Big opportunity awaits candidates in second GOP debate (Updated)

UPDATED at 7:50 p.m.: Comment on the debate live here.

Opportunity abounds tonight for seven Republicans in the second presidential-primary debate of the 2012 campaign:

  • Michele Bachmann, expected to join the race officially any day now, has an opportunity to make a different impression on political non-junkies (assuming any non-junkies will watch a debate more than half a year before the first primary) who may have heard only negative generalizations about her.
  • Herman Cain has an opportunity to prove his strong showing in last month’s first debate wasn’t a fluke, and that he’s got more policy depth than critics claim.
  • Newt Gingrich has an opportunity to show his campaign still has a pulse.
  • Ron Paul has an opportunity to expand his appeal beyond a small, but vocal, group of fanatics.
  • Tim Pawlenty has an opportunity to impress the common voter the way he’s been impressing some others.
  • Mitt Romney has an opportunity to prove he’s the undisputed front-runner in what’s been an amorphous race so far.
  • Rick Santorum has an opportunity to show that he can connect with voters on issues besides social ones — and/or to show that he can talk about social issues in a way that doesn’t put off voters who are more concerned about fiscal matters and socially moderate.

Guesses as to who’ll seize their opportunity are welcome.

– By Kyle Wingfield

Find me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter

40 comments Add your comment

Dabir Dalton

June 13th, 2011
5:45 am

Truth be told this debate is just another opportunity for em to tell the popular lies the itching ears of conservatives like to hear.

Road Scholar

June 13th, 2011
6:02 am

Any impression Bachman will make will be followed by OMG!

Will Palin be doing a monologue?

Clinton "Skink" Tyree

June 13th, 2011
6:40 am

And, Sarah Palin will twitter criticisms from her bunker surrounded by her advisors.

skponggol

June 13th, 2011
6:45 am

The Seven Dwarfs of the Republican Party in NH debate.

DeborahinAthens

June 13th, 2011
6:52 am

Republicans think that if they say something over and over, it will make it true. Such as, lowering taxes creates jobs. The real numbers from administrations that have lowered taxes (Dubya) show that this isn’t so. We need to have a “shot party” for every time someone says “repeal Obamacare” , and “need to lower taxes to create an evironment for job creation” (note, the whole phrase,indicating that they have all been taught the same catch phrases). We’ll all be drunk enough to make it through the whole sickening mess of spin and lies.

Greta van Sustenance

June 13th, 2011
7:14 am

It’ll be a bunch of glib, grim-face people from different backgrounds, all toeing the Fox/GOP line of failed domestic and foreign policies.

It’ll be a contest to see who can convince Americans that Republican politicians are true conservatives who had nothing to running up the federal deficit and the national debt, setting up and causing the 2008-2009 financial meltdown, and obstructing the recovery.

It’ll be a contest to whip up brainless enthusiasm for cutting the federal deficit, which constitutes 14% ($1.2 trillion) of our gross domestic product (GDP) and sustains 14% (19 million) jobs.

It’ll be a contest to reassure us that “supply side”, “crumbs from the rich man’s table” economics will finally work this time to cover the shortfall. The party line is that American industry and commerce will spring into action to create millions of jobs as soon as we give the mega-corporations more tax breaks, trash our worker safety and consumer protection regulations, and reduce consumer demand by depriving the elderly and the poor of their subsistence and health care.

In other words, it’ll be a colossal waste of time!

Tom E. Gunn

June 13th, 2011
7:14 am

the man (or woman) that can beat Obama is not in th erace. I really don’t know who that is, but the person is not in this field. I don’t expect them to be. The nominating process itself makes it almost impossible to field quality candidates. Romney may have the best shot, but I had almost as soon stick with the dvil I know. Jeb Bush is the only one of the Bush’s that could actually do a good job, and they have ruined it for him.
If we want the country fixed, get Sam Nunn to run as an independent. He could win, and do the job. Again though, the system makes that an impossibility.

Pennski

June 13th, 2011
7:35 am

Greta, failed policies? I think the democrats need to look in the mirror on that one.

