The following is a Director’s Cut of the 2012 Republican presidential debate on Sept. 7, 2011, in Simi Valley, Calif., as corrected by The Brutal Times.
1 REP. RON PAUL, R-TEXAS
2 GOV. RICK PERRY, R-TEXAS
3 FORMER GOV. MITT ROMNEY, R-MASS.
4 REP. MICHELE BACHMANN, R-MINN.
5 HERMAN CAIN
6 FORMER REP. NEWT GINGRICH, R-GA.
7 FORMER GOV. JON HUNTSMAN JR., R-UTAH
8 FORMER SEN. RICK SANTORUM, R-PA.
1 STYLES CRADGEROCK, THE BRUTAL TIMES
2 BARRY HUSEIN, THE BRUTAL TIMES
3 BILLY, A TWEEN
4 BRIAN WILLIAMS, POLITICO
5 JOHN HARRIS, POLITICO
6 JOSE DIAZ-BALART, MSNBC
SPECIAL GUEST STAR:
BRIAN WILLIAMS: Tonight, from the Ronald Reagan Mudhoney Foundation and Library, we will hear from the eight (!?!) candidates who would like to be the new President of USA America. They’re all here tonight, standing up in suits and one pantsuit. You’ll never remember all of them, but the main ones are Romney, who is from Romulus, and Perry, who is a preacherman, from Texas.
STYLES CRADGEROCK: It’s kind of like “Cowboys and Aliens”!
CRADGEROCK: The master debate – because Romney, pardon my prejudice, is from Romulus, and Perry is like this kinda cowboy dude, from Texas.
BILLY, A TWEEN: Live from the towering electrified gates of the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, California, the Republican candidates master debate! Look, there’s Brian Williams and John Harris.
(SOUNDS OF COUGHS)
WILLIAMS: Thank you very much. Thank you very much. Good evening, and love.
Thank you especially for joining us here Casey Pliate, I love you honey. I’ll see you at Rodney’s Steakhouse after the show. Look at this spectacular space, this spectacular presidential library, where we are all gathered under the wings of Air Force One, casting it’s macho shadow ‘cross all o’ our glowin’ faces. Love.
BARRY HUSEIN: For the next 7 hours and 45 minutes, give or take, along with my colleagues and friends, John Harris of the website Politico, Styles Cradgerock from The Brutal Times, Billy, a tween, and, uh, some others, we will ask the eight candidates stuff, but mostly Romney and Perry, and almost never Bachmann, who is in the pantsuit, and Herman Cain, who is a black man.
Governor Perry, we’re going to begin with you and your creepy smile. You’re standing on stage. Texas ranks last among those who have completed high school, there are only eight other states with more living in poverty, no other state has more working at or below the minimum wage. So is that the kind of answer all Americans are looking for?
PERRY: Actually, I’m not gonna answer your question. So I’m proud of what we’ve done in the state of Texas.
You want to create jobs in America? You free the American entrepreneur to do what he or she does, which is risk their capital, and I’ll guarantee you, they’re easy money – they’re gonna lose every penny. That’s why I wanna build casinos right here in America for them to lose them in to create jobs.
WILLIAMS: Governor Romney, over to you.
ROMNEY: I look like Perry’s twin, but my smile is a little less creepy. Now I’m gonna bore you with more of the same meaningless abstract talk of government creating jobs. As you know, government doesn’t create jobs.
This country has a bright future. Our president doesn’t understand how the economy works. I do, because I’ve seen it from space.
BILLY: Time, Governor.
WILLIAMS: Conrad Bain Capital, a company you and Gary Coleman helped to form, often buys up companies, strips them down, gets them ready, resells them at a net job loss to American workers.
ROMNEY: That is what gives me the capacity to help get this economy going again.
BARRY HUSEIN: Is it a disqualification to be in government all your career? Are the offices nice?
ROMNEY: People like to hear me bash government, which is hilarious, because I am the government.
BILLY: Governor Perry, a 30-second rebuttal.
You spent your career in that fine profession of elected office. Your reaction to that?
PERRY: Look into my eyes, Romney, and know I will kill you to get this jobbie. Death – by electric eel.
WILLIAMS: Well, let’s widen this out and let’s bring in Mr. Cain on one side –
ROMNEY: Wait a second. I’d like to talk a lot more before you go and bring in that guy. Come on.
WILLIAMS: So sorry. Go ahead. I’ll give you 20 minutes?
