Entries Tagged as 'GOP debate'

Why Was the $10,000 Bet Moment so Bad?

David Frum December 12th, 2011 at 11:16 am 45 Comments

Ed Morrissey observes at HotAir.com:

If Romney wanted to make himself look rich, arrogant, and clueless, he could hardly have done a better job. When was the last time someone challenged you to a ridiculous bet in order to intimidate you out of an argument? For me, I think it was junior-high school.

That’s well said, but I’d slightly revise the point. The thing that was most ugly about that moment was that it was not altogether clueless.

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Where Was the GOP’s Middle Class Agenda?

David Frum December 12th, 2011 at 10:21 am 74 Comments

Saturday night’s debate provided a good example of how current GOP orthodoxy thwarts presidential candidates from talking seriously about the economic problems of the American middle class.

Mitt Romney wants to offer a middle-class economic agenda. (Or anyway, his consultants have decided he needs to offer a middle-class economic agenda. Motives don’t matter for our purposes here.)

That agenda reduces itself to one point: elimination of taxes on capital gains, interest and dividends for Americans earning less than $200,000 a year.

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Where Was Santorum’s Safety Net?

David Frum November 22nd, 2011 at 11:26 pm Updated65 Comments

Serious question: Why didn’t the Bush administration give Rick Santorum some kind of consolation prize after his defeat in 2006?

Here’s a two-term senator, brought down by no mistake of his own, who had performed well in Congress and stood by the party leadership when called upon–eg, endorsing Arlen Specter in 2004.

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Romney’s Worst Debate

David Frum November 22nd, 2011 at 10:40 pm 94 Comments

Tuesday was a bad night for Mitt Romney, maybe the very worst of any of these debates. It started badly with the joke about Mitt being his real first name, when it was not–and ended badly with a weak answer about “unexpected threats” that did not play at all to Romney’s strengths on international economics.

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FF Livechats the National Security Debate

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

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.

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Answers for the Next Foreign Policy Debate

David Frum November 16th, 2011 at 2:45 pm 45 Comments

In my column for The Week, I answer my own questions on foreign policy that I suggested for the CBS-National Journal GOP debate:

In advance of last Saturday’s GOP foreign-policy debate, sponsors CBS and National Journal asked me to suggest questions for the moderators.

Unaccountably, they did not make use of my suggestions. Still, I had posted the list on my blog, and soon got a query from an international friend: Okay, wise guy — how would you answer them?

Here goes.

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No Discussion of Europe at GOP Debate

November 12th, 2011 at 3:30 pm 83 Comments

CBS made some questionable broadcasting decisions with this debate. They decided that the last half hour of the debate will only be broadcasted in some television markeys. Most networks reverted to NCIS so many viewers had to get the rest of their debate fix from the unreliable online feeds.

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My Questions for the Next GOP Debate

David Frum November 11th, 2011 at 11:35 am 77 Comments

Had I been on the panel for Wednesday’s economics debate, I’d have opened with the question: “Are taxes lower or higher today than on the day President Obama was sworn into office?” Just for fun.

CBS and National Journal asked me among others to suggest some questions to ask the candidates at tomorrow’s foreign policy debate. My suggested list follows. Note that it was written in advance of the Keystone XL pipeline decision, which adds urgency to the energy security questions.

Freddie Mac Didn’t Pay $300K for History Lectures

David Frum November 10th, 2011 at 12:40 am 32 Comments

In the obsequies over the Perry candidacy, let’s not overlook this audacious moment from the debate: Newt Gingrich’s breathtaking assertion that Freddie Mac paid him $300,000 for a lecture he gave “as a historian” about how they should forthwith cease their business practices.

Turns out, that’s not quite how it happened. From the AP:

The records obtained by the AP reflect growing concern within Freddie Mac over a chorus of criticism from Republicans worried that Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae had grown too big. The two companies owned or guaranteed over $5 trillion in mortgages.

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Perry’s Plan: Politics not Policy

David Frum October 26th, 2011 at 3:29 pm 39 Comments

In my column for The Week I explain that Rick Perry’s tax plan is designed to appeal to voters in the Republican primary, not to policy wonks who care about whether or not the plan makes economic sense:

The wonks point out that (as conventionally scored) Perry’s tax plan would blow a giant hole in the already huge federal deficit. The wonks also note that the Perry plan claims to balance the budget by 2020 only by (1) positing ferocious spending cuts unlikely to pass Congress and by (2) simultaneously assuming a sudden acceleration of U.S. economic growth upon adoption of the Perry flat tax plan.

The wonks will therefore conclude that the Perry plans make no sense.

They are wrong! The plans make great sense — if you understand Perry’s true purpose.

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