Live Blogging Cain Gingrich Debate 7pm CDT

Your local C-SPAN station is airing the Herman Cain – Newt Gingrich debate tonight at 7pm CDT. In Tulsa, Oklahoma find it on Channel 16.  Watch it online at C-SPAN live stream. The Texas Tea Party Pac is hosting tonight’s debate. The debate will be 1-1/2 hours. The questions and discussion will address only entitlements: Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. Moderators Ben Streusand from Americans for Prosperity, and Congressman Steven King (R-IA). King will give background on Congressman Paul Ryan’s Budget Plans pertaining to the three entitlements.

Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich

6:55 pm CDT: Julie Turner, President of Texas Patriots Pac is introducing moderators.

Introducing Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich, both from Georgia.

There are two comfy looking highback chairs and table.

7:00 pm, Congressman King saying a Lincoln-Douglas-style debate is a great idea and talking about entitlements should be a worthy debate. King is talking about his one-year-old granddaughter Reagan Ann King and her share of the National Debt today is not quite $48,000.00. By the time she reaches 5th grade, her share of the National Debt will be $88,000.00.

KING: 62.3% of the National Debt is on auto-pilot. No votes, it just renews itself every year. Total spending 37.6% is all that be addressed under discretionary spending. In other words, today, 37.6% is all Congress has power over without making changes.

King turns the debate over to Streusand

STREUSAND: Explain what happens to Medicare and Medicaid if we do nothing, and what happens if we implement the Ryan plan, and do you like Ryan’s plan?

GINGRICH: First of all we are stupid if we do nothing. I support a premium support model but not a mandatory premium support model. My argument is, we must come up with solutions that make people want to accept them because they are a better value and meet their needs. The scale of need is so huge, but we must offer a better future. We have to get to a better health system. Pays 70 120B/yr to crooks for Medicare and Medicaid. There is a dentist who files over 900 procedures a day. The SuperCommittee is not looking at this. We have to weed the crooks out of the system.

CAIN: I’m supposed to have one minute to dispute what Newt says, but I agree with him totally, so I’d like three minutes to give some historical perspective. He talks about the history at Godfather Pizza. We were told Medicare would cost $6 Billion. By 1990, it wasn’t $12B, $25B $50B. It was $109B – a 900% miss. How many businesses can survive missing a target like that. Longterm projections by the government have never been right.

I like the Ryan plan because he goes to the source, to the people to the doctors to the state. Get it out of Washington D.C. Politicians have overpromised for decades. We are headed off of a cliff and we must stop it.

STREUSAND: I’m suspending the clock. Take as long as you need. What do we do about rising health care cost. Going up 6 10 15% irrespective of the economy. Can we really solve the Medicare problem, until we solve the health care problem.

CAIN: We have the best health care in the world. We have a health care cost problem. To solve it we must use market-driven, patient centered approaches. I’ve talked to doctors – you cannot micro-manage health care costs out of D.C. At Godfather’s we designed a health care plan that met our needs. We need Loser-Pays Laws – a big step toward overall tort reform.

GINGRICH: The mess of the health problems is a doctor, patient, hospital, insurance – you name it, we have caused the mess. Herman and I are the two most radical candidates because we both believe in common sense. We must abolish congressional budget office. They are dishonest. They are putting out a book on end-of-life. They refuse to accept any savings of costs – the costs that families bring to end-of-life, as they make decisions with their families about the end of their loved ones life.

KING: How do you get people off of entitlement rolls – later retirement, etc.

CAIN: If you are of retirement age now or approaching it, nothing will change for you. But if you are younger, the Ryan plan offers different planning. (sorry I’m not getting all of this, but the idea is the money in the Ryan plan is YOUR MONEY and it is built in already in the Ryan plan.

GINGRICH: Newts goes back and says we save Trillions by getting rid of crooks, so why will we penalize anyone without first stopping all corruption. We can do it through technology. He says we can pass a bill in Congress that in 60 days Mastercard, Visa handles all billing processes.

This can kick in next year, 2012. Let’s contract out. The current Medicare rule is so restrictive it’s unworkable.

7:30 pm CDT: Defined Benefit or Premium Support?

Cain can’t explain Defined Benefit Plan and asks Newt to go first, which Newt says is only fair.

GINGRICH: The decision to deny male prostate testing is stupid (he’s quoting a doctor). The bureaucratic panel on ObamaCare didn’t even have a Urologist on the panel. That is a Defined Benefit plan. We will help people be able to buy insurance, but they should be able to deal with their doctor to make primary decisions. Bureaucracy should not stop innovation.

