(CNN) - The CNN Political Ticker is live blogging the CNN Southern Republican Debate in Charleston, South Carolina. Check here for live updates throughout the event and be sure to follow @PoliticalTicker, @CNNPolitics and use #CNNDebate.
10:10 p.m. ET - Santorum to Borger: Romney isn't consistent on important issues.
10:09 p.m. ET – @cnnlive: CNN's @jimacostacnn gets a response from #NewtGingrich staff on the #CNNDebate during the #CNNPostgame. Live: on.cnn.com/cnndcl2
10:07 p.m. ET – Santorum to CNN Chief Political Analyst Gloria Borger: Gingrich was given leadership position in Congress, and conservatives tried to throw him out.
10:05 p.m. ET - @SamFeistCNN: @newtgingrich: I thought it was a great debate. I think @johnkingcnn did a great job. #CNNDebate
10:04 p.m. ET - Gingrich to Anderson Cooper: "I felt we owed it to the people of South Carolina" to release tax returns. "Doesn't [Romney] owe it to Republican voters?"
10:03 p.m. ET - Newt Gingrich told CNN's Anderson Cooper he thought the debate went well. "I wanted to keep it on big themes," Gingrich said.
9:58 p.m. ET - John King closed the CNN Southern Republican Debate.
9:57 p.m. ET – Santorum said Republicans needed to elect a conservative that can beat Obama in the most important states.
9:56 p.m. ET - Romney said the stakes of this election had never been higher. Said America needed to return to being a "shining city on a hill."
9:53 p.m. ET – Gingrich said Republicans will need to win both the White House and the House and Senate.
9:51 p.m. ET – Paul said candidates needed to talk more about spending and debt. Said debt bubble was "great burden."
9:54 p.m. ET - Candidates are asked to make their case to South Carolina voters.
9:48 p.m. ET - @AriFleischer: My gut tells me undecided SC voters move mostly 2Newt 2nite, but Santo had his best debate. It's still a Rom-Ging race though
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9:44 p.m. ET - Paul said as a doctor, he had strong views on when life begins. Said Republicans should be looking at funding of abortions.
9:44 p.m. ET – @LisaDCNN: CROWD SCREAMS: For Ron Paul to get to talk about the abortion debate as John King about to move on. Someone near me: "let the doctor speak!"
9:43 p.m. ET - Audience booed when Paul wasn't asked about abortion. Paul was given a chance to answer.
9:41 p.m. ET - Romney defended record as pro-life governor. Said his record is solid. Gingrich said as speaker he passed bill ending partial birth abortions.
9:40 p.m. ET - Santorum said Gingrich had pushed social issues to the back burner.
9:38 p.m. ET - Romney said health law did not pay for abortions. Said his integrity was being questioned.
9:37 p.m. ET - @DanaBashCNN: Gotta love it Romney now calling mass h care Romneycare
9:37 p.m. ET - Gingrich questioned Romney's pro-life stance. Said the health care law Romney passed in Massachusetts paid for abortions.
9:35 p.m. ET - Question on abortion
9:35 p.m. ET - Gingrich said he would issue an executive order dropping lawsuits against states' immigration laws.
9:34 p.m. ET - Paul said we needed to look at the incentives for people to come to the United States illegally.
9:33 p.m. ET - @HowardKurtz: Surprised that Mitt, in hitting pathway for illegal immigrants, isn't reminding folks this is Newt's position. Wants to avoid counterattack?
9:32 p.m. ET - Romney said he had been consistent on immigration, and that he actually agreed with Santorum on the importance of enforcing immigration laws.
9:30 p.m. ET - @DLoesch: Someone give Santorum a picture book of Gingrich's immigration answer, because it flew over his head. Disingenuous.
9:29 p.m. ET - Santorum said Romney had changed his position on immigration. Said Gingrich's position on illegal immigration was the same as President Obama's. Said, "If you want to be an American, the first thing you should do is respect our laws and obey our laws."
9:27 p.m. ET - Romney said illegal immigration was not a tough issue. He said America should build a fence, and ensure employers verify workers' immigration status.
9:25 p.m. ET – Gingrich said he would establish English as the official language of the United States. Said he would modify visa system. Gingrich said he would make process of deportation faster and easier. Gingrich also lauded his "guest worker" plan.
