Live Blog: CNN Western Republican Presidential Debate
October 18th, 2011
07:27 PM ET
3 years ago

Live Blog: CNN Western Republican Presidential Debate

Las Vegas (CNN) – The CNN Political Ticker is live blogging from the CNN Western Republican Presidential Debate in Las Vegas. Check back here for live updates throughout the event and be sure to follow @PoliticalTicker, @CNNPolitics and use #CNNDebate. Read more here</a

7:10 p.m. PT - @PeterHambyCNN: More Ray Sullivan, on Romney: "He is a very slick guy. That slickness includes the ability to change positions on a dime."

7:09 p.m. PT
- @PeterHambyCNN: Perry spox Ray Sullivan: "He is back to running again ... this is a campaign that is in for the long haul."

7:08 p.m. PT
- @JohnKingCNN: Govs perry and romney chatted briefly post debate. Romney says "it was fine". I suggest tone preview of tv ad wars: "we'll see". #cnndebate

7:08 p.m. PT - @TonyFratto: Didn't see the debate, but from descriptions on twitter Ron Paul wore an old David Byrne big suit. #burningdownthehouse

7:06 p.m. PT
@JohnKingCNN: Also grabbed romney: "comes w the territory" says of faceoff w perry. I ask abt tension, ann romney interjects "the animosity?" #cnndebate

7:05 p.m. PT @JohnKingCNN: Talked to perry on way off stage: "it went well tonight... A lot of fun" asked about romney clash, he introduced me to his wife. #cnndebate

7:04 p.m. PT - @BarackObama: "Obamacare," "fence," and “repeal” were the top words of tonight's debate—but #Obama2012 was the real winner. OFA.BO/ChZniV


7:04 p.m. PT
- Cain, appearing on CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360" after the debate, says he "felt good" about the debate and how he responded to criticism from the other candidates.

6:59 p.m. PT - @CNNPolitics: Go to CNNPolitics.com right now for exclusive #CNNDebate coverage from the Spin Room; send your questions and comments using #CNNPostGame

6:57 p.m. PT
@PeterHambyCNN: Fehrnstrom [Romney adviser]: "Rick Perry came in to kill Mitt, but he killed himself"

6:50 p.m. PT
- Romney says they're (he and Cain) both doing well because of their records and then says he turned around main street businesses multiple times in his career.

6:49 p.m. PT - Cain says his experience is "main street," unlike Romney's "Wall Street" experience.

6:48 p.m. PT - Romney said Massachusetts had a lower unemployment rate while he was governor than Texas did while Perry was governor and that is the record he would mirror as president.

6:47 p.m. PT - Perry says voters should look at Romney's history in Massachusetts, when he was not successful in creating jobs. "You failed as the governor of Massachusetts," Perry said.

6:46 p.m. PT@PaulBegala: Hey, Rick Santorum. If you're gonna brag about the time you beat me, shouldn't you mention that 6 yrs later I beat YOU? #CNNdebate

6:46 p.m. PT
– Romney says his past in the private sector, out of politics is why he will have the support to beat the president in the next election.

6:45 p.m. PT
– Santorum says he won Pennsylvania, a swing state, twice and that he is the only candidate on the stage to beat a Democrat in a swing state, signs he will be a strong candidate in 2012.

6:44 p.m. PT - Q from Cooper: Why shouldn't voters go with Romney who voters think has the best chance against Obama, according to a new CNN/ORC International poll?

6:42 p.m. PT@AC360: Herman #Cain joins @andersoncooper live after the debate on @ac360 at 10p/ET! @CNNDebate

6:40 p.m. PT
@AriFleischer: This debate won't change much. Rom still on top. Perry better, but not there yet. Cain still strong. Newt the elder statesman.

6:39 p.m. PT
@donnabrazile: #CNNdebate: Romney won again because no one took him off his game. Cain was on defense & Perry showed his Texas sized debate style – punchy.

6:38 p.m. PT – Cain says his approach to foreign aid is an extension of the Reagan approach, which includes giving money to American allies.

6:37 p.m. PT - Bachmann responds by saying America should not cut foreign aid to Israel, a great ally of the U.S.

