CNBC GOP Debate: Herman Cain, Mitt Romney, Watch Live Video
Republican candidates take the stage for the CNBC GOP debate in Rochester, Michigan.
How to Avoid Student Loan Debt
What do the candidates think about the government's student loan program? Ron Paul would get rid of it. Newt Gingrich thinks its an absurdity and that it should instead emulate the College of the Ozarks' work study program which leaves students without any debt at graduation.
Meanwhile Rick Perry completely dodges the question of whether or not he'd kill the student long program and instead insists that he will create a type of social security substitute program that will be there for today's young people. Oh, and the Energy Department! That's the third government agency he'd cut.
Perry Draws a Blank
Rick Perry would get rid of three agencies as soon as he’s elected president. But, which ones? Well there’s education, commerce and….ummm. Perry looks to Ron Paul for help but no, Paul, it’s not the EPA. When given another chance by the moderators to think of the third one Perry looks down at his notes and admits, no he can’t think of the third. “Woops.”
Health Care in 30 Seconds
The candidates are asked to address health care in 30 seconds. First of all, everyone needs to know that Newt Gingrich thinks this question is stupid and plans to have a three hour debate with Barack Obama which will be focused solely on health care. Ron Paul believes health care should be a matter between doctors and patients and Mitt Romney pledges to repeal Obamacare and divide up the federal government's Medicaid fun and disperse it between the states, so they can deal with providing health care for their poor residents individually. Santorum says wants health care to be consumer driven and then takes the rest of his precious thirty seconds to say "I told you so" about Franny Mae and Freddy Mac.
The Romney is singled out as one of the only candidates without a flat tax proposal. The former Massachusetts governor says that while he'd like to see the country's tax rate flatter, his priority now is on helping the middle class. The middle class, he says, has been most failed by the Obama administration and, as president, Romney's first order of business in terms of taxes would be to create a substantial break for middle income Americans.
Herman Cain reiterates the simplicity of his 9-9-9 plan while Ron Paul plands to save the economy by making over a trillion dollar cut to demand.
Cain Addresses Sexual Harassment Accusations
Herman Cain received cheerful applause when he downplayed the mutliple sexual harassment charges against him saying, "the American people deserve better than someone getting tried in court of public opinion based on unfounded accusations."
Will Italy Sink the U.S.?Herman Cain was greeted by a round of applause, and the candidates quickly got down to business. The first question focused on the financial crisis in Europe. Cain's idea: focus on the domestic, or we'll fail. Meanwhile, Romney agrees, saying that Europe should be able to help Europe.
Mitt Romney: “I’m a man of steadiness”
With the spotlight on Mitt Romney, the debate moderators decided to see if highlighting his occasional flip-flopping on policies like the bailout would make him sweat. He stayed calm at first, saying that he always viewed the bailout as “the wrong way to go,” whether it was President Bush’s idea or President Obama’s. “My plan would have had a private sector bail-out,” he said, explaining that he wouldn’t have allowed the government to have such a heavy-handed role. When the moderators pressed again, Romney ran out of political examples of when he hadn’t flip-flopped and turned to his personal life. “I’m a man of steadiness and constancy,” he said, citing his commitment to his Church, his wife, and his company, though he had a momentary brain hiccup: “I’ve been married to the same woman for 25 - excuse me, I’ll get myself in trouble - 42 years.” Smooth, Romney, very smooth.
Gingrich Goes After Bernanke
Gingrich Goes After the Media