Tuesday, June 14, 2011
iReporters see crowded field, no clear winner in GOP debate

Last night, CNN hosted the first official GOP primary debate at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire. Hosted by CNN's own John King, the seven contenders for the Republican mantle squared off on the economy, social issues, foreign policy and whether they prefer the Blackberry or iPhone.


CNN analysts said that Michelle Bachmann and Mitt Romney were the best contenders in last night's debate. Romney had a polished and confident presentation, while Bachmann wowed the crowd with plenty of red meat soundbites for the Tea Party. We knew that members of the iReport community would have their own responses to the debate, so we asked them to share their take on who showed the strongest performance -- here are three of the best responses:



Chelse Hensley is a left-leaning independent from West Virginia. She thought that a few of the GOP contenders offered good responses last night. Hensley offered her opinion in the video above: She believes that the Republicans need to forgo social issues and focus on the economy if they're going to attract moderate, middle-of-the-road voters.


Frequent iReporter Arturo Navarro is from southern California, and he also thought that the candidates mostly performed well. It was Mitt Romney who impressed him the most: "I haven’t jumped on the Romney bandwagon just yet but I will keep a close eye on him during the next year or so until the 2012 elections," he said. "President Obama still has a little over a year left as President so he still has a little time to make wise decisions, smarter decisions, and decisions that people want to see."



Egberto Willies of Texas, on the other hand, was very disappointed with the current roster of GOP primary contenders. "The debate was completely and entirely without substance," he said in the video above. Willies believes that all of the candidates last night gave surface-level responses to their questions, and were more interested in providing talking points that genuine answers.


What's your take on last night's GOP debate? Share your opinion with iReport.

June 14, 2011
Click to view Chariot1955's profile

The event was not a debate.  It was a politishousness event where candidates shared the obvious.  It was a CNN electonic circus event with too many moving parts that did not create a debate atmosphere.  America needs answers to serious issues and the candidates did not answer any of the questions which tells me they do not know the questions much less the answers.  It was a pick me, pick me event! 

June 14, 2011
Click to view suziesmooth's profile

If CNN is trying to lure viewers they blew it BIG Time last night with John King. I vote that John King receive the 'worst moderator' award and be banned from ever serving as a moderator again. King asked the WRONG questions and then expected the right answer. Bad move on CNN's decision to use King on this biased debate format.

June 14, 2011
Click to view digdug2011's profile

What the heck was up with John King's relentless GRUNTING every few seconds as the candidates spoke?!?  King was far and away the WORST 'moderator' of any debate I have seen since 1980.

June 14, 2011
Click to view camonde's profile

It's time for the moderators to iniciate real debate between the candidates instead of giving them a plateform to campaign by lying the American public and not answering the questions. John King, please next time insist until the candidate answers the question that was asked, instead of playing with words. If the candidate needs to campaign he/she has plenty time to do it on personal events.

June 14, 2011
Click to view joseph251's profile

If any one of these clowns becomes our President, God help us. This so-called debate was nothing more than an exercise in concentrated Obama-bashing. With the exceptions of Ron Paul and Mr Cain, the remaining Fanatical Five avoided answering every question, and pandered to the extreme-right at every turn. John King should be ashamed of himself for allowing these idiots to avoid giving direct answers to the questions asked. Any working stiff who believes that his or her life and family would be better off with one of these maniacs leading our country, should get fitted for a straight-jacket as soon as possible.  

June 14, 2011
Click to view BetteArizona's profile

John King and CNN screwed up bigtime.  I was seeking serious answers and all we got was pandering to the extreme-right at every turn.  No one ever answered a question.


Smame on CNN!!

June 14, 2011
Click to view rosterhot's profile

I don't blame any of the candidates for bashing Obama! Lets face it, instead of being a president and working the nations problems, (jobs, economy, deficit), Obama is running around the country campaigning! A full year ahead of the election. In North Carolina yesterday, a state he won by a few thousand votes, and today in Puerto Rico trying to secure the 4.6 million Puerto Rican voters in Florida. Obama should be in Washington trying to work with congress to fix our nations problems!!

