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The Defining Moment of the Republican Debate in New Hampshire Plus a Quick Analysis

September 5, 2007

  To me this exchange was the best of the night during the debate:

The comment came in perhaps the most compelling moment of the Republican debate so far, when the Arkansas Republican directly confronted Texas Rep. Ron Paul on his position for an immediate withdrawal from the country.

“Congressman, whether or not we should have gone to Iraq is a discussion for historians, but we’re there. We bought it because we broke it,” he said. “We’ve got a responsibility to the honor of this country and the honor of every man and woman who has served in Iraq and our military to not leave them with anything less than the honor they deserve.”

Amid loud cheers, Paul responded, “The American people didn’t go in. A few people advising this administration, a small number of people called the neoconservatives, hijacked our foreign policy. They are responsible, not the American people.”

Huckabee quickly fired back: “Congressman, we are one nation. We can’t be divided. We have to be one nation under God. That means if we make a mistake, we make it as a single country.”

As the crowd roared louder, Paul answered, “When we make a mistake, it is the obligation of the people — through their representatives — to correct the mistake, not continue the mistake. We have dug a hole for ourselves and we have dug a hole for our party. We are losing elections, and we are going down next year if we don’t change it.”

Huckabee replied loudly, “Even if we lose elections, we should not lose our honor.”

  This was the best moment during the debate, it was the only time the candidates actually confronted each other in an open debate. Other than this exchange the candidate answers seemed much more  scripted, this appeared to be unscripted and unprepared. And it was riviting.

  More quick thoughts on the debate:

 I thought Romney was a little off his game tonight, he didn’t impress me.

McCain: It doesn’t matter, imigration killed his chances

Rudi: Made some good points on his record in New York, I was unimpressed overall.

Ron Paul: I agree with some of his constitutional points, but he appears to be a 9/11 truther and New World Order/One world government conspiracy theorist, wins points with the internet crowd of the same beliefs.

Tom Tancredo: not enough air time, but I kind of liked what I heard from him.

Duncan Hunter: disclaimer, this is who I will probably vote for in the New Hampshire primary, I thought he performed well tonight, he received more air time than I thought he would and I thought he came off well. He has already started buikding the Mexican wall, and he already has buikt a wall between San Diego and Mexico, a big plus with me.

Huckabee: bitch slapped, can I say that when talking about a preacher, the conspiracy theorist Ron Paul which was the best part of the debate.

All in all these candidates seem so much more educated on the issues than any of the Democrats, who just want to try and out anti-Bush the other candidates. The Rebublican candidates have ideas, and we can chose whose ideas best represent us. The Democrat candidates have no ideas, they continually oppose Bush at every turn. Their whole policy is to wait for Bush to take a stand and then they can all battle for who opposes it the most.

17 Comments leave one →
  1. September 5, 2007 11:09 pm

    This was the best moment during the debate, it was the only time the candidates actually confronted each other in an open debate. Other than this exchange the candidate answers seemed much more scripted, this appeared to be unscripted and unprepared. And it was riviting.

    I agree. In the very least was good to see a moment of REAL debate. I’m trying to find the youtube clip.


  2. bbartlog permalink
    September 5, 2007 11:14 pm

    Paul is not a truther. The truthers believe that ‘9-11 was an inside job’ – Paul obviously does not (his answer to the second amendment question in this debate alone should make that clear).
    I see that you followed Fox News in cutting off Paul’s final reply to Huckabee in this exchange. Wouldn’t want to mention the human cost of war…


  3. jerminer permalink
    September 5, 2007 11:34 pm

    I am ticked off that my favorite did not get as much air time as I would have liked him to…DUNCAN HUNTER….If he doesnt make Pres., hope someone would pick him as V.P.
    I am highly impressed with this man…
    Guilani cant seem to get out of Ny, Romney is fair, McCain did fair tonight, but I think immigration did him in…Thompson is ranked high,not to hot on putting up a fence…(?) but nobody knows any of his positions, and he belongs to a group that wants the same as Bush, Hilliary, and a few others, and that is to make the UsA a North American Union, without any borders from the North Pole down to the Panama canal….No frickin way….!!!!
    The one question I would like answered is “WHAT DO ANY OF YOU PLAN ON DOING ABOUT THE”ANCHOR-BABIES ” SITUATION,
    We need to change the 14th Amend Sect.1 to the up-dated
    Jus SANGUINIS which says ” Babies born in the USA of NON AMERICAN CITIZENS are then deemed to be the same Nationally as their birth mother or father”…an this is very, very BIG thing in this Country…!!!!


