The ten politicians who showed up for the event were Mitt Romney, Sam Brownback, Jim Gilmore, Mike Huckabee, Duncan Hunter, Tommy Thompson, John McCain, Ron Pail, Rudy Giuliani and Tom Tancredo, and before the night was over, none of them had managed to avoid being rhetorically shivved by at least one of the three questioners. Of course, the candidates had nobody but themselves to blame for the shameful, 90-minute display.
The only one of the bunch who exhibited any real guts at all was Congressman Paul, who is really more of a Libertarian than a Republican to begin with, and he came off sounding like some sort of conspiracy kook half the time. On balance, the entire group behaved like a pack of spineless bureaucrats with nothing new to say and an unsettling willingness to allow their entire party to be disparaged time and time again without retaliating in any meaningful way.
Although I doubt I would have consented to appear at an MSBNC-sponsored event such as this, if I were a presidential candidate who found himself confronted by a trio of smarmy political hacks like Harris, Matthews and VandeHei, I have a good idea of the sort of responses I'd give to their mostly loaded questions.
The following is a list of all but a handful of the questions posed to the various presidential candidates at the GOP debate. The ones I've left out were either candidate-specific, or simply too annoying for me to address. Most of them have not been transcribed verbatim in this article, however, I believe that I've paraphrased them in a reasonable manner, and following each one I have inserted my own answers for your consideration.
Q - An NBC/Wall Street Journal poll shows that only 22 percent of respondents believe that this country is on the right track. How do we get back to Ronald Reagan's "morning in America?"
A - Stop electing ignorant, hate-America Democrats and wussie RINOs to high government offices.
Q - What would you need to do to win the war in Iraq?
A - First I'd arrest every traitor I could find here at home, starting with mainstream media swine like yourself who only report the negative aspects of the war. Then I'd bomb Iran into submission so it's leaders couldn't continue to arm the terrorists in Iraq. After that, I'd untie the hands of our troops in the field so that they'd be free to execute on the spot every putrid Islamofascist they find.
Q - In that same NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, 55 percent of respondents believe victory is not possible in Iraq. Why shouldn't they have a president who will listen to them?
A - Because they're brainwashed dullards who seem to think that people like you don't lie to them on a regular basis.
Q - A recent Zogby poll shows that in moderate Islamic countries, only 12 percent of the people support us, the rest hate us. Doesn't that create a sea of recruitment opportunity for our enemy? Do we have to reduce that temperature of hatred before we win the war?
A - No, we need to INCREASE the temperature in the Middle East by dropping a few nuclear bombs on Syria and Iran.
Q - Would you have fired Don Rumsfeld before last November?
A - I can't say for sure, but I certainly wouldn't have fired him the day after the freakin' election! Thanks again for that, Dubya.
Q - Do you think a general shake-up in the cabinet right now would be good for this administration?
A - No, and before you ask, it also wouldn't be good for the administration to adopt the Soviet system of government either.
Q - Former Senator Fred Thompson said that Iran has already committed acts of war. Do you agree, and what's your trip-wire for a U.S. strike in Iran?
A - Fred Thompson is absolutely right, and my "trip-wire" for attacking Iran is ANY act of war against our country.
Q - If Israel should decide to strike Iran's nuclear sites, and asks for your help, what would you say?
A - How many bombs do you need, and how fast can you pay us back for them?
Q - When speaking about Osama Bin Laden, Governor Romney said that it's not worth moving heaven and earth, spending billions of dollars just trying to catch one person. Senator McCain called that naive. Who's right?
A - They're both RINO doofuses in my opinion, but if I had to choose between them on this issue, I'd side with Johnny Mac.
Q - Would you be comfortable with Tom Tancredo as head of the Immigration and Naturalization Service?
A - Comfortable? Hell, I'd declare him the Border Baron for life and give him an extra ten dollars on top of his regular pay for every illegal he managed to ship the hell out of this country.
Q - Should we change our Constitution to allow foreign-born, naturalized citizens to run for president?
A - Yes, but only the ones who look, act, and talk exactly like me.
Q - What do you dislike most about America?
A - Leftist weasels like you.
Q - Thousands of reputable scientists have concluded with almost certainty that human activity is responsible for the warming of the earth. Do you believe global warming exists?
A - Yes, and I also believe that global cooling exists. The fact is that the earth has warmed and cooled countless times since it was first created, and any person who believes humans are responsible for that is a complete nimrod.
Q - Do you have a plan to solve the shortage of organs for transplant?
