Skip to comments.Video: Bachmann takes down Ron Paul on Iran (Plus a wrap-up of last night's debate)
Posted on 12/16/2011 8:02:44 AM PST by SeekAndFind
I can't guarantee you that this will be the last video we post from last night's debate, but it's probably going to be the most memorable — after Rick Perry's gestalt-grasping clip in which he declared himself the “Tim Tebow of the Iowa Caucuses,” that is. In this clip, Michele Bachmann goes after Ron Paul on Iran and national security as if she takes him seriously. Paul is reduced to sputtering a non-sequitur about how wrong it is to declare war on 1.2 billion Muslims, which isn’t at all what Bachmann said, and more or less becomes unable to complete most of his own sentences, the majority of which are also non-sequiturs. No matter what one thinks of Bachmann, you can’t deny her ability to get under the skin of other candidates:
One of my favorite moments in this debate came when Paul tells Bachmann that the “UN” never said any such thing, and then in the next breath says they weren’t telling the truth when they did. It provoked a few laughs from the audience and a whole avalanche of derision on Twitter. The mask well and truly slipped for Paul in this final debate.
So how did the Republican candidates do? Mitt Romney started off strong and was having one of his best debates in weeks until Chris Wallace asked him about his position switches on abortion, gay rights, and gun laws. He gave a good answer on his transformation to pro-life, but left himself wide open on gay rights. Rick Santorum had his best moment of the debate when he methodically walked through what Romney actually did and said on defending marriage. That didn’t turn the night into a disaster, but Romney didn’t finish strong. Santorum did well last night, too, and given his blanketing of Iowa for the last several months, might have given voters there a reason to give him a second look.
Gingrich had a better debate all the way through, but he took a few slings and arrows along the way. He took some hits on Freddie Mac again, especially from Bachmann, but gave a good rebuttal to those attacks — although clearly no one is thinking that Freddie Mac hired him as a historian. Bachmann scored on the argument that one doesn’t have to be a formal lobbyist to influence people in Washington, and it seems foolish to argue that Freddie Mac didn’t hire him as a consultant for his influence on public policy as a former Speaker. No one is buying the “historian” idea. Otherwise, Gingrich gave a feisty and charismatic performance, or at least charismatic in Gingrich’s terms. He didn’t do any damage to himself, and at the least Gingrich gave himself some room to reclaim a little of his lost momentum.
Rick Perry had the best risk/reward outcome in the debate. As I predicted, no one on stage went on the attack against Perry, and that meant Perry didn’t have to go on the attack against anyone else. The Tebow reference was obviously planned, and brilliant; it’s catchy, timely, easily understood as a deep underdog prevailing through faith in himself and God despite being dismissed by everyone else as the clock starts running out. Perry didn’t get quite as much face time as other candidates, but he made the most of it. After two good debates, and this latest especially strong performance, Perry now gets to do the retail politicking at which he excels without having to engage in any extemporaneous exchanges with other candidates. He could turn this into a comeback, and really be the Tim Tebow of the Iowa Caucuses. Don’t count him out.
As for Bachmann, she had a good evening as well, but made a couple of big mistakes. After scoring points on Gingrich on Freddie Mac, she overshot the mark by accusing Gingrich of trying to elect Republicans who back infanticide. Gingrich slapped back at Bachmann for not getting her facts straight, which has been a problem for Bachmann in the past. Even though Bachmann has regularly attacked other candidates for not telling the truth, at least as she sees it, she protested that her status as a candidate for President of the United States means that her facts are straight, and that it’s “outrageous” to suggest otherwise:
Bachmann earlier had cited Politifact as stating that she had all her facts straight in the last debate, a strange thing to do since Politifact has been roundly critical of Bachmann’s debate claims for months. Sure enough, immediately after the debate, they gave her a Pants On Fire rating for that claim:
At that point, Bachmann jumped back in. “Well, after the debates that we had last week, PolitiFact came out and said that everything that I said was true. And the evidence is that Speaker Gingrich took $1.6 million. You don’t need to be within the technical definition of being a lobbyist to still be influence-peddling with senior Republicans in Washington, D.C., to get them to do your bidding.”
Wait… what? We said that “everything” Bachmann had said was true?
Actually, that’s not what we said.
At the Dec. 10 debate she was referring to, PolitiFact checked two claims from Bachmann and rated them Mostly True and Pants on Fire.
The fact-check she may have been referencing was, “In 1993, Newt Gingrich first advocated for the individual mandate in health care. And as recently as May of this year, he was still advocating for it.” We rated that one a Mostly True.
