Wolf Blitzer delivers the most important breaking news and political, international, and national security stories of the day. Tune to The Situation Room weekdays 5-7pm ET on CNN.
By Wolf Blitzer, CNN
(CNN) – If you think it’s been a rough ride for the Republican candidates during this campaign season, just wait. This will be seen as child’s play once the general election campaign begins.
I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again: The war of words between President Obama and his campaign supporters versus the eventual Republican nominee and his supporters will be fierce.
I was thinking about that during last night’s Arizona Republican debate on CNN. The rhetoric against Obama was intense:
Mitt Romney: “I don’t think we’ve seen in the history of this country the kind of attack on religious conscience, religious freedom, religious intolerance that we’ve seen under Barack Obama.”
Rick Santorum: “He’s afraid to stand up to Iran. He opposed the sanctions in Iran against the central banks until his own party finally said: ‘You’re killing us. Please support these sanctions.’ ”
Newt Gingrich: “I think this is a very sober period, and I believe this is the most dangerous president on national security grounds in American history.”
And that’s just for starters. Just wait for what’s coming.
By the way, the president and his supporters will not be shy in fighting back.
And like the Republicans, they will have hundreds of millions of dollars to finance attack ads.
Get ready for a brutal political season.
RELATED: Santorum goes after Romney in Michigan TV ad
Mike,Why this concentration on the reach out for the Black vote. If you relaly look at it the Republican Party can’t lay claim to the Jewish vote, the Hispanic vote, the Asian vote or the women’s vote. All of these “groups” vote more for democrats. The Civil Rights Act made corporations look at their hiring practices and make changes in policy. I would venture to say that these corporations are better off because of those changes in hiring practices and policies. Now I am not one to say the Republican party is all wrong in their policies but if the Republican party is to “reach out to all voters, regardless of race” then maybe it should relaly sit back and do a little self-examination and evaluation.Black in America Baby……..The revolution has been televised…..
Ron Paul does NOT want to abolish all faeredl spending. He wants to return the faeredl government to the role originally designed in the Constitution: a weak force helping to organize a collection of powerful sovereign states.Your examples: FAA, Interstate highways, national parks, FBI, Border Patrol, Coast Guard, and a defensive military (as opposed to an offensive military) can all easily be paid for through Constitutional faeredl taxes (not income taxes).One-size-fits-all government cannot work. For example: abortion should be decided by the states. Nearly all of our "controversial" issues can be solved by leaving the decisions up to the individual communities (states). We are perfectly capable of running our own lives without a faeredl government telling us what we can and cannot do.
As a european, although I liked Obama very much primarely also because of the movement of passion he had surrounding him, I have come to realise that those policies don't work and are only worsening the situation. I give him credit for at least believing himself in what he does. But I have come to see that the real power isn't with the president but with the extremely rich bankers behind the Federal Reserve (and the european central bank), earning interest with every dollar bill they make out of thin air. How do you pay back just a thing? Obama was able to delay the inevitable.
The only real answer is Ron Paul. I know for sure, if you don't elect Ron Paul, the dollar will lose all its value and the good days of the USA will be over, like all great empires did in the past, because of economic reasons.
President Obama will win. nit Romoney wants this thing toooo much; Why? Why? Hes like a crack head needing a puff off a crack pipe, talking fast, stambering, head turning left to right in a robotic motion, eyes shifting...Why does he want it so badly??? Lying like a creditor to a bill collector...I'll pay you tomorrow. just sayin'
Did anyone notice that the words "JOBS" or "ECONOMY" were either never uttered, or spoke maybe twice in the most recent debate? With the improved numbers, is there a fear that President BO will receive credit? If he is the blame for the short falls, shouldn't he also receive credit for the improvement? I'm just sayin'...
Should the press question a sitting secretary of state who applogizes for this country when now at least 4 of our soldiers have been killed and also gaurentees that one of the wost Presidents we have had will be reelected and openly is critical of the republican candidtaes that represent at leaset half of this country. Funny isn't she supposed to represent the entire country. Shame on the press for once again ignoring the left and shame on her for the pathetic display. Sad what is happening to this great Country of OURS
The war of words will be fierce? Maybe the words will be fierce – but the actions to fulfill the promises will be impotent, incompetent or oblivious. Words, no matter how forceful, are merely entertainment in this arena. Heinous but charismatic leaders have garnered the support of the masses with their words throughout history. Words are a poor measure of a person in politics.
