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Tuesday, June 05, 2007
Stormy night in New Hampshire?
Hi everyone.

The storm clouds are building in New Hampshire. No, I mean literally. It's pouring rain and lightening is streaking across the sky. We're back at the Sullivan Arena on the campus of Saint Anselm College in Manchester. On Sunday, we heard from the Democratic presidential candidates. Tonight, the 10 Republican White House hopefuls will take the stage for our second live debate.

Given what happened in Washington today, I'll be interested to hear the candidates offer their opinion on Scooter Libby. If they were President, would they pardon the Vice President's former chief of staff? Also, while Rudy Giuliani is in the lead, will his pro-choice stand hurt him? We will also keep a watch out for the debate within the debate - the growing battle between John McCain and Mitt Romney. They've been raising the rhetoric in recent days, especially over illegal immigration.

It should be an interesting night. I'll be doing post-debate analysis with our team starting at 9pm eastern, and then from ten to midnight we'll have a special edition of "360". We hope to offer you something very different with our coverage, to cut through the spin and the sound bites and give you the facts on the candidates and where they stand on the issues: Iraq, immigration, the economy, abortion, health care, education. Given what the Democrats talked about we'll also see where the Republicans stand on "don't ask, don't tell." So often we hear politicians talk in circles. Tonight, we are keeping them honest.

The last time the Republicans met, they barely mentioned the name of our current President. Well, we think it's important that we get them on the record about the Bush agenda, his strategy in Iraq, and his ability to lead the nation.

The candidates will also have to face the big X-factor, Fred Dalton Thompson. His name and presence are already casting a wide shadow over the candidates. He may enter the race in early July, and that's guaranteed to shake things up.

Like I said, it will be an interesting night.

What questions would you want to ask? Let us know.

See you later.


-- By Anderson Cooper
Posted By CNN: 3:01 PM ET
  20 Comments
Who do believe is benefiting the most out of this war on Iraq?

Is it the military-industrial complex? The oil companies? Halliburton?
Posted By Bing Velasquez, Chicago IL : 4:17 PM ET
In addition to "fact-finding missions," how well-traveled are our presidential hopefuls, the next leaders of the "Free World"?
Posted By Schuyler Deerman, Tel Aviv : 4:27 PM ET
Hi. I think it would be important to know: How would the candidates advise President Bush on making it a PRIORITY to empower and transition the Iraqi government to ACTUAL LEADERSHIP? Also, when should this happen? (because more troops and civilians will die until it does.)
On a less serious note, did someone have a 4-0 birthday? Either Rome was burning or it was just the candles.
Posted By Carol B., Frederick, MD : 4:35 PM ET
Dear Anderson,

First,I would like to compliment the CNN team on doing such an excellent job during Sunday night's Democratic debate! Wolf was an excellent moderator and all of the pre and post debate coverage was informative and interesting. I was especially impressed with the Q&A segment between the candidates and the residents.

I hope that Wolf will continue to focus on the differences between the candidates as he did on Sunday because it is those differences that are most important to the voters. I also hope he will continue to keep the candidates focused on the questions when they attempt to stray away from them.

Tonight I will be looking for Ron Paul to keep the Republicans on their feet like he did during the last debate and like Senator Gravel and Congressman Kucinich did Sunday night.

I would like to hear the candidates answer the following questions:

1. How would they go about finding Osama bin Laden?
2. Do they think the surge is working and if so what evidence have they seen to support it?
3. Why don't they believe gays can serve openly in the military since, as Joe Biden pointed out Sunday, they do in other countries without incident?
4. How would they protect our borders?
5. How would they repair the shattered reputation of the United States in the eyes of the rest of the world?
6. What would they do to ensure that another Katrina-like situation does not occur again?
7. What would they do to address government corruption.

I look forward to the program tonight!

Until later,
Jo Ann
Posted By Jo Ann Matese, North Royalton, Ohio : 4:42 PM ET
First off the structure of the debate on CNN is fantastic. Everyone is heard and just as in court dissenting opinions are also allowed. I am looking forward to the Republican debate and curious to see how far they will go in bringing up the current president's name. All this said you know that, what is said tonight is a far cry from what will be said after the conventions in the summer of 2008 and the the real break neck campaigning begins.

As for what I would want to know from the Republican candidates I have only one question - Once we pull out of Iraq(if we ever do)how do they plan to rebuild the country?

Too bad Michael Ware wasn't born in the US I would vote for him in a minute - he seems to be the only person around who understands what is going on in Iraq and the ME.
Posted By Marcia, Warren MI : 4:43 PM ET
In terms of the immigration issue: Should the immigration bill pass and become law, how is the government going to find and round up 12, 15 or 20 million illegal immigrants and make each of them pay fines, go back to their native country for the proposed amount of time and enforce the law in its entirety? In addition, to building a fence, increasing border patrol, etc. what other concrete plans, if any, do they have in mind to stop/discourage the flow of illegal immigrants from the Mexican border?

