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September 26, 2007 9:37 AM

Tancredo's takes DURING the Dem debate

TANCREDO on a recent trip to Sioux City, Iowa sm.JPG
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The Democratic presidential contenders squared-off in New Hampshire Wednesday night on MSNBC, but the real fun was here at "Back Roads to the White House."


We assembled an all-star cast of bloggers and journalists -- including one who was posting from just outside the spin room in New Hampshire -- to comment while the debate was unfolding.


And, just for kicks, one of our featured participants was none other than:


Rep Tom Tancredo


We started out asking Tancredo if he had anything in common with any of the Democrats.


"Bill Richardson has said he supports the individual right to keep and bear arms embodied in the Second Amendment. If he remains true to that position, then I suppose he and I agree there."

But enough with saying nice things. Tancredo went on to blast Richardson several times, and he had it in for Democratic front-runner, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, from the very first question she was asked.


"Watch closely -- here comes the latest incarnation of the always changing and the ever-unpredictable Iraq position of the hour of Hillary Clinton."

Tancredo had a field day when the debate vered into talking about a national smoking ban and an issue congress is considering this week.


"With the rush to regulate microwave popcorn, crack down on SUV's, and pass a federal law to ban smoking in public places -- I'm wondering how long it will be before the Democrats announce that the new "Axis of Evil" consists of Orville Redenbacher, the Ford Explorer, and Cigar Aficianado's around the world."

The online discussion was civil -- and we didn't have to nuke any swear words from questioners like some people thought we would. But Tancredo was challenged at several points.


"BetsyR" asked -- and asked a second time:


"Rep. Tancredo, what is the name and age of the last serviceman or woman from your district to die in your war?"

Tancredo finally answered:


"Betsy -- his name was Charles L. Milam, and he was killed yesterday in Afghanistan. He is the 10th serviceman to die in Afghanistan or Iraq since the military campaign began... the 10th serviceman from my district, that is, betsy."


Tancredo ripped various Democrats when they talked about his trademark issue, opposing illegal immigration. But he never got around to answering a pointed challenge from one of our panelists, writer T.J. Sullivan of "T.J. Sullivan in L.A.".


Sullivan, a former colleague of mine from the Ventura County Star, questioned Tancredo's assertion that illegal immigrants will "simply self-deport" if there's a crackdown on employers who hire them.


"Congressman, with all due respect, what you're saying is that the American people should turn millions of their neighbors out into the street, then lock all the doors and hope they go away.
Is it possible to defend that as a humane solution?"

Unless the congressman wants to come back and post an additional response, Sullivan gets the last word on that.


Other featured participants:


* Reid Wilson of RealClearPolitics.com. (Wilson's debate preview -- posted from the site of the debate in New Hampshire -- is HERE, HERE, HERE.)


* Elizabeth Blackney, host of The Media Lizzy Show at BlogTalkRadio.


* Lynda Waddington of EssentialEstrogen.com.


* University of Iowa political science professor Dave Redlawsk -- posting from a gathering of former Sen. John Edwards' supporters.


Go to the "Comments" section -- and read from the bottom-up -- to see how the discussion unfolded, fast and furiously, in real time.


American flag in a breeze.gifAmerican flag in a breeze.gifAmerican flag in a breeze.gif


Some pundits will hedge, refusing to name a clear winner of the debate.


But, as always, we're prepared to name the night's champion.


The clear winner, for the most amusing question of the night, was Lynda Waddington, who can be found at EssentialEstrogen.com


She chimed in after the presidential candidates were asked if they approved of a children's book about same-sex marriage being read to second graders.


Asked Waddington:


"How come people don't stand up and shout when we read stories to children about beautiful princesses who kiss toads?"


Tancredo ventured no reply. But they all lived happily ever after.


American flag in a breeze.gifAmerican flag in a breeze.gifAmerican flag in a breeze.gif



Discussion

  • September 27, 2007

    11:34 PM

    genuine ricardo writes:

    I haven't read all 256 comments preceding this one, but I love the action. More soon...

  • September 27, 2007

    11:57 AM

    Joel Rosenberg writes:

    "Obama debated with a head cold tonight!"

    And the head cold won.

  • September 27, 2007

    12:14 AM

    Steve writes:

    Aaron


    Well besides oil they don't have much else that is tradable. And best estimates say that their oil supply is good for maybe 50 years; then what? Why shouldn't they build nuclear power plants for their own energy production and sell their oil on the world market in the meantime ? Besides it's not like Iran has been engaged in a proxy war with a democratic neighbour, illegally built and detonated a real nuclear bomb and helped dangerous nations like N. Korea and Libya proliferate; no that would be our 'good friends', Pakistan.


    You could also look at GW Bush and say: 'Sorry bud...anybody who thinks evolution / global warming / rule of law is a myth and who advocates for the destruction of a nation for SOMETHING PEOPLE FROM ANOTHER COUNTRY (Saudi Arabia) DID is more than unreasonable, they are a nutjob unworthy to be a Head of State who has the capability to push the button to engage in nuclear warfare...'

    Ahmedinejad is a certifiable jackass but then so is GW Bush. The difference is one may, in future, become a dangerous jackass with blood on their hands well the other already is.

  • September 26, 2007

    11:28 PM

    Media Lizzy writes:

    Thanks for clearing it up indeed, ME. And - yes, Aaron, I have seen Tancredo's message at TeamTancredo.com. You are certainly entitled to believe in his sincerity.

    On the other hand, I am entitled not to. The best news: I'm not a constituent of his.

  • September 26, 2007

    10:34 PM

    Aaron Ramberg writes:

    I apologize M.E. Yes, it was in response to Media Lizzy's comment. Thanks for setting the record straight.

  • September 26, 2007

    10:32 PM

    Aaron Ramberg writes:

    Umm..Josh Iran sits on one of the greatest oil reserves in the world...why do they need nuclear power plants? Sorry bud...anybody who thinks the Holocaust was a myth and who advocates for the destruction of a nation on the grounds of the Koran is more than unreasonable they are a nutjob worthy to be teaching at a Madrasah...and not a Head of State who has the capability to push the button to engage in nuclear warfare.

  • September 26, 2007

    10:26 PM

    M.E. writes:

    Aaron,

    That shot, cheap or not, was not mine. I think you're referring to Media Lizzy who made the fever reference.

  • September 26, 2007

    10:21 PM

    Nikki writes:

    I feel like when Edwards debates he will say whatever to put on a show or draw a sharp distinction between him and the front runner. He tried that a few times in past debates against Obama, but got shot down. Tonight his target was Hillary. She didn't handle his attacks as brilliantly as Obama has in the past.

    One thing I think is bad about Edwards being such a showman is that his responses can come back to bite him in the butt. Obama thinks in the long term and his answers are carefully crafted to reflect that. His heart is balanced by his head

  • September 26, 2007

    10:15 PM

    mary jaco writes:

    I missed the live blog, however my ? for Congressman Tancredo w/h/b I understand you are proud of your part in focusing on immigration, getting dialogue going, I wonder why the focus on the lowest rungs of the ladder, (perhaps easy targets, the voiceless) and why not get a dialogue initiated on the highest rungs of the ladder the gov't contracts to KBR/Halliburton, are you vested in the interests in some way, or simply not willing to take on the big voices?

  • September 26, 2007

    10:14 PM

    Aaron Ramberg writes:

    With all due respect ME that was a cheap shot, let me explain...
    You have every right to question Congressman Tancredo's decision and motivation not to abide by his self-imposed term limit pledge. One thing you can't accuse him of is that his decision was one of Potomic Fever. The only fever you can accuse him of is one to continue the fight against amnesty and to secure our borders. If you go over to www.teamtancredo.com and and watch the video on this particular quesiton you will understand when I say his integity and character passes the smell test. His record speaks enough integrity and credibilty for me to support and vote for him.

  • September 26, 2007

    10:14 PM

    mary jaco writes:

    I missed the live blog, however my ? for Congressman Tancredo w/h/b I understand you are proud of your part in focusing on immigration, getting dialogue going, I wonder why the focus on the lowest rungs of the ladder, (perhaps easy targets, the voiceless) and why not get a dialogue initiated on the highest rungs of the ladder the gov't contracts to KBR/Halliburton, are you vested in the interests in some way, or simply not willing to take on the big voices?

  • September 26, 2007

    10:12 PM

    Josh Cohen writes:

    Tom Tancredo makes me sick to the bone!!!

    What a lying sandbag who rags on Iran every second he gets.

    Tancredo, what right do you have to deny Iran peaceful use of nuclear energy (I take your and other politicians accusation's with a grain of salt since you're the same cronies who lied about Iraq connected to Osama and having WMD's with mushroom clouds in US cities).

    Its clear you're fanatically pro-Israel and anti-immigrant. I find it laughable you think President Ahmedinejad is unreasonable and hateful while it is you who called for the bombing of the most sacred Islamic holy place of Mecca.

    Where's the media outrage in that?

  • September 26, 2007

    10:12 PM

    Anonymous writes:

    Tom Tancredo makes me sick to the bone!!!

    What a lying sandbag who rags on Iran every second he gets.

    Tancredo, what right do you have to deny Iran peaceful use of nuclear energy (I take your and other politicians accusation's with a grain of salt since you're the same cronies who lied about Iraq connected to Osama and having WMD's with mushroom clouds in US cities).

