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Books by and about 2012 presidential nominees
Do Not Ask What Good We Do
about Rep. Paul Ryan (2012)
The Path to Prosperity
by Rep. Paul Ryan (2012)
Ten Letters
about Pres. Barack Obama (2011)
A Life of Trial and Redemption
about V.P. Joe Biden (2010)
No Apology
by Gov. Mitt Romney (2010)
Young Guns
by Rep. Paul Ryan et al (2010)
The Path to Prosperity
by Rep. Paul Ryan (2012)
Promises to Keep
by Vice Pres. Joe Biden (2007)
The Audacity of Hope
by Pres. Barack Obama (2006)
by Gov. Mitt Romney (2004)
Dreams from My Father
by Pres. Barack Obama (1996)

Book Reviews

(from Amazon.com)

(click a book cover for a review or other books by or about the presidency from Amazon.com)

Click on a debate title below for OnTheIssues's archive of quotations.

CNN Arizona debate
Feb. 22, 2012

CNN debate in Mesa, Arizona, Feb. 22, 2012

CNN's John King, moderator

On the eve of the Arizona primary (and the last debate before Super Tuesday on March 6, 2012)

CNN Florida debate
Jan. 26, 2012

  • CNN debate in Jacksonville Florida, on the eve of the Florida primary
  • On the campus of University of North Florida in Jacksonville
  • Sponsored by Hispanic Leadership Network
  • Moderated by CNN's Wolf Blitzer

Click for analysis of the Florida primary

CNN South Carolina debate
Jan. 19, 2012

South Carolina GOP CNN debate, Jan. 19, 2012, moderated by John King of CNN.

This debate started with a heated exchange between the moderator, John King, and Speaker Newt Gingrich, regarding Gingrich's former wife accusing Gingrich of adultery. This heated exchange was covered breathlessly and unremittingly by the mainstream media, who claimed it gave Gingrich his victory in the S.C. primary. We assume normal voters will forget all about it in a week, but we provide the relevant parts here for political junkies:

JOHN KING: Your ex-wife says that you came to her in 1999, at a time when you were having an affair. She says you asked her to enter into an open marriage. Would you like to take some time to respond to that?

GINGRICH: No--but I will. (Cheers, applause.) I think the destructive, vicious, negative nature of much of the news media makes it harder to govern this country, harder to attract decent people to run for public office. And I am appalled that you would begin a presidential debate on a topic like that. (Cheers, applause.)

KING: Is that all you want to say, sir? (Boos, cheers, applause.)

GINGRICH: Every person in here knows personal pain. Every person in here has had someone close to them go through painful things. To take an ex-wife and make it two days before the primary a significant question in a presidential campaign is as close to despicable as anything I can imagine. (Cheers, applause.)

Click for analysis of the South Carolina primary result

Fox News South Carolina debate
Jan. 16, 2012

Fox News debate on MLK Day, co-sponsored by SCGOP, right before South Carolina Primary.

Debate held on Jan. 16, 2012; "First in the South" Republican Presidential Debate in Myrtle Beach, SC.

Moderated by Juan Wlliams and others from Fox News.

Meet the Press New Hampshire debate
Jan. 8, 2012

Republican primary debate on Meet the Press, co-sponsored by Facebook, moderated by David Gregory.

WMUR-New Hampshire debate
Jan. 7, 2012

    "Your Voice Your Vote" debate at Saint Anselm College, New Hampshire sponsored by:
  • AARP-NH (American Association of Retired Persons)
  • Yahoo.com
  • ABC News
  • hosted by George Stephanopoulos.

Yahoo's "Your Voice Your Vote" debate
Dec. 10, 2011

Debate in Iowa "Your Voice Your Vote", sponsored by the Des Moines Register, ABC News, Yahoo! News, and Republican Party of Iowa; Moderated by George Stephanopoulos and Diane Sawyer.

The highlight of this debate was a $10,000 bet offered by Mitt Romney to Rick Perry, in an attempt by Romney to prove Perry wrong about RomneyCare being the model for national healthcare.

