Monday, January 16, 2012
  Reactions to the FOX News Debate

Romney for President
10:52 p.m.

Boston, MA – Governor Nikki Haley made the following statement on tonight’s debate:

“Tonight, Mitt Romney once again displayed his vision, leadership, and grace under fire. He showed why he is without question the right man to end the chaos in Washington, D.C. and put America back to work. Neither our state nor our nation can afford four more years of President Obama, and it is critical that we nominate someone with Mitt Romney’s history of results. We need a president who has a record of not just talk, but of actually getting things done, and Governor Romney is that man.”

10:55 p.m.

Boston, MA – Former South Carolina GOP Chairman Barry Wynn made the following statement on tonight’s debate:

“Mitt Romney came out ahead in tonight’s debate because he again showed that he is the best candidate to both take on President Obama and fix our economy. President Obama spent his life outside the private sector and it shows. Mitt Romney spent his life outside of politics, working in the real economy. In order to create private sector jobs in this tough economic environment, we need a president who worked in the private sector.”
11:24 p.m.

Gov. Rick Perry Calls for An End to Obama’s War on the States, Promotes Low Flat Tax, Overhaul of Washington Bureaucracy and Investment in American Jobs
Gives strong, confident performance at South Carolina Fox News Debate

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. – Texas Gov. Rick Perry stood out as a solid conservative and the only true Washington and Wall Street outsider left in the GOP race, and decried the Obama administration war on South Carolina and other states’ efforts to pass Voter ID, immigration and other laws and policies.
“This administration is out of control,” Gov. Perry said. “The state of Texas is under assault by federal government. South Carolina is at war with this federal government and with this administration. What this Justice Department has done, not only have they taken them to task on Voter ID, they’ve also taken them to task on their immigration law, and then the most egregious thing is the National Labor Relations Board coming into a right-to-work state and telling the state of South Carolina, ‘We’re not going to let a private company come in here.’ That is irresponsible, I will suggest to you it’s unconstitutional, and when I’m the president of the United States, the states are going to have substantially more rights to take care of their business and not be forced by the EPA, or by the Justice Department for that matter, to do things that are against the will of the people.”
During tonight’s debate, sponsored by Fox News, The Wall Street Journa l and the South Carolina Republican Party, Gov. Perry laid out his commitment to overhauling Washington, cutting taxes to a flat and fair 20 percent and sparking American job creation. The debate highlighted Gov. Perry’s experience creating more than a million net new jobs during the last 11 years as the governor of the state of Texas, which is the 13th largest economy in the world.
In response to the bickering between the other candidates on the stage, Gov. Perry said, “This is a great example of the insiders that are having a conversation up here, and the fact of the matter is this: Washington, D.C., needs to leave the states alone and let the states decide this issues and don’t do it from Washington, D.C.”
Over the last several months, Gov. Perry has traveled the country sharing his plans to get America working again and emphasizing his commitment to bringing the change the American people want to see to Washington, D.C., as president. The governor’s Uproot and Overhaul Washington plan establishes a part-time Congress, and calls for cutting congressional sessions, staffs and salaries in half. The plan puts an end to bailouts and earmarks, and is designed to stop the out-of-control Washington spending that has put our nation more than $15 trillion in debt.
Gov. Perry also touted his Cut, Balance and Grow plan, which creates a simpler, flatter and fairer 20 percent personal and corporate tax rate; reigns in federal spending; and calls for a federal Balanced Budget Amendment. He has also laid out an Energizing American Jobs and Security plan designed to take advantage of our domestic energy resources, making the cost of electricity and fuel cheaper and more predictable, revitalizing manufacturing and reducing our country’s dangerous dependence on hostile foreign oil sources.
“We need to cut the tax rate down to where people feel confident that they can risk their capital and have a return on their investment,” Gov. Perry said. “That’s the reason that I’ve laid out a simple and flat tax of 20 percent with their home mortgage deduction and charitable deduction and local taxes deducted, get rid of capital gains tax, get rid of the tax on Social Security benefits and then take 20 percent of that and mail your check in. Even Timothy Geithner can get his taxes in on time with that type of a system.
“Getting America back to work again — that’s what I’ve done for 11 years as the governor of the 13th largest economy in the world. A million jobs that have been created in my state because we have created that climate where job creators know they can go out and risk their capital and have a return on their investment.
“As the president of the United States, that’s what I’m going to do. Walk into Washington, D.C., work towards a Balanced Budget Amendment to the United States Constitution and work to make Congress a part-time body so they stay less time in Washington, D.C., go back home and get a real job like everybody else has, and live under the laws that they pass.”