This is exactly why Ron Paul has to be the nominee if Barack Obama is to be defeated.
We cannot allow the nominee to be ripped to shreds in television ads and caught off guard in a debate due to their past record. All Obama would have to do was bring up Romney's flip flops, Santorum's even bigger flip flops, and Gingrich's affair and disgrace in the House.
Ron Paul is the only viable Republican candidate with nothing to hide due to his 30 years of consistency and Obama will not be able to turn Paul's record as a weapon against the GOP. Not to mention the fact that Paul attracts the youth vote, the independent vote, and the anti-Obama democrats.
Debate was a joke by itself, it just shows that CNN is already running interference for Pres.Obama.
Pres.Obama never has stopped campaigning by promising you FREE stuff for your vote. Right now 50% receive some form of FREE stuff and the other 50% are footing the bill. How long do you think that this will go on.
We are talking a President who has heard the nastiest ugliest things being said about him. With dignity he has put up with the disrespect his office entitles him to from the likes of Brewer. This is not the same man that first ran for President. He is a seasoned hardened political warrior who has done battle with a do nothing Congress and won. The Republicans stupidly pandered to fringe of the Republican party with racism and foolishly started a war with the American women. This President has a loyal grass roots following. Social media is going to be huge this election. I able to know what each of the GOP candidates said minutes after they say it no matter where they are or I am. The Republican's have failed to win the twitter wars and face book battles that have been going on. Wolf is right it is going to get very nasty. I think it’s even possible the GOP as we know it will survive what is coming.
Like there were'nt nasty things said about Bush.
1) Isn’t it funny that the republican candidates submit themselves to CNN that dose it’s best to turn them agents each other?
2) Why is it that Ron Paul attacks anybody that threaten Met? Is there a deal between them?
I don't like any of them, in either party, but the war on women will destroy the GOP. If men had uteruses, contraception would be a given.
Obama is running against himself. If the economy is in good shape, these guys can't beat him, no way. If the economy and unemployment shows weakness + high fuel prices, he will probably lose. I like Newt and it would be fun to see him debate Obama. My advice, CNN will hate this, turn the TV off and turn it back on for the presidential debates and the day before you vote to see where things are :)
Yea pauls ideas are very " loony " when we have only had 4 balanced budgets in the last 40 years. A balanced budget should be a federal law for god sakes. And only paul is willing to be the grown up with these clowns, And to say that paul is working with romney for his own benefit. PLEASE!! the man has been consistent for over 30 years!
What is the point of having a debate if the participants will not answer the question asked them. This is becoming more obvious with Romney and he made it clear he will answer what he wants he wants the people to hear.
Any moderator conducting a debate should make sure the participants stick to the rule or disallow their response.
Wolf: these 4 candidates are acting like the 4 Stuges instead of being professional and laying out what they plan to do and how they plan to implement it. The personal attacks on each other show how shallow each of them reall are and how little they actually plan on if by slim chance they got elected. Our current Congress is another complete failure in that they have become the enemy of the average American citizen. It is becasue of their self centered and greedy personalities that legislation that runs contrary to common since and for the people actually harms the average person. It is of my opinion that we need a complete change of our Congressional Membership in both the House and the Senate to start over. In addition, the White House should remind itself that this is not a socialist country and those that work cannot afford to keep paying for those that do not. You should either earn your entitlements or be subject to drug testing prior to receiving it. If you test positive and cannot join the work force, that is a choce a person makes and they forfit their rights to the entitlements. We need a balanced budget and a positive plan to pay off the National Debt. If any President cannot come up with a satisfactory plan they should be exempt for reelection to a second term. Maybe that would get busy instead of vacationing and show boating.
I hope you take these as constructive thoughts and push forth the ideas as the proper moment.
The Republican candidates are really brave to yell about how bad Obama is when he's not there. They can tell lie after lie about him and he's not there to defend himself.
When one of them faces him across the stage in the real debates, they are going to have to bring more than middle school spite.