ROMNEY: Romulus, my home planet, has a fleet of battle ships, which can and will destroy the Earth if it even looks like I’m going to lose the election.
Those are wonderful things, these battleships. There are even ATMs inside and porno from all around the galaxy, but Governor Perry doesn’t believe that he created those things. If he tried to say that, well, it would be like Al Gore saying he invented the Internet.
(FIDDLING WITH CLOTHING SOUNDS)
PERRY: I may be a preacher, but I’m also a mean bastard, Mitt. Michael Dukakis, who no one under 60 remembers, created jobs three times faster than you did, Mitt.
ROMNEY: Anal probe. Aboard Romulan ship. How’s Tuesday?
PERRY: That’s not correct.
ROMNEY: Yes, that is correct. We have scheduled you…for a probe…on my iPad2…and done.
CRADGEROCK: Nice to see everybody came prepared for tonight’s conversation. I love the iPad. It stopped me from committing suicide? Cause before I thought life’s meaningless?
WILLIAMS: As I said, I’d like to bring in some of the obvious losers here, figuratively, of course, Senator Santorum and Mr. Cain.
Let’s talk about…I dunno…how fast can we get this over with so we have time to play a game at the end? Say something quick.
SANTORUM: Even though you brought up Mr. Cain before me, I thank the TV cameras for cutting to me instead of him and not showing him at all. I’m younger-looking than Romney or Perry and out of the three I look the least creepy, but what’s killing me here is I look real nervous.
Plus, that pop up blurb they just flashed onscreen while I’m talking because they think people have such short attention spans that they’re already bored with what I’m saying, says I have 7 kids – 7! And that, which kills off any votes other than from the religious right, is neutralized by what I’m actually saying, which is that I would work with Democrats, thus killing off any conservative support.
Why…am I here?
Yes, I think what people are looking for is someone to get something done. And that’s what I have a track record of doing in Washington, D.C., across the board. Not just on economics, but on moral cultural issues, on national security issues, national defense issues.
I’ve done things. We’ve brought Democrat and Republicans together.
We sang karaoke.
HUSEIN: Time, Senator.
Mr. Cain, same question.
CAIN: Let’s cut to the chase, just by saying this catchy catch phrase I’ve momentarily stood out from Romney, Perry, and Santorum, who all sound the same when they talk. But now I’m gonna talk about raising taxes and a “999” plan, which not only sounds like 9/11 to some who were sleeping in the audience or the vast majority who were half-listening, but upside down could read “666”. Careful, careful.
Plus, no candidate who ever had an actual plan to do anything and talked about it to the voters ever won anything. What kind of chase is this?this is what business people do and politicians don’t do. Here’s how I would fix this economy, first, eliminate the current tax code. It is a drain on entrepreneurs, it is the biggest barrier that’s holding this economy back, and what I would do is to propose a bold plan, which I have already released.
I call it my 9-9-9 economic growth plan. Throw out the current tax code, a 9 percent tax on corporate income, our 9 percent tax on personal income and a 9 percent national sales tax. If 10 percent is good enough for God, 9 percent ought to be good enough for the federal government.
Now I’m gonna blow this by talking over your applause, a big no-no. Now you can feel like I think I’m better than you. Silence, and listen to my lecture. This will replace all federal income taxes. It’ll replace all federal income taxes.
WILLIAMS: Mr. Cain, thank you for your hard work. That’s about it for you tonite, if you’d like to go home early.
Governor Huntsman, you’re a former ambassador to China. You have served four U.S. presidents. In your view, what does Governor Romney not get about China?
HUNTSMAN: I have grey hair. I’m the only candidate shown so far with a full head o’ grey hair. And a tan. It’s a long way up from here. I look pooped.
I’d have to say, Mitt, now is not the time in a recession to enter a trade war. Despite the fact that this may be true, voters are never gonna elect someone who badmouths America, and talks about our weaknesses. What am I doing? Maybe I’m the Republican’s Biden. Need a neutralized V.P.? Pick me! Pick me!
Ronald Reagan flew this plane. I was in China during the trip in 1984. He went on TV, he spoke to the Chinese people — I’d love to do that too, in Chinese itself – (Christ, they are gonna kill me on Limbaugh and other conservative media for saying that! I make John Kerry look like Rumsfeld!) and he talked in optimistic, glowing terms.
