For those who did not have time to watch the Republican candidates debate tonight, here is a transcript of some of the highlights.
Q: What is the Republican plan to create more jobs?
Romney: We need to cut taxes and reduce burdensome regulations.
Q: But when we tried that under the Bush administration, that almost caused the whole economy to collapse.
Pawlenty: That's because we didn't cut enough taxes or reduce enough regulations. When I'm president, we will root out all vestiges of taxes and regulations and we will not rest until we get rid of them all.
Cain: Under my administration, we would pass a law against even talking about taxes. So the only tax the federal government could levy would be on people who used the word "tax."
Bachmann: Under my administration, we would abolish the EPA. Clean air and clean water are overrated anyway. And we would repeal Obamacare.
Gingrich: Under my administration, we would abolish the NLRB. If you want to join a union, move to Europe or some other socialist environment.
Santorum: Under my administration, we would abolish the national parks and turn them over to the oil and gas companies.
Paul: Under my administration, we would abolish the Federal Reserve. And also the Post Office.
Q: But isn't the Post Office specifically mentioned in the Constitution? I thought you loved the Constitution.
Paul: Well most of it. I have to say I'm not too crazy about the clause that says Congress has the power to regulate commerce, either.
Romney: I will acknowledge that Congress has that power. But that doesn't mean Congress has to use it. Can I also mention that Romneycare in Massachusetts is entirely different from Obamacare. For one thing, in Massachusetts we did not call our health care law "Obamacare."
Bachmann: Whatever you call it, on my first day in office, we will repeal every bit of it. Health insurance is not something we can afford. Except for seniors of course. Did you know that Obamacare wants to save money on Medicare and use some of those savings to fund Obamacare? But under the Republican plan, we will simply abolish Medicare AND Obamacare. And that means we can attack Obama for taking benefits away from seniors, while at the same time we will start making seniors pay for their own Medicare. And if you didn't understand that, then that's good.
Paul: Did I mention that paper money is the root of all evil?
Q: Governor Pawlenty, don't you think your economic plan, which assumes an annual growth rate of 5%, is a bit optimistic?
Pawlenty: If China can grow at a 5% rate, how dare you question whether America can do it too. Are you some kind of communist?
Cain: I'll see your 5% and raise you 5%.
Paul: You two are such pessimists, When I am president, our economy will grow at 20% a year. All we need to do is abolish the Federal Reserve.
Q: What specifially would you do to reduce the deficit?
Santorum: I would abolish the Department of Energy. And the Department of Education. And any other department that starts with an "E" for that matter. After that we would go to work on "H."
Bachmann: Did I mention that I was the first person in Congress to introduce a bill to abolish Obamacare? And also to abolish all the new financial regulations. And I want to reiterate the importance of cutting taxes, especially the kinds my friends pay, like capital gains taxes and corporate taxes.
Cain: I'm a businessman. And I can tell you from my experience of many years in business that paying taxes is a major drag. You can't trust all these politicians to cut taxes as much as I would.
Paul: My copy of the Constitution has the word "tax" crossed out wherever it used to appear.
Gingrich: I know all about cutting taxes. When I was in Congress during the Reagan administration, and we cut taxes, revenue actually increased.
Bachmann: Wait a minute Newt, I used to be a tax lawyer for the IRS, so I know that when people don't pay taxes, that means the government doesn't get the money. And I thought we wanted the government to be smaller anyway. Which will happen as soon as we repeal Obamacare.
Romney: Stop acting so smart, Michele, you'll make the rest of us look bad.
Q: While we're on you, Governor Romney, weren't you entirely wrong about the auto industry bailout?
Romney: Not at all. When I said the government should not bail out the auto industry, what I meant was that they should actually do what I recommended, which was to put the companies through bankruptcy. Of course, if they had done what I suggested, it probably would have been a liquidation instead of a reorganization, but I'm guessing you won't be smart enough to ask me a follow-up question about that.
Q: That's right, because I have to talk as quickly as possible and just leave all these superficial answers standing. Speaker Gingrich, what about the space program?
Gingrich: Now that my entire campaign staff has deserted me, I find I have plenty of space in my own office to explore.
Bachmann: Obamacare, Obamacare, Obamacare, Obamacare.