Wednesday, September 7, 2011
  Reactions to the NBC News/Politico Debate at Reagan Library

9:49 p.m.


Boston, MA – Romney for President Communications Director Gail Gitcho issued the following statement following tonight’s debate:

“Mitt Romney won tonight’s debate because he demonstrated that he is the only candidate in the race who can return the country to economic prosperity. Career politicians got us into the mess and it will take someone with experience in the real economy to get us out. Mitt Romney has laid out the boldest, most sweeping jobs plan ever offered by a presidential candidate, which includes 59 proposals to spur economic growth and 10 specific actions that he will take on his first day in office. Mitt Romney also once again affirmed his commitment to fixing and protecting Social Security for current and future generations.”

9:50 p.m.


Huntsman shows he's the serious leader with the experience, vision and plan to restore America’s greatness

Huntsman Campaign Manager Matt David released the following statement immediately following the NBC News-Politico Debate at the Reagan Library:

"This evening, Governor Huntsman spoke directly and truthfully to the American people about his vision for our nation’s future.

"He detailed specific and comprehensive solutions to revive our flailing economy – a plan described last week as “the most pro-growth proposal ever offered” by a candidate, and which is unique among the GOP field in that it’s built on the author’s proven record of success.

"Gov. Huntsman contrasted his record in Utah -- historic tax reform, free-market healthcare reform, and number one in job creation -- with those of his opponents. In doing so, he distinguished himself as the only candidate with a record of creating jobs, in business and as governor; the only candidate with foreign policy expertise, who is qualified to represent America’s strength and ideals on the global stage; and the candidate with crossover appeal who can defeat President Obama.

"These are serious times, and Jon Huntsman is the serious leader that America needs."

10:04 p.m.

"If Republicans and Independents were looking for new ideas and decisive plans in the debate, they were disappointed. That's what happens when the media decides, six months before the first ballots are cast, who should be allowed on the stage.  Much of the debate was about the records of the governors running for president.  Where was the governor who vetoed 750 bills to control the size of government?  Much was said about job creation -- or lack thereof -- in those governors' states.  Where was the governor whose state had more job creation than any of them?  And where was the governor who polls show to be the most highly regarded in the state he governed?  I suspect voters would like to hear from the one governor among them all who actually did the things that need to be done today to right America's ship.  

"There is much to debate in this country today, and within the Republican party.  But we didn't see or hear a debate tonight.  We saw business-as-usual wrapped in a bunch of different packages."

10:06 p.m.

Gov. Rick Perry: I Will Get America Working Again
Strong Performance in Reagan Presidential Debate

SIMI VALLEY, Calif. – Texas Gov. Rick Perry tonight declared to the American people his unshakeable commitment to get America working again as the next president of the United States. He shared his record of success in Texas as well as his plans to turn the country’s economy around during the Reagan Centennial GOP Candidates Debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum.

“I am pleased to have been able to introduce my conservative philosophy and pro-jobs record to the American people watching this important debate,” said Gov. Rick Perry. “We must not allow four more years of the current administration’s devastating economic policies. What I’ve accomplished in one state, I pledge to do for the entire country – to create a job-friendly environment, protect our border and citizens, provide essential services – and then get government out of the way.”

During the debate, Gov. Perry highlighted his record of successfully creating a job-friendly environment in Texas, which continues to lead the nation in job creation. As governor, Perry has worked hard to keep taxes low, maintain a predictable regulatory environment, prevent frivolous lawsuits, and prioritize public education, all aimed at creating America’s top economy and job-producing state.

Texas has created more than one million net new jobs under Gov. Perry and is home to approximately 40 percent of all net new jobs in America since June 2009.  Gov. Perry is a proven fiscal conservative, having cut taxes, signed six balanced budgets, and led Texas to become America’s top job-creating state. He is the only Texas governor since World War II to cut state general revenue spending.

Of all the candidates, including President Obama, Gov. Perry has the best record of job creation and has fought to defend and strengthen measures that have maintained a competitive economy, even during a national recession. Gov. Perry’s record exceeds other candidates’ rhetoric when it comes to job creation.

“I have a simple yet proven strategy, and I will get America working again as the next president of the United States. I will take decisive action to foster an environment for job creation and turn this great nation back into the land of opportunity.”

For information setting the record straight about various statements made during the debate, please visit: or follow @PerryTruthTeam on Twitter.

10:22 p.m.
Cain Touts Economic Plan and Job Creation Experience in Reagan Library Debate

(Simi Valley, CA)- Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain touted his economic plan and more than 40 years of job creation experience during the NBC/ Politico Debate tonight at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California.