I’ve lived overseas four times. Once I slept in a comfy hammock slung between trees and had a nice tequila dream. I’ve been an ambassador to my country three times. Conservatives will eat me alive for saying this crap.
CRADGEROCK: Governor Huntsman, or should I say, Vice President Huntsman? You have nice posture.
Congresswoman Bachmann, over to you for a sec. Any thoughts?
BACHMANN: I have 5 kids! 5! Two less than Santorum! If we get married or run together we’ll have 12 kids! 12! I think we’d be a good losing ticket. We kinda look like a couple. I look like some 70’s actress, but you don’t remember who. I’m too serious sounding to ever get elected as a woman.
There’s something dark about me. Come to think about it, maybe I could team with Perry as V.P. That would be a throwback to Nixon-Agnew.
BILLY: I’m too young to understand what you said.
Over to yet another guy running for President, and always near last on our list (boy, we slighted you by cutting to Cain first) Congressman Paul, you’re known as the nutcase in the bunch, someone who has consistently opposed federal government from having any role — and I think by your definition — that isn’t explicitly laid out in the Constitution.
And you’re so old and doddering and the way your head is drooping off to one side and down at a steep angle towards your collar doesn’t inspire confidence.
30 seconds for devil’s advocate here: would you put it on the drug companies to say, “We’re bringing this to market, trust us, it’s a fantastic drug”? All the pilots in the sky, to add to their responsibilities, their own air traffic control, in an organic way?
PAUL: I’m actually going to kill myself off right away here by agreeing with you. What I said is, theoretically, you could — it could be privatized, but who ends up doing the regulations on the drugs? They do as much harm as good.
They don’t take good care of us. Who gets — who gets to write the regulations? The thing that puts people to sleep even faster than talking about numbers, is saying words like “regulations”. Where do I get the money to keep running for President? See you in 2016.
Over to Speaker Gingrich.
(CAR ALARM NOISES)
GINGRICH: It’s waaay tooo late for me to be running for president. Vice President, maybe. I have more grey hair than anybody up here. Yeah, I have more energy than Ron Paul or Jon Huntsman, but I have that fluffy grey hair that makes me look like I just woke up and should be wearing a bathrobe and looking for the remote, when it’s actually in my bathrobe pocket.
The fact that President Obama doesn’t come to the Reagan Library to try to figure out how to create jobs, doesn’t talk to any of these three governors to learn how to create jobs, doesn’t talk to Herman Cain, who is a black person, to learn how to create jobs tells you that this is a president so committed to class warfare and so committed to bureaucratic socialism that he can’t possibly be effective in jobs.
WILLIAMS: Mr. Speaker, thank you?
The questioning continues with John Harris.
HARRIS: Love. Who are you?
HUNTSMAN: Jon Huntsman? I’m raising seven kids? Hey, look at Romney and Perry, both of whom I like and admire, please pick me for V.P. And I hate to tell you that I’m talking but you’re not listening – it’s just a sound.
HUSEIN: Makes sense.
HUNTSMAN: … I’m saying things with my voice on TV. And I’m pointing with a finger.
HARRIS: Thanks. Thanks, Governor.
Congresswoman Bachmann, let’s turn to you for a sec.
BACHMANN: I’m a redhead, and you know what that means. I could be your dominatrix, but, yes, I’m a little older than you are. We could also see created over 50 percent more American energy production. And we could also see $800 billion more revenue coming into the United States government.
CRADGEROCK: I think Newt wants to talk.
GINGRICH: There’s me talking on the video, but the New York Times forgot to transcribe that part. Like Herman Cain, I’m more assertive and believable than the young dudes like Huntsman and Santorum. But I just complain and chastise and no one wants a big grump in the White House. Plus, how can I think the Brutal Times is gonna forget I cheated on my wife all the time I was trying to crucify Bill Clinton for schtooping Monica Lewinsky? Keep me in mind for Veep.
STYLES CRADGEROCK: Is Herman Cain still here?
CAIN: Hi. I’m a Baptist preacher. I ran a Burger king.
BARRY HUSEIN: Anybody else got religion?
SANTORUM: I’m a Catholic. When I tell stories about myself I say things like, “Nobody did more than Rick Santorum.” I’m a moderate Republican.
BILLY: Hey Perry, don’t forget to look into the camera when you talk – that’s what Reagan did that won him the election and nobody’s done it yet tonite.
HUSEIN: Hey Romney, say something, camera’s on you, guy.