But we also rated her claim that Mitt Romney, as governor of Massachusetts, “put into place socialized medicine.” We found that was ridiculously false and rated it Pants on Fire.
Her comment about our ratings was also a bit of a non-sequitur. Neither of the two items we checked addressed the subject at hand — Gingrichs work for Freddie Mac, what he thinks of Freddie Mac today, or whether Gingrich was ever a lobbyist.
Maybe Bachmann was simply trying to burnish her image as a truth teller. However, using PolitiFact to back up that assertion is a bit unusual. Her PolitiFact report card shows 59 percent of her statements rated have earned either a False or Pants on Fire. She has earned five Trues, three Mostly Trues, six Half Trues, seven Mostly Falses, 19 Falses and 11 Pants on Fires.
That’s so easily checkable that it’s almost unbelievable that Bachmann would cite Politifact as a specific authority on the subject. Has she not read their site and their evaluations of her statements? Their evaluations certainly put paid to the notion that being a presidential candidate means one should just assume you have your facts straight, too.
As for Jon Huntsman, it’s hard to see why he bothered to show up. He isn’t competing meaningfully in Iowa anyway. Huntsman didn’t offer any compelling narrative or responses last night, so he would have done better for his campaign to stay in New Hampshire and do some retail politicking in a state he’s taking seriously.
I dont have any doubt that Paul would go to war. But thats the key..I think he will demand that troops be sent with a fully declared war.
OK, then. Problem is....if we don't have bases around the world and our military is contained within our borders, what are the conditions of a constitutionally declared war?
Seems to me we, Israel, or another ally have to suffer a domestic catastrophe.....possibly nuclear, first.
That's an unacceptable price for being "right" constitutionally. That's especially true when you're dealing with a fanatical death cult regime whose goal is hastening the return of a non-existent well-dweller by setting the world on fire.
Paul is reduced to sputtering a non-sequitur about how wrong it is to declare war on 1.2 billion Muslims, which isn't at all what Bachmann said, and more or less becomes unable to complete most of his own sentences, the majority of which are also non-sequiturs. No matter what one thinks of Bachmann, you can't deny her ability to get under the skin of other candidates...So, the drive-by media will be jumping on Ron Paul's gaffe the same way it jumped on Rick Perry's much smaller gaffe, in 3, 2, 1...
I think that this is very different question (and a valid one) from the one that was framed at the debate -- and very different from Bachmann's falsely contextualized one.
Does Iran love Israel? Of course not. If Iran could wipe out Israel and get away with it, would she? Of course. But that's a mighty big "if".
I've said this before and I'll say it again. Iran's leadership are like a bunch of crazy dogs -- and you don't corner and taunt & abuse crazy dogs unless you want to get bit. You either back off, or you take them out. And if you take them out, what are the costs of that -- real and immediate, and in terms of blowback? You analyze the situation, you don't aggravate it the way we have been deliberately aggravating it.
Any presidential -- and Congressional consideration -- of what to do about Iran in such a case requires a thorough assessment of the neighborhood. Iran is not standalone -- it has relationships. What would China or Russia do if we took out Iran? What would happen in Iraq? Heck, what what would happen here in the US in terms of local terror with the half million Iranians living here in the US? This "let's take out Iran" fervor is IMHO dangerous and naive. This isn't a video game where we just get to shoot them in a barrel.
So to ultimately answer your question, if I were president I'd want as much real intelligence on the situation as possible -- and I'd want to hear from Israel as to what they think - -Israel as a friend, not as our lapdog using them to justify whatever we want to do. I'd try different options, because as Paul pointed out -- we have 12,000 people in the State Department -- what good are they if we immediately go to force instead of making them do their job?
I'm not weak-kneed on this and I don't think that Ron Paul is. Hell, my old big boss was Al Haig -- a brilliant negotiator at a time when that was actually respected -- but as Supreme Commander of NATO, certainly no opponent to using force when absolutely necessary.
A good and responsible president would be circumspect, make his decision, recommendations and get Congress and the whole country behind him to do what we needed to do -- before, and not after the fact. If this is going to be a war with Iran, then it must be our war, not just some dictator in the White House's war that we get the bill for in blood, treasure and loss of our rights.
No, we should scorch the entire earth -- every single country on the planet -- with nukes -- to "protect the US" from another attack. Or maybe just leave a couple of countries who will kiss our ring and obey our leaders/s
Is that what you really want? Get real!