The greatest successes of this country have come under conservative leadership. Whether it was when JFK lowered taxes or when Reagan did, that’s when the USA took off. That’s what we need again, not another 4 yrs of the incompetent hack Obama.

Greta van Sustenance

June 13th, 2011
7:45 am

Pennski … the pinnacle of economic sucess was reached in the Clinton administration, when the federal budget was in surplus, and politicians even considered starting to pay down the national debt.

President Reagan lowered taxes, primarily for the well-off, spent like a drunken sailor, and initiated peace-time deficit spending to cover the shortfall.

The last sucessful conservative leader was Eisenhower; unfortunately, he gave us the scoundrel Nixon.

Mr. Dithers

June 13th, 2011
7:49 am

The beloved Bush tax cuts were in place for ten years and then renewed by the current administration. At what point do the jobs start appearing? Anyone?

Mr. Dithers

June 13th, 2011
7:56 am

Bueller?

Bueller?

HDB

June 13th, 2011
8:11 am

The questions that should be answered from this debate are these:

Michele Bachmann – can she show that she’s not a nut case.
Herman Cain – can he show that he has the capability of independent and cogent thought rather than the persistent regurtitation of the party dogma.
Newt Gingrich has an opportunity to show his campaign still has a pulse.
Ron Paul – can he broaden his appeal – or will he remind us as to what happened to the country the last time someone from Texas was (s)elected to the White House
Tim Pawlenty – can he prove that he won’t screw up the nation like he did in Minnesota.
Mitt Romney – can he convince the voters that what he did in Massachussetts ws a mistake…..even though it’s working!
Rick Santorum – can he show that his focus on social issues isn’t a veiled attempt to invoke a national caste system by denigrating against the poor and minorities.

Can’t wait……

MrLiberty

June 13th, 2011
8:14 am

Truly sad Kyle. Now folks that believe in the constitution, sound money, peace, a responsible foreign policy, small government, civil liberties, etc. and the man who promotes such an agenda are FANATICS? I would rather be a fanatic of Ron Paul than one of the countless deceived folks who actually believe that any of the other candidates believe in anything other than protecting and promoting the current status quo. Ron’s record over the past 30 years and his unwavering committment are all that I need. Ron has been right and has predicted nearly everything that we are facing in america today. What this country needs is 300 million fanatics who are ready to face our nation’s reality and are ready to solve the problems, not just perpetuate them.

Buzz G

June 13th, 2011
8:22 am

It will be so refreshing to hear the truth again after 2 + years of Obama’s lies. But as nice as it will be to hear these truths, it is probably too late. The debt is $14,500,000,000 and rising quickly. The struggle to turn back the crazy spending will be going on for a long time.

AmVet

June 13th, 2011
8:29 am

Debate? Please. This will be the hyper-hyped-up show of parallel interviews. Lots of dreivel, sound bites and Republispeak, but precious little else.

And I agree with MrLiberty, why that characterization of Ron Paul supporters? Were you a GWB fanatic, Mr. Wingfield?

Other than the eventual nominee, Dr. Paul was the only man out of ten, the last go round, who wasn’t an embarrassment.

And this GOP slate promises to be as laughable as that one was…

MisterEarl

June 13th, 2011
8:30 am

Herman Cain is one of the most dangerous people on the political scene. A person of color who defines the landscape in the most vile black stereotypes for the entertainment of his white audience. His talking points are NOTHING original, the are inherited from a talk show host – Neil Boortz – in Atlanta who he subbed for. “Herman Cain’s shtick is a version of race minstrelsy where he performs “authentic negritude” as wish fulfillment for White Conservative fantasies. Like the fountain at Lourdes, Cain in his designated role as black Conservative mascot, absolves the White racial reactionaries at CPAC of their sins. This is a refined performance that Black Conservatives have perfected over many decades and centuries of practice.

