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CBS Republican debate: Herman Cain talks waterboarding

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Looking fresh as eight little daisies, Republican candidates Herman Cain, Rick Perry, Mitt Romney, Michele Bachmann, Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman, and Rick Santorum engaged in a Saturday night debate in South Carolina, broadcast on CBS.

Here are the salient points. There was some saber-rattling done, with Romney saying early on that nuclear-weapon development in Iran is “President Obama’s greatest foreign policy failure … If you elect me they won’t have a nuclear weapon.” Gingrich said the current administration’s Iran policy was “dumb,” and both men said they would go to war against Iran to prevent the nation from becoming a nuclear power.

In a debate that centered on foreign policy, Cain declined to call waterboarding torture, but rather “an enhanced interrogation technique,” echoing Dick Cheney. Bachmann agrees with this as well: “I would allow the use of waterboarding … I think it was very effective.” (Of course Bachmann also said, “Today, President Obama allows the ACLU to run the CIA.”) Ron Paul and Jon Huntsman strongly disagreed, with Paul terming waterboarding “immoral” and “un-American.”

The debate lasted a mere 60 minutes with commercial breaks, with another 30 minutes streamed live online. (On the East Coast, CBS didn’t want to pre-empt that NCIS rerun!)

Did you watch the Republican debate, or did you decide to just wait and see how it was boiled down by Saturday Night Live later in the evening?

Twitter: @kentucker

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