GOP Contenders Debate: Fix the U.S. Economy or Go the Way of Europe

We’re getting there! It was the sixth debate of the fall season Wednesday night series.  CNBC’s debate was tag-lined “Your money. Your vote.” And yet by the time most of us had sat down and found a comfortable position for our legs, they were talking about Cain’s sexual harassment allegations. But while Cain isn’t off the hook for the accusations, he did very well for himself and it was the beginning of what could be a strong comeback. And in last night’s debate whenever the liberal media started to ask Cain about the on-going sexual harassment allegations the people in the audience booed.  When the media went back to questions on the economy, they cheered.  Hurray for everyone in that audience!

Cain said that the American people “deserve better than someone being tried in the court of public opinion based on unfounded accusations.”

He also said that since the allegations surfaced more than a week ago, “voters have voted with their dollars,” and supported his campaign.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney was asked about the allegations against Cain. Romney said Cain has responded to the questions and “people can make their own assessment.”

The questions about the Cain allegations generated boos from the audience at Oakland University.

The Media has been focused on “all “Herman Cain scandal, all the time. No Solyndra Solar scandal, no Fast and Furious Guns scandal… just Cain without end.  How convenient… another created diversion

ROCHESTER, Mich. (The Blaze/AP) — United in agreement for once, Republican presidential rivals warned forcefully Wednesday night the United States could be doomed to the same sort of financial crisis that is afflicting Europe unless federal deficits are drastically cut and the economy somehow revived.

Though sexual harassment allegations facing Herman Cain have dominated the GOP campaign for more than a week, the debate in economically ailing Michigan focused almost entirely on financial worries and proposed solutions in the U.S.

The candidates generally stuck to practiced speech lines – with a late exception…

Let’s not count Perry out quite yet, even though it looked like he clocked out two weeks ago. He had another one of those awkward moments… In the middle of one answer, Texas Gov. Rick Perry found himself unable to recall the names of the 3rd Cabinet-level government agency he plans to get rid of if elected, even leaning over to Rep. Ron Paul for help at one point.  That couldn’t have been more uncomfortable had Herman Cain passed Perry a reminder of the third agency’s name engraved on a rock.

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“The third agency of government I would do away with – the Education, the Commerce. And let’s see. I can’t. The third one I can’t. Oops,” he said, forgetting for a moment that he wants to abolish the Department of Energy.

On one specific issue that Congress must address soon, the candidates generally backed an extension of the Social Security payroll tax cut scheduled to expire at the end of the year. That was a rare moment of accord with President Barack Obama and many congressional Democrats, who have been warning that consumers could be hurt if the reduction is not renewed.

“I‘m not prepared to raise taxes on working Americans in the middle of a recession that’s this bad,” said former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, a sentiment quickly seconded by former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

Perry disagreed, and Rep. Michelle Bachmann of Minnesota said she opposed the one-year reduction when it was approved late last year. She said it had so far “blown a hole of $100 billion in the Social Security trust fund.”

Asked about Europe’s financial troubles, the candidates seemed to speak with one voice in saying Italy and other European countries should rise or fall on their own without any American bailout. And several of the White House hopefuls warned that unless U.S. deficits are cut and the economy invigorated, America is headed for the same type of downward spiral.

“Europe is able to take care of their own problems. We don’t want to step in and bail out their banks and their economies,” former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney said as he and GOP rivals met for the first time in three weeks in campaign debate.

Video: GOP Debate: Let Europe Solve Its Own Problems

Even so, he said the United States should continue contributing to organizations like the International Monetary Fund that are working to prevent a meltdown in troubled economies overseas.

Paul was more emphatic about the debt. “You have to let it liquidate. We took 40 years to build up this worldwide debt,” he added.

Cain said there wasn’t much the United States could do to directly to help Italy at present because the economy there is in such difficult shape. “We need to focus on the economy or we will fail,” he said, referring to the U.S. and calling for spending cuts, a strong dollar and measures to stimulate growth.

The Cain accusations did come up, though briefly.

“The American people deserve better than someone being tried in the court of public opinion due to unfounded accusations,” he said when the question came up early in the debate. “I value my character and my integrity more than anything else. And for every one person that comes forward with an unfair accusation there are probably, there are thousands who come forward and say none of that ever happened with Herman Cain.”

Romney, a former venture capitalist, was asked if he would keep Cain on the job as a CEO given the accusations. He responded, “Herman Cain is the person to respond to these questions. He just did.”

On another point, Cain felt it necessary to make a post-debate apology to House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, whom he had called “Princess Nancy” for sidetracking Republican legislation when she was speaker.

