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GOP presidential debate turns feisty

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« on: May 17, 2007, 02:56:02 pm »

GOP presidential debate turns feisty
POSTED: 9:11 a.m. EDT, May 16, 2007
Story Highlights

Unlike prior debate, contenders who lag in the polls jab at the front-runners
Foes press Rudy Giuliani repeatedly on his support for abortion rights
Mitt Romney says he signed legislation into law banning assault weapons
John McCain says he wants to make President Bush's tax cuts permanent
ON CNN TV: CNN will host Democratic and Republican debates from New Hampshire on June 3 and June 5.
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COLUMBIA, South Carolina (AP) -- Under pressure from their rivals, the leading Republican presidential contenders defended their conservative credentials on abortion, gun control and tax cuts in a feisty debate Tuesday night.
"Republicans should be uniting" to defeat the Democrats, implored former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, rather than stressing their differences with one another.
Giuliani, pressed repeatedly on his support for abortion rights, wasn't the only contender to field pointed questions.
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney conceded he had signed legislation banning assault weapons but said, "Let's get the record straight." He said he is a supporter of the rights of gun owners under the Second Amendment.
Arizona Sen. John McCain of Arizona said he would make sure that President Bush's tax cuts are made permanent, even though he said he had voted against them because they were not accompanied by spending cuts.
"If we don't make them permanent then every business farm and family will have to adjust their budgets to what is in effect a tax increase," he said.
All three men sought to stand their ground -- and protect their standing in the presidential race -- in a 90-minute debate at the University of South Carolina.
The 10 men on the debate stage differed only by degree when it came to the familiar Republican themes of tax cuts, reduced spending and a smaller federal bureaucracy.
Giuliani called for "Reagan-like budget cuts across the board" of between 5 percent and 20 percent, and Tommy Thompson said he had cast many vetoes while governor of Wisconsin to hold down spending.

Jabbing at the front-runners
In a change from the campaign's first debate, on May 3, some of the contenders who lag in the polls jabbed at the front-runners.
Asked whether he believes McCain, Romney and Giuliani were soft on immigration, Rep. Tom Tancredo of Colorado said, "I do."
That wasn't all, he added quickly, saying his rivals had undergone recent conversions on abortion and other issues.
"I trust those conversions when they happen on the road to Damascus and not on the road to Des Moines," he said, contrasting the biblical with the political.
Former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore bore in, as well. "Some of the people on this stage were very liberal in characterizing themselves as conservatives, particularly on the issues of abortion and taxes and health care," he said.
He singled out Giuliani for his position on abortion and said another rival, Mike Huckabee, had raised taxes while serving as governor of Arkansas.
Huckabee responded that the state raised taxes in response to a court order and said he had cut taxes repeatedly.
On defense for much of the evening, Giuliani switched gears nearly an hour into the debate, challenging Rep. Ron Paul's suggestion that the U.S. bombing of Iraq had contributed to the terrorist attacks of 2001.
As mayor of New York at the time of the attacks, Giuliani said sternly, "I don't think I've ever heard that before, and I have heard some pretty absurd explanations."
His rebuke to Paul drew some of the loudest applause of the night from the partisan audience.

McCain-Romney sniping
McCain and Romney also sniped at one another.
Romney criticized the Arizona senator for working across party lines on two bills that conservatives oppose, measures on immigration and campaign spending.
In a slap at the former Massachusetts governor, McCain said: "I haven't changed my position in even-numbered years or ... because of the different offices that I may be running for."
Romney, in turn, poked at McCain's call for closing the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, saying: "Some people have said we ought to close Guantanamo." However, Romney said, he would imprison even more suspected terrorists there. "I'm glad they're at Guantanamo. I don't want them on our soil," he said.
There were few moments when the Republicans sought to turn the campaign spotlight on the Democrats, who are embarked on a drive to win back the White House after Bush's two terms.
"We've had a Congress that's spent money like John Edwards at a beauty shop," Huckabee said, mocking the Democratic presidential hopeful's penchant for $400 haircuts.
He did not mention that until January, Congress has been under the control of Republicans for a dozen years.
Giuliani combined his plea to unite against the Democrats with an attack on New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton as an apostle of big government.
"Those are the things that we should be debating, and Republicans should be uniting to make certain what the liberal media is talking about, our inevitable defeat, doesn't happen," he said.
Not everyone was convinced.
Rep. Duncan Hunter, the top Republican on the House Armed Services Committee, noted his experience on military matters and challenged those on stage with him to lay out their credentials to be commander in chief.
Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2007, 02:57:50 pm »

