7:41 -- Final question: What is the one thing you offer that the top tier does?
7:47 -- Quick reaction: Pataki probably won the "serious guy" contest. Santorum probably won the "how does the GOP appeal to proles" contest. Graham actually was kind of authentic but didn't win much -- just too crazy on foreign policy and Santorum stole his "poor guy up by my bootstraps" thunder. Jindal should probably get about shutting his campaign down. He MAY have done OK with evangelical Christians, but I wouldn't count on that even. Back in another post in a few minutes for The Big Shew.
Pataki: TWO things. We have to win the election. None of it matters unless we win. And then we have to govern successfully. You need a leader who actually gets a conservative agenda through. I did that in New York, one of the most liberal states in American.
Santorum: Came to Washington in unlikely way, defeated Dem incumbent. Only thought I'd be there one term, shook things up, ended 40 years of Democratic control. I led that fight. Outsider, got conservative things done. Now after ten years of seeing GOP retreat, they need me, outsider, to go back and get things done.
Jindal: I'm a doer not a talker. Idea of America is slipping away. If you want incremental change, vote for someone else. Planned Parenthood is selling baby parts and Washington GOP can't find its testicles to fight. Time to take on DC permanent government class. I'm the only guy who has actually shrunk government.
Graham: I will win a war we can't afford to lose, even though everything I've ever suggested on foreign policy before has turned out to be completely wrong and I'm still suggesting the same idiotic policies. Trump is a cartoon character. Kasich wants to close more basis. I want to spend all your money on the military. I'll make your family safe even though it does not seem like it.
7:25 -- Graham, you all oppose nuke deal with Iran. Yahoo John Bolton wants strike Iran. You? Graham: If I believed they were trying to get a bomb, I would. And they know it. We need to stop increasing military spending so little and just put everything into getting as many Americans either dead or in the poorhouse as possible. Kasich wants to sensibly close more basis. The worst nightmare in the world is some Lockheed-Martin executive not being able to buy a private island and a gold-plated bathtub. Spend, spend, spend, and kill as many as we have to to keep the spending up.
Pataki, there are other ways than bombing. Santorum wants to assassinate scientists. What do you think? Pataki: We need a strong America, we need to reject the deal and reimpose sanctions. We should give Israel big bombs to do our dirty work for us. And Clinton was Senator from New York on 9/11 and has been a complete fuckup ever since. We have got to beat her.
Santorum, any means necessary? Still on the table? Santorum: 12 years ago I authored a sanctions bill on Iran and fell four votes short. I've been laser-focused on getting us into war with what I believe to be a massive death cult because getting us into wars with massive death cults isn't batshit insane or anything. On day one, I tell Iran that if they don't consent to be my bitch, I'm going to have my way with you.
Graham, Putin is sending more stuff to Syria to support Assad. Trump says he can get along with Putin. Why would your confrontation work better than Trump's deal-making. Graham: It's all Barack Obama's fault for not getting enough Americans killed. I've told you, I'm willing to kill as many Americans as you'll let me kill, because I'm completely nuts and more bloodthirsty than Manson.
Jindal, how would you get Russians out of Syria? Jindal: I'd rather talk about Iran, which means I'd rather blame Obama for everything. I want to ask Graham, are Senate Republicans willing to get rid of filibuster to kill the Iran deal and get us into the war all of us crazy people want? What's the point of a majority if we're not getting Americans killed?
Graham: Bobby, you were in Congress. If you want to repeal ObamaCare, get a new president. If you want to end Planned Parenthood's corporate welfare, get a new president. We need 67 votes to override Obama's veto, but we need to elect a Republican president, not play shutdown games. I want to lead the party to winning.
Jindal: You just heard a Republican say we can't do anything. Democrats forced ObamaCare without 60 votes, don't Republicans have any fight? If not, it's time to be done with the GOP. No point in being cheaper Democrats. Maybe start a new party. At least Reid and Pelosi fight for what they believe in.
Graham: We're running for POTUS. With that comes certain amount of honesty. Tired of telling people what they want to hear. I would not give Planned Parenthood money as president, but I'm not going to shut down the government now.
7:17 -- Graham, minimum wage. Santorum wants to increase it. You? Graham: If you increase minimum wage, hard to hire more people. Clinton has a list to help the middle class, they've been squeezed hard. I understand the middle class, and I want to grow the economy, not just screw with the minimum wage. No more money for federal government until there's a plan to get out of debt.
