Eight Republican candidates participate in the first Tea Party Republican Debate Monday on CNN. Read the live blog below. Follow all the issues and campaign news about the debate on CNNPolitics.com and @cnnpolitics on Twitter. Watch the debate on CNN TV, CNN.com and mobile devices.
10:31 p.m. ET-@JenScogginsCNN Spin Room at #CNNTeaParty Debate yfrog.com/ntms4oj
10:17 p.m. ET-@CNNPR Photo: @TheHermanCain in the #CNNTeaParty spin room. yfrog.com/h0e62xzj
9:53 p.m. ET-@DanaPerino I'm with Cain – bring a sense of humor...PLEASE!
9:51 p.m.ET- Huntsman: I'd bring my Harley Davidson and my motorcross bike.
9:51 p.m. ET–Cain: A sense of humor, Americans are too uptight.
9:51 p.m. ET–Bachmann: Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, the Constitution
9:51 p.m. ET–Romney: A bust of Winston Churchill.
9:50 p.m. ET–Perry: The most beautiful, most thoughtful, incredible first lady the nation has ever seen, my wife Anita.
9:50 p.m. ET–Paul: A bushel basketful of common sense. A course in economics.
9:50 p.m. ET-–Gingrich: Well, first of all, I would reduce the White House by kicking out all the White House czars the first day, creating a lot more space. And then, because of Callista's interest, we'd have a lot more music, because of my granddaughter, Maggie, we'd have ballet, and because of my grandson, Robert, we'd have a very large chess set. So it'll all come together.
9:50 p.m. ET –Santorum: We have 7 children. We'd add a bedroom, or bring some beds to the White House.
9:49 p.m. ET–Q: What would you bring to the White House if you were president?
9:46 p.m. ET-@DWStweets Hispanic voters were sent a pretty clear message tonight about how GOP field feels about their priorities. #notwelcomehere #CNNTeaParty
9:46 p.m. ET–Perry: We need to keep a presence there.
9:45 p.m. ET-@AriFleischer: Ron Paul meets deep end. Dives in. #CNNTeaParty
9:44 p.m. ET–Huntsman: We are 10 years into this war, Sahar. America has given its all in Afghanistan. The time has come for us to get out of Afghanistan. We don't need 100,000 troops there when this nation needs to be built. When we start shining again, it's going to help the women of Afghanistan, along with any other NGO work that can be done there and the collaborative efforts of great volunteer efforts here in the United States. We can get it done, but we have to make sure that the Afghan people increasingly take responsibility for their security going forward.
9:43 p.m. ET–Q from audience: I was brought here from Ronald Reagan. I am from Afghanistan.
What will you do to secure safety and protection of the women and the children of Afghanistan from the radicals?
9:42 p.m. ET–Paul: As long as this country follows that idea, we're going to be under a lot of danger. This whole idea that the whole Muslim world is responsible for this, and they're attacking us because we're free and prosperous, that is just not true.
9:41 p.m. ET–Santorum to Paul: On your Web site on 9/11, you had a blog post that basically blamed the United States for 9/11. On your Web site, yesterday, you said that it was our actions that brought about the actions of 9/11. That is irresponsible. Someone who is running for the president of the United States in the Republican Party should not be parroting what Osama bin Laden said on 9/11. We are not being attacked because of our actions.
9:40 p.m. ET–Paul: I'm tired of all the militarism we're involved in and wasting this money. There's a lot of room to cut on the military, but not on defense. We're under great threat because we occupy so many countries.
9:39 p.m.ET–Q from Twitter: Do you believe in cutting military spending to balance spending? Or do you believe high spending is essential to security?
9:37 p.m. ET–Cain: Remove barriers by the federal government. I would start with an EPA that's gone wild.
9:37 p.m. ET–Q from Phoenix, Arizona: What will you do to ensure that energy independence will finally become a reality?
9:37 p.m. ET-@AnnCoulter I didn't mind the vaccine, social security is a ponzi scheme, but the illegal immigration issue is killing Perry.
9:36 p.m. ET–Huntsman: Fix Homeland Security.
9:35 p.m. ET – @PaulBegala: Boos for Perry & his DREAM Act for children who came to TX w/undoc parents. I'm beginning to think this crowd is right-wing. #CNNTeaParty
9:35 p.m. ET–Perry: This is a states' rights issue. And that was to give people the opportunity to go on to college and not be a drag on the system. It worked well and it works for the state of Texas.
