Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Rick Santorum wins Fox News Republican primary debate (with video)

Santorum wins, Gingrich came second.

Part 1 of 11:

All the parts:

Here’s a review from Jennifer Rubin at the Washington Post.

Excerpt:

When the Republican presidential contenders debated in Orlando tonight, it was really two debates. In the first third of the evening, a series of disjointed questions without follow-ups, Texas Gov. Rick Perry seemed strong and well-prepared. But he faded over the rest of the debate, appearing to lose his steam just as he was trying to paint Mitt Romney as a flip-flopper.

The big winner of the night, however, was Rick Santorum.

Santorum has been waiting for the chance to supplant Rep. Michele Bachmann (Minn.) as the third-ranking candidate in the race. Tonight he went a long way toward achieving that. Bachmann never managed to make a presence. Santorum, however, socked Perry on in-state tuition breaks for Texas college students who are illegal immigrants, making the point that Perry is subsidizing those people over non-Texan American citizens. On Afghanistan, he hit a home run, telling off Jon Huntsman Jr. over the latter’s suggestion to bug out of a war short of victory. He barked, “Just because our economy is sick doesn’t mean America is sick.” When asked about right-to-work laws, Santorum smartly steered the discussion to public employee unions. As the debate went on, he received more and more questions, a sure sign he was becoming a contender.

And another review:

Republican presidential candidate and former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum breathed new life into his bid for the Republican presidential nomination Thursday, issuing a string of critiques at his Republican counterparts

Speaking in a GOP debate hosted by Google and Fox News, the Pennsylvania Republican slammed critics of his campaign, calling for a renewed commitment in Iraq and Afghanistan, and condemning a repeal of the military’s controversial “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.

Mr. Santorum on Thursday said the military has one responsibility: protecting the country. He says that allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly is a distraction to that role. The former U.S. senator made the statement in response to a video question from a gay soldier that yielded boos from the debate audience.

Mr. Santorum said that “sexual activity has absolutely no place in the military,” adding that the repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, which took effect this week, was injecting “social policy into the military.”

“What we’re doing is playing social experimentation with our military right now, and that’s tragic,” Mr. Santorum said.

The Pennsylvania Republican slammed former Utah governor Jon Huntsman, questioning his recent comments on on U.S. foreign policy in the Mideast. Mr. Santorum took issue with Mr. Huntsman’s suggestion that the U.S. should leave Afghanistan short of victory.

“Just because our economy is sick doesn’t mean America is sick,” Mr. Santorum said.

Mr. Santorum, who continues to trail former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney and Texas Republican Rick Perry in the latest polls, had struggled to gain support in recent months. The Pennsylvania Republican has focused his campaign on Iowa, where recent polls seems to suggest Minnesota congresswoman Michele Bachmann and Mr. Perry as the leading candidates. Still, the Pennsylvania Republican has repeatedly said he remains confident of his chances of securing the 2012 nomination.

The performance at Thursday night’s GOP debate comes as Mr. Santorum has sought to increase his presence within the national debate. Speaking Tuesday, Mr. Santorum launched a scathing rebuke of Mr. Perry’s assessment of U.S. relations with Israel.

“I’ve forgotten more about Israel than Rick Perry knows about Israel,” Mr. Santorum told Politico. “There he is, reading a speech that I’m sure he didn’t write, and has never taken a position on any of this stuff before, and [the media is] taking this guy seriously.”

Preceding the debate hosted by Google, Mr. Santorum made national headlines after issuing a plea to the search engine, requesting that the address search results related to his name. Mr. Santorum’s contacting of Google comes as Google searches for Mr. Santorum’s name have generated some inappropriate results since gay columnist Dan Savage organized an online campaign to link graphic sexual terms to Mr. Santorum’s campaign.

It was a great debate, I recommend watching at least the first half.

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Eight Republicans will participate in tonight’s Fox News debate in Orlando

From Fox News:

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) – Fox News and Google announced today that they will present a presidential debate on Sept. 22 from 9:00-11:00 p.m. ET in Orlando, Fla., in conjunction with the Republican Party of Florida.