For more information about Gov. Rick Perry's record, presidential campaign and plan to get America working again, please visit

Rick Santorum for President
12:00 a.m

Exposes The "Fiscal Insanity" Of Newt's Social Security Plan
Myrtle Beach, SC - At tonight's FOX News/Wall Street Journal Republican Presidential debate, Rick Santorum showed he is the one candidate ready to not just be the conservative alternative to Mitt Romney, but to take on President Obama.

Hogan Gidley, National Communications Director, said: "Rick Santorum showed tonight why he is the best prepared candidate to take on Mitt Romney and eventually President Obama. This is a time when we need a consistent conservative who can provide bold contrasts with the president, not pale pastels. Rick Santorum is the one candidate whose conservative record of accomplishment stands as a strong contrast to the President, and is ready to lead on day one."


In Response To Congressman Paul's Attacks:

"I wear attacks from left-wing organizations as a badge of honor."

On SuperPAC Ads That Distort Records:

"I would say stop it."

On Extending Unemployment Benefits:

"We are not doing people any favors by keeping them unemployment for a long time."

On Poverty:

"The Brookings Institution found that if you do three things - work, graduate high school and get married before you have children - will help you from avoiding poverty. If you do those three things, only 2% of people live in poverty while 77% live above the poverty line. And what has the Obama Administration done? Elaine Bennett, wife of Bill Bennett, runs an organization to help at risk girls, and the Obama Administration has a policy that tells them that they can no longer promote marriage as a way of avoiding poverty and bad choices. They can no longer teach abstinence. They must remain neutral. Neutrality ends in poverty."

On Newt Gingrich's Social Security Plan:

"I am for private accounts, but your plan would add hundreds of billions of dollars to our huge deficit. It is putting the debt on the backs of our children. That is fiscal insanity."

Democratic National Committee
11:31 p.m.

DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s Statement on Republican Presidential Debate in South Carolina

Following tonight’s GOP debate in South Carolina, DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz released the following statement:
“As the Republican presidential field narrowed down to five candidates on the debate stage tonight, we still saw each one of them double down on the same failed policies of the past rather than offer any plans to help America’s working and middle-class families get ahead.  But Mitt Romney took it a step further – once again demonstrating that he will say anything to get elected.  We saw Mitt Romney repeatedly dodge questions about his record and his plans for the economy and the middle class.  Romney claimed that he had a jobs plan and the President did not.  But the President has a plan, the American Jobs Act which would create nearly 2 million jobs that Mitt Romney opposed, and Romney proposed an economic plan that would do nothing to create jobs, but would simply increase the burdens on the middle class.
“In the latest reinvention of his job creation record, Romney is now claiming to have created over 120,000 jobs.  In just over a month, his job creation number has changed from over a hundred thousand jobs, to thousands, and now 120,000 jobs tonight – without a single one of those numbers substantiated.  Maybe the reason Mitt Romney is having such a hard time keeping his facts straight is that Romney’s goal as a corporate raider for Bain Capital was never job creation – it was putting profits over people by bankrupting companies, outsourcing jobs and laying off workers.  As if this wasn’t misleading enough, Romney also touted his record as Governor of Massachusetts. The truth is that with Romney at the helm, Massachusetts ranked 47th out of 50th in job creation, saw incomes and wages fall and experienced a decline in manufacturing at twice the national average.  And Mitt Romney is proud of that?
“With every passing moment, Mitt Romney finds a new opportunity to distort the facts and try to tell voters what he thinks they want to hear.  He even discovered a new position tonight on releasing his tax returns, saying he’d ‘probably’ agree to do it in April even though he has repeatedly refused to do so – defying a practice that every Republican and Democratic nominee for President has adhered to for decades.  Romney can’t continue to play by a different set of rules and expect voters to trust him – but as tonight’s debate demonstrated once again, Mitt Romney doesn’t place a very high premium on being straightforward with the American people.”
Newt 2012
Jan. 17, 2012 p.m.