9:34p.m. ET–Romney: The question was how to we attract Hispanic votes. And the answer is tell them what they know in their heart and that's that they and their ancestors did not come here for a handout. Of course we build a fence. Of course we don't' give in-state tuition credits to people who come here illegally.
9:32 p.m. ET-@PeterHambyCNN Bachmann & Santorum doing what they needed to do tonight: Not let up on Perry, stay punchy, be as conservative as possible
9:32 p.m. ET–Huntsman: For Rick to say that you can't secure the border is I think pretty much a treasonous comment. We can secure the border through the use of fences...we can get it done.
9:31 p.m. ET–Bachmann: That's not the American way.
9:31 p.m. ET–Perry: In the state of Texas if you're working and pursuing citizenship, you pay in-state tuition and it doesn't matter how your last name sounds.
9:30 p.m. ET-@rolandsmartin: Santorum wants English as the official language on what to do to attract Latino voters. Yep, that'll do it, Rick! LOL #CNNTeaParty
9:30 p.m. ET–Santorum: What Perry's done is give illegal immigrants scholarships.
9:30 p.m. ET–Q from Twitter: What are the candidates doing to attract Latino voters?
9:29 p.m.ET–Perry says he has more experience than anyone else on the stage when dealing with immigration. Perry: 1200 miles of Texas and Mexico and our federal government has been an abject failure at securing our border. The idea that you're going to build a wall is just not reality. What you have to have is boots on the ground.
9:28 p.m. ET–Santorum: We need to build more fence, we need to secure the border using technology and more personnel. After the borders are secure, then we can deal with the problems that are in this country.
9:27 p.m. ET–Q from Cincinnati, Ohio: What would you do to remove illegal immigrants from this country?
9:20 p.m. ET -@David_Gergen: Debate losing steam? So interesting that people watching so divided in responses - some love, others horrified. Splintering.
9:20 p.m. ET–Bachmann: No state should be able to force anyone to buy anything. This is the election that's going to decide if we have socialized medicine in this country or not.
9:18 p.m. ET–Paul: That's what freedom is all about, taking your own risk. It's about individual responsibility. I've worked in hospitals, we've never turned anyone away. We should legalize alternative health care and allow people to do what they want.
9:18 p.m. ET–Q: If an uninsured 30-year-old has a serious accident, who would pay for treatment under your health plan?
9:17 p.m. ET-@murphymike: That screaming laughter you hear in the distant air is the POTUS doing a wild happy arm flapping super jig in WH while watching all this.
9:15 p.m. ET–Romney stands by his law in Massachusetts. Romney: I'm not running for governor, I'm running for president. On day one as president I'd repeal Obamacare. Says what he did and what the president did are very different.
9:14 p.m. ET- @PaulBegala: Perry stumbles and stammers on rebuttal to HPV attack. Seems hesitant. Does he sense he's vulnerable to cronyism attack? #CNNTeaParty
9:14 p.m. ET–Cain: Repeal Obamacare in its entirety. Pass loser-pay laws. Restructure Medicare.
9:14 p.m. ET–Q from Orange Park, Florida: What will you do to reduce the cost of health care?
9:12 p.m. ET–Santorum: What Gov. Perry is saying is he believes his policy was right. I believe it was wrong. This was bad policy and it should not have been done.
9:10p.m. ET–Perry: The company was Merck. The donation was $5,000. I've raised $30 million on my own. I can't be bought for $5,000. If you're suggesting I can, I'm offended.
9:10 p.m. ET-@rolandsmartin: Ooh! Bachmann went there! She is trying to tie the drug company with the vaccination in Texas to campaign contributions #CNNTeaParty
9:10 p.m. ET--Bachmann accuses Perry of benefiting from executive order in Texas
9:08 p.m. ET–Perry: If I had it to do over again (signing executive order requiring vaccine against cervical cancer in Texas), I would do it differently. But what was driving me was making a difference in young people's lives. I will use an executive order to get rid of as much of Obamacare as I can.
9:07 p.m. ET–Paul: They've been grossly abused by the administration for years. It should never be used to legislate. That's what is so bad.
9:06 p.m. ET–Q from Virginia: How frequently should executive order be signed?
9:05 p.m. ET–Romney: The idea of a national sales tax has a lot to go for it. It would make us more competitive globally and level the playing field in the country. But the way it's structured is a real problem, it lowers the burden on the very highest income folks and it hurts the middle class the most.
9:04 p.m. ET–Q from Cincinnati, Ohio: Would any of you be willing to support a fair tax?
9:04 p.m. ET–Gingrich: I'm cheerfully opposed to raising taxes.
