10:01: “That was a statement I probably should not have made.” — Herman Cain on CNBC post-debate interview, referring to his “Princess Nancy” remark
10:00: “I’m glad I have my boots on because I sure stepped in it tonight.” — Rick Perry in spin room
9:55: It never gets old. Watch it again.
9:52: Here’s an idea for taking care of high frequency trading that none of the candidates will endorse: a financial transactions tax!
9:51: Michele Bachmann just called the Chinese People’s Liberation Army the world’s biggest employer. Not true!
9:37: 9-9-9 fatigue: Audience laughs when Cain’s answer to a specific question about California hiring a Chinese company to rebuild the Oakland Bay Bridge is the 9-9-9 plan.
9:31: Fifteen minutes later, Rick Perry’s brain clicks in. “By the way, it was the Department of Energy that I was reaching for before,” he reveals.
9:30: Quote of the night: “Oops.”
Rick Perry: “Commerce, education, and the umm, what’s the third one there? Let’s see… The third agency of government I would do away with – education, uh the, commerce, and let’s see, I can’t. The third one I can’t. Sorry. Oops.”
9:24: Romney again says he’d link pay of public employees to that of private-sector workers. As we’ve reported numerous times, that would require giving many public employees a raise.
9:22: Romney proposes cutting 10 percent of the federal workforce, which translates to nearly 500,000 jobs. At least 600,000 government workers have already lost their jobs since the recession began, dragging down the recovery and keeping national unemployment higher than it needs to be.
9:22: Gingrich points to Galveston’s privatized retirement program as an alternative to Social Security. The Galveston program works really well for the rich and not well at all for everyone else.
9:20: Let’s not let pass that Perry’s plan to cut the Commerce Department, the Education Department, and a department to be named later would mean an end to the federal student loan program.
9:18: The Highlight Of Tonight’s Debate: Perry couldn’t even name the three federal departments he wanted to eliminate — could only name Commerce and Education. Paul suggested there are five; Romney suggested the EPA. Perry said, no that’s not it, but couldn’t name the third. Some one get him some maple syrup.
9:16: Perry says his tax plan will let Americans “keep more of what you work for.” Actually, it would raise taxes on most middle-class and low-income families.
9:06: The candidates will address lowering the deficit after the break. Remember that they all support repealing the Affordable Care Act, which will increase the deficit by $230 billion over 10 years.
9:03: Romney says he believes “markets work”, but his Massachusetts health care reform plan regulates health insurers and requires that they offer basic comprehensive coverage precisely because the free market wasn’t working in the state.
9:01: Bachmann says the key to health care is lowering costs. One key to her version of health reform: tort reform, which experts say would have minimal impact, if any at all, on health costs.
9:00: Bachmann’s solution to let people buy coverage “anywhere they want” won’t work: insurers would simply cherry pick the healthiest applicants and deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions. That’s part of the reason why so many Americans have a hard time finding individual coverage today.
8:59: The GOP’s health care solutions are bogus: sending Medicaid “back to the states” and reducing the federal contribution would force states to reduce the size of their Medicaid programs by cutting payment rates for doctors, hospitals or nursing homes; reducing the scope of benefits covered; or limiting eligibility,” the Congressional Budget Office has found.
8:57: Cain just called Nancy Pelosi “Princess Nancy” — because condescending to women is a smart move for him right now.
8:55: Huntsman came into office with a “goal of halving the state’s ranks of uninsured.” At the end of his term, “The state’s uninsured rate remained steady at 11 percent in 2010, meaning 300,000 Utahns went without coverage.”
8:54: Huntsman calls for “some kind of fee” that banks should have to pay for being too big. So he presumably supports the Obama administration’s bank tax?
8:53: CNBC questioner asks each candidate to explain how they would fix the health care markets in “30 seconds.” The fact that major media figures actually think that question can be answered in 30 seconds is a big reason why our health care debate is so broken. (“Health care in 30 seconds is a little tough,” Romney concedes later.)
8:52: Pushing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac into bankruptcy right now, as several candidates want to do, would have absolutely catastrophic consequences for the housing market.
8:50: Defending his consulting work for Fannie Mae, Newt Gingrich emphatically said he doesn’t lobby. ThinkProgress has dug into Gingrich’s long history as an unregistered lobbyist for various corporations. We first reported on his influence peddling on behalf of health insurers, medical IT companies, and other health care interests, in a post last year.
8:50: Cain’s solution to the housing crisis is (do we even need to say it?): 999!
8:47: Perry says “Obamacare regulations” are “killing” the economy. President Obama’s health reform law provides regulations to stop health insurers from refusing to pay for dying customers. Saving lives will kill the economy, in Perry’s view.
8:46: Romney attacked Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for causing the housing crisis. He’s profiting from an investment in the firms.
8:46: Romney revives the conservative zombie lie that Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Chris Dodd, and Barney Frank caused the housing crisis.
8:44: Romney says that the best thing you can do for the housing crisis is to fix the economy. Like Detroit, Romney wants to let housing go bankrupt.
8:38: While we’re focused on the economy, it’s worth remembering: A survey of economics professors said today that these GOP candidates would fail their Econ 101 classes.
8:38: Ron Paul warns about the looming specter of inflation during a screed against the Federal Reserve. For the record, inflation is incredibly low.
8:37: Michele Bachmann lays out her McDonald’s Happy Meal tax plan: “So even if it means paying the price of two Happy Meals a year, everyone can afford to pay at least that.”