Cain bellows in a preacher affected voice and channels the folksy negro down home accent of his late grandpappy. In the money shot, Cain gives the obligatory “black folks who are not Republicans are on the plantation” speech to the joyous applause of his White benefactors. And he doubles down by legitimating any opposition to President Barack Obama as virtuous and patriotic regardless of the bigoted well-springs from which it may flow.” – Chauncey Davis, The Root

jt

June 13th, 2011
8:35 am

I would rather be a “fanatic” …………………………………….
.
than a lobotomized sheep.
.
They hate us for our freedom..right Kyle.

Curious

June 13th, 2011
8:39 am

Ron Paul may be the answer. The US didn’t try to be the World’s Ruler before WW2 and after that, it was by default. Maybe we should let somebody else try it a while.

Carlosgvv

June 13th, 2011
8:40 am

Mr. Liberty

What is truly sad is your thinking that Ron Paul, if elected, would actually be any different from the morons now running the Republican Party. The pressure from Tea Party fanatics would cause him to be just another bad president trying to please everyone and winding up pleasing no one.

wampum

June 13th, 2011
8:51 am

Buzz G: “The struggle to turn back the crazy spending will be going on for a long time.”

The crazy spending has BEEN going on for a long time, beginning with Reagan, or did you just notice? Deficit spending to resurect a failed economy is the right prescription. You should have been paying attention to all of the deficit spending by Republican administrations before the economic collapse left us by Bush.

MisterEarl

June 13th, 2011
8:51 am

“Media at our collective behest is the tool that is used to spread so many false ideologies into our culture. We have been lulled into believing exactly what media wants us to believe. Allowing media into our homes and heads is a privilege, not for us, but for them. We, once fully conscious, will filter out the polarity being channeled to us.”

Translation: The Republicans got nothing.

wampum

June 13th, 2011
8:54 am

But on topic: maybe Fred Thompson will ride to the rescue like he did last time and give the Republicans a serious candidate.

ByteMe

June 13th, 2011
8:56 am

AmVet is correct. A debate is where they actually come at different sides of an argument and go squarely at one another. This will be a love-fest and boring. None of the candidates wants separation at this point (except maybe Romney). What they want is to be seen as being on the same stage and with the same size lecturns equally spaced from each other. Watching a sitcom rerun will be more revealing.

wampum

June 13th, 2011
9:00 am

Why come back to discuss the debate later when you already know what they’re going to say? Are you really expecting to hear something new? Snarc attack.

AmVet

June 13th, 2011
9:04 am

I think the GREAT question of the 2012 presidential election will be whether the fake conservatives/corporatists hold onto this newly found “fiscal conservatism” and this brand new non-war-all-the-time movement, that were the results of their collective epiphany on January 21, 2009.

My supposition is that if they retake the White House, the answer will be a resounding no. Likely they will double down on the catastrophes they implemented back in the glory days of Bush’s Reign of Error.

If Obama is reelected, will they (at least in words only) continue this stunning transformation into the heretofore dreaded moderates!

And is there really a possibility that the GOP can become a party of reasoned and reasonable men?

(It’s good to have a dream…)

Ragnar Danneskjöld

June 13th, 2011
9:56 am

Good morning all. The leftists here are hilarious – so unhinged, so unconnected with reality. You’d think they believe Obamanomics works.

Tonight I will be looking for someone who understands that this is a “regulatory” depression, that the leftists have finally constrained the market such that it no longer responds to such conventional stimulus as “tax cutting.” (Count me as one who believes tax cuts will not stimulate the economy – the regulatory constraint today is so great, I believe tax cuts will have no measurable effect.) The only potential cure for the Obama-conomy is a meat ax for those agencies that act as “police” – EPA, SEC, FDA, FTC, OSHA, Labor.

LtCol Razorback,

June 13th, 2011
9:57 am

Dabir—“Truth be told this debate is just another opportunity for em to tell the popular lies the itching ears of conservatives like to hear.”

