Entries in GOP debate (45)


Live Blog: GOP Presidential Iowa Debate

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images(DES MOINES, Iowa) -- GOP Debate: ABC News, Yahoo! News, WOI-TV, The Des Moines Register and the Iowa Republican Party are sponsoring a debate of Republican presidential candidates at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa.

The Iowa Caucus is the first official test of primary preference in the country and it is less than a month away on Jan. 3. The debate starts at 9 p.m. ET and lasts 90 minutes. Click below to get live commentary and perspective from ABC News and Yahoo News correspondents, reporters and editors.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Donald Trump To Moderate GOP Debate in Iowa

ABC/Ida Mae Astute(NEW YORK) -- Mark your calendar. On Dec. 27 Donald Trump moderate a debate with the GOP candidates in Des Moines, just six days before the Jan. 3 caucuses.

The debate will be produced by the conservative news website and broadcast on the cable network, Ion TV. A source close to Trump confirmed to ABC News the real estate mogul’s role as a moderator of the event.

In an interview Steve Coz, editorial director of Newsmax, said he was “trying to figure out a way to make the Newsmax debate very powerful,” which is how the idea of involving Trump originated.

Coz said no candidates have confirmed their participation yet, but they have been getting, “positive responses” from several of the campaigns. The debate will be held at the Hoyt Sherman theater in Des Moines. More details will be released next week.

Coz added that Trump will be joined at the moderator’s table by other “people of note,” including prominent political figures. The debate will also be live-streamed on

After a brief flirtation with a presidential run of his own, Trump has proven to be a powerful ally to candidates in the GOP field in this cycle. Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Mitt Romney, and Rick Perry have all met privately with Trump since announcing their candidacies. Newt Gingrich is set to meet with him on Monday, Dec. 5.

At least one candidate has already said “no” to the Dec. 27 event.

“We have declined to participate in the ‘Presidential Apprentice’ Debate with The Donald,” Tim Miller, a spokesman for candidate Jon Huntsman said in a statement. “The Republican Party deserves a serious discussion of the issues so voters can choose a leader they trust to defeat President Obama and turn our economy around. We are confident that leader will be Jon Huntsman.”

It will be the last of three debates in Iowa during the month of December, including an ABC News-Des Moines Register-Iowa Republican Party debate on Dec. 10.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Rick Perry Pokes Fun at Self with Top 10 List on 'Letterman'

Scott Olson/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Rick Perry attempted to get in front of his debate gaffe Thursday by appearing on eight television shows, including a cameo reading the Top 10 List of Best Rick Perry Excuses on the Late Show with David Letterman.

Here's a rundown of the list:

10. Actually there were three reasons I messed up last night.  One was the nerves.  Two was the headache and three um … uh … oops.

9. I don’t know what you’re talking about, I think things went well.

8. Hey I was up late last night watching Dancing with the Stars.

7. I thought the debate was tonight.

6. Hey listen you try concentrating when Mitt Romney’s smiling at you.  That is one handsome dude.

5. Uh, El Nino?

4. I had a five hour energy drink six hours before the debate.

3. You know I really hoped it would get me on my favorite talk show, but instead I ended up here.

2. I wanted to help take the heat off my buddy Herman Cain.

1. I just learned Justin Bieber is my father.

During Wednesday’s debate, Perry failed to remember the name of a third agency -- the Department of Energy -- which he would eliminate as he restructured the government if he becomes president.

David Letterman took the opportunity to ridicule the Texas governor for the debate flub, calling it a “test of the emergency alert system” and a “George W. Bush Junior moment.”

Letterman also delivered a veiled swipe at Republican candidate Herman Cain, who is facing allegations of sexual harassment.

“It’s nice to see a guy running for president who’s only groping for words,” Letterman joked.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Rick Perry’s Family Rushes to His Defense After Debate Gaffe

Toni Sandys/The Washington Post(NEW YORK) -- As Rick Perry endured a wave of criticism for his now viral debate flub from Wednesday night, the Texas governor’s family rushed to his defense on the campaign trail.

In an interview, Perry noted he received some words of love and support from his wife, Anita, after he failed to name the third government agency he would eliminate upon becoming president.

“My wife said ‘I love you,’ Perry recounted in an interview on FOX News’ On the Record with Greta Van Susteren Thursday.  “She just said, ‘Look, I love you.’  She knew better than to tease me after that, I think.”

Anita Perry hit the trail Thursday in Florida, defending her husband’s debate performance and noting that despite his blunder Wednesday night, he remembered a more significant moment in the couples’ life last week.

“He may have forgotten a word last night,” Anita Perry said at a Republican Women’s Club event in Duval County, Florida. ”But you know what, he didn’t forget my anniversary, our anniversary, last week.”

Perry engaged in a media blitz following the debate, speaking with reporters in the debate spin room Wednesday night, appearing on five morning news shows, participating in two Fox News interviews and recording the Top Ten List for the Late Show with David Letterman Thursday, in an attempt to lessen the blow of his forgetful moment.

