Favorite

Republican debate 

Nine Republican presidential candidates were offered a 90-minute forum in Iowa this morning, the questioning led by ABC's George Stephanopoulos

War and foreign policy and the role of the vice president were among the topics that marked a discussion a little weightier than some the campaign has seen.

Former Ark. Gov. Mike Huckabee had limited openings. Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney seemed to dominate the air time. But Huckabee was served a fat pitch when offered a chance to advocate the "fair tax," a 23 percent national sales tax. It's popular among Iowa Republican voters. His laugh line was that it's more painful to be audited by the IRS than to be mugged. It got only a scattering of laughs, perhaps because the IRS mostly audits poor people who get the earned income tax credit now.

Romney countered that though the fair tax might sound good, throwing out the tax system is not realistic.

Huckabee said he'd stay the course in Iraq. On health care, he recited his mantra that the system is wrong to focus on sickness rather than health. He joined every other candidate -- to their discredit -- in saying they opposed Republican Sen. Charles Grassley's proposal to expand health insurance coverage for children. The essential objection: It might harm the private insurance industry, on which Republicans are dependent for so much campaign support.

Additionally, Huckabee said he didn't favor President George Bush's idea of spreading democracy through elections abroad. He said it'd be better to make America a strong place rather than forcing its beliefs on other.

Would he raise the gasoline tax to pay for highway infrastructure? He sidestepped this, saying the country could find badly needed infrastructure money by reducing what it spends in other countries. Iraq? 

He said his biggest mistake was "not taking good care of my own personal health for the first half of my life." 

His chief goal as president? "I'd never forget who the boss really is" -- the people.

Romney did well, though he was battered for his flip-flop on abortion by Sam Brownback. Giuliani drew a laugh when asked about his biggest mistake:

"Your father is a priest," the former mayor said to Stephanopoulos. "I'm going to explain it to your father, not to you, OK?

Here's ABC News' coverage. In on-line voting immediately after the debate, Ron Paul was the leading vote getter for his unalloyed anti-war message. Major media coverage -- AP, Reuters, Washington Post, New York Times -- barely mentioned the Arkansas governor in the debate recaps. Romney's criticism of Barack Obama on foreign policy issues seemed to capture most attention.

On the other hand, a Fox News focus group of Republicans registered a strong positive reaction to Huckabee, according to this report.

Favorite

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Fire death reported on W. 24th

    Greg Yarbrough at KARK TV reports that police are saying one person has died in a fire at 4700 W. 24th Street.
    • May 22, 2015
  • Lawsuit against Dennis Milligan settled for $30,000

    A federal lawsuit against Arkansas Treasurer Dennis Milligan by an employee he fired when he was Saline County circuit clerk was settled this week for $30,000, including attorney fees.
    • May 22, 2015
  • More »

Most Shared

  • Womack gets plucked by 'Last Week Tonight with John Oliver'

    HBO's "Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, which premiered last April, has consistently shown itself to be a Daily Show-level contender for the humor-news crown. Up for discussion on the show last night: the myriad ways major poultry producers exploit chicken farmers. Also featured in the video: Arkansas Republican Rep. Steve Womack, who gets plucked and roasted for placing a rider on the agriculture appropriations bill that forbids the USDA from enforcing already-written protections for the nation's poultry farmers.
  • Magazine obtains police report over Josh Duggar sexual molestation investigation; he admits past 'mistakes,' resigns Family Council job

    In Touch magazine reports that it has obtained a Springdale police report containing allegations of sexual misconduct against an unnamed teen that it says it has confirmed was Josh Duggar, a minor at the time and now a prominent lobbyist for the Family Research Council and a leading voice for legal discrimination against gay people.
  • State budget administrator Brandon Sharp fired; no reason given

    KATV reports that Brandon Sharp was fired Monday afternoon after four years as state budget administrator, a $101,000-a-year job in the Department of Finance and Administration.
  • KATV: Bill Walker's state agency approves grants to sister UPDATE

    KATV has dug up on questionable public dealings by a familiar figure — former state Sen. Bill Walker, who headed the state Career Education Department during the administration of Gov. Mike Beebe.
  • What's not to love about the Bentonville Film Festival? Walmart.

    The Bentonville Film Festival, launched this year by actress Geena Davis and held earlier this month from May 5-9, earned a number of largely positive notices from major outlets like the Huffington Post ("At the Bentonville Film Festival, Women Are Playing in the Major Leagues"), the L.A. Times ("Bentonville Film Festival pushes diversity message from year one") and the New York Times ("Bentonville, Ark., Hosts a Film Festival Without a Movie Theater"), most of them centering on its unique and vital agenda — promoting diversity and gender equality in filmmaking — and its celebrity cache (e.g. an acting workshop taught by Robert De Niro, a softball game led by Rosie O'Donnell, etc.).

Latest in Top Stories

  • Good for the soul

    The return of Say McIntosh, restaurateur
    • Jun 1, 2010
  • Robocalls are illegal

    Robocalls -- recorded messages sent to thousands of phone numbers -- are a fact of life in political campaigns. The public doesn't like them much, judging by the gripes about them, but campaign managers and politicians still believe in their utility.
    • May 31, 2010
  • Riverfest winds down

    With Cedric Burnside and Lightnin' Malcolm, Steve Miller Band, Robert Cray, Ludacris and more performing.
    • May 30, 2010
  • More »

Event Calendar

« »

May

S M T W T F S
  1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31  
 

© 2015 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation