Top 5 Most Ridiculous Parts of the GOP Debate

Bachmann, Perry, and Romney at the GOP Debate

So I’m sure all of you took two hours our of your life that you will never get back to check out the Republican debate last night! Oh wait…you didn’t? Is it because you were out having a life and also because you probably think the GOP candidates are all anti-woman, anti-government, and anti-science? Oh.

Well, don’t fret because I watched the entire thing, live tweeted it, and have selected my Top 5 most ridiculous moments so you can continue on living your awesome life!

Let’s get started.

1. Governor Rick Perry claims Social Security is a Ponzi scheme….again.

In what could go down as the moment that either won or lost Perry the GOP nomination, Perry calls social security a Ponzi scheme. Previously, Governor Perry labeled the 70 year old beloved program a “monstrous lie” and a Ponzi scheme for young people. One would think his advisors would tell him that in order to win the White House a candidate from either party will need to win the state of Florida (hint: where the old people live) but I guess they didn’t get the memo. This doubling down on the extreme position on a very popular New Deal program may work in the short term but it is the type of thing that probably makes the Obama re-election folks high five in their Chicago headquarters.

2. The audience cheers Rick Perry lauding 234 executions of “vast majority” guilty defendants in Texas.

So much for the GOP being in favor of the “culture of life” like President Bush used to say. Now we are the party of executions and if it turns out defendants might be innocent after the fact, it’s no biggie because we have no regrets! Governor Rick Perry stating proudly that under his leadership, Texas has executed 234 people (including one person who was most likely innocent of the crime). The crowd cheers! The look of satisfaction on Governor Perry’s face was truly disturbing and a moment that I will not soon forget.

3. Herman Cain’s 999 plan. Or maybe we can just make it an 888 plan. What?

Presidential hopeful Herman Cain wants to implement a 999 plan, which replaces the current tax code with 9% individual income tax, 9% sales tax, 9% business tax. So I know your probably thinking well if I’m middle class making $50,000 or less a year and my boss the CEO is making $5 million a year why is it better economic policy for us to be paying the same tax rate?! Well it doesn’t, Herman Cain is just running for president he can’t be responsible for all of these important details like explaining his plan for economic growth and why it’s not not feasible. When asked for more detail after the debate on MSNBC, Cain said “well we might just have to make it an 888 plan” we haven’t worked out all of the details. Reassuring.

Furthermore, one wonders just how much longer former Godfather’s Pizza CEO Herman Cain is going to be in the race. My personal view is that Cain is conveniently positioned in the GOP field to deflect any claims of racial bias against the GOP. Of course I could be wrong (I’m not) but Cain’s expertise seems to stem from his time as the CEO of a pizza company. I like pizza a lot but I don’t want the CEO of Pizza Hut as my president (no offense to the CEO of Pizza Hut). Cain’s time in the GOP field is sure to come to an end soon as the field is surely shaping up to be a two way race between Perry and Romney and lines like Cain’s 999 plan which sound catchy will just be fodder for future generations of political science majors.

4. Science is for suckers.

Governor Rick Perry compares those who questioned Galileo to those who deny the existence of climate change climate change deniers to Galileo. It’s really a scary world we live in when a major political party vying for our nation’s highest office have all but one potential candidate who is allergic to scientific facts. Climate change is a real thing if you ask scientists, but ask a Republican politician and you’ll get a different answer.

5. Jon Huntsman appearing reasonable and therefore totally unacceptable for the GOP nomination.

In a reasonable Republican party Jon Huntsman might be a top tier candidate. But that is not the case and after last night’s debate it looks like Huntsman is trying so hard to look like the thinking Republican presidential hopeful on a stage with people that hate science, but he just looks like a dud. It’s not that the talking points Huntsman is using are not rational, it’s that he’s not playing to a rational crowd. When he vows to not take any pledge, like Grover Norquist’s infamous No Tax pledge, he fails the litmus test that all of these candidates must pass in order to cater to a very narrow GOP primary electorate.