6:36 p.m. PT – Paul says foreign aid should be the "easiest thing to cut." He says he would cut aid to all countries, including Israel and adds foreign aid sent to Israel doesn't help them. Instead, he says the aide makes them dependent on the U.S.

6:35 p.m. PT
- Romney says the U.S. is spending more than it should on foreign aid.

6:35 p.m. PT – Perry says it's time for a serious discussion on the issue that includes America's involvement, or lack of involvement in the United Nations. "Why are we funding that organization," Perry said of the U.N.

6:34 p.m. PT - Q from audience: Why do we continue to send foreign aid to other countries?

6:31 p.m. PT
– Cain says he would not negotiate with terrorists. Santorum says "you cannot negotiate with terrorists, period."

6:31 p.m. PT
- Q from Twitter: Would you negotiate for a hostage, given the recent situation in Israel?

6:29 p.m. ET - Paul says he doesn't want to cut any defense but that a lot of the money spent doesn't "do anything for defense." He then adds that the debt bubble is the real problem and that cuts in military spending would be a good step for the U.S. and help American security.

6:28 p.m. PT@PeterHambyCNN: common theme in emails from Rs tonight: i really like newt, just not sure he can win

6:26 p.m. ET – Bachmann says everything, including defense spending, should be on the table but that servicemen and women cannot afford $5 billion in cuts.

6:26 p.m. ET – Q from Cooper: Is everything on the table in budget cuts?

6:25 p.m. PT@PSteinhauserCNN: Santorum's best debate yet? #CNNDebate

6:23 p.m. PT
- Romney says he's not going to "lose sleep" over the comments but that he was most troubled by the reverend's suggestion that voters cast their votes based on a candidate's faith. Romney says he wanted Perry to respond to that specific comment by the reverend. Perry says he already did.

6:22 p.m. PT - When asked if he will "repudiate" the comments made by Rev. Jeffress, Perry says he already said he disagreed with the statement. He goes on to say our country is based on values and that everyone is free to express their opinions.

6:21 p.m. PT - Gingrich says religion and morality are important but that "none of us" should rush to judgment about another person's faith.

6:20 p.m. PT – Santorum says candidates should pay attention to a candidate's values and how a person's faith influences those values.

6:19 p.m. PT – Q from email: With the controversy surrounding Rev. Jeffress, is it right to let faith shape the debate?

6:14 p.m. PT – Romney continues to criticize Obama, who he said still does not have a jobs plan.

6:13 p.m. PT@Jon2012Girls: This is what happens when the adult is no longer in the room.

6:12 p.m. PT
– Paul says the protesters should not be blamed and that blame should be put on those whose actions led to the economic collapse.

6:10 p.m. PT - Cain says he stands by his previous comments that were critical of the protesters and that the protests on Wall Street are not productive.

6:09 p.m. PT - Q from Twitter: How do you explain the Occupy Wall Street movement?

6:08 p.m. PT
- Bachmann says women across the country are hurt by the economy and foreclosures. She talks directly into the camera to women. "Hold on Moms out there," she said.

6:07 p.m. PT
– Cain says he supported the concept of TARP initially but that he disagreed with the plan ultimately after seeing how the Obama administration used the money.

6:04 p.m. PT – Santorum says many of the other candidates, including Perry, supported TARP, which he said started a process of the the government trying to fix the economic decline. "We need to let the market work," Santorum said. Perry said he never supported TARP.

6:04 p.m. PT - Q from the audience about repairing the housing market.

6:03 p.m. PT - Perry says there needs to be a discussion about the 10th amendment and states rights.

6:02 p.m. PT – Romney says he agrees with Paul and that the people of the Nevada should decide if they want the waste in their state.

6:01 p.m. PT - Paul says the government should not be involved in deciding which state "gets stuck with the garbage."

6:00 p.m. PT
– Gingrich says the U.S. needs a safe place for nuclear waste, but that he's not a scientist and therefore cannot make a ruling on the repository at Yucca Mountain.

6:00 p.m. PT
- Q from audience: What is your position on opening the nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain?