9:24 p.m. ET - Question from the audience: How would you deal with illegal immigration?
9:23 p.m. ET - Paul said he would work on his delivery. Said he might speak a little slower. Said he would continue with his message.
9:21 p.m. ET - Gingrich said he would skip first 3 months of his campaign and begin with an internet-based operation.
Romney said he would "work to get 25 more votes in Iowa."
Santorum said he "wouldn't change a thing." Said being in the final four was an amazing achievement.
9:21 p.m. ET - Question: What is the one thing you would do differently in this campaign?
9:15 p.m. ET - @AriFleischer: I get the sense Romney and Newt pandered on SOPA. Santorum gave the most thoughtful answer.
9:14 p.m. ET - @EWErickson: Thank you candidates for opposing #SOPA #cnndebate
9:13 p.m. ET - Paul said he was glad the bill has stalled in Congress. Said Republicans had frequently been on the wrong side of the issue. Santorum said property rights should be respected, but that the legislation had gone too far.
9:13 p.m. ET - Gingrich: "I favor freedom." Said large companies shouldn't dictate what Americans can do on the internet. Romney said the bill was far too intrusive, and would have a negative impact on the tech industry.
9:11 p.m. ET – Question on SOPA (the Stop Online Piracy Act). CNN's parent company Time Warner supports SOPA.
9:10 p.m. ET - @ShepherdCNN: Newt Gingrich 2010 tax returns: he paid $994,708 on an adjusted gross income of $3.14 million. #cnndebate
9:09 p.m. ET – Paul said we needed to look at the reasons companies are sending jobs overseas. Said Apple was a good company that still employs thousands of Americans.
9:07 p.m. ET - Santorum said under his plan, Apple would get large tax incentives if they brought jobs back to the United States.
9:06 p.m. ET - Question: Apple has thousands of workers in China. What would you do about that?
9:04 p.m. ET - Romney said he would "maybe" release a few years of his income tax returns, as his father George Romney did when he ran for president. Audience booed. Said he wouldn't apologize for being successful.
9:02 p.m. ET –Gingrich said if Romney had something damaging in his tax returns, he should release them before the general election. Santorum said his tax forms were at his home, and he would release them when he was able to retrieve them.
8:59 p.m. ET – Question from audience: When will you release your tax returns? Gingrich said "an hour ago." Paul said he has no intention of releasing his tax returns, saying he has so conflicts of interest. Romney said he would release his in April when the most up-to-date forms are available.
8:58 p.m. ET - Gingrich said he went back to Ronald Reagan playbook when he was House speaker. Said Romney did very well under rules he put in place. Romney said when he was a businessman he pleaded for Washington to get out of the way.
8:57 p.m. ET - @PeterHambyCNN: Mitt's dad wasn't exactly Mr. Reaganite
8:56 p.m. ET - Romney said we didn't need someone who had worked in Washington. Points to Gingrich and Santorum as Washington insiders.
8:55 p.m. ET – Gingrich cited more achievements in the House: lowering taxes, gaining Republican majority. Said facts may be "inconvenient" for Santorum's campaign.
8:53 p.m. ET - Santorum said he knew Gingrich's leadership style from his time in the House. Mentioned ethics charges against Gingrich, and said that Gingrich had "an idea a minute."
8:52 p.m. ET – Gingrich defended his record. Listed off achievements made during his time as House Speaker. Cites job creation, balanced budgets. Said "We need leadership prepared to take on big projects."
8:49 p.m. ET – Santorum reacted to Gingrich's claim that he wasn't ready for something on the scale of the presidency. Santorum said his success in Iowa and New Hampshire were evidence of his staying power. Said Gingrich's claims "were not cogent thoughts." Said Gingrich had "worrisome moments when something's going to pop."
8:45 p.m. ET - @JimAcostaCNN: Romney to Santorum: "If you want to be governor of Massachusetts fine." #CNNDebate
8:42 p.m. ET - Paul said Obamacare could be repealed completely. He said he was more concerned about the larger problem of government expanding into individuals' health care.
8:41 p.m. ET - @SamFeistCNN: We will ask @speakergingrich about his tax returns next on the #CNNDebate.