9:03 p.m. ET – @ChristineOD: Newt is rockin' tonight
9:02 p.m. ET–Gingrich: If we make it possible for you to keep more of your own money, you will do more with it. I'm for energy independent America and that means I favor people who create energy.
9:02 p.m. ET–Q: Are oil subsidies fair?
9:01p.m. ET–Huntsman: Would flatten tax rate if elected president.
9:01 p.m. ET–Q from Napa, California: Of every dollar that I earn, how much do you think I deserve to keep?
9:00 p.m. ET–Romney: Of course we should see what the Fed is doing.
8:59 p.m. ET-@CNNSitRoom: Happening now: Send your comments and questions for the first-ever #CNNTeaParty Republican Presidential Debate.
8:58 p.m. ET–Perry stands by statements.
8:58 p.m. ET–Bachmann: That's up to Gov. Perry. I wouldn't keep him as chairman. The federal reserve has a lot to answer for. They've got to be put on a tight leash.
8:57 p.m. Q: Do you agree with Perry, who came close to accusing Fed chief Bernanke of treason?
8:56 p.m. ET–Cain: Yes it should be audited. And I believe it's focus needs to be narrowed. I don't believe in ending the fed, I believe in fixing the Fed.
8:55 p.m. ET- Santorum: Yes. With respect to the last segment, what we need to do is have a pro-growth plan that can pass the Congress with Democratic support.
8:54 p.m. ET–Q from Gastonia, North Carolina: What is your position on the Federal Reserve? Should it be audited?
8:50 p.m. ET–Cain: Absolutely.
8:49 p.m. ET–Q: Can you be pro-business and pro-worker at the same time?
8:49 p.m. ET – @EWErickson: My big question right now: will Perry fade into the 2nd hour? He did last time. If not, he's locking in his front runner status.
8:48 p.m.ET-Gingrich: Go to the American people. Turn up the light on the people and they'll turn the light up on Congress. I'd be glad to work with Democrats in any office but I'd do it on principle, not on compromising principle.
8:48 p.m. ET-Q: Would you compromise with Democrats?
8:47 p.m. ET– Perry: While I've been governor, I've cut taxes. There are people coming to Texas because they know there's still a land of freedom in America and it's called Texas.
8:46 p.m. ET-Paul: Not quite. I'm a taxpayer there, my taxes have gone up. I don't want to offend the governor, he might raise my taxes.
8:44 p.m. ET– Romney: Yes. But if you're dealt four aces you're not necessarily a good poker player.
8:43 p.m. ET-Q: Does Perry deserve credit for jobs created in Texas?
8:42 p.m. ET–Romney: The world has changed. We've gone from a pay phone world to a smartphone world and President Obama keeps jamming quarters into the payphone...its not going to work, it's not connected.
8:41 p.m. ET–Cain: Do something bold. Repeal the entire tax code and replace it with my 9-9-9 plan.
8:40 p.m. ET–Bachmann: I was one of the only people in the country that said "Do not raise the debt ceiling." Repeal Dodd-Frank, repeal Obamacare, it's really not that hard to try, you just have to have the backbone to do it.
8:39 p.m. ET–Perry: People are tired of us spending money on programs we don't want.
8:37 p.m. ET–Huntsman: Reform the tax code. Second is regulatory reform. Businesses are saying there's no predictability. Third, energy independence.
8:36 p.m. ET– Q from Portsmouth, Virginia : what would you do to get the economy moving forward?
8:32 p.m. ET – @DWStweets: Don't be fooled:"personal accounts"=privatization of Social Security-will leave Florida & America's seniors twisting in wind. #CNNTeaParty
8:32 p.m. ET--Bachmann: Principles needs to change. For years politicians have run on the idea that government takes care of these things...we've been paying for the freight of all these things. We have to be an ownership society with individual responsibility.
8:31 p.m. ET–Paul: No. Cut the Dept. of Education, the Dept of Energy.
8:29 p.m. ET–Perry: No. Romney: No. Stop the growth of federal government, start the growth of private sector.
8:29 p.m. ET–Q: Would you work to repeal the Medicare prescription drug benefit?
8:26 p.m. ET–Gingrich: We need to cut government waste.
8:25 p.m. ET–Q from Pleasanton: What is your plan to balance the budget and get spending under control?
8:24 p.m. ET – EWErickson: I think having a #CNNTeaParty debate helps the candidates. Tonight they know who their audience is.
