In case you were busy putting your white shoes in storage, here's what you missed at today's Palmetto Freedom Forum (an American Principles Project/Jim DeMint's ego joint), which we livetweeted over @TheInDecider.
* We thought this was going to be Rick Perry's first formal Q&A appearance as a 2012 candidate. Unfortunately, Texas is on fire, so he was unable to attend.
* Moderators Steve King, Jim DeMint and Robert P. George peppered the candidates with tough questions designed to force them out of their comfort zones and into the real iss- hahahaha, no. I hadn't seen this many softballs since my junior high gym class. Just a reminder, the current GOP candidates love the Constitution, hate Barack Obama and are pretty iffy on gays and ladies' reproductive organs.
* Michele Bachmann took a pointed shot at Mitt Romney, saying that individual mandates in health care reforms are unconstitutional at both the state and federal levels. (You will remember that Mitt Romney has been trying, with varying degrees of success, to convince us/himself that the state-level mandate is a key difference between Romneycare and Obamacare.) However, when asked to point to a particular provision in the Constitution that would support this view, Bachmann could only say that it was "inherent in the Constitution." Minus forty bazillion Founding Father points, ma'am.
* Herman Cain talked numbers, citing his "9-9-9" tax plan and reminding us that "an hour is 60 minutes." (Unless it's 22, eh?) This had something to do with his ideas about fiscal and monetary policy, none of which seemed to merit much seriousness from the moderators, who spent a lot of time chuckling at Herman Cain. Perhaps the most damning moment came during a discussion of immigration policy, when Cain confessed that he "doesn't know how many immigrants is too many" (the correct answer, of course, is "build the biggest f#@king fence ever").
* Newt Gingrich got the immigration question right, saying he wants to "extend a fence until they stop going around the end." He also wants "100 percent control over the border," even if that means he has to patrol it himself, on foot, I guess? He continued his attacks on the judiciary branch and affirmed his support for a "traditional" definition of marriage, so maybe Newt Gingrich won this thing.
* Ron Paul seemed a little short of breath. I hope he's okay. Maybe you just get winded, hollering into the media vacuum for three decades or however long it's been. Unfortunately for Dr. Paul, he spent a lot of time discussing complex monetary policy issues and the relationship of the Federal Reserve to the economy as a whole, none of which will ever make a good bumper sticker. He also stuck to his guns re: war, suggesting that waging un-winnable wars on multiple overseas fronts makes America less safe. No wonder nobody takes this guy seriously!
* Last but certainly not least, our mechanical friend and yours, Mitt Romney, who claimed he's "never seen an administration go further afield from the Constitution" than Barack Obama's. (O RLY?) Romney said he would repeal the Dodd-Frank financial reformish legislation that passed last year, mostly because it runs 2,000+ pages and that is just too much paper for you humans to read. He also suggested that the bill's authors, Rep. Barney Frank and former Senator Chris Dodd, should accept responsibility for ruining the American economy, because apparently Rep. Frank and Sen. Dodd led secret double lives as mortgage brokers and derivatives traders.
Did you watch this delightful freedomfest? Tell us what we missed, in the comments.
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Tags: Constitution, Economy, Health Care, Herman Cain, Jim DeMint, Michele Bachmann, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Palmetto Freedom Forum, Primaries, Republicans, Ron Paul, South Carolina, Steve King