Bill O’Reilly Townhall Live Blogging: All Republican Candidates Present

The Factor Republican Primary. O’Reilly is just introducing the Townhall. Says the questions will be “half policy,” and half getting to know who the candidates are.This is a 3 hour radio Townhall going on now. Find your radio station here. O’Reilly is the only moderator. He will take calls in the last hour and there will be a chance to vote in his “Factor Republican Primary” toward the end of the debate. Whenever voting begins, go here

7:20pm: Thankfully it’s over. Here’s my take on it. He promised to talk about foreign policy. A quick look at my notes below and you can see that Perry is the only candidate he engaged in that conversation with. If I had to pick the best of the interviews based on the questions asked, I would say Perry, Gingrich and Paul. All of the candidates did a good job in the face of mostly inane questions.

1) He asked each what the one problem with running Nationally is. Does he really think we care about that, or that there answer might make a difference to who we vote for.

2) He asked Michele Bachmann if she is tired and what time she gets up in the morning. She was obliged to take up her time answering that lame question.

3) He asked everyone but Paul (I think) about Cain. Wasted time for the candidates and the listeners. It’s the vote’s thoughts about Cain that makes a difference.

4) Practically no foreign policy discussion


Participating Candidates

5:10 pm CDT: Half policy, and who are “these people anyway.” No candidates on as yet.

5:13 pm CDT: Rick Perry up right after the break.

5:19 pm CDT:

Introducing Rick Perry

What’s the thing that surprised you the most in National politics?

PERRY: Nothing really. It’s a marathon. But there are no days off. It’s full bore everyday.

O: ask if he was tired when he gave a speech in New Hampshire – there were accusations that he was tipsy, or too tired.

PERRY: He was having a great time, and knocks out a 3-mile run (at least) 4 days of the week.

O: Do you feel you are getting a fair shake. Perry says yes, he has no complaints.

O: Cain is getting worked over. Is this a cautionary tale to you?

PERRY: No anytime you rise to the top, those on the left will whack you.

O: Asks about Perry’s Flat Tax. Perry says we don’t have a revenue problem. We have a tax problem. In Texas our debt is 2% of our gross product. Americans want to see a president that will stand up and say, “we’re not doing this anymore.” Earmarks are gone.

O: Most important foreign policy threat to America. Perry says Iran and nuclear weapons, and Syria as well. He also thinks the problems are not all overseas. We need to pay attention to Mexico, Venezula and Bolivia. Drug cartels of great concern.

O: Pakistan friend or foe to the USA.

PERRY: says he isn’t sure, and he isn’t sure the career diplomates in the State Department are not serving us well. Congress needs to have a discussion about our State Department and we need to make decisions about Pakistan. We need leverage with Pakistan to make them understand they need to be our friend.

O: What is Obama’s biggest weakness?

PERRY: The economy. O interrupts and Perry again says the economy. He is a man who believes we can print money. Obama must be held accountable for a foreign policy that is a disaster and 14M out of work. This president stood up and said I inherited all these problems from Bush. But he inherited the GREATEST MILITARY IN THE WORLD. They didn’t just get good after Obama came to the presidency. [YAY]! That appears to be for Perry’s interview.

O says Perry is on the comeback trail and is better on radio than on television. A lot of money behind him, good record in Texas. Still in the game.

5:30 pm CST: Santorum then Gingrich up next after the break.

5:37 pm CST: Former Senator Rick Santorum introduced

O: You’re probably not going to be the candidate, so is it just your principals that are keeping in the game?

SANTORUM: We don’t know that until the vote. I’m focusing on the first race, Iowa. I feel very good about it. The message economic growth, keeping jobs in U.S. and bringing jobs back from overseas. I believe the message will resound well.

O: Do you expect the Cain scandals will bring voters to you?

SANTORUM: I don’t know. When voters look at me, they may think I’m better to marry than to date. I feel I will be an alternative and will be a bit spike the week or two before the primaries.

O: What surprised you about the process of campaigining Nationally.

