CNN Cancels Super Tuesday Debate

CNN’s press release:

Mitt Romney and Ron Paul told the Georgia Republican Party, Ohio Republican Party and CNN Thursday that they will not participate in the March 1 Republican presidential primary debate,” CNN said in a statement. “Without full participation of all four candidates, CNN will not move forward with the Super Tuesday debate. However, next week, CNN and the Arizona Republican Party will host all four leading contenders for the GOP nomination. That debate will be held in Mesa, Arizona on February 22 and will be moderated by CNN’s John King.

Meanwhile redistricting lawsuits will require the Texas caucus/primary to be rescheduled.

Primary results and the updated debate and primary schedule follow below the jump.

Key — States Won
Santorum: IA CO MN MO
Romney: NH FL NV
Gingrich: SC
Paul: none
Unknown: ME

Next Contests
Feb 18: ME (in part)
Feb 28: AZ MI
Mar  3: WA
Mar  6: Super Tuesday
Mar 10: WY KS VI GU
Mar 13: AL AS HI MS
Mar 17: MO
Mar 18: PR
Mar 20: IL
Mar 24: LA
Apr  3: MD DC WI
Apr 24: CT DE NY PA RI
May  8: IN NC WV
May 15: NE OR
May 22: AR KY
May 29: TX estimated
Jun  5: CA MT NJ NM SD
Jun 26: UT

Next Debates

  • CNN Debate, Wednesday, February 22 at 8pm in Mesa, Arizona.
  • PBS/NPR Debate, Monday, March 19 at 9pm  in Portland, Oregon.
  • First Presidential Debate, Wednesday, October 3 at the University of Denver in Denver, Colorado,
  • Vice-Presidential Debate, Thursday, October 11 at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky,
  • Second Presidential Debate, Tuesday, October 16 at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, and
  • Third Presidential Debate, Monday, October 22 at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida.

Times are indicated in Eastern Time.

Saying Anything To Get Elected

— by Ira Forman

During the CNN Republican debate on Thursday, in Jacksonville, Florida, an audience member asked the candidates how a GOP administration would help bring peace between Palestinians and Israelis. Romney answered with a critique of the President’s support for Israel, saying that he “went before the United Nations and … [h]e said nothing about thousands of rockets being rained on Israel from the Gaza Strip.”

That’s just not true.

Take one look at how strongly President Obama condemned the rocket attacks on Israel in his address to the U.N. General Assembly in September. He said:

Let us be honest with ourselves: Israel is surrounded by neighbors that have waged repeated wars against it. Israel’s citizens have been killed by rockets fired at their houses and suicide bombs on their buses. Israel’s children come of age knowing that throughout the region, other children are taught to hate them. Israel, a small country of less than eight million people, look out at a world where leaders of much larger nations threaten to wipe it off of the map.

The Jewish people carry the burden of centuries of exile and persecution, and fresh memories of knowing that six million people were killed simply because of who they are. Those are facts. They cannot be denied.

And he didn’t just say that in September. Here’s what he said to the U.N. General Assembly back in 2009:

We must remember that the greatest price of this conflict is not paid by us. It’s not paid by politicians. It’s paid by the Israeli girl in Sderot who closes her eyes in fear that a rocket will take her life in the middle of the night. It’s paid for by the Palestinian boy in Gaza who has no clean water and no country to call his own.

President Obama has defended Israel’s interests over and over again, and Jewish leaders both here and there have noticed. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has called the President’s support for Israel “a badge of honor.” Ehud Barak has said President Obama is “ready to undertake the fiercest of political risks to his survival in order to make good on what he believes in.”

But to Mitt Romney, it seems like the facts here are irrelevant. He’ll say anything to get elected, regardless of what’s true.

CNN Debate: Romney Lies Regarding Obama Israel Record

— by David A. Harris

Governor Mitt Romney (R-MA) during tonight’s CNN debate showed again that he will lie if need be to advance his political agenda, and when it comes to the U.S.-Israel relationship, that’s shameful. The stakes are simply too high. We are not talking about subjective opinions, but facts. Governor Romney, for example, said that the President castigated Israel during his speech at the United Nations in September. He did no such thing. Mr. Romney said the President made no reference to the “thousands of rockets being rained in on Israel from the Gaza Strip;” indeed, President Obama specifically cited how ‘Israel’s citizens have been killed by rockets fired at their houses and suicide bombs on their buses’ on the world stage of the United Nations in September.

Enough is enough. The outright lies, smears and distortions of President Obama’s stellar Israel record must stop.

The Lies The Truth
Tonight Governor Romney said:

He [Obama] said nothing about thousands of rockets being rained in on Israel from the Gaza Strip.