    Its clear you're fanatically pro-Israel and anti-immigrant. I find it laughable you think President Ahmedinejad is unreasonable and hateful while it is you who called for the bombing of the most sacred Islamic holy place of Mecca.

    Where's the media outrage in that?

  • September 26, 2007

    9:49 PM

    Media Lizzy writes:

    Aaron... I didn't sate I supported forced term limits. I said I refrained from asking about Term Limits - no caveat. I was referring to the self-imposed kind, like the promise he made to only serve three terms.... and then he got a case of Potomac Fever.

    IF someone wants to be President, then they must demonstrate they are a man (or woman) of their word.

  • September 26, 2007

    9:43 PM

    Aaron Ramberg writes:

    Sorry folks... forced term limits are undemocratic and unconstitutional. Like most things including a federal ban on smoking LOL it makes a good emotional argument for those who support such measures but there is no Constitutional argument to make it law. If you want to replace your Rep or Senator become active, get involved and remove them by the ballot box. If you want change then use the means the Constitution has provided to justify the end.

  • September 26, 2007

    9:39 PM

    Chris, Maryland writes:

    Don, In response to your question from 9:02pm: Here is the New Hampshire information from the www.teamtancredo.com website:
    New Hampshire State Office:
    Shelly Uscinski - State Chairman
    Suite 3020
    250 Commercial Street
    Manchester, NH 03101
    Phone: (603) 622-0044
    Fax: (603) 622-0177

    Thank you for your interest.

  • September 26, 2007

    9:30 PM

    Chris, Maryland writes:

    M.E., In answer to your question... In looking at the Congressman's responses it appears that in the first hour he made several insightful comments. In the second hour, it's almost as if he wasn't really here. Not quite as good a showing as I had hoped, and I also felt he should have stayed a bit longer to answer a few post-debate questions. I'll ask on his blog that he return to post a response to T.J. Again, thanks for having him on as a guest.

  • September 26, 2007

    9:23 PM

    Nikki writes:

    Obama debated with a head cold tonight!

  • September 26, 2007

    9:23 PM

    Nikki writes:

    Obama debated with a head cold tonight!

  • September 26, 2007

    9:22 PM

    Media Lizzy writes:

    Congressman Tancredo is a better pundit than presidential contender. He didn't answer the immigration question - and he blamed "government" for earmarks & out of control spending. Hello?

    I restrained myself from bringing up term limits.

    I think Hillary stays in the front because she didn't hurt herself. Obama was weak - especially if Biden's folks take him on. He was a "No Vote" - as in did NOT vote - on Biden's Amendment that got 75-23 today.

    Also, Biden proved his point - Hillary can't get 15 votes for Healthcare - but he CAN get 26 votes on IRAQ. Biden has some serious mojo.

  • September 26, 2007

    9:18 PM

    Aaron Ramberg writes:

    A win for Hillary?? She showed how incompentant and the danger we all will be in if she becomes the next president. Then I can say that about all the Democrat candidates and several Republican candidates as well.

  • September 26, 2007

    9:17 PM

    M.E. writes:

    Come back often, everyone. We do something different at "Back Roads to the White House" just about every day.


    I wonder which Democrat will be brave enough to help us live-blog the next full Republican debate...


    Operators are standing by.

    ...

  • September 26, 2007

    9:14 PM

    Chris, Maryland writes:

    T.J., I have to agree... As much as I support Congressman Tancredo, I was waiting for him to answer your question on locking out illegal immigrants... I could answer, but I'm not running for office. Also, M.E. asked for a longer overview on the debate... I'll ask the Congressman about it on his webpage blog. As for who won, I put Biden, Edwards and Clinton at the top. Thanks to M.E. for having this forum.

  • September 26, 2007

    9:11 PM

    M.E. writes:

    OK everybody. The congressman is gone now. You can stop whispering. What do you think of his answers tonight?

  • September 26, 2007

    9:11 PM

    TJ Sullivan writes:

    Thanks for the invite ME, and thank you for joining the discussion Congressman.

    To paraphrase an elected official that both ME and I interviewed several times ... I think this was a win-win-win-win-win for everyone.

  • September 26, 2007

    9:11 PM

    Lynda writes:

    Some closing thoughts --

    If I do this again with one of the hopefuls, I'll remember to wear my rubber waders. My socks are soaked from all the saliva drooled about the room.

    Edwards was clearly the strongest tonight. His shining moment was when he talked about he and Clinton both voting for the war and how he learned from that mistake.

    Second on my strong list was Dodd. He was light, comfortable and intelligent tonight. His answer regarding the imports from China and on Social Security were on the money -- even if he was wrongly quoted about the cap by others later.

    Third is Biden -- he was strong and stayed on point. I think he should have further expanded on the amendment passage today in the Senate, it's obviously a boon for his stump speech charge that he's one of the few who can cross the aisle and make things happen.

    On the weak side sits Obama. He had a few moments, but he completely and totally blew the civil rights question. When he said that he was in D.C. voting on Iraq and that was "critical," he made the implication that the civil rights disputes aren't.

    I'm also placing Clinton on the weak side. Her non-answer on Social Security may have flown 8 years ago, but it is no longer good enough. I want to know what our next leader is going to do -- not that our next leader is going to conduct polls.

    It's been a hoot, M.E.

  • September 26, 2007

    9:08 PM

    Allen Fuller writes:

    Hillary is moving to the middle already, and Edwards is moving left hoping to pick up primary election voters. She's still the clear frontrunner.

    Thanks, M.E. These evenings liveblogging the debates are really fun and informative.

  • September 26, 2007

    9:08 PM

    Media Lizzy writes:

    Thanks for everything, ME. Really enjoyed the conversation here. Thank you Congressman Tancredo for your candor and insight.

    A win for Hillary. Biden a solid second, along with Richardson and Obama. Hillary will have all the soundbite's tomorrow. Edwards' non-apology will get a little play but come off too defensive.

    I was hoping for a real break out for Biden. Once the FEC reports drop - we'll see who gets the money bounce from the debate. If Biden can capitalize on the 75-23 vote, and the debate performan - he'll remain viable.

    Gravel and Kucinich should be excluded from the rest of the debates. It's not nice to pick on them.

    Goodnight folks!!!

  • September 26, 2007

    9:07 PM

    TJ Sullivan writes:

    Someone get the Congressman an electrical outlet before he "self-deports."

  • September 26, 2007

    9:06 PM

    Roni Bell writes:

    We need to recruit ME to replace the "stars" who are questioning the candidates. Not being a chum of any on either side, I believe he could pry open their real thoughts, and get them to unwittingly deliver.
    We the ones who won tonight, because ME and Congressman Tancredo gave us slugs opportunity to learn.

  • September 26, 2007

    9:06 PM

    Rep. Tom Tancredo writes:

    Don't forget to visit teamtancredo.com
    God bless

  • September 26, 2007

    9:05 PM

    Aaron Ramberg writes:

    Biden's favorite scripture...
    Christ warning of the Pharisees...the political Pharisees are the Democrats and the Republicans who care more about special and corporate interests than those of everyday Americans. Tancredo is the only candidate in the race who is passionate, has the experience and has the integrity to lead and protect this country.

  • September 26, 2007

    9:05 PM

    M.E. writes:

    Thank you to all our participants, and to Rep. Tom Tancredo, who hopefully didn't miss too many votes or television sitcom premiers to join us.


    This comments board never closes, so there's still time to post final thoughts.


    Who won?

    .

  • September 26, 2007

    9:03 PM

    Rep. Tom Tancredo writes:

    ME - I want to thank you and everyone who participated tonight for being gracious enough to allow me to take part in this forum. unfortunately, my laptop is about to die so i have to run.
    thanks!

  • September 26, 2007

    9:03 PM

    msbobbie writes:

    quote: Did I hear correctly that Biden say that he would pardon the terrorist who gave up the info but not the person who engaged in torture to get it out of them?
    Posted by Aaron Ramberg on September 26, 2007 08:52 PM unquote

    That is what it sounded like to me, Aaron.

  • September 26, 2007

    9:02 PM

    Dave Redlawsk, University of Iowa writes:

    Thanks M.E., this was great fun!

  • September 26, 2007

    9:02 PM

    Don Thompson writes:

    Mr. Tancredo -

    I'm from New Hampshire and am very interested in volunteering for your campaign. How can I get more information?

    Thanks,
    Don

  • September 26, 2007

    9:01 PM

    Reid Wilson writes:

    Off to the spin room. Check out the link in my name below for a few additional thoughts I posted during the debate, and check RealClearPolitics.com for my wrap-up tomorrow morning.

    Thanks a lot, M.E., for having me, and thanks to everyone who participated. See you in October for the GOP debate.

  • September 26, 2007

    9:01 PM

    Rep. Tom Tancredo writes:

    the 10th serviceman from my district, that is, betsy.

  • September 26, 2007

    9:01 PM

    Media Lizzy writes:

    Biden's line on the Yankees was great.

  • September 26, 2007

    9:00 PM

    Allen Fuller writes:

    M.E. - a shout out to your Cubs!