8:40 p.m. ET - Gingrich said he led the opposition to HillaryCare when he was in the House.
8:39 p.m. ET - Newt Gingrich's campaign released 2010 tax documents during the CNN debate, reporting $3,142,066 adjusted gross income and paying approximately 31 percent of that amount in federal taxes, or $994,708. Mitt Romney, much of whose income is understood to be from investments and taxed at a lower rate, said on Tuesday his effective tax rate is "closer to the 15 percent rate than anything," and suggested he would release his documents in April.
8:38 p.m. ET – Romney defended the Massachusetts health care law, said people in the state were better off.
8:38 p.m. ET – @jimacostacnn: Santorum on Romney and Gingrich supporting an indiv mandate: These are two folks who don’t present the clear contrast that I do.
8:36 p.m. ET - Santorum said Gingrich was for an individual health care mandate. Said Romney and Gingrich were "playing footsies with the left."
8:35 p.m. ET – Santorum used the Obamacare question to go after Romney for his role in the Massachusetts health care law. Said the law was a model for Obamacare.
8:34 p.m. ET - Gingrich said he thought it would be possible to completely repeal Obamacare. Said he didn't trust Congressional staffs to pick through bill to repeal separate parts.
8:33 p.m. ET - Romney: we have to go after complete repeal. Said he would replace with new bill that offers health care through a market.
8:30 p.m. ET - Question from the audience: Do any of the candidates believe Obamacare can be repealed in its entirety?
8:28 p.m. ET – Romney said veterans benefits should be handled at the state level.
8:27 p.m. ET - Santorum said Obama had cut benefits for veterans, said veterans should be given preference for jobs by employers.
8:25 p.m. ET - Paul said veterans more medical help when they return from war.
8:24 p.m. ET – Question: Should the federal government take steps to lower unemployment among veterans?
8:21 p.m. ET - Santorum said we need to talk about how to get people back to work in the manufacturing sector. Said we need to give manufacturers a leg up.
8:20 p.m. ET - Romney responded to Bain criticism, said "capitalism works." Listed companies he said were successful when taken over by Bain Capital.
8:19 p.m. ET - Romney: President Obama is the biggest impediment to job creation.
8:17 p.m. ET - Q to Gingrich: What was wrong with Romney's tenure at Bain Capital? Gingrich: Underlying model of Bail Capital needs to be explained.
8:17 p.m. ET – @david_gergen: Let's be very clear on one point: John King is one of the fairest journalists in the country. #CNNDebate
8:16 p.m. ET - Gingrich said we need to repeal Dodd-Frank bill. Said need to overhaul the Corps of Engineers.
8:15 p.m. ET - Paul said government needed to get out of the way. Said needed to get rid of some regulations and reduce the income tax.
8:14 p.m. ET - Question from voter: list three more programs to put people back to work.
8:13 p.m. ET - Romney: Let's get on to the real issues.
8:12 p.m. ET - King asks other candidates if personal items from the past are legitimate issues in presidential campaigns.
8:12 p.m. ET – @lisadcnn: GINGRICH has them on their feet: says "I am tired of the elite media protecting Barack Obama." People near me roaring, enthralled.
8:11 p.m. ET – @streitfeldCNN: And the overwhelming sign of frantic typing fills the media filing center...
8:11 p.m. ET - Gingrich: The story is false.
8:10 p.m. ET - Gingrich says he is "appalled" the first question in the debate was about his ex-wife's interview.
8:09 p.m. ET - Question to Gingrich on interview ex-wife gave to ABC News.
8:07 p.m. ET – @AriFleischer: Where's Steven Colbert? I hope he didn't drop out too.
8:07 p.m. ET - Candidates introduced themselves to the audience.
8:06 p.m. ET - John King explained the rules of the debate.
8:04 p.m. ET - Military cadets from the Citadel sang the National Anthem.
8:03 p.m. ET - The candidates are introduced onto the debate stage.
8:00 p.m. ET - @DanaBashCNN: @donnabrazile is sitting with her popcorn getting ready for the big #cnndebate
8:00 p.m. ET - CNN Chief National Correspondent John King opened the CNN Southern Republican Debate.
