GOP National Security Debate Live Blog

I'll be liveblogging tonight's Republican national security debate over at RealClearWorld along with a solid team of foreign policy analyst

I’ll be liveblogging tonight’s Republican national security debate over at RealClearWorld along with a solid team of foreign policy analysts:

Carl Cannon, Washington Editor, RealClearPolitics
Daniel Larison, Contributing Editor, The American Conservative
Greg Scoblete, Editor, RealClearWorld
James Joyner, Managing Editor, Atlantic Council
Jonathan Schanzer, Vice President of Research, Foundation for Defense of Democracies
Justin Logan, Director of Foreign Policy Studies, Cato Institute
Richard Cleary, Research Assistant, American Enterprise Institute
Sally McNamara, Senior Policy Analyst for European Affairs, Heritage Foundation

They’re using some sort of widget that goes live at 7:45 Eastern. Technology permitting, I’ll cut-and-paste my comments here after the debate for archiving.

UPDATE: The live blog mostly turned into an internal discussion between the panelists. I wound up live tweeting some snark and participating in the chat by pasting those in along with some interaction with the others. Here are the tweets in reverse chronological order.

Much prefer 140 characters of snark from people who know what they’re talking about than 40 seconds of talking head blather.
That’s two hours I’ll never get back.
Cain’s 1960-s experience as a ballistics analyst makes him concerned about cyber attacks. Hmm.
Obviously not. RT @joshuakeating: Anyone feel like answering that Somalia question?
RT @bungdan: Romney — NFZ waste of time. The problem is the tanks. “Maybe we need a no drive zone.”

Jon Huntsman points out the negative of Libya: Teaches tyrants not to give up nuclear programs.
Herman Cain would not support a no-fly zone in Syria. Which is good, since threat is not coming from the air.
Gingrich urges people to read plans. Dumbass.
RT @dandrezner: Ooof RT @notjessewalker Newt’s seen too many broken families already. #CNNDebate
And Reagan. RT @bdomenech: RT @keder: OMG NEWT GINGRICH IS AS MUCH OF A RINO ON ILLEGALS AS PERRY IS! #cnndebate
Gingrich doesn’t want to punish people who came here illegally as 3-year-olds. Bye-bye frontrunner status.
I’m losing confidence in the notion that electing the former CEO of the 7th largest pizza chain as commander-in-chief is wise
Ron Paul somehow thinks the US-Mexico border is more important to US than Afpak border. Idiot.
In fairness, being governor of Texas really has little to do with Mexico.
Shockingly, I don’t think Rick Perry understands the Monroe Doctrine.
Herman Cain is Mike Singletary? RT @realfreemancbs: @KeithB18@drjjoyner Ray Handley…excellent choice.
Not June Jones? RT @realfreemancbs: If Rick Perry were an NFL coach, he’d be Rich Kotite.
If the deficit is top national security security issue, it naturally follows that we should talk about welfare in a foreign policy debate.
Being commander-in-chief of the Texas National Guard actually has remarkably little bearing on commanding an actual army.
We’re not serious enough for that RT @daveweigel: Why not Lean Seven Sigma? #dreambig #cnndebate
Huntsman: We can’t have an intellectually honest conversation about defense with sacred cows. Or 6 of the other candidates.
I could be persuaded to support that RT @chrisalbon: Newt announces a foreign policy of #seriousness and #toughtness.
Gingrich: If we were a serious country we would collapse the global oil market. Thankfully, we’re not.
Romney panders on Israel and Iran in one answer. Well played, sir.
Ron Paul sums up the evening: All of this talk is just talk.
Ron Paul’s libertarian instincts that would keep us out of wars hit the rocks on such things as foreign aid.
Cain, asked to make a decision about priorities, says it depends on priorities. Good point.
Santorum gets high marks for co-authoring Millennium Challenge. Loses points for thinking Africa is a country.
Completely forgot that Gopher was Member of Congress. #goodolddays RT @Scott_Ott: Fred Grandy sighting. #CNNDebate
Bachmann: Obama has avoided energy independence. A goal every president has avoided since 1973.
People who study such things say cutting off Iran’s central bank would be an absolute disaster. Rick Perry thinks it would be a great idea.
Cain says he would join Israeli attack on Iran if it was clear what “victory” was. Huh?
How much is Wolf getting paid for this he can’t come up with his own questions?
Been said multiple times RT @JohnAmato: Giving odds? RT@tinadupuy: Our we taking bets on if “Osama bin Laden” gets said tonight? #CNNdebate
Once again Santorum is making sense. I clearly need more Scotch.
No need for name-calling, Dan RT @dangainor: Newt sorts things out just like a professor. LOVE IT!! #CNNdebate
Huntsman: The president is the commander-in-chief. Listen to generals but make the decisions.
Problem with “commanders on the ground” is that they have knee-jerk instinct to get the job done once troops lost
Huntsman: We need an honest conversation on what we’ve achieved in Afghanistan and accounting of costs.
RT @philipaklein: Bachmann’s place on intel committee showed on the Pakistan answer
Romney plays the modernity card
Perry has Afghanistan and India working in concert to leverage Pakistan. News to me.
Bachmann calls Perry naive.
Answering questions hasn’t worked RT @dandrezner: Total filibustering. RT @attackerman surprisingly weak answer on drones from Huntsman
Bachmann actually gets complicated Pakistan duality right
Jon Huntsman manages to work Congressional term limits into drone war question.
Wondering if Cain supports Targeted Identification for domestic law enforcement?
Santorum’s wrong on scalability of Israel model to USA. Right on the stupidity of massive burden on citizenry without regard to risk.
Damn it all to hell but I agree with Rick Santorum.
Perry: TSA unions are the problem. Oops.
Bachmann: New telephone technology invalidates the United States Constitution. (That’s a paraphrase)
Gingrich: Timothy McVeigh succeeded! (Me: But we didn’t know he was plotting a terrorist attack.)
Ron Paul: PATRIOT Act is unpatriotic because it undermines our liberty. Timothy McVeigh dealt with through criminal justice system.
Gingrich: Someone accused of terrorism should not be presumed innocent.
Ironically, Michele Bachmann serves on a committee devoted to intelligence.
Well, hell, if Newt’s daddy was in the Infantry, we should just make him president by acclamation.
BUSINESSMAN Herman Cain. Like Motorist Rodney King?
Seriously?! More introductions?! This is like the 900th debate.
Do they not realize this is a TV show and we don’t need the national anthem? Ridiculous amount of time-wasting here.
Only have 90 minutes RT @dangainor: Even CNN intro biased. Didn’t quote every candidate. #CNNdebate
RT @Oliver Willis this intro is effing ridiculous, michael bay called he wants to add explosions. #cnndebate
You know, a PhD from 45 years ago shouldn’t be on your 2-line bio at this point
Ah, Jimmy Carter flashbacks.
@KeithB18 And would almost certainly make a better president than 6 of the other candidates on stage @chrisalbon
Fmr New Mexico governor RT @chrisalbon: Who the heck is Gary Johnson? Please tell me they didn’t add another candidate to the debates.
Apparently, the world is still not a stable place.
Jon Huntsman’s base: @RT @joshrogin: 19 foreign ambassadors at tonight’s #CNNdebate, representatives from 37 embassies total
Not you, Mrs. Cain RT @joshrogin: RT @mikeallen: candidates’ spouses: Get to know the neighborhood. There’s a chance you may live here soon
Now, insights on international political economy from David Gergen and Wes Clark. So glad I tuned in to CNN.
Now, Wesley Clark is on to talk about the supercommittee. Why the hell not.
RT @Ali_Gharib: Erin Burnett wants to talk about Newt Gingrich, morality, and women voters with a panel of three middle aged white men.
Watching CNN waiting for debate to start and remembering why I quit watching cable news. Holy crap these people are annoying.
CNN reporting that illegal aliens are responsible for forest fires. No, I didn’t switch on Fox by mistake.
I’m going old school and live-blogging the debate over@RealClearWorld

