(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
Questions for all 4 candidate
how much you care about more than 35 million Kurdish people in worlds? when your are a president are you willing to declare thier freedom as a country ? as we know all kurdistans land are full curd oil.
Newt may be appalled with the subject of the opening question of tonights debate – what about the millions of citizens who are appalled with his lack of character in having affairs when married? By virtue of placing himself in the very public position of being considered for President of the USA America wants a leader with STRONG MORAL CHARACTER! If a man cannot manage his own house, who can we expect him to manage the White House?
Question for Mitt Romney. How is being pro abortion, pro Obama care, pro war and pro NDAA at all considered conservative? Aren't those traditionally considered Democratic ideals? How would his directives be any different than our current president's?
My husband and I were disappointed at the tone taken by CNN and John King in the opening of the debate. This is supposed to be a debate focusing on who would be the best next President of the US, not getting wrapped up in a candidate's personal past, right or wrong. An ex-wife who would go on national TV, at this time, for a negative reason is questionable to say the least...
So Mitt will release his tax returns...maybe...after they look at the documents. Hmmm?
I served in the military and was exposed to Depleted Uranium. I was on the news papers and I had a child that was born with a birth defect (missing digits on her right hand) I have no health insurance and I am a diasble veteran. The VA states they can not address her needs because I am not a 100% disable, I thought we're are a govenment that suppose to take care of our soldiers and our family. If elected what would you do to help vets in a situation like me? And do you believe that my daughter should get care, I reside in NEW YORK.
After watching all of these debates I have not heard any discussion about the education system in our country and what the candidates plan to do to help. College students are not choosing to become teachers and those in the profession are either leaving or struggling with mandates and no funding. That doesn't even address how low-paid these professionals are!
I love Mitt Romney's slick cheesy car salesman smile (-:
Does Santorum mean federal minimum wage and OSHA when he says jobs are going overseas due to federal interference? Does zero income tax rate, applied based upon a company's business opportunities seem fair???
Unions only get what a company agrees to give them.
What does Gingrich have to say about his unethical conduct in Congress with his check fraud and being fined $300,000 for congressional rules violations?
Like the other debates in SC, those in the adience that boo and whistle should be ashamed. It's one thing to support your candidate. but be respectful to everyone. This is not a playground!
Newt and Romney are sooooo easy to hate. They have no chance in hell of getting elected. Ron Paul.. I can see voting for him.. and that's coming from a guy who has voted Dem in every election since I got my voter card.
If Obamacare was patterned after Romneycare, Isn't it obvious that Gov. Romney would be the best qualified person to debate Obama regarding health care?
Why do you let the canidate get away without real facts.
Steve Jobs said (and I quote) "The reason we sent & build the I-phone to China was because we(USA) DID NOT have enough Enigineers" in one place to Mfg them. Ii believed he said he need 500 Engineers.
These Canidates are "BS"ing the American Public!
This is crazy, has nobody else noticed that they are totally cutting Ron Paul out.
Romney says we should have someone outside Washington because politicians haven't been doing such a good job. Well, what do you say about Obama who wasn't a Washington "insider" and his performance? In that respect, I do not think you have the right idea! I DO want someone who knows how the system works and how we can fix it. One important change the policy to have only one party in the house and senate. that way, our politicians would vote the issue and not straight down party line. when they go home, they can re-affiliate with a party.
This Debate is a joke three talking heads with no substance. Let's just continue to ignore Ron Paul CNN. You and the rest of the networks seem to do that well. I've never seen a candidate in the top three #2 and even #1 across the country be ignored to this extent.
i don't know if i really care about the tax returns being released, i want to know that the candidates are following the same rules we are and that when they are fixing our economy and tax code, they they are going to fight for the best interests of this country and not their own personal gain.
Run Mitt Romney AND YOU'LL LOSE. The man is a out of control worrier. Everytime he's asked ANYTHING his response is the same: the democrats will do this to me, Obama will do that.... my goodness – can't he ANSWER ANYTHING as to what HE plans to do. RELEASE YOUR DA#N TAX RETURNS WILLARD NOW and quit WORRYING about what Obama and the democrats are going to do to you as you will find out REAL SOON. I guaranteed you Willard will need a sedative BEFORE he goes up against the president. He is the most nervous candidate I HAVE EVERY SEEN. Run him if you want but be prepared to LOSE.
Why don't the nominees discuss how much will be saved in fuel and transportation resources if we bring production "HOME" from other countries?
Mr. Speaker Gingrich, was fined $300,000 for tax violations. What does he have to say about that?
I know how to solve the debt crisis in the US Very simply, use debt consolidation program. You only pay 30% of the total debt. but the downside is that you cannot borrow any money from china for 5 years.
Mr. Gingrich, you conveniently overlook the fact that under your tenure as Speaker of the House your policies were responsible for making our Congress the partisan institution that it is today! Under your leadership in 1994, the Republican members of Congress stood on the steps of the Capitol and pledged to support the Contract with America as a partisan block...today's partisan atmosphere started with your policies. Also you changed the way committee chairs are chosen, and based it not only on how often an individual voted with the party, but also the amount of money raised for the party, rather than on seniority. You have been a destructive force in Congress before, and should not be given any further opportunity to meddle in the People's business!
During the debate on the National Defense Authorization Act, South Carolina senator Lindsay Graham said Americans should "shut up" if they ask for a lawyer during interrogation. Do you agree with this statement?