On the Economy

During his first question regarding the crippled economic condition of America, Cain explained his "9-9-9" economic plan that would establish a 9 percent tax on personal income, a 9 percent tax on corporate income and a 9 percent tax on sales.

"If 10 percent is good enough for God, then 9 percent is good enough for government," Cain said.

The plan would also eliminate taxes on repatriated profits, payroll, estates and capital gains and their dividends. For more information about the plan, click here.

On Health Care

During his second question regarding the constitutionality of Obamacare's individual mandate, Cain outlined his role in the defeat of President Clinton's attempt at a government overhaul of the health care industry, also known as "Hillarycare." In 1994, Newsweek named Cain the primary "saboteur" of the proposal after Cain challenged President Clinton on the effects on businesses and their employees should the legislation pass. Click here to see the exchange that defeated Hillarycare.

"The individual mandate is absolutely unconstitutional," Cain said, responding to both Obamacare and Governor Romney's health care law of Massachusetts.

On Social Security

During a discussion between Governor Perry and Governor Romney on reforming or eliminating Social Security, Cain interjected about the need for "solutions" instead of "rhetoric," voicing support for Chilean-style personalization accounts that would help America "move from an entitlement society to an empowerment society."

On the Role of the Federal Government

During his third question, Cain responded to Rep. Eric Cantor's view that the federal government should not provide disaster relief without concurrent spending cuts, saying that he believes there is "enough money to go around... you can find the concurrent spending cuts in order to be able to do that."

"There is a responsible way for the federal government to do the things that it should do," Cain explained. "Running organizations like the TSA... no. Having the federal government responsible for trying to micromanage Medicare? No. Trying to micromanage education? No. The federal government is not good micromanaging anything. This is why I believe in empowering the states to do more and limit what the federal government does in regards to those kinds of programs."

On Immigration

During his fourth question, Cain addressed the need for meaningful immigration reform, citing his four-point plan to:

1. Secure the border with "boots on the ground, technology and a fence."
2. Promote the existing path to citizenship by ending bureaucratic red tape.
3. Enforce existing immigration laws.
4. Empower the states to do "what the federal government hasn't done, can't do and won't do."

On the Tax Code

During his fifth question, Cain responded to the major corporations currently exempt from income taxes through preferential language in the tax code, saying:

"This is why I proposed my '9-9-9 plan.' The government needs to get out of the business of picking winners and losers. The government needs to get out of the business of trying to figure out who gets a tax break here, who gets a tax break there. When you go to '9-9-9,' it levels the playing field for all businesses. What a novel idea! And the government won't be in the business of trying to determine who's going to be able to make money and pay no taxes."

Cain continued by criticizing President Obama's so-called "economic recovery," saying:

"This recession is the worst recession since the Great Depression. If the recovery that this administration claims would just tie for last place, we would have another 6 million jobs. If it would tie for the recovery that took place in the 80s under President Reagan, we'd have 12 million more jobs out there, which would be music to the ears of the 14 million people looking for jobs. The President simply does not understand that the business sector is the engine for economic growth."

About the Debate

During the 1 hour and 45 minute debate, Cain received a total of five questions for less than six minutes of speaking time. Following the debate, he will appear on "On the Record with Greta Van Susteren" on the FOX News Channel at 10:20 p.m. EDT.

10:43 p.m.
Bachmann Showcases Leadership at GOP Presidential Debate

Simi Valley, Calif. – After only 60 days in the 2012 presidential race and a solid victory at 2011 Iowa Straw Poll, Michele Bachmann demonstrated again in tonight's GOP Presidential debate that she has the vision, the experience, and the leadership to serve as President of this great nation, and is not beholden to anyone but the American people to move the United States forward in the right direction. But she believes we are on the wrong path, and the country cannot afford another four years of President Obama's massive spending packages, strangling regulations and failed economic policies.

Having listened to the concerns of countless voters, business owners and local leaders regarding the harshest mandate - Obamacare, Bachmann led off tonight's debate with their sentiments by stating, "As I go across the country and speak to small business people - men and woman, Obamacare is leading them to not create jobs. We know that from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, but I know it firsthand from speaking to people. And Obamacare is clearly leading to job-killing regulations not job-creating regulations."

She continued by stating it will take a strong leader that will spearhead the effort to repeal mandates, "I was the very first member of Congress to introduce the bill to actually repeal Obamacare. This is the issue of 2012, together with jobs. It must be gone now and, as President of the United States, I will not rest until I repeal Obamacare."

