Live Updates: Des Moines Register/IPTV Republican Debate at 2PM

They debate at 2PM Eastern Time, it can be seen on Fox News, CNN, C-SPAN 3, or streamed online at

Here’s a story from Breitbart:

Republican White House hopefuls Wednesday meet in a last debate before the curtain rises on 2008 nominating contests, with fast-rising sensation Mike Huckabee ready for a grilling.

The ex-governor of Arkansas and ordained Baptist pastor rocketed from obscurity in a matter of weeks to top the polls in midwestern Iowa, which holds its fabled caucuses on January 3. He is also surging in national polls.

Democrats follow up with a final pre-caucuses debate here on Thursday, as long-time frontrunner Hillary Clinton battles challenger Senator Barack Obama, who some polls say has a narrow lead in Iowa.

Huckabee’s asendancy is the latest twist in the Republican race, as polls show party voters still lukewarm on the field, just 22 days before Iowa opens a flurry of contests that could produce nominees by early February.

We’ll have debate analysis, clips, and the entire video uploaded once it airs at 2pm Eastern, 1pm Central.

This could be Huckabee’s breakout moment where he solidifies his Iowa win. Or, he could stumble handing it back to Mitt or possibly Fred Thompson if the planets align for him. If you can’t catch when it airs, check back here later to watch.

Update – 1:41pm

I’m thinking that Huckabee is going to be taking hits from Romney and Thompson quite fiercely. What I will be watching for is to see if Giuliani says much about Huckabee. The rumors have been around that Giuliani and Huckabee have formed a little truce since in the general, they may share the ticket in some order. Expect it from Romney/Thompson, watch for it from Giuliani, he may be rather silent toward Huckabee.

The question is, how far is too far to attack Huckabee before it garners him more votes from evangelicals?

Will give periodic updates in this post, refresh for new updates every few minutes.

Click on Read More for the live updates.

Update – 1:57pm

Here’s a story from the Des Moines Register:

The Des Moines Register’s presidential debates, set for today and Thursday, are the last meetings of the candidates before the leadoff Iowa caucuses and most meaningful of the dozens already held this year, campaign strategists agree.

Republicans, scheduled to debate today, will meet with the caucus campaign in flux as better-known candidates aim for former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, the surprise leader in Iowa with three weeks until caucus night.

Starting in a few minutes.. Will update again in a little while..

Update – 2:08pm

“Is debt a threat to national security?”

Fox has the focus group giving instant feedback on what they hear, it’s the graph with the up or down dials. Up for what you like, down for what you don’t like, Thompson just had a mixed reaction on his answer about economic debt and security.

Update – 2:10pm

Huckabee had a good answer for this in my opinion.

McCain’s getting high marks from the focus group talking about energy independence from Middle Eastern oil.

Update – 2:11pm

Alan Keyes’ first answer, moderates like him, conservatives are weaker on him, according to the graph.

Update – 2:14pm

“What sacrifices should be made to lower debt?”

Ron Paul says withdraw our “empire” from around the world and there will be no sacrifice.

Update – 2:16pm

“Are there any programs worth running a deficit?”

Romney answered strong according to the graphs, Tancredo’s getting mixed reviews for his answer, sort of. Getting better by saying “Don’t ask for womb to tomb protection from the government”.

Update – 2:18pm

Fred Thompson’s answer, “Military, national security, science”, now going into statement about entitlement programs. Graphs giving high response. Really high spike.

Update – 2:19pm

Keyes getting weak responses from the graphs.

Update – 2:20pm

Romney got a very strong response to that answer.

Thompson, “My goal is to get into Romney’s situation where I don’t have to worry about taxes anymore”

Update – 2:22pm

“Who is paying more taxes?”

They all pretty much agree on a flat or fair tax.

Time for 30 second “free statements”.

Update – 2:24pm

McCain got a strong response, talking about military service.

Hunter’s also talking military service and building a border fence.

Back to economic issues..

Update – 2:25pm

Ron Paul advocating open markets with Cuba. (somewhere Cuban-Americans are booing)

Update – 2:26pm

Huckabee, “I can’t part the red sea but I can cut the red tape”

“Should we alter trade policies with countries who violate human rights?”

Will update again in a few minutes…

Update – 2:32pm

Ron Paul’s 30 second “free statement” got basically a dead response.

Fred Thompson’s “free statement” is getting a decent response on the graphs, went to the top.

Update – 2:32pm

Global warming question question

Thompson says “I’m not doing hand shows”

Turning into a melee..

Update – 2:33pm

McCain’s big on climate change and fixing the global warming problem.

Update – 2:34pm

Giuliani says “humans are contributing to global warming”

Update – 2:35pm

What happened with the question was, the moderator asked basically for yes or no, “Do you believe climate change is a serious issue?”. Thompson said he wasn’t going to do a show of hands question, the other candidates applauded him and agreed. Thompson asked for 60 seconds for the answer.

Basically nobody took a shot at the question except McCain and Giuliani who both said it’s a serious issue and humans are contributing to global warming.

