From what I saw, and from reading the transcript I believe the debate highlighted and showcased a liberal view of Republicans. The questions about gays in the military, flying confederate flag, and the Bible are not what Republicans are most concerned about. Yet these are the issues CNN deemed most worthy to highlight in this debate.
From my title the 3 French Hens were represented by Fred, Rudy, and Mitt. These three wanted to speak to the conservative base of the Republican Party. Several times each of these 3 were frustrated with Cooper for misstating their answers, and serving up to them questions only a liberal would care about.
The 2 Turtle Doves were represented by John and Mike. These 2 wanted to pile on criticism for failure after Katrina and failure to show compassion for the children and for terrorist detainees. They both received thunderous applause from the liberal audience, and considerate leeway from Cooper in giving answers.
The loon up a tree was represented by Ron Paul. His answers at times made me think that he lives in some kind of alternate universe where everybody colors within the lines, and nobody ever acts out on their own agenda.
The candidates own words reveal who they are.
Loon up a Tree
The best commitment we can make to the Iraqi people is to give them their country back. That's the most important thing that we can do.
Already, part of their country has been taken back. In the south, they claim the surge has worked, but the surge really hasn't worked. There's less violence, but al-Sadr has essentially won in the south.
The British are leaving. The brigade of Al Sadr now is in charge, so they are getting their country back. They're in charge up north -- the Shia -- the people in the north are in charge, as well, and there's no violence up there or nearly as much.
So, let the people have their country back again. Just think of the cleaning up of the mess after we left Vietnam. Vietnam now is a friend of ours -- we trade with them, the president comes here.
What we achieved in peace was unachievable in 20 years of the French and the Americans being in Vietnam.
So it's time for us to take care of America first.
Shortly after the Vietnam War ended, Colonel Tu and Colonel Summers met, and they were talking about this. And our -- and the American colonel said, "You know, we never lost one battle." And Colonel Tu, the Vietnamese says, "Yes, but that's irrelevant."
And it is irrelevant. But we have to realize why they want to come here. Wolfowitz even admitted that one of the major reasons that the Al Qaida was organized and energized was because of our military base in Saudi Arabia.
He says, "Oh, now, we can take the base away." He understood why they came here. They come here because we're occupying their country, just as we would object if they occupied our country.
Turtle Dove John
You know, this whole debate saddens me a little bit because we do have a serious situation in America. In 1986, we passed a law that said we would enforce our borders, and gave amnesty to a couple of million people. We gave the amnesty. Now we have 12 million people and still borders that are not enforced.
I came to the Senate not to do the easy things, but to do the hard things. Mel Martinez and I knew this was going to be a tough issue, but we thought the status quo was unacceptable: broken borders; 12 million people here illegally; a need for a temporary worker program, certainly in my state in the agricultural section, certainly in this state of Florida.
And we tried to get something done. We said we'd enforce the borders. The American people didn't believe us. They don't believe us because of our failure in Katrina, our failure in Iraq, our failures in reining in corruption and out of control spending.
So we tried and we failed. And I appreciate the president's efforts. He comes from a border state too. And what we've learned is that the American people want the borders enforced. We must enforce the -- secure the borders first.
But then you've still got two other aspects of this issue that have to be resolved as well. And we need to sit down as Americans and recognize these are God's children as well.
And they need some protection under the law. And they need some of our love and compassion.
Turtle Dove Mike
Mitt, let me finish. Let me finish, Mitt.
In all due respect, we are a better country than to punish children for what their parents did. We're a better country than that.
I have a great record on fiscal conservativism. But one thing I've learned, you know, when you get attacked, it's not always bad. It's like my old pastor used to tell me, when they're kicking you in the rear, it's just proving you're still out front.
Love your neighbor as yourself.
And as much as you've done it to the least of these brethren, you've done it unto me.
French Hen Rudy
Since we're on fiscal matters, I would be remiss if I didn't ask this question, since it did just break a couple hours ago. This is to Mayor Giuliani. Politico broke a story a few hours ago questioning your accounting of taxpayer dollars as mayor.
They say that as mayor, the report says you took trips to the Hamptons and expensed the cost of your police detail to obscure city offices.
One, is that true? And, if so, was it appropriate?
First of all, it's not true. I had 24-hour security for the eight years that I was mayor. They followed me everyplace I went. It was because there were, you know, threats, threats that I don't generally talk about. Some have become public recently; most of them haven't.
And they took care of me, and they put in their records, and they handled them in the way they handled them. I had nothing to do with the handling of their records, and they were handled, as far as I know, perfectly appropriately.
French Hen Mitt
Right now, with the kinds of issues we got in this country, I'm not going to get involved with a flag like that. That's not a flag that I recognize so that I would hold up in my room.
The people of our country have decided not to fly that flag. I think that's the right thing.
My own view is that this country can go beyond that kind of stuff, and that instead we can do as a party what we need to do, which is to reach out to all Americans.
Every time I listen to someone like John Edwards get on TV and say there are two Americans, I just want to -- I just want to throw something at the TV, because there are not two Americas. There's one America.
We are a nation united. We face extraordinary challenges right now. And Democrats dividing us and tearing down this country are doing exactly the wrong thing.
We're succeeding in Iraq. We've got tough challenges. We can overcome them. But we do not need to have that kind of divisive talk. And that flag, frankly, is divisive, and it shouldn't be shown.
French Hen Fred
So of the top three you would say Social Security?
No. I didn't say that. There is -- the OMB has come out with a list of over 100 programs. I would take all 100 of them, the ones that are full of waste, fraud and duplication. I filed a report in 2001, when I was chairman of the Governmental Affairs Committee, and identified billions of dollars that we should be saving.
But my point is that we're going to have to reform Social Security, we're going to have to reform Medicare. I've laid out a detailed plan that will give individual retirement accounts for people, matched by the government, and also re-index the way benefits are calculated initially when a person retires. And together, that program has been said by the experts already -- to say that -- have said that it would, after 75 years, make Social Security actuarily sound.
I've got the only program out there that really addresses specifically one of the programs that's going to have to be reformed.
Actually, given the nature of that video, we're not going to go to break right now.
I think it's something we should talk about.
Senator Thompson, what's up with that?
I just wanted to give my buddies here a little extra airtime.
Listen, I mean, what do you mean what's up with it? These are their words.