The announced topic for the evening was the economy, a subject that produced few if any early sparks among rivals who often spar energetically.

Perry, Gingrich, Bachmann and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum joined Romney, Cain, Paul and Huntsman on stage at Oakland University in Michigan, a state where unemployment is 11.1 percent and well above the national 9 percent jobless rate.

The debate took place less than two months before Iowa’s kickoff caucuses, as the pace of campaign activity accelerates and public opinion polls suggest the race remains quite fluid. Romney and Cain currently share co-front-runner status in most surveys, with Perry and Gingrich roughly tied for third, within striking distance.

Not surprisingly, none of the contenders found much to like in Obama’s economic stewardship.

Perry said the next president should systematically judge all of the government regulations enacted since Obama took office on a standard of whether they created jobs. Any that failed should be repealed, he said.

Bachmann sharply criticized Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. She said the latter had recently given multimillion-dollar bonuses to executives even though it was seeking a new federal bailout.

Gingrich, who last held public office more than a decade ago, bristled when asked what advice his company had given Freddie Mac for a $300,000 fee. “Advice on precisely what they didn’t do,” he shot back – stop backing mortgages to applicants who aren’t credit-worthy.

The government rescued mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in September 2008 to cover their losses on soured mortgage loans. Since then, a federal regulator has controlled their financial decisions.

The cost to taxpayers so far has been about $169 billion, the most expensive bailout of the financial crisis.

There was only scant mention of the Michigan auto industry, which benefited in 2008 and 2009 from a federal bailout that both President George W. Bush and Obama backed.

All eight Republicans on the debate stage say they wouldn’t have offered government assistance.

Not so Obama, who stood outside a factory not far from the debate site recently and said government bailouts of General Motors and Chrysler were a success that saved thousands of American jobs.

 

Side notes:

And then there was Mitt Romney‘s hair. It was actually a little messy. Granted, “messy” by Romney’s standard is like being “feminine” by Janet Napolitano‘s standards stated one of the event bloggers. But those five hairs haven’t seen this much freedom since birth and actually made him look ‘more real’ commented more than one viewer. Winking smile

The things they can do with technology. It‘s a miracle there wasn’t a mic blowout for Jim Cramer, one of the moderator’s, who yelled every question like he was day trading on NASDAQ. Not even a little audio feedback when he said his “P”s or “B”s.

Video: Herman Cain and Jim Cramer

Related:

AP: Some Candidates ‘ Drifted from Reality’ During Last Night’s GOP Debate

Perry Not Worried About Debating Obama

CNN Spins Tuesday’s Elections as Republican Setback

(h/t the Blaze/AP)

To be updated later…

About Ask Marion

I am a babyboomer and empty nester who savors every moment of my past and believes that it is the responsibility of each of us in my generation and Americans in general to make sure that America is as good or even a better place for future generations as it was for us. So far... we haven't done very well!! Favorite Quotes: "The first 50 years are to build and acquire; the second 50 are to leave your legacy"; "Do something that scares you every day!"; "The journey in between what you once were and who you are becoming is where the dance of life really takes place". At age 62 I find myself fighting inoperable uterine Cancer and thanks to the man upstairs and the prayers from so many people including many of my readers from AskMarion and JustOneMorePet... I'm beating it. After losing our business because of the economy and factors related to the re-election of President Obama in 2012 followed by 16-mos of job hunting, my architect-trained husband is working as a trucker and has only been home approximately 5-days a month since I was diagnosed, which has made everything more difficult and often lonely... plus funds are tight. Our family medical deductible is 12K per year for two of us; thank you ObamaCare. But thanks to donations from so many of you, we are making ends meet as I go through treatment while taking care of my father-in-law who is suffering from late stage Alzheimer's and my mother-in-law who suffers from RA and onset dementia as well as hearing loss, for which there are no caretaker funds, as I continue the fight here online to inform and help restore our amazing country. And finally I need to thank a core group of family, friends, and readers... all at a distance, who check in with me regularly. Plus, I must thank my furkids who have not left my side through this fight. You can see them at JustOneMorePet.
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2 Responses to GOP Contenders Debate: Fix the U.S. Economy or Go the Way of Europe

  1. kev07wan says:

    I also noticed Romney’s messy hair! He also made people laugh when he misspoke, briefly, about how long he’d been married to his wife. Maybe Romney’s going to go wild with personality in the next few weeks!

  2. Mark Taylor says:

    It was great to see both Herman Cain and Ron Paul hand Jim Cramer his own shorts. What a clown! Why anyone listens to him is beyond me. But his inclusion in the moderator panel made for some great entertainment. As virtually every candidate put him in his court-jester place.

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