(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
Ron Paul for President of Somalia.
As usual CNN as their own agenda. The audience has to tell CNN the debate was unfair to Ron Paul. Its not about headlines it's about issues. Debates need to give equal time. CNN did NOT!
Are we ignoring Ron Paul in the after-debate discussions again, CNN? Really?
i am watching cnn post commentary and the discussion is how the debate began: the first question. What about the issues that face this country. Can the republican candidates contribute solutions to unemployment, huge unfunded entitlement programs, poverty, healthcare.
It's good to have friends. John King's buddies spent the last 10 or 12 minutes trying to pick him up and dust him off and build him a new a-hole after Newt ripped him a new one in response to King's opening question regarding ABC's interview with his 2nd ex-wife. Ya gotta have friends.
P.S. Dear John King, listen to Mitt. Stick to important issues. Don't bother with news media manufactured issues. Call your pal over at ABC and tell him you did the best you could for him and his "Big" story but you'd rather stick to political issues next time.
I watched the Republican debate with the fab four and I've gotta say I'm disappointed that Ron Paul was not giving the same face time as all others. While the other three were busy attacking each other on who flip flopped on the issues Ron Paul was just there watching unchallenged. Could Ron Paul be an honest, straight forward, fight for Americas Liberties than the other three. The others just couldn't find flaw on Dr. Ron Paul! I like what Ron Paul stands for, I"m normally a democrat but if Ron Paul would be the Presidential candidate I would be willing to change for Dr. Ron Paul. He's sincere, he's aware of what's at stake and that's Big government, taxes, our butting into other countries and cutting our debt in the first year by a trillion. Ron Paul deserves more if not equal air time like the rest of the flip floppers.
Seems Newt started going big with his head first, someone could take blue ribbon at the county fair with that melon!
The only people who think Ron Paul is too far "out there" on Foreign Policy are the ones who have probably never read an history analysis since High School. They don't know anything about Iran prior to 1980, and don't know anything about Operation Cyclone in Afghanistan, or the infamous "Frankenstein" comment (a prediction of Al'Qaeda and The Taliban).
People should educate themselves on history before making stupid statements about Foreign Policy.
I always looked to CNN to attempt to be the objective network. When John King was obviously wooed for more visibility, I couldn't figure out why. Maybe, I thought, the reason will become more evident with time. Well, it hasn't. In fact, the reverse is true. His lack of objectivity has reared its ugly head before, but tonight, I was proud of the way the South Carolina called him to task in regards to Ron Paul. FIRE HIM!!!
The press wants to destroy people. I'm sick of the way they have handle this election! They play the candiates and try to get them to fight among them selves saying they are not strong enough, then when they have accomplish this, they turn it around ...saying look what they are doing now. CNN and the rest of you news people don't think the American people don't see what you are doing.
I totally agree with Anonymous. John King all but ignored Ron Paul tonight. What's up with that?
Very Shabby and disrespectful treatment of Ron Paul by the moderator in this so called "fair" debate. I think it was a travestesty that the audience has to remind the moderator that they want to hear( and rightly so) what this candidate has to say. John King and CNN have dropped to MSNBC status in my eyes. What a joke that first question and kudos to Newt , the angry attack muffin for chewing up the media over this...yes, let get to the issues at hand and quit the National Enquirer style journalism...it was sickening and insulting to the debaters and the audience...shame on you.
I watched the debate and I have listened to the so called experts on these things. For them to say that Newt won tonight and was great with his answers stuns me almost as much as these repeated "debates" that ask the same questions but cover no real issues. Newt was a bully. He was a bully when he was speaker of the house – hated by his own party so much that they ran his butt out! I remember it! Santorum is as unethical as any other politician on the Hill.
People – WAKE UP – quit letting the American "Pravda" control what you believe and stop letting them tell you what matters to you. Stand up for yourself and scream for your freedom and your representation. Tell CNN, Fox, and all the others to start reporting the news and quit creating news!