Newt Gingrich's Stellar Debate Report Card


“With not all that much to lose, Gingrich let ‘er rip tonight and had the exuberant crowd...eating out of his hand. Gingrich proved again tonight that when he is on...he is the best debater in the field.  His performance almost certainly solidified his place as the strongest  alternative to former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney in the field."
--Chris Cillizza, Washington Post
“It was the kind of answer only Newt Gingrich could give. He was quick on his feet and reached for a philosophical depth not available to most politicians, equally pungent and inspiring."
--Rich Lowry, Fox News
“Newt Gingrich…was on fire…Gingrich repeatedly stated the conservative position better than anybody on the stage.”
--Charlotte Hays, National Review
“Tonight in South Carolina, Newt Gingrich began hitting them out of the park. Days to go in South Carolina, and Newt tonight has reverted to the Reaganesque form so many have admired throughout his career.”
--Jeffrey Lord, The American Spectator
"Grade: A- [Highest of the Night]
The main thing: After a slow start, he dominated the stage for the rest of the night. Solid with his GOP audience on almost every answer."
--Mark Halperin, TIME
"A-," (highest grade of the night.)
--Nate Silver, FiveThirtyEight
“Newt Gingrich: A. Gingrich had the best second half of any of the candidates, sharpening his attack on Romney over his Super PAC, and on Paul’s foreign policy.”
--Zeke Miller, Buzzfeed
“THE PROFESSOR'S GRADES: Newt A+ (easy,big win)”
--Larry Sabato, Fox News
“He was always one good debate performance away from getting back in this race and boy he had it tonight.”
--Dick Morris, Fox News
"...Most people felt Gingrich had answered the questions while Romney was thought to be dodging them."
--John Roberts, Fox News
"The former House speaker was on fire, earning a rare standing ovation from the ‘rambunctious crowd’…This is the Gingrich Republicans fell in love with, zingy and compellingly bombastic. If this was a fight to be ‘the most enticing alternative to Romney,’ Gingrich won.”
--Molly Ball, The Atlantic
“If conservatives feel they must rally around a single alternative to Romney who can forcefully take on Obama and argue unapologetically for conservative principles, Gingrich presented the best possible case at the right moment.”
--John Dickerson, The Slate
“The knowledgeable, rhetorically gifted Newt Gingrich conservatives love showed up at the Fox News/Wall Street Journal debate and shook the house.”
--Jamie Weinstein, The Daily Caller
“The former Speaker's fluency with policy and ability to dissect questions and make a big-picture conservative case against Obama made him the night's big winner.”
--Toby Harnden, The Daily Mail
“Gingrich had one of his best debates in a season of strong debate performances by the former House speaker. Once again, he was boosted by the debate hall crowd, which he managed to bring to a standing ovation ...”
--Maggie Haberman, Politico
“Gingrich…decisively won an exchange on Social Security and bested Mitt Romney in a head-to-head exchange on super PACs with what might have been the line of the night. If Romney cannot get a super PAC supporting him to listen, Gingrich argued, ‘makes you wonder how much influence he'd have if he were president.’”
--Stephen F. Hayes, The Weekly Standard

R.C. Hammond
Press Secretary