FF Livechats the National Security Debate

November 22nd, 2011 at 5:12 pm | 31 Comments |

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Post debate notes:

-There were no questions about the European debt crisis.

-Newt Gingrich will face accusations of supporting amnesty. He said that it would not be possible to expel all illegals and was supportive of a long-term guest worker program.

-Ron Paul was unsurprisingly isolationist, prostate but Jon Huntsman also made a clear argument to withdraw from Iraq and Afghanistan. It is a debate that should be given more time.


Tonight’s GOP debate will be broadcasted by CNN at 8pm and the topic is foreign policy and national security. Since this debate is being co-hosted by AEI and the Heritage Foundation, discount some of the questions that get asked tonight will come from the security experts from both institutions.

(You can watch a behind-the-scenes video of debate preparations here.)

The important thing to watch for is what candidates will say about the cuts to the defense budget which are going to come because of the failure of the supercommittee to reach an agreement.

Ron Paul can be expected to welcome the cuts, cheap the other candidates on stage might end up making strong commitments to preserve defense spending at current levels.

Also, while the debate seems to be focused on the “defense” angle, it will be critical to learn what more of the candidates think about the continuing debt crisis in the European Union.

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31 Comments so far ↓

  • medinnus

    I’m conflicted – after the last debate on foreign policy, which made explicit the idiocy of the clown car, I am almost afraid to watch this debate on foreign policy and national security.

    Such idiocy might be contagious…

  • TerryF98

    Bomb,Bomb Iran.


  • hisgirlfriday

    Sadly I’ll be traveling during the debate tonight so will be unable to join in the snarky fun this time.

    In my stead, I offer you the HGF Republican national security debate drinking game.

    Drink one every time you hear the word or phrase:
    “American exceptionalism”
    “Arab spring”

    Drink two every time you hear the word or phrase:
    “Even Israel?”
    “trade war with China”
    “secure the border”
    “global climate change”

    Drink three every time you hear the word or phrase:
    “Kenyan anti-colonial worldview”
    “Neville Chamberlain”
    “Marxist socialist”
    “Freddie Mac”

    Finish your drink every time you hear the word or phrase:
    “women’s rights”
    “South America”

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  • Rossg

    We have a broad spectrum of opinion in this batch of GOP hopefuls. Some want to bomb everyplace we find scary, while others want to bring all our military assets home and live in harmonious isolation. Of course, we have tried both extremes before. Maybe one of these candidates will choose to talk more sensibly tonight.

  • Marquis

    If you’re going to have a debate every 3 days, why hype it so much? I mean, they’re barely even debates at all; much closer to extended-stump-speeches-and-free-ad-time.

  • TJ Parker

    Hey! Frum on CNN! You’re really good tonight! I wanna see you and Ezra Klein wrestle in jello!

  • TJ Parker

    Whoa. Huntsman’s good.

    • anniemargret

      Huntsman knows his stuff and it shows. He’s cleaning clock. Why isn’t he a frontrunner? oh wait, he’s not snarky enough for the red meat crowd.

  • JeffreyGoldfarb

    This debate is pretty funny, but unfortunately it is also deadly serious. One of them could be President of the United States. http://www.deliberatelyconsidered.com/2011/11/republicans-revolutionaries-and-the-human-comedy/

  • anniemargret

    There are only two winners tonight. John Huntsman. The others are toe-tappingly inpatient to bomb Iran; you can tell they only need a little nudge. Armageddon is waiting in the wings for these militaristic candidates. They scare me to death. Not another soldier needs to die for unnecessary and ‘pre-emptive’ wars! Not a single one. Not for Israel or any other country.

    Put the billions into our infrastructure and put our American citizens back to work. Or there won’t be a USA to worry about building.

  • anniemargret

    There are only two winners tonight. John Huntsman and Ron Paul.

    The others are toe-tappingly inpatient to bomb Iran; you can tell they only need a little nudge. Armageddon is waiting in the wings for these militaristic candidates. They scare me to death. Not another soldier needs to die for unnecessary and ‘pre-emptive’ wars! Not a single one. Not for Israel or any other country.