CAIN: You must have an account with your money in it, and the government makes a deposit. It is your plan. You choose what is best for you. That’s the plan I think works best.

To CEO’s, get involved and be a part of the solution. Get involved – you can’t do it with an expensive lobbyist on down the road (he intimates that he encourages them to get with the Tea Party movement (or the citizens movement).

CAIN asks Gingrich, what are the three things you learned since being in, and leaving Congress.

1st thing: if you don’t get up every morning trying to find a customer, please a customer, have a relationship with a customer, you don’t have a customer. If you haven’t earned your pay today, why do you think we will pay you.

2nd: Looking at a companies equipment and how it has evolved from the 1940’s to now. In every part of the private sector, someone is doing something brilliant that could be brought to government. But there is a wall (lobbyists) that keep that from happening.

3rd: Balancing the federal budget must be an act of will. I called in CEO’s. Set big goals, with tight deadlines, delegate like crazy and don’t let any experts in the room.

CAIN: Strong proponent that bush introduced. Optional personal retirement accounts. Thirty countries have them. The Chilean model – why can’t we do that? The answer is, we can but we have to fight the demagoguery. We have to educate the people. 30 years ago Chile’s systems was broken. They changed it because they had to. When they gave workers the option in Chile, 90% wanted the option. It was their money with their name on it. Those who were near retirement had the option to keep the original plan. 7.65% paid by employee, 7.65% by the employee, 15.3% in total. Cain said to this we have to have the 9-9-9 plan or change the tax code to make it work. Now employers can deduct what they put into the employees plan, but employees cannot. It has to change. The payroll tax goes away.

GINGRICH: Hannity has asked Herman and I to take an hour with him in this style debate and we will do that and then we can discuss the 9-9-9 plan.

Any candidate not willing to let younger Americans have options

Put in half as much money and get back twice as much

1) Growth – go back to 4.3% unemployment. Don’t look at a current static model from SS now. It doesn’t work that way. If we get people back to work, SS will be healthier.

2) Honesty: Lyndon Johnson brought SS into general budget in order to hide the deficit. Until then it was a free standing account, until Lyndon Johnson. Totally dishonest when Obama said he might not be able to send out SS checks. There was $2.4 Trillion in the account. Obama was dishonest.

Go to a system where younger Americans choose – we don’t abolish the current system for younger Americans. Stay if you want, but you should have the option to a greater return on your money.

GINGRICH: Herman turned around Godfather Pizza. It was a troubled company but an enthusiastic, optimistic leader (Cain) did it.

GINGRICH: SS is a fraud. Yes it’s a piece of paper the government owes, but there is $2.4T there. Money does exist and it is a debt the government owes Americans. Take SS out of the budget and figure out how to get to a balanced budget without it. Since  1968 and Lyndon Johnson, we have been lying about the size of the deficit.

CAIN: All SS contributions will go toward SS benefits. it was defeated in the Senate. Let’s spend SS money for SS benefits.

KING: Where will the SS money be parked until it has been spent?

GINGRICH: Into US Treasury notes is fine, but it’s a real debt that is owed.

Gingrich and Cain repeatedly mention the Chilean model.

CAIN: In the Private Sector, most companies have moved to a defined contribution approach for their employees. The employee’s name is on the account and the company makes a contribution. The employee selects from a list – a low risk, a medium risk, a high risk. You can split it between those.

STREUSAND: Medicaid – Ryan plan designs block grants to go to the states. Do we agree that is the best plan or do you have another alternative?

CAIN: Agrees with block grants for the states. Definitely the way to go to cut the bureaucrats out.

GINGRICH: Repeal ObamaCare! I strongly support Ryan’s approach of block grants to the states for Medicaid. We must rethink Medicaid. We can’t help people in poverty by enabling them to be in poverty. There must be a consequence for abusing the system (AMEN). We must distinguish between the taxpayer being a concerned citizen and the taxpayer being a sucker.

CAIN: A waiter in a restaurant (young black man): give a man a fish he’ll eat for a day, teach a man how to fish and he can live a lifetime. I can be supportive of a voucher system but the person must have some skin in the game.

GINGRICH: We should have genuine block grants. If a state wants to use vouchers, let them. Let the state decide. Washington can’t fix this. If you are going to live in public housing, maybe you should participate in painting it or fixing it up. (huge applause)

CAIN: Put the responsibility at the state level.