ROMNEY: I ran before for President and lost. Sometimes people run again and win but it’s reeeallly rare. When they win they’ve got a new hairdo or smile more or somepin’, but I’m pretty much the same dude. I’m just prayin’ people hate Obama now and that the other Republicans mess up in the next year to go. But honestly, I’m acting like a young Bob Dole, so so far the election is Obama’s to lose.
BILLY: Hey scary lady.
BACHMANN: I think everybody’s kind of confused, because they expect me to be anchoring this snorefest instead of being up here answering questions. I really feel I missed my calling, maybe filling in for Christiana Amanpor on CNN when she has the flu.
HARRIS: Thank you. Congressman Paul are you still alive?
PAUL: I was trying to get your attention a little while ago. There’s eight of us up here. I’m just rambling and babbling, but mandates, that’s what the whole society is about. Men dating men?
If you haven’t seen the hit and miss Sasha Baron Cohen picture, “Bruno”, you’ve missed a real chance to see more mandating then you’ve ever seen as straight Republicans. Repeat after me: “Man date.” That’s what we do all the time. That’s what government does.
And I do want to address the subject of $2 oil or gasoline. I can get you a gallon of gasoline for a dime. I have gas right now in my pants.
HARRIS: Time. Time. Thank you, Nuts.
PAUL: Well, I’ve got to finish the sentence. You didn’t give me time before. My punctuation was all screwy. I look like an owl. Hooooot!
HUSEIN: Finish the sentence, or you’re all done?
PAUL: OK, I’m going to finish the sentence then.
PAUL: OK, you can buy a gallon of gasoline today for a silver dime. A silver dime is worth $3.50. I have the gas in my britches. I’m old.
HARRIS: Good answer.
Now, Governor Perry, I saw you nod your head. I like your body language.
PERRY: All my plants died cause the air around em was sucked up by my evil aura.
NANCY REAGAN: If you’re ever offered drugs, please, please, just say no.
PERRY: The drugs’re the only thing that keep me from launching off this platform, lil’ lady. And my hands, gripped sternly onto this lectern thingy. I’m going to talk into the camera again. Republican candidates are talking about ways to transition Social Security, and it is a monstrous lie.
It is a Fonzi scheme to tell our kids that are 25 or 30 years old today, you’re paying into a program that’s going to be there. Anybody that’s for the status quo with Social Security today is involved with a monstrous lie to our kids.
Oh-oh, no applause to my “monstrous lie” catch phrase. Why can’t I scare ya’ll into votin’ fer me?
HARRIS: I’m scared, sir. Scared stiff.
Let me follow on that. You mentioned the phrase “Fonzi scheme.” Are sure you didn’t mean “Potsie scheme”?
HARRIS: Vice President Cheney though said it’s not a Fonzi scheme. He whispered it in my ear. Now I seem to have lost hearing in it.
PERRY: I don’t care what anyone says.
HARRIS: Intriguing. Yet uninteresting… to those under 50.
HUSEIN: Governor Romney, let’s be blunt. Let’s be blunt. You’re…a Romulan. You weren’t born in this country. Or even on this planet. Your own people, the Romulans have pledged to destroy this planet and they have really bad haircuts.
Democrats are itching to use that kind of provocative language against Republicans, yet you acknowledge yourself that you sometimes can’t resist your Romulan bloodlust.
How do you have a candid question about the U.S. having a Romulan president without scaring seniors?
ROMNEY: Well, frankly, Romulans don’t want to eat seniors. And just like other Earthling presidents, I’d eat our young before anyone else, so much like Governor Perry, again, I’d like to encourage you to don’t think – vote.
HARRIS: Who is that, just outside the camera frame?
CAIN: John, I think the American people would like to hear a solution.
HARRIS: Forget your bag?
CAIN: Do you want to hear some more rhetoric or do you want to hear a solution?
CAIN: I happen to believe that yes, Social Security, it needs fixing, not continuing to talk about it. I believe in the Chilean model, and again, like Huntsman bringing up China and his Chinese language skills, this thing of saying these third rate countries are a model for America is gonna totally kill me after this debate.
It’s funny how in the past it was only people like Nutsy – excuse me – Ron Paul, who were talking this way, saying we brought 9/11 on ourselves through our misguided foreign policy and so on. Now, yeah, he’s bumbling about up here, but he’s shut up about all that idealizing foreign governments since we all saw where that got Kerry with his “I can speak French” in the 2004 election. But…uh, where was I?