In making the joint announcement, Michael Clemente, senior vice president of news editorial, Fox News, said, “For access to news and information, it’s hard to imagine two more powerful brands than Fox News and Google, which is why we are proud to partner with a leader in global technology. The strength and reach of both should ensure a thorough and engaging debate that anyone can participate in.”

Moderated by Special Report anchor Bret Baier with panelists Chris Wallace, host of “Fox News Sunday” and Megyn Kelly, anchor of “America Live,” the debate will incorporate video and text questions submitted by the public on YouTube.com/FoxNews.

Viewers will be able to vote on the questions they want the candidates to answer, and Fox News will use the votes to help choose which questions are posed to the candidates. In addition, Fox News and Google will present public data and Google search trends on air to help provide context to the questions and inform the debate throughout the evening.

Steve Grove, head of news and politics for YouTube, said, “We’re delighted to give voters across the country this opportunity to ask their questions of the GOP candidates. Through this joint debate with Fox News we hope to bring more voices into the arena to create an informed and lively dialogue about the future of our country.”

The Fox News/Google debate will be presented live from the Orange County Convention Center on Fox News Channel (FNC) and live-streamed on YouTube.com/FoxNews, in addition to Fox News Radio, Fox News Mobile, and FoxNews.com.

I’ll be watching, hope you will too! Bret Baier, Chris Wallace and Megyn Kelly are my three favorite people on Fox News.

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Titanium spine: Michele Bachmann one point behind Romney in Iowa poll

Presidential Candidate Michele Bachmann

Presidential Candidate Michele Bachmann

The Des Moines Register reports that Michele Bachmann trails Romney by one point in the latest poll from Iowa.

Excerpt:

Two-time candidate Mitt Romney and tea party upstart Michele Bachmann are neck and neck leading the pack, and retired pizza chief Herman Cain is in third place in a new Des Moines Register Iowa Poll of likely participants in the state’s Republican presidential caucuses.

The results are bad news for the earnest Tim Pawlenty, a former Minnesota governor who is in single digits despite a full-throttle campaign.

Romney, a former Massachusetts governor and business executive, claims 23 percent, and Bachmann, a Minnesota congresswoman and evangelical conservative, garners 22 percent. Neither has done heavy lifting in Iowa.

The rest of the Republican field is at least 12 points behind them.

Cain, a retired Georgia business executive, is the top choice for 10 percent of potential caucusgoers.

Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich, whose entire Iowa campaign team resigned in frustration two weeks ago over its perception that his efforts are half-hearted, is tied in fourth place at 7 percent with the libertarian-leaning Ron Paul, a longtime Texas congressman.

Pawlenty is at 6 percent; Rick Santorum, a former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania, 4 percent; and Jon Huntsman, a former Utah governor and ambassador to China, 2 percent.

“The surprise here is how quickly Michele Bachmann is catching on,” said Jennifer Duffy, a political analyst with the nonpartisan Cook Political Report of Washington, D.C. “To me, she’s the one to watch, not Romney.”

The poll has a 4.9 point margin of error, so it’s not the greatest poll.

Titanium spine

Bachmann was also interviewed by Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday, where Wallace went out of his way to ask her the tough questions that she will be getting more of as a Republican female candidate. Bob Shieffer also interviewed her on CBS’ Face the Nation show on Sunday.

National Review reports:

 On the eve of her presidential announcement in Waterloo, Iowa, a confident Michele Bachmann made the case that she was a serious candidate, attacking President Obama’s record and parrying tough questions in interviews with CBS’s Bob Schieffer and Fox News’s Chris Wallace.

“Since the debate, people have paid attention and they recognize that I am very serious about what I want to do,” Bachmann said on Fox.

She didn’t shy away from outlining clear differences between herself and Mitt Romney, who is statistically tied with her for the lead among Iowa voters according to a Des Moines Register poll released yesterday.

“What people know about me is I do what I say and I say what I mean. I am a fighter for the cause … People recognize that I’m very sincere in what I say,” Bachmann told Wallace. She later criticized Romney for his “disappointing” decision to not sign the pro-life pledge by the Susan B. Anthony List.