8:22 p.m. ET–Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum: Well, the question is who is with me? Because I've been out here talking about - you want to talk about courage to tell the truth, Governor? I was out in 1994 running against a Democratic incumbent in a campaign managed by James Carville, and I went out and talked about Social Security reform.
8:22 p.m. ET–Q:Senator Santorum, when it comes to Social Security, are you with Governor Romney or Governor Perry?
8:21 p.m. ET–Gingrich: I just want to make two simple points about Social Security and how you save it. The first is, you get back to a full employment economy, and at four percent unemployment you have such a huge increase in funding, that you change every single out year of projection in a positive way. The second is if you are younger - everybody who is older and wants to be totally protected, fine, no change. If you're younger and you would like a personal account, you would control instead of the politicians.
8:21 p.m. ET–Huntsman: I don't think anything should be off the table except the drama. To hear these two go at it...all I know is we're frightening the American people...the fixes are there.
8:21 p.m. ET–Businessman Herman Cain: I don't care what they call it, it's broken.
8:20 p.m .ET–Texas Rep. Ron Paul: I agree that Social Security is broke.
8:20 p.m. ET- Romney: Governor, the term Ponzi scheme is what scared seniors.
8:19 p.m. ET Perry: The issue is are there ways to move the states into Social Security for employees or retirees. Rather than scare seniors, it's time to have a legitimate conversation in this country about how to fix the program.
8:17 p.m. ET Perry: If you're asking if they did the right thing 70 or 80 years ago, I'm not going to agree with that. But the question is do you believe it should be ended as a federal program?
8:16 p.m .ET–Romney: The term Ponzi scheme is over the top, unnecessary, and frightens people. He criticizes Perry's view on Social Security.
8:15 p.m. ET–Romney: The real question is does Gov. Perry continue to believe that Social Security should not be a federal program, is unconstitutional, and should be returned to the states?
8:15 p.m. ET–Texas Gov. Rick Perry: People who are on Social Security need to understand that program will be there for them. But the idea is we've not had the courage to look Americans in the face...look them in the eye and say this is a broken system...it's been called a Ponzi scheme by those long before me...but it needs to be fixed.
8:15 p.m. ET- @TeamBachmann: #Michele: “For those seniors who are currently on Social Security, we made a promise and we will keep it.” #CNNTeaParty
8:13 p.m. ET-@TeamRickPerry: @GovernorPerry I simply want to get America working again and make Washington, DC as inconsequential in your life as I can.
8:13 p.m. ET Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann: The system has to be reformed in order for it to work. Programs need to be saved to serve the people. In their current form, they can't.
8:13 p.m. ET- Q from Jacksonville Florida: How do you change and reform Social Security and Medicare and ensure that you get votes from senior citizens?
8:10 p.m. ET--Beginning with Huntsman, candidates introduce themselves.
8:05 p.m. ET-@rolandsmartin: I wonder how many African American, Hispanic & Asians Tea Partiers are at the #CNNTeaParty debate. Is ethnic diversity their cup of tea?
8:04 p.m. ET–Candidates enter stage.
7:55 p.m. ET-@BarackObama: You know the drill–the GOP debate starts at 7pm CT, and we'll be keeping score at http://t.co/oxxx8fm. Follow live. #debatewatch
7:44 p.m. ET -@GovernorPerry: Getting ready for debate... Thanks to Gov. Jindal for being here. yfrog.com/h62wxjnj
7:22 p.m. ET-@RonPaul: (PICTURE) Congressman Ron Paul in his green room prior to the #CNNTeaParty debate: ow.ly/i/hdyW ... #RonPaul #GOP2012 #tcot #tlot
7:09 p.m ET -@GovernorPerry: At the Florida State fair getting ready for the CNN Tea Party Debate. Looking forward to it!
7:03 p.m. ET–Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman arrives at the debate site, accompanied by his wife, Mary Kaye.
6:45 p.m. ET–Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty arrive at the debate site in Tampa located at the Florida State Fairgrounds.
Criteria for the debate can be found here.
For the top 5 things to watch, click here.
All the candidates say their faith is important to them. All the Biblical prophets mandate that nations leaders are to be responsible for caring for the sick, the poor, the elderly, and children. Jesus challenged that when we care for the sick, the hungry, the "least of these", that we care for him. How do you plan to care for the "least of these" in our nation when you want to dismantal social security, medicare, the recent health care reforms, and regulations on big business that watch out for those of us who don't have as loud of a voice? How do you plan to live out the mandates of your faith that demands that political leaders care, first and foremost, for the "least of these"?