8:36: Bachmann says it’s a “real problem” that lots Americans don’t pay any federal income taxes. These people do pay other taxes, like state, local, and federal payroll taxes, and they include lots of retired seniors.
8:34: Romney says he would “focus a substantial tax break on middle-income families.” His tax plan would give literally no benefit to 73.9 percent of middle-class families.
8:32: Cain says his 9-9-9 plan is “fair” because it “treats everyone the same.” In reality, Cain’s plan gives the top 1% of earners a $210,000 tax cut, while giving the bottom 60% a $2,000 tax hike.
8:32: It took 32 minutes for Herman Cain to mention his “999″ tax plan.
8:29: Santorum said that fracking natural gas in Pennsylvania is one of the his most important priorities. He did not mention, however, that until earlier this year he consulted for Consol Energy — a major fracking and coal company in Pennsylvania.
8:28: Gingrich slams “most of the people on Occupy Wall Street” for failing “to have a clue about history.” Historically, “this is the richest country in the world because corporations create both profit and jobs.” He slams the media for not reporting accurately about the economy. Asked how the media is failing, Gingrich complains that’s a statement in the form of a question.
8:27: Huntsman reiterates that banks are too big. In October, he said he wanted to “return to the spirit” of the Glass-Steagall Act, which created a firewall between banks and other financial institutions.
8:27: Romney wants to help profitable businesses hire workers. He often cites his business resume for the presidency, and yet his record at CEO of Bain Capital was one where he helped companies lay off thousands of workers. While Romney was governor, Massachussetts ranked 47th in job growth.
8:26: Romney asserts that Barack Obama and Democrats “hate business” and don’t want businesses to profit. In two and a half years under Obama, Wall Street traders have profited more than they did in 8 years under George W. Bush.
8:26: Asked if corporations should have a social responsibility to hire people or if corporations should simply maximize profit, Romney dodges. Romney, who fired thousands while at Bain, simply said he thinks corporations should do “both” — then attacked Obama.
8:25: Huntsman says it is “unnatural” for Americans to be outraged about income inequality.
8:24: The audience boos again when Romney is asked about the accusations against Cain, applauds when he refuses to discuss it. When CNBC switches topics back to the economy, the crowd applauds.
8:22: CNBC moderator Bartiromo brings up the sexual assault allegations against Herman Cain and gets boos from the audience. He calls the claim “unfounded,” and audience erupts in applause. “For every one person who comes forward with this type of false accusation, there are a thousand who say that kind of behavior would never come from Herman Cain.”
8:21: Bachmann and Santorum accuse the administration of over regulating industry, but President Barack Obama has actually signed fewer regulations than President George W. Bush had at this point in his presidency.
8:20: Santorum pledges to give a windfall tax holiday on corporate profits made in other countries. He didn’t mention, however, that the lobbying firm that he consults for, the American Continentel Group, works on behalf of Microsoft on the issue of tax repatriation.
8:19: Bachmann says the U.S. has the second highest corporate tax rate in the world. That is true on paper, but in practice, due to all the loopholes and tax havens, the U.S. actually has the second lowest corporate taxes in the developed world.
8:18: Gingrich points to two cycles in his lifetime — under President Ronald Reagan and Gingrich’s Contract For America — in which the policy was lower tax rates. Of course, Reagan raised taxes seven out of his eights years in office.
8:17: Gingrich says Ben Bernanke should be fired as soon as possible. Again, the president can’t do that.
8:16: Rick Perry joins the “banks are too big” party that has become newly popular in the GOP: “If banks are too big to fail, they’re too big.” Does that mean he will force big banks to dismantle themselves?
8:15: Romney has been on all sides of the auto bailout. Here is what he told Cavuto in November of 2008: “And so, as the government prepares to put in billions of dollars to that industry, let’s make sure that, as part of this effort, that we invest in companies that are newly streamlined, more economic, more efficient, and that we’ve really created a bright future for the American automobile sector.”
8:14: Romney said he’s a man of “steadiness and constancy,” cites the length of his marriage. He almost forgets how long he’s been married (25, um, no 42 years).
8:11: Huntsman seems to support breaking up big banks, joining a recent GOP trend: “As long we have banks that are too big to fail in this country, we’re going to get hurt. … We need to get back to a day and age in which we have properly sized and financed financial institutions.”
8:11: Jon Huntsman says six banks in the U.S. have assets equal to 66 percent of the nation’s GDP. He’s right.
8:10: In response to question about how to prevent Italian economic crisis from blowing up our economy, every single candidate has claimed that America will become Italy. Zero of them offered a solution to keep Italy from blowing up the U.S. economy.
8:08: Moderator Jim Cramer asks a question premised on his position “at the front lines” of the stock market. For the record, following his stock advice is slightly worse than picking stocks by flipping coins.
8:06: Herman Cain’s solutions are simple: “we have to grow the economy” and “a dollar has to be a dollar.”
8:04: Another contributing moderator — Jim Cramer. “This is the most, greatest wealth destruction I’ve seen by a president.”
8:03: Thank you, CNBC — the moderators dispense with the usual introductions by the candidates and get straight to the questions.
8:01: One of the contributing moderators of tonight’s debate is Rick Santelli. Yes, that Santelli. “President Obama, are you listening?”
7:58: Tonight’s debate is taking place in Michigan, so it’s worth reminding everyone of the time Mitt Romney penned an op-ed urging the government to “let Detroit go bankrupt.”