And liberals don’t have itching ears to hear the lies, distortions, and misrepresentations told by the present administration? I am a Federal employee and very few days go by that we don’t get another request from the White House asking us for an example – any example – that shows that the Administration’s policies are having some effect on the recovery from the worst economic calamity since the Great Depression. Obama has had more than enough time in office to have done something about soaring joblessness, astronomical gasoline prices, a housing market that is in the “tank, and Medicare/Social Security system that are on the verge of collapse. But what has he done? Nuthin, nuthin, and more nuthin.

Cyber CZAR No. 22349995-e444

June 13th, 2011
10:12 am

LtColRazorback———-
.
Please report to your nearest Dot.Gov website.
.
Thank You.

Rob Woodall wants you to keep paying for his healthcare, while you pay for your own healthcare and your kids' healthcare, and help your elderly parents pay for their healthcare

June 13th, 2011
10:25 am

These early debates are interesting but in the overall scheme of things they’re not relevant. Even Newt’s imploding campaign will be a distant memory by the time the primaries and caucuses roll around.

If I were any of these candidates my mantra would be “Repeat after me: It’s the economy, stupid”

Dumber and Dumber

June 13th, 2011
10:26 am

Here is tomorrows synposis of the “debate”:

Its Obama’s fault. Christianity is the only path to God (the rest of them are going to he!!). Deficits only matter when the democrats are in power. Tax cuts increase government revenues (as Bush proved). You can spread democracy at gunpoint, but a few thousand unarmed drones, missiles, bombing missions and a few hundred thousand troops really drive that point home. We don’t need no stinking regulation of power companies and other polluters, its been proven time and time again that big business really cares about pollution and there is no need for all those gubmint regulations. Oh, and CEOs deserved to make 1,000 times more than the average worker.

Intown

June 13th, 2011
10:29 am

Every time you list the Republican candidates I am reminded how incredibly weak this cycle’s field of Republican presidential candidates is. It’s not the caliber of candidates that can upend an incumbent president. Especially a transformational one like Obama.

Road Scholar

June 13th, 2011
12:06 pm

Buzz G: Boy, you will be really disappointed this evening! Or are you talking anbout the lies and half truths that have become Republican talking points?

Greta van Sustenance

June 13th, 2011
12:07 pm

Ragnar … regulations haven’t killed free enterprise in America. The mega-corporations have done it by merging with, buying out, buying off, and running off competition.

Nearly every segment of the private economy is dominated by a few mega-corporations with a panoply of monopolistic practices such as bundling, pyramiding, preferential pricing, senseless conglomeration, false product differentiation, and patent restrictions. Innovations and upstarts are limited to brain-driven enterprises that employ few Americans. The manufactured products of Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Motorola are Asian-made.

Private enterprise is not the same as free enterprise. Free enterprise requires real competition in producing goods and services, not “follow the leader” rivalry between 3 or 4 big companies. Free enterprise would create many wealthy people, but few multi-millionaires and no billionaires. In a free market, competitors would jump into lucrative areas of business before any one enterprise became dominant.

Jefferson

June 13th, 2011
12:25 pm

Some folks would vote for a pig if he had an “R” by his name

Ivan

June 13th, 2011
12:36 pm

Lots of left idealogues here squawking the usual rhetoric, who won’t even watch the morning highlights of the debate.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

June 13th, 2011
2:23 pm

Dear Greta @ 12:07, we would agree that leftists think corporations killed free enterprise and thus now refuse to hire employees or do business in the US. Solid demonstration of leftist logic.

Dear Jefferson @ 12:25, I would vote for a pig if he had an “R” by his name. Goodness knows it would have to be an improvement over the pig elected in 2008.

Mary Margaret Hanson-Tomlinson

June 13th, 2011
2:42 pm

Great points, Greta. At least somebody is thinking.

[...] discussed earlier, the six candidates and one not-yet-candidate (Michele Bachmann) in tonight’s [...]

Kyle Wingfield

June 13th, 2011
7:54 pm

[...] At …TPMDCRepublican Debate: Michele Bachmann Files Paperwork to Run for PresidentNewserBig opportunity awaits candidates in second GOP debateAtlanta Journal Constitution (blog)WND.com -Seattle Post Intelligencer -Pajamas Mediaall [...]