December 12th, 2007
02:30 PM ET
10 years ago

Keyes makes major debate debut

Alan Keyes is among the Republican presidential candidates on the debate stage.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - A familiar campaign figure is on stage in Johnston with the rest of the Republican field for the first time this year.

Former Ambassador Alan Keyes may be making his major debate debut this cycle at the Des Moines Register/Iowa Public Television debate, but this is the third presidential run for the veteran campaigner, who has also made three unsuccessful bids for the U.S. Senate.

Keyes may barely register in most recent surveys of Iowa primary voters, but he meets the criteria laid out by debate organizers: he registered at least 1 percent in October’s Des Moines Register poll, he has filed an official FEC statement of candidacy, and he hired an Iowa campaign staffer and opened an Iowa campaign office as of October 1.

Keyes did participate in a September Republican debate that was skipped by the leading GOP contenders.

On the Democratic side, underdog contenders like Dennis Kucinich and Mike Gravel are both out of luck – they will not be included in Thursday’s Democratic debate. (Kucinich was disqualified because his Iowa field director works out of his home.)

- CNN’s Rebecca Sinderbrand

Filed under: Iowa • Presidential Candidates
soundoff (43 Responses)
  1. jakarason

    Even hunter should not allowed to debate reason, the chance to win is 0%

    December 12, 2007 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  2. Charles

    Are you kidding me, CNN? "Major debut?" I'd say "irrelevant distraction" instead.

    December 12, 2007 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  3. Wallace Chicago IL


    This guy is a bit of a walking disaster waiting to happen. It is hard to predict what is going to come out of his mouth. This should be interesting.


    December 12, 2007 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  4. Amanda Orlando, FL

    Didn't Obama mop the floor with this guy in the Senate race back in 2004? Or am I thinking of some other nut?

    December 12, 2007 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  5. Stephen, Overland Park, Kansas

    I thought Keyes came across as an angry fanatic. They say you never get a second chance to make a first impression, and for those who are not familiar with Ambassador Keyes, I'm afraid he has squandered that opportunity. It is one thing to be a passionate orator when making a speech, but I think the American people are turned off when a candidate tries to make a JFK-style speech with every answer to a debate question. Alan, CHILL OUT!!! At least try to look presidential.

    December 12, 2007 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  6. Greg, Phoenix, AZ

    Insane...That pretty much says it all...

    December 12, 2007 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  7. Ryan, New York, NY

    Only caught the end of the debate, but Keyes was painful to watch.

    December 12, 2007 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  8. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Keyes just adds to the list of another republican campaigner that needs to get lost.

    December 12, 2007 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  9. Dan (Columbia, MD)


    But he was funny in Borat.

    December 12, 2007 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  10. Frank, San Diego

    Such a waste of time. There's one thing that is clear from the polling data. The only Republican who would have a prayer against any of the leading Democrats is McCain. And I'm reasonably sure that the G(reed) O(ver) P(atriotism) crowd is not smart enough to nominate him. So let's skip all the distractions and just have the vote.

    December 12, 2007 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  11. mike, des moines, iowa

    I was at the debate this afternoon. Keyes was a headscratcher for most in the audience – he has absolutely no chance.
    Also, Fred Thompson came across as rude, arrogant and like he would rather have been elsewhere.

    December 12, 2007 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  12. Lee, Mays Landing, New Jersey

    Keyes is the concience of the Republican Party. I'm glad he was there. He correctly pointed out how phony both Mitt Romney and Rudy Guiliani are.

    Of course Keyes has no shot, but Huckabee does. Agree with him or not, at least Huckabee is authentic, not phony like Mitt and Rudy.

    December 12, 2007 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  13. AJ, IL

    To all the Obama-Oprah haters, listen up! Alan Keyes (a Black candidate)is running for GOP nomination (and has run in the past for president) and I have never heard Oprah endorse him. It not about ethnicity, it is about a candidate having a great demeanor and great ideas for a better America.

    Obama in '08!

    December 12, 2007 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  14. Dee, grambling,LA

    he just want to feel like another black man in the race, to sway voters maybe. he's wasting his time.oh and obama is mixed..

    obama 08

    December 12, 2007 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  15. Mary Traverse City Michigan

    I am emberassed for whoever ran this debate as it was apparent to all that Alan Keyes was continually passed up. Gee, what a shame as he speaks with such eliquence and passion; something that is clearly missing in all the other candidates who simply give lip service to the gullible and the nieve.

