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GOP Debate Open Thread

By Doug Powers  •  October 18, 2011 07:37 PM

**Written by Doug Powers

The start time for the latest GOP debate is 8 p.m. eastern on CNN. Heading into the debate, the big story is the Herman Cain surge:

The spotlight will be on Herman Cain during the eighth Republican presidential debate Tuesday night, the first since the former Godfather’s Pizza CEO’s surprise first-place finish in the latest Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll. How Mr. Cain handles the increased scrutiny might determine whether his campaign continues to gain momentum or whether he becomes the latest in a string of candidates who had a brief turn at the top of the polls.

A Pew Research Center for the People and the Press survey released Monday found that 43% of Republicans and more than half of tea-party supporters say the debates have caused them to switch support among the GOP candidates. The next debate isn’t until Nov. 9–giving voters a long time to think about each candidate’s performance Tuesday.

Since Cain’s in the lead (or at least tied for it) and will be a main target for the others, will anybody mention this?

It’ll also be interesting to see if Romney’s opponents take any substantial shots at his health care dealings. Nobody went there at the previous debate, which is amazing. When the other candidates dance around the subject it makes it appear more like they’re auditioning to be his VP choice instead of trying to win the nomination. Nobody should be taking a knee halfway through the second quarter.

You can watch live online here.

Enjoy the night!

Update (MM): I’m live-tweeting. With Occupier hand signals. Follow me here.

8:08 pm (DP): No buzzer or doorbell sound — tonight, when a candidate’s time is up, Anderson Cooper will giggle uncontrollably.

8:19 pm: Mr. Cain, welcome to front runner status! He’s got to do a lot better than “apples and oranges” and “go read the plan” though when it comes to defending his tax idea from criticism.

8:29 pm: Santorum hits Romney on the connection to Obamacare. Newt hits Romney on Romneycare’s connection to the federal government (thanks to Ted Kennedy) being much more than he lets on.

8:41 pm: Perry tells Romney he’s hypocritical on illegals because he “hired illegals to work in his home.” Romney not happy, denies. Perry persists. Romney clarifies that he once hired a lawn service that employed illegals and when he found out about it he stopped going business with them.

8:46 pm: Oh here we go… Cain’s electric fence! Perry proposes a virtual fence. Michele Bachmann talks about President Obama’s illegal uncle and aunt.

8:59 pm: Okay, I admit it — I liked the annoying Fox News doorbell better than hearing Cooper saying “time” every 30 seconds.

9:11 pm: Short video of one of the more spirited give and takes of the night: Santorum and Romney on health care (h/t HAP):

Laura Ingraham responded: So much for Santorum in a Romney cabinet!

9:12 pm: Cain doesn’t back down from previous statement saying OWS protesters should be directing their anger at the White House instead of Wall Street.

9:30 pm: Predictably, Cain being asked the question about trading Gitmo detainees for one American soldier captured overseas. Says his policy will be not to negotiate with terrorists.

9:35 pm: Perry: Time for a serious discussion about de-funding the United Nations. “Why are we funding that organization?” Good question.

9:37 pm: Paul: Cut all foreign aid, including Israel. Bachmann: Israel is our greatest ally… no aid cut. Then goes after Cain for this.

9:48 pm: Newt hasn’t accused Anderson of asking “gotcha questions” yet has he? I still have a few drops of Johnnie Walker left.

9:52 pm: Closing out the debate, Newt just accused Anderson Cooper of “maximizing bickering” — to me that’s close enough to a “gotcha” accusation. ::drink::

10:08 pm: After the debate, Cain was shown his statement earlier on negotiating with terrorists and he said he mis-spoke.

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

Posted in: 2012 Campaign,GOP

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Categories: 2012 Campaign, Barack Obama, Jimmy Carter, Media