HARRIS: Somebody older here? Oh – Congressman Paul.
Your campaign put out a statement accusing Perry of pushing for bailout money, supporting welfare for illegal immigrants, and trying to forcibly vaccinate 12-year-old girls against sexually transmitted diseases.
He’s your home state governor. Is he less conservative than meets the eye?
PAUL: Much more so, yes.
Just take the HPV. Forcing 12-year-old girls to take an inoculation to prevent this sexually transmitted disease, this is not good medicine, I do not believe. I think it’s social misfit. Bumbling. Rambling. I could be killing Perry with this but I’m just so incoherent. I’m climbing down your chimney looking for presents. And peanuts?
BILLY: Mmm. Almonds. Makin’ me hungry!
Thank you, Congressman.
Governor Perry, we’ll get to you.
But, Congresswoman Bachmann, this is an issue you have also talked about, HPV.
BACHMANN: You cannot get HPV from your dominatrix. She’ll tie you up and humiliate you a little, but she will not have sex with you. I would certainly oppose that.
HUSEIN: Hey, who are you?
SANTORUM: I’m Rick Santorum. I have seven children, too, the wide receivers here (sports metaphor alert) and the tight ends here seven children each — but I am offended that — that the government would tell me — and by an executive order, without even going through the process of letting the people have any kind of input.
I would expect this from President Obama; I would not expect this from someone who’s calling himself a conservative governor, which is hilarious because I’m the most moderate up here, talking about getting Democratic votes n’ all.
HARRIS: Makes sense.
Governor Romney, you’ve been listening to this exchange. Who’s got the better end of it?
ROMNEY: You know, I believe in parental rights and parental responsibility for our kids. My guess is that Governor Perry would like to do it a different way second time through. We’ve each get — we’ve each taken a mulligan or two.
And — and my guess is that that’s something you’d probably do a little differently the second time. He just said he’d rather do it through legislation second time through. This is my attempt to get him to lay off and endorse me.
WILLIAMS: Speaker Gingrich, 30 seconds. I have another line of questioning. Go ahead.
GINGRICH: Yeah, I just want to go back to the homeland security question, because I helped develop the model for homeland security. I hear you all gasping out there. It explains so much, right?
I mean, that this bumbling old mop top created the model for homeland security. No wonder the TSA is groping my grandmother’s goodies, right? That was my baby.
We need some capacity to respond to massive events that could kill hundreds of thousands of Americans in one morning. How come I don’t remember people voted against George Bush and Cheney’s scare 8 years of scaremongering in 2008 when they elected Obama?
WILLIAMS: Congressman Paul, this same line. You want to demolish the TSA. What would exist in its place?
PAUL: A nice bath would be nice. With the airlines that are responsible for carrying their cargo and their passengers. I mean, why — why should we assume that a bureaucracy can do better?
And look at the monstrosity we have at the airports. These TSA agents are abusive. Sometimes they’re accused of all kinds of sexual activities on the way they maul people at the airport. So the airlines could do that – they could maul people.
What happened before 1809? Or in prehistoric times? We didn’t have people. There were only animals and some plants I guess. But, yeah, my position is, we should have never had it. There’s a much better way of doing it.
I mean, this whole idea that the federal government can deal with weather and anything in the world, just got to throw a government there — FEMA’s broke. They’re $20 billion in debt. Prince, the ‘80’s rocker is bankrupt too, I heard on the short wave radio.
But I’m not for saying tomorrow close it down. I dunno what to do. Just lemme in there in the Oval Office with my son Rand, the one named after Ayn Rand and the Rand Institute that used to be a blogger. I’ll tell you what, if we did that and took the air conditioning out of the Green Zone, our troops would come home, and that would make me happy.
WILLIAMS: Mr. Cain, thank you for staying so long tonite. Along these same lines, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, who is also a black man, and that’s why I thought of bringing him up, has said that federal disaster aid — this has been a big discussion of late — shouldn’t be given out unless there are kind of concurrent spending cuts to offset the cost. Do you join in on that?
CAIN: I believe that there’s enough money to go around. And I believe that, yes, you can find the concurrent spending cuts in order to be able to do that. Now a fly just flew in my face, so I’m gonna look crazy swatting it away and they just put up my blurb on TV and it says: Herman Cain, former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza, which makes me look like a thug and a chump compared to everyone else up here, although at least I’m not creepy like the rest.