    December 12, 2007 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  16. Lorenz, Queens, Ny

    Hunter – Keyes- and Tancrado should be excluded from the debates – All at 0% – I want to listen to the big boys debate

    December 12, 2007 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  17. Daniel 6, albany NY

    Republicans don't have a chance. There is one man for the job. The right man for the job. That man is Joe Biden. Go ahead Give him a closer look.

    December 12, 2007 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |


    I watched the whole debate. The only thing I learned is Keyes is CRAZY!! Although that comment about all the hot air coming out of politicians was right on!!
    But WOW he was scary crazy!!

    December 12, 2007 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  19. Sharon Occhipinti, Dunmore, PA

    I remember when we were kids all the stories of "heroes" that resisted torture and when they could not resist any longer, giving false information. I am sure some gave accurate information; however, one might give false information that would seem accurate to "fool" interrogators into thinking the information was accurate. Those "heroes" we honor from WWII did just that. Do we really think we, as a culture, are the only people intelligent enough to do that? I am not that arrogant.

    When we emulate despotic behavior, we become that which we are trying to stop. Why is it so difficult for us to see what we do to others from their perspective? All we have to do is ask ourselves, "How would I feel if "they" did that to me?" What would we do if a Muslim nation with great power and money "installed" a dictator to rule over us? Is that not what we did to them when we installed the Shah of Iran in 1953? I do not think we would have waited 25 years to "take up arms" to throw them out.

    Since WWI, we have been meddling in the business of other nations to our own detriment. The reason we foster ill will from other nations is that we manipulate their politics to our own advantage. Moreover, since it is impossible to predict the future we have repeatedly armed and trained peoples we used as allies in one conflict only to fight against those same peoples, and our own equipment, later when their allegiances change and they morph from ally to enemy. We did this with Iran, Osama Bin Laden and the Taliban (In the fight to keep the USSR out of Afghanistan.), and Sad am Hussein. I think we are blind if we do not see our foreign policy is detrimental to US.

    Why do we do this? Do we do this from a position of strength? No. We do these things because we have convinced ourselves we cannot stand alone in a world of Communists, Socialists, Dictators, and Monarchies. I do not believe that. I think we Americans are stronger than that. I believe we could fight the entire world at once. If the entire world united to impose their values on us, the world would have the fight of their lives. I think we would be willing to risk the destruction of the planet rather than capitulate to ANYONE else’s ideals.

    When are we going to realize our forefathers were more insightful, intelligent, and honorable than anyone in politics (with the exception of Ron Paul) today? Go back to our history books. Each of them warned against everything we have been doing for the last century. They told us in so doing we risk the very liberty they gave us. Where do we find ourselves after a century of fear mongering and warmongering? We find ourselves on the eve of self-destruction.

    We are 9+trillion dollars in debt and adding 1million dollars a MINUTE, with a PRIVATE banking system unaccountable to ANYONE (The Federal Reserve) printing “Monopoly” money to perpetuate the illusion we still have wealth. COMMUNIST CHINA, THE UNITED ARAB EMERATES, England and others, OWN our ports. State officials are SELLING our highways to other COUNTRIES and telling us about it AFTER THE FACT. We have federal officials that think nothing of BORROWING from the likes of CHINA (800 million and counting), Arabia, and others. We have corporations with no allegiance to our country undermining our economy by outsourcing jobs, in sourcing labor, and encouraging illegal immigration. Corporations now bribing (through 500 dollar an hour lobbyists and back door deals) the leadership of the United States, Canada and Mexico to MERGE into one “super sized” mass bearing no resemblance to the values set forth in our Constitution and Bill of Rights. Are not the “War on Drugs”( singularly responsible for the increase in inner city crime, the infringement on our SECOND AMENDMENT RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS in reaction to that increase and the erosion of THE RULE OF LAW), the “Patriot Act”, and the “War on Terror” effectively eliminating PRIVACY and LIBERTY? We have a President who believes it is OK to go even further, using warrantless searches with impunity. We are subjected to involvement in war after war after war while taking on the responsibility AND expense of defending the security of countries not our own. Politicians and businesses use Imminent Domain to CONFISCATE our property without either FAIR COMPENSATION or CONSENT OF THE PROPERTY OWNER. Should we tolerate taxation from cradle to grave while politicians ADMIT to raiding the coffers of the social programs those tax dollars should ensure, thereby rendering them bankrupt? Yet they continue to tax us knowing we will never see a penny in our own pockets. We are ALLOWING them to make fools of us!!

