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BLITZER’S BLOG: The importance of Monday’s CNN-Tea Party Republican Debate
September 9th, 2011
04:16 PM ET

BLITZER’S BLOG: The importance of Monday’s CNN-Tea Party Republican Debate

By CNN’s Wolf Blitzer

Tampa, Florida (CNN) - I’ve moderated several presidential debates over the years. I did five of them leading up to the 2008 election, including the Democratic debate between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton at the Kodak Theater in Los Angeles.

I’ve always learned important lessons in each debate that have helped me prepare for the next one. I’ve been reviewing those lessons as I gear up for the CNN-Tea Party Republican Debate here in Tampa at 8 p.m. ET Monday.

When I face the eight Republican candidates, I am aware that one of them will emerge as the GOP presidential nominee, unless someone else decides to jump into the race and wins the early contests in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Florida. That’s still possible, but at this relatively late stage it seems unlikely.

I know that former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is still flirting with the idea, but the longer she waits the more difficult her mission. By remaining undecided for so long, she may have missed her moment.

Beyond that, I am also aware that one of these Republicans might in fact become the next president of the United States.

President Obama will certainly face a stiff challenge in the general election no matter who the Republican nominee is. No one appreciates that more than the president and his top campaign advisers: They will have a real fight on their hands.

That’s why these debates are so important. I want potential voters out there to have a better appreciation of these candidates – their strengths and weaknesses. I want to make sure we can drill down on where they agree and where they differ. When the candidates dodge the questions, I will follow up and press. That’s what the voters want, and I’m looking forward to this opportunity.

NOTE: The CNN-Tea Party Debate, moderated by CNN lead political anchor Wolf Blitzer, airs live 8-10 p.m. ET Monday, September 12, on CNN.
For full debate coverage, go to CNN.com/TeaPartyDebate

Press release: CNN, Tea Party Express to Host First-Ever Tea Party Debate, Sept. 12

Post by:
Filed under: 2012 election • Debates • Wolf Blitzer
soundoff (283 Responses)
  1. John R

    During the last Republican debate, Herman Cain said he tried to do health insurance through associations. He said he was unable. He never said why he could not!

    The Global Corporate Aristocracy would obviously oppose such an attack to their income machine. I want to know why he was specifically blocked from accomplishing his goal. I also want to know how he would keep an association run insurance system from turning into another corporate aristocracy we are battling today??

    September 14, 2011 at 3:07 pm |
  2. Diane

    Why are the politicians attacking our Social Security Benefits that working people pay into and not Welfare Benenfits and illegal immigrants hospital privileges that are not paid into? Someone needs to start looking at unemployment , welfare, and Medicaid payments.

    September 13, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
  3. Michael D. Wright

    Mr. Blitzer,
    I am a 60 year old American Citizen that spent the majority of my adult political life as a Republican. I voted for Bush/Cheney, then spent the next 8 years watching them support the top 10% of the us population which had 87% of all the money and power with no regard for the majority of the citizens of the United States (We the People).

    The fact of the matter is that Clinton/Gore (Democrats) at the end of their term handed Bush/Cheny (Republicans) the following: 1) A balanced budget 2) A strong Middleclass 3) A Country at peace 4) An unemployment rate of 3.2% 5) A solvent and superior financial posture, through out our country and the world because of quality regulations and a reasonable partisan harmony in Congress.

    8 years later Bush/Cheny (Republicans) gave to Obama/Biden (Democrats) the following: 1) A country 12 Trillion in debt 2) A destroyed middle class 3) Two major Wars 4) A unemployment rate of 12% 5) A country on the brink of financial ruin and borrowing from our enemy Communist China. 6) A Congressional political war between Republicans and Democrats focusing on political posturing not the protection and security of the country and all US Citizens. Dedication to only Corporate America (The Military/Industrial Complex).
    10 MINUTES AFTER HANDING THIS MESS OVER TO OBAMA/BIDEN, THE REPUBLICANS STARTED THEIR LYING AND BLAMED OBAMA/BIDN FOR THE MESS CREATED BY THE REPUBLICANS.

    Mr. Blitzer, Please put this information into a Question and ask each of the Republicam Presidential candidates "Why should the US Citizens elect a Republican for President after the party produced these herendous results?

    Best Regards, from a US Patriot, now a registered Democrat,

    Michael D. Wright
    Charlotte, NC

    September 13, 2011 at 11:33 am |
  4. Donald Edmondson

    Wolf B. you done a good job. You let two candidates do the Michael Jackson moon dance around a question you ask. The question was about a 30yrs old not having medical insurance because he was young and did not need too pay $200 for insurance and who would pay for it if he got sick and go to the hosital for emergency care. Not a good answer given from them. we are know that the hospital will pass that cost to those paying for medical insurance going to thier hospital

    September 13, 2011 at 1:02 am |
  5. maribeth dortch

    Next time you moderate the debate please insist that the candidates actually answer your questions instead of allowing them to change the subject. Please also consider having a real time fact checker ready, rather than letting falsehoods stand.

    September 12, 2011 at 10:18 pm |
  6. Jane

    To the Lady who ask what the US is going to do to provide security to the women in Afgan, the answer should be nothing. It is the US's job to secure the United States not other countries. We should not be held responsible for what her own government should be doing. The conflict in Afgan and other countries has been going on for hundreds of years, it is their way of life. The US puts it nose in places it does not belong. I agree with Ron Paul that we created the hate in the middle East that lead to Sept 11. We are not the guardians of the world.

    September 12, 2011 at 10:04 pm |
  7. John Cacurak, Realtor Naples Fl,

    Wolf i love you ,How/ why, did you allow Bachman to blow you off on the best question of the night, 30 year old with no health ins , DO YOU LET HIM DIE ? I think you must have a crush on her !
    Congress Paul, 30 year agoi was a Dr, The Church stepped in and helped . God help us !

    September 12, 2011 at 9:43 pm |
  8. -A

    So Wolf Blitzer, tonight in the Tea Party debate you asked Bauchman about who will pay for the healthcare of a 30 year uninsured individual who got into a serious accident. She jumped all over "Obamacare" but she never answered the question. She talked about how it is unconstitutional to force an American to buy a product but is our health and our lives really a product?

    September 12, 2011 at 9:27 pm |
  9. Brandy

    Everyone should be allowed to answer each question not just Perry and Romney

    September 12, 2011 at 9:01 pm |
  10. Clyde

    Why won't any candidate address the issue of illegal aliens eating up our country's resources. And what to do about it

    September 12, 2011 at 8:39 pm |
  11. Ted Jotte

    My Question To The Candidates For Tonight's Debate Would Be:

    What Is Your Position On Protecting My Freedom And My Rights To Live As I Choose and have you combined all of your policies and beliefs into a platform to insure we maintain personal freedom and the ability to choose our own lifestyle.?

    September 12, 2011 at 7:29 pm |
  12. Grant

    Comments I heard from a Tea Party commentator earlier this morning strongly suggests that the Tea Party has little regard for our environment and living things that share our world. Gibson Guitar needs to stop using wood from endagered species and use its innovative expertise to discover alternative materials. The idea that we would construct an oil pipeline through our vaulable natrual resources just to create 25,000 jobs fails to consider what just happened when a pipeline ruptured and destroyed lives and degraded waterways and surrounding land and vegitation that support our wild life. I won't expand upon their interest to drill in protected lands and the Gulf and employ mountain top / strip mining to extract fossil fuels. It is time our mindset turn to the 21st century and spend our budget developing new energy technologies rather than drilling for oil and mining for coal.