Democrats and Republicans alike are accusing Mitt Romney of being out of touch after he said during this weekend's debate that he would make a $10,000 bet with Rick Perry even as millions of Americans struggle to make ends meet in a troubled economy.

Romney shrugged off the comment Sunday -- but says he's been reminded he's not a good gambler. "After the debate was over, Ann came up and gave me a kiss," Romney said, referring to his wife. "And she said, `there are a lot of things you do well. Betting isn't one of them.'"

Romney's bet -- for a sum that represents more than two months' salary for Americans with mid-range incomes --has ignited a discussion about whether Romney, a wealthy businessman whose worth is estimated at more than $200 million, is out of step with the challenges facing the millions of struggling or unemployed Americans who are having trouble providing for their families in an ailing economy.

"I would suggest to you that $10,000 is pocket change for Mitt," said Perry, the Texas governor, who was campaigning in Iowa on Sunday. "Having an extra $10,000 to throw down on a bet seems very out of the ordinary."

Source: OnTheIssues.org archives and Kasie Hunt on Bloomberg Businessweek

CNN National Security debate
Nov. 22, 2011

According to Nielsen Fast National data, CNNís GOP National Security Debate (8:00-10:00pm EST), moderated by Wolf Blitzer, delivered 3.599 million total viewers and 1.041 million in the key demographic 25-54 last night, Tuesday, November 22. This debate topped CNBCís 11/09 debate (993k), CNNís 6/13 debate (918k) and FNCís 5/5 debate (854k) in the key demo 25-54. CNN was, by far, #1 during the 8-10pm time period last night among cable news networks.
(Source: Bill Gorman, Cable News Ratings / Network TV Press Releases)

S.C. foreign policy Debate
Nov. 12, 2011

The debate, held by CBS News and The National Journal, was the first to focus exclusively on foreign policy and national security.

Held at Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Moderated by Scott Pelley of CBS News and Major Garrett of National Journal.

Your-Money-Your-Vote Debate
Nov. 9, 2011

CNBC aired a debate on Nov. 9, 2011, entitled "Your Money, Your Vote: The Republican Presidential Debate", live from Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan.

Moderated by Maria Bartiromo & John Hardwood; plus Jim Cramer, the host of "Mad Money."

Cain vs. Gingirch head-to-head
Nov. 5, 2011

This debate on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2011, had Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich in a one-on-one matchup. It was hosted by the Texas Patriot PAC and held in Houston Texas; moderated by Iowa Congressman Steve King.

Las Vegas debate
Oct. 18, 2011

2011 GOP debate in Las Vegas Nevada

Dartmouth N.H. debate
Oct. 11, 2011

2011 GOP debate at Dartmouth College, NH: At the Spaulding Auditorium on the campus of Dartmouth College, in Hanover, New Hampshire, the Bloomberg-Washington Post Republican Presidential Debate.

Orlando Google debate
Sept. 22, 2011

The Fox News-Google GOP Presidential debate took place on September 22, 2011 at the Orlando Convention Center in Orlando, Fla. It was sponsored by Fox News and Google in conjunction with the Florida Republican Party. It aired on the Fox News Channel, streamed on YouTube.com/FoxNews, and broadcast on Fox News Radio.

The debate was in anticipation of the Florida Straw Poll which took place the next day, with the following results:

Candidate     Straw Poll Result  
Herman Cain37%
Gov. Rick Perry15%
Gov. Mitt Romney14%
Sen. Rick Santorum11%
Rep. Ron Paul10.5%
Speaker Newt Gingrich8.5%
Gov. Jon Huntsman2%
Rep. Michele Bachmann   1%

According to Fox News, Romney and Bachmann had both left Florida before the voting began and their campaigns discounted the straw poll's role in the campaign. Previous straw polls have predicted the GOP nominee. Ronald Reagan won in 1979, George H.W. Bush in 1987 and Kansas Sen. Bob Dole in 1995. The Republican Party of Florida, however, has not organized the test vote in recent years.

