Here are a bunch of crazy things that got said in the GOP debates yesterday

Despite feeling like I would much rather have been regrouting the bathroom tile or mulching my yard or something, I really did try to watch both of the Republican debates yesterday. I guess I could try to write some kind of analytical thing about what was said, but as that would risk imparting a level of seriousness to what was essentially a two-part farce (and this is not a comment on yesterday’s debates specifically; televised presidential debates are pretty much farce by nature), and as I’ve always wanted to try putting together one of those slideshow dealies (as the kids call them), here instead is a nice collection of some especially nutty things that were said by people who actually want to be your next President and seriously think they could do the job:

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The 213 years between now and Election Day are going to just fly by! Full context after the break.


Perry: “Americans are tired of hearing this debate want to go to ‘What are you going to do about illegal immigration?’ For 30 years this country has been baited with that. All the way back to when Ronald Raven signed a piece of legislation that basically allowed for amnesty for over 4 million people and the border is still not secure.” I’m not sure any context is needed here, is it?

Jindal: “I guarantee you under President Jindal, January 2017 the Department of Justice and IRS and everybody else we can send from the federal government will be going into Planned Parenthood,” because apparently siccing the IRS on our political enemies is actually, contrary to past Republican doctrine, good.

Graham: When asked for 2 words to describe Hillary Clinton, Lindsey said, “Not the change we need at a time we need it,” which is 11 words. Apparently Lindsey Graham understands numbers about as well as he understands foreign policy.

Fiorina: “This is a bad deal. Obama broke every rule of negotiation.” Fiorina apparently likes this line, but it suffers from the fact that she never seems to explain what the rules are and how they were broken. Maybe that’s because she, ah, wasn’t in the negotiations?

Gilmore: “I was the chairman of the National Commission on Homeland Security and Terrorism for the United States for five years. I was a person who has dealt extensively with these homeland security issues. I was a governor during the 9/11 attack.” So were Rick Perry and George Pataki, and it’s helped them so much that they were on stage with Gilmore in the also-ran debate instead of in the real one.

Pataki: “I was governor of New York on September 11. I know that we are at greater risk today than at any time since then of another attack. We have got to destroy their training camps over there before they can attack us here.” For some reason Pataki seems to think that a) people didn’t already know that, b) that it will somehow help him with the voters (he should ask the actual Rudy Giuliani about that), and c) that having been Governor of New York in 9/11 somehow gives him unique counter-terrorism insights.

Santorum: “We’re a country of laws, Bill. We’re a country of laws, not of men, not of people who do whatever they want to do. I know we have a president who wants to do whatever he wants to do, and take his pen and his phone and just tell everybody what he thinks is best. But the reason America is a great country, the reason is because our compassion is in our laws. And when we live by those laws and we treat everybody equally under the law, that’s when people feel good about being Americans.” Santorum isn’t all that keen about “equality under the law” when it comes to women and LGBTQ individuals, but he’s happy to talk about it in the context of bashing immigrants.

Trump: “And what happened is friends of mine years ago were going to have a child, and it was going to be aborted. And it wasn’t aborted. And that child today is a total superstar, a great, great child. And I saw that. And I saw other instances.” Donald Trump stopped being pro-choice because some fabulously wealthy pals of his chose not to get an abortion, and damned if that child didn’t turn out to be on the up and up, you know, a child done right.

If the kid was a little brat, would Donald still be pro-choice?

Christie: “I was appointed U.S. attorney by President Bush on September 10th, 2001, and the world changed enormously the next day, and that happened in my state.” Chris Christie became U.S. Attorney for New Jersey in January 2002.

Kasich: “I spent ten years in the private sector, actually learning how business works. And now I’m the governor of Ohio, and I inherited a state that was on the brink of dying. And we turned it all around with jobs and balanced budgets and rising credit and tax cuts, and the state is unified, and people have hope again in Ohio.” I love it when career politicians lose elections and later try to act like they deliberately got out of politics to learn how the real world works.

Rubio: “Well, first, let me say I think God has blessed us. He has blessed the Republican Party with some very good candidates. The Democrats can’t even find one.” Huh. Maybe there was actually a third debate last night that nobody knew about, with all the very good candidates from God.

JEB: [on concerns about “dynastic politics”] “I’m gonna have to earn this. Maybe the barrier — the bar’s even higher for me. That’s fine. I’ve got a record in Florida. I’m proud of my dad, and I’m certainly proud of my brother. In Florida, they called me Jeb, because I earned it.”

Cruz: “We need a president that shows the courage that Egypt’s President al-Sisi [did], a Muslim, when he called out the radical Islamic terrorists who are threatening the world.” In a just world, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi would be on trial for crimes against humanity. An estimated 2600 Egyptians have died in his two years in office simply due to public unrest, and his actions to outlaw the Muslim Brotherhood and otherwise repress political opposition have benefited those same radical Islamic terrorists who were the targets of his wonderful “call out.” Terrorism in the Sinai, for example, is as bad as it’s ever been, courtesy of ISIS’s Sinai Province franchise. So I don’t know, maybe he’s not the greatest role model here.

Huckabee: “The military is not a social experiment. The purpose of the military is kill people and break things.” Noted military tactician Mike Huckabee explains what he does when he plays with his little green army men. He definitely does not tolerate any green army men who are experiencing gender dysphoria, let’s just leave it at that.

Paul: [to Christie] “I don’t trust President Obama with our records. I know you gave him a big hug, and if you want to give him a big hug again, go right ahead!” Other than a testy exchange with Christie and another with Trump, and walking back a couple of things that don’t mesh with GOP orthodoxy (blaming the rise of ISIS on Republican hawks and cutting aid to Israel), Paul was pretty quiet. I got a kick out of him resurrecting THE HUG in order to punch down on a guy who’s trailing him in the polls.

Carson: “We’ve gotten into this — this mindset of fighting politically correct wars. There is no such thing as a politically correct war. The left, of course, will say Carson doesn’t believe in the Geneva Convention, Carson doesn’t believe in fighting stupid wars. And — and what we have to remember is we want to utilize the tremendous intellect that we have in the military to win wars.” That’s medical doctor Ben Carson, who has certainly taken the Hippocratic Oath at least once in his lifetime, explaining that he’d be cool with torturing military prisoners (or, in other words, committing war crimes).

Walker: “Well, I’m pro-life, I’ve always been pro-life, and I’ve got a position that I think is consistent with many Americans out there in that…(APPLAUSE)…in that I believe that that is an unborn child that’s in need of protection out there, and I’ve said many a time that that unborn child can be protected, and there are many other alternatives that can also protect the life of that mother. That’s been consistently proven.” No, it hasn’t. But I’m sure female voters will be pleased to know that Scott Walker values them less for their own lives than for their important service as incubators.

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