“He went straight to the spin room last night after the debate and admitted he made a mistake and that he forgot that word,” Anita Perry said.  “He was out the door this morning at 5:50 dressed in his suit with a smile on his face, going to do as many television shows as he could.”

Perry’s son Griffin also rose to his father’s defense, sending a message on Twitter directed towards the mainstream media that he accused of hastily criticizing the Texas governor for his lapse.

“Dear #MSM please read John 8:7 before attacking dad about forgetting something. People have forgotten much more important things than DOE,” Griffin Perry wrote on Twitter, citing the Bible’s passage about casting the first stone.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Santorum Pokes Fun at Perry's Debate Gaffe

Steve Pope/Getty Images(NEW BOSTON, N.H.) -- Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum referenced Rick Perry’s “oops” moment during a question-and-answer portion of the town hall meeting at his national security speech in New Hampshire Thursday night.

A supporter, upset about the amount of time Santorum gets to respond to questions in debates compared to the other candidates, asked if it was possible for all the candidates to get the same amount of time.

Santorum replied, “That would be a wonderful thing” and referenced Rick Perry’s “oops” heard around the world during Wednesday’s CNBC debate in Michigan.

“It’s not like someone asks me a question, I sort of stare at the camera and don’t know what to say,” he said to laughs from the crowd of about fifty at a library here. “It’s true. Oops!”

“It’s not like I don’t have substantive answers to give and I can’t differentiate myself and I can’t draw sharp contrasts,” Santorum said, before asking, “Am I blushing?”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


A Herman Cain First: Candidate and Staff Skip Spin Room Completely

Alex Wong/Getty Images(ROCHESTER, Mich.) -- After all of the eight previous Republican debates to date, Herman Cain was one of the few candidates to appear in the post-debate spin room himself, taking questions from media rather than sending a surrogate in his place.

But that wasn't the case on Wednesday: The businessman, currently trying to bat down accusations of sexual harassment, was not anywhere to be found in the spin room following the GOP debate at Oakland University in Rochester, Mich.  It was the first time Cain has skipped a spin room this year.

In fact, nobody from Cain’s camp of representatives came to the spin room Wednesday night -- his corner of the room was completely void of staffers.

Reporters lingered by the door, hoping to catch a glimpse of Cain, only spotting his chief of staff Mark Block peering into the glass doors of the room but never entering.

Cain’s habit of coming to the spin room at debates is a rarity among his fellow candidates.  While Rick Santorum and Jon Huntsman are regular attendees, Mitt Romney and Michele Bachmann never come.  Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul also avoid the spin room, instead sending spokespeople in their place.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who has also never before been seen in the spin room this debate cycle, made a rare appearance Wednesday night to confront his debate flub.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Bachmann: Obama Takes Orders from Gen. Axelrod

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(ROCHESTER, Mich.) -- Rather than attack any of the GOP contenders head on, Rep. Michele Bachmann kept President Obama in her cross-hairs during Wednesday night’s CNBC debate.

Bachmann accused Obama of taking his orders on how to create jobs from political adviser David Axelrod rather than from “job creators.”

“Well, I would say President Obama is the one that’s wrong, because President Obama’s plan for job creation has absolutely nothing to do with the true people who know how to create jobs.  He should really be going to job creators if he wants to know how to create jobs.  Instead, he continues to go to a General Axelrod in Chicago to look for his orders to figure out how to deal with the economy,” she said.

This is a riff on a comment Bachmann routinely makes on the stump.  She usually jokes that Obama is making decisions about Afghanistan with the aid of Gen. Axelrod and not Gen. John Allen, the ISAF commander.

The Minnesota Congresswoman said more jobs could be created by cutting the tax rate, repealing regulations like Dodd-Frank, expanding or “legalizing” energy production, and building a fence along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Bachmann blamed the “geniuses” at Freddie and Fannie for the housing crisis and said those agencies continued to hurt the economy by paying large executive bonuses and receiving another federal “bailout.”

“For these geniuses to give 10 of their top executives bonuses at $12 million and then have the guts to come to the American people and say, ‘Give us another $13 billion to bail us out just for the quarter’ -- that’s lunacy.  We need to put them back into bankruptcy and get them out of business.  They’re destroying the housing market,” she said.

Asked in a post debate interview to weigh-in on Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s gaffe, in which he could not remember the third of three government agencies he said he would cut, Bachmann sympathized.

“It was a tough moment.  All of us recognize it was something none of us would want to go through.  I felt bad for him,” she said in a post-debate interview with CNBC.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Debate Crowd Shows Support for Cain Amid Allegations

Scott Eells/Bloomberg via Getty Images(ROCHESTER, Mich.) – With under two months before the first votes are cast in the Republican presidential primary, the GOP candidates gathered for a debate in a state that has suffered gravely during the nation’s economic recession -- but what stole the show were the varying fortunes of the two candidates that pose the biggest threat to Mitt Romney’s chances of securing the nomination: Herman Cain and Rick Perry.

While the former has surged in the polls and continues to enjoy support despite new allegations of sexual harassment, the latter has plunged in recent months, even falling outside the top three in polls. Those trends were on full display at Oakland University as the crowd voiced their strong support for Cain despite the allegations against and sat silently and stunned as Perry flailed away, unable to name the third federal agency that he said he would eliminate as president.

