5:15pm Eastern update.
As promised, here’s a sample of the questions you want asked…
John Ansell: “Will they refuse campaign donations from La Raza?”
Jose: “If incursions by Iran are not acceptable, why are ones from Mexico?”
Aloha Guy: “Which side are you on in the DC gun control case?”
Desert Lover: “Will you support illegal immigration laws like those passed in Oklahoma and Arizona at the National Level?”
“Would you support a CO2 emissions reduction program that penalized people or businesses for driving their car or using electricity?”
“Name $500 billion in government programs you’d work to exterminate.”
Sgt Tim: “As President, what Constitutional Rights would you direct our troops to advise OBL of should they capture him this side of hell?”
The Fox News GOP debate in South Carolina begins tonight at 9pm Eastern. The stakes are high. Ron Paul will be included this time around, so look for questions about the newsletters the blogosphere has been buzzing about the past few days. Here are the latest poll numbers: “McCain is now the front-runner with 25 percent, followed by Iowa caucus winner Huckabee at 18 percent and Romney at 17 percent. The results for all three top candidates are within the survey’s margin of sampling error. Fred Thompson, who is from the neighboring state of Tennessee, captures the support of 9 percent, while Rudy Giuliani and Ron Paul both receive 5 percent.”
After watching so many of these debates, we know what works and what doesn’t work. Focused, incisive questions–with focused, incisive follow-ups–work. Pre-taped video questions and reporter packages that eat up airtime don’t work. Setting up head-to-head conflicts between specific candidates–and allowing them to engage each other directly–works. Giving the candidates any time–30 seconds, 1 minute, 2 minutes, whatever–to recycle stump talking points/opening statements/closing statements doesn’t work. Catching the candidates off-guard works. Asking the same, retread questions that have been asked in every other debate doesn’t work.
What do you think Fox should ask the GOP candidates? Immigration is a huge issue, of course, in South Carolina. With the exception of the driver’s license question that Hillary botched, we haven’t had a truly illuminating discussion of the issue in these debates. Last weekend’s debates handled the issue poorly. The candidates were allowed to bloviate and spew platitudes about amnesty without pointed follow-ups. I mentioned the Mexican incursion report this morning as good fodder for questioning. I think Huckabee’s enticement of the Mexican consular office to Arkansas and the widespread penetration of illegal alien consular cards deserves tough scrutiny. Laura Ingraham exposed his shuck-and-jive routine on the cards last month:
LG: You didn’t come out against [the Mexican] consulate issuing consular ID cards though, did you?
MH: I actually signed a bill in 2005 that prohibited people from getting a driver’s license who were illegal–
LG: –that’s not answering the question, governor. I understand that. But that’s not answering the question. Because I’m staying on this consulate issue. On the issue of the Mexican consulate, did you or did you not oppose the Mexican consulates issuing ID cards that are then used by illegal aliens to open bank accounts and get a number of other social services beyond health care and beyond education in the United States.
MG: Well, what I want to do is fix this entire problem by having sealed borders.
As I noted last month, that’s not much of a “fix” if he’s inviting foreign consulates to rent out space for $1 a year to hand out bogus illegal alien ID cards so more immigration laws can be broken.
McCain should be hammered on shamnesty. Not just his flips and flops and the definition of shamnesty, but the profane, arrogant, contemptuous, scheming, debate-suppressing, amendment cherry-picking, process by which he wanted the shamnesty bill rammed through last year. Why has he been left off the hook for scheming with Reid and Kennedy on the “Grand Bargain” strategy? Doesn’t anyone remember?
All the candidates should be asked quick yes-or-no border security/immigration enforcement policy questions:
– Should the government continue to provide funding to cities that adopt sanctuary policies or not?
– Should illegal alien ID cards issued by foreign consulates continue to be acceptable in the face of strong opposition from homeland security and law enforcement experts?
– Do they support or oppose the expansion of the federal employer verification system being challenged by the ACLU?
– Do they support or oppose efforts to train local law enforcement officers to enforce immigration law?
– Do they support or oppose current federal DREAM Act legislation?
Yes or no. Simple.
Looking to other topics that have received little coverage in other debates, I’d also like to see the candidates be forced to go on record supporting or opposing the Bush/Hillary housing bailout efforts. What should be done to “solve” the “crisis?”
You know what I’d like to hear:
I’ve also mentioned Huckabee, Gitmo, and the ACLU as good fodder for questioning.
Romney should be pressed on RomneyCare. See Jonathan Adler’s NRO comment.
Send your suggestions for original questions or leave them in comments and I’ll post the best ones by 5:00pm Eastern tonight.