Why is Ron Paul consistently ignored. He appears to be the only sane, intelligent adult on stage. Maybe that is it.
I think that question was appropriate about newt gingrich....in the begining because on another debate romney was attacked right at the begining. so we have to use kid gloves on certain candidates. santorum how did he get 25 extra votes....by perry dropping out....even though he endorsed gingrich....ron paul did say things that many of us conservatives agree with irregardless of tea party membership or not...santorum said a lot of good things but I got tired of hearing him tattle tale and it looked like he was a big baby...I actually was for santorum until he started the awful attacks every time he spoke...he wont just talk about what he will do he has to demean others first then lift himself up...he needs more confidence in what he can do....Im a conservative but not a tea partier but I support them...ron paul has good ideas but he is too meek ...sorry ...he says some things that we think are rediculous but then my husband who is a historian says ....now that is true....so...where so I stand...I dont know...Im confused.....how about a team instead of one man......
Furthermore, I'm very disappointed that the moderator, CNN and Anderson did NOT give Ron Paul equal face time in the debate and after the debate.
Give everyone fair time to speak. Switch up the orders. Don't make a single candidate go last every single time and if you run out of time just try to go on. At least Paul has loyal supporters OTHERWISE King would have totally just ignored one of the 4 remaining candidates. WHAT IS UP CNN? YOU GUYS BLOW SO UNFAIR SO RIGGED MONEY CLEARLY CONTROLS EVERYTHING IN YOUR BUSINESS.. CNN=0 credibility= totally biased, partial, unfair
Willard Mitt - got money from his Dad and went out and took risk...with Inherited money! Wow what a risk. Then when he got money it was from leveraging company resources (NOT CREATING JOBS)! After when new management turned those companies around === he claims job creation. Then gets a 15% break for taking risk, which leads us back to Dad;s money!
come on, cnn. by mistake, you just ran romney's terrific push back on newt where he told newt that he wasn't going to allow him to take credit for his 25 years in business. apparently you cannot bring yourself to say how good romney was tonight.
gingrich was awful. his tirade against john when he asked a legitimate question was self-righteous, bull.
I'll definely vote to re-elect Obama. I trust him a whole lot more than any of them -both morally and intellectually. At least he's a real family man and not a hypocrit like Newt and he's not someone so out of touch like Romney. Romney wants everyone else's children to fight his inevidable wars.
So I'm supposed to believe CNN isn't biased yet there has been over 40 minutes of post debate coverage AND NO MENTION OF RON PAUL. Absolutely disgusting, you just lost a viewer. For the record Fox is just as bad.
CNN...really...? I can't seem to get the taste of disgust out of my mouth! Please allow me to form my own opinions about ALL of the candidates by allowing ALL of them answer questions. Please do not filter the responses to only 3 candidates and push the other one out of the picture!
I am soo tired of the coverage of the debates excluding Ron Paul, he had some of the smartest comments and even got cheers from the crowd in order to speak! The media's non coverage of Ron Paul, as if he is not even there, is just obvious to any who is watching! There are four people up there, why is it so hard to let ALL four answer!
Why wouldn't John King give Ron Paul his share of time? I think the media is afraid of Ron Paul. He was the only candidate CNN didn't interview after the debate. Humm media will barely give him the time of day...sounds like I found a candidate to back for the Republican nomination.
This is ridiculous CNN... You just hosted a debate with only 4 candidates and you are on the after show talking about only 3 of them, as usual!! I am a loyal CNN viewer but am really disappointed in this. I mean, I honestly do not care if YOU think Ron Paul is electable or not. It's not up to you. But I know that you understand the power the media has on an election and you should take that seriously. Ron Paul is currently second in delegates, raises more military money than all other candidates combined, and got more applause, hoops and hollers than anyone tonight, but you can't even pretend he was actually there. This is some of the worst coverage of a campaign I've ever seen.