  4. Next Dimensions permalink
    September 5, 2007 11:48 pm

    Yeah, put the last part of the ‘riveting dialogue’ between Paul and Huckabee, it kind of finishes the exchange a little.

    Paul was not given the respect that he should have gotten. Nor the screen time, which was the reason for his obvious anger in his demeanor. 30 minutes passed and he still hadn’t been asked anything.

    Oh yeah, it’s FOX. What a sorry production for a debate. Cutting to a brownie for some sort of joke in the restaurant? Hume, Wallace and Hannity? They are such dorks.


  5. September 5, 2007 11:50 pm

    while i agree Huckabee bitch slapped Paul, so did the questioners, and the 3 year old in the back row, and…he was atrocious tonight. Shrill, whiny, and sometimes incoherent….easy to anger…he looked as rabid as Biff Romney looked dense.


  6. September 6, 2007 1:45 am

    I found the vid:


  7. Paul permalink
    September 6, 2007 2:19 am

    Do you guys just make stuff up when all else fails? Such as Ron Paul being a truther, Ron Paul being an isolationist, Ron Paul blaming America, etc?


  8. September 6, 2007 2:57 am

    I just finished my post on the debate and I’m getting you linked up!!


  9. coolslayer permalink
    September 6, 2007 4:11 am

    Who wrote this article/opinion? Why the “labels” for Ron Paul? You did not “label” anyone else. A “911 Truther”,a “New World Order/One world government conspiracy theorist”?What a mouthfull! What has happened to this country that makes people so critical of a strict Constitutionalist? Other debate panelists(who would not commit to a tax relief promise) claimed that they honored their Constitutional oath,Paul seems to be the only one in the group actually voting his oath.FYI: I have always voted Democrat before this.Please stop labeling people,control your fear,and actually LISTEN to what they say.


  10. September 6, 2007 4:55 am

    I probably shouldn’t have called Paul a truther, I was trying to make the point that those type of people seem to be his base.

    During the first debate Paul did blame America for 9/11, he lost any chance of getting my vote right then.

    Thanks for the link, I will check out your assessment tonight when I have more time.

    Good point jerminer, I would love to know which candidates support doing away with anchor babies, if there are any who do.

    My problem with Paul is basically that he said we brought 9/11 on ourselves. He also says we need to talk to the enemy. He is basically saying the same things the Democrats are on regards to the war on terror. If I wanted to hear that, I would watch the Democrat debates.

    One of the moderators, I forget which one this early in the morning, really handed it to Paul after Paul said we should leave the middle east, asking him why we should take our orders from alQaeda.


  11. September 6, 2007 6:57 pm

    Sadly, I have to say that as soon as the Fred bashing started, I immediately disregarded the whole debate and lost a good deal of respect for the candidates as a whole. This whole idea of being “late” is absolutely asinine. I mean, if the part starts at 8 and everybody shows up at 6, is the guy who shows up at 7:30 really late? It is just silly, and personally I don’t understand why people aren’t being more critical over hoe early this process has started this season.

    Either way, I have to ask if we want a person representing us (republicans) who is so willing to rip on one of our own?


  12. September 6, 2007 9:57 pm

    Point well taken. However, being in New Hampshire, I can say there is a feeling among Republican voters that we were shunned by Fred. This was a case of the candidates pandering to their base. Not that that makes it right, but that is why they did it.


  13. Jan Brennan permalink
    September 7, 2007 3:09 am

    mpinkeyes & jerminer,

    Let me just say that Ron Paul has covered his stand on “anchor babies” it was in one of the other debates. I can’t quote him word for word..but he has said that ONLY foreigners that have LEGALLY applied and recieved citizenship should be allowed to stay in the US and recieve any benefits available because at that point they WOULD be US citizens..and as for babies born on US soil by TWO illegal aliens, they would be deported along with their parents. If one parent was a US citizen and the other was illegal the child would not be an “anchor” and could stay, but the illegal parent could not. Plain and simple.