Mitt Romney needs to go back an study his Mormon history:
Missouri Mormon Extermination Order
Edmunds Act (Leading to Romney's "Mexican" Roots)
well, I've asked other Mormon's what happened to the Ute natives of UTAH? What's your history about where they went, think I can get an honest answer? I'm 64 and Native american. I teach my language and have unearthed the ugliness of unanswered history. I don't blame white people, but i find it suspect when educated people will not answer straight forward questions...
This type of rhetoric coming from the GOP candidates is great for their base, but it is going to fall flat in the general election. We have all been here for the past 3 years and know Obama. These absurd claims just don't fit with the day-to-day reality we all know. It will make them look so ridiculous.
I'm not sure if it's that the religious are vile or that the vile are religious. Either way the Republican "philosophy" of the "Law of the Jungle" certainly has attracted the World's worst trash and most greedy extremists I've ever seen.
It's not going to get nasty, it hasn't stopped being nasty since 2008. The Republicans are a bunch of sore losers who refused to accept the voters' verdict then and have been throwing a very destructive temper tantrum ever since. We made a big mistake in 2010 because giving the GOP back some power didn't calm them down; it only encouraged them. I fail to see how they can get nastier when they're already all nastiness all the time.
Mitt Romney: “I don’t think we’ve seen in the history of this country the kind of attack on religious ...". What about his conscience? This is the guys who will say and do anything to get the nomination. Shame on you Romney?
Before he flip-flopped, I had respect for him.
At this point, Republicans are the only players on the stage so it is clear that the national disgrace and shame of misrepresentation and outright lies belongs only to them.
I am watching the GOP nomination campaign from Canada and would like to make the following observation: I do not know if this is a tradition but candidates and those who moderate some of the debates address each other like Governor Romney, Speaker Gingrich, senator Santorum, etc, etc. Isn't it true that all three are former governor, speaker, senator..... O.K. if this is in fact such a tradition why most of the candidates, especially the three mentioned above, extremely rarely say President Obama? Most of the time they say Obama. I see it as disrespectful not only to President Obama but also disrespectful to the Office of the President. Also, isn't it unfair to the President to be blamed for almost everything that goes wrong. How come no one gives him credit for things that are getting better? There are other things one could criticize the GOP candidates for but I will stop now. By the way, I am watching CNN and many of the prime time programs every day.
Well, Wolf's right.The Primary race is just child's play. We're the children play now.
The Us and the Media, can't fool the American people all of the time. Gas prices are high , because 80 billions barrels a day are sold to other countries, keeping the price at home high. Alaska pipeline, us gets none of that, what a waste. Unemployment figures are terribly incorrect, people that are off of UC, are counted as working. Try uc rate of 25%, not 8%, I thought Romney was a business man, dont need peoplke that can't think logic anymore. Media does not give Ron Paul enough time, why?? I guess other candidates pay more for coverage., wake up America, we are doomed. Vote Independent.
The personal attacks on our President, have been so nasty. I don't view him as they do, I didn't view Bush the way so many did. If you think it, it is one thing, but to be so openly nasty and disrespectful is truly not what a real Christian would do. Ron Paul is not a nasty person, he only speaks the facts and the truth. Some of his idea are extreme, but maybe that is what we need. I just hop Obama sticks to the facts and does not go down to there level
It will get nasty because we are in nasty times. Religious extremists have taken over the Republican party and are trying to turn back gains made by women, people of color, and gays. They don't even attempt to hid their bigotry any more. I close my eyes and see the pinched, ugly, hateful faces of these people and it scares me. I am so very disappointed in Obama, especially the health care debacle. But, as a woman and person of conscience, I can't vote for any one the GOP has offered up. So yes, I expect the Democrats to fight back as they must. It has been the Republicans who have pursued this nastiness in campaign after campaign. Watch them howl as the Democrats give as good as they've been given.
Child's play? More like a pie fight in a Charlie Chaplin movie. Or an episode of the Three Stooges + One. These clowns spend two hours twisting each other's nose, poking each other in the eyes, and slapping each other's faces and they call it a "debate". How many of these have aired so far? Fifteen? I knew after the first two that they were a waste of time.
