Republicans want to make the unemployed get a job before they receive unemployment benefits, and four other reasons to be glad you didn’t watch the Fox News Republican Debate.
1). Mitt Romney Now Claims He Created 120,000 Jobs At Bain
Within 10 minutes of the beginning of the Fox News GOP South Carolina debate, Mitt Romney uncorked his first lie. Instead of clarifying that he didn’t really create 100,000 jobs at Bain, Romney upped the ante and claimed that four companies that Bain invested in created 120,000 jobs. Romney continued to take credit for creating jobs at Staples and The Sports Authority.
The AP has already debunked Romney’s claims, “”Romney has never substantiated his frequent claim that he was a creator of more than 100,000 jobs while leading the Bain Capital private equity company. His campaign merely cites success stories without laying out the other side of the ledger — jobs lost at Bain-acquired or Bain-supported firms that closed, trimmed their workforce or shifted employment overseas. Moreover, his campaign bases its claims on recent employment figures at three companies — Staples, Domino’s and Sports Authority — even though Romney’s involvement with them ceased years ago. … Staples, now with close to 90,000 employees, and Sports Authority, with about 15,000, were start-ups supported by Romney. The direct work force at Domino’s has grown by nearly 8,000 since Romney’s intervention. But Romney got out of the game in 1999, which has not stopped his campaign from crediting him with jobs created at those companies since then.”
2). Rick Santorum Sets Up Mitt Romney On Felons Voting
Rick Santorum brought up a Romney Super PAC ad that attacked him for letting felons vote. Santorum asked Romney if felons should be allowed to vote. Romney said no, then Santorum said that while governor of Massachusetts, Romney’s state was more liberal in allowing felons to vote than the bill Santorum voted on. Rick Santorum set Mitt Romney up, knocked him down, and left Romney spinning in circles.
3). Republicans Want To Attach A Work Requirement To Unemployment Insurance
Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum said that unemployment insurance should not be extended unless the unemployed help themselves by working. Gingrich and Santorum’s model was the failed 1990s welfare reform. This is what the Republican Party has come to. The Republican candidates for president think that attaching a work requirement to unemployment benefits is a good idea. Do these candidates understand that the unemployed would not need unemployment insurance if they could get work? Unemployment insurance exists in order to help people when there aren’t enough jobs available. The Republican position is based on the moral judgment that unemployed people are lazy. Only Ron Paul suggested that we cut military spending instead of throwing people off unemployment insurance.
4). The GOP Debate Audience Cheers Child Labor
Juan Williams asked Newt Gingrich if he could see that it was insulting to people especially African Americans that he thinks poor kids should work as janitors. Newt Gingrich said no, and said that for the cost on one union janitor schools could hire 37 poor children. Gingrich said that giving poor people money for work is a good thing. When Williams suggested that Gingrich was trying to belittle the poor and minorities, and the white South Carolina debate crowd booed. In summary, Gingrich suggested that child labor is actually a good thing because it makes money for the wealthy, and denies the poor educational opportunities, which they apparently don’t deserve according to Republicans because they are poor.
5). Rick Perry Uses The Beheading Of Daniel Pearl To Justify Marines Urinating On Corpses
Rick Perry continued to stand up for military behavior that will make the United States the most hated nation in the world. Perry actually used the horrible beheading of Daniel Pearl in order to justify the bad behavior of the four Marines who urinated on dead Taliban fighters. If any of these Republicans are elected into the White House, they will make the behavior of the Bush administration look angelically humanitarian.
Bonus: Mitt Romney Wants All Campaign Finance Laws Abolished
Mitt Romney said that not only does he want to get rid of Super PACs, he wants to get rid of all campaign finance laws. Romney argued that people should be able to give as much as they want, and campaigns should be able to run any ad they want. Romney was arguing for Citizens United on steroids, because in Mitt Romney’s mind, “Corporations are people, my friend.” Mitt Romney’s vision for America includes total and completely legal corporate campaign finance.
Winners and Losers
1). Newt Gingrich – Gingrich showed at the debate why he is still a threat to win in South Carolina. Juan Williams confronted Gingrich about child labor and crowd lustily applauded the idea that poor kids should be denied an education in order to work as child laborers. Republicans love child labor, and Newt Gingrich hit them in their sweet spot.
2). Mitt Romney – Yet another wishy-washy debate performance from Romney. He made big news by announcing, kind of sort of, that he may release his tax returns in April. Romney answered questions about Bain, and got set up for a huge fail by Santorum. If Rick Santorum was able to set Romney up, imagine what Obama will do to him?
3). Ron Paul – Many of Rep. Paul’s positions weren’t popular with the audience, but he was able to differentiate himself with his positions on NDAA, and the use of the justice system instead of detention centers like GITMO. It is certain that Paul’s plea not to give up on the judicial system fell on deaf ears, and he didn’t win any new Republican supporters tonight, but he avoided going off on any tangents about the gold standard or the FED, which makes him a winner.
1). Rick Perry- The Texas governor was bumbling and stumbling over foreign policy, and otherwise looks like the next most likely candidate to exit the race. Perry spent the debate repeating his flat tax and zero foreign aid talking points. His use of the beheading of Daniel Pearl to justify Marines urinating on corpses was the move of a desperate candidate who is willing to sink to any low to stay in the race.
2). Rick Santorum- After a little burst of support in Iowa; Santorum has pretty much flamed out. Oddly after his initial attack on Romney, Santorum did not tout himself as the real conservative. He also never bothered to mention the recent endorsement of evangelical leaders. Rick Santorum looks like he is trying to moderate his positions in order to be Mitt Romney’s running mate.
Final Verdict: What felt like the billionth Republican debate is now in the books, and just like all the others that came before it, this debate did nothing to change the course of this race. Mitt Romney’s challengers are so weak that he can get away with continual sub par debate performances. If this is all Mitt Romney is going to bring to the table in debates with Obama, he will be eaten alive by this president.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association