5:58 p.m. PT
- @David_Gergen: The #Obama team must be loving this debate.

5:58 p.m. PT@AC360: #Bachmann mentions "anchor babies" which #keepingthemhonest we've investigated and found false. #CNNDebate

5:58 p.m. PT - Santorum says the Latino community understands the importance of faith and family and that they know what is at stake in the U.S. right now.

5:57 p.m. PT
- When the same question is asked of Bachmann, she says illegal immigration and the issue of "anchor babies" should be addressed legislatively.

5:56 p.m. PT - Cain and Perry do not directly answer Cooper's question about the 14th amendment and whether they support the amendment. When pressed, Perry says he does not support repealing the amendment.

5:55 p.m. PT - Cain says the most important issue in the country is getting the economy back on track, saying that if the economy is growing all people will be able to reach for the American dream.

5:54 p.m. PT - Paul says immigration reform needs to include getting rid of incentives from the federal government that attract illegal immigrants.

5:53 p.m. PT - When responding to a question about the Latino vote from the audience, Gingrich says the issues that matter to Latino voters are the same as those that matter to every other ethnic background.

5:51 p.m. PT
– Romney criticizes Perry's record on immigration in Texas, especially because his state, Romney said, has seen an increase in illegal immigrants in his state, as opposed to states like California and Florida.

5:48 p.m. PT - Bachmann says Obama is the one with the immigration problem because members of his family are illegal immigrants. She also says she will "build a double-walled fence between the U.S. and Mexico."

5:47 p.m. PT@DLoesch: Building a fence will do wonders for the ladder industry. #cnndebate

5:47 p.m. PT@DonnaBrazile: Okay. I had to stand up and watch the exchange btw Romney and Perry on immigration. Who won? Perry.

5:47 p.m. PT@PaulBegala: More like Dixie rasslin' “@psteinhauserCNN: this is like a prize fight... .Ali-Frazier #CNNDebate.”

5:45 p.m. PT - Cain is asked about his suggestion that an electric fence be built along the border of the United States, a comment he later said he delivered in jest. The former Godfather's Pizza CEO says his real plan to address immigration would include a "fence, technology and boots on the ground."

5:44 p.m. PT - Romney says he used a lawn company that hired illegal immigrants and he asked them to stop when he found out. Perry interrupts him. Romney responds by saying Perry has a problem with letting people finish their thoughts and suggests he work on that if he wants to be president of the United States.

5:42 p.m. PT - @murphymike: Mitt does shoulder tap.

5:42 p.m. PT - Romney laughs and then says: "I don't think I've ever hired an illegal in my life." Then says Perry is getting "testy" because he's had a "rough couple of debates."

5:40 p.m. PT - When asked to respond to criticism about health care in Texas, Perry says his state has a huge number of illegal immigrants, but he adds that they are coming into the U.S. because of the jobs available in the country. He then accuses Romney of hiring illegal immigrants in his home.

5:39 p.m. PT
- Cain says no and that "Obamacare" must be repealed because it's a "disaster."

5:39 p.m. PT – Q from Cooper: Is there any part of Obama's health plan you would keep?

5:38 p.m. PT - Paul says Americans should be able to opt-out of government medicine.

5:38 p.m. PT - Q from Twitter: What is the alternative to Obama's health plan and what is the alternative?

5:37 p.m. PT - @piersmorgan: I want to moderate the next #CNNdebate – just to hear Michele scream 'PIers, Piers!!, PIERS!!!!'

5:34 p.m. PT @piersmorgan: 'Anderson! Anderson!! ANDERSON!!!' – Oh dear, now Michele Bachmann's screaming. Calm down everyone. #CNNdebate

5:33 p.m. PT@DonnaBrazile: Romney is now forcing Newt to admit he once supported an individual mandate. Newt responds: You got that from the Heritage Foundation. Whew.

5:33 p.m. PT - Bachmann interjects, by screaming "Anderson, Anderson, Anderson" by pointing to the unpopularity of "Obamacare."

5:32 p.m. PT - Gingrich says there is a lot of "big government" in Romney's plan, and even more "big government" in Obama's plan.