President Obama said at the United Nations on September 21, 2011:

Let us be honest with ourselves: Israel is surrounded by neighbors that have waged repeated wars against it. Israel’s citizens have been killed by rockets fired at their houses and suicide bombs on their buses.

Romney said:

I think he disrespected Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — Bibi Netanyahu.

Prime Minister Netanyahu said following the UN speech:

I think that standing your ground, taking this position of principle… I think this is a badge of honor and I want to thank you for wearing that badge of honor.

Governor Romney said tonight:

I think he has time and time again shown distance from Israel….

The facts speak for themselves.

The Great Latke-Hamantaschen Debate

Austan Goolsbee, former chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers and Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, advocates for the latke at the 61st annual Latke-Hamantashen Debate on November 26, 2007.

Gary Tubb, Professor in the Department of South Asian Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago, advocates for the hamantashen at the 62nd annual Latke-Hamantashen Debate on November 25, 2008.

By Hannah Lee

Since 1946, the intellectual nerds at the University of Chicago have had fun giving annual mock-serious presentations on the relative merits of the fried latke versus the baked hamantaschen.  Its popularity has spread to other campuses, including Kenyon College, Middlebury College, Stanford Law School, George Washington University, Amherst College, Swarthmore College, Williams College, Wesleyan University, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Brandeis University, Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Princeton University, the University of Minnesota, Mount Holyoke, Bowdoin College, UCSD, Haverford College, Johns Hopkins University, University of Denver, Buntport Theater, and one secondary school Milton Academy.  Yeshiva University held its own debate for the first time on November 22nd and Team Hamantasch won.

I learned about these annual debates when my daughter enrolled at the University of Chicago and was even invited to serve as banner-carrier.  This year’s debate was re-labelled  “Sixty-Five and Never Retiring: A debate over Social Security like no other,” but I think the more fun symposia are on the original topic of food preferences.  The “The Great Latke-Hamantash Debate” published in 2005 by the University of Chicago Press and edited by Ruth Fredman Cernea includes “Consolations of the Latke” delivered by Philosophy Professor Ted Cohen at the 1976 Latke-Hamantash Debate.  

So, which do you prefer: the latke or the hamantaschen?  

Candidates Attack Newt For Calling Palestinians “Invented People”

On The Jewish Channel, Newt Gingrich characterized the Palestinians as “an invented people”. During yesterday’s ABC Republican Presidential Debate, he was asked to clarify these remarks.

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (R-GA):

Is what I said factually correct? Yes. Is it historically true? Yes. We are in a situation where every day rockets are fired into Israel while the United States — the current administration — tries to pressure the Israelis into a peace process….

Somebody ought to have the courage to tell the truth. These people are terrorists, they teach terrorism in their schools…. It’s fundamentally the time for somebody to have the guts to say enough lying about the Middle East.

House Minority Whip Newt Gingrich (R-GA) shakes hands with “invented person” Yasser Arafat following the signing of the September 1993 Oslo accords.

Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX):

That’s just stirring up trouble.

Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA):

I happen to agree with most of what the speaker said except by going and saying that the Palestinians are an invented people. That I think was a mistake on the speaker’s part…. We’re gonna tell the truth, but we’re not gonna throw incendiary words into a — a place which is — a boiling pot when our friends the Israelis would probably say, “What in the world are you doin’?”

The Jewish Channel video of Gingrich follows the jump.

Perry: Israel Aid Starts at Zero

— by David Streeter

During last night’s Republican foreign policy debate held in South Carolina, a number of the candidates perpetuated myths about President Barack Obama and his support for Israel. In perhaps an even more dangerous precedent, two leading contenders — Texas Governor Rick Perry and field-leading former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney — agreed that foreign aid should “start at zero” for all countries, including Israel. In saying this, these candidates ignore the current 10-year aid agreement between the U.S. and Israel; they disregard the critical relationship with our strategic ally; and they demonstrate their inability to steward the U.S.-Israel relationship. Read on for more on this significant turn of events.


More after the jump.
During the debate, a number of the candidates attacked America’s foreign aid to certain countries. Specifically, Perry said that he would start all foreign aid at zero-and Romney agreed.

On the campaign trail, many of the candidates have perpetuated the myth that America’s foreign aid commitments meaningfully contribute to America’s budget crisis. They have done so in order to justify spending cuts, despite the fact that foreign aid comprises less than 1% of the budget.

Representative Nita Lowey (D-NY), the ranking Democrat on the House Appropriations subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations and Related Programs, has argued that the “security imperatives” of preserving a robust foreign aid program are essential to America’s national security interests. Representative Steve Rothman<?a> (D-NJ) also warned:

Cutting foreign aid will not right our struggling economy, but will ultimately cost us more in U.S. lives and taxpayer dollars. It will surely cause direct and substantial harm to America’s national security.