Just wondering when we will start to see some fact checking of the President and the many campaign speeches he gives?
and when will all the nastiness coming out of the Obama White House be pointed out and discussed on your show?
We have a campaigner in chief currently in the White House. He has been in campaign mode since the day he was elected.
It would have been nice if Wolf had challenged Obama spin meister, David Axelrod, especially on his hypocrisy when whining about the Republicans "blaming" Barack Obama for things. Isn't this exactly what Barack Obama's candidacy was based on, not to mention the perpetual blaming of George bush that we heard incessantly after Mr. Obama won?
If current polls show Obama leading against all of his opponents BEFORE even spending $1 or attacking any of them, imagine how much he will distance himself after he starts unleashing hell on the GOP winner with a billion dollar war cache and exposing their stratospheric level of hypocrisy.
As a Canadian therefore I speak as one... I have been watching these debates in anticipaiton to the upcoming Presidential election. I find them very entertaining. Last nights debate was somewhat laughable. I found Santorum trying to fight his way out of his inflated paper bag to NO avail and Romney couldn't answer any of his questions directly without going in circles and studdering his answers... eg. What was the publics biggest misconseption of him? "Listening and answering questions". He nevere did answer the question. Gingrich is articulate.. A very good speaker.. although has some weird ideals.. I am very impressed with Ron Paul... I great idealist, agneda is for the people and for running a honest country.. It sounded to me like all the men on stage beside Ron Paul couldn't figure out the contraceptive issue and for the life of me this is a Womans prerogative to choose Birth contral... not a mans, I believe if left to the man you should all get vasectomies... Now theres a thought!
There was a time when candidates attacked the party's platform rather than an individual. I could somewhat tolerate the republicans views if they were directed at the party rather than the president. There is no objectivity coming from the republicans but only subjective attacks on the president who was challenged with the mess the republicans made prior to his taking office and is continuously challenged with no cooperation from the republicans who's only purpose is to make him a one term president.
It will look nasty because nuanced conversations about policy don't get air time. The media is at fault for the tone and tenor of our political discourse.
Wolf, it's ugly/nasty because contrary to the opinions of some, we are a government by and for the people. This partisanship (both sides) is little more than a reflection of society at large. We have lost too many common bonds to count, some are lost to the hands of time as society changes, some were manipulated out of our hands by special interests, and a great many were taken by a simple word: greed. I'd love to see politics get a bit less nasty, but it will always reflect our larger society...which is pretty much in shambles. Much as I hate to say it, I like Newt's moon base talking point. If for nothing else, a cause to unite us again.
I disagree. I think the reason we are so polarized is because we are no longer a country ruled "by the people." Science (particularly psychology and sociology) has identified the extremely effective forms of manipulating voters, and statisticians have fined-tuned the formula for the exact amount of money needed to achieve desired results.
The net effect is nearly split votes in states filled with negative advertising. This has two consequences: 1) the special interest with the most money is virtually guaranteed to dominate, and 2) both sides will remember the negative ads and become more polarized than before.
For once it's no shame to omit Ron Paul, the only candidate in the race who owns his party's share of the responsibility like an adult.
Paul does not walk on water and is capable of nasty
i know right?!?! thank you!!
War on religion? How? Obama is finally putting his foot down and freeing the rest of us from religious bigotry. A business is a business and it must abide by business rules. Operating under a flag of religion does not exempt you from workforce law. If you don't like it, become a non-profit or do not accept any federal funds. End of story.
The GOP has done more to turn off voters (women, gays, blacks, Lationos, moderates, Independents) than any other time in the history of the Republican party. The GOP can hurl all the vitrol they want, it will just further marginalize their base, and their message, whatever that is suppose to be.
To all you Ron Paul supporters out there – Ron is exploiting your emotions to do two things in this campaign. 1. To promote his Son for a similar future campaign or get him an administration seat in future Romney govt. (if Romney wins Presidency), and 2. To provide a shield for Romney during campaigning and debates by going after whoever is troubling Romney at the given moment (he went after Perry, then Gingrich and now Santorum). Have you guys seen, he never or hardly goes after Romney, even though he has been a flip-flopper on almost every conservative issue. In fact he went all the way supporting Romney, when Romney made 'Safetynet' comments. What's the 'deal' (made) between Ron and Romney? Is he Romney's scrooge in the campaign? Is this a fraud being payed on voters by Ron and Romney? Should it be investigated?
