First Read is an analysis of the day's political news, from the NBC News political unit. First Read is updated throughout the day, so check back often.

Chuck Todd, NBC Political Director

Mark Murray, NBC Deputy Political Director

Domenico Montanaro, NBC Political Researcher

Looking at the clock (1st half)

Posted: Wednesday, November 28, 2007 9:44 PM by Mark Murray

From NBC's Lauren Appelbaum
Here are our counts for how long each candidate spoke during the first part of the debate
Romney -- 7:03, during 9 times
McCain -- 5:09, during 4 times
Giuliani -- 5:08, during 9 times
Thompson -- 4:38, during 4 times
Huckabee -- 4:14, during 5 times
Paul -- 3:27, during 4 times
Tancredo -- 2:20, during 4 times
Hunter -- 2:16, during 3 times
One note -- Huckabee did not get a chance to speak until 26 minutes into the debate, and Paul did not get his chance until more than a half hour into the debate.


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Ron Paul still holds a spot in the "top tier" despite attempts to marginalize him... http://truthalert.net/Republican%20Presidential%20Candidate%20Rankings.htm
It should have been billed the Romney-Giuliani-McCain debate, as it seemed they got most airtime.  It would have been nice to have ALL candidates get an equal share of questions/time, and to have time limit on responses.
So there were 3 minutes 27 seconds of reason, honesty and sanity in the first half. The rest was a circus act with 7 clowns.
This CNN YouTube "debate" was the worst one yet.  I can't believe how much they favored some candidates over others.  All the debates have done that this election, but this seemed much worse than usual.  Thank God for the internet.  Imagine if these shows were our only access to the candidates.
It was good to watch the McRomneyliani debate.

Watching Mitt and Rudy repeatedly and routinely
break their time limits, while decent men
waited patiently for over half an hour to
speak (Tancredo, Ron Paul) was infuriating.

I am glad CNN is maintaining its reputation as
a softcore newsertainment organization, otherwise
we'd have to take them seriously.

Meanwhile, we're still a Nation of ideas, facing
Historic issues.

Now, can a real news organization take a crack
at a debate?

No folk guitars, no teenagers eating
while they talk, and no puffball moderator who
cannot control a debate or a crowd.

Sheesh, what a farce CNN has given us
It just goes to show you that these debates are becoming more and more irrelevant for voters.  The fact of the matter is that Ron Paul supporters are becoming legion in America and yet he is treated like a fringe candidate by the MSM.  Eventually in time, (once our generation grows up), the country will figure out that the internet is a better source of information about politics and candidates than the MSM.  RP supporters are setting a new trend in politics by showing that a candidate doesn't need MSM support in order to be successful.  We will triumph!!  
How silly McCain looked, making the fallacious WWII analogy about isolationism. It just goes to show how intimidated he is by Ron Paul's success. Of course McCain was thoroughly owned when Paul pointed out that the "isolationist" [read: non-interventionist] candidate receives more support from the military than any other candidate. That had to hurt ol' Johnny Boy.
Absolute conspiracy by CNN

they allow Jeffrey tobin to pretend that SPP is something RON PAUL made up in his head, no response by Coopy

Jeff outta pull his head out of his a55
The MSM is always trying to marginalize Ron Paul.  There is definitely more support for Ron Paul nationally than there is for Thompson and Huckabee, yet the media constantly talks about them and the polling rarely includes Ron Paul.  The MSM is just exposing their bias when they treat Ron Paul unfairly.  The latest smearing of Ron Paul is the constant mention that some owner of some prostitution business supports Ron Paul.  They show some pictures scantily dressed dancers and then ask Ron Paul of this guys support for him.  That is low down and Ron Paul's supports can see right through that crap.
Pretty shameful debate CNN put together on all accounts.
The tale of the time is telling... man am I sick of hearing about the improved NYC!!
The General being there was a plant (Hillary supporter headline at drudge).
Last question to Paul AGAIN framed as "you can't win"... Dr. Paul handled it with aplomb and knocked it out of the park.
The Youtube questioners were at the debate as well.  The "independent Ron Paul supporter" was interviewed afterwards (again, attempting to reinforce the defeatist mindset) on the cnn.com live feed.  Who paid to have these guys flown in from all over the country and what other perks did they get?  Cool thing about the 'net is, we're going to find out!  

Smear job on Ron Paul as far as I am concerned.  McCain sees Paul as a threat in NH
It would have been better if CNN got their transcript right the first time.  Ron Paul did NOT say, "I am an isolationist."  He said, "I am NOT an isolationist."  Look the term up in the dictionary and you will NOT see Ron Paul there.  Wikipedia is FREE and their definition seems sufficient.

