GOP Debate Recap: The Clown Show Goes to Jacksonville

Newt Gingrich enjoys campaigning in North Florida.

The candidates met in Jacksonville, Florida’s most charmless city, to once again argue about who is least unlikeable. Gingrich is hoping to build on the momentum from South Carolina, where he was less despised than Romney. Romney wants to score some sort death-blow on the loathsome space-beast who stands between him and the nomination that is RIGHTFULLY HIS. Poor morose sweater-fetishist Dick Santorum want to recapture the glory days of Iowa, when HE was popular. Santorum is tired of being the Jan to Romney’s Marcia, and now, to make matters worse, Newt Gingrich is suddenly…Greg, or Davy Jones, or something. It’s not fair. He doesn’t want to blow this thing, and have his damned kids start blubbering, and have his wife give him THAT LOOK. He can’t stand it. Screw you, Romney! SCREW YOU! And the neither-living-nor-dead specter that stoner-hobos and Burning Man-enthusiasts call Ron Paul? He is here because he must be. He is not motivated by the gross lusts of Gingrich or the passionate anger of Santorum, for passion is a trait of the young, and Ron Paul is old, so very old. The gold, the lost gold of Osiris drives him, and his soul aches with an emptiness you cannot imagine.

The set is decorated in subdued blues, very different from the pimped out reds of the stage in Tampa. Willard “10k” Romney strides onto the stage with purposeful Reaganesque gestures. His hair-pod has been perfectly reaganed, and his teeth gleam like genuine human teeth. Santorum shuffles on, and you can practically hear the sad Charlie Brown music. He’s wearing another shitty borrowed suit. Disgraced former House Speaker Newton Leroy Gingrich drags his bulk across the stage, wriggling his fore-appendages in the traditional greeting of his people. Finally, Ron Paul glides on, cloaked in the eldritch darkness of undeath.

Host Blitz Wolfer starts off with immigration. Did he explain the rules? Like the candidates, I wasn’t paying attention. Immigration! Santorum chatters in his patented mutter-drone about how awesome Cuban sandwiches are. All the candidates have toned down the immigration rhetoric since they are in a state with an actual Hispanic voting bloc. Gingrich thinks we should verify immigrants, but maybe not throw grandmothers into prison. He’d like Sears or Visa or something to verify immigrants. This seems like a plan that could in no way go wrong. He is very concerned about grandmothers, and he ever so casually mentions that Romney enjoys evicting sweet, cookie-baking grannies. Worf Blazer asks Romney for a response, and Romney FREAKS OUT. His handlers have upgraded his IG-88 battle chip! He calls Gingrich a liar! He calls Gingrich “REPULSIVE!” Gingrich is so startled his battle-glands explosively deflate. He doesn’t even freak out back. Interesting. Santorum mutters something about loving his grandmother, too; while Ron Paul commits a major faux pas and confuses Cuba and Puerto Rico.

The candidates gather in Jacksonville. Oh hell, I forgot Santorum again.

Blatz Warhawk brings up the next topic, housing. Romney launched into a programmed attack on Freddie Mac. “Freddie Mac bad! Newt evil! Freddie Mac threw your grandmother into the street, and Newt laughed and wrote bad historical fiction about it!”

This is the 19th debate, and everybody knows what will happen next. Ron Paul double-checks his protective anti-water charm. Dick Santorum zips up a yellow-rain slicker–he can’t afford to get another damned suit ruined, his JC Penney’s charge card is maxed out. Here it comes! Gingrich’s battle-glands engorge. He shakes his mighty wattles, spraying the stage with St. Johns river water, battle-bile, and partially digested grouper. A piece of grouper hits Santorum in the eye. “Let’s be very clear” Gingrich says–Gingrich-speak for I AM GOING MEDIEVAL ON YOUR ASS. “You own a million dollars of Freddie Mac bonds. You made a million off of Freddie Mac. You own a bunch of foreclosure happy Goldman Sachs. Screw you, Ebenezer.”

Romney yells back, “I can’t keep track of my billions! I’m like a money hoarder! I can’t help it!  I have huge stacks of money, and I have to weave these narrow paths through them! One time, I was moving a pile of money, and I found a dead possum at the bottom of it! You don’t know what it’s like!”