Listen to how many questions have already refered to Romney and Perry. See how many times the camera will focus on the two even when others are speaking. Is CNN joking or what
As President how much will you and the Federal Government reduce the amount of fraud and abuse that is currently taking place???
Now a decade after 911 are we any safer because of the war on terror? Have we learned anything from the mistakes we have made in dealing with foreign intervention?
Question for Ms. Bachmann and Mr. Santorum: How is it that you require absolute evidence for well-accepted science such as climate change and evolution, but require no evidence whatsoever for the far more fantastical claims required by your faith, including talking snakes, virgin births, and resurrections?
Based on his performance in office so far, Obama could be beaten by a wet noodle. How would you defeat the "food stamp president?"
i want to hear equally from every candidate, not a debate from 2 governors who have not even managed their own states well.
Where is this money that Bachmann talking about? $500 Billion, wasn't that for this extra program?
I'd like to know where Perry gets the idea that Social Security was a state's program. It never was and was set up during the depression by FDR.
Why do you think you can pander to the Tea Party by "preserving Social Security" for those currently over 55 and yet still believe those of us under 55 will (1) Vote for you; and (2) Continue to pay into a system that doesn't require shared sacrifice. Those currently on Social Security have paid the least and received the most, but yet they are somehow considered exempt from any changes...no thanks Paul Ryan.
IMMIGRATION I am a legal immigrant from England, my husband and I and 3 daughters applied in 1988 for our Green Cards they were finally granted in 2005 but by the time they came through our eldest daughter was over 21 and no longer included in our application, we are now here and she is in the UK how can you split familys and why does it take so long
If you took a child from China and a child from America, The Child from China would know more then the child from the U.S. Our Children's education pales in comparison to some other countries. The Children are the future, What can you do to improve Education?
Considering the Tea Party almost made this Country run out of money,with the "deficit" issue, why are we making it so important for this election?
I am a teacher from Texas. People in this country need to know how he almost destroyed our state's education system earlier this year. He can't on one hand say government needs to stay out of Texas and then in the next breath be begging for money from the President for education funding and money for wildfires.
Boring – not a very good moderator. Quit telling America they only have two choices. And why are my derogatory comments against CNN "awaiting moderation"? Free speech or not?
Ray, I was proposing it prior to Ron Paul ever hitting the scene. I realized it in high school and suggested just that in our government class. I was roundly blasted for making that comment then.
Perry says Romney is wrong,
Romney says Perry is wrong,
The American people say: Obama 2012!!!
How much of all of the political candidates lives are more important than everyday US citizen livelihood and overall the good of the country. ASK WHAT NOT THE COUNTRY CAN DO FOR YOU! ASK WHAT YOU CAN DO FOR THE COUNTRY! It's a shame that begets in Washington take a self presents over all of the whole country! Keep doing this and soon China will own USA!!!!! Shame on you, shame...you all deserve to be recalled & replaced with politicians that want to work for the whole country and no for self-preservation!
I guess we can't expect Blitzer to call them on their LIES?
Ron Paul! WAke up America!!!!
Is there one decent semi-intelligent honest human being in this group? How about telling the truth about SS problems? The money was taken from SS and used for the pointless wars that the GOP thrives on. It's pretty simple, just tell the truth. Ron Paul, poor thing, is probably the only one in this group with any integrity.
Mr. Wolf Blitzer, why don't you let Ron Paul get some time to speak, here we go again with CNN cutting him off once again, shame on you CNN, you are just like the cronies from MSNBC!
Someone said many voted for Obama cause they didn't want another Bush in office. I voted cause I just can't get with the views of many repubs. I would have voted for anyone Democrat or not vote at all. This is where I am in 2012. Vote for Obama or not vote at all. Our kids are better born into slavery than they are now, really, Machelle Bachman, & this attack on gay rights, or womens rights. It's none of your business. Live your life as you see fit, don't legislate what the rest of us do. What I do in my home or life doesn't affect you. I like when they say they want to get government out of our lives yet out the other side of their mouths, they are the first to use government to block or ban rights for people who they don't agree with lifestyles. All hypocrites. They say one thing to get elected then when they get elected does differently.
this is my first attempt to blog or what ever this is. The news organization plus CNN are no longer a new reporting agency they are creating the new, verses reporting on the new. I see the so called Tea Party as a creation of the news organisations. If the new organisations would stop giving support to the Tea Party there would be less controversy. The two parties might be able to work together. STOP CREATING THE NEWS AND START REPORTING ON THE NEWS.
Are these questions going to be asked?
WE THE POEPLE ARE THE GOVERNMENT They are our Representitives