The long-awaited first Republican presidential debate Sponsored by CNN/YouTube bringing video questions submitted by ordinary Americans on the YouTube.com website brought the candidates into their sharpest debate yet.
Presidential rivals Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney went head-to-head on the issue of immigration with the entire first half-hour of the debate taken up by a battle over illegal immigration.
Giuliani accused Romney of employing illegal immigrants at his home running a “sanctuary mansion.” The exchange came after Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, said Giuliani had retained New York’s status as a sanctuary city while he was mayor.
Another head-to-head battle came when an animated Uncle Sam asked Senator John McCain if he’s for the fair tax. McCain responded that he was not, than he immediately went after Ron Paul for wanting to bring troops home. “I want to tell you that kind of isolationism is what caused World War II.. We allowed Hitler to come to power.” McCain went on to say that he had spent Thanksgiving with the troops and that their message to Ron Paul is “Let Us Win This Thing”… “Let Us Win”…
Paul says if that’s the case, then the real question is, “Why does my campaign get the most money from active duty military officers? I’m not an isolationist.”
Although this was a camera filled exchange for Paul, it clearly seemed that questions were steered away from Paul during the entire debate and that both video questions which were directed to Paul from YouTube users both contained spoon-fed derogatory questions about conspiracy theories and whether he would run as a independent, because he clearly wasn’t going to win the primary.
According to the New York Times, two planes were circling overhead, one flying a Ron Paul banner, another with lights spelling out his name. A ship to support Ron Paul circled in the bay just outside the hall and just beyond the security fences erected around The Mahaffey Theater, Mr. Paul’s loyal supporters waited and cheered with shirts and stickers and other assorted Paul gear.
CNN treating Ron Paul as a minor candidate, moving the camera from him as much as possible, and limiting his role at the debate easily comes into question.
Paul pointed out that he had 5,000 people of all races turned out for his rally outside Independence Hall in Philadelphia.
Noticeably agitated Paul stated “Did you know that our campaign raised over 4 million dollars – in one day”?
Ron Paul also said “We are taxed to blow up the bridges overseas, taxed to rebuild those bridges and our own bridges are falling down. This country is sick and tired of what they are getting. We are in the middle of a revolution and I’m happy to be part of it.”