7:59 p.m. ET - @PaulBegala: #cnndebate about to begin. Any thoughts on what the crowd will boo? Other crowds booed gay soldier, Golden Rule and yelled 'Let him die!"
7:57 p.m. ET - @SamFeistCNN: Moments away from the #CNNdebate in Charleston. http://twitpic.com/89b8a5
7:55 p.m. ET – @donnabrazile: Newt hurricane with cane sugar. Santorum Sangria and Paul's Punch loaded with home grown oranges from Florida. Sure miss Perry's bourbon.
7:52 p.m. ET – @donnabrazile:What's on your evening menu?#CNNDebate here in Charleston, SC. Lively audience. Rep Tim Scott firing up the base with loads of red meat.
7:51 p.m. ET - @AriFleischer: Larry King moderated the 2000 CNN debate in 2000. Tonight's moderator is John King. Must be a @CNN thing.
7:51 p.m. ET - @TonyFratto: Wondering how @JohnKingCNN will ask the Eyes Wide Shut question tonight. #CNNelections
7:49 p.m. ET - @AriFleischer: Last time I was in SC for a debate was Bush-McCain 2000. (how quaint – only two candidates). Larry King was moderator.
7:48 p.m. ET - @David_Gergen: Talk among pros is if Romney can win debate, he can stop Newt momentum, take SC, put near lock on race.
7:46 p.m. ET – @NewtGingrich: Almost debate time. You can follow live updates during the debate from Newt 2012 at http://www.newt.org/debate-central #withnewt
7:45 p.m. ET - @David_Gergen: Excitement building here at Charleston debate. Crucial nite for Romney & Gingrich. John King moderates, join us #CNNDebate.
7:44 p.m. ET - @JohnKingUSA: "Debate tips from a veteran"
7:43 p.m. ET - @EWErickson: I'm in the CNN staff room getting ready for the debate. Big night & the ability to have a more substantive discussion with only 4 on stage.
7:37 p.m. ET - Former candidate Herman Cain to CNN's Erin Burnett: "Voters are sick of digging up facts on someone's past. It's irrelevant!"
7:35 p.m. ET - @LisaDCNN: NOW: Everyone seated at debate in Charleston, must say CNN gave us radio folks a great spot just in back of audience.
7:31 p.m. ET - @JohnKingUSA: "Why Gingrich's ex is talking to the media:
7:29 p.m. ET - @ShanTravisCNN: just great: my fingers, toes are nearly frostbit in Iowa. my hotel member program emails: "Shannon – use points to Escape to Hawaii!"
7:26 p.m. ET - Sen. Graham: "The wind's at Newt's back."
7:23 p.m. ET - South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham on CNN's "Erin Burnett OutFront": "I honest-to-God don't know who I'm going to vote for."
7:16 p.m. ET - Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich arrived at the debate hall.
7:09 p.m. ET - @LisaDCNN: PERRY presence at debate: Empty sad-looking seats.
7:08 p.m. ET - Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum arrived at the debate hall.
7:04 p.m. ET - @MittRomney: Tune in at 8:00 P.M. EST for the #CNNDebate (@ Southern Republican Leadership Conference-CNN Debate w/ 7 others)
7:04 p.m. ET - Texas Rep. Ron Paul arrived at the debate hall.
7:00 p.m. ET - @JohnKingCNN goes behind the scenes of tonight's debate.
6:53 p.m. ET - @AriFleischer: If you were a Perry supporter, who are you going for now?
6:44 p.m. ET - @RickSantorum: Please tune in tonight at 8pm ET for the CNN Republican Presidential Debate in Charleston, SC
@Luis Colon. I love the religious infighting and bigotry. The irony of the: "God exists and created our planet and is everywhere but came from no-where" line from Evangelicals while questioning "God exists and created our planet but came from another planet" from Mormons. Do you really think one sounds crazier than the other? I'd prefer to look at it as, does a person's religious beliefs cause him/her to be a better person or a worse person. Will he/she act rationally and act in the country's best interests?
For Ron Paul: How is your military policy of non-interference with other countries comprehensive when the U.S. is indeed a global player and must interact with other countries?