    September 12, 2011 at 6:52 pm |
  13. Grant

    Wolf when will you address the fact that the reason why 1-2% of taxpayers pay over half the income taxes is due to the FACT they receive well over 50% of the income. To simply look at the distribution of who pays taxes without also looking at the distribution of income is patently misleading and a woefully deficient analysis. Can we get this erroneous issue put to bed for once!!!

    September 12, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
  14. Brian Hyde

    For you evening tea...partiers
    It's obvious that ending, or limited social welfare programs would further damage the small business comunity in the form of less consumer spending. How will this along with No new taxes repair our economy and erase our debt?

    September 12, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
    • The Obama Timeline author

      So, do we continue subsidizing parasites forever? At what point do we expect people to get jobs? At what point do we balance the budget? Pickpockets spend the money they steal from others. Should we ask the police not to arrest them because the shopping malls cannot afford to lose their purchases?

      September 12, 2011 at 8:40 pm |
  15. pduke

    The Republicians have been trying to destroy Social Security from the time it began. They have used the tact of borrowing money from the fund but never paying it back, banking on the public not to remember the "loans" which has resulted in the financial shape it is in now. Some of us do remember- it is our money that was used, money we worked hard to earn believing the Government would be true to it's promises. It breaks my heart and scares me to see Congress has become a career instead of a calling to serve the best interest of All Americans, not the priviledged few.

    September 12, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
    • The Obama Timeline author

      For the record, presidents and legislators of both parties have consistently raided the excess Social Security revenues.

      September 12, 2011 at 8:42 pm |
    • Evan

      It was Democrat Johnson that started raiding the SS fund.

      September 13, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
  16. Perk

    "Dancing In The Streets" For The American Jobs Act ! Public School Teacher's Rock and Roll ! End the mandates on NCLB ! Get the teacher's across this country back to work and see instructional accountability for results. Where is the financial beak down on how this money will be divided and spent if the bill is passed ? Public Education vs Charter and Private ? How will the money be divided if this bill passes ? How much goes to the teacher's for hire and to the principals maintance budget to fix their school buildings and buy books needed to support their curriculum ?

    September 12, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
    • The Obama Timeline author

      Obama wants to spend $447 billion NOW and "pay for it" with tax increases spread out over 10 years – after the election is over! That means we have to borrow the $447 billion and raise the debt ceiling AGAIN. How much will years of interest on $447 billion cost? I don't recall Obama mentioning that...

      September 12, 2011 at 8:44 pm |
    • Carolyn

      Excuse me, but exactly why are we looking to the federal government to provide buildings, books and teachers' salaries in our local schools? They have NO BUSINESS in our schools. I suggest all public school should REFUSE to take any federal tax dollars. We pay plenty in local taxes to fund our schools so we can maintain control over what happens in them. It's not the responsibility of the federal government and a good reason to shut down the Department of Education.

      September 13, 2011 at 10:04 am |
  17. Joe

    Wolf; Can someone tonight ask the folks on stage if they feel Germany should continue to bail out Greece or if they feel the Euro should break up? Or ask if they feel America can withstand Greece becoming Lehman's brothers for the International banks that holds their loans? If we can withstand this sickness? A president should be able to answer this VERY important question.

    September 12, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
    • Adam

      What Joe said please. While we are so busy being worried about our economy, Europe and the rest of the world are having major problems, and our candidates need to be asked about this. I also want them to ask because I know Ron Paul will be the only one with an intelligent, reasonable response.

      September 12, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
  18. Peter Allen The Independence Party of Florida

    There are only 512 Registered members of the Tea Party in FL, so why are they even on TV they clearly do not represent us, The Independence party of Florida has over 57000 members State wide and we can not even get a head line, what up with that, and why can't I get in touch with Wolf Blitzer to provide him these numbers, not real good news on this if you ask me, Peter Allen the Independence Party of Florida http://www.ipfl.org

    September 12, 2011 at 1:00 pm |
    • Peter Allen The Independence Party of Florida

      After checking with the Florida Dept of State I found that the highest member count for any Florida county came from Duval county, Jacksonville and it was only 41 so yes I do have some serious questions as to why they are getting so much attention, could it be we are being shamed by the American media, and if so? Are they all in it together, to control our way of thinking, We clearly do not need the Tea Party, But we do need to take back our country from the un truthful media.

      September 12, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
  19. Debbie

    These debates are important to CNN and those who support the GOP/TEA. IF the GOP had offered any candidate that had not already been vetted in 2008 or qualified candidates to run for President I would watch but that is not the case. I was a Republican for 35 years. During the Geo W. Bush Administration the platform of the GOP moved to the extreme and radical right and pushed out all centerist Republicans (myself included.) I am now an Independent. Romeny, Ron Paul, and Palin if she decides to run have already been vetted in 2008. The rest are not even qualified to run. Once the GOP/TEA pick their candidate then I will watch the debates. Which IMO these are not even debates but sponsorships by CNN/Corporations for the candidates of their choice. Nothing is debated with given plans but time to oppose anything that does not fit the GOP/TEA/Corporation platforms.

    September 12, 2011 at 12:50 pm |
  20. Taylor Wilson

    Please pose this question to the GOP presidential candidates:

    Question from my dad, Taylor Wilson:

    Social Security Robbed In 1983 Merits Payback, “In

    April 1983, Social Security reforms were passed. The reforms enabled our government to collect

    what accumulated to $2.6 trillion in the Social Security Trust Fund. (The $2.6 trillion is a combination of taxes

    collected and accumulated interest.) Our government took that money from workers and spent it on whatever. It left us with a Social Security Trust Fund filled with IOUs from the U.S. Treasury…” Scott Burns, Austin American-Statesman, Business & Personal Finance, Section E, Sunday, August 28, 2011

    …and you have Rick Perry calling Social Security a Ponzi scheme?” Ponzi is not the crook in this case. My questions are: when they did the bailouts, why wasn’t it returned to the Social Security Trust Fund, and since that wasn’t done, how do they plan on returning it???? Let’s have each of the GOP presidential candidates answer this question. (Especially Rick Perry!)

    September 12, 2011 at 12:50 pm |
  21. Bill Calfee

    To Rick Perry:

    You've been referring to Social Security as a Ponzi Scheme, which takes new money investors to pay dividends to old money investors. If this is a true government Ponzi scheme, then is it not also true that mandatory Obama care and federal taxes in general are Ponzi schemes?

    September 12, 2011 at 9:18 am |
    • pduke

      If Congress paid the past due loans from the Social Security Trust Fund-as promised to do in the 50s when they wanted to fund the building of the interstate hwy system- wouldn't it be more solvent today? Loans could be paid back by closing tax loopholes for those who are millionairs or higher. I started paying into the Fund in 1956, when I was 14, worked over 40 yrs as an adult until I retired in 2008 continuing to pay into the Social Security Trust Fund. I am tired of the wealthy career politicans living off my sweat-it is time they paid their share!