The media is reporting it like it was some big win for the contenders, but a FOX News poll taken after the debate all said that Ron Paul won!  And we all know how biased FOX is.
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« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2007, 04:56:45 pm »

The Republicans have as much chance at the Presidency this year as much as a former KKK member has the chance to be head of a Black Church in the South.

It is like the Communist Party in Russia after the Berlin Wall fell.  Suer they have their meetings but who cares.  You can't screw a country royally and think you're going to keep getting elected.  Unless Diebold and the Republicans got some masterplan for 2008.
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« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2007, 03:20:16 pm »

I think Fox were taken by surprise by the poll

Tuesday night

Approx. 11pm ET.

Priceless look on Sean Hannity's face...

He was preparing to tell Fox News viewers which right wingnut among the ten Republicans had won the debate according to the poll so far among the Fox viewers - when he learned that the text votes to date had placed RON PAUL in first place! With 30% of the vote!

Hannity was suitably gob-smacked! Looked it and sounded it.

"Rudy Giuliani's much-publicized but misleading put-down of Ron Paul during Tuesday night's Republican presidential debate should have been tempered by a report that Saudi Arabia, the country that spawned most of the 9/11 hijackers, has been one of Giuliani's lucrative foreign clients. However, Fox News questioners Chris Wallace and Wendell Goler did not bring it up.

Perhaps this can be explained by the fact that the same Associated Press story that named Saudi Arabia as a Giuliani client listed News Corporation, the parent company of Fox News, as another Giuliani client. This AP story, which was not disputed by Giuliani or News Corporation, was carried on the Fox News website.

This writer had raised questions about Fox News' co-sponsorship of the debate, based on the fact that the company had a relationship with Giuliani when he was mayor of New York City. But now we know that the relationship has continued into the period of time that Giuliani has been planning a presidential run. It is an obvious conflict of interest.

It was during a discussion of foreign policy that Paul, a Texas congressman, identified U.S. involvement in the Middle East, especially in Iraq, as a factor in the 9/11 attacks. Giuliani pounced on that, saying the claim was worse than absurd. "Rudy's Wrath" was the headline as Fox News proclaimed Giuliani the winner of the exchange. However, the Fox News text-message poll, with 40,000 votes, gave Paul 25 percent over Giuliani's 19 percent. Mitt Romney came in first with 29 percent.

Giuliani was the first Republican candidate to come on Fox News after the debate and talk about his performance. Co-host Sean Hannity wanted to focus on Giuliani's comments on 9/11 and his attack on Paul. Later, Michael Steele, Maryland's former Lieutenant Governor, was on Fox News, declaring that Giuliani had destroyed Ron Paul. "It's done," Steele said of Paul's campaign. It wasn't mentioned that Giuliani had campaigned for Steele when he ran for a Maryland Senate seat.

The exchange with Paul over 9/11 might have been seen in a different light if Hannity had asked Giuliani about why, according to the AP report, his firm represented Saudi Arabia. But that was a taboo topic.

Equally important, it turns out that Paul's point-that the 9/11 attacks were linked to U.S. involvement in Iraq and the Middle East-was factually correct. Osama bin Laden's 1996 "Declaration of War against the Americans Occupying the Land of the Two Holy Places" specifically mentioned the situation in Iraq, blaming the U.S. for the impact of economic sanctions on the Saddam Hussein regime. Bin Laden accused the U.S. of "aggression" against Iraq and the record shows that his anti-Americanism was motivated, at least in part, by the U.S. military presence in Saudi Arabia.