GINGRICH: I believe in health information technology (electronic health care records). (he thinks it’s like an ATM). (I HATE THE IDEA OF ELECTRONIC HEALTH CARE RECORDS – MAGGIE). Medicare and Medicade does paper. All the bureaucrats ask how are we going to deal with the paper? So much fraud is because you have a crook using technology, and a bureaucrat using paper! Centralized paper-based bureaucracy stops us from getting to a better future.

CAIN: Talking about voter I.D. and those fighting it because cheating is important to Democrats.

GINGRICH: Need people in government who are courageous. We have technology that shows us the cost of shipping a package and know where it is at any time. One of my proposals, to find everyone here illegally, we send them a package! (laughter)

States should bill the government every year, for the cost of illegals. (people are on their feet applauding)

CAIN: Changing entitlement programs, the model used in WI when Tommy Thompson was there. You could not get benefits unless you proved that you were looking for a job or taking classes to qualify for a job. We need restructure. (Cain is using this as an example for means-testing Medicare and Medicaid).

GINGRICH: Does means-testing encourage people to want to stay on food stamps. We have the most effective food stamp president in our history. Do people want to rise above the point of means testing. We are teaching people to be dependent, to fail, to give up the American dream. No one should get something for nothing unless they have a severe, severe disability. If you are able-bodied and getting something for nothing, WE ARE STUPID.

You could get an Associate’s Degree while Obama has sat around waiting for jobs to come along.

Give the state’s the primary responsibility for these domestic issues.

CAIN: Newt and I are willing to talk about entitlements. Few are. We must talk about these programs. It all comes back to the best form of help to get people off of Medicaid, and help them get a job. We must grow the economy. That’s looking at the whole spectrum, so that people who want to get off of it. The people who choose to be lazy, that’s their little “boogie woogie.”

KING: What should the cap be on unemployment. We now have 99 weeks.

CAIN: Restructure. If you have 26 wks, you go back and have 13 weeks and after that it’s 6 weeks. It will encourage getting out to find a job.

GINGRICH: If you don’t sign up for a retraining program, on day one, you get nothing. Day one, get trained as fast as possible, to get a full time job, and then you won’t worry about when your weeks will run out.

GINGRICH asking Cain a question, and Gingrich notes they haven’t played “gotcha” once.

You’ve had a great success story. What is the biggest surprise while running for president.

CAIN: The nit-pickiness of the media – the flyspecking of the media. I expect to have to study, but the media is appalling. My biggest surprise. I thought thee are too many people in the media who are down-right dishonest, and doing a disservice to the people (people are standing and applauding.)

CAIN to Gingrich: if you were VP of the US, what would you want the President to assign you to do first? (huge laughter – Newt is almost falling off his chair)

GINGRICH: Well, I’ve studied my good friend Dick Cheney, and I would not go hunting.

See the unembeddable video at C-Span. I will post an actual transcript when available.

Linked by Karen at The Lonely Conservative – thank you!

Posted by Maggie @ Maggie’s Notebook


  • What did Newt just hand to Herman?

    • I didn’t see it. Have you figured it out?

  • bks

    Why is Cain being so deferential to Newt? I thought he wants to be President of the United States. Shouldn’t he be trying to convince us of that? Sheesh.


    • I don’t think he was deferential, but with his executive background, he knows Gingrich has been there and done that (some of that) and that gives Newt an advantage, but both men were exceedlingly polite to one another with a great sense of humor about it all. That’s my opinion.

  • “7:30 pm CDT: Defined Benefit or Premium Support?

    Cain can’t explain Defined Benefit Plan and asks Newt to go first,”

    -I think this is the wreck we were all hoping for. I can’t wait for the foreign policy discussion. I just wish Speaker Gingrich would go for blood, although I suppose it’s smart for him not to.

    • bks

      Too bad there isn’t a section on “How can the GOP increase its appeal to women.”


      • bks, I’m female and a Democrat has never appealed to me. I love the conservative movement. There may be things I disagree with, but the direction of the country is the bottom line – getting our freedoms back. If you are talking about abortion, it’s settled law and not likely to change. If you are talking about foreign aid, we’ll work hard to change that, but it will likely not change much.

    • Hopefully Anonymous, yes I saw the defined benefit situation the same as you did. It wasn’t a night to go for blood and what I loved is that these two men had great presence, humor and honor. I just hope we see a lot more of this.