“Mitt Romney has to say what he is, but I will say, if he is saying now that he is pro-life, this was a tremendous opportunity to demonstrate that by signing … the pledge,” Bachmann said.

On CBS, Bachmann hit Romney on his health-care program, calling individual mandates at both the state and federal level “unconstitutional,” and arguing that reliance on free market forces, rather than efforts by state or federal government, was how health-care costs should be brought down.

Asked by Wallace about New York’s legislature’s decision to legalize gay marriage, Bachmann said she acknowledged the state’s tenth amendment right to do so, but said she would continue to push for a federal marriage amendment that would outlaw same-sex marriage.  She said her position was “entirely consistent,” noting that the issue of gay marriage was likely to be dealt with at a federal level in either the courts or the legislature.

In response to Schieffer’s question about whether she believed homosexuality was a choice or not, Bachmann said she was running for president, not “to be anyone’s judge.”

She also defended herself against charges that she was a gaffe-prone politician who had made erroneous statements in the past. Wallace directly asked, “Are you a flake?” a term that Bachmann called “insulting,” noting her extensive career as a tax lawyer and politician. In response to Shieffer’s remarks about her history of “misleading” statements, Bachmann said, “I haven’t mislead people at all.”

“I think the question should be asked of President Obama,” she added, noting that he pushed for nearly $1 trillion dollar stimulus by saying it would prevent unemployment rates from going above 8 percent. “That is what’s serious. Did he mislead the American people? Not only did he mislead the American people, he caused our economy to go down to depths we haven’t seen,” Bachmann pointed out.

Bachmann, who has criticized Obamacare for taking $500 billion away from Medicare, told Wallace that she did not see Paul Ryan’s budget, a budget which Bachmann voted for and which would also cut Medicare, as impacting seniors the same way Obamacare would.

“Let’s be clear: the Ryan budget is really the 55 and under plan. People need to recognize no one under 55 will be touched,” she said, calling Ryan’s plan a “starting point” for a budget discussion.

“My commitment is to make sure government keeps its promises to senior citizens both on Medicare and on Social Security,” Bachmann said of the 55-year-old and older crowd, but noted that those younger would have to face “adjustments.”

She argued that if the nation was going to be serious about its fiscal situation, the debt ceiling could not be raised. Making clear that she was against defaulting, Bachmann said payments on the debt would have to be prioritized if a new, higher ceiling wasn’t authorized and that Congress would have to cut spending elsewhere. Speaking about how the number of federal limos had been increased by 73 percent in the past two years, Bachmann said it showed how Obama wasn’t “serious about cutting spending” now.

If she were president, matters would be different.

“I have a titanium spine to do what needs to be done to turn the economy around,” Bachmann said on Fox.

She will get the same treatment from the misogynists on the left. Can she take it? I think she can.

Learn more about Michele Bachmann

Speeches:

Reactions from her recent debate performance:

Profiles of Michele Bachmann:

Here is the latest comprehensive profile of Michele Bachmann from the Weekly Standard. (H/T Muddling Towards Maturity)

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Republican Allen West debates economic policy on Fox News Sunday

From Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace.

Here’s the transcript.

Excerpt:

WALLACE: Congressman West, as we saw in the special election up in New York state this week, where the Democrat beat the Republican and Medicare was a big issue, as we see in the national polls a lot of people, especially seniors, don’t want to see Medicare changed this way.

WEST: Well, I think when you look at Paul Ryan’s plan, first of all, there is no change for anyone who is a senior 55 years and above. But as I sit here right now, I’m 50 years of age. And we already know that the board of trustee has said, you got 13 years and something very bad is going to happen with Medicare. So, what is going to be there for myself when I get 63 to 65?

So, I think the thing that we see is at least there’s a plan out there to try to have some type of reform.

And there was a great article by Mr. Stanley Druckenmiller in The Wall Street Journal back in the 15th of May that talked about the fact that the financial markets, a lot of these, you know, bond markets are looking to see: are we going to have some type of long- term viable solution and plan as we go forward?