  • September 26, 2007

    9:00 PM

    Rep. Tom Tancredo writes:

    Betsy -- his name was Charles L. Milam, and he was killed yesterday in Afghanistan. He is the 10th servicemen to die in Afghanistan or iraq since the military campaign began.

  • September 26, 2007

    9:00 PM

    M.E. writes:

    The Chicago Cubs. Sen. Clinton was for them before she was against them. That has some symbolism.

  • September 26, 2007

    8:59 PM

    dave in oregon writes:

    All but the most committed (demented?) political junkies will tune out these debates, if they haven't already. Same old questions and responses over and over. How many times do we have to hear the host pose the old hydrogen bomb/torture question? Responses to the energy subject continue to be ludicrous. Do any of these feebs know how many windmills it would take to supplant petro, or where they would be sited? Same analogy for sugar cane/corn/ethanol. I'm not putting down attempts to mitigate the energy situation through baby steps, and I do feel we need to improve our situation re dependence on foreign petro sources, including alternative energy sources AND domestic drilling/mining. Evil. Now they've discussed God and baseball, so it must be about over.

  • September 26, 2007

    8:58 PM

    Lynda writes:

    I'm sorry but this question is completely appalling. You want to talk about faith in politics then talk about "FAITH" -- faith in America is not limited to one holy book. Really, this is disgusting and would equally so regardless of which holy book was chosen.

  • September 26, 2007

    8:58 PM

    M.E. writes:

    Go Cubs!!!

  • September 26, 2007

    8:56 PM

    Albert N.Milliron writes:

    I think Sen. Clinton did well tonight. I am a polar opposite to her. Biden and Dodd are excellent as usual. Dennis has the best looking wife but is way to the left. Obama lagged and speaks in generalizations. Gravel is always good for a laugh. Sen Edwards is not genuine... we in the south are aware of the true man. I am tired of the same old song and dance and lost interest quickly and I LOVE politics! Good nite See you in Florida

  • September 26, 2007

    8:56 PM

    Media Lizzy writes:

    Edwards is fighting for his political life, and he knows it. First time he's been remarkable at all tonight.

  • September 26, 2007

    8:56 PM

    BetseyR writes:

    Rep. Tancredo, what is the name and age of the last serviceman or woman from your district to die in your war?

  • September 26, 2007

    8:56 PM

    Allen Fuller writes:

    How did Russert ask the haircut question to Edwards with a straight face? Hillary faltered there at the end, but she already gave her soundbite for the evening.

  • September 26, 2007

    8:55 PM

    Dave Redlawsk, University of Iowa writes:

    Edwards - I am proud... People can connect to that I think. Hard work leading to success is of course the American dream, is it not? I think this is a smart answer to the $400 haircut challenge, etc. And a nice comeback on the hedge fund challenge - Look at what I've done.

  • September 26, 2007

    8:55 PM

    Roni Bell writes:

    Is Edwards forming unions for outsourced workers, in oh say China?

  • September 26, 2007

    8:55 PM

    M.E. writes:

    Aaron, you are right. Sen. Biden said it and then he had an Emily Litela moment. Nevermind.


    (He misunderstood the question and then, yes, he said that. That is a mistake. It might be remembered.)

  • September 26, 2007

    8:55 PM

    BetseyR writes:

    Rep. Tancredo, what is the name and age of the last serviceman or woman from your district to die in your war?

    Do you attend military funerals? If not, why not?

  • September 26, 2007

    8:55 PM

    Media Lizzy writes:

    Why doesn't Russert ask the real question in mind, Obama is closer -

    Did Mr. Hsu also give money to the Clinton Presidential Library?

  • September 26, 2007

    8:52 PM

    Lynda writes:

    It was a strong statement -- He's not on the stage -- but the follow-up was weak. "I'll talk to him about it later" (paraphrasing)

    Sometimes it's almost like she has dual personalities -- one trying to be exceptionally strong on all issues and another wanting to show off her feminine qualities. I have a hunch that the real Clinton is somewhere in between and I look forward to one day meeting her.

  • September 26, 2007

    8:52 PM

    Aaron Ramberg writes:

    Did I hear correctly that Biden say that he would pardon the terrorist who gave up the info but not the person who engaged in torture to get it out of them?

  • September 26, 2007

    8:50 PM

    Reid Wilson writes:

    What good is the 30 second clock? Give me a buzzer, cut off their mics, do something to make it mean something.

    Then again, this is MSNBC, the network that remains a bigger fan of on-screen graphics, both good and bad, than any other.

  • September 26, 2007

    8:50 PM

    M.E. writes:

    THERE'S NO GENEVA CONVENTION HERE.


    Nobody wins their freedom from this live chat until you give a long overview on the debate.

  • September 26, 2007

    8:49 PM

    Dan writes:

    Congressman Tancredo, please try to get on the MTV/MYSPACE Presidental Dialogues. There is no better publicity for you then this!! I believe in you, Tom! If people can hear you speak they will follow. You speak the truth and you care for the American people. This is our culture and I want to fight for it! Lead on, Sir!

  • September 26, 2007

    8:49 PM

    Media Lizzy writes:

    Absolutely, ME. Hillary just won the debate. And Obama may have lost his chance for 2008.

  • September 26, 2007

    8:48 PM

    Rep. Tom Tancredo writes:

    ME -- I think that exchange between Hillary and Russert may have just nudged Richardson's Boy Scout stance out of the lead segments....

  • September 26, 2007

    8:48 PM

    Aaron Ramberg writes:

    Good one Tim on the bomb going off!!!

  • September 26, 2007

    8:48 PM

    Allen Fuller writes:

    Bam. Hillary just grabbed a clip.

  • September 26, 2007

    8:47 PM

    M.E. writes:

    "He's not standing here right now..."

    -- Sen. Clinton


    For whatever else she did or didn't do during the debate, she found a way to separate herself from her husband. That is the last-minute highlight of the whole debate, like it or not. Get ready to see it on all the morning television shows about a million times.

  • September 26, 2007

    8:47 PM

    Lynda writes:

    Strong performances from Dodd, Biden and Edwards tonight. I think Obama blew the civil rights question and I think Clinton completely fouled out on the Social Security question. Kucinich was also solid in as far as keeping to his beliefs and stances on the issue -- too bad others aren't as consistent. I'm not sure what I think about Richardson anymore.

  • September 26, 2007

    8:47 PM

    Media Lizzy writes:

    Apparently, there is no Jack Bauer on the stage tonight.

  • September 26, 2007

    8:46 PM

    Albert N.Milliron writes:

    Obama caught a smoke break at the first debate in SC

  • September 26, 2007

    8:44 PM

    Allen Fuller writes:

    This is the question where Congressman Tancredo's Jack Bauer answer comes in handy!

  • September 26, 2007

    8:44 PM

    TJ Sullivan writes:

    I meant to say the idea that so many would "SUPPORT" a national law. Rewind ...

    Wow, for me, the national smoking law question was the big surprise of the night. That's what people are going to be talking about tomorrow, if anything, out of this debate. The idea that so many would support a national law ... Do they realize how many voters still smoke? At least 45 percent of smokers are also poll workers, I think, at least at my local precinct.
    And, if any of these hopefuls do smoke secretly, they better start doing it indoors and away from windows, because that's a photograph that sells itself.

  • September 26, 2007

    8:43 PM

    Dave Redlawsk, University of Iowa writes:

    I'm not sure these debates change anything in any case, unless someone just fails completely. And while Obama was flat, he didn't stumble badly, he just didn't do very much. Edwards seemed as strong as he has in any debate, but again I doubt that changes anyone's opinion very much. Clinton seemed basically Clinton, and the others, well, they still aren't going to break through.

    This debate is LONG, even for a political junkie - does anyone else actually watch them through, especially with new TV shows premiering on the networks?

    In the end I suppose the stories you guys in the media tell tonight and tomorrow may have some influence, but I think the influence is often on others in the media - that is, a storyline starts and gets built on and then influences the coverage of the candidates for a while going forward until a different storyline emerges.

  • September 26, 2007

    8:43 PM

    JustAGirl writes:

    I would much rather have the government regulate my womb than my smoking.

  • September 26, 2007

    8:43 PM

    Karen Schweiker/AZ writes:

    I guess the moment to remember would be Dodd's comment on Hillary's Democratic nomination. It seems that the popcorn regulation and the smoking ban were side comments that garnered some attention--for whatever reason. The only candidate who stood out was Joe Biden as I think he has some sense of government issues. I think Obama was just waiting for the whole thing to be over.

  • September 26, 2007

    8:43 PM

    Roni Bell writes:

    Bans on popcorn and on are based on the precautionary principle - which = 's European Union rule.
    Read Lawrence Kogan's book on "Precautionary Principle".

  • September 26, 2007

    8:41 PM

    TJ Sullivan writes:

    Wow, for me, the national smoking law question was the big surprise of the night. That's what people are going to be talking about tomorrow, if anything, out of this debate. The idea that so many would oppose a national law ... Do they realize how many voters still smoke? At least 45 percent of smokers are also poll workers, I think, at least at my local precinct.

    And, if any of these hopefuls do smoke secretly, they better start doing it indoors and away from windows, because that's a photograph that sells itself.