      September 12, 2011 at 3:04 pm |
      • Bill Calfee

        yea, i agree...they've sucked the life out of this program to fund other programs over the decades...now, pay it back!

        if i had my way, i'd been better off not paying a dime into this fund and investing it myself...been retired and out of debt for ten years now and still haven't drawn a dime out of this program, but hopefully that'll change next month when i turn 66....i'm leading the baby-boomers (actually a year ahead), so Stand BY...bill

        September 12, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
  22. Bill Calfee

    To Rick Perry:

    I’m turning 66 next month and about to go on social security. You’ve called it a “ponzi scheme,” which is a fraudulent activity of taking from new investors to pay dividends to old investors, and Bernie Madoff recently went to jail for this. If social security is truly a ponzi scheme, which of our elected officials should go to jail for this?

    September 12, 2011 at 9:13 am |
    • Carolyn

      We the People are responsible for allowing this to happen. We have allowed our federal government to do things, create programs, and dictate to us in matters that are not part of their enumerated powers and this is the end result. Does no one read or understand the US Constitution anymore? It was LBJ who raided the Social Security "Trust" fund to pay for the Great Society...another illegal activity. Our whole government runs on "buy now/pay later" and the Federal Reserve Bank continues printing money and getting rich (YES, it's a private bank) through the continued debt and the interest on that debt as a perpetual income to them. Wake up! Get out of debt, reduce your income to below-taxable levels, and quit contributing to this monster! Starve the beast and you will regain the liberty to take care of yourself and your neighbors. Get the federal government out of the Nanny business. Don't forget, you can do much at the State and local level that the federal government is not permitted to do. Read the 10th Amendment...heck, read the entire Constitution! Wake up!

      September 13, 2011 at 10:14 am |
      • Bill Calfee

        ***We the People are responsible for allowing this to happen.***…all we the people did was elect individuals who made these choices for us and passed laws thru congress which siphoned off funds from social security…I can only bitch about it and of course vote someone else in which will do the same thing…not I don’t really feel responsible for all that happened over the decades with various so called “public servants.” I’m a responsible person and have been debt free and retired for ten years now...i’ve never drawn from retirement funds and don’t even need social security; however, I’ll start drawing next month and am not turning it down, after all those years of being forced to pay into it…I’d done a whole lot better investing the money myself and not been a part of social security…bill

        September 14, 2011 at 6:09 pm |
  23. Bill Calfee

    To Rick Perry:

    You’ve been quoted as saying, when ask recently by a little girl about your beliefs in evolution, "It's a theory that's out there. It's got some gaps in it. In Texas we teach both Creationism and evolution." My question is, do you support "separation of church and state" and does Creationism being taught in schools really violate this separation?

    September 12, 2011 at 9:05 am |
    • Carolyn

      First of all, States are not restricted from establishment of religion like the federal government is unless the State Constitution prohibits it too. So, if the federal government would keep their fiat currency out of our States they would have no claim to control us. People should be furious that the fed. govt. sticks its nose into the People's business. Besides, the words "separation of Church and State" do not exist in the Constitution and if they did it would only apply to the federal government as that document applies only to it. Please read it for yourself.

      September 13, 2011 at 10:35 am |
      • Bill Calfee

        True but the term is an offshoot of the phrase, "wall of separation between church and state," as written in Thomas Jefferson's letter to the Danbury Baptists Association in 1802. The original text reads: "...I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between Church & State."

        September 14, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
      • Bill Calfee

        You comment, ***Besides, the words "separation of Church and State" do not exist in the Constitution***...

        True but the term is an offshoot of the phrase, "wall of separation between church and state," as written in Thomas Jefferson's letter to the Danbury Baptists Association in 1802. The original text reads: "...I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between Church & State."

        September 14, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
    • Roberta Jackson

      I keep hearing the mantra about violating "church and state." I would really appreciate it if you or someone could point me to that in the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, or the Declaration of Independence. The only thing I can find is that the government can not ESTABLISH a religion. This goes back, I believe, to all the trouble folks had in England with the royalty killing anyone who disagreed with the church, which the royalty established. Our country was founded on Judeo-Christian principles, which by their very ideas, would not keep church values out of governmental issues. Where have I gone off the track? Thanks.

      September 13, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
      • Bill Calfee

        ***only thing I can find is that the government can not ESTABLISH a religion***...First Admendment to the constitution.

        September 14, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
      • Roberta Jackson

        Bill,

        That was exactly my point. It only speaks to the establishment of a religion.

        September 15, 2011 at 10:54 am |
  24. Bill Calfee

    To Rick Perry:

    How do you respond to those who think that the Tea Party is myopic?"

    September 12, 2011 at 8:55 am |
  25. Free Man

    TEA PARTY??? WHAT TEA PARTY??? Nancy Pelosi TOLD us it was just Astro Turf move along nothing to see here!!!

    September 12, 2011 at 6:36 am |
  26. Keith Belk

    Wolf,

    You guys really stepprd ove the line on this, now you are making news as well as the other sons noted. You are destroying CNN.

    September 12, 2011 at 6:25 am |
  27. Earle Belle

    Are Mitt Romney and Rick Perry just "Plastic Men"?
    http://www.revolutionpac.com/2011/09/revolutionpac-releases-first-tv-ad-plastic-men/

    September 12, 2011 at 2:47 am |
  28. Scott

    It's important because we can't crush the the Tea Party from American politics before we show people why we are doing it.

    September 12, 2011 at 1:19 am |
  29. jim alston

    Florida as a state would would never have been viable economically if not for federal programs and largesse: 1) subsidized flood insurance, 2) land grant colleges, 3) military bases, 4) cape canaveral, 5) retirees on social security, 6) National parks like the Everglades, 7) the intercoastal waterway constructed by the army corpse of engineers, 8) federal bridge and highway programs linking the keys, 9) special S&L and fha federally guaranteed programs to aide the housing industry over the years, 10) federal banking repatriation and immigration interdiction programs continually pumping money into established interests in the state, and 10) Seminole Indian programs. The fact that the Tea Party has its roots in Florida is farsical, hypocritical and evidences extreme selfishness. Tea Party complaints are akin to wanting to close the door on others after you have gained access through someone else's good graces. Why hasn't your news analysis referenced this obfuscation? why don't you do a real expose and identify what percentage of Florida's gdp is directly tied to the inflow of Federal dollars.

    September 12, 2011 at 1:09 am |
  30. Aiizaku

    I am not Ron Paul fan BUT I do find it wierd that the media is shuting him down. MSNBC didn't give him hardly ANY media time. No exposure in the media but it is obvious that people are very interersted in what he has to say yet our governor (Texan) the U.S. suceding, closet case gay hippocrite and murderer Rick Perry gets all this air time? What is up with America?

    September 12, 2011 at 12:49 am |
  31. Michael

    1. When you spew hatred, you assure an Obama victory.. because you have no solution, and no one wants to be led by hatred..
    2. The "Boston Tea Party" and the "Don't tread on me flag" are historical documented events and symbols.. To display or use these as a political statement diminishes their importance to our nations history.. Please stop the nonsence!

    September 11, 2011 at 11:46 pm |
  32. Norman

    Sorry, but Blitzer is not someone I trust, I don't watch his show. I feel he is bas agianst Obama and he tries to decieves his audience to not support our President. In short, he espouses propaganda under the guise of News.

    September 11, 2011 at 11:33 pm |
  33. Drogo, who bit the dust

    These are not debates. Just eight morons trying to out conservative the most conservative. All we will hearis the same talking points they've been mouthing at each previous event. They're all losers.

    As to Palin – how does Wolf know she's undecided. She was never going to run. She was hanging the notion out there to sell more of her pathetic books. Guess what folks these so-called losers have made her rich while destroying America.