Santorum, defend yourself. Santorum: Less than 1% make minimum wage, if you're not for increasing it you're not for a floor wage in America you suck. GOP supported bailouts, I didn't. GOP supported special tax treatment for business, I didn't. Republicans need to support working people by increasing unemployment. 90% of Americans are wage-earners, not business owners and we need to talk to workers.
7:12 -- Graham: Republicans need to tell Americans that we get who you are, I want to save Social Security.
Pataki, Jeb and Trump want to raise taxes on hedge fund managers. Do you agree? Pataki: I would throw out the whole corrupt tax code. Get rid of exemptions and loopholes, lower rates. I would propose a law that no congress person can ever be a lobbyist afterward.
Jindal, three Republicans running who support higher rate for hedge fund managers. You? Jindal: Lower, flatter, tax rate. I've done that as governor.
Santorum, do you agree with Jeb that limits home mortgage deduction. Santorum: I propose a 20% flat tax on everyone and everything (income, interest, corporate income). I want to make America number one manufacturer in the world, and fantasize that we can compete on wages in manufacturing even though the last 30 years says our future is elsewhere. But I'm Rick Santorum and I can wave my magic wand and make the impossible happen.
Pataki, you said you'd be OK with raising taxes on hedge fund managers, would you also get rid of deductions? Pataki: No, I'd keep deductions. And I also have a magical mystery plan to bring manufacturing back.
7:06 -- Graham: We have to win election because SCOTUS.
Santorum, do you stand by your vote for John Roberts? Santorum, yes, he had a good record and he has made some good decisions. No regrets. It's easy to sit in Louisiana and talk nonsense like Jindal -- I've talked nonsense in Washington DC.
Jindal: Roberts twice re-wrote law to save ObamaCare. Not a minor ruling. I respect Senators with big bladders for long debate, but I've actually signed executive orders. If Republicans had gone the way they should have, they could have peed.
Jindal, everyone says it's all about winning. People say nice things about each other until election time. Graham praised Clinton as Secretary of State. Can people who do that win? Jindal: No. One thing Trump is right about is saying nonsense to the DC crowd and getting leaders from somewhere else. What good is having a Republican majority if they won't do anything, including both good stuff and the crazy stuff I want done?
Graham: I'm not a Washington elite, my dad owned a liquor star, a bar and a pool room. I thought Clinton did a good job on Africa, women, etc. President Bush wiped out AIDS in Africa and Clinton helped. But WTF is up with Benghazi? If you want a new foreign policy, don't pick Clinton, pick me. Reagan sat down with Tip O'Neill and they drank, which is first thing I'm gonna do, is drink more. Reagan and O'Neill saved Social Security, so yes, I will say nice things about people.
6:58 -- Santorum, would you have fired Kim Davis? Santorum: Sixteen years ago a kid was killed at Columbine for refusing to deny faith and was called a hero. Today, Kim Davis is chastised for refusing to do her $80k job or let someone else do it but I'm going to compare them because I'm either an idiot or I think that the audience is mostly composed of idiots. Isn't there room in America for county clerks to keep getting paid for not doing their jobs if they say "because God?" We need to stand up to courts that actually read the Constitution.
Pataki, what do you think? Pataki: Wow, Santorum is a wingnut who has no idea how this stuff works and doesn't care about rule of law. I would appoint judges who interpret rather than legislate, but there's a difference between standing up for religious rights, which is good, and being an elected official who refuses to do her job.
Santorum: Martin Luther King wrote letter from a Birmingham jail and said we don't have to accept unjust laws. And minding my own fucking business about who gets married is an unjust law.
Pataki: I didn't agree with SCOTUS, but it is the law. MLK broke law on conscience but he was not an elected representative wanting to keep getting paid for it.
Jindal: I'd like the left to give us a list of jobs Christians aren't allowed to have. I'm going to conflate real religious freedom with Davis's grandstanding.
Graham: Marbury v. Madison. SCOTUS gets to interpret the Constitution. They ruled same-sex marriage bans are unconstitutional. I don't agree with it, but it is law of the land. As POTUS, I want to make sure that everyone, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, that you can practice your faith without government persecution. Radical Islam wants to kill you all.