SANTORUM: Look at the polls. Gallup has one up now. I have very little name recognition (because he’s not being talked about) – even though he was very close in ratings with Pawlenty, but everyone knew Pawlenty because of the press.

O: How do you analyze Cain being at 26% in the national poll. You are at 1%. You are both similarly conservative. How do you analyze that?

SANTORUM: Herman has a lot of attributes that appeal to people. He is a good marketer. Clever and pithy.

O: You think it’s Herman’s personal magnetism? [WHY IS O’REILLY continually talking about Cain?]

O: Romney will probabably get the nomination? Will you support him?

SANTORUM: Of course I will support our candidate. I would have to have anti-acids if the candidate is Paul but he will be better than Obama.

That’s it for Santorum. Now we know how Santorum feels about Herman Cain. What is up with that, O’Reilly? Cut it out!

5:44 pm CDT: Gingrich up after the break.

5:48 pm CDT: Newt Gingrich introduced.

O: You said this in the Cain Gingrich debate: “This pres is about as candid and accurate as Bernie Madoff when he talks to the American people.” About free education, G said anyone promising that would go to jail. Obama is a genuine Saul Alinsky radical.

O: Have you always believe that.

GINGRICH: No, but when he got into office with the stimulus pkg that no one had read, and you look at the underlying language patterns, and his speeches overseas and his appointments – he’s a Saul Alinsky radical.

O: You think he is a well-thought Liberal who wants to change the whole U.S.

GINGRICH: I believe he is a Chicago Saul Alinsky.

GINGRICH: The new Cain accuser means Herman must have a clear resolution to the last accuser [Sharon Bialek]

O: The odds of you winning the nomination are long.

GINGRICH: I think you are premature. The first vote hasn’t happened yet. One Iowa poll shows me ahead of Romney, and he hasn’t been able to move off 20% for a year.

That’s it for Gingrich.

6:56 pm CDT: O’Reilly is taking questions. A woman chides O’Reilly for being too soft on Newt. She also says the Cain Gingrich debate last week was a “love fest.” [I thought the debate was great.] O’Reilly says no one but the caller saw it. Says they got paid big bucks to do it.

Another call: Nancy has a big problem with Newt. Ya da ya da.

6:00 pm CDT: another break. I think Cain is up next. Whenever Cain is up, O’Reilly says he will not ask him about the “women.”

6:04 pm CDT: Introduces Jon Huntsman

O: With your poll numbers, how can you possibly break through?

HUNTSMAN: This is abt delivering a message, first in New Hampshire. They want to know your heart and vision. We are doubling down in New Hampshire. We will be there on Veterans Day. I feel a connection. They care about jobs. I have a track records that can be scrutinized.

O: Okay, but Romney is a NH favorite son. He is polling at 40%. Doesn’t look to me that he’s going to lose that state. Say you come in third or fourth.

HUNTSMAN: We’re going to win or come in second. As we have moved up from zero, we are now in 4th place in NH. As we’ve gone up in the polls, fund raising has gone up 350%.

O: Cain is running as pure conservative. You are not going to take from Cain – you are a moderate – global warming.

HUNTSMAN: No all I’ve said is I defer to science (or something like that). Prolife, pro-second amendment, pro-growth, health care reform without a mandate. Don’t accuse a moderate attitude with a moderate record.

O: What’s your website:

That’s all for Huntsman. Taking callers: Derick: follow up on you saying we need a President Lincoln-type today. Who do you think in the current field has those attributes.

O won’t answer.

That’s it for Huntsman.

6:15 pm CDT: Another break. Herman Cain up next.

6:19 pm CDT: Introduces Herman Cain

O: We don’t know what Herman did or didn’t do. Anybody can accuse anyone of anything. How long do you think this is going to be in play for you?

CAIN: Not long when I finish this interview because I will not talk about it after this interview.

O: You reporters will chase you and you have a debate on Wednesday. They might lob something at you. You will have to be nimble. You are weak on foreign policy. You said China will develop nuclear – they’ve had it for 30 years.