  • September 26, 2007

    8:41 PM

    Aaron Ramberg writes:

    Richardson following the Constitution?!??! What Constitution is he talking about...the Mexican?

  • September 26, 2007

    8:41 PM

    Lynda writes:

    Once again, the American people -- those outside of Iowa and New Hampshire -- are being cheated. We should not have to chose the next leader of our country based on these "debates" and 30-second ad spots. We need a real conversation in this nation -- a whole hour if not two or three on ONE topic.

  • September 26, 2007

    8:41 PM

    M.E. writes:

    Gov. Richardson's answer on the seemingly innocuous Boy Scouts question will get more attention than some of the Iraq war questions. Media priorities, people...

  • September 26, 2007

    8:39 PM

    Media Lizzy writes:

    I think Obama is the clear loser. He was okay - but did not gain any ground. Biden was the star - most reasonable, most presidential. Dodd was okay but to Mr. Professor.

    Hillary didn't inflict any damage on anyone. No one inflicted any damage on her. She is the frontrunner.

  • September 26, 2007

    8:38 PM

    Rep. Tom Tancredo writes:

    Excellent point Aaron -- and it would have made for a fine follow up had Mr. Russert phrased it as a question to the candidates.

  • September 26, 2007

    8:38 PM

    Allen Fuller writes:

    I think the media consultants for these Democratic candidates have job security. Not a lot of success in the 30 second round...

  • September 26, 2007

    8:38 PM

    M.E. writes:

    In case anyone has forgotten, the congressman's next door neighbors reportedly called the cops on his cigar. Google it.

  • September 26, 2007

    8:37 PM

    Reid Wilson writes:

    Kucinich's answer on Greenspan was so good that he must have prepared for it. Every candidate prepares for certain answers, but to get one with such a specific and well-planned answer is rare. When Kucinich saw the fat fastball, he hit it out of the park.

  • September 26, 2007

    8:37 PM

    Dave Redlawsk, University of Iowa writes:

    OK, Kucinich just won! (Being vertically challenged myself!)

  • September 26, 2007

    8:36 PM

    Rep. Tom Tancredo writes:

    With the rush to regulate microwave popcorn, crack down on SUV's, and pass a federal law to ban smoking in public places -- I'm wondering how long it will be before the Democrats announce that the new "Axis of Evil" consists of Orville Redenbacher, the Ford Explorer, and Cigar Aficianado's around the world.

  • September 26, 2007

    8:34 PM

    Aaron Ramberg writes:

    Does anybody find it ironic that the Democrats want a federal ban on smoking in public places, but they believe it is a constitutional right to harbor, give aid and comfort to people who break the law and come into this country illegally?

  • September 26, 2007

    8:34 PM

    M.E. writes:

    TJ, I will let Congressman Tancredo handle that smoking question.

  • September 26, 2007

    8:34 PM

    Media Lizzy writes:

    Maybe Pete Coors is available to advise on the drinking age thing.

  • September 26, 2007

    8:33 PM

    M.E. writes:

    EVERYBODY, and ESPECIALLY CONGRESSMAN TANCREDO:


    As the debate winds down, please give us a longer overview of how you saw the debate.


    * Whether you agreed with the answers or not, which candidates gained ground and which ones lost ground?


    * Is there any moment that will be remembered over all others?


    * And how did the televised debate format compare to your experience watching -- OR PARTICIPATING ON STAGE IN -- previous debates?

  • September 26, 2007

    8:32 PM

    TJ Sullivan writes:

    Ok, ME ... time to expose some secrets here. Which of these candidates have you caught taking a smoke break? C'mon now! We know one of these guys is a secret smoker.

  • September 26, 2007

    8:32 PM

    Chris, Maryland writes:

    Cindy, YOU ROCK!! As does Iowa! Please visit www.teamtancredo.com for information on contributing the Congressman's campaign. Thank you!

  • September 26, 2007

    8:30 PM

    Dave Redlawsk, University of Iowa writes:

    Lynda - I agree with you - very disappointing in these responses, particularly given the general response about smoking - seems like a bit of a contradiction to me.

  • September 26, 2007

    8:28 PM

    M.E. writes:

    Don't worry, Congressman. If they ban smoking, I trust that cigars will still be allowed in the Longworth House Office Building.

  • September 26, 2007

    8:28 PM

    dave in oregon writes:

    Congressman:
    Thank God someone has had the courage to step up and protect us against unregulated microwave popcorn! Sorry, these guys are making my attention wander.

  • September 26, 2007

    8:28 PM

    Lynda writes:

    I don't, however, like the answers to the drinking question. We continue to put too many things up on the pedestal -- forbidden fruit is always expected to be sweeter.

  • September 26, 2007

    8:26 PM

    TJ Sullivan writes:

    Hillary's "proverbial table" ... Did she get that at IKEA or Wal-Mart?

  • September 26, 2007

    8:26 PM

    Cindy Ianophice writes:

    Congressman.

    A lot of my friends and I live in Iowa. After several debates amongst my friends, we think that you have the better vision of our country. NO ONE is as consistently conservative to you: on immigration, the 2nd Amendment, and right to life.

    How can we contribute to your campaign?

    Thanks,
    Cindy

  • September 26, 2007

    8:26 PM

    Roni Bell writes:

    ME,
    Good golly I like your response to Tom.
    How do we get you on Nt'l view? We need you to "draw out those differences!"
    Thank you and Congressman Tancredo.
    Good job...both.

  • September 26, 2007

    8:25 PM

    Aaron Ramberg writes:

    I hate smoking...but a federal ban on smoking in public places is UNCONSTITUTIONAL. When have Democrats cared about the Constitution though?

  • September 26, 2007

    8:25 PM

    Vicky Davis writes:

    Hillary just said they were against privatization of social security.

    What she didn't say was that they were for privatization of the government. Under the Clinton Administration, "reinvention of government" was all about contracting out government functions to corporations.

    It is my belief that is the reason why the departments of government aren't responsive to Congress - and they aren't following the law. They are corporations. The more messed up things get, the more money they make.

    Thanks Hill, Bill and Al

  • September 26, 2007

    8:25 PM

    Lynda writes:

    I like the legal drinking age question.

  • September 26, 2007

    8:25 PM

    Allen Fuller writes:

    There's your audience getting lively!

  • September 26, 2007

    8:25 PM

    Albert N.Milliron writes:

    If you look at the debate schedule and Obamas Poll numbers. Each debate he loses ground. Am I right RCP?

  • September 26, 2007

    8:24 PM

    Rep. Tom Tancredo writes:

    A federal ban on smoking? That is on par with the Democrat bill the House of Representatives approved today that would regulate microwave popcorn.

    I wonder what the framers would say...

  • September 26, 2007

    8:23 PM

    M.E. writes:

    TJ -- Not to be confused with that other SNL "box" sketch, eh?

  • September 26, 2007

    8:22 PM

    Dave Redlawsk, University of Iowa writes:

    Clinton is beginning to sound a bit strident maybe? She's the only one I think who won't give a specific answer on what to do with Social Security. Is this a problem for her?

  • September 26, 2007

    8:21 PM

    Media Lizzy writes:

    I think Biden is the lone Democrat that Republicans can actually do business with - he's convincing. Does not pander. Biden is presidential - where Dodd comes off like the professor who doesn't really want the job.

    Obama is slipping. Seems almost irrelevant.

  • September 26, 2007

    8:21 PM

    TJ Sullivan writes:

    If I may be permitted a lighter moment, a snippet from Al Gore's SNL Lockbox sketch:

    "As for immigration, solving that came at a heavy cost, and I personally regret the loss of California. However, the new Mexifornian economy is strong and El Presidente Schwarzenegger is doing a great job."

    http://politicalhumor.about.com/od/algore/a/prezgoresnl.htm

  • September 26, 2007

    8:21 PM

    Lynda writes:

    The crowd in N.H. has been very quiet, don't you think?

  • September 26, 2007

    8:19 PM

    Aaron Ramberg writes:

    Dennis talking about economic growth...are you kidding me??!?

  • September 26, 2007

    8:19 PM

    Dave Redlawsk, University of Iowa writes:

    Edwards social security answer goes over as big as anything - protect the "middle class" (whatever that actually is) but soak the rich. He seems to come on very strong when he talks about this.

  • September 26, 2007

    8:19 PM

    M.E. writes:

    Turning the tables. Nice job, Congressman.
    Russert has the reputation that allows him to follow-up and follow-up again. A few times, I have wished that he would have followed up a few more times in order to demand a direct answer to his questions.


    If I were on stage, I would try to draw out more differences among the candidates so that people have a clearer choice based on something other than style and reputation. (Those are fine factors to consider, but they're not the only factors.)


    I'd try to draw out specific differences on Iraq, on details of their health care plans, and on details of their immigration approaches, among other areas. (I'd toss in capital gains taxes and the national debt, too.) There are differences, but those things get blurred here (and in Republican debates, too).


    Sorry, I don't know exactly how I'd phrase the questions for any one candidate.


    Congressman, I hope you're going to answer TJ's challenge on the immigration issue.

  • September 26, 2007

    8:19 PM

    TJ Sullivan writes:

    Hey, is that Al Gore's Lock Box? He's been looking for that.

  • September 26, 2007

    8:18 PM

    Rep. Tom Tancredo writes:

    I think Dodd and Biden's responses -- laughter -- have been the most convincing on this one so far....