WALLACE: But let me pick up on that, Congressman Edwards, because the knock against the Democrats is you don’t have a plan, that congressional Democrats didn’t pass a budget last year. Senate Democrats aren’t offering a budget this year — President Obama talks having an independent panel of medical experts who are going to find $20 billion of cuts somewhere. At least they’ve got a plan.

EDWARDS: Well, I think it’s not true that we don’t have a plan. And, in fact, when we passed the Affordable Care Act last year, we put in some real markers for Medicare that in fact reduced Medicare costs. We invested in preventive care for seniors because we know that the real drivers of Medicare are these long-term costs for chronic care that happens at the — you know, at the end of life.

You know, Republicans are very interesting because in their budget what they would do is repeal preventive care. Prescription drug coverage — we also closed the donut hole there, which is costing seniors a boatload of money and is not very efficient on the system.

So, to say that Democrats don’t have a plan I think is incorrect. I mean, in fact, the plan is to preserve and protect Medicare for future generations. And Republicans want to dismantle that.

WEST: Yes, but I think as you sit here and look at the two of us, one of us has voted to cut Medicare. When you look at the fact you voted for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which had $500 million of cuts of Medicare. And we also have this independent payment advisory board, these 15 bureaucrats, that are supposed to control the cost of Medicare. I mean, that’s something that really does scare seniors.

What we are talking is something that does not affect any senior, anyone 55 years and above. We’re talking about something that does put in some type of viable plan to sustain Medicare for the future, because as we know, it was put out three weeks ago, it won’t be there.

EDWARDS: Well, the congressman thinks the seniors are only interested in what’s good for them. And what we know about seniors, whether they’re in south Florida or in Maryland, is that they actually care about what happens with that next generation. They care about whether we’re going to cover preventive care and prescription drug.

WEST: But if you don’t have a plan, there is nothing for the next generation.

EDWARDS: And that they are — and that they are not sent in the private market to negotiate with insurance companies. We know that that would be a failure. And that’s exactly what the Republican plan calls for. I can’t negotiate on –

WALLACE: Let me move on to another thing, because the biggest difference, it seems to me, looking at your two positions on how to deal with the deficit is over taxes.

Congresswoman Edwards, you have a big plan to increase revenues. And let’s put it up on the screen. You would raise tax rates for the wealthy. You would raise the estate tax. You would tax capital gains and dividend as ordinary income and you would end tax subsidies for oil and gas companies.

So, raise taxes in the middle of a weak recovery?

EDWARDS: Well, let’s be clear — raise tax on the wealthiest 2 percent who have run away with the store for the last 10 years and haven’t put money back into the economy. I mean, that’s a fact, because if that trickle-down theory had worked, our economy would be in good shape right now.

And so, we do — I do subscribe to a plan that says, you know what? Middle income earners, you’ve already shared a fair burden of your taxes. But the wealthiest 2 percent have not.

And there’s no excuse whatsoever for continuing taxes for people who make over $500,000 a year.

WALLACE: Congressman West, you got something there?

WEST: Yes. I got a very interesting article which was written on the 26th of May by Steven Moore for The Wall Street Journal that talks about — we are talking about a 62 percent top tax rate and the absolutely abysmal effects that it will have on this economy.

And one of the great things he says here is, in the end, “The Tax Foundation recently noted that in 2009, U.S. collected a higher share of income and payroll taxes, 45 percent, from the richest 10 percent of tax files than any other nation, including some such socialist welfare states.”

So, I think that we are already getting a lot of the juice from those top brackets. But go back and look at history, Donna, when we looked at Coolidge and Harding. It took those marginal tax rates down to 29 percent. And the percentage of revenues for GDP grew. But after them came Hoover and Roosevelt who took it from 24 percent up to 83 percent, and the percentage of revenues decreased. Even John F. Kennedy, when he came in and saw a 91 percent marginal tax rate said that was too high. He took it down to 71 percent.

He seems to have all the facts and figures at his fingertips! Just like William Lane Craig, except he’s a former Army Lt. Colonel.

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Paul Ryan talks about health care with Chris Matthews and Chris Wallace

Video here:

Matthews is surprisingly reasonable.

BONUS: Paul Ryan on with Chris Wallace

He needs to be President in 2012.

Filed under: Videos, , , , , ,

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