    September 11, 2011 at 7:59 pm |
    • Jayden

      That\'s an ingenious way of tihkning about it.

      December 23, 2011 at 2:27 pm |
  34. Earle Belle

    An open letter from Campaign Chairman Jesse Benton

    Dear Governor Perry,

    After our campaign's first ad highlighting your Big Government record and support for liberal Al Gore, your campaign is attacking Dr. Paul – missing the point of why your past is important.

    We don't think the fact that you used to be a Democrat is the big problem here. The real problem is that, too often, you still act like one. Even you yourself, Governor Perry, said of your party switch, "I will still vote the same principles, only with an R after my name."

    That's the kind of thinking that has our country teetering on the edge of bankruptcy. We cannot afford to nominate someone who thinks the letter next to their name is more important than what they believe.

    Governor Perry, let me be clear: It is not that you supported Al Gore that worries us.

    It is that you supported Hillary Clinton's health care plan.

    You pushed for a federal bailout and stimulus funds.

    You support welfare for illegal immigrants.

    You tried to forcibly vaccinate 12-year-old girls against sexually transmitted diseases by executive order.

    You raised taxes twice.

    And, state debt has more than doubled in your tenure as governor, pushing Texas to the brink of our constitutional debt limit.

    It's that you supported ALL of these bad ideas that are inconsistent with how most Republicans understand conservatism, yet you now try to swagger your way into the Tea Party.

    Governor Perry, with all due respect, you have used great rhetoric. But you will have to answer to the voters of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and across the country as to why that rhetoric does not match your record.

    Truth indeed. By the way, here's the ad again.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?annotation_id=annotation_192696&v=CtDBp1OrCwI&src_vid=PXNqcYh0MpA&feature=iv

    For Liberty,

    Jesse Benton
    Campaign Chairman
    http://www.ronpaul2012.com

    September 11, 2011 at 7:45 pm |
    • glddraco

      Ahh yes Reagan one of the most over pumped and over idolized presidents in American history.

      September 12, 2011 at 12:06 am |
  35. Earle Belle

    Rick Perry Fears Ron Paul

    These headlines say it all:

    Drudge Report: “UP IN HIS FACE: PERRY GETS AGGRESSIVE…”

    UK Guardian: “Rick Perry and Ron Paul get intense during Republican presidential debate”

    The Washington Times: ”Perry vs. Paul: A Texas-sized war – Off-camera confrontation captures tension”

    In the photo that has everyone talking:
    Does Rick Perry look worried to you?

    September 11, 2011 at 7:44 pm |
  36. Bill Calfee

    To Rick Perry:

    When it comes to jobs and the economy, is there anything in the president’s proposals which you can agree with?

    September 11, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
  37. Sara DeVine

    Please spread the questions around. I'm not voting for Perry or Romney and I want to hear what someone else has to say–namely Paul and Cain.

    September 11, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
  38. Jsbear

    It's ironic that the debate is in Florida and also is sponsored by the tea party. Florida has a tea party governor with the lowest rating for a governor in the Country. He does the same thing that the other tea party candidates do. He will not answer a question of importance, he talks in circles, and claims that everything he does is to create jobs.
    That is one of my pet peeves about these debates, the candidates do not answer the questions, especially Bachmann. I would tell them to either answer the question or you are not going to go on with the debate. Put them on the spot, we need answers, not stories about their personal lives

    September 11, 2011 at 3:18 pm |
    • Howard

      Twelve Words to Describe Obama's Jobs Speech

      Presumptuous: He demanded – 17 times – that Congress immediately pass a bill no one has seen.

      Tired: The speech contained little new, just mostly recycled ideas or extensions of current programs that haven’t worked.

      Small: Its proposals, while expensive, offer little hope of really jump-starting the economy.

      Mind-boggling: Mr. Obama wants to drains hundreds of billions from Social Security for another stimulus.

      Slippery: It will all be paid for, the president said, but it’s up to a Congressional committee to figure out how.

      Misleading: These were just GOP ideas. Really? Republicans have proposed another $450 billion stimulus bill, Mr. Obama?

      Arrogant: He refused to consult in advance with anyone on the Hill, even refusing a meeting request from the House Speaker and Majority Leader.

      Self-centered: The only job he’s really concerned about is his own. If he really wanted a bipartisan package, he would have worked with Republicans to come up with one.

      Unnecessary: The president would have been better off traveling the country this week to lay out proposals, surrounded by people he could claim would might benefit.

      Completely political: Before he spoke, Mr. Obama sent supporters an email titled “Before I head to the Capitol” that ended with “You should donate today.”

      Hyper-partisan: This speech – especially its angry tone – was aimed at setting up the Republicans for blame next fall. Then he’ll say the economy would be better if the GOP has just done what I ordered them to do.

      Misguided: Mr. Obama is betting his re-elect on a massive spending bill.

      September 11, 2011 at 8:51 pm |
      • Tom H - Seattle

        Howard – I have one question for you. Your great Repbulicrooks campaigned on jobs, jobs, jobs. We've had 10 years of tax cuts, courtesy of your ilk. These low taxes, as you all say, create jobs. Where are they? Your reactionary leadership has done NOTHING! I'll never vote for another Rethuglican again. I used to be one.

        September 11, 2011 at 11:01 pm |
      • Jsbear

        This blog is not about Obama but about the debate tomorrow. I have not heard one idea or plan from any of the Republican candidates that would create jobs or solve the financial problems. The only thing that was kinda of a plan was when Bachmann said she would get rid of obamacare to create jobs. The plan does not go into effect until 2014. Is that when she will create jobs? Most people need them now, and she is in congress, why doesn't she do her job, and work with congress. I really do not want to hear from these candidates, how bad the economy is, Obama is to blame, blah, blah, blah. It's a waste of time. People want to hear how they are going to change things if they are elected. Enough with the blame game, they all claim they will create jobs. Ok how are you going to accomplish that?

        September 11, 2011 at 11:20 pm |
    • Jim

      Ron Paul gives detailed and informed answers. Pay attention.

      September 11, 2011 at 9:40 pm |
      • Jsbear

        Oh, I listened to Mr. Paul. He is a little on the nutty side. When asked about closing the borders to Mexico he said we should not close them, because it would also keep us Americans in.

        September 11, 2011 at 11:05 pm |
      • Adam

        Agreed and thank you!

        September 12, 2011 at 12:50 pm |
  39. Richard Bailey

    As president, would you make a serious effort to govern on behalf of all Americans or just your base? If on behalf of all of us, how would you go about building coaltions with the other side?

    September 11, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
  40. Richard Bailey

    As president, would you make a serious effort to govern on behalf of all Americans or just your base? If on behalf of all of us, how would you go about building coalitions with the other side?

    September 11, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
  41. El Flaco

    I dreamed that I was the moderator of the debate ...

    Gov. Perry, you are wearing a $3,000 suit, $2,500 cowboy boots, and a $300 haircut. I notice that you dye your hair the same color that Ronald Reagan dyed his. Doesn't that seem rather vain and shallow to you? It suggests a lack of character and a focus on appearance rather than substance. What is your comment?

    Rep. Bachman, many Americans have told me that the thought of you sitting behind the same desk where FDR, Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, John Kennedy, and Lyndon Johnson sat makes them want to puke. What is your reaction to that?

    Rep. Paul, do you have anything to say but the same Libertarian fairy tales that you have been repeating for decades? No? OK, next candidate ...