  • September 26, 2007

    8:17 PM

    Media Lizzy writes:

    Did Richardson just refer to a "Lock-Box" for social Security?

  • September 26, 2007

    8:15 PM

    Allen Fuller writes:

    Dodd is rockin'.

  • September 26, 2007

    8:15 PM

    TJ Sullivan writes:

    ME, answer the Congressman's question about Russert.

  • September 26, 2007

    8:15 PM

    Media Lizzy writes:

    It would be helpful if the Congress and the next president reviewed the statutory authorities given to the Federal Reserve. Oversight, oversight, oversight.

    Greenspan oversaw the problems - when he dropped the Fed rate, OPEC would increase the cost of oil. More oversight -

  • September 26, 2007

    8:15 PM

    dave in oregon writes:

    M.E.:
    Not in this bunch. Biden makes most sense, but I'm an R (and not too happy about them, either).

  • September 26, 2007

    8:14 PM

    Aaron Ramberg writes:

    Hillary talking about fiscal responsibility...Hillary care. If that is fiscal responsibility we are in trouble!

  • September 26, 2007

    8:13 PM

    Reid Wilson writes:

    Joe Biden is continuing his push to be seen as the only candidate willing to tell the whole truth. "Nobody up here is going to say it" is one of his favorite refrains. The question remains: Do voters really want to hear the whole truth? At least Biden has a niche.

  • September 26, 2007

    8:13 PM

    Vicky Davis writes:

    How can they talk about solvency of anything when we not only have a deficit, we have a national debt and we have a current account deficit.

    There is no money. The fed just keeps printing paper that is worthless - except to trade for U.S. assets like the ports, interstate highways, national parks and other treasures.

  • September 26, 2007

    8:11 PM

    Roni Bell writes:

    Congressman,
    Implimentation of your ideas would address both my questions very well. We'll be happy to support you on them - AND the "fair tax!"
    Thank you.

  • September 26, 2007

    8:11 PM

    M.E. writes:

    Dave in Oregon (and thanks for joining us):

    Based on your last posting: Now what? Are you leaning toward anyone?

  • September 26, 2007

    8:09 PM

    Media Lizzy writes:

    ME -
    I think Secretary of State Condi Rice is being given a pass simply because no one wants to be the first out of the gate attacking her. I totally agreed with Trump's assessment. She's a 3rd Rate diplomat, and she hasn't delivered a single diplomatic success for the President, or the US.

  • September 26, 2007

    8:08 PM

    Rep. Tom Tancredo writes:

    Here's a question for you M.E. -- as an esteemed journalist, how do you rate Russert's performance tonight; and what questions would you ask?

  • September 26, 2007

    8:08 PM

    Lynda writes:

    I believe we've come to a point in America where we can no longer afford to waste our time -- waste our public conversation -- worrying about who loves who is a waste of energy. When we have bridges collapsing -- troops serving numerous, extended tours of duty -- an energy grid near collapse -- we have no more time for divisive, petty crap.

  • September 26, 2007

    8:07 PM

    Albert N.Milliron writes:

    The problem with Sen. Edward comment was, he doesn't think he has a right to instill his values on his children. The Village is NOT where my child will get grounding on ethics and values.

  • September 26, 2007

    8:07 PM

    Anonymous writes:

    Congressman, when is the next debate that you will be in?

  • September 26, 2007

    8:07 PM

    Anonymous writes:

    Congressman Tancredo, Do you think there are enough votes to pass the Hate Crimes Bill?

    There are many of us in the country emailing, faxing, phoning to stop this bill, just like we did with the first Amnesty.

    Thank you,

    Karen AZ firescociety.com
    Lots of Supporters there

  • September 26, 2007

    8:06 PM

    dave in oregon writes:

    I used to think Richardson made sense. I don't anymore.
    I used to think Obama had charisma. I don't anymore.
    I used to think Hillary couldn't be trusted. I still do.

  • September 26, 2007

    8:05 PM

    Media Lizzy writes:

    Hillary scored well on the gay rights question, that was a classic General Election answer. The others seemed to skirt around a bit. Pander, pander, pander.

  • September 26, 2007

    8:05 PM

    Rep. Tom Tancredo writes:

    Roni - I'm not sure what you mean by the European Union stampede.

    With regard to property rights and water rights, the key is in a limited federal government, adherence to the constitution, and -- as we learned from the Kelo decision -- insisting on top-notch judicial nominees who understand the importance of these concepts.

  • September 26, 2007

    8:04 PM

    Vicky Davis writes:

    Congressman Tancredo, I was very disappointed to find out that you support the Orwellian named 'Fair Tax'. I strong suggest you investigate and think it through because as plans go, it qualifies in the 'evil' category as no other piece of legislation that I've ever seen.

    You were my only choice for President. If you persist with your position on the 'Fair Tax', I will have nobody to support for President.

  • September 26, 2007

    8:04 PM

    M.E. writes:

    Lynda, That's in the running as the question of the night.

  • September 26, 2007

    8:03 PM

    TJ Sullivan writes:

    "They will simply self-deport..."

    Congressman, with all due respect, what you're saying is that the American people should turn millions of their neighbors out into the street, then lock all the doors and hope they go away.

    Is it possible to defend that as a humane solution?

  • September 26, 2007

    8:02 PM

    Dave Redlawsk, University of Iowa writes:

    Edwards has come a long way on same sex couples over four years. His answer seemed very genuine and heartfelt, and lots of Democrats can agree with it.

  • September 26, 2007

    8:02 PM

    Reid Wilson writes:

    Tim Russert, grilling candidates like they're sitting on Meet The Press. Watch out, Congressman, he's coming after everyone.

  • September 26, 2007

    8:02 PM

    Allen Fuller writes:

    Edwards just took a shot at the wrong Clinton...

  • September 26, 2007

    8:02 PM

    M.E. writes:

    Media Lizzy: Could it be because she took her position at a time when people have tuned-out the administration? I'm not sure -- not sure if that's a factor of if it's something else.

  • September 26, 2007

    8:01 PM

    Media Lizzy writes:

    Chris -
    As a Gold Star Wife, I have had a very different experience. It's bad news for folks who live outside the MTF area,or outside an urban area.

  • September 26, 2007

    8:01 PM

    Rep. Tom Tancredo writes:

    Mr. Richardson's suggestion that he 'delivered' in North Korea is frankly laughable. Kim Jong Il didn's shut down his nuclear program when the Clinton administration provided him with economic assistance -- he took the aid and kept developing his nuclear program, succesfully testing a nuclear device just last year.

    And unfortunately, I fear the Bush State Department is walking down the same road right now with Pyongyang.

  • September 26, 2007

    8:01 PM

    Roni Bell writes:

    Hello Congressman,
    Worked with you in 1990, found you to be a truly honest, hard working gentleman, and I thank you for continuing so.
    What ideas do you have for stopping the European Union stampede?
    What ideas do you have for stopping the land and water takings in America?

  • September 26, 2007

    8:01 PM

    Lynda writes:

    How come people don't stand up and shout when we read stories to children about beautiful princesses who kiss toads?

  • September 26, 2007

    7:59 PM

    Anonymous writes:

    quote: don't know about that Lizzy. Congressman Tancredo, you've talked a great deal about relocating millions of people now in the US to the country of their birth. Any thoughts about how such a process might be applied to troop relocation?
    Posted by TJ Sullivan on September 26, 2007 07:17 PM unquote

    Andrew Jackson had no problem relocating the American Indians from East of the Mississippi River 175 years ago. I do not see the problem.

  • September 26, 2007

    7:59 PM

    Media Lizzy writes:

    M.E. -
    I loved that Trump interview on CNN this week. It reminds me of the Condi Rice remarks. Why do you suppose no one holds her to the same standards they held Rumsfeld, Cheney, Bush or Hillary for that matter???

  • September 26, 2007

    7:57 PM

    Chris, Maryland writes:

    I have to response to Media Lizzy regarding TriCare for the Military. I much as I dislike Hillary, I have to say that as a retired member of the Military, Tricare has provided both excellent and timely care for my family over the years. I have no complaints about the current military health care system.

  • September 26, 2007

    7:55 PM

    M.E. writes:

    I knew if I mentioned Donald Trump that would prompt former Sen. Gravel to attack him. Talk about the power of the Internet...

  • September 26, 2007

    7:55 PM

    Albert N.Milliron writes:

    Good Point Lizzy: I worked for the VA and DOD. There are some great people there. The problem is the good folks get overloaded and the poor providers sit around and drink coffee. It will be the same with a Tri-Care type Govt system.

  • September 26, 2007

    7:55 PM

    Lynda writes:

    Of course, after I just write that, Obama says something that turns my head. "If the health care process was lonely -- it was because you shut the door." Amen.

  • September 26, 2007

    7:54 PM

    Media Lizzy writes:

    Congressman,
    Thank you - agreed. Fiscal restraint is key to fixing a lot of problems. Is there any hope of that coming to fruition?

  • September 26, 2007

    7:53 PM

    Allen Fuller writes:

    Totally agree with Media Lizzy - Obama doesn't seem to have the energy he's so well known for. Not very sure of himself, and just mentioned his accomplishments in the state legislature during a Presidential debate...

