The GOP Debate in Iowa: Where They Disagreed

Friday, August 12, 2011

While the pointed sparring between Minnesotans Michele Bachmann and former Governor Tim Pawlenty drew the most headlines after the GOP debate, there's was just one of many disagreements among the eight Republican candidates on stage in Ames, Iowa. 

Debt Ceiling

Rep. Michele Bachmann’s chief argument of the night was that her opposition to raising the debt ceiling deal has proven by the markets to be the appropriate stand.

“What we saw last week is the markets unfortunately agreed with me. Because the markets saw what happened in Washington when Obama got a $2.4 trillion check. And one thing you learned is you can't fool the markets,” Bachmann said, drawing a conclusion that was widely disputed by debate factcheckers.

Former Massachusetts Governor Romney dodged the question about whether he would have vetoed the debt ceiling deal if he’d been president.

“Look, I’m not going to eat Barack Obama’s dog food, all right?” he said, offering up the most memorable metaphor of the night. “What he served up was not what I would have done if I’d had been president of the United States.”

Trying to get a word in edgewise, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum dismissed the debt ceiling opposition as theatrics. While noting that necessity of a balanced budget, he said, "of course we have to raise the debt ceiling at some point."

 Gay Marriage, Civil Unions and the States

Romney said that while it’s preferable to have legislators, rather than judges, legalize gay marriage at the state level, he said it really shouldn’t start at the states. “I believe the issue of marriage should be decided at the federal level.”

“People move from state to state,” he said. “Marriage is a status. It’s not an activity that goes on between the walls of a state.

“I believe we should have a federal amendment of the constitution that defines marriage as a relationship between a man and a woman, because I believe the ideal place to raise is a child is in a home with a mom and a dad.”

Former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman was very clear that he supports civil unions, and that it’s appropriate for these definitions and decisions to be made at the state level.  

“I believe in traditional marriage first and foremost,” he said, “but I also believe in civil unions, because I this nation can do a better job when it comes equality

And I believe this is something that ought to be discussed among the various states,” he said. “This is ought to be an issue that takes place at the local level of government. That’s  where these decisions ought to be made.”

Health Care Mandates 

Pawlenty passed on an opportunity to criticize frontrunner Mitt Romney about health care in a previous debate. This time around, he went straight at it. “ObamaCare was patterned after Mitt’s plan in Massachusetts,” he said. “That’s why I called it Obamneycare, and I think that’s a fair label.”

Romney laughed off this attack, noting he liked Pawlenty’s earlier answer better. But then he tried to draw a distinction between the health insurance mandate at the state level versus the federal level. “We put together a plan that was right for Massachusetts. The president took the power of the people and the states away from them and put in place a one-size-fits-all plan.

Military Intervention

“It’s time we quit this,” Ron Paul said in one of the many times he called for reduced military spending. “It’s time — it’s trillions of dollars we’re spending on these wars.” He also questioned the effectiveness of sanctions against Iran.

“It’s time we quit this,” Paul said. “It’s time — it’s trillions of dollars we’re spending on these wars.”

"Iran is not Iceland, Ron," he said. "Iran is a country that has been at war with us since 1979.”

“You’ve heard the war propaganda that is liable to lead us into the sixth war, and I worry about that position," Paul answered in a sharp retort. 

What Leadership Means

For Romney, it means having experience outside the political realm. He pointed out that out of the eight on stage, only he and former Godfather’s Pizza CEO had business experience.

“I led against increasing the debt ceiling in the last two months,” Rep. Michele Bachmann said, nothing that other candidates disappeared from the debate. Here, she is referring to her rhetorical leadership in the debate, as opposed to negotiations between the House leadership and the White House.

Pawlenty argued that opposition only matters if gets you results, and pushed back on Bachmann's no-compromise objections by arguing that everything she’s opposed has come to pass under Obama.

“She has done wonderful things in her life, absolutely wonderful things, but it is an undisputable fact that in Congress her record of accomplishment and results is nonexistent,” Pawlenty said. Later, he ticked off policies she’s opposed, including the comprehensive health care legislation and the bank bailout, that later became law. “If that’s your view of effective leadership with results, please stop, because you’re killing us.”

After noting that he sympathized with Michele Bachmann’s calls to stand firm and avoid compromise, Santorum said what’s really necessary is “leadership, not showmanship.”

“You need to stand firm on these things,” he said. “But you can’t say you give me everything I want or I’ll vote no.”

And as all the under candidates took care to establish as much distance as possible between themselves and President Obama, Jon Huntsman defined leadership a little differently. Though he was largely subdued during his debut debate performance, he was clear that he’s proud to have worked under President Obama as his ambassador to China because it was an opportunity to serve his country.

“The presidential election is 15 months away. We are in a crisis now,” former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said as he called again for lawmakers to return to Washington from their August recess in his closing remarks. “This summer start saving American families from the pain they’re in." 


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Comments [6]

Brittanicus from Indianapolis, IN

Why was Rep. Michele Bachmann exempted from being asked questions on illegal immigration? Her stance on this issue is far above the rest who stood behind their dais in Ames, Iowa? Was this leaving Bachman out of this social issue premeditated? Whether this was the case or not, she strands strong as this uncontrolled illegal immigration invader problem has been ignored by administrations for years. Bachmann will not tolerate any form of Amnesty as President. Every Sanctuary City and state that does not comply by cutting of these ordinances will lose federal funding. It’s been said many times before, that American cannot afford to subsidize Mexico, Central America, Europe, Pacific Rim or other nation; its inhabitants impoverished and desperate illegal immigrants anymore? This illogical problem is crippling America’s economy by the massive payouts for families, which have migrated illegally across our sovereign border.