Jindal, Graham and Santorum voted to confirm SCOTUS chief justice Roberts, who voted to uphold ObamaCare. Do you think their votes for him was a mistake? Jindal: Yeah, mistake, but the problem is in the White House. It's always Republican appointees who go wild. I'll have a litmus test for real conservatives.
Graham, do you stand by your vote for Roberts? Graham: Yes.
6:50 -- Pataki: Last week was anniversary of 9/11 and I was governor of NY and I think we are at greater risk than any time since. OSAMA BIN LADEN IS UNDER YOUR BED! We have to arm a bunch of people in Syria and hope that doesn't go the way it has EVERY TIME WE'VE EVER DONE IT BEFORE.
Jindal, Muslim kid arrested for making a clock. You've put down Muslims before, what would you do about discrimination, etc.? Jindal: Tell Muslim leaders to denounce individual terrorists, embrace the same freedoms for everyone else they want for themselves. I hate Obama. Bad Obama. I'm not going to say he's a Muslim, I'm just gonna hang his name out there and hope YOU think he's a Muslim. Fourteen year olds shouldn't get arrested for clocks, but that's not as bad as demanding that Kim Davis do her job, let someone else do her job, quit her job or go to jail.
Graham: I'm not worried about Kim Davis attacking me, but I am worried about TEH MOOSLIMS UNDER MY BED. Young men from the mideast are different from religious bigots in Kentucky.
Pataki: One rule of law in America, Davis should have been fired. If it had been a Muslim who had refused gay marriage license, nobody would have supported.
6:44 -- Wow, Graham is suddenly starting to talk moderately sensibly on immigration and getting lots of applause. Pataki gets last word, we have to deal with people illegally, give them legal status and grow the economy.
Jindal, over the next year, 10k Syrian refugees will be allowed in US. You say this is BS. Graham says we have moral obligation. Do we? Jindal: America is compassionate, Obama is to blame for this, the answer is not to let refugees come to America, it's to create even more refugees with even more war because THAT'LL SHOW'EM.
Graham: How does Obama sleep at night? You kept Bush's word and withdrew from Iraq. McCain and I called for more war more war more war and you said no.
Graham, you are calling for 20k ground troops for Iraq and Syria and say nobody who won't do that should be CINC. Nobody else has said that, so are you saying they're unfit for the presidency?
Graham: Yeah, pretty much, but I'm gonna smooth it and blame the Democrats for the two lost ground wars in Asia that I supported and pretend that if they'd held their mouths just right those wars could have been won.
Santorum: I have proposed 10k troops, but if more is necessary to keep the US bogged down in wars for another decade or three, sure, I'm glad to sacrifice as many American lives as I have to to keep this stupidity up.
Jindal: YAY stupidity! BOO Obama!
6:38 -- Jindal, clarify your position. Jindal: I'm not for amnesty. I think we should jail mayors who don't agree to enforce federal immigration laws, because I am a fascist, not a conservative.
Pataki, "birthright citizenship?" Pataki: Yes, I support keeping birthright citizenship. We have to secure the border, outlaw sanctuary cities, but we aren't sending immigrants home. Community service for illegal immigrants.
Graham, most countries don't have birthright citizenship. Why do you think Pataki is wrong? I have been trying to solve this problem for a decade. We're not gonna deport 11 million but we will start with felons and make immigrants learn English. I've never met an illegal Canadian. Willing to look at birth tourism, etc. but first secure the border.
Santorum: Graham says he doesn't remember a plan of mine, but it was there. Graham wants to know what to do with 11 million "illegal immigrants." Santorum says catch visa overstays. George W. Bush was for immigration. Graham says yeah, and he won with Hispanic immigrants. Both of them keep babbling at each other.
6:31 -- Pataki, you said you wouldn't support Trump if he was the nominee, broke your pledge, wassup? Pataki: I pledged to support the nominee and Trump won't be the nominee. Trump is unfit to be the POTUS or the GOP's nominee. He destroyed Atlantic City and wants to destroy America.
Graham, Trump, Carson and Fiorina are doing well because they're political outsiders. The four of you have a combined seven decades in office. Is that a liability, rather than an asset? Graham, I hope libertarians and vegetarians will look for a new direction. Obama is making a mess of the world and I want to make it worse. If we're not standing knee-deep in blood, we're not winning.
