The Fix: debate

Would any House Democrats vote against a clean CR?

Would any House Democrats vote against a clean CR?

One provocative thing House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said in his news conference today: That a so-called "clean" continuing resolution might not pass in the House even if it came to a vote.

That statement is at odds with the assumptions of many political watchers — including us — who have documented how it is likely to pass if House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) were to allow a vote on it.

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Five things to watch in the Cuccinelli-McAuliffe debate

Five things to watch in the Cuccinelli-McAuliffe debate

Ready, set, debate!

With just weeks to go until the Nov. 5 election, Virginia gubernatorial candidates Ken Cuccinelli II (R) and former Democratic National Committee chairman Terry McAuliffe will debate for a second time. The Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce and NBC4 Washington will host the debate from 7-8 p.m.

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A recent history of second presidential debates (VIDEO)

A recent history of second presidential debates (VIDEO)

All eyes in the political world will be fixed on Hofstra University in New York Tuesday night, where President Obama and Mitt Romney will debate for a second time.

Second presidential debates present unique opportunities. For the candidate coming out of the first debate with momentum (in this case, Romney), it’s a chance for an encore on a national stage. For the candidate who struggled the first time around (Obama), it’s a do-over.

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President Obama and the curse of the first reelection debate (video)

President Obama isn’t the first incumbent president to fall victim to a tough performance in his first debate.

Recent history, in fact, is littered with presidents struggling to defend their records the first time out. And four of the last five presidents were judged to have lost their first debate.

Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter debated only once in 1980, and the debate was a disaster for Carter. Notable moments for Reagan included “Are you better off than you were four years ago?” and “There you go again,” and Carter was criticized for citing his daughter’s opinion that nuclear disarmament was the most important issue facing the country.

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Republican presidential debates: Location, location, location!

In real estate, the old adage is that the three most important things when selling a house are location, location and location.

When it comes to presidential debates, the same is true. Where you stand on stage dictates your relative standing in the race — former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has moved from the fringes to center stage over the last few months, for example — and how much time you get to talk.

Below is a terrific chart the graphics wizards at the Post cooked up that shows where the candidates have stood on stage so far and how that correlates to how much they talk during the debate.

Check it out in advance of tonight’s Iowa presidential debate!

Iowa ABC/Yahoo Republican debate: The live blog

If you’re like us, you’re spending your Saturday night at home. And glad to be there.

That’s because six Republican presidential candidates will take the debate stage at Drake University in Des Moines tonight at 9 p.m. for their thirteenth (!) debate of the 2012 race.

And, we’ll be live-blogging every minute of it! Never participated in one of our live-blogs before? It’s like watching the debate with your nerdiest (and biggest wise-cracking) friends.

Come and hang out. Trust us — it will be fun.

CNN Republican debate: Winners and losers

Another day, another Republican presidential debate. We live-blogged the whole thing but also took note of a few of the night’s winners and, yes, losers.

Our thoughts are below. Have your own winners and losers? The comments section awaits.

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Herman Cain’s moment

Herman Cain’s moment

In each of the first six debates of the Republican presidential race, Herman Cain has been an afterthought — on the receiving end of few questions from the moderators and virtually ignored by his better-known and -financed rivals.

That ends tonight, when Cain — along with seven other men and women running for president — take the stage in Hanover, N.H., for a debate sponsored by the Washington Post and Bloomberg News.

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Who has the most to lose in the economic debate (and why)?

The Washington Post and Bloomberg News are sponsoring an economic-focused debate among the 2012 Republican presidential candidates at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire on Tuesday.

presidential candidate former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, right, listens as Texas Gov. Rick Perry makes a statement during a debate Thursday, Sept. 22, 2011, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack, Pool)
The economy is the dominant issue of both the Republican primary fight and next year's general election so each of the candidates have a considerable amount riding on their debate performance.

Our question for you: Which of the Republican presidential candidates has the most at stake at the debate?

Is it former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney who has staked his campaign on the economic know-how he learned in the private sector? Or Texas Gov. Rick Perry whose job creation successes in the Lonestar State have formed the foundation of his nascent campaign? What about businessman Herman Cain who is the fastest rising star in the GOP field? Or is is someone else?

Offer your thought via Quora or in the comments section below. We’ll incorporate them into our debate preview in advance of Tuesday’s debate.

Rick Perry as Sarah Palin

Rick Perry as Sarah Palin

At Thursday’s debate, it was hard to watch Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s performance and not recall Sarah Palin.

It was Palin who, in 2008 as the GOP’s vice presidential nominee, responded to questions about her foreign policy expertise with the idea that she understands international relations because Russia is close to her home state of Alaska, where she served as governor.

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Rick Perry’s problem with primetime

Rick Perry’s problem with primetime

All eyes were on Rick Perry last night to see if he could recover from an uneven performance in the last Florida debate 10 days ago.

What he did was turn in another uneven performance — or more accurately, a largely solid first half, followed by some pretty rough moments in the second half.

At the end of the night, it did little to put to rest the idea that he’s not quite ready for primetime. Or at least, primetime debates.

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GOP Debate: Winners and Losers

GOP Debate: Winners and Losers

The fifth Republican presidential debate — this one from Orlando, Florida — is over.

We live-blogged the proceedings but also jotted down a few of the winners and, more deliciously, the losers from tonight’s debate.

Have picks of your own? The comments section is all yours.


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Orlando debate: Rick Perry vs Mitt Romney, round 3 (VIDEO)

Nine Republican presidential candidates — the usual suspects plus former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson — will gather tonight in Orlando, Florida at 9 pm for the third presidential debate in the last 15 days.