If you really think RP supporters are going to vote for Romney then you know nothing. RP supporters will not support any other GOP candidate.
Ron Paul is an ideological radical masquerading as a populist. He has been a lifelong supporter of the John Birch Society, an organization that was thrown out of the GOP in the 1960s for being too extreme. At the Birch Society's 50th anniversary event in 2009, Paul was the keynote speaker and he called it a "great and patriotic organization". This is no surprise because Paul's positions are right out of the John Birch Society handbook: he's an isolationist, he's virulently anti-government and anti-union, and he's a de facto racist because he has publicly stated that he would not enforce the Civil Rights Act or the Voting Rights Act. Coincidentally, one of the founding members of the John Birch Society was a man named Fred Koch. Yep, he's the father of the David and Charles Koch, the financiers of American for Prosperity and several other Tea Party factions. Anybody who thinks Ron Paul isn't firmly in the hands of these corporate fascists doesn't know a thing about Ron Paul.
Ron Paul has very simple ideas that appeal to simple people who don't take time to think things through. His policies would leave the US in economic chaos and the world in a power vacuum the likes of which we have never seen (except maybe in Iraq after the overthrow of Sadam). It's sounds good, but the consequences of the actions he proposes are far ranging and cataclysmic.
I understand why you think there is something fishy going on but I think you are mistaken. Yes Ron Paul is most likely being careful when it comes to Romney because if he becomes to intensely critical of the establishment favorite then there will be backlash onto Rand. Paul's entire strategy is to set himself up as the alternative to Romney because let's face it there is now way to unseat Romney completely. Romney's supporters won't really shift too much while the ones that have been vascillating between the other candidates are up for grabs. Strategically speaking it makes sense that he would go after the others first until it is just Romney and Paul left. As for them defending each other, yes they do to a certain extent. I think there is a mutual respect even though their positions on most things are worlds apart.
With these clowns as candidates, the only thing I'm getting ready for is Obama's inauguration for the presidency for another 4 years whether you like it or not.
I cannot understand why Marco Rubio is the GOP's new pretty boy. He was investigated in Florida for misuse of election funds whiule in the Florida legislature. Why is this not being brought up? Another GOP coveruyp?
Plus, he won his Senate seat with only 49% of the vote in a three-way race. In other words, MOST Florida voters DID NOT want Rubio as their Senator. I sure didn't.
The anti-Ron Paul camp here is at best misinformed and at worst may be supropely disingenuous. Ron Paul is NOT an isolationist. He believes in non-Intervention. In other words, we do not have the authority to meddle in other people's countries.Ron Paul wants:- smaller government (eliminate the massive bureaucracies in DC)- abolish the IRS- abolish the Federal Reserve (the root cause of this housing bubble)Ron Paul believes that you and I are adults and are perfectly capable of taking care of ourselves without a paternal government telling us how to run our lives.
I think you answered your own question. Unless a politician is sufficiently unscrupulous and dishonest, they cannot effectively manage a national campaign. If Rubio is rotten enough or disliked enough to be investigated for misuse of funds, he sounds like a perfect candidate for the job.
If you took all the brains of Ron, Rick, Mitt and Newt and put them all in a coffee can it would look like a pea in a tractor trailer.
Can anyone seriously vote for any of these guys for president? Really now, can you? Come on. A congressman with loony ideas, a failed senator, a failed speaker of the house and a guy who has run for president more times than I can count. What is wrong with this picture?
good one, thanks for the comment.
at least romney has accomplished something in his life. I still think the election could be close if the the stock market takes a dive and economic news doesn't continue to improve. George Bush Sr. lost mainly because of the economy, not that everyone loved Bill Clinton at the time. Bill had alot of baggage and alot of inconsistencies. The economy is the biggest factor.
maybe the supreme court will put some penalties for lying, unfortunately political speech is protected
Democrats could never pay that bill, not even with Soros, Buffet, or all the Hollywood crowd donating money.