On the topic of energy and job creation, Bachmann was quick to note that energy production is one of the greatest opportunities for job creation that we have in the United States.

"We just learned today that if the federal government would pull back on all the regulatory restrictions on American energy production we could see 1.2 million jobs created in the United States," Bachmann commented. "We could also see creation of over 50 percent more in American energy production and we could also see $800 billion more in revenue coming into the United States government."

Bachmann closed out the debate by affirming she is the strong leader the country needs during these uncertain times – not more speeches and Washington politics; "Tomorrow night when the nation tunes into the President I'm afraid that we won't be seeing permanent solutions. I'm afraid that what we'll be seeing is temporary gimmicks and more of the same that we have seen before. We have to have a President with a core sense of conviction that's going to fight on these issues."

11:30 p.m.


 Santorum Shows He is the Only Full Spectrum Conservative to Take on Obama With Another Strong Debate Performance

Simi Valley, CA - Tonight in California, former Senator and current Republican Presidential Candidate Rick Santorum (R-PA) proved he's the one conservative who can win the nomination for President and defeat Barack Obama.  

Hogan Gidley, National Communications Director said, "Some of these candidates claim conservatism but have a track record of instituting government takeovers of our lives.  Senator Santorum showed he is not afraid to engage other Republicans directly when they are wrong on the major issues shaping this country like government mandates, national security and entitlement reform."

Santorum said:


"You (Perry) want to talk about state's rights, how about parent's rights? I'm offended."

"Parental rights trump states' rights."

"Instead of people being 'able to opt out' how about allowing people opt in?"

Gidley said, "Rick Santorum was the only candidate on stage who can highlight a record of conservative results. Three years ago, we tried a candidate who was long on showmanship and short on leadership. It's time to listen to the only candidate who has a record on social moral and cultural issues, entitlement reform and national security - not to mention the only one on that stage who's defeated Democrat incumbents."


Santorum also said:


"Cut the tax on manufacturers who manufacture in America from 35% to 0%."

"Allow repatriation at a rate of 5% instead of the current 35% and that will infuse 1.2 trillion dollars into our economy."


"When I was in the Senate, we transformed the Welfare reform system not to save money but to save people's lives."


"We aren't going to fall for the same empty promises in we did in the 80's saying if you do this, we'll do this.  No more.  We are going to secure the border first this time, period.


"Many on this stage, are for isolationism but I believe that's a wrong path for this country.  We can be the force for good around the world."

Sept. 8, 2011 12:38 a.m.

Here's What They're Tweeting About Newt's Performance at the NBC News/Politico Debate...

@LinvilleHeather (MN College Republicans): Last quote by @newtgingrich was amazing. Obama IS focusing on class warfare NOT job creation. #ReaganDebate #mncrs

@DLoesch (Radio Host & co-founder of St. Louis Tea Party): THANK YOU NEWT. "We are all for defeating Obama." #reagandebate

@IngrahamAngle (Laura Ingraham): Gingrich the best so far. Total FACE on the media!

@BillHemmer: Gingrich recognizes The Reagan Rule and receives biggest applause of evening at the 28 minute mark. #reagandebate

@BillHemmer: Gingrich strong response on energy and harvesting Alaska. Crowd suddenly wakes up again. #reagandebate

@TeriChristoph (Co-Founder, Smart Girl Politics): The ladies on the #SGP chat admire Newt for being a team player. #reagandebate

@TeriChristoph: Newt and school choice is a big winner on #SGP chat. #reagandebate

@EditMeDavid (Editor, Daily Caller): Newt goes Presidential by playing as a team. Classy. Reaganesque.

@JasonBWhitman (Policy Chairman, YRNF): I am going to say now that when it comes to debating @newtgingrich basically owns. #ReaganDebate

@JasonBWhitman: I always enjoy watching @newtgingrich in a debate. He has a vast reservoir of knowledge and that's a fact. #ReaganDebate

@alex_wags (Reporter, Huffington Post): Big applause for Gingrich calling for English to be official language of the US.

@kesgardner: Newt has perfomed VERY well tonight. Refuses to equate raising revenues with raising taxes. Talking about drilling more oil in Alaska.

@CADelargy (CBS News): Audience seems to really like Newt Gingrich... don't think there's anything he's said tonight that didn't get some applause #reagandebate

@JedediahBila (author, columnist): Gingrich offers specific solutions. That is his strength: specifics. Always is.

