Candidates’ thought-balloon transcript
MITT ROMNEY: Hair? Check. Teeth? Smiling. Upbeat, lofty attitude? Done. Don’t look at Pawlenty. Mitt’s a fighter. Mitt’s a fighter. Mitt’s a fighter. You’re about to mention Obama. Look mad. Great. Okay. Time’s up. That mean lady is about to talk.
MICHELE BACHMANN: Smooth and smile, just like Ed told me. Laugh a little, and then when you talk about jobs, talk directly into the camera. Remember: The audience is out there, not in here. Just tell them you’re running for president. Even though you’re participating in a presidential debate, they may not know that.
NEWT GINGRICH: But I’m here. And that’s important.
MITT ROMNEY: I’m not going to acknowledge that you’re here. Because you’re short and you talk too much and I don’t want to get into it.
HERMAN CAIN: You know what? I’m going to say something right now that isn’t crazy, and you’re all going to have to nod and accept that I’ve said something useful, and this character is going to bring up the Muslim thing, which I’m going to try to unwind. I preferred it back when everyone I encountered was an employee of mine. It makes these things much easier if you can fire the person asking the question.
MITT ROMNEY: Religious tolerance. I just want to add: Religious Tolerance. For Muslims and, you know, anyone else with that sort of issue.
NEWT GINGRICH: We need to talk a bit about my importance. Is there time for that?
MICHELE BACHMANN: I think I’m winning this.
TIM PAWLENTY: Am I losing this? How did that happen? This is a marathon, right? There’s plenty of time to go for the tall dude. Right? Right?
RON PAUL: I don’t care if they roll their eyes. Go ahead and roll your eyes, Mr. Rich Guy. Go ahead and roll your eyes Mr. Minnesota, or whatever. We need to abolish the Fed and we need to do it now. And I’m going to keep on saying it and saying it and saying it.
MITT ROMNEY: Say something right now. Doesn’t matter what. Just say something that sounds reasonable.