The Mitt-Rudy-McCain debate was boring.

Shame on CNN.
Your numbers are way off. The debate lasted over 2 hours, but your numbers add up to a little under 30 minutes. The youtube questions did not add up to 1.5 hours. Giuliani and ROmney talked for 15 minutes between the 2 of them at the beginning. I agree RP got 3:27 but the others got waaaaay more.
I prefer to take a positive view of the debate re: Ron Paul. It was clear from the outset that this debate was all about KILLING Romney and Giuliani with the Republican voters. The less one was seen in this debate, the better. But the very deliberate slight against Ron Paul's chances as a GOP candidate near the end was flat-out disgusting. I'm just glad Dr. Paul handled it the way he did.
This "debate" was awful.  Where do I begin?  Too much focus on immigration, too little focus on the war, too many stilted questions that were directed at certain candidates, way too much Giuliani and Romney--many times above their "poll" superiority.  These metrics you show are disingenuous because they cite "first part of the debate."  Well, I can tell you that Giuliani and Romney had much more time than these metrics show (over the course of the whole debate).  I will find the exact metrics somewhere else, and send you them so you can update your information.  

Now, will someone in the mainstream media realize that there is a huge market available for listening to the people, versus the corporate creed?  You know what I'm talking about--think of McDonalds, Ford, and many other businesses that focused on popular needs.  

It really is time for this country to move forward.  The days of Kissinger and Brzezinski and the other Old Guard are OVER.  America needs to meet the 21st century.
In these debates, we are asking candidates about their preference in baseball teams while our troops are overseas dying in needless wards, our currency is in danger of becoming obsolete, we are trillions of dollars in debt, and the world hates us. But for come reason, we're talking about baseball preferences. It's completely irrational and something has got to change.
One of the worst moderated debates ever.  Of all thousands of questions submitted, those were the best they could come up with?   CNN must want a democrat to win the election.  Oh, and the question's they picked for Ron Paul?  What blatant bias.  Huckabee and Paul are creating the most buzz in the electorate, yet apparently that disturbs CNN.
Very sad state. When will people demand better?
Like others have mentioned the lack of attention paid to Hunter, Tancredo and Paul was very poor judgment on CNN's part.  Seemed like the debate rewarded bonus time to those who were rude and kept cutting in (Romney and Giuliani did this most often).

I think that Cooper should have done more to handle McCain's attack on Ron Paul.  The attack he made had nothing to do with the question asked to McCain, and Cooper should have pointed that out.

Cooper failed routinely to be strong enough with the candidates in getting them to stop on time.  All of them went over here and there, but Giuliani and Romney went way over the line repeatedly.
Ron Paul made the most sense tonight.  It's time we left Iraq and repaired America!

On December 16th, the aniversary of the Boston Tea Party, Ron Paul will again make fundraising history.  Sign up at www.TeaParty07.com
The worst debate! Why does RON PAUL the candidate with the strongest grassroots support get less time than Thompson or McCain?
Questions about the Confederate flag? And of all things baseball! Do they not realize we have bigger problems in this world? What is the CNN thinking? Then they do stories about dumbing down of America!  
Please stop force feeding us Romney and Giuliani!
A shameful excuse for a debate. Particularly shameful is how this was hyped as a format for regular people to ask questions. Total BS. The youtube format was just a gimmick giving the appearance of audience participation as the questions were obviously so carefully screened and filtered that they might as well have just been asked by CNN.

Actally it's worse, and quite under-handed: the format allows CNN to smear Paul with below the belt questions --conspiracy theories and loaded questions (you can't win), and the like--all the while feigning innocence and pretending that it's viewers who are doing the asking.  
Loved how CNN "corrected" Paul on his statement about the number of attendees at his Rally in Philly. CNN's Brown said it was 2000, but NBC Channel 13 reporters were actually there and described the turnout: "PHILADELPHIA, PA.– Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul today addressed a crowd of over 5,000 enthusiastic supporters in Philadelphia. "
HDNet Dec 1 DNC debate (Sat 7:30pm ET).
- all eight -

gravel kucinich paul nader
Definitely a smear job against Ron Paul.  It's sad that this is what we get from CNN.  I can't wait to see the votes come in for Dr. Paul.
Disgusting debate. Such a joke. I'm a liberal-leaning independent. I'm supporting Ron Paul, even though I haven't given up some of my liberal sentiments. I fear the loss of our liberties. The MSM is already an example of corporatocracy run amok. We get select news, a lot of spin, downplaying of certain information, sensationalizing of more trivial information. Thank God for the Internet. You people have no idea how loved Ron Paul is--not necessarily for all his positions--but because he has impeccable integrity. We can trust what he says! And I believe he will protect all our liberties far better than any other candidate except Kucinich. But the MSM treats Kucinich even worse than Ron Paul. You appear create spin around the idea that there are a bunch of dumb-ass conspiracy theorists out here supporting candidates such as Paul and Kucinich. What you are clueless about is that there are a lot of intelligent, competent, thriving mainstream people out here supporting them.

