(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
I want to applaud Mitt Romney about his answer to his tax return. I only wish he would reply, "It took Barack Obama 3 years to show his birth cetificate so I guess the country can wait until April to see Romney's tax return! I think it is a shame that the moderator's try to pit the candidates against each other instead of letting them tell the people what Obama is doing wrong in his leadership and what they would do to make it better!!
@ Santorum: Regarding our 2nd Amendment rights, what is your stance on gun laws and our right to bare arms? In the past you have been a little indecisive. Throughout history Americans have used weapons for recreation of course, but more importantly, a way of putting food on the table. As president, what would you do to protect our 2nd Amendment rights?
Romney and illegal immigration; he has no creditability on the issue.
Sorry that Newt didn't like the question about his second marriage. As a Christian and looking for a righteous candidate and eventually President of the United States, I would like to hear his answer. I know what his wife has said about his adultery. I am looking for someone who can be a hero for our county. If he can answer the first question and be a hero. I will listen.Thank you.
If one of these corrupt potential candidates has their mouth open lies are coming out. I look at this group and 5 words come to mind – morons, psychopaths and mental defectives.
Not that the Dems are much better as both parties are utterly and totally corrupt. They are both owned by the corporations and the only concern of any candidate is their own enormous greed and that of their corporate owners.
Ron Paul makes me proud to be an American. We can either embrace the constitution or shed the constitution. cant have both. The only candidate speaking truth is the same candidate thats recieved more military campaign money than any other candidate...combined. that isnt a talking point...this is something that should be up front and center. our military personnel deserve a president that will hold them in the highest regards and not use them as pawns to police the world.
The USA has created a drug culture litiginous society with empowerment and greed (government, insurance, pharmaceutical} vs enslavement (medical profession). If elected how would you elevate the practice of true and genuine health care?
Great debate! I do have a burning question now: today we saw again once a great American company-Eastman Kodak-a great American icon, went bankrupt. My question to the candidates is this: if elected, how would you help to keep and boost our competitiveness and readiness for the future?
Santorum is a bit of a smart aleck when it comes to Mitt-en isn't he?
I think Mitt and Newt , or Rick and Mitt, or Rick and Newt need to partner up , any of these possible duos would be good because they would balance each other and create one very strong campaign team giving the repulicans a formidable chance of getting obama out of office and strengthen the repulican party tremendously thye all need to spend more time expalining why obama needs to go and less time tearing each other down. like Mitt said any one of the four yes even ron paul would be a better president than the one we have now
Please please please ..... we don't have a tax problem, we have a spending problem. Congress and the POTUS should be directed to obey our constitution.
I live in Southeast Kansas. My husband and I are both full time students. I am the only one working. My husband has been looking for work for two years now. We don't qualify for public assistance because in order to recieve assistance you "must" work 20 hours a week if you are a student however if you are not a student you must be "available" to work 40 hours a week. We are barely getting our bills paid, have no car and make less than $15,000 a year. How are you going to help people in the same situation my family is in.
how many pilgrims came here legally?
Shut up about China's military. I served in the Special Operations Community. China's aircraft carrier is made of steel from left over Soviet projects. We still have by FAR the best military in the world. We need to bring them home to be the Dept. Of Defense as the title states! We as a nation need to stop worrying about China's military and more about their economic power over us! Who is going to stop our borrowing from the rest of the world to give money to the rest of the world?
Mr rommy is a fraud, and the other three are letting him brainwash them with his sorry excuses.
this question is for gingrich what would you do with the problems we having with the iranians??
Newt Gingrich had no problem using third party, hearsay information to deride Bill Clinton, lead the action in the impeachment of Clinton, and work to remove Clinton from office over an extramarital affair at the exact same time he was involved in an extramarital affair himself. It was fair game then, but suddenly, when he is the center of the issue, it is "despicable".
There is only one word to describe Gngrich – HYPOCRITE!
Question for Gingrich. You have released taxes, fine. Now release the "historical advice" that you received our tax dollars for to the tune of 1.5-1.8 million dollars. That is part of your record that must be made public. Do you agree?
Any astute individual should commend Romney for his success. Those who don't must not understand business, capitalism and the American way.
Question for any candidate: What do the words "without enumeration" in the 16th Amendment mean? Is a progressive tax system constitutional? How can one reconcile a progressive tax with the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment?
How do the candidates stand on the issue of Global Warming and what will they do for cleaner energy?
The relationship between the US and China will play a key role in the 4-6 years of economic growth of our country. If we do nothing with the rules in place right now we will have a hard time turning around the economy. Should we set in place higher cost for China to export their goods to the United States until they make it more reasonable for our goods to be imported by them?
Newt, guys in jail also claim that they found god and should be forgiven for everything...
Need to ask this question!!!!!! This will create a buzz. "What canadaite on the current stage would you have as VP?"
How do the candidates feel about medical marjuana?