  • Carlos

    I love this format. The problem for the gop is that Barry would destroy Cain in this manner. Gingrich on the other hand is temendously adept at conservative idealogue and can defend it quite well. I’m a Barry loving lefty but would love to see Gingrich make round two just to see the quality of the debate maintain a proper standard for the most powerful seat on Earth.

    • Carlos, I think you might be right about Obama and Cain, but then again, Cain’s honesty and good will shines through and most of America knows that Obama is the biggest liar the Oval has ever seen. I would be nervous about that duo, as a Conservative, but we should not sell Cain short.

      Newt would neuter Obama.

  • bman

    this is better than the 30 second response time in other debates.

    • bman – I agree. It was a terrific forum. I hope we see this with foreign policy as the subject.

  • bks

    The problem is that it’s not a debate! We want to see deeply held beliefs presented and challenged, not a panel discussion. To the extent that Cain and Gingrich even engaged one another, I can’t recall a significant difference on anything. Not one substantive issue. It was more like they were practicing their lines for the CNBC-sponsored debate this week.


    • bks, there aren’t many differences because they both believe deeply in smaller government. It’s obvious Newt does not like 9-9-9, but the agreement tonight was to discuss entitlements. The differences are that Newt has been a part of government, and the questions are, now that he has come to see the smaller more constitutional tenants of governing, will he hold to them, after being such a big part of the “establishment.” We don’t have to worry about that with Cain. Cain is a quick learner, but he has always thought less is more.

      Newt would be #1 today (and may be tomorrow) if he hadn’t sold his soul writing all those books and teaming up with the Left. He is very strong on the “citizen movement” beliefs (aka Tea Party). If we come to the place where we really, really believe he means it, Mitt Romney will eat dust.

      At this point, not seeing many differences, and agreeing with what they are saying (is there anything they said you don’t like?) then we are in a good place.

    • bman

      They have similar views on topics which make for less bickering, but opens more dialogue that could equate to solutions to some of our issues we face. However, I believe down the road, when we are away from the GOP debates and on the main stage we may see some differences on policies.

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  • I loved this debate, they were able to really expand on their ideas. I also like the way they stayed positive. I think Newt won, he’s very well versed on the issues. Oh, and I’m a woman, too. I don’t vote based on “What are they going to give me?” I’m perfectly content to succeed or fail based on my own merits.

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  • Not really a big deal not to be able to explain the Defined Benefit plan as it pertains to health care. Cain is a businessman who had people who handled such as this.He would probably be more familiar with the Defined Benefit plan in regards to pension plans. Similar but yet somewhat different. Once the discussion was underway, Cain made the connection and had the right answers as did Newt. Newt on the other hand has been in Congress and is familiar with the terminology in regard to health care. I doubt that few of the candidates could really explain what it means so again I see no big deal. Newt practices Reagan’s 11th commandment as does Cain. They will not go for blood but will conduct themselves as gentleman and put forth their ideas allowing you and I to decide as to who has the better overall plan. Right now I see a Cain/Ginrich ticket brewing. May not happen but it would work. Cain is good at identifying the problems and putting forth a solution. Newt is or would be the packaging man for the solution. That is basically what he did as Speaker under Clinton and was able to package plans that even the Dems would buy.

    Next, Cain needs to get away from the Chilean plan and move to the Australian Superannuation plan. It is closer to fitting his 999 plan. It is also more successful than the Chile plan. I have done extensive study on this plan and was putting forth a plan to save SS using this type of plan. I made one post, no one is interested or else just doesn’t want to be bothered with detail of plans, just put it out in spoonfuls and let people swallow it. Can’t do it. I am a detail person when it comes to such things so I suppose I will just keep the second half of the blog under wraps until after the election in 2012.

    Newt likes the Chile plan but he too needs to look toward the Aussie plan. It works wonderfully.

    Great bloggin Maggie. Very informative and easily understood. I missed the debate and didn’t record it so a double thanks to you.

  • tom

    I do not understand the hand-holding Of Mr. Cain by his supporters. Mr. Cain is, as Jim Hoft wrote, very, very smart, but also “ignorant”. Mr. Cain is uninformed on so many issues. With candidates so many smart people like, for example Mr. Speaker Gingrich, and with potential candidates with proven street smarts and moxie and executive experience like Governor Palin, why not at least demand that Mr. Cain bring his knowledge and rhetoric up to speed?