    Mr. Cain, how can a Black man be a Conservative? Conservatives – to the man – opposed anti-lynching laws, voting rights laws, anti-segregation laws, anti-discrimination laws, equal hiring laws, and equal pay laws. If those Conservatives had had their way, you would not have been CEO of Godfather's Pizza, you would be delivering pizza. If those Conservatives had had their way, you would not be running for president. In fact, you would not even be allowed to VOTE on election day. My question to you is this: What the hell is WRONG with you?

    Gov. Romney and Gov. Huntsman, are you both still Mormons? Yes? Then there is no point in you running for the Republican nomination. Only Evangelicals are allowed here. Next candidate...

    Speaker Gingrich, the way you treated your dying wife makes all American sick. You were sleeping with your mistress while you were making speeches condemning President Clinton for spending quality time with Monica Lewenski. You get off this stage and out of this auditorium or I'm going to horse whip you on national TV. As you can see, I brought a horse whip for the occasion. Now you better start running little man.

    It was such a nice dream...

    September 11, 2011 at 1:42 pm |
    • aerostotle greenback$

      I love this.. i wish you were the moderator... Awesome questions especially for Mr. Cain.. lol

      September 11, 2011 at 6:43 pm |
    • Paul F

      So every conservative is a prejudiced hater of blacks and loved slavery and lynching?

      Seems like the left is beyond desperate if this is the tactic you choose to try and marginalize quality candidates like Dr Paul and Mr Cain.

      Your bigotry is disturbing.

      September 12, 2011 at 1:08 am |
    • Donald Edmondson

      I would like to be the moderator also. Most of these educated moderators don't hold the line and do not talk like street people wanting a straight and direct answer. Street persons say what they mean & do what they say. I like your comment about Newt Gingrich (a hypocrite). He went after Bill Clinton and his action with that young woman in his office. At the same time he was banging a younger woman while being married (3x for him). Those right wing family value party is full of s-

      September 13, 2011 at 1:26 am |
  42. Bill Calfee

    To Rick Perry:

    You’ve been quoted as saying, when ask recently by a little girl about your beliefs in evolution, "It's a theory that's out there. It's got some gaps in it. In Texas we teach both Creationism and evolution." My question to you is, do you support the sciences which overwhelmingly supports the evolution of climate change, (i.e. global warming)?

    September 11, 2011 at 12:28 pm |
    • SciGuy

      Climate does not evolve, but it does change. However, climate change does not equal global warming. The climate has been changing for a long time, and will continue so to do. We have little to do with it; get over it.

      September 11, 2011 at 11:09 pm |
      • Bill Calfee

        i beg to differ...thanks!

        http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/education/pd/climate/factsheets/howhuman.pdf

        September 12, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
  43. Joseph

    Can CNN please ask equal questions of everyone? Please, please please.

    Why is that so hard to ask for? Give the underdog an opportunity to talk, and give the "frontrunners" time to formulate a good answer.

    By giving them equal time and questions, you grant a better discussion. We don't want the leaders to fumble over themselves constantly, nor do we want the underdogs ignored. It's a really silly circus if you make your debate as such.

    Please , please, please give all debaters equal questions, chance to answer each questions, and equal speaking time.

    Thank-you CNN for your time, and other fellow Americans for carrying about your Democratic-Republic.

    September 11, 2011 at 10:40 am |
    • Howard

      QUOTE OF THE DECADE – from CZECH REPUBLIC OBSERVER

      "The danger to America is not Barack Obama but a citizenry capable of entrusting an inexperienced man like him with the Presidency. It will be far easier to limit and undo the follies of an Obama Presidency than to restore the necessary common sense and good judgment to a depraved electorate willing to have such a man for their President. The problem is much deeper and far more serious than Mr. Obama, who is a mere symptom of what ails America. Blaming the prince of the fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince. The Republic can survive a Barack Obama. It is less likely to survive a multitude of fools such as those who made him their President."

      September 11, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
      • And?

        Yeah, we really value what the Czechs have to say. After all, their government is one we want to model our own after. Not!

        September 11, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
      • Dan in Albuquerque

        Wht an important comment. Now, let's ask the Taliban and Al Queda just to make sure we're getting a "Fair and Balanced" picture like you guys are used to hearing from the hack channel.

        September 12, 2011 at 12:21 am |
  44. Lucien de la Peste

    Healthcare? How about asking the only doctor on the panel?

    Economy? How about asking the only economist?

    Foreign policy?

    Etc. etc. etc.

    Ron Paul 2012!

    September 11, 2011 at 10:17 am |
  45. marcus

    Good Morning Wolf,

    Looking forward to your debate tomorrow night. I'd like to see the following questions asked of the following candidates:

    Michelle Bachmann – Does she believe that homosexuals can be "cured"?

    Rick Santorum – What does he believe the Constitution states in reference to the role religion should play in government?

    Rick Perry – Does he intend to try to change abortion laws in any way? (It would be REALLY important for women, 50% of the population, to hear his answer to this question.)

    Rick Perry – Does he intend to revamp Social Security, replace it or do away with it altogether?

    Mitt Romney – Why does he believe the Bush tax cuts which have been in place for 10 years have not created jobs (i.e. unemployment has been high for a number of years.)? In contrast, unemployment went down to 3.8% under Bill Clinton when the rich paid higher taxes.

    Herman Cain – Does he consider himself a member of the Tea Party?

    ***I guess that's all. I've already formed my opinions of the other three candidates. I like Huntsman, but don't care for Paul or Gingrich.

    Good Luck!

    September 11, 2011 at 10:07 am |
  46. joesmith

    after the last debate, it was obvious msnbc avoided mr paul, mr. hunstman, and mr. cain..can onyone explain..or is it the same special interests that control our senators/congressman, control the press too..we say yes..ergo; no freedom of the press..they will spin it as their masters tell them to..

    September 11, 2011 at 9:59 am |
    • Media Mongul

      It is obvious that MSNBC selection was biased. I would like to see the candidates draw lots for their position on stage as well rather than have what the media thinks is the forerunner in center stage. The voters will determine that.

      September 11, 2011 at 2:42 pm |
  47. larry galvin

    lI want to no if the corperate taxes were cut by the rep. party to 20/ 25% and they make record profits would these profits be shared with working class by offering profit sharing to be neg. by collective barg. it seems to me that all repub. is help the rich get richer and not share the wealth with the rank & file most corperations cut the pension cut our hourly pay don,t match 401ks so the worker is out of luck with aretirement savings we should be helping one another share the wealth thank you

    September 11, 2011 at 7:32 am |
  48. bobbi

    Why is CNN acting as though the tea party is an important entity? Why are you giving them air time? I can understand a CNN debate, but to align yourselves with the lunatic fringe of the TP leads me to suspect your own leanings . I thought that CNN was above such preferential treatment of any group. Guess I was wrong.

    September 11, 2011 at 7:01 am |
    • Dan in Albuquerque

      I despise the politics of both the Tea Party and the Republicans in general, but I recognize a TRUE "fair and balanced news organization when I see it. I worked for one for decades and I think it is an obligation of news organizations to give an opportunity to every group that has the potential to influence an election, within reason. That's also why both Wolf and Piers Morgan did good interviews with Ron Paul not long ago. Additional informtion never hurt anyone, even if you don't agree with it.