June 14, 2011
Click to view FlaMoon's profile

As expected it was not an actual debate (I've heard better in Middle School Debate Clubs) but a two hour Obama bashing. None of the candidates could give a direct answer to reasonable and fairly easy questions. Even John King's attempt to fire things up between Pawlenty and Romney didn't work. John King laid out the rules of the debate and the candidates didn't follow those rules........so who's to say that they would follow the wishes of the American people that elect them to office??  

June 14, 2011
Click to view Fuzzyface's profile

I agree with Chariot1955 this was not a debate more like a circus.  Just waiting to see which clown performed next.  The real issue Unemployment was barely touched upon, and when it was only Obamabashing came out of their mouths.  Until I see a canidate come out with a clear understanding and statement of what the major problems are facing our country then I will not listen whether it be republican or democrat "debate". This was a joke.

June 14, 2011
Click to view Robothinks's profile

This was a horrible, yet expected debate (and I use that term very lightly.) Everybody knows the Republicans are Obama bashing and blame gaming, so why continue to do it? Where's the beaf? You have no answers and to say cutting taxes will create the jobs is just plain BS. Corporate tax rates have been the lowest for the last 10 years, and corporate profits have continuosly increased 10% every year over the same period, while employer income are directly the opposite. Good Lord, Republicans require you to be ignorant to get your vote . . .and many of you are or are blinded b y bigotry

June 14, 2011
Click to view mistrunner12's profile

what a waste of time


first you let them answer what they wanted not the questions


second you asked them questions like leno or conan ?? or deep dish or thin crust


all i heard was how bad obama was i only heard two people give examples


of what needs done herman cain and ron paul sad just sad


this bunch could not win a high school election AND IM A CONSERVATIVE

i dont care about how bad someone is i care about what ARE YOU going to do about it not i fyou like elvis or Johnny Cash :(

June 14, 2011
Click to view stevie68a's profile

Bachmann is a nutcase pretending to be normal at this time. She is a dangerous woman.

June 14, 2011
Click to view mistrunner12's profile

im looking for a george washington or Abraham Lincoln

if the GOP cant do better than this your just handing the office to the demoRATS  yeah i said rats

quit your confounded finger pointing and throwing mud AND TELL ME IN CONCRETE TERMS WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO ABOUT IT

June 14, 2011
Click to view mistrunner12's profile


June 14, 2011
Click to view penguin32's profile

I'd like to ask the moderator: What's it like babysitting a room full of adults who don't listen to you or each other?

June 14, 2011
Click to view MikeAS's profile

There was no mention (or questions asked) on the middle class or the poor. Who is their advocate? My worry is that the GOP has a burning ambition of not just defeating the President but eradicating the middle class. GOP talks about the deficit and how we must fund the rich to close the deficit gap and create jobs. My fear that the tax cuts for the rich will be supported and funded by middle class people like me by increasing my tax.  

June 14, 2011
Click to view 1iberty4All's profile

I would have liked to see all of the candidates answer all of the questions. I understand there are time limitations, but at the same time, we do not get a good representation of all of the candidates when only one or two get to answer. The candidates that do not get to answer get rolled into the "silence is compliance" category becuse there is no debate in the format.


If the CNN debate was to make the candidates seem homogenous, then I think they succeeded.


I find it curious that some of the commentary about the debate complains that all the candidates said the same thing. They usually have to disclaimer that there was one person who differed in opinion, but once the dsclaimer is over they continue to lament on the lack of distinction and lack of new ideas, when they themselves choose to not explore the counter points.


I fail to see how a 10 year tax caut can be a 10 year deficit. The only year where there should be a deficit is the first year, because the tax cut was not part of that scheduled budget. Every year after that it shold be part of the budget so there isn't a deficit because of tax. I would say that the reason there is a deficit is because of the same thing we have today -- no stomach to be fiscally responsible. It is much easier to fail at putting out a budget that lives within our means and blame the previous person or congress.


Class warfare? really?