CAIN: They have nuclear but not what we have. This morning I had breakfast with Kissenger. I’ve been meeting with Natl Sec people, and retired from Military.

O: Okay but here’s the problem. Obama was elected with no experience. He brought in a lot of advisers and what happened – it’s a disaster.

CAIN: I’ve been developing my bases for over a year now. The campaign is not static. I’m learning and I’m growing and I’m doing due diligence. 1) make sure you’re working on the right thing, 2) surround yourself with good people, 3) pushback when you have to. I’ve been good at that for 40 years.

O: What surprises you most about running a national campaign?

CAIN: Media nitpicking. Last week’s story had to corroboration but it went on and on. I expected it but we didn’t know when or how.

O: Hows your wife handling it?

CAIN: She’s disgusted that it’s happening, disgusted at how it’s twisted and she is still 200% my wife.

O: Are you 100% sure that Perry harpooned you?

CAIN: Is there anything we can say are 100? We just looked at the facts. The dots didn’t lead but in one direction.

O: I want to be fair to Perry.

O: The polls are coming down to you and Romney. Your fund raising went up after the scandal. But you are going to have to break out from this group that loves you – rightwing ideologues. You will be demonized like Goldwater.

CAIN: Good ideas transcend ideology. I don’t have to change my msg when I talking to different groups, suburbia, inner city, Black or White. Moving our city back to the shining hill is what my followers want to do.

O: How about Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton? I’m sure they called to offer you support.

CAIN: No one has called. Maybe they’re busy. Haven’t called to lend their support, but I’m going to keep the lines open.

That’s it for Cain.

6:30 pm CDT another break. Michele Bachmann up next.

6:36 pm CDT: Introduces Bachmann

O: What has been the most difficult thing about the campaign for you?

BACHMANN: Getting our msg out without spending a gazillion dollars. People have seen that I have a core of conviction and that I stand strong for repealing ObamaCare.

O: Are you exhausted?

BACHMANN: We’re working all the time. From the second you wake until you go to bed, it is all consuming?

O: But are you tired?

BACHMANN: I’m a high-energy person. Raised 5 bio kids, 23 foster children.

O: What time do you get up everyday.

BACHMANN: About 5:30 and I try not to cut back on sleep and I try to have a day off every week.

O: You took a shot at Cain saying we shouldn’t have an surprises in a presidential race.

BACHMANN: What people need to know, is convictions: do you stand for prolife?

O: Yes but he has backed off.

BACHMANN: Our nominee can’t hedge on prolife. It’s high stakes.

O: Are you discouraged by the poll? Did it depress you?

BACHMANN: A lot of that is the media. It can be a self-fulfilling philosophy. What I have control over are my own strengths. I’m the only federal tax lawyer serving in Congress. I understand the problem and the driver is out of control tax code and spending.

O: Have you been treated fairly by the main stream media.

BACHMANN: She doesn’t go there. I don’t rag on the media. There are many avenues.

O: Palin got hammered far worse than Obama. Favorable treatment to Obama.

BACHMANN: She was treated unfairly, but I’m not going to complain.

O: Thinks the people want to know about this [what is O’Reilly smoking – where are the questions about foreign policy]

That’s it for Bachmann. Sheesh! This is pitiful.

6:44 pm CDT: Another break – Paul up next.

So far very little on foreign policy or anything anyone wants to know about. He wants to know what time Bachmann gets up in the morning. He’s asking those lower in the polls how they plan to bump their numbers. How about just getting to foreign policy, as advertised?

O: You’re at 11% in Iowa and in NH at 11% as well. You are Libertarian, Contrarian. You are a long shot. You know that. Is it worth you to run just to get your message out. Is that alone worth the run.

PAUL: The people who oppose me are the contrarians. I believe in the Constitution and everything that has made America great. You run to win because you want to offer something.

O: What is the most unpleasant thing you have to deal with running for National office.

PAUL: Demagogues – they always put spin on it to distort the truth. The whole goal of Dems and Repubs is been to gain power. That never changes. Both parties are the same.

