December 11, 2011 live blogging Iowa R debate part 3
49 Perry says marital fidelity important but doesn’t directly mention Gingrich.
9:50 Santorum dodges issue- says “character counts” but not a “disqualifier.”
9:51 Paul says character isn’t something you talk about, just something that shows through in way you live. Says “oath of office” more important; as usual, Paul dignified.
9:54 Bachmann claims Framers interested in “measure of man” and waves her Christianity around.
9:55 Gingrich claims to be repentant sinner. Good answer. The debates continue to show Good Newt, and then Bad Newt comes out in press conferences or speeches a couple of days later.
9:58 I think Newt saying you need to be there 25 years for the kinda-sorta amnesty he favors.
9:59 Mitt tries to dodge Newt’s scheme, saying we should focus on border control first. Points out we already have people waiting to get in; I think what he’s trying to say is the USA really does make legal immigration too hard. Still gets stuck sounding like Mitt the Merciless.
10:01 Perry turns focus on Obama, making life easier for everyone. Calls for “enforcing laws on books”, whatever that means.
10:03 Paul responds to Newt’s statement on Palestinians “not being a real people” by saying we shouldn’t get involved with other people’s squabbles. But admits under Ottoman Empire Newt was “technically correct”, showing nice appreciation of historical complexity.
10:04 Newt responds by attacking Hamas and Fatah, calling everybody terrorists. Says its time to “have the guts to stand up” etc.
10:05 Romney says he mostly agrees with Newt but disagrees with “invented people” remark. We should stand with our friends and not get ahead of them, and says ultimately the Palestinians and the Israelis should reach a settlement without the US getting in the way through “incendiary words” from either the Left or the Right. Sounds presidential for the first time tonight.
10:07 Newt calls for “courage” to go back to 1921 League of Nations mandate. “Palestinian” did not become a common term until 1977. (Overlooks key problem: its a common term now, and I strongly suspect Palestinians actually do think they exist!) Romney promises “sobriety, care, [and] stability.” Illustrates the case for Romney (at least to me):when I imagine President Romney, I do imagine sobriety.
10:09 Newt invokes Reagan, pointing out Reagan spoke truth to Soviets. Reagan was pro-Israel, but also worked with Arab nations; I don’t think he would approve of Newt’s remarks.
10:11 Bachmann tells stories about Palestinian textbooks. Can she read Arabic? I suspect not.
10:11 Santorum stands with Mitt- says Middle East not like Russia in 1987; we have ally here while in Russia our allies were in gulags.
10:12 Perry says this is “minor issue” and we should focus on Obama’s “muddled” foreign policy. I think Perry wants Newt to beat Mitt. I suspect he will withdraw right after Iowa, maybe even before Iowa. Perry said “this President is the problem not something Newt Gingrich said.” Audience applauds.