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Tano says:

    Not sure I see the point of this James. I imagine it is fun for you and your single malt to chat with some of your friends, but who do you think reads this?

    Y’all don’t write comments that are at all helpful to those of us who are not watching – there is very little reporting going on – it just reads like a bunch of friends gathered around a TV making comments about what they see.

    So the only people who could follow along are people who are also watching the debate – and they are watching the debate, not reading RealClear.

  2. Tano,

    What other point is there to watch any political debate or speech?

  3. Tano says:

    Sorry Doug, I don’t quite understand your question.
    My question is what is the point of doing a liveblog which is of no use to people who aren’t already watching, and which most likely is not being read by those who are watching.

  4. Just nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Tano: It captures the comments and/or gaffes in real time. Comments after the fact based on notes are sometimes contextualized without Doug James the speaker even realizing it and that contextualizing is thought to bias the commentary, diluting its importance. The raw data that liveblogging provides is thought to be more authentic.

    Besides, we’re Americans. We don’t buy things because we need them, we buy them because be can. The same thing goes here–liveblogging is important because the technology exists.

  5. I was both watching and reading the live blog.

  6. @Tano:

    I was referring to the single malt, which may be essential to surviving any political debate

  7. Tano says:

    OK Doug, on that point we are in full agreement….

  8. Steve says:

    So the only people who could follow along are people who are also watching the debate – and they are watching the debate, not reading RealClear.

    Most debates nowadays have commercials. Commercials, intriguingly, for pomegranate juice and perfume.

  9. James Joyner says:

    @Tano: It wasn’t what I was expecting, either. I started by more pure live-blogging of the debate but the RealClearWorld gang quickly went off the rails and discussing the issues tangentially to what the speakers were saying. As I noted, we’re not exactly the target audience.

  10. sam says:

    Y’all like the intros, with the (ha!) music? Told the wife it reminded me of the effing Miss America pageant.

  11. ponce says:

    This reads like some middle school girls discussing who they like and don’t like.

    Was it supposed to be funny?