By the way loved seeing your mom talking to your cardboard cutout. Classic, creative 360 moment. See you later, Anderson!
Posted By Mariela, New York, NY : 4:45 PM ET
I would like to know what each of the candidates would do with all the current staff in the Bush Administration. Keep some of them... or bring in completly new face? Just as Democrats were asked what they would do with President Clinton, I would like to know what Republicans would do with President Bush/his administration.
Posted By Liz Toledo, OH : 4:54 PM ET
I would like to know where Rep. Hunter got his information on the ICE/Swift raids. The ICE raids took place in more than just Iowa.

I work in a Swift plant in Worthington, Minnesota that was raided by the ICE agents in early December 2006. There was no one lined up the next day for 18.00 an hour jobs because despite Rep Hunter's generous proposal/dream/mistake, the starting rate is 11.50 an hour, even for 'American citizens'. I am aware of the staring rates in the Iowa plant and it is not 18.00 an hour.

Rep. Hunter needs to study the issues and get the facts before he speaks out.
Posted By Dale Moerke, Luverne, Minnesota, 56156 : 10:39 PM ET
Anderson Cooper,

I would like to know why it seems the republicans are so threatened by the Clintons in general, Bill And Hilary both. It seems the talk more about them, then their own agendas. If they are so confident, why do they need to defend themselves by demonizing the Clintons.

Thanks
Abby
Posted By Abby Detriot, Michigan : 11:01 PM ET
I have one question.

For a Republican candidate:

Why should a Democrat vote for you?

For a Democrat candidate:

Why should a Republican vote for you?


Because without some of the other party's votes it's next to impossible to win.
Posted By Ron Indianapolis, IN : 11:06 PM ET
Hi Anderson,
Thanks for the recap of the debate. Most of us that work out here in the Wild, Wild West found that the debate wasn't really Pacific time zone friendly. I enjoy both the Democrat and Republican debates mostly because I judge a candidate on not just what they say, but how they say it. 4 or 8 years is a long time to be in office. For me it's not just one or two issues it's who's that person who will be the strongest leader. We'll see?
Posted By Lorie Ann, Buellton, Calif : 11:13 PM ET
I am currently reading a book entitled "The Power and The Story" by Evan Cornog, it is all about the power of an effective Presidential narrative and success politically. While watching the debates tonight I remembered a quote I had read in the Introduction that can be applied to the recent debates. On page 5, Cornog states,
"For all the campaign talk about resumes and experience, issues and qualifications, it is the battle of stories, not the debate on issues, that determines how Americans respond to a presidential contender. Candidates' stories can predispose the press to trouble a contender over every error or give him great indulgence, to anatomize his personal life or leave privacy intact, to probe motives or unquestioningly report actions. The play's the thing that advances the agenda of the king."

I agree with this quote it is all going to come down on who can 'tell the best story' and articulate their agenda best, regardless of whether or not they will actually do what they say. It all comes down to who says it best. Which is rather disheartening. We, Americans, tend to be impressed by individuals who articulate themselves using fancy words but sometimes we are blinded by the eloquence with which they speak, that we don't think of whether or not they are truly the best candidate to assume the Office of the President.
Posted By Jessica, Bourbonnais Illinois : 11:58 PM ET
Too late for this debate but please consider for future:
I'd like to ask all the so-called Christian candidates WWJD about immigration? Build a wall to keep them out? Deny them work to feed them families? Send them back where they came from?
It makes me so sad that these people, most of whom wear their religious beliefs on their sleeves, have so little compassion for our neighbors to the south. When they say they so value "life" (the Republicans), apparently it is only lives that can't exist outside a woman's womb that they value! How can they value each life as special and unique if they believe in pre-emptive war, capital punishment, not giving gays equal rights in all ways, and not finding a way to embrace and help our fellow men.
I also would like to ask the candidates who so vehemently oppose some form of amnesty how much racism is involved in their feelings. If it were white, English-speaking Canadians coming to the U.S., I don't think the perceived threat to the integrity of the U.S. and uproar would be the same.

I was astounded in the Rep. debate that, when asked what was the biggest moral issue in the country today, candidates said things like "spending" and "life." What about not taking care of Hurricane Katrina survivors? What about thousands of U.S. citizens and Iraqi citizens killed in a senseless war? Really, if spending is the biggest moral issue to these people, I don't even know if we are of the same species!

Thanks, Anderson. Love your show, loved your mom with your cutout.
Posted By Melissa, Minneapolis, MN : 1:40 AM ET
Personally, I get that "deer in the headlights" look whenever anyone starts talking politics. I don't understand double-speak, I don't comprehend why people have hidden agendas and ulterior motives, and I wish everyone would just come right out and say what they actually mean.