A - Yeah, kill everyone on death row within a year of their sentencing and harvest their organs.
Q - Do you consider yourself a compassionate conservative like President Bush?
A - In the first place, George W. Bush is not a conservative. Secondly, embracing conservatism is, by definition, the most compassionate ideological choice a person can make, so yes I'm a compassionate conservative.
Q - If you were president, would you work to phase out the IRS?
A - Phase out? No, I'd try to eliminate it completely on my first day in office.
Q - Would the day that Roe v. Wade is repealed be a good day for America?
A - Only if you believe that killing millions of innocent babies is a bad thing.
Q - Could you support a nominee of your party who is not pro-life?
A - No, I tend not to like people who support the murder of children.
Q - If a private employer finds homosexual behavior immoral, should he be allowed to fire a gay worker?
A - Of course, it's his business and if you don't like his opinions, shop somewhere else.
Q - What would you have to say to Roman Catholic bishops who deny communion to elected officials who support abortion rights?
A - Nothing, that's exactly what Catholic bishops are supposed to do.
Q - Governor Schwarzenegger has won the state of California twice by downplaying partisanship and taking centrist positions on the environment, immigration, abortion... is that the way to win for Republicans?
A - Sure, if you happen to be running for governor of an extremely left-wing state. If you're running for president, however, you might want to try being an honest conservative like Ronald Reagan, who was swept into the White House by the biggest electoral landslide in American history.
Q - Would you keep Karl Rove in the White House as an adviser?
A - No, but if Condi Rice wanted to hang out after hours and knock back a few shots of scotch with me, I wouldn't complain.
Q - What's with your party and all the corruption?
A - What's with your mouth and all the stupid questions?
Q - What specific programs would you cut if you were president?
A - Every program that isn't national security related.
Q - Using a letter grade of A through F, how would you rate the Bush administration's handling of the Iraq War?
A - I'd give it a B for effort and a D for results.
Q - Is racism still a problem in our society, and can a president do anything about it?
A - No, there is no racism anywhere anymore... we've totally eradicated it from our midst... DUH! As for the president doing something about it, yes, he can treat everyone like individuals instead of racially pigeonholing people like you leftists do. That would set a fairly good example for the next generation of Americans to emulate.
Q - Did you watch Al Gore's environmental documentary "An Inconvenient Truth?"
A - Yes, and I thought his hair looked marvelous.
Q - Perhaps the most important skill a good president must have is the ability to make sound decisions, often in a crisis situation. Can you cite an example of when you had to make a decision in crisis?
A - I once decided to grab a guy who lost his balance while we were free-climbing on some boulders, and prevented him from plummeting 100 feet to his death. Does that count?
Q - Women are the fastest growing prison population. Most are mothers who are non-violent, first-time offenders. What will you do to address the issue of mothers behind bars and the children left behind?
A - I'd encourage them to STOP BREAKING THE LAW!
Q - What taxes would you like to cut?
A - ALL of them.
Q - Can you name one thing that the federal government does really well, and one thing that it does poorly?
A - It trains and equips our military pretty well. Other than that, it sucks eggs.
Q - Do you believe in evolution?
A - If you're talking about Darwin's macro-evolution theory, no. I think it's got more holes in it than a screen door.
Q - Do you trust the mainstream media?
A - About as much as I trust pit vipers.
Q - Do your personal religious beliefs influence your foreign policy thinking?
A - Yes, and if they didn't there would be something seriously wrong with me.
Q - What do you consider to be your most significant weakness as a candidate for president?
A - That I was foolish enough to agree to be questioned by a neo-communist parasite like you on national television.
Q - Will you work to protect women's rights, as in fair wages and reproductive choice?
A - From what I understand, women outnumber men in this country, so they're more than capable of defending their own rights. As for reproductive choice, women are perfectly free to choose who they sleep with and who they don't.
Q - How many American soldiers have lost their lives in the Iraq War, and how many have been injured to date?
A - If you don't know the answer to that already, I suggest that you go back to watching Jerry Springer and leave running the country to serious adults.
Q - Are you for a tamper-proof national ID card?
A - Why don't we try creating a tamper-proof Social Security ID system first?
Q - Do you think Scooter Libby should be pardoned?
A - Yes, and I also think that Patrick Fitzgerald should be disbarred for malicious prosecution.
Q - Would it be good for America to have Bill Clinton back living in the White House?
A - Would it be good if I walked over to you right now and jammed my pen in your eye?
By Edward L. Daley
Owner of the Daley Times-Post