I beleive it is the role of government to do for the people what the people can't do for themselves. This does not extend itself to one group of the country asking the govenrment to make another group pay, because they have no means to do it themselves. I find the thought of asking the governmet to persecure other american citizens based on class to be un-american. I also think that in the case of persucuting the rich it is a poor performing strategy, mostly because the well off have the resources to move their assets around. When they look at the pice of leaving money idle and being persecuted, versus the cost it takes to move those assets, they will move them if the price to move is less than the social justice penalty. I heard today that there was approximately 50 (rich) citizens between 1998 and 2001 that gave up their us citizenship, but the number that have given up their citizenship in the first three months of 2011 was 500 people. Let that sink in before you decide to wage class civil warfare.


And dont get me started on the lunacy and irony of the Dodd-Frank bill. Barney Frank and Chris Dodd's actions created the instability in the housing market, and the subsequent implosion. To have these two write the financial regulation to keep the american people safe from Wall Street is derriliction of duty by the Democratic congress. Take an honest look at this bill for yourself and see why the republican candidates want to repeal it. I've seen the talking points that say the candidates want to go back to the policies that got us into this mess, and it is laughable because that bill was written by people that got us into this mess.


Ask all the candidates the same questions. That is the only way we can get all the viewpoints. Doing so will allow the people's candidate to emerge.

June 14, 2011
Click to view Knarfle's profile

John King sounded like he was serving at the US Open. grunt grunt grunt.

June 14, 2011
Click to view Mungle55's profile

CNN gets a "D" for effort.  King was horrible, the format was sloppy, just a one minute sound bite on too many topics.  You could have done this better, like pick 3-5 topics the NH folks were concerned on.  Let each speaker have 5 minutes to address it however, they felt it needed to be.  Ron Paul and Mr. Cain were really sharp, I liked both of these men.

June 14, 2011
Click to view Monrocsol's profile

I thought it was a 2008 rerun.


These people all sound the same and all they propose is, tax cuts, no regulation, no AFFORDABLE healthcare, do away with (favorite republican word) ENTITELMENTS.


Don't blame Mr. King, he asked something and they repeated everything they rehearsed, not the answer.

June 14, 2011
Click to view rosem4243's profile

Why didn't Anderson Cooper moderate the debate?  He is your star, CNN, you need him out there in front.


I was very disappointed in the 'debate'.  And as others have said - it wasn't really a debate, we really didn't get to hear each candidate answer ALL the questions, and the issues they WERE asked about became campaign speeches, talking points and Obama bashing.


Anderson would have MADE them answer the questions!  (Sorry, John King)

June 14, 2011
Click to view jerseshore1's profile

Why isn't CNN pressing the candidates at all on subjects that matter!! Out of the bunch Ron Paul seems like the one that doesn't dance around the issues. CNN should have a zero tolerance for using the debate as a platform for campaigning (all they say is what they want...they stray...and for the god's sake candidates stop thanking people for their time in service...we know, we know...stop wasting our time!!) We need a moderator that is strict and allows for DEBATE) THIS FOR THAT IS STUPID...WE ARE TRYING TO PICK SOMEONE WHO WILL PUT THIS COUNTRY BACK ON TRACK...I COULD REALLY CARE LESS WHAT THEIR PERSONAL PREFERENCES ARE.

June 14, 2011
Click to view mmulcahy's profile

The first and foremost question that has to be asked of all candidates is;


"Despite over 65% of American's wanting a public health option, 80% of American's being against unlimited and anonymous corporate campaign donations, 60% of Americans wanting to eliminate the tax cuts for the wealthy while cutting military spending, and less than 10% wanting to cut Medicare or Social Security, why does Washington continue to act in direct contradiction of the will of the people?"


It's a rhetorical question, of course, but they need to be called on their blanket policy of putting the interests of big business above the overwhelming interests of 97% of Americans. Remember when bush and the republicans called his 50.8% victory in 2004 a "mandate"? If 60 or 80% of Americans supported increased military spending we'd never hear the end of it, as money would pour into the pentagon, but when 80% of us want to get corporate funding out of politics for the obvious reasons, we hear nothing but crickets. I'm talking to you, media.


And people who are whining about potentially upsetting corporate America's extortion tactic of leaving the country if they are forced to pay their taxes just like everyone else, should consider that people like rupert murdoch only pay about 6% and most large corporations pay little or no tax. Many even get subsidies from you and me, but when they find that oil or make that new drug, who owns the rights? Big business socializes debt and privatizes profits.