  • September 26, 2007

    7:53 PM

    Dave Redlawsk, University of Iowa writes:

    Obama - do Democratic primary/caucus voters actually WANT to bring "people together"? At the moment my sense is that the strong Democratic partisans most likely to actually vote in primaries/caucuses are not all that concerned about reaching out to Republicans. For Obama this may be a good general election message, but does it rally the red meat partisans who will decide the nomination? I don't think so.

  • September 26, 2007

    7:53 PM

    J Hammond writes:

    Does anybody realize that if Hillary Clinton were to win the Presidency we will have had at least 24 years of either a Bush or a Clinton in the White House? 32 years if you count Bush Sr. as vice president under Reagan.

    I'm sorry but I just don't think the United States should be ran by two royal families taking turns at the throne.

  • September 26, 2007

    7:52 PM

    Lynda writes:

    I know people think that I pick on Obama... but he's not doing much for me tonight (again).

  • September 26, 2007

    7:51 PM

    Rep. Tom Tancredo writes:

    I dont know that the reason the appropriations process is broken is because of earmarks. After all, there are just as many government funded boondoggles that have "earmarked" by unelected bureaucrats as have been "earmarked" by elected Congressmen.

    The real problem is that the government is simply spending far too much money. When Washington DC is doling out $3 trillion annually -- whether the projects are selected by administration bureaucrats or politicians -- you can bet there are going to be a lot of hair raising examples of waste.

    The solution is to spend less overall. Unfortunately, everyone on the stage tonight wants to take the federal government in precisely the opposite direction.

    The real problem is the the government

  • September 26, 2007

    7:51 PM

    M.E. writes:

    The congressman might not remember, but both he and Gov. Richardson sat at the same table (with Scripps Howard News Service folks) at a White House Correspondents Association dinner a few years back. At the time, neither one of them was as famous, and I'm not sure I remember them even saying hello. The congressman sat next to Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Fla., and Donald Trump was at the next table.

  • September 26, 2007

    7:50 PM

    Media Lizzy writes:

    Hillary-care is called TriCare - It was forced on the US Armed Forces in 1996. It has not gone well. Look at the Walter Reed scandal. The Iraq War just exacerbated an already broken healthcare system. It was more than $330 million in the arrears when President Bush took office in 2001.

  • September 26, 2007

    7:49 PM

    Dan writes:

    Hey Tom! As a 23 year old American Citizen, I want to say thank you for everything you do. You are a True American! My question to you is, why are you not having an MTV&MYSPACE Presidental Dialogue? I think this would be a great opportunity for you to get your name out to the youth of America. Check out this link about it. http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=189042058

    It says that EVERY candidate is going to have one. Please check this out and let's try and get you a Dialogue. Good Luck, Sir and God Bless America!

  • September 26, 2007

    7:49 PM

    TJ Sullivan writes:

    MSNBC's stream won't load on my Mac. I'm here, but ... we probably shouldn't think seriously about conducting elections online for a long time yet.

  • September 26, 2007

    7:47 PM

    Albert N.Milliron writes:

    Not one Dem believes in the rule of law. What are we teaching those who come here illegally? That its ok to be dishonest in America.

  • September 26, 2007

    7:45 PM

    Rep. Tom Tancredo writes:

    Well, like I said -- nearly every candidate ignored the question entirely.

    Hillary made the argument that we "can't" enforce the law. In reality of course, its that she just doesnt want to.

    And Richardson offered the same old false specter of mass deportation, In reality, enforcing employer sanctions, enforcing federal laws regarding sanctuary policies and the ban on things like taxpayer subsidized health care and tuition for illegal aliens will shut off the magnet that is helping to draw people here. If we do that, we can take away the reasons people are coming here illegally, and they will simply self-deport.

  • September 26, 2007

    7:45 PM

    Allen Fuller writes:

    Sen. Dodd's Anderson Cooper comment was pretty funny - does he use that often?

  • September 26, 2007

    7:45 PM

    M.E. writes:

    Dodd scores the highlight reel clip of the night when asked about President Bush's prediction that Sen. Clinton will be the nominee. He misquotes Bush saying "Way to go, Brownie..." as a sign of the president's prognostication skills. (Brownie was doing a "Heck of a job" was the actual quotation.***) Still, it's the easy clip for the morning shows.


    ***Note: As moderator, I had to correct myself after the fact, too.

  • September 26, 2007

    7:45 PM

    Lynda writes:

    Good one for Dodd -- hitting on the Brownie and Mission Accomplished. Very good on him for calling on the American people and not the pundits. Also good for him for not taking the bait.

    That being said -- and no offense meant to our esteemed Congressman -- the only hope the Republicans have in winning this race is for the Democrats to put out a nominee that mobilizes the GOP base.

  • September 26, 2007

    7:42 PM

    Media Lizzy writes:

    Congressman:
    No one understands the nuances of the Immigration situation more than you. But since Congress' primary Constitutional mandate is appropriations - why isn't it being done according to the script? It's hard to know what is or is not funded in an Omnibus filled with earmarks. How can voters believe the US Congress is actually going to build the fence, or accomplish any task - when the Appropriations process is broken?

  • September 26, 2007

    7:42 PM

    Dave Redlawsk, University of Iowa writes:

    As I look around here I notice that the crowd of Edwards folks is relatively older - no "young people" other than a couple Edwards staffers. Elsewhere in Iowa City there is an Obama supporters debate watch party - I'll bet the average age is significantly lower there. But we all know younger people are far less likely to caucus versus older people.

  • September 26, 2007

    7:41 PM

    M.E. writes:

    HEY QUESTIONERS: LET'S STAND DOWN FOR ABOUT 10 MINUTES AND LET CONGRESSMAN TANCREDO GET A FEW THINGS OFF HIS CHEST. WE'VE BOMBARDED HIM WITH QUESTIONS AND LET'S GIVE HIM A CHANCE TO GET CAUGHT UP ON A FEW.

  • September 26, 2007

    7:39 PM

    M.E. writes:

    I reckon Sen. Clinton's answer on sanctuary cities probably won't win over many Tancredo supporters. Oops. Former Sen. Gravel just lost a few Tancredo supporters, too.


    Congressman, during the commercial break, the floor is all yours.

  • September 26, 2007

    7:39 PM

    Chris, Maryland writes:

    I do not believe Richardson called the reporter racist.. please lighten up a bit. The question centers on Latino Immigrants and he is Latino.. no big deal.

  • September 26, 2007

    7:38 PM

    Media Lizzy writes:

    Biden and Clinton are standouts for me tonight. Obama is looking timid, he's got to "man-up" and fight for the nomination. He has real promise to transform the Democrats for a generation - but he's not coming across as the rock star.

  • September 26, 2007

    7:38 PM

    Rep. Tom Tancredo writes:

    I'm a bit confused by Mr. Biden's suggestion that sanctuary policies are caused by a lack of federal funding.
    The federal law simply says that state and local governments cannot actively prevent communication between local police and immigration authorities.
    These policies actually explicitly bar local officials from communicating with federal immigration enforcement folks. His point makes no sense.

    As an aside, I cant believe that after September 11th, any responsible candidate would support a local government's decision to actively impede law enforcement cooperation.

  • September 26, 2007

    7:37 PM

    Lynda writes:

    I'm thinking Rep. Tancredo should place hands over his ears and not listen to Kucinich on this one. Might make your head explode, Congressman. LOL!

  • September 26, 2007

    7:36 PM

    Dave Redlawsk, University of Iowa writes:

    Ouch, poor Rudy... The Edwards supporters here cheered Biden's attack - I think folks here assume that they can cheer and applaud the second tier since they clearly don't believe Biden, Dodd, Richardson, etc. have any real chance in Iowa. So far polls suggest they're right, but things can change around here.

  • September 26, 2007

    7:35 PM

    Caree - Iowa Team Tancredo Staffer writes:

    Have at it Mr. Tancredo. the chat site is all yours! Finally, the dems have to talk about illegal aliens......!

  • September 26, 2007

    7:34 PM

    Chris, Maryland writes:

    Richardson may well be President someday... President of Aztlan..

  • September 26, 2007

    7:34 PM

    Reid Wilson writes:

    Did Richardson just call the NECN reporter racist?

    Quick poll: Who are you remembering tonight? Whose answers do you actually remember a few minutes after they're given? I'm finding myself remembering Richardson, Biden and Clinton.

    Obama has to step it up if he doesn't want to be called the loser tonight.

  • September 26, 2007

    7:33 PM

    Rep. Tom Tancredo writes:

    ME -- the stage, and the e-stage are proving equally difficult to get a word in edgewise.

    This Sanctuary question was an excellent one. The 1996 immigration law already makes sanctuary policies illegal, as the questioner correctly pointed out.

    I wonder if a single one of them will answer it directly.

  • September 26, 2007

    7:33 PM

    Lynda writes:

    Richardson does really well on this question -- seen him give this as a part of his stump speech in Iowa several times.

  • September 26, 2007

    7:33 PM

    J Hammond writes:

    "I can't believe that French President Nicolas Sarkozy is to the Right of every Democrat running on the issue if Iran."

    I can.

