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    South Carolina Republican Debate

    South Carolina Republican Debate

    End Game – no clear winner.  Cain exceeded expectations but only because expectations were low.  Perry redeemed himself but I doubt it will change perceptions.  Newt and Romney were both good, Newt scored his usual slap at the moderator and it worked wonderfully.  Scott Pelley started arguing when he didn’t like one of Newt’s answers, which will be the video of the night.  CBS switched to internet only after 60 minutes, and then the live feed for the final 30 minutes was sketchy – major production fail.  Separate post soon with Tweets and video of night.


    Arab Spring – Cain says may end up worse, may end up with Muslim Brotherhood.

    Syria – Newt say should have been more active on Syria, contrast with Egypt.  Don’t need no fly zone, covert action.

    Live feed went shaky, hard to hear a lot of it.

    Lindsay Graham asked a question about Gitmo policies.  Ron Paul and Rick Perry got into argument about interrogation.

    Then Jim DeMint asked question about budget cuts, not really related to foreign policy.  Huntsman endorses Ryan plan as template.

    Newt says 4 interlocking problems, not a single problem.

    Bachmann says get rid of Great Society programs of LBJ.

    Uh, it it over? Yes for TV, go to this link for the remaining 30 minutes,

    Perry, every country including Israel starts at zero, and make the case.  Should try it with some of those agencies I was trying to think of (nice joke).

    At the second break – Round goes to Newt, scored his usual smash the moderator in the mouth moment, and was strong on killing people who are trying to kill us.

    Classic – asked if wanted to comment on Romney competence, Newt says No.

    Stand on torture — Cain, following procedures established by military, and leave it to military to decide what is torture.  Is waterboarding torture? I agree it was enhanced interrogation technique, would return to policy, not torture.

    Bachmann, would use waterboarding.  Paul, waterboarding is torture, illegal, immoral.

    As to ordering assassination of American citizen overseas, Romney says yes if aligned with foreign terrorist group.  Then segways into speach on American exceptionalism.

    Gingrich, says if enage in war against U.S. you are enemy combatant.   Pelley says that’s not the rule of law.

    China:  Perry says Chinese administration will end on ash heap of history if don’t change.  Romney says take China to WTO for currency manipulation, Huntsman says can’t take country to WTO on currency issues.

    At the first break – Round goes to Cain but only because expectations were so low for him on foreign policy and he did well.

    What do with Iran?  Cain, assist opposition in regime change, and more economic pressure though U.S. energy independence strategy.  Increase sanctions.  Deploy Aegis warships strategically.

    Is it worth going to war to prevent Iran from getting nuke? Romney, starts by pointing out Obama mistakes.  Should be credible threat of military action.  If reelect Obama Iran will have nuke.

    Any non-war options?  Praises both Cain and Romney answers, crowd cheers.  Several smart ways, one dumb way, Obama picked only dumb way.

    Paul says not worth going to war over Iran nuke.

    Perry says should sanction Iranian national bank, would shut down Iran’s economy.  As to Afganistan, say never should have given timetable for withdrawal.

    Huntsman says time to come home from Afghanistan, focus on domestic economy.

    On Afghanistan, Newt says problem is bigger than Taliban in Afghanistan, it’s Pakistan and Iran.

    Pakistan friend or foe? Cain says we don’t know.  (Absolutely the right answer) (Cain more impressive on foreign affairs than expected.)

    Perry says focus on withholding foreign aid to unfriendly countries.  Doesn’t trust Pakistan.

    Bachmann likely line of the night – “Obama willing to stand with Occupy Wall Street but not willing to stand with Israel.”

    Newt agrees with Perry, start with zero and then say why should we give you anything.

    Newt, degree to which Arab Spring becomes anti-Christian Spring deeply troubles me.


    Before the start:

    Sounds so much better than CBS/National Journal Debate.  I wonder what CBS has in store for the candidates — pop quiz on the names of the leader of Tajikistan, or Madagascar?

    Starts at 8 p.m. on a channel which shall remain nameless.  In case you cannot find it on TV, here’s the link to the live stream.

    I will not be “live blogging” but will have commentary at the breaks, and hopefully a Tweet of the Night.


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