O: If you can make one change in Washington for our country, what would it be?

PAUL: Send only people to Washington who understands the Constitution. [He mentions Executive Orders and O says EOs are in the Constitution – Paul rightly says EO’s, constitutionally cannot write law, which Obama is doing.] EOs do have restrictions that no one is adhering to.

O: If congress had declared war on al-Qaeda and jihadist groups, would you support the drones and the assassination of bin Laden.

PAUL: You can’t declare war on groups. [O’Reilly disputes it] The founders gave us the Letter of Mark and Reprisal as defense against pirates. I introduced Mark and Reprisal.

O: You don’t dispute that bin Laden should have died.

PAUL: I voted for the approval to go after them after 9/11.

That’s it for Paul.

6:55 pm CDT: Another Break. Romney up next.

7:07 pm CDT: Mitt Romney up (most of this hour will be YOUR PHONE CALLS and voting begins after Romney)

O: Herman Cain – it’s brutal, huh? You think there will be any questions at the Wednesday debate about that?

ROMNEY: He doesn’t know – doesn’t want to talk about the Cain deal. Want to focus on my agenda.

O: Cain said Perry leaked, and Perry kicked it over to your campaign.

ROMNEY: I don’t have an opinion. I think Cain has a good idea about the story. I want to focus on jobs.

O: Have you met Barack Obama?

ROMNEY: We both spoke at the Gridiron dinner a couple of years ago. When my wife was diagnosed with breast cancer, he called.

O: Gingrich says he believes Obama is a Saul Alinsky radical. Do you subscribe to that?

ROMNEY: I believe Obama believes if the government intruded more, we would be better off. He has the National Labor Relations Board telling Boeing they can’t open in a Right to Work state.

O: You would think that a president facing reelection and seeing that his big government isn’t working? It has failed

ROMNEY: Obama continues to say his greatest accomplishment is stablizing the economy – like stabilizing an airplane right into the earth.

O: What do you think about Occupy Wall Street protesters?

ROMNEY: If we had unemployment at 6% this wouldn’t be happening. There are some good people in the movement.

O: Isn’t there some truth that WS fat cats are partially responsible and making more money than ever today.

ROMNEY: I’m sure some have legitimacy, but I agree that in some cases people are profiting as a result of some of the policies Obama put in place have resulted in it.

O: You have to blame Bush.

ROMNEY: The trading of derivitives has not been modernized and pushing the housing mess (CRA) didn’t help.

O: That was your pal Barney Frank.

ROMNEY: He’s not a fan of me and I’m not a fan of him. He and Dodd have failed in their banking and housing initiatives and they need to be thrown out on their ear.

O: Can you handle 15 more debates?

ROMNEY: I want to talk about the repeal of ObamaCare. Going to repeal it and get rid of it.

O: Are you going to punch Rick Perry next time you are on the stage.

ROMNEY: We get along pretty well. We’ve been in each other’s home.

That’s it for THE WHOLE PITIFULLY INADEQUATE 3 HOURS! Such a good opportunity missed.

  • Judy

    What a waste. Bill O always speaks of not being invited to moderate debates because he would be too tough. Ha!. This was a joke. The only thing I learned tonight was Perry on foreign policy. Which I was pleasantly surprised that he brought up South and Central America during the discussion on foreign policy.
    Too bad he doesn’t have a poll on how he did.

  • I’m so glad I didn’t waste three hours on that!

  • O is so full of himself.. I’m so over him.. I got the ITunes version of Killing Lincoln and I’ve had a hard time getting through it because it’s O reading it and he’s just not that good reading anything.. sounds like one big news story.. I’m going to get the book and read it for myself..

  • nader paul kucinich gravel mckinney baldwin ventura sheehan perot carter

    Binyamin Netanyahu demands:
    media to pretend Newton Leroy Gingrich
    is more popular than Ronald Ernest Paul

    • NadePaulKuciGravMcKi

      Binyamin Netanyahu demands:

      media to pretend Newton Leroy Gingrich
      is more popular* than Ronald Ernest Paul