    Where are the troops and equipment meant to protect us? In 180 countries around the world, that is where. (Does that make you feel secure?) The meager number of troops and scarcity of equipment ON OUR OWN SOIL is indicative of just how bankrupt we have become. We cannot continue to bribe and “donate” endless amounts of money to “allies” to keep them as allies. We are a nation not an empire. Empires ALWAYS fail because their elite hoard monies from their economies for personal pleasure and greed. The onus of supporting the empire falls on the shoulders of the masses and eventually the weight so great the economy collapses and the empire dissolves. We need to stop behaving like an empire and start acting as a nation concerned with the wellbeing of its peoples. We need to clean our own house and lead by example not force. Myself, I am unable to feel secure with our soldiers everywhere BUT here. I do not espouse isolationism. I believe we can be very effective through diplomacy if we secure our own borders and everything in between.

    Our country is sinking fast and we blithely debate what is or is not torture. To me living like this is torture. I think our forefathers would not simply be ashamed of us. Were they here, they would REVOLT against us. We are living under the yolk of tyranny they had shed and we are blind to it. However, I do not think it is too late. If anything, we have one last chance to fix what has been spiraling out of control for so long.

    If we open our eyes to see what is wrong we can work together to ‘make things right’. We must disregard what corporate media tell us. We need to think for ourselves. We must refuse to fear that which the neocons tell us to fear in order to subjugate us. Presently, the internet is “the wild west”. Information is abundant. Let us resurrect the American spirit, which founded and grew this nation. Let us look beyond what we see and read from corporate controlled mainstream media. Let us Google, UTube, and search our way to the truth. Then let us act upon that knowledge.

    For those who believe the world is to complex to follow the tenets set forth by our forefathers so long ago I encourage you to research the Swiss Cantonal System of Government. It is surprisingly similar to our own Constitutional foundations. In fact, it may be more “of the people” than we are. Granted it is smaller than most of our states, but I, like our forefathers believe the size of a nation is no impediment to the ability to implement the Constitution as they envisioned it. Swiss history shows adherence to non-intervention does NOT threaten nations. They have avoided every conflict to BEFORE our own Revolution. They have one of the richest economies in the world with a low per capita tax despite having NO natural resources AND being landlocked. Moreover, they have remained a FREE AND SOVERIGN nation for 700 years despite their size. If they can do it, we can do it. Our forefathers believed it and I believe it. I think Ron Paul believes it, too.

    I am asking you to read what I have written, do your own research, and search your heart. I am confident if you do you to will come to believe Ron Paul is the best hope for the future our forefathers envisioned. If you agree lets get together to bring Ron Paul to the White House and support him when he is there. (I registered Republican to vote for him in my states primary.) Search the web, (The Library of Congress site.), Wiki, and anywhere else you can think of. Check out the writings of the likes of Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin, et al. Find the arguments made in Congress against The Aldrich Act that failed. Then, obfuscated and renamed The Federal Reserve Act it passed in 1913. Find information on the meeting at Jekyll Island where the leading financiers of the day wrote the Aldrich Act. Research, research, and research some more. Research the voting records of ALL of the Presidential candidates. Research the rising influence on the Democrats AND Republicans through lobbyists. Research Woodrow Wilson (under his guidance The Federal Reserve Act passed) and all the mistakes he made sending us careening on the path that led us to where we are now. Research the Treaty of Versailles that catapulted us to WWII. If you start with some of these, you will find much more to track down. Follow all the leads and make up your own mind.

    Regardless of your decision, I wish you and yours peace and prosperity to the end of time.


    December 12, 2007 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  20. Dave Nate, Aurora IL

    Actually, Keyes did quite well against Obama in Illinois. Aside from Cook County(Chicago), he won more precincts if my memory serves me correctly.

    December 12, 2007 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  21. Marty Stiles NH

    CONFIRMS MY VOTE FOR CLINTON and not obamawinphrey! what a JOKE those two are! Oprah lost my vote for obama

    December 12, 2007 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  22. Brian, Orlando, Florida

    GOP contenders say cut federal spending

    And how do they do that with a war going on????

    Fiscal conservatism is now up to the Democrats!

    December 12, 2007 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  23. Charles

    Dave says "actually, Keyes did quite well against Obama in Illinois." Yes, that's right. 27% of the vote is quite good.

    December 12, 2007 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  24. Tony, Wilton, ME

    comic relief

    December 12, 2007 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  25. James Izzard

    I think that Alan Keyes really represents the heart and soul of the real Republican party.

    He doesn't try and sugar coat his bigotry or hide it.

    December 12, 2007 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
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