What is your opinion on states electing to have medical marijuana avaliable to those in need of alternative medication?
gingerich quickly sublimated the blame for moral/etnical accusation by ex which would not ordinarily matter to me onto the media–what i would like him to clarify is who was to blame for the ethical issues he faced in his position as speaker of the house–this does matter to me and to the rest of the country. It matters because if the republicans are going to win this election, we need a candidate who has the backbone to admit, not blame others, when they cross the line.
question to MIT Romney as president you would support the NDAA bill. do you think it is just to suspend the rights of the people in a global crises, and if so would you be inline to use the military as a oppressive force on an opposing force of ideals, and if so were is these ideals state in the constitution witch you are held to up hold and would you be incline to use these powers on the people of the us
I am appalled at John King for beginning a Republican Debate with an attack on Newt Gengrich about a personal marital issue that ABC chose to promote on the day of the debate! He ought to be reprimanded for not asking pertinent questions that pertain to the welfare of our nation! I CAN't BELIEVE THAT CNN STOOPED AS LOW AS ABC DID TO TRY TO SMEAR NEWT GINGRICH! CNN IS OBVIOUSLY NOT "FAIR AND BALANCED" LIKE FOX NEWS!
Question for Romney:
You want to be a champion of freedom, yet you support the NDAA that would give you the ability to detain USA Citizens and strip us of our due process rights. Please explain how you can support freedom and also support the elimination of due process for citizens.
Newt is by far the best candidate on the stage. His retort to the moderator was OUTSANDING! and true. His answers are direct, thoughtful and straight forward. The Best!
Now that some media hawks hype up hot air to pave the path to war with Iran, obviously with the help of the Military Industrial Complex, are the candidates prepared to state clearly where they stand on this issue?
Hooray for Speaker Gingrich....and shame on John King, CNN, and the staff for starting a presidential debate
with a political question. We, the people, want to learn about how they are going to handle the problems of
this country and not about personal and questionable junk....This question could have been saved for late
in the game or not asked at all.....but if John King is such a good moderator, he should have known better.
Ask my question? The Byzantine empire outlasted the Romans for over 1,000 years because they engaged their neighbors diplomatically rather than militarily. Ask the PhD Historian Gingrich that!
I am glad to see the former speaker using info he learned on the Rachel Maddaw commercial about the GI bill. Good job newt
So many voters have lost faith in all politicians regardless of party or beliefs. Politicians are more worried about getting votes and winning elections than fixing the country. It's easy to put on a happy face and make promises and all that does is perpetuate the broken system. Because the system is broken and no one has any idea how to fix it. Democrat, Republican, Third Party, they're all the same at the end of the day.
Question for Mitt Romney:
The future kings of England serve in the military. Why can't your five able – bodied sons serve for the United States Armed Forces?
Newt wrote the forward to the book "One Second After" ask them what they would do to protect us from an EMP attack on the USA for countries like China or North Korea.
Newt: How long will it take you to get rid of every liberal in Washington DC?
Ask Santorum why his campaign thinks it is against Gods will for a woman to be President.
If corporate taxes are cut to zero, how can we be assured that the excess profits will be used to create JOBS and not go right into the pockets of the C level executives.
Newt can't defend what he and his cheating girlfriend (now wife) did so it is easy to blame the media. What a cheating phoney. You notice he doesn't go anywhere without his wife. She knows better than to leave him alone. Cheating DOES matter and these phoney "Evangelicals" giving a standing ovation shows just how phoney they are. Good grief!
QUESTION: So let's talk China – why won't President Obama's approach to repeal tax benefits to companies shipping jobs overseas work to keep jobs in the USA?
If elected, how would you fix the social progams which will become a burden to the younger generation?
A question: The United States' quality of education is less than desirable for most. How would you, as president deal with that?
Questiom for MITT ROMNEY: you paid around 15% for your taxes, the American people are the backbone of the country, why not lower everyones taxes to 15%? Why should a corporate elite like yourself get a break for sitting in a chair?
Can we ask the group to deal with today's job creation plans not after WW2 or during Reagan's tenure. The world is different.
First debate I haven't watched. The hooting, hollering crowd at the last one was disgusting. The crowd in NH at the Sunday debate moderated by David Gregory was respectful, so different from the rednecks of SC.