While Perry flopped, Cain’s fortunes could not have been more different. Earlier in the debate, when CNBC’s Maria Bartiromo started to ask Cain about the sexual harassment allegations, the crowd at Oakland University booed loudly.

“Mr. Cain, the American people want jobs, but they also want leadership. They want character in a president. In recent days, we have learned that four different women have accused you of inappropriate behavior. Here we’re focusing on character and on judgment,” Bartiromo said, prompting fierce boos from the audience, protesting the question they knew was coming.
“You’ve been a CEO,” she continued. “You know that shareholders are reluctant to hire a CEO where there are character issues. Why should the American people hire a president if they feel there are character issues?
“The American people deserve better than someone being tried in the court of public opinion based on unfounded accusations,” Cain said to huge cheers from the crowd. “And I value my character and my integrity more than anything else. And for every one person that comes forward with a false accusation, there are probably -- there are thousands who would say none of that sort of activity ever came from Herman Cain.

“This country’s looking for leadership. And this is why a lot of people, despite what has happened over the last nine days, are still very enthusiastic behind my candidacy,” he said. “Over the last nine days, the voters have voted with their dollars, and they are saying they don’t care about the character assassination. They care about leadership and getting this economy growing and all of the other problems we face.”

As the candidates head out of Michigan before their next debate in South Carolina on Saturday night, Cain will do so feeling optimistic that he can overcome the harassment allegations and continue to challenge Romney for the nomination. Perry, meanwhile, may wish that he had followed through on his campaign’s threat to skip some of the debates in the primary’s crowded calendar.

After Perry’s gaffe  Wednesday night, Romney’s spokesperson Ryan Williams tweeted simply, “Um, wow.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Perry Can’t Remember Department of Energy in Debate Lapse

Toni Sandys/The Washington Post(ROCHESTER, Mich.) -- Rick Perry delivered his biggest fumble of the campaign to date when he failed to name the third agency he would eliminate if he were to become president.

“It’s three agencies of government when I get there that are gone -- commerce, education and the um, what’s the third one there? Let’s see. Oh five –- commerce, education and the um, um,” Perry said Wednesday night at the GOP debate.

Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, standing to Perry’s left, offered the Environmental Protection Agency as a suggestion.

“EPA, there you go,” Perry said.

But then the Texas governor quickly retracted his statement, saying the EPA doesn’t need to be eliminated but simply rebuilt.

Again, he tried to name the third mystery agency.

“But you can’t name the third one?” CNBC moderator John Harwood asked.

“The third agency of government I would do away with -- the education, the uh, the commerce and let’s see. I can’t the third one. I can’t. Oops.”

The third agency Perry couldn’t think of was the Department of Energy, which he rails against on the stump nearly every day.

Perry finally remembered the third agency 15 minutes later after referring to his notes, saying, “By the way, it was the Department of Energy I was talking about.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Analysis: Perry Takes Off Gloves at Debate But Doesn’t Land KO Punch

Ethan Miller/Getty Images(LAS VEGAS) -- For the first time since he got into the presidential race just over two months ago, Rick Perry finally looked comfortable on the debate stage Tuesday night.

Gone was the laconic and vaguely dazed Texas governor.  In his place, was a feisty candidate eager to engage Mitt Romney.  But, even as he took the gloves off, Perry didn’t land any knockout punches -- or even leave a bruise.

Meanwhile, it was Herman Cain who struggled throughout the night.  Cain, who normally shows up with a spring in his step and a quick quip at the ready, looked like he was carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders.  He’s learning, as Romney knows all too well, that it’s not so fun coming into a debate with a bulls-eye on your back.  The relentless assault on his 9-9-9 plan by his opponents and the media has clearly taken its toll.

The always-steady Romney did get a bit flustered at points by Perry’s more aggressive style -- even reaching out to touch Perry at one point in an attempt to get him to let him answer a question.

A number of times, Romney chastised his opponents for not following the “rules” of the debate.  That may work well in high school forensics, but in real life no one likes the kid who comes across as the know-it-all.  Remember, Romney’s biggest hurdle is not to convince voters he’s the smartest guy in the room, it’s to convince them that he’s real.

Even so, Romney proved once again that he’s the strongest debater in the bunch.  Romney found a way to turn almost every attack into a counter-punch.  He even found a way to undercut Perry on his greatest asset -- his record of job growth in the state -- saying that “almost half the jobs created in Texas were taken by illegal immigrants.”

Which brings us to the bigger issue for Perry: his inability to get on the economic/jobs message that his campaign was supposed to be all about.

When he got into this race he was the “jobs” governor, creator of the “Texas Miracle.”   Tuesday night, it wasn’t until one hour and 47 minutes into the debate that Perry finally mentioned that record.

In the end, Perry proved that he can compete on a debate stage, but he hasn’t proven his ability to dominate it.  For wary Perry donors and supporters, however, his performance on Tuesday night should make their job of selling the Texas governor a bit easier.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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