Further, the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition — a foreign policy organization that includes the American Israel Public Affairs Committee-strongly opposed cuts to America’s foreign assistance programs because of their potential to negatively impact American interests abroad.

Remarkably, Perry said that aid to Israel would also “start at zero.” He ultimately said that Israel is a “special ally” and that Israel would receive “substantial” funding. However his proposal to fundamentally alter the approach of American aid to Israel — and Romney’s apparent agreement with this new approach — poses major risks for Israel’s security as well as the U.S.-Israel relationship. (Romney staff later claimed that despite saying “start everything at zero,” Romney was somehow only referring to aid to Pakistan.)

Assistant Secretary of State Andrew Shapiro and Representative Howard Berman (D-CA) both recently praised financial assistance to Israel because of the dividends it pays for U.S. interests.

Perry’s and Romney’s new approach to foreign aid to Israel — in addition to Perry’s outrageous remarks on the eve of Obama’s overwhelmingly pro-Israel speech to the UN, and the politicization of the U.S.-Israel relationship repeatedly displayed by Romney and the other GOP candidates — clearly demonstrates that they are not ready to steward the U.S.-Israel relationship.

Conversely, President Obama has in FY2012 made the largest ever security funding request for Israel in U.S. history, totaling $3 billion — in keeping with the 2007 memorandum of understanding. Above and beyond this unprecedented foreign aid request, Obama has made additional funding requests exceeding the memorandum of understanding, to save Israeli lives — including $205 million for the Iron Dome system last year.


Maybe Mitt Romney Should Be Their One Issuing An Apology

At last night’s Republican Presidential Debate hosted by CNBC, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney made the claim that he will “not apologize for the United States of America,” inferring that the President has done so. His comment was fact checked by The Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler, who said,

“No matter how many times Romney says this, it simply is not true. We have documented extensively — back in February — how Obama did not apologize for America in his trips overseas. It’s a four Pinocchio error.”

Last night, the former Massachusetts governor pushed back against the impression that he has changed his stands in order to attract support from the Republican base:

I think it is outrageous the Obama campaign continues to push this idea” that I am a flip-flopper

While the Democratic National Committee has certain been pushing this message in their Which Mitt?  website and as has Priorities USA Action in the video above, he “conveniently ignores the fact that Jon Huntsman and Rick Perry, two of his rivals, have been running ads making exactly that case. The Huntsman ads actually are pretty funny.”

Huntsman video after the jump.

Democratic Party is Improving Their Messaging


Here, Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren speaks frankly about our the cause of our national debt and leads with her values.

Next, the DNC releases a hard hitting video highlighting the inappropriate cheering during the Republican presidential debates and notes none of the candidates said anything.  

The Most Powerful Response to the “Let Him Die” Party

Susan Grigsby’s brother Steve died a painful death fighting for care as an uninsured American. Susan watched, horrified, as the GOP Presidential Candidates on CNN’s Tea Party Debate stood silent when the the audience cheered for the idea that we as a society should just let an uninsured man die. Now Susan wants an answer from each and every GOP candidate.

Debate transcript follows the jump.
BLITZER: You’re a physician, Ron Paul, so you’re a doctor. You know something about this subject. Let me ask you this hypothetical question.

A healthy 30-year-old young man has a good job, makes a good living, but decides, you know what? I’m not going to spend $200 or $300 a month for health insurance because I’m healthy, I don’t need it. But something terrible happens, all of a sudden he needs it.

Who’s going to pay if he goes into a coma, for example? Who pays for that?

PAUL: Well, in a society that you accept welfarism and socialism, he expects the government to take care of him.

BLITZER: Well, what do you want?

PAUL: But what he should do is whatever he wants to do, and assume responsibility for himself. My advice to him would have a major medical policy, but not be forced —

BLITZER: But he doesn’t have that. He doesn’t have it, and he needs intensive care for six months. Who pays?

PAUL: That’s what freedom is all about, taking your own risks. This whole idea that you have to prepare and take care of everybody —


BLITZER: But Congressman, are you saying that society should just let him die?

PAUL: No. I practiced medicine before we had Medicaid, in the early 1960s, when I got out of medical school. I practiced at Santa Rosa Hospital in San Antonio, and the churches took care of them. We never turned anybody away from the hospitals.


PAUL: And we’ve given up on this whole concept that we might take care of ourselves and assume responsibility for ourselves. Our neighbors, our friends, our churches would do it. This whole idea, that’s the reason the cost is so high.

The cost is so high because they dump it on the government, it becomes a bureaucracy. It becomes special interests. It kowtows to the insurance companies and the drug companies, and then on top of that, you have the inflation. The inflation devalues the dollar, we have lack of competition.

PAUL: There’s no competition in medicine. Everybody is protected by licensing. And we should actually legalize alternative health care, allow people to practice what they want.