      September 12, 2011 at 12:31 am |
    • Peter Allen The Independence Party of Florida

      It must be the wealthy Republican advertisers, as I see no reason for the Tea Party even being allowed in these debates, and while we are at it, why not have Third parties asking these questions instead of a paid puppet. Don’t Waste your Vote! Vote Third Party

      September 12, 2011 at 1:08 pm |
  49. jean

    i believe msnbc and fox are fearful of newt / herman cain andmaybe you will let these candidates turn your whole program around and give them the floor they deserive since they are they have the most experience all around In fact alll the candidates have more experience then the man we have sittingin the office of the president n

    September 11, 2011 at 4:12 am |
  50. RBS

    Please press the Republicans on their rejection of science and reason.

    September 11, 2011 at 2:27 am |
    • marcus

      Yes, please! I second that motion. I developed a new found respect for Jon Huntsman after his comments on Science in the last debate.

      September 11, 2011 at 10:10 am |
  51. Spencer Boyd

    While the President's job is more than leading a large company the bottom line is that even a country as powerful as the USA has to balence the checkbook. Make money through expanding the tax base and paying the bills, stay within the budget. The US can't just print money or pull a Donald Trump and become over leveraged; Trump crashed and burned and we will too without common sense financial planning. Congress is also responable for "running the business" and is probably more to blame than the President. We need an experienced businessman for President, not a professional polititian. The same goes for the House and Senate members.

    September 11, 2011 at 2:01 am |
  52. wpgm

    My comment is has more to due with terrorism.For the simple reason Washington mainly the tea party and republicans . Have been terrorizing us for yeas and at the same time . Trying to bury our President all at the cost of its blue collar hard working citizens.The only real true good Republican was Eisenhower.

    September 11, 2011 at 1:41 am |
  53. skarphace

    Once again, this will be the Romney vs Perry show. The Mormon vs the Moron.

    Too bad the best candidate of the bunch and the one most likely to beat Obama will be ignored again.

    Yes, I am talking about Paul. Sorry, buddy. The rich want an extremist, but they want one who will pander to them and they know you won't.

    September 11, 2011 at 1:32 am |
  54. chuck

    Wolf belongs on Fox news, obviously. he slants way RIGHT..

    September 11, 2011 at 12:58 am |
    • Mickey

      Really? What are you smoking?

      September 12, 2011 at 12:55 am |
  55. nuckleball

    I found a list of those invited to the debate. Sadly enough, I can see that Gary Johnson was left out. This boils my blood. When Gary Johnson is invited to a debate, I'll watch, until then I'll find better ways to waste my time.

    September 11, 2011 at 12:38 am |
  56. nuckleball

    I want to know if Gary Johnson is invited. If not, I won't be watching.

    September 10, 2011 at 11:31 pm |
  57. divicil

    Dear Wolf, please ask them what our president has done to help the country, lets see what their answer will be and what they plan to do differently. I already guess the answer

    September 10, 2011 at 10:58 pm |
  58. Adele Lilly

    Please, Wolf Blitzer, you seem to be a man of integrity. Please ask Ron Paul questions on the major issues. Please give him a fair chance to speak on the answers to the issues he has consistently stood for in Congress. The MSNBC Reagan Library Debate moderators were very unjust to Ron Paul, in particular, and the American voter, because the questioning was so biased.

    September 10, 2011 at 10:44 pm |
  59. Mike Chavez

    Why are you ignoring Gary Johnson? He is polling the same as Ron Paul and Santorum. Please press Perry on his use of stimilus $ and get specifics from Romney on job creation.

    September 10, 2011 at 10:22 pm |
  60. David T

    Ron Paul comes in with a statistical tie with Bachmann. Yet SUDDENLY Perrry appears out of nowhere and is promoted as a "front runner". Why? Ron Paul won the MSNBC the debate by over 50% of the online votes. Romney gets 14% but is called the front runner. Why? Ron Paul pulls in more money from military contributions than ALL the others combined. Ron Paul is the ONLY conservative who understand economics, the Constitution and has a voting record to back it. Yet the MSM ignore him nearly completely except to call him ridiculous names. Why? Why? Why? The MSM dares to tell us how to think and how to vote. Who do you think you are? I am calling for everyone who sees this to boycott ALL of their advertisers. Hit them where it counts - in their pocket book. Then maybe we (a huge following and arguably the majority) will be heard. Ron Paul needs to be heard, understood and voted in as President for the sake of our country.

    September 10, 2011 at 10:21 pm |
    • glddraco

      Debates are near meaningless on whose really going to become the nominee or even president. You can still win every single debate and will not win the election if people of that party do not side with you ideologically.

      September 11, 2011 at 7:32 pm |
  61. Cody

    The Founding Fathers are living on through the ONLY honest, principled, non flip-flopping candidate we will see Monday night.
    His record is perfect! His words are Truth! His ideas are American! He is the only candidate who fully knows, AND understands the Constitution! He has been trampled, blatently ignored, and is often abused because Carriers of Truth always are for awhile.
    Talk to RON PAUL! Let him be heard! We are not interested in the others! After all, he IS the Tea Party Express!
    Let's see a fair/interesting debate for the first time this year, Wolf.

    All the Best
    God Bless

    September 10, 2011 at 10:05 pm |
  62. Ned Michie

    Please Please ask the republican candidates something to the effect of "what do you think should be taught to public school students regarding the age of the earth?" It is important that the candidates be on record regarding their views of the validity of science. Thanks.

    September 10, 2011 at 9:44 pm |
  63. Brian

    The best candidate has yet to be in any of the debates. Buddy Roemer will take this country by storm with his fair trade message and his freedom from paid for politics. He is gaining support from republicans, democrats, and liberals alike. His ability to speak to the heart of our countries problems without holding back because he is Free To Lead makes him the Hero of American politics.

    September 10, 2011 at 9:20 pm |
  64. Wauyne

    Is this CNN's effort to try to convince people that they're not a liberal biased network? Watching some of their correspondents, especially that Gloria somebody, their Washington/White House expert, you get the idea that they are on the payroll of the Democratic Party. And the frequency with which they put on that ever-smiling fellow named Begala makes you feel that he's part owner of the network.

    September 10, 2011 at 8:49 pm |
    • Dan in Albuquerque

      For decades, the right has called any organization that presented opposing opinions as liberal media. I would substitute another two words: "HONEST', "UNBIASED". Your problem is that you get your news from the laughing stock of true journalists everywhere, FAUX news. But their corporation is apparently very good at hacking.

      September 12, 2011 at 12:43 am |
  65. jon long

    What is so sad in this day and time is the media not having a clue what is going on but directing citizens of this great country to condemn a group that is sincerely concerned about the welfare of the USA. The media should be ashamed, I'm totally embarrassed for this country. I've never seen the people of this country so upset, and just want u to know the media is hated. Truth and news is non-existent in your world, whereever that is.

    September 10, 2011 at 8:44 pm |
  66. barrytm

    Which do the candidates believe should come first, customers having money and inclinations to buy more products or manufacturers hiring more workers to increase production? Does government need to "prime the pump", injecting some new money into the pipeline? Should government not try to manage the economy but just let the economy painfully work its way through the business cycle as it has in the past?

    September 10, 2011 at 8:10 pm |
  67. Sanity

    The importance to CNN is that it will get some viewers for a couple of hours. Once the debate is over, most will change channels just like they did last week when MSNBC had the debate.

