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November, 28th 2007

Next round

– Liz Mair

Duncan Hunter has some concerns about the questioner's handling of his gun.

Rudy's going to get hit on guns now. This is actually a pretty tough question. Rudy thinks we need to be aggressive about enforcing gun laws that exist. And all laws, actually. He's pointing to his crime record. He did just say that he thinks that the 2nd amendment guarantees an individual right to keep and bear arms. He's pointing to the views of a judge. This may work well for lawyers and those who follow court items closely, but I think it's going to be lost on most people. Now, he's saying SCOTUS is going to make a decision-- and that he doesn't think that the right relates to militias. Quite right.

Thompson's whacking Rudy on gun laws now. He's whacking him HARD. This is the risk with Rudy citing a court case-- he didn't get specific about clarifying what legal exceptions there might be where the exercise of 2nd amendment rights is concerned.

Now a guy from Arizona is asking a question about favorite guns. This should weed out the men from the boys. Thompson says he owns some, but he won't say which or where they're kept. McCain says he used plenty of guns when he was in the service. He doesn't own one now. Hunter gives an extended answer. Romney just conceded that the two guns in his house that he's previously tried to imply are his are actually his son's. All I can say is varmints.

Romney is somehow tying a question about black-on-black crime to family values. Missing the point, I fear. Anderson calls him on it. Romney continues with the family stuff, and then steals Rudy's line about education being the civil rights issue of our time. He's walked right into the violent crime trap, too. Not smart.

Rudy's going to whack him now on the increase in murders and burglary during his tenure in Massachusetts. Romney should NOT have opened the door here. It's an open invitation to Rudy to tout his record, and on an issue that is fringe, at best. Rudy nails his answer and makes Romney look mediocre as well.

Romney praises Rudy's record and then mentions "Police Commissioner." Subtle. Maybe he can mention interns, too.

***

Abortion on the table. Hmmm.

Ron Paul says it's not a federal function to determine what the penalties for an abortion being performed are. He says the federal government should get out of the issue. He doesn't think a woman should be charged where she seeks or gets an abortion. But he does think that abortion is a crime, at least in the third trimester and where partial birth abortion is concerned. The doctor should get the punishment, though-- to the extent states so choose.

Thompson weighs in. He thinks overturning Roe v Wade should be our top priority. Funny, I thought he was more concerned about Social Security and taxes. Thompson thinks that where an abortion is performed the doctor bears responsibility-- and that the cut-off time for abortion should be moved up. That's not quite a clear pro-life position-- but we've already had that from Fred.

Rudy thinks banning abortion is up to the states-- and evidently the crowd likes this. He does not support criminalization, except where abortion is late-term or partial birth abortion is conducted.

Romney agrees with Thompson. But wait, he doesn't, because he'd be delighted to sign a human life amendment bill. But wait, the country's not ready. Hmmm.

***

Huckabee says considering whether to allow the death penalty was the toughest decision he ever made, because it was irreversible. He supports the death penalty, though. Huckabee also just referred to a life that never was given a chance to exist. This ties in with one of my usual critiques of pro-life thinking. If it hasn't been given a chance to exist, it isn't a life. It's human, sure, but not necessarily a life (though as I've said before, after month 3, it's pretty clear to me that it is).

***

Bible time. Do the candidates believe every word of the Bible?

Giuliani believes it, but not necessarily literally so-- some parts are interpretive, some parts are allegorical. But he reads it lots, and gets a lot out of it, and all that.

Romney believes that the Bible is the word of God. He's not answering Anderson's question about whether he believes every word. He gets a pass. I'm interested that he avoided a question about the Book of Mormon.

Huckabee gets to play pastor, too. He basically outlines the Golden Rule. And offers some stuff that is too deep for me, the Latin Mass person.

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