Blortz Whackamole turns to Santorum for comment. Santorum shrugs, and wipes fish-juice from his eye. “Shit,” he says. “My JC Penney’s card is maxed out. I have seven f**king kids. Richy Robot Rich is right. I DON’T know what it’s like. Ask the f***king ghost a question.” Whackamole turns to Ron Paul. “I don’t know what a possum is,” he says in his unearthly rasp, “but I do know that gold, sweet gold, is all that keep the dread Old Ones at bay!” Blunt Warcraft nods, and turns Ron Paul’s mike off.

Now we get a question from the audience! A glum looking nerd–probably an unemployed NASA rocket scientist–asks what the candidates will do about SPACE! What the hell kind of country is this, that we are turning our rocket scientists into hobos? What about SPACE!, governor Romney?

Romney switches from battle-mode to pander-mode. ” I will talk with…top…men about it. We will convene! Discuss!” He’s not going to do dick, for you, rocket-hobo. You’re on your own. Don’t expect visionary things from President Romney. It’ll be all fourth-quarter-earnings-statements all the time. Gingrich, now–he wriggles with delight at the question. “NASA doesn’t even have a damn rocket!” he roars. “What do they do all day? Contemplate space? It is time to be GRANDIOSE! Moon Colonies! Asteroids carved into my likeness! Dream big, like Kennedy! TO INFINITY, AND BEYOND!”

Santorum snorts, and poo-poos space AND social security as being expensive scams. Does he even WANT to win Florida? Ron Paul says he’s never trusted the moon, perfidious goddess that it is. Romney puts on his dour manager-doing-performance-evaluations face, and says he would fire people for suggesting moon colonies. It’s all quarterly earnings statements with this guy.

Newt does some skillful name checks, and talks about  Jacksonville’s proposed port expansion. Romney calls him on this–quarterly earnings statements!–and Newt shuts him down. “Maybe,” Newt opines, “a president should know some stuff about the country. What ports need some dredging, who needs a new bridge. Maybe a president doesn’t have to be that dick who lays off an entire factory.” So there, you have it, Florida voters. Romney just told the Space Coast and Florida’s largest city to go to hell.

Blad Wolfenstein changes the topic to Romneycare…er, Obamacare. This topic makes Romney sad. “I hate that which I once loved!” he cries out. Santorum has had ENOUGH! Santorum IS ANGRY! “Romneycare IS Obamacare! Mandate! You SUCK! ALL OF YOU!” Gingrich and Paul nod, and then it’s PANDER TIME!

Borg Warhammer asks the preztestants “name a Hispanic you’d pick for your cabinet.” Romney can’t blurt out “Marco Rubio!” fast enough. Gingrich hints at Rubio as VP, and name checks odious South Florida Rep. Ros-Lehtinen, and Susana Martinez, the governor of New Mexico. Santorum mutters something. Ron Paul doesn’t know any Hispanic names, and there’s an awkward silence.

And then, it’s PANDER DOUBLE-DOWN TIME! Bad Wargasm asks the candidates to explain why their wife would be the best first lady. What a stupid goddamned question. Ron Paul says his wife would be good because she’s a million years old.  Romney talks about breast cancer, in a surprisingly gloomy answer. Gingrich winks says they’d ALL be good first ladies. Mrs Romney genteely throws up in her purse. Santorum mutters “I’ve got seven goddamned kids.”

They all get asked a pander-y question about religion and presidency. Surprise, surprise, they’re all religious. Pander, pander, Jesus, Reagan Reagan.

Bolt Winkelvoss asks the final question: Why are you best able to beat Obama?

Ron Paul responds, “I poll well, and I have the best message. Gold! Freedom! Keep the Dark Ones at bay!”

Romney just jabbers. “European socialist state! Platitudes!” His handlers struggle to disengage word-salad mode.

Santorum mutters “I’ve got seven goddamned kids. Please don’t make the little jerks start crying. Also, ROMNEYCARE IS OBAMACARE, BITCHES!” He throws down his mike and walks off the stage.

Gingrich lazily fellates Reagan, and says he can beat Obama because he orchestrated the GOP House takeover in 1994. Imagine if Quentin Tarantino had made no movies after Pulp Fiction, and has spent the last 15 years talking about how freaking AWESOME Pulp Fiction is, and what a GREAT director he was. That’s basically Newt Gingrich.

The Florida GOP primary is Tuesday, and one of these clowns–hint, it’s not going to be Santorum or Paul–is going to have a 50 delegate lead. Sadly, this may be the last time they are all on the stage together. The next debate is February 22.

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