Tea Party debate
Sept. 12, 2011

2011 GOP debate in Tampa, Florida, sponsored by the Tea Party Express and broadcast by CNN.

Moderator: Wolf Blitzer:
"Welcome to the Florida State Fairgrounds here in Tampa, the site of the first ever Tea Party/Republican presidential debate. One year from now, right here in Tampa, the Republican National Convention will nominate the Republican candidate for president of the United States. Tonight, eight contenders will be on this stage to try to convince voters he or she is the best choice to hold the highest office in the country. And joining them inside this hall, Tea Party activists from Florida and across the nation.

"Tonight's debate is airing on CNN, CNN International, CNN en Espanol, and the American Forces Network seen on U.S. military bases in 175 countries and aboard Navy ships at sea around the globe. We also want to welcome our co-sponsors, the Tea Party Express, and more than 100 state and local Tea Party groups from across the United States."

American Jobs Act debate
Sept. 8, 2011

Pres. Obama addressed a Joint Session of Congress on Sept. 8, 2011, to introduce his "American Jobs Act".

Excerpts below, including those from the responses from the Republican contenders for President.

Reagan Library debate
Sept. 7, 2011

The 2011 Republican primary debate was held on Sept. 7, 2011, at the Ronald Reagan Library in in Simi Valley California.

It was sponsored by Politico and broadcast by MSNBC.

The debate marked the first appearance against his rivals by Texas Governor Rick Perry.

Iowa Straw Poll debate
Aug. 11, 2011

This debate on Aug. 11, 2011, preceded the Iowa Straw Poll on Aug. 13. It was hosted by Fox News and held at Iowa State University in Ames Iowa. The debate itself featured a fight about Minnesota politics between Gov. Pawlenty and Rep. Bachmann. But the most telling moment was when the moderator asked, "Would you turn down a deal that cut $10 in spending for every $1 raised in taxes? Please raise your hand if you would turn down a 10-to-1 deal." All 8 contenders raised their hands. (The moderator expected to initiate a discussion about the proper ratio between taxes vs. spending!)

Iowa Straw Poll results: Aug. 13, 2011
Bachmann wins; Pawlenty loses
Michele Bachmann4,82329%
Ron Paul4,67128%
Tim Pawlenty2,29314%
Rick Santorum1,65710%
Herman Cain1,4569%
Rick Perry7184%
Mitt Romney5673%
Newt Gingrich3852%
Jon Huntsman680.4%
Thaddeus McCotter350.2%
Total:16,892 votes cast

Source: CBS News Political Hot Sheet

Twitter debate
July 21, 2011

CBS News report:

A group of Republican presidential candidates participated Wednesday afternoon in the first-ever presidential debate held entirely on Twitter. But the most compelling case they made may have been for the limitations of the format.

Michele Bachmann (@michelebachmann), Herman Cain (@thehermancain), Newt Gingrich (@newtgingrich), Thaddeus McCotter (@ThadMcCotter), Rick Santorum (@ricksantorum) and Gary Johnson (@govgaryjohnson) participated in the debate, which was sponsored by TheTeaParty.net. Four candidates--Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty, Jon Huntsman and Ron Paul--took a pass.

Twitter limits users to 140 characters, and a language has developed among users to get as much information as possible into that space. Hence Bachmann's first Tweet: ".@140townhall TY for this forum. I'm running for President of the United States to bring the voice of the people back to DC. That voice requires fundamental changes." (The @140townhall was an identifier so that people following the debate on Twitter would see her comment; generally, Twitter users use what are called hashtags--the # symbol--for that purpose.)

The candidates were allowed to use two or three Tweets to make their points, giving them a little extra flexibility in responding to questions and making statements. (Bachmann followed up with ".@140townhall Fundamental change in how we spend #taxpayer $, & return to constitutional principles of ltd government and personal responsibility.") Some, like Gingrich, Tweeted out links to videos on their websites to allow interested parties to get more information.