Yet, Giuliani claimed "I don't think I've heard that before," in reference to Paul's citation of some of these facts. One would think that "America's Mayor" and "Mr. 9/11" would understand the genesis of the attacks that took almost 3,000 American lives.

Despite the facts of the case, Fox News correspondent Steve Brown said it was a matter of "Mission Accomplished" for Giuliani because of his exchange with Paul. Of course, "Mission Accomplished" has become associated with a war in Iraq that has no end in sight. Paul has been against the Iraq War from the beginning. He made the point, as he had during the first debate on MSNBC, that the war had cost the GOP control of Congress. Senator John McCain tried to insist that Republicans had lost Congress because they had been spending too much federal money. He didn't explain why the public had replaced the Republicans with bigger spenders from the Democratic Party.

Conceding Paul's point about 9/11, however, doesn't mean that the U.S. should withdraw from the Middle East, as bin Laden demanded, or as Paul advocates. But U.S. involvement in the Middle East should be debated and discussed. The Texas Congressman noted that President Reagan inserted U.S. troops into the civil war in Lebanon but that when 241 lost their lives in a suicide bombing he withdrew them, citing the irrationality of the region. The unanswered question of the debate was what President Reagan would do about Iraq. Only more debates, with war critic Ron Paul, will smoke the candidates out on this critical issue.

There is no issue more important than American involvement in the Middle East. At least in this regard, the Paul-Giuliani exchange was welcome and long-overdue. We need more of this, not less. But Fox News seems determined to run Paul and other candidates out of the race.

Steve Doocy of Fox News called Ron Paul the "Sanjaya" of the Republican presidential debate, a reference to the American Idol contestant many believe stayed in the national competition for too long. But this is reality turned upside down. Fox News didn't want its audience to know the facts behind the exchange. Especially with his controversial Saudi and other foreign connections, Giuliani may end up looking like the real "Sanjaya" of the race.

The bottom line is that Giuliani's applause-winning response to Ron Paul was beside the point. Giuliani should have been on the spot, but he wasn't.

Indeed, Giuliani was completely spared any tough questions about his controversial dealings with foreign clients. Neither Wallace nor Goler brought up the growing controversy over the Giuliani law firm representing a Spanish company that is privatizing a Texas road in the proposed "NAFTA Superhighway." The same firm, Bracewell & Giuliani, represents Citgo, the oil company owned by Venezuela's anti-American ruler Hugo Chavez.

Fox News had attempted to limit participation in the debate to the so-called "serious" candidates before a public outcry forced all of them to be included. That ploy was seen as an effort to cement Giuliani as the frontrunner. After the debate, Fox News correspondent Carl Cameron was again trying to limit the field, declaring that the "second-tier candidates" had slowed down the exchanges. He implied that candidates like Paul, Duncan Hunter and Mike Huckabee should be left out of future debates.

Fox News has a reputation as a conservative news channel and many Republicans rely on it for news and information. But its handling of this debate raises serious questions about the channel's commitment to being "fair and balanced." It seems to be emerging as an arm of the Giuliani-for-president campaign. Honest conservatives should demand better coverage."

Cliff Kincaid is the Editor of the AIM Report.
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It was a bright cold day in December and the clocks were striking thirteen.
Jeannette Latoria
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« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2007, 10:59:04 am »


It just boggles the mind how the corporate media still goes after the outsider here and keeps trying to protect Bush.  Bush is at 28%, and the press keeps trying to protect him.  At the Republican debate, they acted as if everyone still supports the war in Iraq, and they don't. 

They are totally delusional, and completely in bed with their corporate masters. If you watch the news coverage of the debate, you would never have even known Ron Paul was there, and he was the one that won the debate!  It was so funny when Hannity kept trying to check the results of their "tamperproof" poll and Ron Paul was constantly in the lead.  They played it all up as Guiliani.  They say America is a democracy, but it isn't.  The elections are all one giant propaganda machine controlled by big corporations.

You can see that by the way the press savaged Clinton when he was in office (for basically doing nothing but screwing around) while going easy on Bush, who has screwed up just about anything a President can screw up.
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