    Please refresh yourself on what Dr. Paul ACTUALLY said about 9/11. He DID NOT say that Americans brought 9/11 on ourselves. What he said was our GOVERNMENT inspires hatred towards Americans by our foreign policy. We have a military presence in sooooo many places and our current administration tries to force our beliefs on other countries with a show of force. A result of that show of force is a natural return of force.
    Try switching it around…if China were to come in and set up military bases in California, Florida, Texas, North Dakota and Maine you know that the people would revolt and do what ever was needed to remove China from our land.
    Dr. Paul DID NOT say we deserved it, that he thought we had it coming, or anything like that. What he said was, in order to protect ourselves from attacks like 9/11 we should listen to the reasons our attackers have given for those attacks…that way we would be able to counter them.
    And as for trying to talk to our enemies..what he said there was if we didn’t get involved in other countries conflicts and choose sides in them we would not have those enemies in the first place, and we should have open trade, open talking, and no sanctions on any of them. If they are not a threat to our national security then we should not be in a war with them…AND if the American people feel that there is some country we SHOULD be at war with, it should go thru the proper channels (via congress) and be declared by the USA. Deffinately NOT the undeclared invasion we have now.
    We DO NOT take our walking orders from Al-quaida, we take them from the Constitution. We went into Afghanistan to go after Al-quida… (which Dr. Paul voted yes to in congress BTW)
    but we are in Iraq for a completely different reason, and nothing to do with 9/11.
    I know that I’m long winded..but I love a good exchange of thoughts…so I am looking forward to your reply(ies)


  14. September 7, 2007 5:04 am

    I agree with alot that he says constitutionally wise, and maybe I did not properly interpret what he said about 9/11 in the first debate. In this last debate he basically said we should talk to our enemies and try to make them like us. While that seems like a great idea, talking to these people doesn’t work, they only understand one thing. He also said if they don’t want us on the Arabian penninsula, we should leave. While I wish we didn’t have to be over there I think it is dangerous to let our enemies tell us where we can and cannot go.

    I will be going away for the weekend so I will not be able to respond to any replies until Sunday night/Monday morning. Please don’t think I am ignoring you.


  15. Jan Brennan permalink
    September 7, 2007 1:02 pm

    I think the biggest problem with Ron Paul is that when he is FINALLY given the chance to speak he tries to get so much of his thought squeezed in the alotted time that it comes out a bit bunched up, and if you don’t get to hear it or miss the pauses in his statement it is very easy to misunderstand it. A perfect example of this was the exchange between the moderator and Dr. Paul about WHO we take our marching orders from. When the moderator posed the question it was hard for people to totally hear Paul’s answer due to the obnoxious laughing from Rudy. He did say something pertaining to “they don’t want us over there” but you have to listen to the whole statement. Dr. Paul unfortunately doesn’t do well in sound bytes. What he actually was saying about “they don’t want us over there” is that we’ve been over in Isreal for forever and that is part of what inspires hatred of us, when if we were following our Constitution, we wouldn’t have been in Isreal. What he meant by “they” was just a general statement that covers a span of many years, and many parts of the Middle East. He was TOTALLY supportful of us going after Bin Ladin until we caught him, but there again, Bin Ladin was not in Iraq, so why are we? AND he answered a resounding “NO” that we should not take our walking orders from Al-quida but from our Constitution which states we should only BE IN wars that have been declared by Congress. (ergo the American People) To even push it further…Dr. Paul has said he while he voted no to invade Iraq, he would stand behind our being there IF it had been a properly declared war (by Congress by the people) but since we did NOT declare war and are actually INVADING Iraq we should not be there. We should have done it the right way IF we were going to do it.

    I hope that you going away for the weekend is for a happy reason…and so assuming that it is…Have a great weekend =)
    I hope to hear from you soon.


  16. September 9, 2007 8:26 pm

    Jan, I can empathise with your comment about Ron Paul not getting enough air time as I am not looking to vote for Rudi or Romney or any of the so-called front-runners, and I would like to hear more from the second teir candidates. Right now my candidate of choice is Hunter, and I would like to see him get more time in the debates.
    While congress did not technically declare war they did authorize the president to use military force and it wasn’t until they sensed the public opinion turning on the war that they decided that the president had overstepped his bounds, all to play to their base. I am a hawk when it come to national defense, and I agree with taking a proactive stance. I believe it was our unwillingness to deal with the radical islamists for so many years that led to 9/11 and I am glad we had a president who would stand up to them when 9/11 happened. And I want to know the next president will also.
    And, yes, I did go away for a happy reason. It was my 18th wedding anniversary and the wife and I escaped without the boys for a couple of days. 🙂


  17. Jan Brennan permalink
    September 17, 2007 12:57 am

    Congrats on your anniversary!!! Family is deffinately what it’s all about.

    On reguards to the war in Iraq…I wasn’t aware that Iraq attacked us on 911? I thought it was Al-quaida, and I don’t recall BinLaden hiding in Iraq?

    Speaking of BinLaden, after 6 years…have we gotten him yet? Or could it be that Bush really doesn’t want to catch him because he gives us an excuse to go to war with any part of the middle east we want to?


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