5:30 p.m. PT@AriFleischer: Romney remains vulnerable on this. I don't understand why R candidates haven't honed in on this.

5:30 p.m. PT - Romney defends his plan by saying the people of Massachusetts like the plan, but that Obama's plan should be repealed because it is increasing the cost of health care for Americans.

5:27 p.m. PT – Santorum says Romney has no credibility about health care because the plan he instituted in Massachusetts was the model for "Obamacare." The two go back and forth, talking over each other. Romney then responds by saying he never thought his Massachusetts plan should be instituted in the U.S., that it was the right plan for his state.

5:25 p.m. PT - @PaulBegala: AC asks Perry if he's read Romney's plan. Perry still struggling with "Goodnight Moon." #CNNdebate

5:25 p.m. PT - Romney responds saying Perry is right about the creation of energy jobs, but says the U.S. also needs other types of jobs, including from the manufacturing sector and by repealing "Obamacare."

5:24 p.m. PT
– When asked about his criticism of Romey's jobs plan, Perry says 1.2 million jobs could be created through his jobs plan that would lead to America's "energy independence."

5:23 p.m. PT - Bachmann says every person should pay taxes, even if it's a minimal amount, adds that she wants to get rid of the current tax code.

5:22 p.m. PT
- Cooper asks Bachmann if all people should pay taxes, even those who do not currently.

5:21 p.m. PT - @AriFleischer: Romney is turning into a debate machine. He sure is good.

5:21 p.m. PT
- Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich says Cain deserves a lot of credit for getting the candidates to discuss an issue of substance.

5:19 p.m. PT – Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney asks Cain about his plan and concludes that people "don't want to pay both" state and federal taxes." He compares his proposal to a "bushel basket" of taxes. Cain responded to criticism of his plan earlier by saying other candidates were comparing "apples and oranges" when analyzing his plan.

5:18 p.m. PT - Cain says none of the other candidates understand the plan.

5:16 p.m. PT - Perry says Americans don't want more taxes, especially in New Hampshire, the first-in-the-nation primary state where he says residents want a "flatter and fairer" tax rate. Perry says Cain's plan is "not going to fly."

5:16 p.m. PT
– Cooper asks Texas Gov. Rick Perry to weigh in.

5:15 p.m. PT - Cain says the 84% charge is not correct, invites Americans to do their own math.

5:14 p.m. PT - Former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania says the "9-9-9" plan means 84% of Americans would "pay more taxes."

5:13 p.m. PT - Cain responds to Bachmann by saying critics need to read the full plan, which is "simple and fair."

5:12 p.m. PT - Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota says the U.S. cannot give a 9% sales tax to Congress because then the rate will go up, a reference to businessman Herman Cain's "9-9-9" tax plan. She said her economic plan is a jobs plan, not a tax plan.

5:11 p.m. PT - Q from the audience: Would you prefer to discontinue the federal income tax and replace it with a federal sales tax?


5:05 p.m. PT
- @AriFleischer: I'm live in Vegas from the debate site. Hope the candidates are better debating than I was at blackjack last night.

5:04 p.m. PT - @SamFeistCNN: Shot from inside CNN control room for tonight's Las Vegas #CNNDebate. twitpic.com/72e3vf

4:58 p.m. PT - CNN's Anderson Cooper takes the stage and asks if the audience if they’re ready to meet the potential next president of the United States.

4:35 p.m. ET
- @RickSantorum In the RV/Green Rm after a day full of TV and radio interviews "prepping" for the #cnndebate. TY for your prayers #fb

soundoff (1,128 Responses)
  1. Stella

    Why build a fence to keep immigrants out... Millions of people with the potential of being a tax payer....

    October 18, 2011 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  2. Mark Scherer

    Perry wins

    October 18, 2011 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  3. Rick

    Gov. Perry used to be a democrat and campaign manager of VP Al Gore. He became GOP when it was suited for him to run as GOP in Texas. He still defending his Texas Border, Immigration, Lobbyist and Tuition signatures.

    He, Senator Rick, you are succeeding in creating negativity in GOP debates – I hope your wife would tell you to get life and drop out.

    October 18, 2011 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
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