    September 10, 2011 at 7:59 pm |
  68. 'nobody`

    The problem so far is the GOP debates are not debates at all. Oh sure they debate Obama, but Obama is not there. Instead we have been treated to one lengthy campaign speech after another with no defining result. I don't know why they even offer rebuttal time? How is the voting public supposed to narrow a very large field of candidates down if they only incidentaly mention each other? So far I don't see much difference between any on them as they debate each other with kid gloves on?????

    September 10, 2011 at 7:58 pm |
  69. g.c.kells

    I hope that I'm not the only person that has used the Contact Us option to email CNN about their unethical coverage of Ron Paul. If you feel that he is being unfairly ignored, let them know please. If enough people complain, maybe they will remedy the situation. I had a hard time finding the feedback section or a Contact Us link, but I finally did it's CNN dot com backslash FEEDBACK You can figure it out from there.

    September 10, 2011 at 7:57 pm |
  70. barrytm

    Wolf: When the debate gets to jobs and the economy, please ask each candidate whether they felt the American public was wrong when they elected FDR an unprecedented 4 times despite his failure to end the Great Depression? Why do they think the public idolized him and hated Hoover?

    Also: JFK's book, "Profiles in Courage," lauded politicians who followed what they believed to be the best policy for the nation even though that policy was unpopular with the public they represented. Do any of the candidates agree with Kennedy that ALL of those politicians acted heroically in defying the will of their voters? Do they think ANY of them deserved being honored? Would they ever act opposite to their voters wishes if they believed their voters were wrong?

    September 10, 2011 at 7:55 pm |
  71. Heather

    http://www.huntingtonnews.net/9134
    Give this article a read before you marginalize Ron Paul again in this debate, please. Allow him to gain the audience and momentum that his campaign and the American people deserve. Please.

    September 10, 2011 at 7:39 pm |
    • Kenelm

      That's cleared my thoughts. Thanks for contritubnig.

      December 23, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
  72. Jeffer65

    Tea Party and debate in the same sentence? Isn't that an oxymoron?

    September 10, 2011 at 7:31 pm |
  73. mitchell queen

    ask ron paul to explain his position on foreign policy, obama care, the tea party and the economy. ask him what MSNBC was afraid to ask.

    September 10, 2011 at 7:26 pm |
  74. Elle

    We want to hear more about RON PAUL!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 10, 2011 at 7:19 pm |
  75. g.c.kells

    Please don't focus on the media darlings only. America deserves to hear ALL of the candidates, not just Perry, Bachamnn, and Romney. Ron Paul in particular is polling extremely well, despite the virtual media blackout. I'm sure you know that the media plays an enormous role in shaping public opinion, it's simply unethical to ignore legitimate candidates. Whether you agree with them or not, each of the 8 candidates appearing have proven that they are legitimate. How is it ethical that Palin gets more media coverage than Ron Paul or Huntsman?

    September 10, 2011 at 7:13 pm |
  76. Lisa

    I would like to know what each candidate believes is a mistake they have made in their political career policy-wise? And what they believe they can do to correct that mistake?

    September 10, 2011 at 6:09 pm |
  77. Mathew Varghese

    hi wolf,
    Please ask this question to the GOP debatel

    I am employed by a new jersey company and live in NY city, some of my colleagues employed by the same company, do the same job and work from Canada, India and Argentina. All these employee’s including I are working from home and never go to NJ office.
    As a person living in NY and work in NJ, I need to pay NJ state income tax, NY state tax, NYC tax and Federal tax. My colleagues from Canada, India and Argentina are working in the same way as I work, login to the application server and do the same job. But none of those colleagues need to pay NJ state tax or Federal Tax.
    When a corporation lay off an American worker and Hire an Employee in foreign countries, state govt, federal govt and the unemployed emplyee’s are the looser and the company save money.
    Many American well known companies including GE ( the CEO stood wth Obama this weeks joint session address for job creation),IBM, Dell, ADP, Microsoft, oracle, credit card companies, banks and a long list of companies are open offices in India, Philippines, china and other countries and employed millions to work on American job just like the work I do and taking away American job. Many of these companies don’t have any business in that country other than these back office support. This causing the financial difficulties in American middle class, lower class families, federal, state and local governments by loosing the service income to foreign countries. The CEO’s managing these companies’ salary increases in each year. The 14 million Americans looking for job are able to do these job but the American policy makers need to wake up and work for these Americans, thats not happening in Washington. America entered with world for free trade but policy maker’s job is to make sure there is fair trade practicing with the free trade, that’s not happening because the heavy lobbying of these companies in Washington.
    IBM took contracts from many companies for back office support, that cause of massive layoff in ATT and other companies and took these jobs to foreign countries and supporting American business from these countries.
    The type of job includes all type of office work includes accounting, clerical, customer support, computer support et…
    Another matter want to ask these guys are, if I buy a book from internet and the book is shipping from California and I still need to pay sales tax in NY where I consume the goods. How about service tax, if these companies obtain service through internet, charge service tax where it consume and bring some level of civility in the unfair business practice.
    Please ask these questions to all politicians, who are in office and also these presidential candidates. What their plan to establish a fair practice to these free trades.
    Thanks
    Mathew

    September 10, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
  78. Bill Calfee

    that last post was of course ment for Rick Perry...thanks, bill

    September 10, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  79. Bill Calfee

    A true Ponzi scheme is a fraudulent investment operation which takes from one persons’ investment capital to pay returns to other investors, like Bernie Madoff recently went to prison for. I’ll be turning 66 next month and will finally start drawing social security. If this is a true Ponzi scheme, then is not mandatory Obama care and federal taxes in general a Ponzi scheme? And if this is illegal, as your implication seems to suggest, are you going to do away with social security as President, file litigation thru the courts up to and including the Supreme Court to change it, or simply kick the empty social security bucket, replete with all its siphoning hoses attached, down the road after the election?

    September 10, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  80. GreenDream

    NO COST JOBS PROGRAM for U. S. citizens..........ask the Tea Party Thugs why we are paying unemployment to individuals who have been displaced by foreign workers brought to the U.S. on work visas?

    A. Eliminate work Visas, so the displaced U.S. citizens get their jobs back.

    B. Government, get out of private corporations, and allow the SHAREHOLDERS to have BINDING say on corp exec pay and job.....we need competition at the corp exec and board level........the UNION of corp execs/boards has established a 'line each others' pockets......regardless of failure or success!

    C. To reverse the years of unfair pay practices, establish a wage gap of 40 for all corporations owned by shareholders, a wage gap of 40 existed in the Reagan years. Those corp execs not willing to work at a wage gap of 40, have the opportunity to start their own small business.

    All the above options, cost the government NOTHING, yet put millions of Americans back to work and are great small business creators!

    September 10, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
  81. dilberto

    The reason you think yet another debate of these 8 bobbleheads matters is that you're hosting. Nice job of self promotion. One of these Republicans might become president? Right. President Santorum. How does that feel? And since this is a Tea Party event, get ready to throw those softballs.

    September 10, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
  82. AquaBuddah

    Please ignore Ron Paul, he's useless.

    September 10, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
  83. MikeB

    I have a question for Mitt Romney.
    His father as a Governor was able to replace the State's source of Tax Revenue of Sales Tax and Property Tax with a State Income Tax. His rational was that the Sales Tax and Property Tax was an unfair burden upon the poor.
    With the talk of a flat tax and the doing away with the IRS; what is Mitt's stand concerning the Federal Income Tax verses a Flat Tax or Federal Sales Tax?
    His father has viewed a Flat Tax and Federal Sales Tax as an unfair burden upon the poor.
    A follow up would be: Does he believe in Taxing Food, Medicines, Personal Property, or Education Tuition?