Santorum, Jindal has supported "pathway to citizenship." Why do you disagree with that? Santorum: Everyone supports amnesty except me. This debate should not be about what's in the best interest of hard-working Americans. Immigrants are holding wages down and taking jobs away from Americans.
Jindal: We need to secure the border, period. We don't need amnesty. I'll get the border secured in six months. Immigration without assimilation is invasion.
Santorum: Just because you don't call it amnesty, that doesn't mean it isn't amnesty. We have to stop immigration because I don't understand economics and don't want to take the time to think this shit through.
6:26 -- Question to Jindal -- you say bad things about Trump, why did you violate 11th commandment. Jindal: Didn't violate 11th commandment because Trump isn't a Republican or a conservative, he's just all about Donald Trump. Obama has declared war on trans fats and a truce with Iran. Need proven conservative principles like Reagan's, not narcissist.
Santorum, is Jindal wrong for attacking Trump? Santorum: Personal attacks are bad because we need to talk policy differences. I disagree with Trump on policy but he should be able to run and it doesn't help when Republicans attack Republicans personally. I will babble nonsense about immigration. The question is how should we win this election and we can't do that with personal attacks, what we need are idiotic policy ideas.
Jindal: A socialist is doing well in the primary, and the best way for the GOP to give up the election is to nominate Trump. He's not serious.
Graham, you've called Trump a wrecking ball, but South Carolina voters prefer him. Explain? Graham: If you looked at 2008 polling at this stage, we'd have president Giuliani, in 2012 president Perry. Time for a serious discussion. All of us are going to say we want to destroy ISIL, but I'm going to send ground troops everywhere to make sure that no more American is ever safe again. Every candidate needs to be asked if he hates America as much as I do because if you don't you're not ready to be CINC.
6:15 -- Moderators: Jake Tapper, Hugh Hewitt Dana Bash. Opening statements:
Pataki: Honored to be here at Reagan Library. When I think of Reagan I think of his optimism. Led to a great presidency. That's the type of leadership we need, that's why I'm running.
Santorum: Led the fight to end partial-birth abortion. Led the fight to end welfare as we know it. Put sanctions on Iran's non-existent nuclear program in Congress. Father of seven, including disabled girl, married for 25 years.
Jindal: Not a famous family, daddy didn't run for president, don't have a TV show, but have experience to do the job.
Graham: Thanks CNN for having people at this debate. Thank Miss (?) Reagan for inviting me. I'm only candidate who was in military when Reagan was CINC and I am running for president to destroy radical Islam and win the war on terror, just like Reagan wanted to win the Cold War. Most qualified to be CINC on day one -- 33 years in Air Force, 35 trips to Iraq and Afghanistan and still didn't learn a goddamn thing.
6pm -- And here we go. Wolf Blitzer and Anderson Cooper talking it up, and it turns out that they re-started the countdown. The "kids' table" debate actually begins at 6:15, not 6, and we get 15 previously undisclosed minutes of "pre-game show" during which we'll hear all the same things we've heard for the previous hour (or, for that matter, the previous month). So I'll be back in 15 minutes.
5:45pm -- A quick pre-debate note on the "kids' table" candidates: All four of them max out on "political careerism" per my first "Election 2016 scorecard." That is, each of them has spent at least 20 years on the taxpayer teat as an elected government official, appointed government official, or paid government employee. Three of the four (Graham, Jindal and Pataki) got a "completely careerist" score of 100 with a little asterisk next to it to indicate that they broke the scale and would have scored higher than 100 if it was possible to do so. The fourth candidate, Rick Santorum, got a straight 100 with no asterisk, indicating he's "only" spent 20 years in government "service."
4:45pm -- Well, the second round of Republican presidential debates begins in an hour and 15 minutes. I'll be liveblogging both shows here at KN@PPSTER. This is the post for the "kids' table" event at 6pm Eastern (Graham, Jindal, Pataki and Santorum); there will be another post for the "really big shew" event at 8pm Eastern (Bush, Carson, Christie, Cruz, Fiorina, Huckabee, Kasich, Paul, Rubio, Trump and Walker).
Both events will air live on CNN and at CNN.com with no cable subscription required (the last round aired on Fox News and the only way to watch online was with a cable package that included an online streaming login for Fox).
Per my usual liveblogging format, I'll add periodic updates to this post, each one above the previous material. "See" you here soon!