Live Blog from Dartmouth Debate – updates regularly

I’ll be doing some live blogging from the debate tonight.

Faces seen in the crowd: Dartrouth alum Charlie Perkins; NH GOP chairman Wayne MacDonald; Jennifer and Bill Horn; Grafton Co GOP chairman Bruce Perlo; Romney supporter Beverly Bruce; Merrimack Co Sheriff Hilliard; Santorum supporter Clara Monier; former GOP chairman Jack Kimball;

8:16 How much would you pay for Jeb Bradley’s seat on the stage? He’s getting tons of face time.

Gingrich gives a good answer on Occupy protests. Huntsman a good line about DC = gas capital of nation. Gingrich deft mention of Sarah Palin.

8:25: Google searches on Rich Lowry from Cleveland OH are spiking…

8:28: Romney gives an excellent answer on Wall Street bailout in 2008. Lasted over 4 minutes – controlling the clock

8:32: When Ron Paul talks about Austrian economists, how many voters know what he’s referring to?

8:35: Here’s the time of possession so far, in minutes:

4.1 2.0 1.5 2.9 2.1 5.3 2.6 4.1 3.1 1.7 3.9
Rose Karen T Juliana Cain Perry Romney Bachmann Gingrich Paul Santorum Huntsman

8:44: Michele Bachmann’s “background is in economics”?

8:46: Finally media giving some scrutiny to Cain’s 9-9-9 plan, and Bachmann gives a good response about the perils of a new tax of any kind

8:51: Not sure Romney wins many votes when he talks about labeling China a “currency manipulator” and taking them to the WTO.

8:54: Santorum beats the others to reminding the NH audience that Cain’s plan puts a 9% sales tax on them, and asks them whether they believe the income tax will stay at 9%. Good for him.

8:57: Good on Mitt for pointing out that the GOP needs to replace Obamacare with something else, because the American ppl won’t accept the status quo. Exactly right.

Second break: Gotta say, Cain’s been holding his own pretty well while being challenged on 9-9-9.

9:06: Face in the Crowd: former Senator Judd Gregg, who endorsed Romney over the weekend.

9:10: Romney effectively parries Cain’s challenge on Romney’s 59 pt economic plan. Gingrich makes shrewd point that Romney’s tougher on weathy than Obama; Romney sticks with defense of middle class.

9:16: Huh, Perry is capable of delivering a pre-meditated, rehearsed attack on Romney. Romney pushes back very well – 1 million uninsured children in Texas vs 1% uninsured in Mass; if Romneycare is so bad, why aren’t Massachusets voters interested in repealing his plan?

9:21: Santorum asks a very good question of Cain: How can you trust Washington with a new tax? Cain: Weak response.

9:22 / break 3: Ron Paul has spoken just three times so far.

9:28: Perry’s gotta like this format better than the other debates. The pace is slower this time.

9:31: I have a hard time believing that lots of voters care about the Fed and monetary supply. Sorry, Cain and Paul. It’s a dog whistle issue with a small number of voters, but the rest of them don’t hear it.

9:34: Bachmann is clever about describing Dodd-Frank and the “jobs and housing destruction act.” That’s language people can understand. “Dodd-Frank” is DC insider talk. Hint to Ron Paul: So is “Sarbanes Oxley”. Gotta describe it in language normal ppl can understand.

9:42: Cain gives a good rebuttal to question about whether he faulted unemployed ppl for their condition.

9:45: Santorum makes a deft tie-in of family breakdown and poverty.

9:52: Closing statements: I guess they all grew up underprivileged.

Final time of possession:

Air time (mins): 11.0 10.7 18.9 9.2 7.3 7.1 6.5 6.9
Speaking opps: 13.0 13.0 15.0 8.0 8.0 6.0 7.0 7.0
  Cain Perry Romney Bachmann Gingrich Paul Santorum Huntsman

Scenes from the spin room: Dave Carney for Perry; Gov. Huntsman; DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz; Sen. Santorum

Author: Fergus Cullen

Fergus Cullen is a former chairman of the New Hampshire Republican Party (2007-2008) and an editorial page columnist for the New Hampshire Union Leader.

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