@wkxlnhchris (NH Reporter): Great answer there from @newtgingrich , one of the top applause lines of the night on cutting spending

@NoelSheppard (Associate Editor, NewsBusters): I know this will anger @NewtGingrich haters but he comes across as the most informed & knowledgeable candidate by far.
@kerpen (Phil Kerpen, VP Americans for Prosperity): Newt won the debate.

Contact: Michelle Selesky

10:39 p.m.

Richard Viguerie: The Winner of the GOP Presidential Debate Was Texas Governor Rick Perry

MANASSAS, Va., Sept. 7, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Richard A. Viguerie, Chairman of, issued the following statement regarding the outcome of the Republican presidential debate at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, California:

"No one knocked Rick Perry off his perch.

"There are two principal tests a candidate must pass to become the Republican nominee in 2012.

"First, the candidate must be seen to be a conservative.  Second, the candidate must convince Republican primary voters that he or she can beat President Obama.

"When Governor Perry announced his candidacy, I said he was the only candidate who met both tests.

"There were eight candidates on the stage.  To win the debate, one of the other GOP contenders had to meet those two tests--be seen as a conservative and show he or she can beat Obama.  And the person had to show he or she can do those two things better than Rick Perry.

"Each of the candidates had their moments and each showed they had a constituency, but none of the other candidates scaled that tall mountain and knocked Perry out of the front runner's role."

NOTE TO EDITORS:  Richard A. Viguerie pioneered political direct mail and has been called "one of the creators of the modern conservative movement" (The Nation) and one of the "conservatives of the century"(Washington Times).  He is the author of Conservatives Betrayed: How George W. Bush and Other Big Government Republicans Hijacked the Conservative Cause.

10:42 p.m.
DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz on the GOP Presidential Debate
Washington, D.C. – Following the Republican presidential debate tonight, DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz released the following statement:
“If you’re a middle class family looking for opportunity the GOP field once again offered no solutions tonight.  There was not a single serious proposal to create jobs, not a single plan to increase opportunity for the middle class and not a single new idea to get our economy moving again. 
“What the American people saw tonight was all of the Republican candidates reaffirming their allegiance to the extreme ideology of the Tea Party.   On issue after issue, Tea Party beliefs are taking hold of the Republican Party as they continually put the well-being of corporations, big oil, and special interests ahead of middle class Americans.        
“Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, and the rest of the candidates on stage continued advocating for policies that protect tax cuts for corporations, special interests and the wealthiest Americans who bankroll their campaigns all while shifting more and more burdens onto working and middle class Americans. The Republican candidates all support draconian cuts to infrastructure, research and development, education and health care that would halt economic growth and cost millions of Americans their jobs. The Republican Party has pushed these policies before and it led our country to the brink of a second Great Depression.
“That’s not what the American people need.   Americans are looking for Republicans to offer answers - but all the country got tonight was more of the same with a flavor of Tea."

Sept. 8, 2011 1:42 p.m.

Republicans Unite at Reagan Library with Focus on Jobs

(Washington, DC) - Log Cabin Republicans statement on the Republican presidential debate held last night at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.

"Americans tired of President Obama's failed leadership tuned in to the GOP debate looking for an alternative to the gimmicks and empty rhetoric they will hear in tonight's speech before Congress. They were not disappointed," said R. Clarke Cooper, Log Cabin Republicans Executive Director. "While the candidates onstage represent a broad cross-section of the Republican family, all were united in the belief that our government is spending beyond its means and making too many promises it can't keep. Despite our differences, Republicans today are united in our mission to send Barack Obama back to Chicago and get our country back on the right track." 

Cooper continues, "Several of the candidates acquitted themselves well in the debate, such as Governor Huntsman's declaration of independence from documents like the National Organization for Marriage's anti-federalist marriage pledge. Log Cabin Republicans urge all candidates to be relentless in their focus on the Obama's greatest weaknesses - jobs and the economy. Divisive special interest pledges like NOM's only distract from that message and turn off the voters we need to be including to win the White House."

Republican Debate On MSNBC Draws 5.4 Million Viewers

MSNBC Delivers Highest Rated Republican Debate in 2011

New York – September 8, 2011 – The Republican Presidential Debate that aired on MSNBC last night drew 5.4 million viewers, soundly out-rating both FNC and CNN in total viewers and the key adult demographic, with 5,411,000 in total viewers and 1,728,000 viewers in the A25-54 demo, according to program data from Nielsen Media Research. Below are ratings highlights from the MSNBC GOP Debate on Sept. 7, 2011.

This debate set of a sharp exchange between the Romney and Perry campaigns on Social Security. 1, 2