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Live-blogging the Ames presidential debate

at 07:28 PM ET, 08/11/2011


Dennis Size, of The Lighting Design Group, works on the stage at CY Stephens Auditorium in Ames, Iowa, Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2011, as crews setup up for Thursday's Iowa GOP/Fox News Debate. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
AMES, Iowa — It’s on!

The second major presidential debate of the 2012 presidential election, that is. And The Fix is in place — ready to document all the highs and lows of the night.

Our live-blog is below. The debate, featuring eight Republican candidates, starts at 9 pm eastern but since the early bird catches the worm we’ll start live-blogging around 8:30 pm.

Tune in! And, in the meantime, check out why the next three days matter so much in the presidential race and a our viewer’s guide for tonight’s festivities.

Since we’re in central time, the time stamps below are in central time.

9:43 pm: The CoveritLive module is back! Switching back!

9:42 pm: Wait, Bachmann voted against the debt ceiling?! I wasn’t aware of that. (And yes I am kidding.)

9:40 pm: Huntsman’s problem is that EVERY question focuses on his record or at least the parts of his record that are not going to make the GOP base happy. He has done well to dodge and parry but it’s been a lot of defense.

9:39 pm: Everything is coming up roses for Romney tonight. Another economic question where he can slam Obama. He has talked almost exclusively about the economy — and the president — tonight. And that’s a win for his team.

9:37 pm: Pawlenty says he supports life of the mother exception for abortions. But not for rape and incest — or at least he didn’t mention it. Also, he again banged the drum on results versus rhetorica, all aimed at Bachmann.

9:36 pm: Abortion is Santorum’s wheelhouse. His campaign will be happy that they got a chance for him to expound on it.

9:35 pm: There’s not much difference on social issues in this field. Huntsman is the only one who has been at all differentiating with his answer on civil unions. “I don’t have any problems with states having this debate, but as for me, I support civil unions,” Huntsman said.

9:33 pm: Ron Paul has been front and center in this debate. He has been all over the second hour. And was in the middle of the foreign policy fight.

9:32 pm: More from Bachmann’s answer on submission:“What submission means to us is respect. I respect my husband. He’s a wonderful, godly man.”

9:31 pm: “I’m running on my record. I am proud to run on my record.” — Jon Huntsman. Says he believes in civil unions. I think he has done well for himself, although his record has been brought up a number of times and that may not be a good thing for Huntsman.

9:29 pm: Byron York asks Bachmann whether she would be submissive to her husband. She says it’s about “respect”. Good answer to a tough question. And she works in a foster children reference.

9:28 pm: Mitt Romney continues to coast above the fray. Just smiling and laughing. Pawlenty and Bachmann attacking one another, Paul and Santorum attacking one another are all to the good for Romney.

9:26 pm: Newt Gingrich disagrees with the concept of every question in the debate. Dude, the rules are the rules.

9:25 pm: And we’re back! Bret Baier calls it a “fiery debate”. And he’s right.

9:23 pm: The debate is in its third break.

9:21 pm: The debate has slowed in the second hour. Lots of foreign policy talk. Ron Paul and his supporters are dominating because, well, they cheer anything he says. “Why don’t we quit this,” Paul asks. Mixed cheers and boos.

9:15 pm: Folks, CoveritLive has quit on us. We are going old school and bringing the live blog on site to The Fix for the final 40 minutes!

 
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