Of course open border disciples, business lobbyist will deny the obvious, that this illegal incursion is drowning us in debt—with no end in sight. (FAIR) American Federation of Immigration Reform that of 2009, reported that overall costs to subsidize the illegal alien household was calculated through, federal, State, County and Municipal sources that it was a $113 Billion dollar problem. Federation for American Immigration Reform issued a report in which they estimate the total annual costs of illegal immigration at the federal, state and local level is estimated to be $113 billion combined. The states are bearing the burden of the costs; while the government share is nearly $29 billion, it escalates to $84.2 billion at the state and local level. The annual outlay that illegal aliens cost U.S. taxpayers is an average amount per native-headed household of $1,117. The state-by-state breakdown begins on page 4 of this report at:

Education for the children of illegal migrants and immigrants constitutes the sole largest outlay to taxpayers, at an annual price tag of nearly $52 billion. Virtually all of those expenses are absorbed by state and local governments. At the federal level, only about one-third of outlays are matched by tax collections from illegal aliens. At the state and local level, an average of less than 5 percent of the public costs is allied with the illegal immigration occupation and recouped through taxes collected from illegal nationals. Nearly all illegal aliens do not pay income taxes; only those who do, much of the revenues collected are refunded to the illegal immigrants when they file tax returns. Many are also claiming tax credits resultant in payments from the U.S. Treasury. Please note this is not a static expenditure, but these dollars amounts are raising all the time.

Aug. 12 2011 07:52 PM
Brittanicus from Indianapolis, IN

Ask yourself, why the Grand Canyon State of Arizona had not choice, but to clamp down against the massive dollar amounts spent to appease illegal alien homesteads How can a small South Western state that is mostly desert, afford to pay out $2 Billion dollars annually for foreigners? Then again-- how can Leftist legislators in Sacramento, California, justify taking taxpayer’s money and giving it to illegal aliens when these persons truly don't exist, other than in ICE enforcement records or Homeland Security? HAS ANY READER THOUGHT OF CHECKING THEIR STATES PAYOUT TO FOREIGN NATIONALS? Although they come here through the magnet of jobs, welfare and each year bring their children. The estimates of 300.000 babies enter via a broken, intermittent border fence, that can no-way be fully enforced without the deployment of troops. Instant citizen for babies is above most payments, is an incredulous cost forced on taxpayers by Liberal judges legislating from their gavel.

Because entering America without papers is not a—FELONY—it is essentially a giant hole in the wall, which imports not only millions of illegal aliens, but a massive population of criminals; bringing death, mayhem and ID theft on the unsuspecting citizens and residents. As I said in my commentary yesterday, the only way to sever the incentive of jobs (which I never thought I would admit) is issuing every citizen and legal resident a government ID CARD. This could be used to get employed US workers. (8 million illegal aliens have stolen jobs from mostly low income Americans according to reputable sources.) The same official ID card could be presented for voting; instead of the mess we have now, with convicted felons, deceased and illegal aliens, fraudulently using the election process to alter an elections direction.

You would also use this federal ID CARD to be checked against other data bases, official birth records to see if you have the right to be issued a driver’s license, vehicle insurance, welfare or other Public entitlements. I shouldn't gloat over the welfare payouts in California, but it is a self inflicted wound caused by the Liberals in the capitol. California, the Godfather of Sanctuary State has a $19 Billion dollar budget gap, with a staggering cost of $21 Billion $ according to the National Conference of State Legislators in 2009. We must wonder how the welfare costs have escalated in two years in the once Golden State?


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Aug. 12 2011 07:50 PM
Jeff "Repubertarian" from Utah

I'm not a big Jon Huntsman supporter but he got it right when he answered the question about why Huntsman Corporation sends jobs to China. Where did some people get the idea that if some people are rich some other people can't be rich?

Aug. 12 2011 01:39 PM
Derek Wain

In 10/1960, Presidential candidate John Kennedy stated that "I say we can do more", referring to the Federal Government. In 8/2011, Presidential candidate Michele Bachmann, on behalf of the voters, stated that "We, the American people, can do more. That means our Government can and must do less." This has been Congresswoman Bachmann's principled position throughout her campaign, and she reiterated it forcefully at the Ames, Iowa debate on 8/11/11.

Aug. 12 2011 12:45 PM
Pia Razon from Denver, Colorado

Ron Paul completely won that debate. Michele Bachman was a close second. I love her response to the submission question and his to the issue of Iraq. He is consistent and principled, even when it's not popular. I read the most hilarious blog on this morning calling Santorum out for being a cry baby. "Weee weee weee, it's my turn . . . " still laughing.

Aug. 12 2011 11:20 AM
DavePrice from Ohio

Plain Truth: The middle class has always carried the load in taxes in this country! The rich have so many deductions they dont pay and the poor are.. poor. The middle class pays for the dead beat rich and dead beat poor..

The Problem in America now is simple, GOP with rules and laws Written by Global Corporations thru Alec have made this middle class disappear! Global Corporations are makeing Fat Profits now and its only the real, breathing, ageing, working, HUMAN BEINGS that are hurting right now and GOTP would like you to believe we need to chase the dying middle class into poverty and keep beating on them while the super rich just keep getting richer and richer, and the dilusional in America cheer for the super rich!

it is that simple, it is that true! to see how bad the GOTP sold out this country google search: ALECEXPOSED

Aug. 12 2011 10:38 AM

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