Tuesday, November 22, 2011

CNN Republican Debate 11-22-11 (Wolf Blitzer)

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Considering past disparities in candidate speaking time, Wolf Blitzer did a magnificent job in maintaining a very even hand in allowing each Republican candidate to have their fair share of speaking time. In fact, he did such a good job I was almost always able to predict who the next question would be aimed at based on looking at my spreadsheet and seeing who had been out of the loop the longest. Having tracked the talking time for each of the past debates, it is worth noting and commendation.

If a short end of the stick must be held, then it must be given to Herman Cain who only spoke for 5:31 (mm:ss), which accounts for a notch above 7%, but he did receive 10% of the talking opportunities so you could also say his short responses played a role as well as not getting into any back 'n forth with the other candidates. The crosstalk obviously cannot be held against Cain, CNN did a very diligent job of creating friction between Presidential hopefuls.

A few skirmishes broke out between the Republicans, perhaps the most notable between Dr Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich on the legality of the Patriot Act. Newt believing in sacrificing our civil liberties in order to attempt a more secure nation from terrorism, and Ron Paul advocating that our liberties should never be sacrificed for national security that cannot be guaranteed even with the erosion of our Bill of Rights.

Also of note was Michelle Bachmann headbutting with Rick Perry over the usefulness of foreign aid to Pakistan, with Rick Perry labeling Pakistan as a questionable entity with unknown intentions and Bachmann advocating foreign aid as a good use of American taxpayer money to keep an open line of communication for potential intelligence and to keep us in the good graces of a nuclear nation. Of course, lost in this dialogue was the fact that we are pitching good will to a hostile nation with nuclear capabilities, yet, see Iran as a nation to go to war with despite their lack of nuclear weapons.

While ranting against military budget cuts, Mitt Romney was refuted by Ron Paul when Paul pointed out that there are in fact no cuts on the table, that there are only reductions in the increased amount of spending. Much like saying we are spending $100 annually, and next year were planning to spend $200, but instead we will only spend $150 and labeling that $50 difference a cut, it's foolish economics that Representative Paul rightly pointed out. The only candidate truly offering cuts is Ron Paul, who wishes to reduce the deficit by one trillion dollars in his first year of Presidency.

All in all, anyone who tuned in were at least privy to a full debate where nearly all candidates were advocating war and unconstitutional laws that ignore the Bill of Rights, but the dissenting views of liberty-loving Ron Paul were given ample time to make the case for limited government and civilian respect.

Total Talk %
Gingrich 11:59 15.81%
Romney 11:29 15.15%
Perry 10:55 14.40%
Ron Paul 9:57 13.13%
Bachmann 9:16 12.23%
Huntsman 8:45 11.54%
Santorum 7:56 10.47%
Cain 5:31 7.28%
Total 1:15:48 100.00%
*Note: This is uninterrupted talking time, except for audience cheer/applause in the middle of a response as this goes against their official response time.

Turns Talking %
Romney 14 15.91%
Gingrich 14 15.91%
Perry 12 13.64%
Ron Paul 11 12.50%
Bachmann 11 12.50%
Cain 9 10.23%
Huntsman 9 10.23%
Santorum 8 9.09%
Total 88 100.00%

Avg b/w Talks Longest Wait
Santorum 10:42 15:37
Cain 8:35 17:00
Huntsman 7:27 22:43
Bachmann 6:35 15:14
Ron Paul 6:16 15:05
Gingrich 5:41 19:05
Perry 5:40 11:39
Romney 5:12 20:00

Qs R F
Perry 9 2 1
Ron Paul 8 2 1
Gingrich 8 3 3
Romney 7 5 2
Bachmann 7 3 1
Cain 7 1 1
Santorum 7 0 1
Huntsman 7 2 0
Total 60 18 10
Note: Qs = Questions; R = Responses (candidates responding to each other); F = Followups (moderator following up from the previous question)

Bonus Video: Are there any differences between the establishment parties?


John Pazniokas said...

We've seen some hostile, even combative interviews of Ron Paul by Blitzer in the past, and considering how little time Paul has gotten in recent debates, I had a bad feeling about this one.

So... kudos to Blitzer. He did a great job in maintaining balance, and I never really felt the depth of bile from the moderator in reacting to Paul's responses, like we've heard in previous debates.

Wes Hemings said...

Totally agree. This was a rare debate that allowed nearly everyone to have their say without feeling like any one person got all the time. To be fair, in the past Ron Paul has gotten more time than this (obviously not often), but the majority still usually ended up with Mitt, so this was a really well moderated debate in terms of equality. Let's hope this continues.

Mauibrad said...

Look what they did with Cain. They really F--Ked with Cain. LOL!

Anonymous said...

As a person who wants Ron Paul to do well, I did not have a problem with this debate. It was fairly balanced. Not only did Wolf Blitzer ask him questions, he also allowed Ron Paul to follow up after another candidate's remarks. This is one debate where everyone, even those that haven't polled well, received adequate time.

Richard said...

@Mauibrad... I think they did Cain a favor, since he started off bad calling Wolf 'Blitz', and got worse the more he spoke.

@Individual Liberty... There was still one or maybe two times Paul was cited by another candidate but not given a chance to respond. But still better than usual, yes.

I thought Huntsman actually did well most of the time, at least on the economics part. Not better than Paul, but better than the rest.

Wes Hemings said...

@Richard - I think you nailed it. Cain's absence helped him in that he didn't get to hurt himself as badly as he could have. He has an obvious void of knowledge, specifically in foreign policy. You're also right that Paul was addressed at least 3 or 4 times where he didn't get to respond, though he did manage to get 2 responses in.

Huntsman, he's a bit of an enigma. In the last televised debate he was anti-torture for the sake of our rep, but just when I thought he would lean that way again and renounce the Patriot Act he seemed to lean toward being okay with it. I just have to believe more people are acknowledging the erosion of our civil liberties...

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