Despite all this I’m gonna keep my cool. But my prob is like Gingrich and Paul, I come off like a lecturing complainer. Too old, too old. They thought I was gonna be the neutralizer to Barack Obama – look, the Republicans are running a black guy, too.
But I’m just too old, is the thing. I could be Obama’s grandfather. Plus, they’re running me against Paul, who believes the same things I do, plus some nutty stuff, and even running Ms. Bachmann up here against Sarah Palin in the hopes that she may just show up to confront her evil twin.
HUSEIN: Speaker Gingrich, tell us about your experience with education. School’s basically a bummer, right?
GINGRICH: I visited schools where, three years earlier, there were fights, there were dropouts, there was no hope. Rap music was all over the place. They were taken over by a charter school in downtown Philadelphia, and all of a sudden the kids didn’t fight anymore, because they were disciplined.
They were all asked every day, what college are you going to? Not are you going to go to college, what college are you going to?
After 2 or 3 days of these repeated questions, the students became even more violent, and dozens of the questioners were slain. And so I am very much in favor of school choice.
WILLIAMS: I want to introduce another line of questioning by introducing yet another colleague of ours, Jose Diaz-Balart, from our sister network Telemundo.
Hey, my friend, how are you? You’ve gained a lot of weight, but in the right places, I see.
DIAZ-BALART: Good evening. Nice to see you all. Nice to see you all. Any beer left?
I want to talk about a subject that was very dear to the heart of President Reagan, who remains dead, which is immigration reform.
Governor, I’d like to ask you, border state governor, what specifically, in your mind, would make the border secure?
PERRY: Predator drones could be flown, with Darth Maul flying em, that real-time information coming down to the local and the state and the federal law enforcement.
For the President of the United States to go to El Paso, Texas, and say that the border is safer than it’s ever been, either he has some of the poorest intel of a president in the history of this country, or he was an abject liar to the American people.
I love calling people liars.
HARRIS: Speaker Gingrich, your perception on immigration reform? And you’ve been, I think, in some ways, a little different on your initial positions.
GINGRICH: In 1986, when Duran Duran had their first comeback tour, I voted for the Simpson-Mazzoli Act, which in fact did grant some amnesty in return for promises.
President Reagan wrote in his diary that year that he signed the act because we were going to control the border and we were going to have an employer program where it was a legal guest worker program.
That’s in his diary. It’s probably the most boring entry in his diary. The best parts are the sex scenes, which I’m not at liberty to discuss as the former first lady is here with us tonite. But if she gets up for a bathroom break, hit me with your questions.
We should make English the official language of government. We should insist that first-generation immigrants who come here learn American history in order to become citizens. We should also insist that American children learn American history. But all these things involve writing new case law, which ain’t gonna happen.
What is more realistic is to build robots and have them do the cooking and cleaning jobs Americans don’t wanna do. And the robots don’t have to be ugly. They can be made verrrry attractive, if you know what I mean.
HARRIS: Love. Sorry…guy number 6?
SANTORUM: Look, I’m the son of an Italian immigrant. No one’s told a long boring immigrant story tonite yet, so lemme be the one. If you could maybe play some Journey that’d spice it up. We should not have a debate talking about how we don’t want people to come to this country, but we want them to come here like my grandfather and my father came here.
They came because they wanted to be free and they wanted to be good law-abiding citizens. Their stories were told in some of the most boring movies ever made. If you want to see exciting stories about immigrants to this country, I suggest The Godfather. Great fucken movie.
HARRIS: A quick 1-second rebuttal on the specific question. Ms. Bachmann?
BACHMANN: One thing that we do know, our immigration law worked beautifully back in the 1950s, up until the early 1960s, when only white people had rights and when people had to demonstrate that they had money in their pocket, they had no contagious diseases, they weren’t a felon, they were white.
They had to agree to learn to speak the English language, they had to learn American history and the Constitution.
And the one thing they had to promise is that they would not become a burden on the American taxpayer. That’s all from a dream I had or some cheesy movie from somewhere. That’s what we have to enforce, I guess.
HARRIS: Oh, Super. Thank you.
HARRIS: Mr. Cain? Still with us?
CAIN: Let’s make sure — let’s solve all of the problems. It’s not one problem. Let’s stay up late.
I do believe we can secure the border with a combination of boots on the ground, technology, and Darth Maul, but we’ve got three other problems. And to get to it, we’ve got to secure the border.