You can do better, you networks. Shame on all of you. We want facts and complete information--not your ridiculous spin!
As far as I can tell, at this point, we have 3 choices for the future direction of our great country in this up coming election: fascism, socialism or Liberty / freedom. If ron Paul does not get the Rep. nomination I will "write him on my ballot as my candidate of choice. Imagine if 40,000,000 voters did this should he noy be nominated by the self destructing Republican party.
This debate seemed more like an orchestrated campaign performance.  Whatever happened to old fashioned debates where the candidates had to think on their feet and were given equal time to challenge one another without manipulation by outsiders?
According to the transcript, here are the number of words spoken by each candidate:
Giuliani 3171
Romney 3105
McCain 1973
Huckabee 1950
Thompson 1575
Paul 1307
Tancredo 789
Hunter 655
Continue to ignore what I want to see and I will ignore you and what you try to show me. The MSM and particularly CNN cannot produce the results you obviously want. You insult Americans with your "debate."  
They put the only good questions for Ron Paul way after the scheduled debate. It was about 7-10 minutes past the time. So those who recorded it won't see the questions or Ron's video. By then I bet a lot of people turned off their TVs in disgust.

CNN had a great opportunity here to ignore Ron Paul, and they did it as much as they thought they could get away with.  They truly showed their Red (commie) colors.  And what about the Q. General who thinks he is an American hero, that they sneaked in for Hillery?  CNN is doing a great job for the internet.
I find it rather funny that during the discussion of how the canidates did no one commented on Mitt Romney never taking a stand on anything and always saying that he would have to talk over any decision with someone else.  This is not how a leader should talk is it?  One of these days the media will understand that Ron Paul doesn't get such great support because he wants to talk it over with someone.  You know where he stands all the time whether you agree with him or not.
I seriously am VERY disappointed in CNN.  They gave little to NO airtime to Ron Paul or Tom Tancredo.  This is a blatant attempt by MSM to continue to push Guiliani, Romney, and McCain as our president.  

WHO decides who is best for america?  We the People or the Supposed Newchannels? This is disgusting.
Ron Paul's response to this "unfair" treatment: "I recognize the rights of private property owners. This is their property. They can use it any way they wish." What a guy! His consistency is unreal. Even his followers don't always get it. CNN is a private news channel. It's their show and they are guided by the polls, which tell them Paul only has single-digit support. Hence, they must cater to the "majority." As a Paul supporter, I have plenty of evidence that contradict the polls, but I will grant CNN the right to be wrong. It's their show and I don't have cable, so they don't get a penny from me. I have no complaints. In the end, our man wins. We the people vote. Only Paul's video showed real supporters, in their thousands. The revolution is alive and well.
as a 20-something year old I care about having a job, being able to pay off college, some day buying a house. I also care about Foreign policy and future wars.   The only Candidates that actually had stances were Ron Paul and John McCain. How can Romney and Rudy be leading in the polls? They didn't even talk about actual issues aside from who worked on Romney's lawn... Blown away by how dumb this debate was
The only thing McCain is right about is the waterboarding issue. Romney spent the entire night furiously flip-flopping. Giuliani was exposed as a fraud.

Someone let Huckabee lie his butt off about taxes -- he raised the tax burden in Arkansas by 47% or so. He's a trotskyite like Romney and Giuliani.

Nobody let Thompson talk much (not that he had anything to say).

The big knock on Ron Paul is as always this fallacy about the Iraq war making us safer.
Ron Paul has raised more money than Huckabee, Thompson, and McCain yet gets less time than any of them...

This is bull sh*t and the media needs to listen to the poll where over 60% of Americans believe the media is not covering the candidates fairly...

The mainstream media is taking an awful risk by continuing to play favorites to certain candidates...
Once again the MSM has failed the political process by deliberately attempting to smear Ron Paul in their selection YouTube questions with the intent to embarrass him and by giving him few opportunities to present his views. Ron Paul stands head and shoulders above the other rather trivial candidates with whom he shared the stage last night. The contrast between Ron Paul's clear and logical articulation of the issues and the bombast and incoherent responses of Giuliani or Romney or McCain was apparent for all to see.