We’ll have our “what to watch for” guide — aka the debate cheat sheet — a little later in this space and, of course, will be live blogging the proceedings too. (You can watch the debate live on Fox News Channel.)

But before you do all of that, make sure to check out our “Fast Fix” video preview of what to expect tonight. Hint: It’s all about former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney versus Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

The Florida Republican presidential debate: What we learned

Since the Florida Republican presidential debate ended 12 hours ago, we’ve been reflecting on lessons learned from the night. (Man that looks WAY nerdier now that we see it written down.)

Republican presidential candidates, from left, Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, businessman Herman Cain, Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, applaud before a Republican presidential debate Monday, Sept. 12, 2011, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Mike Carlson) (Mike Carlson - AP)

Our take on what we should take from the Tampa CNN/Tea Party Express debate is after the jump.

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Florida Republican presidential debate: Winners and losers

The fourth debate of the 2012 Republican presidential race is in the books!

Texas Governor Rick Perry (R) and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney exchange comments during the CNN/Tea Party Republican presidential candidates debate in Tampa, Florida, September 12, 2011. REUTERS/Scott Audette
After live-blogging the proceedings, we turn to our favorite part of any debate night: looking at who won and who lost.

Our take is below. Agree or disagree with our picks? Leave a question or comment for today’s Fix Face-off video Q&A, or in the comments section below.

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Live-blogging the Florida Republican debate

At 8 p.m. tonight, eight Republican presidential candidates will take the stage in Tampa, Florida for the fourth major debate of the 2012 race.

Republican presidential candidates sing the National Anthem before the CNN/Tea Party Debate. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara) (Chris O'Meara - AP)
And the Fix will be bringing every minute, no, every second of the action to you in our live-blog. We’ll pregame around 7:30 pm — warming up our typing fingers and comic stylings for the 8 p.m. kickoff. (Speaking of kickoffs, we will also keep an eye on the Patriots-Dolphins game that starts at 7 pm.)

Never participated in one of our live blogs before? (Shame!) We like to think of it as “Mystery Science Theater 3000” but for politics. And without the robots.

Join us. It’ll be fun. If not, we’ll give you your money back.

GOP debate in Florida: What to watch for

For the second time in five days, eight Republican candidates for president will gather on a debate stage — this time in the all-important state of Florida.

Republican presidential candidates will debate tonight in Florida. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)

The proceedings get started at 8 pm eastern time on CNN and we will be live-blogging every minute of it right here! But, what do you do to kill time before tonight?

Never fear. Below you’ll find our Cliff Notes version of what you should watch for tonight. See you at 8!

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Rick Perry: The most electable GOP candidate?

One in an occasional series of posts looking at the most important number in politics; check out past “MINP’s” here.


A single number in the new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll released this morning epitomizes the challenge before former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney when it comes to Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

Texas Governor and Presidential hopeful Rick Perry, gives a "thumbs up" sign to supporters as he leaves a town hall meeting hosted by Rep. Tim Scott, R-S.C., at Horry-Georgetown Technical College on Monday Sept. 5, 2011 in Conway, S.C. (AP Photo/Willis Glassgow)

Asked which of the Republican candidates had the best chance of beating President Obama next November, 42 percent chose Perry while 26 percent named Romney. No other candidate won double-digit support.

Couple those numbers with the fact that three-quarters of Republicans in that same poll say they prefer a candidate who can beat Obama to one that agrees with them on every issue and you begin to see the shape of Romney’s potential problem.

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Fast Fix: Rick vs Mitt (VIDEO)

Tonight’s Republican presidential debate in Tampa, Florida is likely to focus on the burgeoning fight between the two frontrunners: Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.

It’s the second time in five days the two men will share a debate stage and if past is prologue expect them to duel over Perry’s assertion that Social Security amounts to a “Ponzi scheme”.

In today’s episode of the “Fast Fix” we offer our video preview of how that scrap might shake out. Don’t forget to tune into The Fix tonight for our live-blog of the debate.

Tim Pawlenty, Mitt Romney and the Fix Endorsement Hierarchy

When the news broke this morning that former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty was endorsing former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney , one question was at the top of everyone’s mind: Where does this fit into the Fix’s Endorsement Hierarchy? (Ok, so maybe that wasn’t the first things most people thought of. But, it was the first thing that occurred to us.)

Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty discusses his endorsement of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney during a news conference Monday in North Charleston, S.C.. (Bruce Smith - AP)

For the uninitiated, the Fix Endorsement Hierarchy is an attempt to categorize and rank the various endorsements in the political world — from the helpful to the horrible. (And, yes, our endorsement hierarchy is the political equivalent of Bill Simmons’ (aka the Sports Guy) 13 levels of losing.)

So where does the Pawlenty for Romney endorsement fit?

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Florida takes center stage in 2012 campaign

For the next 12 days, Florida will stand at the center of the 2012 Republican race, playing host to two debates — one tonight and a second on Sept. 22 — as well as a straw poll that will help shape the presidential nomination fight.

The next week and a half will also serve as the precursor to the Sunshine State primary early next year — a contest that many people believe could decide the identity of the party’s nominee.

“Early caucuses and primaries give the candidates a chance to shine with a certain segment of the electorate, but in Florida candidates will face the largest and most diverse GOP primary electorate of any early state,” said Sally Bradshaw, a longtime political adviser to former governor Jeb Bush.

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