HARRIS: Oh great. Thank you.
HUNTSMAN: I would just have to say that I agree with so much of what has been said here today, so I know I look young, but please, Romney or Perry, pick me for V.P. I promise I won’t undermine you.
President Reagan, when he made his decision back in 1987, to dye his hair jet black, he saw that as a human issue. And I hope that all of you, if I dye my grey hair black, don’t comment on it. I came here in an illegal fashion tonite. I took a car from a Canadian tourist, telling them I had an important government errand to run.
Everyone commits crimes. It’s fun. It’s sexy. This is America – we should penalize everyone who commits crimes, and we don’t – only those who are dumb enough to get caught. And yes, they should be punished in some form or fashion.
I have two daughters that came to this country, one from China, one from India, legally. I see this issue through their eyes. One wears contacts and the other bifocals, so afterwards I sometimes have visions that allow me to solve crimes. That’s one thing I do Sunday afternoons.
We can’t find a solution. As Ron Paul knows, life just goes on and we’re stuck in it. If President Reagan were here, he’d be dead and it would freak us out. We have to agree.
HUSEIN: Is Ron Paul still here?
PAUL: I don’t believe that’s what America is all about. I just really don’t. We can enforce our law. If we had a healthy economy, this wouldn’t be such a bad deal. People are worrying about jobs. But every time you think about this toughness on the border and I.D. cards and real ideas, think that it’s a penalty against the American people, too.
That sounds OK, but I speak way too fast and just wait, and it starts to sound like hyper crazy-talk.
I think this fence business is designed and may well be used against us and keep us in. There’s my hint at crazy conspiracy theory – the fence isn’t designed to keep the Mexicans out – it’s designed to keep the fearful white people in. Someone call Paul Verhoeven, I smell a screenplay. Robo Cop 4!
HARRIS: Thank you. Tasty.
WILLIAMS: To my colleague, Jose Diaz-Balart. Thank you. Thank you very much. Truly touching stuff.
HARRIS: No, Thank you.
WILLIAMS: Life’s too short. We spend so much of it online.
Governor Perry, a question about Texas. Your state has executed 234 death row inmates, more than any other governor in modern times.
Have you struggled to sleep at night with the idea that any one of those might have been innocent?
PERRY: No, sir. I’ve never struggled with that at all. I have no conscience whatsoever. I just act. You think George W. lacked lack critical skills? Wait til I get in there, boy!
If you come to Texas you will be Texecuted. Especially if you’re dressed like Cradgerock over here.
WILLIAMS: What do you make of…
What do you make of that dynamic that just happened here, the mention of Texecution of 234 people drew applause?
PERRY: I think Americans love execution, and Texecution just sounds catchy and kinda rolls off the tongue. My personal favorite is death by electric eel – where I sorta put the eel…
BILLY: Ooooh gross. Time. Time.
HARRIS: Mr. Cain, are you still here? Mr. Cain, I’d like to get you into this tax discussion we’ve had recently.
CAIN: I’d rather talk about death by electric eel. I don’t think the people are gonna remember, uh, the tax discussion.
HARRIS: Taxes. Take it or leave it. The General Electric Corporation last year — this is a prominent case — made $14.2 billion in profits worldwide, but paid no U.S. taxes. Perfectly legal, but does it strike you as fair?
CAIN: This is why I proposed my 9-9-9 plan. The government needs to get out of the business of picking winners and losers. The government needs to get out of the business of trying to figure out who gets a tax break here, who gets a tax break there.
When you go to 9-9-9, it levels the playing field for all businesses. What a novel idea. And the government won’t be in the business of trying to determine who’s going to be able to make more money and pay no taxes and vice versa.
The president simply does not understand that the business sector is the engine for economic growth.
WILLIAMS: Talk about taxes and plans just bores me to tears.
Somewhat — somewhat hard to believe.
The campaigns have notified us we’re actually a few minutes over the time we were allotted for tonight, and so our questioning will have to come to an end, with hearty thanks to so many people, most notably the many many candidates here on stage, but to the good folks here at the Reagan Library, the Reagan Foundation, notably, Mrs. Reagan?
To our partners in all of this, Politico, my partner in the questioning, John here, The Brutal Times…thank you very much. Terrific.
And thank you all for watching. Our coverage will continue, but not in prime time. That wraps up our live coverage of this portion of the debate from Southern California.
(HICCUPS, SOUNDS OF CHILD BEING BORN).