Update – 2:37pm

“What will you do to reduce gas consumption?”

Huckabee is taking the politician answer, getting mixed response from the graphs.

Hunter also getting mixed responses.

Update – 2:41pm

More “free statements”

Tancredo’s “free statement” is dealing with illegal immigration and border security, assimilation into the culture.. etc..

Huckabee’s “free statement” is about leadership and change in the government and representing everyone, etc…

Update – 2:41pm

New topic, education.

“What educational standards does the US need to adopt or improve to compete globally?”

McCain, “need more choice and competition” – I agree completely

Update – 2:43pm

McCain praises Mike Bloomberg, graphs go down

Update – 2:45pm

Giuliani makes a good point in that college is based on choice and competition, says that K-12 should be the same way.

Update – 2:47pm

Halftime Report: In my opinion, this has been very mild so far. Perhaps in the next 45 there will actually be some discussion between candidates. So far, nobody has attacked another candidate. I’m wondering if they’re all trying not to since they’d look like the jerk about it.

I’ll continue giving updates in a few minutes..

Update – 2:48pm

Huckabee, “Unleash weapons of mass instruction”, gets mixed reaction actually..

Alan Keys jumps in, “Do I have to raise my hand to answer a question?”

Moderator, “you have 30 seconds”

Keyes, “The other candidates get 60 seconds, why don’t I?”

Keyes now discussing how God was taken out of schools, that’s the problem, going on about it

Update – 2:50pm

Ron Paul now advocating the elimination of the Dept. of Education, I agree.

The graphs are going way down, until he talks about giving control to parents.

Update – 2:51pm

Fred Thompson says the National Education Association is the biggest obstacle in education.

Update – 2:53pm

Tancredo with the first attack on Huckabee over music and art in schools.

Huckabee, “must be communicator in chief”

Getting good graph levels on the issue.

Unleash the flood gates, Romney going after Huckabee on education

Update – 2:55pm

Romney advocating educational change to compete.

New question, “What could you do in first 100 days as president?”

Giuliani, “could end illegal immigration, accomplish energy independence”

Hunter, “strengthen US military, enforce border, build fence”

Update – 2:58pm

Paul, “Could end the war bring troops home” – The graphs took a dive to almost the bottom, nobody liked that answer, the graphs continue going down to rock bottom.

Thompson, getting high marks, says he’d speak to the American people and tell them the truth, a novel concept

Romney, “overwhelm global jihad, end illegal immigration, reduce tax burden, get on track to energy independence, get health insurance for every American” – Graphs are high

Update – 3:01pm

Huckabee talking about bringing the country together, graphs show moderates love it, conservatives aren’t too keen.

McCain, “fix medicare, etc…”

Update – 3:04pm

Romney’s “free statement”, he likes Iowa and wants their vote.

Keyes’ “free statement”, “Restore credibility in the Republican Party at”

Giuliani, “I can bring results”

Update – 3:05pm

New question, watching some videos of the candidates.. waste of time!

Update – 3:07pm

Next questions about character and leadership.

To Giulinai, “how can you keep government transparent?”

Referencing the recent news about his billing inconsistencies.

Keys is getting bad graph reviews, graphs almost rock bottom.

Update – 3:10pm

Keyes attacked Romney and Giuliani on abortion.

Romney responded saying he made a mistake on being pro-choice.

Giuliani explained his pro-choice views, got bad graphs from conservatives, better from moderates.

Update – 3:14pm

Will give more updates shortly..

Update – 3:16pm

“More important for next president to be a social conservative or fiscal conservative?”

Hunter attacking Romney over sending technology to China..

More candidate videos…

Update – 3:18pm

Next question, “Tancredo, what assures Americans you lead the country?”

Tancredo, says Iraq is a battle, the greater war is the war on terrorism.

Update – 3:19pm

Next question, “Ron Paul, how would you adjust your plan in light of political reality?”

Paul, we should continue old constitutional revolution, freedom is unifying, etc…

Next question, “Any time you wished you’d compromised in congress?”

McCain, I didn’t come to washing to compromise my principles.

Update – 3:21pm

Next question, “15 seconds for new years resolutions for your opponents”

Keyes, “resolve to return to respect for God and rights”

McCain, “raise the level of dialog and debate in this campaign”

Huckabee, “I’m going to be more careful with everything I say, same for opponents”

Romney, “Resolve to have a spirited campaign among all of us and come together to defeat Democrats”

Thompson, “For myself, be a better man, be strong, have faith, better husband”

Tancredo, “To Huckabee, how will you convince America on the issue of immigration?”

Paul, “Reread the oath of office, defend the constitution”

Hunter, “Resolve to take care of veterans, buy American goods”

Giuliani, “Resolve for all of us to take a look at America, realize how fortunate we are”

Update – 3:24pm

It’s all over!


Here’s post-debate analysis and video:

Debate analysis and video


Here is the entire video:

Video: Des Moines Register Republican Debate From Iowa