This biased journalism has backfired, damaging the shrinking credibility of CNN and once again enhancing the campaign of Ron Paul. Because if there is one thing that the American people support it is free speech and fair play. How ironic that the one person who has made free speech and liberty the core issue of his campaign has been deliberately marginalized by the Main Stream Media. All I can say to CNN and the other censors in the MSM is keep up the good work because by your actions Americans are coming to the increasing realization that unbiased news and objective opinion cannot be obtained from the MSM. Is it any wonder that readership and viewership in plumeting in the MSM.
Romney and Giuliani's exchange on immigration brought sweet sweet memories of my childhood back... When the siblings and I would argue in such childish ways. This was also done for about the same amount of time.
If the purpose of the debate was to find out where the candidates stood (which was obviously not the purpose of the McRudiani show), why didn't Cooper just let each candidate give a simple "Yes" or "No" to the dozen questions addressed to all candidates?

CNN/Anderson must have devoted many hours to the choice and arrangement of questions.

Folks we have to go direct to the people. We knew before, but we were immersed in it last night, TV will not give Ron a fair break. This was the worst!
Ron Paul doesn't need to spend half his time explaining why he was for something last year and now against it (illegal immigration, abortion, Romney), or defending spending tax payer money on an affair or a twisted version of the 2nd amendment(Guliani) or defending approving tax dollars towards illegal immigrants college tutition (Jesus knows you're a liar Huckabee) or explaining why nobody IN the military likes his plan for perpetual war (McCain).

No, Ron Paul just stays with his consistent message, Nonintervention, fiscal sanity, protect our Constitutional rights and liberty and defend our borders.  He also is the only one to mention "cutting spending" when the tax question came. Any bozo can
commit to not raising taxes, but Ron Paul sees the whole equation, if you continue to pile up debt policing the world we here in the USA will suffer! You have to reduce spending too!!! Duh! Or maybe 700 bases in 130 countries isn't "empire building" and I'm just another Nut??? Ha ha ha. YOUR PORTION of the LATEST bUSH WARS is $46,000 each. Now who's a nut?
 Maybe you haven't seen the latest on the value of the US Dollar or your share of the National Debt? It's not like we can print more money and expect the dollar to remain strong...One guy gets it and has consistently told us the truth...are we STILL to dumbed down to listen?

Google Ron Paul for President 2008
Find out why more military personnel support him than any candidate.
Ghoul-iani 'believes' the Bible, yet calls Islam a 'great religion'. Can't have it both ways, Rudy-baby, if you 'believe' the Bible, you will know that Islam is a false religion.
If somebody else besides Ron Paul would have raised almost $10M in about two months, nearly half during a 24hrs period, I bet you all I have that this person would have gotten much more speaking time than what Dr. Ron Paul got yesterday. Especially since that money was raised by individuals contributing relatively small amounts - it was not raised from large contributions by corporations.

I've also noted that some of the candidates start to "copy" Ron Paul's ideals. I don't believe them one second because many have a record of flip-flopping around quiet frequently, while Ron Paul has an excellent constitutional 10 term voting record to prove it.

Everyone knows that debate was an absolute joke...

It's time to get off our computers and start making signs for Ron Paul. That debate was an embarrassment to our "democracy"...The people of this country are getting pushed in a certain direction and as Americans citizens we must rise up against the media and start making some noise. Civil disobedience to bring upon peaceful change!

Please go out and PUT SIGNS UP around your city, this is the last chance we have.....Do not let it be said that YOU did nothing.
why would McCain get over 5min of air time?

I think something like this would have been more appropriate:

- Mitt Romney 6.5
- Rudy Guiliani 6
- Ron Paul & Mike Huckabee 5
- McCain 3.25
- Thompson 3
- Tancredo & Hunter 3
The thing that struck me most about the "debate" was how suddenly endeared all the boys were to the man's idea that states should decide the abortion issue. Little Huckleberry even went so far as to say he'd abolish the IRS. I guess the sincerest form of flattery is still imitation. RP in '08
Oh my Gawd, you Ron Paul supporters need to calm the EFF down.   It really is a circus in here!
The bickering between the two "top tier" candidates was a joke. There were good men on stage that should eb taken much more serious. First among them is Ron Paul. Setting the single day GOP fundraising record and will by the end of December (www.teaparty07.com)have raised more money and have larger poll numbers then any of the other candidates.

I'm really getting tired of Ron Paul talk and how awesome he is. Honestly, he's got about the same chance of being the nominee as I do. His campaign is vapor and he along with Tancredo and Hunter need to move on so we can really look at those candidates with credible ideas and really get to some interesting debates.

The dems need to do the same thing. Come on Biden and Kuchinich, it's time to pack it up and move on.  


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