But for the most part, the character limit meant the candidates were reduced to offering little more than slightly modified talking points. They did not engage with one another, instead simply responding to questions from the moderator, conservative commentator S.E. Cupp, and the public with relative generalities that could easily have been found--in more detail--on their websites or in their public comments. And because the Tweets came fast and furious, it was often hard to follow what the candidates were saying when they tried to make a point in more than one Tweet.

Consider the second question posed by Cupp: "How do you weigh the cost of fighting the war on terror against the exploding debt crisis?" That question would seem to require a detailed response laying out the specific, hard choices that may need to be made when it comes to national security in light of the United States' current fiscal woes.

But specifics are hard to come by in 140 characters. Here's the response from Gingrich, the most followed Twitter user in the group: "Exploding debt crisis b/c of exploding politician spending in Washington, not b/c of national security." And from Bachmann : "Our security requires a strong defense and wise leadership. I will preserve our #military strength while using it judiciously."

If those answers told you anything you didn't already know about either politician, than you probably didn't tune into the debate in the first place.

It's understandable, and laudable, that the candidates want to reach out over new communications platforms. Candidates know new media platforms can be a powerful tool for reaching voters, as then-candidate Barack Obama illustrated in his 2008 campaign. But Wednesday's Twitter debate showed they are still trying to figure out the best way to do so. When President Obama answered questions in a recent "Twitter town hall," he took the questions on Twitter but offered his answers over a live, streaming video--allowing him to offer complete thoughts instead of responding via Tweet.

[Note: OnTheIssues.org combined multiple tweets together, and translated twitter abbreviations into English. -ed.]

St. Anselm NH debate
June 13, 2011

Faith & Freedom Conference
June 4, 2011

South Carolina debate
May 5, 2011

Thursday, May 5, 2011 at the Peace Center in Greenville, SC from 9:00-10:30 p.m.. +

Sponsors: South Carolina Republican Party and FOX News.

Candidates: Rep. Ron Paul, Herman Cain, former Gov. Tim Pawlenty, former Sen. Rick Santorum, and former Gov. Gary Johnson.

Moderator: Bret Baier. Panel of reportersóChris Wallace, Juan Williams, Shannon Bream.

Audience: Peace Center is a 2,100-seat concert hall, although the Carolina Ledger blog reported, "Empty blocks of seats can be seen from the main floor to the second balcony."

Broadcast: Live on the FOX News Channel.

NRA Conference
May 1, 2011

The National Rifle Association hosts an "annual meeting and exhibit." At the 2011 "Celebration of American Values" conference, several presidential candidates addressed the conference.

The Conference took place at the David Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh PA, April 29-May 1, 2011.

CPAC Conference
Feb. 10, 2011

For the second year in a row, Rep. Ron Paul, R-Tex., emerged as the potential presidential candidate that an active group of conservative activists want to see at the top of the Republican ticket in 2012. Paul won this year's Conservative Political Action Conference straw poll by a healthy margin. Mitt Romney won the CPAC straw vote in 2007, 2008 and 2009. 3,742 conference-goers voted in this year's straw poll -- more than twice the number who participated in 2007.
ContenderPoll result
Rep. Ron Paul (TX)30%
Gov. Mitt Romney (MA) 23%
Gov. Gary Johnson (NM)6%
Gov. Chris Christie (NJ)6%
Rep. Newt Gingrich (GA)5%
Gov. Tim Pawlenty (MN)4%
Rep. Michele Bachmann (MN)4%
Gov. Mitch Daniels (IN)4%
Gov. Sarah Palin (AK)3%

The Hannity Primary
Interviews 2011-2012

Interview with Green Party's Jill Stein
Dec. 21, 2011

Dr. Jill Stein is the Green Party nominee for President of the United States in 2012.

She ran as the Green Party nominee for Governor of Massachusetts in 2002 and 2010 prior to entering the Presidential race.

Dr. Stein is a medical doctor who resides in Lexington Massachusetts.

This interview, which took place on Dec. 21, 2012, addresses our usual VoteMatch quiz plus the AmericansElect.org questions.

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