  • September 26, 2007

    7:32 PM

    Lynda writes:

    There you go, Rep. Tancredo -- you got your wish

  • September 26, 2007

    7:31 PM

    Rep. Tom Tancredo writes:

    Did Bill Richardson just suggest that Iran's government is a representative democracy -- or are my ears playing tricks on me?

    Also, I apologize for being unable to answer all the questions that are posted. Posting, reading, and listening to the Democrats will unfortunately result in me missing a few of them.

  • September 26, 2007

    7:31 PM

    Media Lizzy writes:

    Richardson is really condescending tonight. He was a lot better at the AARP debate last week. Starting to look too eager for a breakout moment.

  • September 26, 2007

    7:31 PM

    M.E. writes:

    Congressman, where is it easier to get a word in edgewise? On stage at one of these debates? Or here at "Back Roads to the White House" during a live chat?

  • September 26, 2007

    7:30 PM

    Lynda writes:

    Thank you, John Edwards! (And Sen. Biden and Sen. Dodd) I completely agree that this President cannot and should not be trusted.

    BTW, what do you want to bet that Kucinich has had either his finger or pen in the air throughout this entire discussion? (He did so through most of the ABC debate in Des Moines.)

  • September 26, 2007

    7:29 PM

    Media Lizzy writes:

    I can't believe that French President Nicolas Sarkozy is to the Right of every Democrat running on the issue if Iran.

  • September 26, 2007

    7:29 PM

    Dave Redlawsk, University of Iowa writes:

    Huge applause here for Edwards - I have no intention of giving George Bush the authority... Edwards folks still like the mea culpa, and like the attack on Clinton on the Lieberman resolution. Edwards does seem to be more directly on the attack today than in previous debates.

  • September 26, 2007

    7:28 PM

    Rep. Tom Tancredo writes:

    Karen - Iran is already interfering in the iraq War. The testimony we heard from General Petraeus as well as others indicate that Iran -- true to its label as a state sponsor of terror -- is already providing resources to insurgent groups.

    It's also quite interesting to listen to discussions from these candidates about how direct, bilateral negotiation with Iran will somehow convince Tehran to abandon its nuclear program. Evidently, none of these people were listening to Mr. Ahmadinejad's presentations at Columbia U and at the UN.

  • September 26, 2007

    7:27 PM

    Dave Redlawsk, University of Iowa writes:

    Does Obama seem kind of boring? Clinton was fairly aggressive, Edwards drew distinctions - folks here listened carefully to both and seem to be looking more at their food now that Obama is talking.

  • September 26, 2007

    7:27 PM

    M.E. writes:

    Russert tried to pin down Sen. Clinton. She and some of the other candidates just aren't going for these hypotheticals anymore.

  • September 26, 2007

    7:25 PM

    Lynda writes:

    Congressman Tancredo, I've heard many Republicans and conservative pundits argue that point -- that the executive branch should hold fast to the powers it has grabbed in the days since Sept. 11. If it should come to pass that we have a Pres. Hillary Rodham Clinton, will you also fight just as hard for her administration to keep and continue the power grab?

  • September 26, 2007

    7:24 PM

    TJ Sullivan writes:

    Which gloves? Here, or at Dartmouth?

  • September 26, 2007

    7:24 PM

    BillyFred writes:

    Tom, don't you think it is hipocritical of the Republicans to use the filibuster now to block what the Dems are trying to do when they tried so hard to convince the public a couple of years back that the filibuster was evil?

  • September 26, 2007

    7:24 PM

    Media Lizzy writes:

    Thank you, Congressman Tancredo.

  • September 26, 2007

    7:24 PM

    Caree - Iowa Team Tancredo Staffer writes:

    Billary, Billary, Billary.......blah blah blah

  • September 26, 2007

    7:24 PM

    Rep. Tom Tancredo writes:

    J - Voters are going to have to judge for themselves about the sincerety of these folks.

  • September 26, 2007

    7:22 PM

    M.E. writes:

    Russert v. Clinton.


    Finally, the gloves are off.

  • September 26, 2007

    7:22 PM

    Karen Schweiker/AZ writes:

    I wanted to ask Congressman Tancredo what he believes will be the catalyst for the entrance of Iran into the Iraq War?

    Thank you.

  • September 26, 2007

    7:22 PM

    Lynda writes:

    So, Biden and Richardson are still jabbing at each other on Iraq. That's not surprising -- would be more fun, however, if Richardson was also in the Senate so there could be floor debate between them.

  • September 26, 2007

    7:21 PM

    Rep. Tom Tancredo writes:

    Lizzy, the administration has signalled -- and rightly so in my opinion -- that they will resist any effort by legislative branch to usurp the powers of the executive branch.

  • September 26, 2007

    7:20 PM

    Reid Wilson writes:

    Mike Gravel wins the prize for first mention of Democratic pariah and now Independent Sen. Joe Lieberman in a debate.

  • September 26, 2007

    7:19 PM

    Albert N.Milliron writes:

    Gravel throws stones again

  • September 26, 2007

    7:19 PM

    Dave Redlawsk, University of Iowa writes:

    Good old Kucinich - fire in the belly - nice recovery on the date mis statement. Wonder how Hilary feels in between Kucinich and Gravel. BTW, lots of nods of agreement with Gravel's comment on voting and voting and making something happen. People don't understand why Republicans can stop things in the Senate. OH WOW, the attack on Hilary by Gravel got a HUGE reaction here. (And we got a little of the new Hilary laugh.)

  • September 26, 2007

    7:19 PM

    Caree - Iowa Team Tancredo Staffer writes:

    Mr. Tancredo. You are handsdown, the real deal. You are honestly the ONLY candidate that I trust and believe in!

  • September 26, 2007

    7:19 PM

    Lynda writes:

    I was wondering who was going to bring up the Lieberman action today -- good for Gravel for bringing it up.

  • September 26, 2007

    7:19 PM

    Media Lizzy writes:

    Albert -
    To the contrary. Senator Biden is a polished, alpha-male. He's bright and confident. I know it's unusual for the Democrats to have a guy with that kind of appeal... but he's not angry.

  • September 26, 2007

    7:19 PM

    M.E. writes:

    Congressman, J. Hammond's question is a great one and I hope you answer it.

  • September 26, 2007

    7:17 PM

    J Hammond writes:

    Mr. Tancredo,

    I don't know how well you know the other candidates personally but how many, Democrat or Republican, do you feel are completely sincere in everything they say? Who do you think are actually speaking as to what they believe deep down?

  • September 26, 2007

    7:17 PM

    TJ Sullivan writes:

    I don't know about that Lizzy. Congressman Tancredo, you've talked a great deal about relocating millions of people now in the US to the country of their birth. Any thoughts about how such a process might be applied to troop relocation?

  • September 26, 2007

    7:16 PM

    Albert N.Milliron writes:

    Doesn't Senator Biden always appear angry when he shares his answers...

  • September 26, 2007

    7:16 PM

    Media Lizzy writes:

    Biden's plan is classic federalist.

    Congressman,
    do you think the Biden amendment will fly in the House? Will his plan ever make it to President Bush's desk? Do you think President Bush would veto the Defense Auth Bill if it contains the Biden plan?

  • September 26, 2007

    7:14 PM

    Chris, Maryland writes:

    We can move 240,000 troops around Iraq in a 3-month time frame yet we're not able to secure our Southern border in 160 years!

  • September 26, 2007

    7:14 PM

    HiMtngal writes:

    Tom Tancredo....the only way to fly!

  • September 26, 2007

    7:14 PM

    HiMtngal writes:

    Tom Tancredo....the only way to fly!

  • September 26, 2007

    7:14 PM

    Lynda writes:

    Excellent answer from Chris Dodd -- the primary obligation is the security of the American people. Here's hoping he takes it a step further and discusses how national security isn't limited to war -- it also includes responding to national disasters, fire protection, strong schools.

  • September 26, 2007

    7:13 PM

    Rep. Tom Tancredo writes:

    These pie-in-the-sky notions about how the United Nations will authorize and deploy a peacekeeping force in Iraq when they have balked at doing so for the last few years makes almost as little sense as Mr. Richardson's suggestion that a meeting with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (a man who is supplyling resources to the insurgents killing our soldiers) will somehow improve U.S. national security.

  • September 26, 2007

    7:13 PM

    Albert N.Milliron writes:

    What do you expect from Senator Clinton, Like her husband, focus groups are the order of the day: Hello Senator Tancredo, see you in November in St Pete

  • September 26, 2007

    7:13 PM

    M.E. writes:

    This format seems quite orderly, and it's refreshing that everyone is being given time for longer answers. Congressman, how does this format compare to the ones you've been through? And what happens on stage when the cameras are focused elsewhere?

  • September 26, 2007

    7:13 PM

    Media Lizzy writes:

    Bill Richardson should know better than to make statements like the ones he is making. To move troops thru Turkey & Kuwait, those deals have to be made in advance. He can't speak for those countries.

    And his assertion that he would leave "light equipment" behind is ludicrous. Ask the Soviets how that strategy worked in Afghanistan.

  • September 26, 2007

    7:13 PM

    Dave Redlawsk, University of Iowa writes:

    Gee, you called it on Richardson, M.E. In nice lefty Iowa City, Richardson's position may be gaining ground, whether realistic or not.

