showing up or confronting Perry.
  • Gingrich said we need to be more energy independent so “an American President never again bows to a Saudi king,” referencing Obama bowing down to a Saudi king earlier in his Presidential tenure.
  • Mitt Romney said something that all conservatives will love, (paraphrasing) “government can do some things to create jobs, but by-in-large they get in the way.”
  • Rick Santorum said he would repeal all of Obama’s 150+ regulations (something he can do immediately) and replace them with more reasonable ones or not replace them at all.
  • Mitt Romney continued to push his new slogan, exclaiming that “this election is about the soul of America.” He makes a good point and makes one question where the country is headed, a question he likely wants voters to ask themselves as most have indicated that they feel the country is headed in the wrong direction.
  • Newt Gingrich pointed out that the Wall Street Journal called Mitt Romney’s job creation plan timid and more like Obama’s in comparison to his own. Santorum agreed that Mitt’s plans aren’t bold and added he didn’t like to talk about “middle-class,” “upper-class,” etc, as he has grown tired of all the class warfare (referencing recent rhetoric from President Obama).
  • “I’d be at the shooting range” was Rick Perry’s response to the final question, what would you be doing on a Saturday night if you weren’t running for President.

What did you think? Did I miss anything big?

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