Analysis by Times staff
Good quote
Good quote 2
Rudy Giuliani
Former mayor of New York City
63; married, two children
To Romney: If you’re going to take this holier than thou attitude that your ... approach to immigration ...
Romney: I’m sorry, immigration is not holier than thou, Mayor. It’s the law.
Giuliani: If you’re going to take this holier than thou attitude that you are perfect on immigration...
Romney: I’m not perfect.
“We shouldn’t blame an entire group of people for the horrible acts of a few people. ... By the same token, we can’t do what the Democrats do. We can’t put our head in the sand. You’ve got a Democratic debate and not a single one of those ... candidates used the word ‘Islamic terrorism.’ I don’t know who they think they’re offending.”
Everyone took a swing at him, and it showed. He had few opportunities to make points uncontested.
Mike Huckabee
Former governor of Arkansas
52; married, three children
“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.”
“What we’ve done with not just the children of veterans, but most importantly, veterans is disgraceful in this country. And that’s why I proposed a veterans bill of rights that, if anything, would give our veterans the most exceptional privileges of all, because they are the ones who have earned all of our freedom — every single one of them.”
In his first debate as a top-tier candidate, he was amiable in the spotlight. He even drew criticism from his rivals. He’s somebody!
Duncan Hunter
Representative from Calif.
59; married, two children
“You know, I came in with Ronald Reagan in 1980 to cut taxes, and I probably voted for more tax cuts than anybody here. But you could have an emergency, a time of war, and I think it would be wrong to say, ‘Absolutely, I would pledge to Grover Norquist that I would never raise taxes.’ Could have a national emergency.”
“From Bunker Hill to New Orleans to the rooftops of Fallujah, the right to keep and bear arms and use them effectively is an important part of America’s security. And I will strongly enforce the Second Amendment as president of the United States.”
Got to say he built a wall on the Mexico border near San Diego, and got to give a gun safety lesson to a YouTube questioner. That’s a pretty good night.
John McCain
Senator from Arizona
71; married, seven children
“Gov. (Romney), let me tell you, if we’re going to get the high ground in this world and we’re going to be the America that we have cherished and loved for more than 200 years, we’re not going to torture people. We’re not going to do what Pol Pot did. We’re not going to do what’s being done to Burmese monks as we speak.”
“I want to assure you that I’ll enforce the borders first, that as president of the United States, we’ll solve this immigration problem. And we won’t demagogue it. And we won’t have sanctuary cities. ... And we won’t have all this other rhetoric that unfortunately contributes nothing to the national dialogue.”
Sober and grave, he came across as if he already carried the burden of the presidency on his shoulders. On the other hand, maybe he looked presidential.
Ron Paul
Representative from Texas
72; married, five children
“He (McCain) doesn’t even understand the difference between nonintervention and isolationism. ... I am not isolationist. I want to trade with people, talk with people, travel. But I don’t want to send troops overseas using force to tell them how to live. We would object to it here, and they’re going to object to us over there.”
“I have never voted for a tax increase; never will.”
He took every opportunity to sound his call for revolution. Even an assault by McCain didn’t dim his fervor.
Mitt Romney
Former governor of Mass.
60; married, five children
“If people in this country are looking for someone who’s never made a mistake on a policy issue and is not willing to admit they’re ever wrong, why then they’re going to have to find somebody else, because on abortion I was wrong.”
“The Bible is the word of God. I mean, I might interpret the word differently than you interpret the word, but I read the Bible and I believe the Bible is the word of God. I don’t disagree with the Bible. I try to live by it.”
He acted like the front-runner (which he is except in Florida). His no-one-laid-a-glove-on-me demeanor looked either professional or aloof.
Tom Tancredo
Representative from Colo.
61; married, two children
“Well, I tell you, this has been wonderful. Sen. McCain may not be happy with the spirit of this debate. For a guy who usually stands on the bookend here, aside, and just listens all the time, that’s kind of frustrating, you know, in other debates. I have to tell you, so far, it’s been wonderful. Because all I’ve heard is people try to out-Tancredo Tancredo.”
“I reject the idea — I reject the idea, categorically — that there are jobs that, quote, ‘No American will take.’ I reject it.”
His big moment came early on the immigration discussion. He didn’t do much to change his reputation as a one-issue candidate.
Fred Thompson
Former senator from Tenn.
65; married, four children
“Too many people in this country are vested in a scenario of defeat. I’m vested in a scenario of victory and I see it happening there in Iraq today.”
“As far as Mayor Giuliani is concerned, I am a little surprised the mayor says, you know, everybody’s responsible for everybody that they hire, but we’ll have to address that a little bit further later. I think we’ve all had people probably that we have hired that in retrospect probably is a bad decision.”
An easy, even performance. It helped that no one bothered to attack him.
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