“The [CBS/National Journal] Commander-In-Chief Debate” From South Carolina

By Edmund Jenks, Politisite West Coast Editor

With the focus on National Security and Foreign policy, CBS News and National Journal partners with the South Carolina GOP to present the first Republican Presidential Primary debate on broadcast television.

The debate, the second in the last four days, is scheduled to be broadcast live for one hour only [given the local schedule] starting at 8:00 pm ET and is to be broadcast on all CBS stations nationally.

“The South Carolina Republican Party is excited to be a partner on the first nationally televised, broadcast network debate of the Presidential Primary season,” said Chad Connelly, Chairman of the South Carolina Republican Party. “Presidential candidates and Republican activists across our nation know South Carolina’s historic tradition of successfully choosing the Republican nominee, a tradition uninterrupted for over thirty years. We look forward to the debate on Wofford College’s beautiful campus and continuing to demonstrate that in South Carolina, ‘We Pick Presidents.’”

The expectation is that these topics of National Security and Foreign Policy should play to the benefit of former Utah Governor, John Huntsman (also, former ambassador to China for the Obama Administration, he also served as ambassador to Singapore under George H.W. Bush and as a Deputy Trade Representative under George W. Bush.), Former leader of the House of Representatives, Newt Gingrich, and Former Senator, Rick Santorum. The rest of the field, it is assumed, will be coming in with a crash course understanding of the issues and there lays the entertainment … and the challenge of moderators, Scott Pelley (anchor and managing editor of the CBS EVENING NEWS WITH SCOTT PELLEY) and Major Garrett (former Fox News standout and current congressional correspondent for National Journal).

A short but possibly sweet debate #10 for the Republican field of presidential/Commander-In-Chief hopefuls.

In order for all to see the debate in total, we were instructed by Scott Pelley to see the last 30 minutes of the 90 minute debate by going to one’s computer and log on to CBS.com.

The biggest contention with this format and debate is the adherence to time. Of course, Rick Santorum has trouble with this right away because he gets bogged down in the tall grass with describing policy.

Huntsman’s first answer is short and probably the most popular. He looks to isolation and extraction from current involvement save some small force for intelligence and training the government forces of the country we are leaving.

Gingrich hits the problem on the head recognizing this problem is much larger and complex than the way we are addressing it. Then Gingrich goes on to make the case for defending Christians throughout the world from Muslim persecution.

Perry turns the focus back to Foreign Aid and spending as the first issue that informs our foreign policy.

Bachmann on Pakistan – A difficult area and harbors terrorism. They have Nuclear weapon and worldwide connections are aligned against Israel … we need to stand with Israel.

Gingrich agrees with the Perry approach starting with Foreign Aid at zero every year and have countries that we currently support argue for its maintenance.

Santorum on the Nukes – Pakistan must be handled as a friend because they have the bomb. It is important to keep a solid and stable relationship. Money on foreign aid is spent here in this country first on the manufacture of weapons before they are used to secure our relationships.

BREAK

Gingrich stiff arms Major Garrett on a question relating to how he characterized Romney [as a good manager] on a national radio show – Laura Ingraham | 9:00am to 12:00pm ET – by shaking his head NO! “We are here to replace Barack Obama” as president and we all would be better than the current president.

Parry makes a pitch as being a decision maker [over others hopefuls] as Commander-In-Chief.

Bachmann – Obama has the ACLU managing the activities of the CIA.

Paul – Water boarding is torture. Torture is uncivilized.

Huntsman – Recites his resume then comes down on the side that water boarding as torture.

Pelley then asks Romney about Obama’s killing of an American born terrorist in Yeman by an unmanned missile … Was Obama correct in this act?

Pelley begins to argue with the people taking part in the debate about the Rule-Of-Law. Gingrich fires back that individual people who are creating war with America are defined by a panel as “Enemy Combatants” and therefore not subject to America’s Rule-Of-Law (to uproarious crowd applause in agreement with Newt’s point of order).

Major Garrett gains control of the direction of the debate by asking Foreign Trade questions of Romney and Perry.

Pelley allows himself a follow up question with Romney on Foreign Trade … taking precious time away from other respondents.

Huntsman – We do not need a trade war with China. We need to engage the younger, internet connected generations in China on issues of trade for them to have an effect on the Ruling Class … Author comment – this does not make sense.

BREAK

A Twitter question asks of Gov. Perry if Israel would start at zero in foreign aid? Perry said YES and that this should be applied to the budgets of all of the Federal Departments he had trouble naming in an earlier debate.

BREAKmost people throughout the nation either miss this part of the debate or they tune in to CBS.com on their computers.

In Palm Springs, the affiliate cut away for local news and so the internet came into play.

There was a problem with the transmission and it seems that the internet connection did not have enough bandwidth to handle the demand – choppy video and consequently, choppy audio. Further investigation found that this bandwidth problem was actually with the main server contracted for use by CBS … REALLY?!

CBS is a bush-league outfit to schedule a Republican presidential debate, title it “The Commander-In-Chief Debate”, and broadcast only a portion of the debate on a national basis, then provide inadequate internet service to carry the balance of the debate.

Hey CBS, why sponsor and hold a debate if you are not serious enough to carry the whole debate?

If this were a Democrat Political Party debate with eight contenders, would you have only enough television broadcast time slot bandwidth to carry a percentage of the whole debate and after debate spin?

Why on Earth would the South Carolina GOP [and the NRCC] agree to such a half-handed set-up … is this the best they could negotiate?

How weak.

WOW!

About the Author

Edmund Jenks - West Coast Editor Biography: Edmund Jenks is the Managing Editor of five Weblogs: MAXINE, Symblogogy , Oblate Spheroid, Carter’s Second Term, & notes from The EDJE. He provides consulting and relationship services and has been republished by Pajama’s Media, LATimes, Execupundit, Library Clips, Japan Only, Planet CellPhone, The Grocery List, BlogoWogo, Instapundit, PoliticalOpinions, Slate, AOLnews, WIRED, and WSJ Online …to mention a few. He’s also a Feature Page Manager for Motorsports and Feature Page Editor for Tech & Biz on NowPublic, member of the Motor Press Guild, registered citizen journalist on BlogRoll of Pajamas Media, and has appeared on Pajamas TV. Edmund Jenks has joined the Politisite team with his expertise in National Politics with a West Coast Conservative Flair. We are honored to have Ed as part of our growing portfolio of journalists and commentators.

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4 Comments

  1. Actually, CBS in their negotiations with the SCGOP for a non-nationally televised debate, and picking a title that hijacked the fact this was a Republican Party Political debate … won the debate before it started.

    Ron Paul was just along for the ride … as he always is.

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