    Put the billions into our infrastructure and put our American citizens back to work. Or there won’t be a USA to worry about building.

  • anniemargret

    Sorry for the double entry….I had left out Ron Paul in the first. I thought he was terrific.

  • anniemargret

    They’re still the leftover Bush era fearmongers…. we need to stay far away from these extremists.

  • TerryF98

    Give the Clowns a round of applause.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    H/T Wonkette

  • valkayec

    Obviously, both Huntsman and Romney led the pack with the most coherent answers.

    On illegal immigration, there’s a question that no one has asked or answered: why are all those Mexicans crossing the border illegally to come here to work? In other words, what is wrong with the Mexican economy; has US farm and economic policy caused people to come here to work; and what US policies are required to change the desire for illegal immigration?

    I also agree with Frum regarding the lack of questions on China and the Euro. Foreign policy is more than Israel, Iran and Pakistan. What do these candidates think about the growing influence – and aggressive policy – in the South China Sea? How should we help our partners protect the shipping lanes from Chinese takeover? And how do we manage the fallout from the Euro crisis? Should the US advocate for greater involvement by the ECB via Euro bonds? Should we advocate for a closer political union, a la the US? How do we prevent contagion?

    Most of all, I got tired of the obvious red-meat slams on Obama. Such cheap and dystopian hits. Surely these presidential candidates can do better. They can’t explain how they’d do any different than Obama, except to throw out red meat slogans, but they slam him for not doing more? Silly and absurd.

  • Rabiner

    Shout out to Noah Kristula-Green for the Civilization reference at 8:49

  • JimBob

    Someone needs to buy the editors of Frum Forum a Dictionary because they don’t know what isolationism means.

  • Carney

    Wow Romney’s iron discipline of showing pleasant tolerant attentiveness at others’ remarks seems to have cracked and he actually showed disgust and disagreement while Ron Paul was claiming that the budget cuts to defense were merely slowdowns of growth.

  • Carney

    Frum said, “If we were serious about oil, we’d impose an energy tax. Can’t say that though.”

    An “energy tax”, not even an oil-specific tax. So it would penalize all energy equally, being less effective in getting us off oil than oil specific tax. And even an oil specific tax would fail.

    What tax would be more intense than OPEC driving the price up from $10 a barrel in 1999 to $140 in 2008? Did that economy-crushing 1,400% “tax increase” get us off oil? No.

    We already have plenty of incentive. But if our cars are stuck with only being able to run on oil-derived fuel, we can’t respond to that incentive. Drivers are a helpless captive market, stuck with ONLY being able to use gasoline or petro-diesel, forced to pay whatever price OPEC sets. It’s not like you can say, “gasoline is too expensive, I’m switching to alternative fuel now.” Your car won’t let you. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE CARS.

    It’s very different in electricity where your home’s light bulbs and TV sets are source-agnostic and don’t care whether the electricity that powers them comes from oil, coal, nuclear, solar, you name it.

    It’s that lock-in, that monopoly, that empowers OPEC so much, along with OPEC having 78% of world oil reserves, including all the cheapest, easiest-to-access, most-wanted (light sweet crude) stuff. We can’t change where the oil is, but we can change whether oil is our only way to move around.

    The Open Fuel Standards Act (H.R. 1687 and S. 1603) would make full flex fuel capability a required standard feature in all new cars, like seat belts. It would cost only $130 per new car at the factory to implement this, but it would finally make cars omnivores instead of dependent on only one fuel. Being able to run not just on gasoline but ANY alcohol fuel including not just ethanol but also methanol which is made from natural gas, coal, or ANY biomass including crop residues, weeds, trash, even sewage. See OpenFuelStandard dot org

  • Carney

    Newt called illegal aliens “law-abiding citizens”. A basic category error.

  • Carney

    Ron Paul advocates a Golden Rule among nations – don’t do to any other nation what we wouldn’t like done to us. But if a tyrant like Bashar Assad were ruling me and killing my kin, I’d long for and celebrate a foreign rescuer. Own independence from George III’s Britain could never have happened without French intervention.