June 14, 2011 live-blogging debate part 2
8:58 Gingrich tries to clarify on Medicare. Says if bill is unpopular, slow down.
8:59 Santorum makes full-throated embrace of Ryan, invokes national debt. Says Ryan like “Medicare Part D”- Beltwayese. Says Medicare is going to be cut, says “rationing of care” is coming. Sounds like chutzpah to me.
9:00 Cain says we need to “restructure” Medicare. Whatever that means. “The Paul Ryan approach I totally support.” I wonder if he has any idea what that means.
9:01 Cain says personal retirement accounts “work in Chile.” Says raising retirement age “won’t solve the problem.” Is he aware that IRAs lost a bit of value in 2008?
9:03 Romney demagogues debt ceiling a little – doesn’t say we shouldn’t raise it, just says “we won’t raise it” unless Obama caves. Asked “what if we don’t raise debt ceiling.” Responds “what if we continue with business as usual?” Basically answers a question with a question- the debt is a long run problem, the debt ceiling is a short run emergency.
9:05 Bachmann points out that Obama voted against raising debt ceiling. Good hit! Says pay interest on debt first.
Do any of these people worry about what happens when there’s a Republican President and a Democratic Congress? Maybe they’ll hold the debt ceiling hostage, saying something like “We won’t raise the debt ceiling until you pass single-payer national health insurance now!”
9:07 Asked about separation of church and state. Pawlenty says religion is good. No other substantive discussion.
9:09 Cain says he would not be comfortable with Muslim – but says he meant “the ones who are trying to kill us.” How likely is it that anyone would ever consider a Muslim terrorist for a political appointment? Seems pretty silly to me.
9:10 Cain explains more- if he had a personal interview with someone he’d get a sense of how committed they are to the Constitution. Says people should be “committed to the Constitution first.”
9:11 Romney says Sharia law “will never be applied in US courts”. Comes across as grownup in room. Points out high-level appointees would be people I knew, so the “crazy Muslim in the Cabinet” hypothetical not a problem.