I just wish that some people here would grow up. We are all going to die of something one day -- ALL OF US -- cancer, old age, heart attack... But to hear it here, our deaths will likely be due to "terror attack" and we should be terrified that rat's behind little "Iran is going to be the one to pull the trigger". Eyeroll.
We are all going to die of something -- and it isn't likely to be of a terror attack. IMHO we should quit being wimps about all the hypothetical potential terror scenarios in which we might die as Americans and start worrying more about how we should live as LIVE AS AMERICANS -- and as people of God.
I am much more worried about what my Creator Thinks of me and my actions than I am of what my government thinks, what Freepers think or what anyone else thinks. I've said this before and I'll say it again -- I love America, it's my home and my country and I have no allegiance to any other -- but I am a Christian before I am an American, and that is what guides my life and my attitudes. I still believe "Blessed are the Peacemakers" and that war, although sometimes necessary, should never be accepted as a continual way of life. Continual war is the enemy of freedom -- and without freedom, how is this country different or "exceptional" from any other?
I worry that in the name of "protecting the US", that we may be destroying everything that is unique, special and beautiful about it. In the name of "preserving freedom" we may be destroying it.
Given that we have a Congress who just signed away our rights as citizens yesterday via NDAA -- on Bill of Rights Day, no less -- I don't believe that these real fears are without merit.
The Depression and the Cold War have been used as excuses to increase the power of the presidency beyond the role that it is given in the Consitution.
Every aspect of Gov't spending needs to be cut.
Much of our Defense spending is used to defend other nations that can defend themselves.
Defense exists for one purpose-Defense.
We should only be spending what we need to defend US interests, and that would mean a drastic reduction.
As for israel, the only thing I have heard Ron Paul say negative about Israel was that they should not be getting foreign aid, which is true of all nations.
I have to agree with you 110%. I can’t say it any better, so I won’t add anything.
Stop propping them up, like we did the Soviet Union, which survived 25 years longer then it should have because we kept it going.
Let the Muslim alone and he will be too busy fighting among themselves to bother us or Israel.
We keep trying to bring democracy to them and that is what is uniting them against us.
It didn’t help us that Jimmah Carter helped topple the Shah of Iran.
RE: Any presidential — and Congressional consideration — of what to do about Iran in such a case requires a thorough assessment of the neighborhood..... if I were president I’d want as much real intelligence on the situation as possible — and I’d want to hear from Israel as to what they think
First of all, I do not think that ANYONE of these candidates are advocating all out war with Iran. NOT AT THIS TIME. Not anyone of them.
The debate has always been about this -— WHAT INTELLIGENCE DATA DO WE CONSIDER ACTIONABLE?
I don’t believe that Bachmann believes that the current IAEA concern is cause enough to bomb Iran.
Let’s say that our intelligence data tells us that Iran is INDEED close to building a nuclear bomb that can reach Israel and Europe, WHAT DO WE DO? What ACTION DO WE TAKE?
Will a President Ron Paul stand still and say -— this isn’t our business because if Iran wants to go to war with Israel, it’s Israel’s problem, not ours? They have the capability to fight back, so leave them alone.
We can’t spend money and lives on this foreign war that does not concern us, not when our debt is nearing $20 trillion.
Ron Paul seems to be giving me the impression that that’s EXACTLY what he would do. At least he’s not giving me the confidence, not based on his rhetoric and body language that he won’t react that way.
What an asinine response, you know damn well that is not what I implied.
Iran is a Country that is on record saying they want to wipe Israel off the Map as well as the great satan (the US) and if you think their kidding then you are delusional to think they won't try it. Their quest is to ignite a blood bath to usher in their "Armageddon", you really should study up.
The rest of your post is equally absurd so I'm not even going to bother but you might want to enlighten the 3k dead on 9-11 that they won't be dying from a terror attack.
I’d almost say that Paul is a carpetbagger for the worldwide caliphate.
3000/300,000,000. Chances are far better I'll go of old age and so will you -- unless we get some whacko yahoo in the White House who pulls the trigger to soon.
Life--and foreign policy --is and has always been a risk. All I can say is that I have far less confidence in continuing the foreign policy mindset that has gotten to 9/11 and to where we are now, than I do in one that changes course in another direction -- a direction that sooner or later we are going to have no choice about changing because we will be too broke to continue. So do we make that choice when we actually have some dignity and strength about making a choice? Or do we wait until we have no choice, we are weak and our enemies know our every vulnerability? I choose the former.
If the GOP ran a cardboard box as President, that’s what I’m voting for. Anything but that treasonous, Marxist hack we have now. If Paul is on the ballot, so be it.