    September 10, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
  84. Lennie Gadue

    I remember Perry preaching that Washington spends to much money.Ask Perry if he is willing to return all the funds coming to Texas to aid the victims of the fires.

    September 10, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
  85. Hmmm

    Shame on you CNN for associating yourself with the Tea Party. Shame shame shame!

    September 10, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
  86. Rich

    So, CNN is no longer "lame stream media" going for Foxlite?

    September 10, 2011 at 2:42 pm |
  87. Andy

    I think a huge question is the war on drugs. What's being done about it, what's being fixed about it? Is there anything we can do to stop paying so much into a program that doesn't seem to have much effect on the amount of people using drugs of the amount of violence tied into the drugs trade? Over 28 billion dollars is being spent alone this year; that rate is growing every second by about 500 dollars. I'm not trying to suggest the question presented to the candidates is in favor or defiance of the program; I simply want to know what they will do in office to cut these costs and what plans they have to combat the drug problems our country faces and if they think the program is effective or not.

    September 10, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
    • Roger Schlaifer

      Good point. Abolish ALL penalties as they now exist and treat drug abuse as a health problem. Use the taxes on prescriptions for the drugs to pay for treatment and use a portion of the costs of prosecution and incarceration for drug education–and to increase funds for education in general.

      September 12, 2011 at 12:50 pm |
  88. ed

    Jus one question I would like asked. Since all 8 or most of them believe Obama care is unconstitutional and they want to repeal it will they repeal the patriot act or fisa act too? Why? Or why not?

    September 10, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
  89. Mannycl

    I trust Mr. Blitzer's impartiality and the fairness of his analysis. I just hope that this debate sticks to the most important issues, giving a more equitable time to the candidates and at the same time making them to answer the questions. The last thing we need is another NBC media charade.

    September 10, 2011 at 1:40 pm |
  90. Dave Humphreys

    Wolf, I'm looking forward to you moderating a debate but I have one request for you. Please don't treat Dr. Paul the way past debates and especially the way MSNBC just treated him.
    He is the only doctor on the stage and they didn't even ask him about medical care.
    They didn't ask him about foreign policy and his foreign policy is quite different from the others.
    They didn't ask him about Ben Bernanke and he is arguably the very reason the federal reserve and Bernanke are even being discussed.
    They didn't even include him in the lightning round.

    Dr. Paul has been consistently polling in the top three, please treat him as such.
    I'm sure you'll do the right thing.

    September 10, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
  91. Joe

    Lil, You can ask that question but the air force was originally part of the navy as was the Marines. The constitution also clearly states "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness". It doesn't mention 'life, liberty, healthcare and the pursuit of happiness.' I also don't believe the founding fathers were referring to "general welfare"as food stamps, welfare checks or Medicare for non citizens. Just a thought.

    September 10, 2011 at 12:46 pm |
  92. Joe

    John I agree, definatley don't ignore Ron Paul! He has no chance, but he is the ONLY politician that I truly feel says what he believes and believes what he says. Now, I might not agree with what he says but I appreciate his honesty and passion. His problem is he's to honest. He refuses, even slightly, to try and sugarcoat or spin his most controversial views. One minute I'm watching him speak and saying to myself, "wow, that makes sense, I like that idea". The next minute I'm saying to myself, "huh? Is he serious? That could never happen". When he starts talking about foreign policy is when he loses me. I agree we can't continue to always be the worlds police. But we also can't say "sorry, its not our problem. Best of luck" and ignore every foreign policy situation. If he would just move slightly to the middle he would have a legitimate shot. Love him or hate him, I don't think we will ever see another politician like Ron Paul.

    September 10, 2011 at 12:27 pm |
  93. Benjamin

    It's amazing how the MAINSTREAM MEDIA is already trying to decide who the CANDIDATE WILL BE by trying to FRAME THE DEBATES this early on. Even if Perry/Romney are leading the polls, that really means nothing this early. In 2008 it was RUDY GIULIANI that was leading in the polls and MCCAIN ended up winning the nomination.

    Therefore, how about giving all the candidates equal time and emphasis. Especially the man that has demonstrated consistency with his positions on all issues and foresight with respect to the economy (he was talking about the recession before the other candidates in '08 would dare utter the word).

    This man is RON PAUL. He was talking about these austrian economic philosophies of free market approaches BEFORE IT WAS POPULAR TO DO SO.

    CNN, this is not YOUR election. It's OUR election. Let US decide who we want to vote for and let us have an EQUAL view of all the candidates and QUIT PLAYING GOD WITH OUR DEMOCRACY.

    September 10, 2011 at 12:09 pm |
  94. A man

    Don't ignore Ron Paul and give everyone an equal opportunity to speak.

    Ask Rick Perry why he got in Ron Paul's face at the last debate.

    September 10, 2011 at 12:04 pm |
  95. Joe

    In response to David Hill; David, that is a good question. But it would be a more relevant question if Gov. Perry were the first to do this. Right or wrong, almost everyone does it. President Obama is, and will continue to do the same thing as president and at a much higher cost. A weekend campaign trip on air force one, the decoy, limos, secret service, etc,etc, cost millions. Should the president reimburse us that cost? That's not including all the vacations. We can go there if you want but candidates on both sides are guilty as charged.

    September 10, 2011 at 12:00 pm |
  96. Charlie in MO

    Wolf, did you see the article in Wash Post this morning about the Texas fire fighters now having to buy their own equipment and fire clothing, failing face masks, even fire hoses, out of their own pockets now, because Perry cut their funding so severely? Who is paying for his security detail while he swaggers back and forth between debates and home state photo op's while Texas burns, and the disenfranchised firemen risk their lives? I guess FEMA money will bail this sessionist, hypocritical phony out on that, too, just like the "socialist" stiumulus money balanced his budget and created jobs.

    September 10, 2011 at 11:44 am |
  97. Marta

    I find it incredible the way that CNN has elevated the Tea Party. Are they a separate party or are they the Republican Party? How can you hold yourselves up as a model of unbiased news? Let me remind you..Glenn Beck, Lou Dobbs and now the Tea Party Express.

    September 10, 2011 at 11:44 am |
    • Dan in Albuquerque

      You will notice that Beck and Dobbs are no longer with CNN because they changed their themes to more extreme positions and statements that were way over the line in most people's opinions.

      September 12, 2011 at 12:50 am |
  98. Victoria

    Could you ask these candidates.. If their policies got put in place, why are they not afraid that we would all end up living in a nation where the wealthy stay wealthy, the poor stay poor, the middle class is erased, our kids are uneducated, polution is out of control, civil rights and freedom of choice would be depleting, and ultimately we are brought back in time. How will this promote growth and jobs? Barack's voice is the voice of the majority of Americans so why do so many members of the republican party choose to ignore our voice?

    September 10, 2011 at 11:39 am |
  99. Smalltowner

    Wolf.....Please ask Mr. Perry why he thinks and anybody else that feels social security is a Ponzi scheme and do they think Franklin Roosevelt was a Ponzi scheme artist.

    September 10, 2011 at 11:31 am |
  100. No Tea For Me

    Please ask the why they seek to destroy the middle class

    September 10, 2011 at 11:07 am |
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