  • September 26, 2007

    7:13 PM

    TJ Sullivan writes:

    I loved the recent reports on Drudge about how President Bush was, supposedly, giving secret advice to Hillary Clinton ... like anyone can't see the man is lonely. What Republican candidate wants to be the subject of a story like that? Hmm, maybe this whole "advice" thing is a clever political ploy.

  • September 26, 2007

    7:10 PM

    Ivonne jonesI writes:

    Hola!!!!!!! thank you so much for being my voice , we need you , you are the only hope for the legal people please keep talking .Ivonne jones

  • September 26, 2007

    7:09 PM

    Media Lizzy writes:

    John Edwards seems to not understand the physics involved in removing troops. You can't "magically" airlift 50 to 60,000 troops and all their equipment on Day One.

  • September 26, 2007

    7:09 PM

    M.E. writes:

    Once again, Sen. Obama is reminding people that he, unlike others he could name, made a speech opposing the war before it began. And Sen. Clinton does her best to make herself and all the rivals currently serving on Capitol Hill appear to be on the same team in trying to end the war: "WE are trying every day..." Former Sen. Edwards is the first to get into a back-and-forth challenging Clinton, saying "there is a difference" in their approaches on Iraq. (Now I'm waiting for Gov. Richardson to say he's the only one who wants to remove all troops, even "residual troops," now.)

  • September 26, 2007

    7:09 PM

    Ivonne jonesI writes:

    Hola!!!!!!! thank you so much for being my voice , we need you , you are the only hope for the legal people please keep talking .Ivonne jones

  • September 26, 2007

    7:09 PM

    Lynda writes:

    Edwards is very right about that -- every person on that stage wants to end the war, although maybe not the occupation. I don't know of anyone on the other side of the aisle that wants to bring this bloody mess to an end at all.

  • September 26, 2007

    7:09 PM

    Karen writes:

    We're glad that you will be commenting on the debates tonight, Congressman, and we want you to know that we are pulling for you and support you all the way.

  • September 26, 2007

    7:08 PM

    Dave Redlawsk, University of Iowa writes:

    These five year questions are pretty useless - but I suspect strong anti-war Democrats are pretty disappointed in all these answers. And other people will find it hard to differentiate. But as I write this Edwards has just started talking about differences - is he planning to spend the debate clearly distinguishing himself? Folks here really liked that part of his answer.

  • September 26, 2007

    7:07 PM

    Reid Wilson writes:

    In the second question, Senator Hillary Clinton praised efforts of Congressional Democrats in ending the war in Iraq. With Congressional approval ratings hovering in the 20s, on a good day, is that a wise idea?

    By the way, Congressman Tancredo, how is being a serving member of Congress affecting your campaign? Positively? Negatively? Would love to hear your thoughts.

  • September 26, 2007

    7:07 PM

    Rep. Tom Tancredo writes:

    Watch closely -- here comes the latest incarnation of the always changing and the ever-unpredictable Iraq position of the hour of Hillary Clinton.

  • September 26, 2007

    7:05 PM

    Lynda writes:

    I hate these "5 years from now" questions. How is anyone supposed to know what the situation is going to be in Iraq 5 years from now? Obviously, this administration had no clue what it was going to be a year later.

  • September 26, 2007

    7:03 PM

    Caree - Iowa Team Tancredo Staffer writes:

    Tom, you have alot of supporters out here! The blogs are loaded with supporters every day. Everyone is so excited about you. We are behind you, Tom. You have to win this thing. We need you to lead our country!

  • September 26, 2007

    7:03 PM

    TJ Sullivan writes:

    Hello Congressman, glad you could join us.

  • September 26, 2007

    7:02 PM

    Chris, Maryland writes:

    Obama first! Just like Romney for the Republicans! Rrrr...

  • September 26, 2007

    7:02 PM

    M.E. writes:

    Congressman, here's a great question. If you had to leave Colorado (let's say allergies or something), would you rather move to Iowa or New Hampshire?

  • September 26, 2007

    7:01 PM

    Rep. Tom Tancredo writes:

    It's hard to say M.E.. Bill Richardson has said he supports the individual right to keep and bear arms embodied in the Second Amendment. If he remains true to that position, then I suppose he and I agree there.

  • September 26, 2007

    7:00 PM

    Lynda writes:

    Hi, Dave! I just left Pat Maloney at the Linn County Central Committee meeting. Too bad the local Edwards group was meeting at a place without WiFi (they'd invited me to come blog at their party)

  • September 26, 2007

    6:59 PM

    Chris, Maryland writes:

    I'm looking for any serious discussion on immigration by any Democratic candidate... I wonder if the subject will even come up..

  • September 26, 2007

    6:59 PM

    Caree - Iowa Team Tancredo Staffer writes:

    Hi Mr. Tancredo. the sisters that followed you around thru Iowa (Patrice from Arizona) and Carole (Caree) from Iowa are here with you tonight. We miss you, Tom!! We are proud of you for all you are doing, keep going strong!

  • September 26, 2007

    6:59 PM

    Media Lizzy writes:

    It's a shame MSNBC's streaming coverage isn't on par with FoxNews. To compete - they need more than Russert for a debate.

  • September 26, 2007

    6:57 PM

    Dave Redlawsk, University of Iowa writes:

    Hi - I'm watching this in Iowa City with a group of about 25 John Edwards supporters. It will be interesting to see how they react tonight. Edwards supporters in Iowa seem pretty frustrated that the national media focuses on Clinton and Obama so much. They'll be watching to see how strongly Edwards comes out swinging. Folks here seem to think he needs to do more to push through the media infatuation with Clinton and Obama.

  • September 26, 2007

    6:57 PM

    Lynda writes:

    Sounds like Chris Matthews is praying for a blood bath.

  • September 26, 2007

    6:57 PM

    M.E. writes:

    Congressman, before we start, are there any areas where you agree with any of the Democrats?

  • September 26, 2007

    6:56 PM

    Rep. Tom Tancredo writes:

    Thanks for the opportunity M.E.

  • September 26, 2007

    6:53 PM

    M.E. writes:

    Welcome Rep. Tancredo.


    OK people, IT'S ON!

  • September 26, 2007

    6:51 PM

    Rep. Tom Tancredo writes:

    Let's hope Tim Russert asks Hillary tougher questions than he did on Meet The Press Sunday.

  • September 26, 2007

    6:50 PM

    Lynda writes:

    Yippee! I made it back to the laptop before the debate started.

    I'm interested to see if Biden and Richardson continue to prod each other -- and how much Dodd joins in. At the AARP forum, it was almost as if they were ignoring the others on stage.

    I look for Edwards to push the education plan he recently announced. Clinton will want to avoid mistakes, hold her polling spot in N.H., continue the health care discussion -- Kucinich does too. Obama will either want to discuss or run away from senior citizen issues after missing the AARP forum.

  • September 26, 2007

    6:48 PM

    Media Lizzy writes:

    Absolutely agree, Reid. It is game time - and money matters, polls matter, organization matters. Both political parties need to decide if they are going put up the usual suspects - or put the best interests of the country ahead of political deals.

  • September 26, 2007

    6:47 PM

    TJ Sullivan writes:

    This will be interesting, particularly if MSNBC's live video feed fails to load...

    Thanks for the invite ME, all set and ready to refresh.

  • September 26, 2007

    6:44 PM

    Media Lizzy writes:

    Thanks for the invitation, ME. Looking forward to a spirited debate!

  • September 26, 2007

    6:43 PM

    Chris, Maryland writes:

    More exciting! Congressman Tancredo! :)

  • September 26, 2007

    6:42 PM

    Reid Wilson writes:

    If no one minds yet another debate preview, you can find mine here:

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/politics_nation/2007/09/democrats_debate_opening_thoug.html

    My argument, simplified: The "it's still early" phase of the campaign is at an end. That a candidate is trailing in the polls and fundraising is no longer explained away because there's plenty of time left.

    There isn't. Starting tonight, it's game time.

  • September 26, 2007

    6:40 PM

    M.E. writes:

    Rep. Tancredo will join us shortly.

    The goal tonight is to keep one eye on the Democratic debate and one eye on the discussion unfolding in the comments section.

    Keep your takes short, clean, and be patient with our silly technology.

    (Don't hit "Post" too many times, and be sure to REFRESH your screen very often.)

    At the end of the night, I'll be posting a summary. And, as always, I will be declaring a winner of the debate.

    -- The Management

  • September 26, 2007

    6:19 PM

    Patrice in AZ writes:

    I'm sure the Dem. candidates will be asked about important issues like illegal immigration, amnesty, border security, the SPP and NAU. Go easy on them, Tancredo!

  • September 26, 2007

    6:17 PM

    msbobbie writes:

    Good evening Tom. I do not have a question but I just wanted to say I have read the wikinews interview and think it is marvelous! All of us at firesociety.com would like for you to have that much time to answer a question and and explain your views live and in prime time. You are in our prayers. We love you!

  • September 26, 2007

    6:00 PM

    Caree - Iowa Team Tancredo Staffer writes:

    I'm exciting to be chatting on the web live with Tanc!

  • September 26, 2007

    10:18 AM

    Media Lizzy writes:

    How exciting! Two hours of Joe Biden... and Hillary!

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