Obama has something that the Repubs. want BADLY-the White House. They think that it is their's exclusively & they're not happy that he's living there. The Repubs. are STILL mad that Bill & Hillary lived there for 8 years.
They can rant all they want... none of them have a plan on how to bring America back.
This Republican voting straight Dem Ticket and switching my party to Independent. 2012.
great! 4 more years of government expansion and social programs! Govt can fix all our problems. Bureaucrats and Red Tape is the answer! Obama is not the answer...bigger government is...NOT!
One can only hope that more Republicans come to their senses and follow your example, but that might be a tall order.
Thank you, sir or madam.
i was once a proud Republican but after Bush invaded Iraq I became a proud Independent. Ron Paul is the only
one that can save this nation. The rest of them are all war mongers and can't wait until we invade Iran.
Obama is no better he promised to end the war. He lied!. He promised to close the prison in Cuba he lied!
I still think it was more a case of not really understanding how complicated it is – still he should have closed Gitmo
That's the "new normal" in American politics – no one has any solid plans for making progress, so they scream at the top of their lungs about why their opponent isn't (fill in the blank) enough. Government is no longer (and acutally has not been for some time) "of the People, by the People, and for the People."
Yeah, its going to get nasty alright. Obama is going to absolutely mop the floor with whatever dingbat limps across the GOP primary line. I am shocked that a Major national party could sink this low.
Wolf, I agree that the ads will be down and dirty......and plentiful. But when they are on the stage with the President, it will be hard to make those same claims with him right there to expose them for the nonsense they are. They can say them now because there is nobody there that will call them on it.
callandrad on September 4, 2011 I love when moms fgruie out ways to work from home. Kudos to her. Her products are adorable and unique! Love them!
Any organization sponsoring a debate in the future should require the candidates to answer the questions that are asked.
Mitt Romney's behavior last night was ridiculous. He didn't like the question so he just went off on a tangent wasting everyones time. All future moderators need the ability to turn off the mics of any candidate not answering the question that is asked, if they don't like it they can try to find free airtime somewhere else (in the republicans case why don't they get fox news to sponsor all of the debates so we can have a slow pitch softball game?)
I agree with you Bill. I thought primo Mittens was very disrespectful and didn't even answered the question!
all good candidates go off topic, Barrack Obama was the KING of that last election. He would give a quick answer and then would say but here is the real issue, or let me comment about this. Like it or not, that is good debating you never want to stay focused on something that will make you look weak so all candidates try to get to their strong points
Completely agree. Why can't the moderator say "I'm sorry but that was not what you were asked"; otherwise, it just becomes a 2 hour infomercial.
Bill, I really like that idea! Maybe it will get some traction.
I heard that story reported too. Moving the nvoitg to an "undisclosed" location was a problem and will continue to be a problem until the nvoitg is actually counted in front of the voters.Perhaps now, there needs to be a system in place where voters receive a pin number every cycle that tells them what order the vote was cast and at what time. Too many times through history, things like this happen, because officials don't want to spend the time to make sure it works or because they are promised money to not be as diligent. I trust Dr. Paul has heard of this and realizes that if he brings it up, he'll be seen as a "sore" loser.PhilLeoxiii@me.com
Agree. Complete disrespect and arrogance, and this is just the tip of the GOP iceberg. What a classless, idiotic bunch. I cannot imagine what garbage from the Republicans we will be exposed to in the general election.
This is standard PR behavior. My father (former journalist, now in crisis PR) told me that standard advice to people giving a press conference is to "answer the question you want them to ask, not the question they actually do ask."
That said, I wish they would answer the actual questions too.
The Tea/Republicans have become what their very own ex-VP Spiro Agnew (of the Nixon era) said of others, "nattering nabobs of negativism" and "hopeless, hysterical hypochondriacs of history."
Thats right Inde, I had forgotten that. lol
Wolf, you just told the biggest truth of the year. It will one of the nastiest, ugliest political fights ever. The republicans want President Obama out of the Oval office so bad they can taste it, but thats Okay because this president is ready for fight. As it stands right know none of the republican candidates is ready to go toe to toe with Obama. So put your mouth pieces in, and ready the vaseline cause this is going to be a slober knocker.
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