Class warfare has been going on for more centuries, but some people only complain about it when the little guys try and fight back.

June 14, 2011
Click to view CheriBeri's profile

King’s continuous “uh uh uh uh uh's" were bizarre and quite annoying.  The this or that questions were also bizarre and annoying.  The USA's economy is circling the drain,  people are scared but we need to know if a candidate likes Pepsi or Coke?  yea, that was real clever. Dunces.

June 14, 2011
Click to view CheriBeri's profile

MMULCAHY.....can you cite where your pulling those statistics from?

June 14, 2011
Click to view Lee79912's profile

There was no useful purpose served in this so-called debate. None of the participants answered the questions posed. Not a single one offered even one useful idea of what they could do as well as Obama, much less better.

If tax cuts created jobs, what happened in the Bush years?

Since all of them said Obama had done nothing right, why couldn't they tell us how much better things would be if we'd let GM and Chrysler go belly up as they preferred? How would abandoning AIG with its catastrophic effect on so many other financial entities been a boon, not a disaster?

How are you going to get the national debt down if all you do is cut taxes?

Since fewer and fewer employees want to offer retirement plans, how can dumping Social Security be justified?

If no one is required to pay for health care, what will happen to our hospitals and other health care providers? Are we just going to say, "dump the sick who have no insurance in the streets"?

Who thinks any health insurance company is going to want to insure seniors or anyone else with serious health issues?

We have serious problems in this country, and paying for entitlements and reducing, not adding to the national debt are at the top of the list but I didn't see any serious attempt by even one of these participants to address them.

And I doubt we can pay for things without revenue. In my opinion, Grover Norquist is public enemy number one. His crusade against taxes (motivated as much by a desire to abandon the less fortunate to their own devices as to shield the wealthy from any responsibilities)has poisoned our political process almost beyond redemption.

We need a two party system to have a functioning democracy (or republic, if you will) but this marriage made in hell of the High Rollers and the Holy Rollers is unfit for duty.  

June 14, 2011
Click to view mmulcahy's profile

I am just getting off to work, but if you just google the stats that interest you, you will find them. I prefer to get multiple sources and international ones are often better than the ones based here. Truthout.org is pretty good, as is Reader Supported News. They have numerous award winning reporters who still do the work. Democracy Now is also a nice source.

June 14, 2011
Click to view hopalong's profile

Where was the debate? They all read from the same script and it had nothing to do with the questions asked. I though that this was the time that they were supposed to highlight their differences and save campaigning against the opposite party until after the primaries. All i heard was that if we quit taxing and regulating big business they would, for some reason, hire people and start making a bunch of stuff that there is no demand for, for people who have no money to buy anything anyway. If i remember right, and I do, these policies are the reason trillions in wealth evaporated overnight. Why will it have different results if it happens again?

June 14, 2011
Click to view trickbunny's profile

Same old same old:

Question: What is wrong with the country?

Republican Answer: Obama is bad.

Question: How do you propose to change things:

Republican Answer: Obama is bad.

Question: No, what specifically will you do to fix it?

Republican Answer: Catch phrase. Slogan. Vague generalization. Oh, and Obama is bad.


Where's the beef?

June 14, 2011
Click to view tribefan57's profile

This country deserves someone like Michelle Bachman. If the facts don't support your agenda make up yourown. I can't figure out if she's that stupid or just a pathetic lier.


GOP she's your gal !!!!

June 14, 2011
Click to view Jewelery's profile

Michelle Bachman is a clown like the rest of them.

June 14, 2011
Click to view Inlakech's profile

Ron Paul owned everyone, mainstream is doing their best to marginalize him

June 15, 2011
Click to view Nstcloud's profile

"Money needs to be cut from foreign welfare, foreign militarism­, corporate welfare, and the military industrial complex.." - Ron Paul


These are words even DEMOCRATS stray from. RON PAUL is the only chance against the status quo.

June 21, 2011
Click to view Gavriel's profile

#ACTANDLEAD : it is not time to be worried about democrats or repubblicans but is time to understad the future and start acting toward it

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