    I am one who believes that Governor Romney is NOW a conservative, and as president would most likely be “more conservative than Thou” to prove to the base that he is not a centrist much less a liberal, but that the Mormon issue will cost him an un-predictable percentage of votes. Even writing Thou, I think to myself that I wish I had never learned what the Mormon religion was, how it was founded and what its version of “Christian” Theology is. Mormons are wonderful on drinking and smoking and even evangelizing, but their beliefs….

    I am being honest here, and I know many of my friends agree but are afraid of being labeled anti-Mormon when we are just actual Christians. As a Christian, can one believe Mormons are just another branch of the Church? How many Christians know that founding mythology about God’s “gold plates” and Jesus Christ’s return to “a Temple in Missouri” rather than The Holy Land?I confess I knew none of it and when I discovered what Mormons believed I was shocked. Not shocked by their belief, which I think is valid, but rather that the Jerusalem, Old Testament and New Testament centered Church somehow can include a Christ who visited America and will return here. The insistance that these are just another branch of Christianity makes me feel…well, pretty uncomfortable.

    The 64 Thousand dollar question: Will knowledgeable Christians give their vote to a Mormon candidate whose other political beliefs have undergone such a radical restructuring?

    I don’t know. Here, unfortunately I would have to rely on trusting Gov. Romney. What do any readers here really think? Gov. Romney, to be charitable, has not being particularly consistent in his politics–to put it mildly. So, maybe he really does not believe that stuff about his faith, literally.

    However, the cycle some friends and I keep returning to, “What if Gov. Romney does not really believe anything except that he likes to be loved, get attention, have success?” Who and what would one be voting for? What if Gov. Romney believes after his election, that because of those silly campers who have created so much filth while they complain about not being rich, or for some other reasons, that the Country wants a “Centrist” President whom the MSM would love?

    What are Gov. Romney’s core beliefs? This is why Mr. Cain needs to either stop being uninformed or else get out of Speaker Gingrich’s way.

    The great hope is that Speaker Gingrich overcome whatever MSM problems he has with getting his message out and with MSM character assassinations of him and then go on to win the nomination. I bet Obama would refuse to debate Speaker Gingrich.

    Barring that Gingrich Surge, the second best possible outcome is Sarah Palin being chosen in a deadlocked convention. She would unite all the factions, inspire enormous crowds and money, and walk into the office of POTUS without breaking a sweat.

    • Tom, I don’t disagree with the spirit of your comment and Jim’s on Cain, but don’t think he is ignorant about government. He’s just not as sharp as the others. He doesn’t have the background to recall like all the politicians do. I am troubled by things about Cain, but I will tell you, I prefer him drastically to Obama.

      I am a Christian and I do not want Romney, and it has nothing to do with the fact that he is Mormon. Everyone I know is a practicing Christian, involved in Christian communities, and I’ve never heard a one mention the fact that he is Mormon. He is the last man on my list. I don’t think he is conservative. My disclaimer, as always is, if he is the candidate, I will enthusiastically and repeatedly support him.

      I do think there is handholding with Cain because he is new and original, but has a great mind for business, and a gut for right and wrong.

      I have been a huge Gingrich fan, and then I have loathed him, but I do believe he has “got it,” now. If he is President he will not need to write books to sell to Liberals, so maybe he will remain conservative. I hate, hate, hate the idea of electronic medical records. We will rue the day this becomes the plan, although I understand what he said tonight about fraud. But seriously, if the government handles the electronic records, the fraud will just continue to grow and maybe more, but at some point we must guard our privacy. I’m with him on turning it over to those who do processing so well like mastercard or visa.

      I agree with you about Palin. I think it’s a shame that Bachmann has fallen by the wayside. She is smart and knows government, and frankly has done about everything right.

      If Gingrich decides he wants Cain out of his way, he will likely get Cain out of his way. How the people see that is yet to be determined. Newt is smart and he isn’t killing his own.

      For me, the $64,000 question is, if the media continues to push Romney down our throats and pick our candidate for us (because Obama can use him as an example for ObamaCare), can we hold his feet to the fire (altho he hasn’t made very much very clear) with the constitution? Every Republican running is far more conservative then Mitt Romney (in my opinion).

      Great comment. Thanks for coming by and joining the conversation.

  • Thank you for posting the debate transcription, as much as you have. I haven’t been able to find a video of the debate that doesn’t stall out in the review so I linked over to your transcription on my site. Thanks.

  • Nice job, Maggie, and thank you!
    I could totally did having these two men, in either order, at the top of the 2012 GOP ticket!

    • That’s “dig” not “did”. Stoopid typos!

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