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MEMO: Questions For The Republican Debate

To: Interested Parties
From: Rodell Mollineau, President, American Bridge 21st Century
RE: Questions For The Republican Debate
Date: August 11, 2011

During tonight’s debate the American people will see the Republican candidates firsthand and will get a glimpse at the positions and ideology driving the field.

Over the last few months, as they have scrambled further and further to the right, American Bridge’s research and tracking has documented the candidates adopting positions that are: hypocritical (Romney and taxes), evasive (Huntsman and Libya) and just downright out of the mainstream (Bachmann and contraceptives).

Yet tonight, as the candidates face a national audience, and not solely a fawning crowd of TEA party activists, the nation will see if they will maintain their extreme positions as the candidates attempt to answer the following questions:

ROMNEY

You recently boasted that Massachusetts’s bond rating increased while you were governor, but that was partially achieved by stabilizing the budget with large fee increases that many consider to be tax hikes. Wouldn’t that imply closing tax loopholes or letting the Bush tax cuts expire is the best approach for reducing the federal deficit?

Recently you said that you “love” the idea of a flat tax, but not a flat tax which mainly gives a tax cut to the wealthy. Since a flat tax, by definition, drastically lowers the income tax rate for the wealthy, can you explain what sort of flat tax you envision for the nation?

In your 2008 campaign, you consistently aligned yourself with the Republican Party’s anti-immigration wing. One of their top priorities today is repealing the 14th amendment, which grants citizenship to anyone born in the United States, regardless of their parents’ immigration or citizenship status. In a townhall meeting over the weekend you professed to “love all the amendments” to the Constitution. Is that true? Would you break with your party’s immigration hardliners and oppose repealing the 14th amendment?

You recently said you want to “add at least 100,000 troops to our boots on the ground capability.” What plan do you have to recruit and pay for this massive increase, which is far beyond what other leaders are suggesting?

HUNTSMAN

You’ve regularly criticized President Obama’s decision to participate in the NATO action in Libya, saying he did so without needed congressional approval. When you were later asked if the President should be impeached for such action, you said impeachment was up to Congress to decide. If you were a sitting member of congress would you work to impeach the President for his actions in Libya?

You refused to sign the no tax pledge, saying that you never sign any pledges, but a few years ago you signed T-Boone Pickens’ energy independence pledge. Can you explain to voters how you decide which pledges to sign and which to reject?

Your family’s chemical company recently agreed to pay $33 million dollars to settle a lawsuit accusing them of price fixing and anti-competitive business practices while you were working as an executive—what can you say to ease concerns voters have about your business background?

PAWLENTY

In response to S&P’s recent credit rating downgrade, you called President Obama “inept.” But when Moody’s downgraded Minnesota’s AAA bond rating during your time as Governor, you said “Two out of three isn’t bad.” Isn’t that a double standard?

You’ve praised Paul Ryan’s budget, saying that Washington’s approach to spending needs “real structural reforms.” What kind of real, structural reforms did you enact for Minnesota’s budget process?

Last debate, you called it a “mistake” that while you were onstage you backed away from your “Obamneycare” criticism of Mitt Romney’s health care plan that you were using on the campaign trail. In recent weeks, you’ve taken to saying that voters should choose their candidate carefullybecause “any bobblehead can stand up here” and repeat Republican talking points. You’ve also specifically criticized Michele Bachmann for having a record of “great remarks and great speeches, but in terms of results and accomplishments, nonexistent.” Are you willing to levy your bobblehead criticism here onstage with your rival candidates, or are you going to back away from it again?

BACHMANN

You’ve faced criticism for personally benefiting from a variety of government assistance programs – farm subsidies, Medicaid reimbursements, federally subsidized home loans – and you’ve sought millions in stimulus funding for your congressional district from various federal agencies. How does this square with your criticism of Washington’s spending habits?

You recently suggested that eliminating health care co-pays for contraception violated the rights of those who oppose it—do you oppose contraception?