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The Long View

The Republican Presidential Debate

by Rob Long
Candidates’ thought-balloon transcript

Candidates’ thought-balloon transcript


(page 23)

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.

NEWT GINGRICH: I am very important. This needs to be discussed and recognized by all who gather here.

RICK SANTORUM: What just happened?

Non-candidates’ thought-balloon transcript

RICK PERRY: Boom. Boom. Boom. Could knock three of y’all off right now. Without even looking. Next time, fellas. See you all next time. Adios.

CHRIS CHRISTIE: What I like the most about this meatball sub is that the cheese is all crusty on the side where the sandwich was smushed down in the oven, so that there are crusty bits and cheesy bits, and then your teeth sink into the meatball part and the whole thing just kind of melds in your mouth like it’s supposed to. Why isn’t Pawlenty nailing that guy with the terrific hair? What do you think he weighs, that guy? What is he, like a 44 Tall? That’s insane. He’s a runway model. Oh, awesome. There’s crispy cheese in the wax paper which I didn’t see. I need a napkin. Is there sauce on my shirt?

MITCH DANIELS: What’s great is that I’m watching this in my underwear. Just sitting in my underwear watching this and eating ice cream. The ice cream is delicious — it’s butterscotch, which I love. And what’s great is that I can eat as much as I like. Here in my underwear.

DONALD TRUMP: Most times I don’t like getting pedicures, but this pedicurist is top-notch. She’s a true artist. Maybe the most superb pedicurist in the U.S. and probably the world. But she’s blocking the TV and it’s making it hard for me to see the thing that’s happening on the screen right now. With the candidates. The discussion thing, which for my money is a joke because, let’s face it, John King is a joke and CNN is a network that literally nobody watches. Literally nobody. And for that reason alone it’s not worth my time, which is worth money, which is worth more money than CNN, let me tell you. Just buff. No gloss. She’s a world-class pedicurist. I can’t speak highly enough of her skills. How much does Romney have? Liquid? I know those guys have lots of it tied up in stuff, so when the time comes to write the check it’s a lot of I-can’t-pay crapola. But how much could he get his hands on if a guy called him with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to invest in a luxury hotel-and-casino property in Macau, which is exploding right now? Honey, hand me my BlackBerry.

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