And let’s be real here, Jon Huntsman worked for the Obama administration. He never had a chance.

So there you have it. Did you guys catch the debate? What were the parts that stood out to you?

Join the Conversation

  • David

    I only tuned in for one question: the intervention in Libya. It’s not the only topic I was curious about, but it was the first question I caught and the answers were all I could take.

    So all I really saw was Michelle Bachmann asserting the stance that she did not support intervention in Libya, then outlining the case for why she believed intervention in Libya was absolutely necessary, then reiterating the stance that she did not support intervention in Libya. I heard a bit of sensibility from Jon Huntsman, and a lot of hot air and puffery from everybody else. I can’t take it.

    The strategy of the modern Republican Party is to demoralize everyone who isn’t an idiot or bigot or both, and to pander to everyone who is. The majority of us aren’t, but the majority of us are demoralized. It’s working.

  • rebeccajk42

    Remember how a bunch of shows on old Nickelodeon all used to “slime” people? We decided that the moderators should be able to press a button to drop gooey slime on any candidate who does not even pretend to come close to answering a question. I think Bachmann would have gotten it the most, but I only watched the last half of the debate.

    Guest Moderator: So after this fence is built, what do we do with 11 million people already here?
    Bachmann: Yes, we definitely need to build that fence.
    Guest Moderator: But yeeeaaahhh, after the fence is built, what do we do with the 11 million people…?
    Bachmann: Well the 50s and 60s were pretty great.


  • toongrrl

    Thanks for live-tweeting Zerlina. My Points?
    1. Social Security is awesome.
    2. What is so great about executing 234 people? How is this an accomplishment?
    3. Hmmmmm Herman Cain, I love pizza, that is all I will say.
    4. Rick Perry I didn’t know you dispised Galileo?
    5. Jon Huntsman, Good Luck, you’ll need it

    • zerlina

      LOL! awesome!!

      • toongrrl


  • Abigail

    I love how the climate change question basically asked Perry to support his position by mentioning scientists and/or their studies. He managed to mention Galileo. I assume this is the only scientist he could think of?

  • Clementine

    I think you meant Perry “compares Galileo to those who deny the existence of climate change”, not “compares those who questioned Galileo to those who deny the existence of climate change.” Upon first reading that, I thought it was a (surprisingly) reasonable thing for Perry to say, until I clicked on the link. Barf.

  • Sarah

    I did not watch the debate and this is the first I’ve happened to read of it today so I’m confused by number four…Did Perry compare those who disbelieve climate change to those who disbelieved Galileo or did he compare those who disbelieve climate change to Galileo and the disbelief that he faced? Because the way you wrote it it sounds like Rick Perry was actually making the case for the existence of climate change. And I disbelieve that….

  • Elizabeth

    I *think* Perry was trying to make the claim that sometimes the minority opinion in the scientific community is right and that sometimes the more broadly held opinion is wrong. But it’s kind of like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole, since the conservative, religious view was the view that was wrong in re: Galileo.

  • Annie

    I like this blog. I’ve been reading it for years. I think you do great work introducing many young women to feminist ideas for possibly the first time. But I am increasingly distressed by a lack of professionalism in the way ideas are presented, quotes are taken out of context, and facts are not checked.

    Your statement “The audience cheers Rick Perry lauding 234 executions of ‘vast majority’ guilty defendants in Texas,” (where “vast majority” is placed in quotations) clearly implies that Perry said (only) a vast majority of prisoners executed were guilty, ‘a maybe some were innocent but it’s no big deal,’ attitude. In actuality his statement in the video was, “I think Americans are clearly in the vast majority of cases, supportive of capital punishment.”

    This is also a flawed statement, but your taking it entirely out of context for shock value is shameful, sloppy journalism. Rick Perry says and does enough bat-shit crazy things already – you don’t have to fabricate quotes.