Yeah, when pigs fly....
Posted By Sharla Dawn Jones : 6:09 AM ET
I agree with many of Jo Ann's questions. particularly about emergency preparedness and repairing our relations with other countries.

And what are they going to do SPECIFICALLY and by what SPECIFIC date are they going to take action on the environment? Alternative energy? Telling Detroit's lobbyists to shut up already and start doing what they could do if we had the will? Do they believe in legislating regulations for clean air or naively/selfishly that "companies will just do the right thing?" (And ask the families of the Sago mine disaster how THAT philosophy has worked and how they feel about relaxed regulations.) Nuclear or no nuclear energy (I hope it is the latter)?

Crime? And how is crime a symptom of so many other ills?

How about education at all academic levels and for students of all abilities, including those with disabilities? What do they see as the strengths and weaknesses (and there are many of the latter) of No Child Left Behind? What would they do SPECIFICALLY?

I would like to see questions that dig deeper and ask specifics: What do they think are some of the major contributing factors to crime (including lax gun control) and what would they hold up as programs that are effective in helping prevent crime? What programs do they propose to cut redicidivism (Gosh, I hope I spelled that right; I'd like to buy a vowel) rates.

I am guessing it will be a warm night in NH, what with all the hot air coming their way (and I am not even talking about global warming in this instance).
Posted By Norah, West Chester, PA : 8:49 AM ET
The only question I have is why do we have to listen to this drivel from a pack of self-serving jackasses for eighteen months preceding an election????
Posted By A. Roy Olson, Tucson AZ : 10:03 AM ET
The part with Guilian and the supposed lightning was priceless. Frankly, I'm scared that women's rights will become severly restricted in this country in the coming years. I'm very pro-choice and it's one of the issues I always consider when I vote.
Changing the subject...Anderson , I was in the New Orleans airport yesterday and as I was leaving the security line, I decided to grab an over priced bottle of water and a magazine to read in order to avoid having to actually talk to my fellow passengers (I know, it's so Freudian, I don't even want to go there). As I turned the corner into the bookstore, BOOM, there it was...a life sized, one dimensional ANDERSON COOPER!!! I had heard of its existence, but had yet to see it for myself. It's like Bigfoot or the Lochness Monster, you live with doubt until one day you're staring it right in the face. ...Well, after I came to (thanks to the nifty bottle of smelling salts I carry in my purse for just such an ocassion), I completed my purchases and proceeded to my gate. On a creepy note...THE EYES FOLLOW YOU!! But seriously, great PR. And HAPPY LATE 40th B-DAY!
Posted By Debbie, Denham Springs, LA : 10:31 AM ET
I had trouble posting (getting a confirmation) of this yesterday:

I agree with many of Jo Ann's questions. particularly about emergency preparedness and repairing our relations with other countries.

And what are they going to do SPECIFICALLY and by what SPECIFIC date are they going to take action on the environment? Alternative energy? Telling Detroit's lobbyists to shut up already and start doing what they could do if we had the will? Do they believe in legislating regulations for clean air or naively/selfishly that "companies will just do the right thing?" (And ask the families of the Sago mine disaster how THAT philosophy has worked and how they feel about relaxed regulations.) Nuclear or no nuclear energy (I hope it is the latter)?

Crime? And how is crime a symptom of so many other ills?

How about education at all academic levels and for students of all abilities, including those with disabilities? What do they see as the strengths and weaknesses (and there are many of the latter) of No Child Left Behind? What would they do SPECIFICALLY?

I would like to see questions that dig deeper and ask specifics: What do they think are some of the major contributing factors to crime (including lax gun control) and what would they hold up as programs that are effective in helping prevent crime? What programs do they propose to cut redicidivism (Gosh, I hope I spelled that right; I'd like to buy a vowel) rates.

I am guessing it will be a warm night in NH, what with all the hot air coming their way (and I am not even talking about global warming in this instance).
Posted By Norah, West Chester, PA : 12:30 PM ET
If I believed Rudy Giuliani then I'd agree with him - in an ideal world it is fine to have a personal opinion on abortion as long as it doesn't interfere with political decisions. I don't understand why options would be taken away from women, it woundn't stop abortion but simply make it illegal, unsafe and unaccesable. Abortion is a difficult enough decision without undue pressures from groups that can never fully understand an individuals decision. Being Pro choice is exactly that, being able to choose instead of forcing decisions upon anyone.
Posted By Kerry, Ayrshire, Scotland : 8:02 PM ET
When the Republican candidates were asked what George Bush's biggest mistake was, they couldn't give a straight answer. As usual, they tried to avoid it or were purposefully vague in responding. Anderson, when you host the next debate (the one sponsored by YouTube and Google), please keep the candidates honest by really making them answer the actual questions asked. We are tired of all the spin and lies.

Thanks,

Lilibeth
Edmonds, Washington
Posted By Lilibeth, Edmonds, WA : 2:56 PM ET
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